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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. Lately I have been reading the forums an awful lot (here, VolvoSpy.com, and a few other places) and I am getting very mixed opinions about things. There was a story and link on VolvoSpy.com about this guy and his S80, which he totally hated. He even started his own site to put down Volvos inaptly named Volvostinks.com. Now whether he is a paid employee of BMW is another story, but the fact of the matter is, are Volvos as reliable as they once were? So far I have heard reviews saying that the new Volvos are absolutely great to absolutely awful. The ones stating that they are awful usually have to do with minor problems, electrical type malfunctions, noise in the cabin, etc. But what I want to know is, are there any newer volvo's with huge amounts of miles on them, like an S80 with 100,000+ miles? Thnanks again.

-Elliott
 

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Well, I believe that with any brand of car, you will find lemons. The S80 in that case is an example.

In terms of reliability, I have not been the most satisfied with my S60. My S60 is a first model year vehicle, though it is based off the same platform as the S80/V70. (Since the S80 has been around for several years, I expected most significant issues to have been worked out.)

What's disappointing about my S60?
* Many rattles (particularly on highways with rough surfaces);
* Paint that chips easily (my front bumper looks like Swiss cheese);
* Long waits for maintenance (6-8 weeks notice needed for oil changes);
* Loaner cars at my dealer are booked 3 to 4 months in advance;
* Trunk latch needed replacement; and
* Automatic transmission gets VERY confused in city driving (it slams into gears).

Some of my issues are with the service department of my dealer. If you find a good Volvo dealer, you probably will have a better experience than I did. Other issues like the rattles and transmission shifting are extremely annoying.

To be positive, there are many things I like about the S60.

* Great purchase experience;
* Great handling;
* Beautiful looking car;
* Good acceleration; and
* The most absolutely wonderful seats on the planet.

I tend to accumulate mileage in cars quickly. We'll see how this car holds up.

In some cities (NYC and Boston), Boston Coach Volvo V70s and S80s are used for livery service. I would assume that these cars get a large quantity of miles racked up on them. Perhaps talking with someone associated with maintaining these cars will give you a better idea of how high mileage Volvos hold up.

-ema
 

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Well, while I like the newer cars, they aren't rated as well with JD Powers. As for high mileage, it may be too early to tell for the newer generation cars.
 

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I understand your concerns and I do not wish to minimize them but.... Go to any internet site such as this, go to VW, Audi, MB, everyone and you will here complaints, many of them perfectly valid. Cars are extremely complex machines, things will go wrong. When you find a car that the dealers do not have a service department, buy that car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi everyone, thanks for all relplies, I did check out the other sites and see exactly what you are talking about, thanks. The other thing I have to ask is that on VolvoCentral.com they have this article about the up and coming S80, apparently they're (Ford, namely) is going o drop a JAGUAR V-8 into in it. A Jag! Those things are the most unreliable things on the planet! Does anyone think they'll even let Volvo touch it? Or will it be as unreliable and shoddy as I hope it isn't going to be?
Thanks again eveyone
-Elliott
 

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Actually, Jaguar has come a long way since Ford has purchased it. The electrical gremlins that plagued Jaguars of the 80s and 90s appear to have been resolved. I'm optimistic about upcoming cars from Ford's Premier Automotive Group. Let's see how the new Jaguar AWD sedan holds up in its first model year.

-ema

quote:

Originally posted by [email protected]:
Hi everyone, thanks for all relplies, I did check out the other sites and see exactly what you are talking about, thanks. The other thing I have to ask is that on VolvoCentral.com they have this article about the up and coming S80, apparently they're (Ford, namely) is going o drop a JAGUAR V-8 into in it. A Jag! Those things are the most unreliable things on the planet! Does anyone think they'll even let Volvo touch it? Or will it be as unreliable and shoddy as I hope it isn't going to be?
Thanks again eveyone
-Elliott
 

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As for reliability issues, I think everyone's experience is unique. I've owned my S60 2.4T for almost 3 months, and I've had just one problem to report, after driving it more than 5000 miles. The car is fitted with Pirelli P6s on 17inch Tethys wheels. (oh, what I'd do for a set of THORs instead of the Tethys!) Tires were rubbing against the front wheel wells frequently. My dealership did adjust the offsets and problem is fixed.

My dealership was very helpful in answering some mundane questions about fuel type and other things. I live in a high-altitude location and Volvo service managers recommend mid-grade, not premium fuel on the turbos. Your dealership experience can vary even with dealers in the same locale.

As for the S60's general appeal, I have had more positive remarks on this car than any other I've owned. When friends are riding in it, everyone comments on how quiet and smooth the ride is, the car is very sexy, etc. I know it's a great-handling car in an extremely safe package. Safety and Volvo's reputation for quality were my 2 top reasons for buying the S60.

If only I'd waited for the AWD due in November, but my dealer gave me a great price on a 2001. The dealership worked very hard to find one in Cosmos Blue with all the bells and whistles I wanted.

Overall, I'm more than happy with my Volvo, and I'll probably buy a second S60 in 2 or 3 years as an "addition" to the family. Will definitely keep this 2001 model!

Eric
 

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Actually my SINGLE biggest complaint about Volvo is the drivetrane. I don't understand this sudden obsession with front wheel drive, and especially on cars that top $50,000. I mean Cadillac even learned that lesson (thus their new line for '02, is all Rwd). I like the 4wheel drive volvo's however, I'm not quite sold on the 5 banger, it just doesn't look or run like a high end motor. It vibrates a lot and has an almost Honda like buzz. I think that the last REAL Volvo was the 960 (thank God I still have my 97) , this was a smoth straight 6, rear wheel drive with an amazing rear suspension (transverse leaf spring made of synthetics) and a sold feel about it.

I am still a Volvo owner because they are safe and somewhat a good deal, however I think if my income were to rise by 20% or so (as I hope it will eventually), I can seem myself going to BMW or MB, as they are just as safe, and have a bit more quality about them.

Volvo is not a lots cause, they just need to get back to basics, REAR WHEEL DRIVE.....all serious cars have it.....MB, BMW, Audi (4wd), Jaguar, Lexux, Infinity etc....

[This message has been edited by V70SAM (edited 10-19-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
V70 Sam, where do you live? I think volvo's front wheel drive is a great thing, I mean seriously, if you lived in Sweden, I think you would agree. I lived in Canada for most of my life, and believe me, rear-wheel drive is horrible in the winter. As for the BMW's having more quality, I'm not too sure about that. BMW's have always been the "industry standard" and the what not, but for practicality and SAFETY I doubt it. I got in a crash recently with my friend driving his 5-series wagon, and it WAS a horrible crash, and I DIDN'T die, so I'll give them that, but I was still horribly hurt ( I shattered my shin on the glovebox area) and as for those locks that they have on there, ick. I sat there for a good 5 minutes just pulling and pulling that handle....nothing. Those locks are a death trap, you cant pull up the lock with your hands alone. Now if that car was on fire, I would most likely have died due to my inability to escape the vehicle. I mean sure it was safe, but not AS safe. Also, I was broad-sided by an SUV of some sort when I was pulling out form a street. The SUV was speeding (60 down a small road) and hit me in my 240, after I finished moving from the crash, I immediately hopped out of the car to see if THE OTHER driver was ok. my car was completely GONE. The B-pillar on the dirver's side had moved in 3 feet from it's original position due to the tremendous force of the crash, I had to squeeze out of the driveer's seat, but I was jsut fine, not even a bruise. Now THAT says something about safety...

[This message has been edited by [email protected] (edited 10-19-2001).]

[This message has been edited by [email protected] (edited 10-19-2001).]
 

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I am not saying the Volvo is less safe, on the contrary, it is probably ultimatly the safest (this is why my wife and baby ride in one), I am saying that Front Wheel Drive is generally associated with less expensive (because it is) Asian imports and Amerian entry level cars. The Torque steer is un avoidable, and the turning circle is horible. The weight distribution is negatively effected by having the motor and drive trane in frone, and the overall drive of a Fwd is less sporty. A well engineered Rwd with traction control and ABS with DSTC would be far superior. For Snow and winter driving (Which here in Scottsdale, AZ is not an issue) you need All Wheel Drive. I think that Volvo and other high end cars, should come either in Rear Wheel, or 4 Wheel drive options only. Front wheel drive is for kids.

Trust me when I say this, Volvo will either go to all wheel drive or revert to rear wheel drive, as they start to loose market share to BMW and Audi. Cadillac has already abandoned the Front Wheel Drive concept with all of their next generation cars. FWD is for little **** burners and Dodge Neon, not for BMW and Volvo.

IMO

Sam
 

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quote:

Originally posted by V70SAM:
The weight distribution is negatively effected by having the motor and drive trane in frone, and the overall drive of a Fwd is less sporty.

<snip>

FWD is for little **** burners and Dodge Neon, not for BMW and Volvo.
One note of dissent. I've driven a fair few rwd Volvos, not one handled remotely as well as my Neon ACR. I see much of the rest of your points though.

cheers,
scott
 

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quote:

Originally posted by scootergeek:
One note of dissent. I've driven a fair few rwd Volvos, not one handled remotely as well as my Neon ACR.
Yes, but what's the weight difference between a Neon and a 240? 500lbs? However, I know that the Neon handles quite well when properly set up.
 

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The point being, that with the proper aftermarket equipment (and a lot of $$) you can make a 1960 bug handle great......I'm making the point that from an "automotive engineering" standpoint, a 50/50 weight distribution about the center of the vehicle contributes greatly to it's natural handling ability (The Corvette is one such car). Actually the best set up is mid engine rear wheel drive (like Ferrari, and Lamborgini), next best is front engine, rear drive, followed by rear engine, rear drive (Porsche), and last AND least is front engine, front drive......this is just a fact and not my opinion.

I personally prefer 4wd, especially in a Volvo, as it is safest.

Rear Wheel drive showes weekness when people don't understand how to drive them, especially in slippery weather, but that is not the fault of the car, but rather the driver.

Sam

As a note, I don't know what an Neon ACR is, I drove a Neon rental car wile on a trip and it drove like donkey cart, however I suspect the ACR has a lot of modifications (either factory, or aftermarket) that (again) can be put on any car and increase its handling ability......Rwd would however still further improve that ability.

[This message has been edited by V70SAM (edited 10-21-2001).]
 

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quote:

Originally posted by V70SAM:
I'm making the point that from an "automotive engineering" standpoint, a 50/50 weight distribution about the center of the vehicle contributes greatly to it's natural handling ability

<snip>

As a note, I don't know what an Neon ACR is, I drove a Neon rental car wile on a trip and it drove like donkey cart, however I suspect the ACR has a lot of modifications (either factory, or aftermarket) that (again) can be put on any car and increase its handling ability......Rwd would however still further improve that ability.

Again, I agree mostly with what you say, but it's still too easy to find front drivers that outhandle the vast majority of rwd cars. The Neon ACR is the factory competition model - Koni struts, bigger swaybars, shorter gearing, quicker steering, and few weight adding options - so yeah, it's not entirely a fair comparison, but it's not bad for a wrong wheel drive car - same goes for Mini Coopers, Integra Type R's, 90's Lotus Elans, etc.

That said, my next car will be a rear wheel drive Alfa, which when properly sorted should run rings around the Neon.

cheers,
scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have something to say about the FWD thing. Regardless of what you say, FWD drive handles pretty nicely. If you dont believe me go check on the Edmunds.com reviews, as well as others. They pitted the S60 against alot of other cars, alot of them RWD, and it came in a tie for 3rd against the Lexus IS300. They said that it handed extremely well, and the ony reason it didnt tie with the 3-series is because it didnt have enough "driver feddback", that's it. So I think these pre-concieved notions about FWD are not totally accurate. And as for RWD handling just as well in snow, that's a definate no. Go check on VolvoSpy.com on a little experiment they performed in winter conditions. Now, the BMW did outhandle a few FWD cars, like the VW passat (it got dead-last in the test.) but it did not out-handle the S60 in the test. I mean think of it this way, you have a pencil on your desk ok? PUSH the back of the pencil with your finger, do it slow, fast, however, you will see that the front end will vere off course, no matter what. Now, PULL the pencil from the front end, and see if it wobbles around, no. Same concept in cars. So anyhow, I'm saying we could fight about this for ages, but I'm talking about practicality, in Sweden, it is not uncommon to get a 3 foot snow drift, same with Canada. This is the exact reason why Volvo stopped making rear-wheel drive, it jsut doesnt work AS WELL in the snow, end of story.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by [email protected]:
And as for RWD handling just as well in snow, that's a definate no. I mean think of it this way, you have a pencil on your desk ok? PUSH the back of the pencil with your finger, do it slow, fast, however, you will see that the front end will vere off course, no matter what. Now, PULL the pencil from the front end, and see if it wobbles around, no. Same concept in cars.
I don't think that FWD is all-out better in snow than RWD. It's harder to get yourself into trouble with FWD, but when you do, it's harder to pull your ass outta the fire. RWD may not be the easiest configuration to control for most drivers, but I think it's more predictable and more balanced, which could make it better for some people.

When I pushed a pencil, it stayed straight regardless of force applied parallel to the pencil.

RWD is DEFINITELY more fun, but that's another subject.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by towerymt:
Yes, but what's the weight difference between a Neon and a 240? 500lbs? However, I know that the Neon handles quite well when properly set up.

Probably more than that, now that I think about it. My 245 is easily 3000 lbs. while my ACR is maybe 2350 - and the Neon has more rubber on the road.

Don't know what the Neon will look like at 230k miles though.
Still, great little car for what it is.

cheers,
scott
 

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You will not hear me say that RWD is easier to drive on snow than FWD, but that isn't why I buy a car. I buy for performance in general, and more specifically, on dry roads. My attitude is, if you need a car for snow, get a 4wd like the XC or Suburu's. And if Volvo wants to make cars that are overall safer in Sweden and other snowy areas, then do like Audi and go 4wd. Front wheel drive just rings of Honda Civic or Nissan Sentra, which are great if you want a subcompact econobox, I don't.

As for your comparison of the Neon and other little Fwd 1 ton sportsters; can any of them hold a candle to the Corvette Z52 (1.01g @ weight of 3600lbs) or BMW 540i (.89g) out of a 2 tone sedan? weight is the reason those little cars hold the road, not Fwd. Just look at how foolish Cadillac looks trying to get their 2 tone STS to handle close to as well as BMW, Lexus or MB.....they've got more augmentation systems and fancy gimics than you can shake a stick at, and STILL it handles like a donkey cart. Heck, look at the S80 compared with MB or BMW.....its the drive trane that's killing the Volvo!

Its simple engineering fact, RWD is superior, however 4wd is best.

[This message has been edited by V70SAM (edited 10-21-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just one last thing to add to this whole RWD FWD thing. Ok, so you say the pencil thing didn't work, ok, this time you will see what I mean
Get a three-ring binder or something inclined, (a book that's inclined, whatever) and repeat the same test, now you will see what I mean. Now Im not out to make enemies or anything, because the facts DON'T lie, although I hate to admit it, a 3-Series RWD DOES have better handling, but I mean FWD does pretty well. Anyhow, we could fight about this forever, but I do agree with you on the AWD/4WD thing. I'm kinda hoping that Volvo goes big with their new AWD system, it seems like it's really nice. So hopefully they'll follow the way of Audi, AWD on most if not all models, and FWD on base models. And V70SAM, being that you live in Arizona, have you been to Mt. Lemmon? It's absolutely great, plus some good mountain driving
If you haven't been I HIGHLY recommend it!
 
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