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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm torn. I will be buying a new (used) car sometime in the next 6-8 months and it's probably going to be one of these two, but I'm having a very hard time deciding between them.

The S60R is cheaper (at least at the moment) and has a much nicer interior, much more comfortable seats (especially given that I'm overweight), looks better, and makes a better noise, and has a better sound system. The Subaru is more reliable, has a better AWD system, handles better (from reviews, I didn't get to push either enough to get a good feel for which I preferred on that front when I drove them), is about equally fast, will be cheaper to fix, and will hold its value better.

If I were to choose between the two right now without taking reliability or price into account I'd go for the S60R, no question. The thing I worry about is how much this car is going to cost me in the long run. I could probably get a good S60R for $4-5K less than a similar milage/condition Legacy GT Spec B but I get the feeling that even without taking depreciation into account I'll lose all that in repair costs before the loan is paid off.

So, you guys love your Rs, please tell me I'm wrong about this. I want an R, I just don't want to go broke fixing it.
 

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It all depends on the condition of the R you choose... If you're so worried about expensive repairs, the R is probably not for you. There's a few components that can cost thousands to replace. The angle gear, struts, slave cylinder, dem, etc..
 

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They can be expensive to repair compared to other cars. But what year is it, auto or manual, mileage, any service history?
 

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well speaking from some experience because my best friend has a 05 manual b spec and my cousin has an 06 b spec, i can tell you that there handling is crap. A lot of body roll and at high speeds I would choose the R over any spec b. The brakes on the spec b are also horrible in comparison to the R. I believe the 70-0 is 177 feet or something in that range. On a windy road the R beats the spec b all day. The acceleration is the spec b pulls hard, but the acceleration is not very linear and it runs out of power fast. Disregard any of this info though if the spec b is not an 05 or an 06!
 

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You will get subaru and will regret it every time an R would passes you by. But if maintenance concernes you and you are not comfortable working on cars..........
That sums it up pretty much :thumbup:
 

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food for thought as well and no disrespect at all, but if you are overweight the seats will not last long at all in the R. The leather is very very soft and wears very easily. Even with my 160lb ass and only 30k some miles my seats aren't looking so great.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
well speaking from some experience because my best friend has a 05 manual b spec and my cousin has an 06 b spec, i can tell you that there handling is crap. A lot of body roll and at high speeds I would choose the R over any spec b. The brakes on the spec b are also horrible in comparison to the R. I believe the 70-0 is 177 feet or something in that range. On a windy road the R beats the spec b all day. The acceleration is the spec b pulls hard, but the acceleration is not very linear and it runs out of power fast. Disregard any of this info though if the spec b is not an 05 or an 06!
There is no such thing as a '05 spec B, you're probably talking about the regular legacy GT which lacks the better suspension and a few other things from the spec B. Also the '06 model only had better suspension, the later models also had a 6 speed transmission (from the STI), more aluminum suspension components, a limited slip diff and a nicer interior.

As for what everyone else said, I kind of figured the price difference would help with some of those repairs. Also, from what I've been reading on here while those are semi-common issues not every S60R has them. How common are they? The Subarus aren't entirely without their faults either. The head gaskets are a common problem area and can be quite costly to fix, but they certainly have less areas of concern than an S60R. Anyway, I'm just going by what I've been told from a performance perspective. The general consensus is that the two are pretty close on handling with the S60R being a bit more prone to understeer due to its FWD bias.

As for what year of S60R I'm interested in, I'm hoping to get an '06 or '07 manual with less than 50k miles on it. I don't have any specific car in mind at the moment because I want to save up about $8k or so so I don't have to get quite as large of a loan.
 

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You will get subaru and will regret it every time an R would passes you by. But if maintenance concernes you and you are not comfortable working on cars..........
WRXs fall apart all the time because people buy them thinking they are maintenance-free (Japanese cars don't need to be serviced...EVER...right?) and that gets combined with abuse and...well....

I realize that Legacy buyers are more mature, but then so are R owners and BMW owners, and yet both get abused and neglected as much as any other car (probably not Kia)

Point is, BOTH Subaru and Volvo design 200,000 mi+ cars. Both need maintenance. Fact.
The difference lies in how the companies see "maintenance." In Europe, generally cars are mandated to get frequent inspections as sson as a car is no longer considered "new" so European carmakers build their cars so that wear items can fail sooner, since mandatory inspections will catch parts that are end-of-life. Japanese culture seems to be at odds with that mantra, so Japanese cars are engineered to go longer before parts wear out. Keep either a Sube or a Volvo long enough and you will be replacing parts. Since you are buying used, a parts budget is neccessary either way.

To be truthful, I would put a spec.B in the same class as a tuned S60 AWD with a turbo changeout, not with an R.
 

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Wife and I drove a Legacy GT Spec B, and I crossed it off my list right away. Not a bad car in any way, but it just doesn't have the same feel (or very large performance envelope) that the R has...

Full Disclosure: We have a 99 Legacy Outback Wagon in the yard with our R.

We have taken in on 2 long trips, and went back to driving the 02 Ford Taurus for long trips (2 hours +) until the R came along. The seats in it are not nearly as comfortable. Durability seems to be on par, and it runs well (only nag is the valve cover gaskets keep leaking on it... gotta love horizontally opposed aluminum motors... yes, I've owned VW's as well... same problem) and the AWD on it is just about bulletproof... although the automatic is starting to slip (not a good sign in a Subie... ugh) but it runs ok for around town and hauling stuff. I was contemplating a used WRX STI, but they are so thrashed (generally) that finding a good example just wasn't out there... besides, we needed a little more room... so we drove the Legacy GT spec B (an 09 if I remember right) and were underwhelmed with the seats (still, better than the 99, but not sure they were going to be comfortable in 2 hours) and I didn't like the shifter feel.

It's just not in the same class. I ended up getting an 04 R with the same miles as the Legacy for about 3 grand less, that was in much better condition, (only downside, it's a GT, not MT) but the ride quality is better, the handling is better, the acceleration is better, the deceleration is MUCH better. and it's a Volvo.

I've always considered Subaru to be the Japanese answer to Volvo... they are very big on designing a safe car that just runs. I am not hating on them (obviously, again, I have one) but it just didn't float my boat.

And the durability/maintenance thing... lookit, you have to pull maints on anything to get it to last forever. That's just the way it is... as my Grandpa used to say, "oil is cheap, engines aren't"
 

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Very interesting to me that the Subaru costs more than the R - I would have thought it would be the other way around. With the Subaru costing more, it would be a no-brainer for me.

I traded my SR a few years ago for a MS6 and while I liked the Mazda, I just couldn't get comfortable with the interior quality and lack of creature comforts. I had it for three years and traded it to get back to an R, this time a VR.
 

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If you look around the forum you probably know how many topics are about fixing this and that.
That should sums up the reliability of the S60R.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Maintenance doesn't worry me. Obviously any car needs Maintenance and a European car will need more than a Japanese car. What concerns me is major components failing. In any case though after driving the Legacy GT I find it hard to contemplate not getting the S60R. When I drove the R I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was just so much more car than anything I'd ever driven before. By comparison the Legacy just seemed... normal. Sure if I stomped on the pedal it pushed me back in the seat like the R, but it wasn't as sharp and responsive or as exciting. That may be partially due to the fact that I drove the S60R with just myself and my girlfriend in it, whereas it was me and a salesman in the Legacy GT so I didn't throw it around quite as much. However there's no question that I prefer the S60R. I guess I'll probably get the R and learn how to do some of the maintenance myself. I can weld, run a CNC machine and build a computer yet I don't do my own basic maintenance. Kind of silly really.

I suppose I should go rent a van to get in practice parking something with a 21' turning radius. ;)

Edit: I do have one more question. How much of a 0-60 performance difference is there between the auto and the manual in the S60R? I know in '04 and '05 the torque was limited in first and second gear, but I'm talking about an '06 or an '07 where that wouldn't be an issue. From reading a few topics on here it sounds as though the geartronic transmission is rather bulletproof while the manual has that slave cylinder issue and also is maybe more prone to angle gear failure. It's also far easier to find an automatic S60R than a manual, and the autos tend to be 2k-3k cheaper. The S60R I drove was an automatic and I found it quite satisfying, though obviously it wouldn't be as fast or as engaging to drive as a manual, I'm just wondering what the difference is in the numbers. You'd think that information would be easy to find with a search of the forums but I must be using the wrong terms because I can't find 0-60 numbers for the 6 speed geartronic, only the 5 speed.
 

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IIRC, the 5 speed GT was around 2 seconds slower to 60 than the manual due to torque limiting while the 6 speed GT is probably around a half second slower than the manual to 60. Not sure about the latter one but I think that is the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well it looks like I found the information I was looking for on MT vs GT.

http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?76373/page1

I'm going to go for a GT I think. More reliable, cheaper, and maybe even a bit faster when passing or from a rolling start. I don't plan to race the car but that's really all I needed to know. Now I just need to find an '06 or '07 GT with Atacama, the premium stereo, sunroof, parking sensors.... ;)

Well, maybe not all of those, but at least I know what to look for now.
 

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I would also add 18's to your list of what you are looking for in an R. I kick myself every time I look at my wheels (17s). Obviously the 18s are a bit heavier (which could effect your 0-60 time by .00001 seconds) but visually they are leagues ahead of the sad 17s. When I go back for round two, a sport kit would be nice but 18's are DEFINITELY a priority!
 

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I would also add 18's to your list of what you are looking for in an R. I kick myself every time I look at my wheels (17s). Obviously the 18s are a bit heavier (which could effect your 0-60 time by .00001 seconds) but visually they are leagues ahead of the sad 17s. When I go back for round two, a sport kit would be nice but 18's are DEFINITELY a priority!
+1. 17s shouldn't even have been an option for these cars... Not only is the handling improved, the 18s lessen the wheel gap, and just overall give the car a more sporty look instead of another boring family sedan.

Just look at how awesome it looks.
 

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The 6-speed auto with IPD Stage I is faster than an unmodified MT model and (for an auto) very satisfying.

Don't get a Subie - the STis are very quick but otherwise they are tractors with sub-standard seats and brakes and make you long for a Volvo.
 

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The 6-speed auto with IPD Stage I is faster than an unmodified MT model and (for an auto) very satisfying.

Don't get a Subie - the STis are very quick but otherwise they are tractors with sub-standard seats and brakes and make you long for a Volvo.
They have the same Brembos don't they?
 
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