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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking into buying an S60 R, but I had a few questions.

I currently drive a '99 Camaro SS. Love the car, but its amazingly uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time. The suspension is all aftermarket and it will about knock your teeth out over a bump bigger than a sheet of paper. I'm worried I'll be disappointed with the performance of an S60 R, after being used to the big V8. I have yet to drive one (working on that, hard to find a manual R thats close to me), just looking for a little insight here. Is anyone unhappy with the power of the R?

A lot of people are warning me not to get one because Volvo has high maintenance costs. I feel like they are stereotyping Volvo, and to my knowledge none of them have ever owned one. How much maintenance should I expect to be doing? I plan on autocrossing the car and it will be driven hard at least some of the time, but redline clutch dumps are not in my driving vocabulary. The Camaro hasn't needed anything but oil since I bought it, and I really beat on it sometimes.
 

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Maintenance is high. And driving it hard could possibly increase those costs. You have to pay to play. You won't be disappointed with the power at all.
 

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Sadly volvo does have high maintenance costs however it is honestly worth the money. Please go test drive one and you will feel will the extra money goes....

Unfortunately I must admit that with every passing day of ownership of an S60R, I cannot agree with the above statement. There are MUCH more affordable cars that are FAR more reliable. They may not have the "zip," they may not have the silly features such as remote-dropable-rear-headrests, but I'm about 7 weeks into R ownership and am already down over $1,000 dollars.

Of course, if you're hellbent on a 4 door car with a manual transmission, you're in for a long, challenging search.
 

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I'm looking into buying an S60 R, but I had a few questions.

I currently drive a '99 Camaro SS. Love the car, but its amazingly uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time. The suspension is all aftermarket and it will about knock your teeth out over a bump bigger than a sheet of paper. I'm worried I'll be disappointed with the performance of an S60 R, after being used to the big V8. I have yet to drive one (working on that, hard to find a manual R thats close to me), just looking for a little insight here. Is anyone unhappy with the power of the R?

A lot of people are warning me not to get one because Volvo has high maintenance costs. I feel like they are stereotyping Volvo, and to my knowledge none of them have ever owned one. How much maintenance should I expect to be doing? I plan on autocrossing the car and it will be driven hard at least some of the time, but redline clutch dumps are not in my driving vocabulary. The Camaro hasn't needed anything but oil since I bought it, and I really beat on it sometimes.
its more expensive than hondas/totyotas etc for sure. if you can do the repairs yourself and don't get every part from the dealer it isn't that bad. for sure it is higher than your average car and i'd say and more things will go wrong. maintenance history is key

The R will be way more comfortable of course than your camaro the seats are amazing. it's different power than your na v8 is that is for sure. People usually don't complain about lack of power. of course people will want more always... it's a great all around car comfortable, respectably quick, and sexy looking. The R will probably need more than just oil, things go wrong.

It is not a good choice for an autocross car though. It's relatively heavy and turning radius sucks and it gets put in a class that you don't have much of chance. i'd shop elsewhere if you want to primarlly autocross. the R will shine at a track, just not the 1/4 mile/autocross.

a turbo w/ awd and comfortable yet not slow were my requirements, something with 4 doors you don't see on every corner. here i am and i never second guess my purchase.

good luck.
 

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The R is definitely a car that will cost you the more you beat on it, it's not that they're terrible unreliable just expensive to maintain (1200 for struts alone about 300 for a front brake job, the slave cylinder is known to fail and is inside the transmission, the angle gear can leak and the collar gear can strip). If you want a cheaper alternative to the R than look at the 05+ T5 which is fwd and has a nearly identical motor but usually lacks 4c (it was an option) and the expensive AWD issues, the manual transmission is the same so it does suffer the same slave cylinder issue.

These cars are also heavy and slow off the line (they and the fwd T5 shine from a roll) so most autocross courses aren't large enough to really let the car shine like it would on a real track. As for power, the power band is probably the exact opposite of your camaro at least that's what my T5 fails like compared to my cougar and mustang which with gears and a tune were monsters off the line.
 

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Unfortunately I must admit that with every passing day of ownership of an S60R, I cannot agree with the above statement. There are MUCH more affordable cars that are FAR more reliable. They may not have the "zip," they may not have the silly features such as remote-dropable-rear-headrests, but I'm about 7 weeks into R ownership and am already down over $1,000 dollars.

Of course, if you're hellbent on a 4 door car with a manual transmission, you're in for a long, challenging search.
Kudos to you for admitting this. You were bent on getting the R even in the face of people (like me) strongly recommending against it for, among other reasons, high cost. Here is my response to your request for input on whether the R is a good family car. The OP is not asking whether it is a good family car, but he/she is asking about cost and, to that end, I think my post of many months ago still stands:

Not a good family car. My kids have ranged from 6 - 18 while I have owned my S60R. Why is it not a good family car? (1) The boosters/kid seats I bought did not fit well into the rear seats. The bolsering is difficult to accomodate. (2) Despite what others have said, the rear leg room is not sufficient. If you want to be kicked constantly by your son/daughter, get the R. And to those who have threatened to dicipline their kids for kicking the seat, really??? You are going to punish a child for acting like a child? Comon. (3) Cost. You are going to spend a ton of money maintaining an R. If you are one of the very lucky Americans who actually has a job, don't you think you should be saving every penny? Not to mention your new child for whom you will need to save a TON of money. Seen college tuitions lately? What is more important, your child's future or a pair of $750 shocks? Or a $1,000 head lamp? What is the smarter use of those funds? (4) Time vampire. I have read it on here before, "I am handy.... I can do my own work." OK, again, you have a child on the way. You say it's your first. I'm sure your wife is going to like to hear that you can't spend time with little Joey or Judy because you are out spending countless hours on a hunk of metal. Again, what is more important? A car or your child? (5) Safety. I think people need to take a look at all vehicles' safety ratings. Volvo made a brilliant marketing move decades ago when it painted itself as the "safe" car. Compared to the vast majority of cars out there, it was. But times have changed. Many car manufacturers now make some very safe cars. And some very pragmatic cars, too. Volvo no longer has the corner on the safety market. And, how safe is a car that needs to K turn into every parking spot? I have begun (an ill advised) U Turn many times and thought, "Oh __it, I'm going to get T-boned." A U turn that an air craft carrier could make is a K turn in this car. (6) You can get your kicks in your Viper. There is no need for the R. Sorry. One vote against the R for a new dad. Kids give (or at least should give) you some perspective real fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Autocross isn't my main concern, I'm into autocross just for fun. The Camaro is about the same weight, and also has a huge turn radius -- I'm used to that kind of stuff. But if you put your foot down, the back end will do donuts around you, which is fun for the street, but terrible to autocross.

The Camaro has a huge power band, with the torque peak at about 4500 RPM. Its got over 300 ft-lbs available all the way from 1500 RPM up though 5500 RPM. I've got dyno sheets showing 330HP at the wheels. I'm not expecting the R to compete with the LS1 in the Camaro, but I do want it to feel quick.

I'm just feeling a new car. The Camaro is fun, but its getting to that age where a lot of expensive things are possibilities to break (previous owner worked from home, the only driving it saw was at the autocross). I'm looking for something thats nice, comfortable, not a cop-magnet, and still relatively sporty. The R seems to do all of this and more, but I don't have a ton of free budget to pour into maintenance.



Thanks for the input guys. I have one lined up to test drive hopefully tonight.
 

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I'm just feeling a new car. The Camaro is fun, but its getting to that age where a lot of expensive things are possibilities to break (previous owner worked from home, the only driving it saw was at the autocross). I'm looking for something thats nice, comfortable, not a cop-magnet, and still relatively sporty. The R seems to do all of this and more, but I don't have a ton of free budget to pour into maintenance.
Definitely consider a T5 you sound like a similar situation I was in. I came from the Ford world and was dead set on finding a great R and couldn't, so after some reading and considering the potential down time of the car I decided the T5 was a better fit for me. The T5 lacks AWD, the brembos and .1 liter of displacement, but its essentially a detuned version of the same engine. It also usually lacks the 4C suspension so shocks are cheaper. However I will say finding a manual 05+ T5 is extremely difficult though, since the R essentially cannibalized later T5 sales. I found one on my search but the guy wanted well over book value and wouldn't budge, so when I couldn't hold out any longer I settled for a geartronic.
 

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I'm looking into buying an S60 R, but I had a few questions.

I currently drive a '99 Camaro SS. Love the car, but its amazingly uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time. The suspension is all aftermarket and it will about knock your teeth out over a bump bigger than a sheet of paper. I'm worried I'll be disappointed with the performance of an S60 R, after being used to the big V8. I have yet to drive one (working on that, hard to find a manual R thats close to me), just looking for a little insight here. Is anyone unhappy with the power of the R?

A lot of people are warning me not to get one because Volvo has high maintenance costs. I feel like they are stereotyping Volvo, and to my knowledge none of them have ever owned one. How much maintenance should I expect to be doing? I plan on autocrossing the car and it will be driven hard at least some of the time, but redline clutch dumps are not in my driving vocabulary. The Camaro hasn't needed anything but oil since I bought it, and I really beat on it sometimes.
hey Weston do you know Dick Fitzwell http://forums.swedespeed.com/member.php?50817-fr0st and john Juunterson http://forums.swedespeed.com/member.php?50818-jeblieWun by any chance? you sound like them a lot? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know either of them, sorry. Do they like big V8s too? ;)

Isn't there like a 60HP difference between the R and the T5? Honestly until about last week I thought the T5 was the top engine in the S60. I might consider a T5, but I really like all the extra little details about the R. The blue gauges, 4C suspension, the little stuff is really drawing me towards an R.
 

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I don't know either of them, sorry. Do they like big V8s too? ;)

Isn't there like a 60HP difference between the R and the T5? Honestly until about last week I thought the T5 was the top engine in the S60. I might consider a T5, but I really like all the extra little details about the R. The blue gauges, 4C suspension, the little stuff is really drawing me towards an R.

you seem to know a lot already what it comes with and all...I've heard T6 have even more potential to supersede R and T5 ...how do you like them ? I am not sure if they come with blue gauges, 4C suspension, the little stuff like that, but I think they have 2 turbos...not 100% sure though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The internet, its great (and lets you find out what comes on a car). :) I've done a lot of searching over the last 2 days over what is special about the R and what features it comes with. Before that I didn't know much about them.

I don't really know anything about the T6. I assumed that it was a newer engine that would be out of my price range. I'm hoping for a car under $10k, but I could probably go as high as 12.5k if I found one I really wanted. I just turned 21 last month so my budget is a little limited.
 

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Isn't there like a 60HP difference between the R and the T5? Honestly until about last week I thought the T5 was the top engine in the S60. I might consider a T5, but I really like all the extra little details about the R. The blue gauges, 4C suspension, the little stuff is really drawing me towards an R.
There is a hp difference from the factory but that power can be made up with a simple tune, and no other mods. A tuned T5 is faster than a stock R due to the difference in weight and similar power. You lose some of the little things like the R depending on what year you get but like I said you can find a few T5s with 4c (it is rear but they exist) and I believe in 07 the T5s came with the same style gauges as the R except with black faces. It's your call but do a search these threads seem to keep popping up around here ;)
 

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The OP is not asking whether it is a good family car, but he/she is asking about cost and, to that end, I think my post of many months ago still stands:

Not a good family car. My kids have ranged from 6 - 18 while I have owned my S60R. Why is it not a good family car? (1) The boosters/kid seats I bought did not fit well into the rear seats. The bolsering is difficult to accomodate. (2) Despite what others have said, the rear leg room is not sufficient. If you want to be kicked constantly by your son/daughter, get the R. And to those who have threatened to dicipline their kids for kicking the seat, really??? You are going to punish a child for acting like a child? Comon. (3) Cost. You are going to spend a ton of money maintaining an R. If you are one of the very lucky Americans who actually has a job, don't you think you should be saving every penny? Not to mention your new child for whom you will need to save a TON of money. Seen college tuitions lately? What is more important, your child's future or a pair of $750 shocks? Or a $1,000 head lamp? What is the smarter use of those funds? (4) Time vampire. I have read it on here before, "I am handy.... I can do my own work." OK, again, you have a child on the way. You say it's your first. I'm sure your wife is going to like to hear that you can't spend time with little Joey or Judy because you are out spending countless hours on a hunk of metal. Again, what is more important? A car or your child? (5) Safety. I think people need to take a look at all vehicles' safety ratings. Volvo made a brilliant marketing move decades ago when it painted itself as the "safe" car. Compared to the vast majority of cars out there, it was. But times have changed. Many car manufacturers now make some very safe cars. And some very pragmatic cars, too. Volvo no longer has the corner on the safety market. And, how safe is a car that needs to K turn into every parking spot? I have begun (an ill advised) U Turn many times and thought, "Oh __it, I'm going to get T-boned." A U turn that an air craft carrier could make is a K turn in this car. (6) You can get your kicks in your Viper. There is no need for the R. Sorry. One vote against the R for a new dad. Kids give (or at least should give) you some perspective real fast.
op asks a lot of questions including auto-x, power, comfort,etc including concern of maint.

we all have different needs, for instance it makes a great family car for us, fits my requirements of manual, awd, turbo, sporty, yet stealthy.

there has been a tone of doom and gloom on the R forum regarding repairs and unreliability on the R and looking at it wrong parts will just fall apart. There are plenty of documented known issues and that is where reasearch & maintenance history are an absolute must. Know what you are getting into and choose an R carefully, one that has been properly maintained. Truth is very few of us have been stranded in the R. It sucks when crap goes wrong and the 4c/electronics on this euro sedan can be painful. if you budget appropriately it isn't any worse than other euro sedans, maybe cheaper. I'm not saying it is a good choice for everyone and is a horrible choice for young drivers or those without extra money at the ready to cover unexpected repairs. As the price of these cars have come down more people are able to get into them more easily but not necessarily afford the repairs that come as these cars age.

some counterpoints for a different perspective
1. no issue with fitting child seats, i know others have done it without issue as well.
2. you aren't going to find many cars with superior leg room without going with a van/suv. could it be better? sure.
3,4 cost, yeah, more expensive than others but some of your comments are a bit over the top... time vampire? i'm sure you wife is going to like to hear you can't spend time with the kids? whats more important car or child?

really? yes, all parents spend 100% of their time with kids never needing a break nor should they leave their childs side and have a life.... sure, enjoy that. I love my kids but every parent needs to spend time both with kids and away. no one is going to choose car over child but saying there isn't time for both is a stretch.

5. totally agree, plenty of safe makes out there, cars are safer than ever. plenty are more reliable and get better gas mileage as well. (hyandi elantra comes to mind) hp numbers on many makes are up as well. those camry's we make so much fun of can are right quick w/ the v6

bottom line: if costs are a primary concern you shouldn't be looking at a euro sedan w/ awd turbo,on average it will cost more. If you have the funds (and aren't pushing your limits) I still stand by my thoughts of it being a great all around car w/ manual option, turbo, awd, comfort There aren't many that choices (wagons even less). For such features though there is a premium that is paid in repairs, tires, parts.
 

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As others have said, the only way to know is test drive one. Obviously only you will be able to tell if it has enough pop for you. Being that this is only my 3rd car (Mazda 626 back in the day, then Saab 900SE) it was definitely a breath of fresh air for me in the performance department. I drove the car stock for a bit (couple months). Thought very highly of it. Then sort of got used to the power, ordered a few mods, and feel completely back in love again. If you can get the R for a reasonable price and have a few bucks left over to mod, I say go for it. If you get the premium sound (HU-850) you will be blown away by the stereo. To this day that is still one of the features of the car that amazes me.
 

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I think that the people who look for low priced deals on Rs are the ones that get hit hard with the maintenance costs. This will happen with any car. Know what to look for and records are key when buying a used car. get as many receipts and as much paperwork as possible when you look at any car. I honestly prefer working with a private seller, because most the time the cars at dealers have an unknown history.

When I test drove the car I bought I looked through a stack of receipts and documented dealer visits and this has made my ownership very good so far, I replaced a dryrotted hose and put in xc90 axle bolts. (ping was taken care of once by the dealer before I bought the car but it was a while ago)

As far as if you will like it, who knows. I wasnt sure if I would but I fell in love when I drove them. The power wont feel as raw as a ls1, but it is certainly there. These engines dont respond to mods as well as a ls would with heads/cams/intake. You wont be able to make big numbers like the camaro could. But this is a completely different type of car. IMHO its the perfect compromise of everything, comfort, styling, ride, powerr, etc

Oddly enough I was thinking of trading my caR in for an ls6 CTS V. After sitting in the caddillac I realized how nice our interiors are! IMO the R has one of the better interiors in terms of quality and feel. (other than the glovebox)

/rambling
 

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The internet, its great (and lets you find out what comes on a car). :) I've done a lot of searching over the last 2 days over what is special about the R and what features it comes with. Before that I didn't know much about them.

I don't really know anything about the T6. I assumed that it was a newer engine that would be out of my price range. I'm hoping for a car under $10k, but I could probably go as high as 12.5k if I found one I really wanted. I just turned 21 last month so my budget is a little limited.
you are right ...you ask one sentence question and you get a page and a list of answers from multiple members on this forum...are you enjoying yourself ?
 

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The internet, its great (and lets you find out what comes on a car). :) I've done a lot of searching over the last 2 days over what is special about the R and what features it comes with. Before that I didn't know much about them.

I don't really know anything about the T6. I assumed that it was a newer engine that would be out of my price range. I'm hoping for a car under $10k, but I could probably go as high as 12.5k if I found one I really wanted. I just turned 21 last month so my budget is a little limited.
If your budget is limited this IS NOT the right car for you.
Other than regular maintaince cost what if one of these things breaks and do you have money to fix?
Angle gear
Collar Sleeve
DEM $2000 for new one or 500~800 to rebuild
4c shocks $200 each for Monroe or $400 for volvo box
These are some popular parts that fail on the R.
It has decent speed but I would say just decent.
Its not that fast.
If I can choose again I wouldn't choose this car.
 
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