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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Test drove the T5 last week, and was impressed with the VOlvos... I have never seriously considered these until now.

I have some concerns on the powerplant -- aren't they overtaxing such a small engine? I'm afraid if I opt for the 2.4T engine for dependability, then the performance will suffer. The larger engine has power, but I feel it affects handling, and may be a maintenance problem in the future. We are also looking at the C320 300M and V70 XC.

Any feedback is appreciated.
 

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Kirk,

The Volvo Inline-5 engine has been around for about 10 years now and has had a steller reliability record considering its displacment and power output. It has been continuously refined throughout the years. It was even nominated for this years Wards Top 10 Best Engines list. The basic engine components are pretty bulletproof. Volvo has vast knowledge and a long history of turbocharging like Saab, so the turbo systems are sound. The 2.4T and T5 engines will be almost the same as far as reliability goes, you shouldn't have any problems with either of them. I think that the engines in the S60 should be the least of your concern, as far as reliability goes. The I5 has an extremely good record.

For some reason, I am not very fond of the 300M, because I think that the Lincoln LS-Sport is a much better car for the money. It has excellent handing characteristics. The Mercedes C320 is also pretty nice. Have you considered the BMW 330i or the new Audi A4 3.0 that is coming out soon? I would probably choose one of those over the C320, but they are all good choices. Also, I have heard pretty good things about the Jaguar X-Type.

Good luck on whatever you choose, there are a lot of great cars in this segment. I think that the S60, 330i, and new A4 are probably best in this class, but for different reasons.

-Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Drew

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. I'm just a bit concerned about a 197hp turbo engine feeling lagged and overtaxed in a relatively heavy vehicle. The 247hp may have the guts, but only with substantial turbo lag. The test drive was only for 5 min's, so I'm hoping to get real world feedback from the forums on how well it does passing on the highway, etc. I will admit, both the V70XC and the S60T5 impressed me... I walked into the dealership just to "check off" the volvos on my "try before you buy list", and they are now near the top!

Unfortunately for me, I am colorblind. This means that both the Audi's and the BMW's won't work for me as their dash readouts are "red" on black. Both are impossible for me to see during the daytime, and neither company offers an option. Too bad, as I liked the Audi, though it felt heavy compared to the XC. Friend of mine just bought a 530i, and he loves it.

I am a little hesitant to look at the Lincoln, as I fear it will be cheaply made. Don't get me wrong. My 97 F150 4WD is THE best automobile I have ever owned, but it's just that I don't have the same confidence in American steel when it comes to passenger cars.
 

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Kirk,

You are right, I think that the only way you will be able to tell if you like a car or not is to take it on an extended test drive. One of my friends who is a salesman at my Volvo dealer will even let the potential buyer take a demo car home overnight. I am sure that most Volvo dealers will let you do this considering you are seriously looking.

One thing I wanted to mention to you is the fact that turbocharged cars make the 'best' highway passing cars. Since the turbo is already spooled up and giving the engine boost, passing is a snap literally. The low pressure 197hp engine is supposed to have very good torque characteristics and was intended to have no lag what-so-ever. I would probably go with the high pressure T5 because of the great power output even thought it might have a little more lag than the low pressure turbo.

It is interesting that you mentioned the dash readouts. For some reason, I don't like the orange and red dashboards of BMW's and Audi's at all. That is somewhat of a flaw in my opinion. Those dashboard colors remind me of a Pontiac. I think that white, green, and blue are the best colors because those wavelengths are physiologically easiest on the eyes.

Just for kicks, if you get a chance, take an Lincoln LS-Sport for a test drive, I think you might be very surprised. I didn't think very much of the car until I test drove one at an Edmunds driving event, and that changed my mind completely.

But I guess the main point of what I am trying to say is take the S60 out for an extended drive, hopefully more than 20 minutes. Volvo supposedly makes the best seats in the world, so make sure you like the seats and steering wheel position fits you well. Check the ergonomics of the interior and how things are placed, within easy reach for example, etc. All are very important factors.

I hope this helps!

-Drew
 

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Kirk,

I've had my S60 2.4T for about 5 months (and driven 10,000 miles) now. Though the 2.4T is turbocharged, it is a light-pressure turbocharged that delivers a fair amount of torque at low rpms. (Much of the engine's torque is available at 1,700 rpms.) I find turbo lag to be minimal. Edmunds.com (as well as other automobile journals) have found that the 2.4T is pretty quick.

Compared to my previous I30, my 2.4T lacks some grunt during initial launch. Once the car gets up to about 2,000 rpms, it wakes up and has just as much power (if not more) as the I30. By some bizarre design, some New Jersey roads merge onto the left lane of the freeway. During rush hour, I often have to floor the car to merge on. I've never had a complaint about the car's power then. Same for passing on 2-lane country roads. In summary, I've learned to be a little easier on the car when accelerating from a stand-still. Highway passes or merges aren't a problem and the 2.4T seems very powerful.

Hope this helps,
-ema

quote:

Originally posted by Kirk:
Drew

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. I'm just a bit concerned about a 197hp turbo engine feeling lagged and overtaxed in a relatively heavy vehicle. The 247hp may have the guts, but only with substantial turbo lag. The test drive was only for 5 min's, so I'm hoping to get real world feedback from the forums on how well it does passing on the highway, etc. I will admit, both the V70XC and the S60T5 impressed me... I walked into the dealership just to "check off" the volvos on my "try before you buy list", and they are now near the top!

Unfortunately for me, I am colorblind. This means that both the Audi's and the BMW's won't work for me as their dash readouts are "red" on black. Both are impossible for me to see during the daytime, and neither company offers an option. Too bad, as I liked the Audi, though it felt heavy compared to the XC. Friend of mine just bought a 530i, and he loves it.

I am a little hesitant to look at the Lincoln, as I fear it will be cheaply made. Don't get me wrong. My 97 F150 4WD is THE best automobile I have ever owned, but it's just that I don't have the same confidence in American steel when it comes to passenger cars.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to both you, ema and drew. We will take it for an extended drive to see how it does. If it makes it in Houston traffic, it should make it anywhere.

I'm nearly sold on this brand, as the salesman showed me a demo V70XC that was "T'd" by another car going about 50 mph. The rear door was caved in on the outside, but when I looked inside, I was stunned to see the passenger compartment was only barely deformed (almost imperceptible!). If the side curtain had not deployed, and the safety glass had not cracked, you might not have noticed it had been hit.
 

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Kirk- that is why I my wife and I went back to the Volvo brand. We had one in 1985 when she was pregnant with our first child, and then traded it in for the mini-van in the early 90's (I know, I know, but we're all allowed at least one mistake in our lives).We vowed to someday get another Volvo. Last June, the 2.4T caught our eye..we have not been disappointed..my first test on the highway was passing a semi..not a problem (even with the low pressure turbo)..we drove the T5, but did not seem to think that the extra power was worth the price difference, but I can see how someone might be wowed by the T5. I guess what I'm saying is that I think you will be very happy with the Volvo brand.
 

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Kirk says: "The 247hp may have the guts, but only with substantial turbo lag"

I've driven both the 2.4T and the own a T5, and can tell you that when the transmission is shifting correctly (or you are shifting yourself) you will be hard-pressed to notice a difference in the "turbo lag." In fact, I think this lag really gets more air-time than it warrants. If that is your biggest concern of the T5, please know that the lag is the LEAST of my worries. And of course, once your're up above 2500 RPM, there's just no looking back.

- Darell
 
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