Sajeev and Steve,
Ok guys need some advice, I am the owner of an 2001 Volvo XC wagon with 166,000 on it, I have owned it about 2 years and drive about 40k a year all over the North East for work. It is paid off but in the last 6 months I have put about 4 K in it, new tires, new brakes all around water pump, T belt, new moon roof (do not ask), the previous owner replaced the tranny at 110k and put a new cat convertor at 100k.
I get about 23 MPG on the highway and the car has great seats, all work done at my indie, my questions, based on how much I drive do I keep it and drive it into the ground or get out now and put my dollars into something else. If so what? This is what i would like, safe, better on gas, four doors decent backseat, no SUV, no CUV, must be at least FWD, nothing from the big three excites me at all, would prefer auto and relaible. I have thought about a VW TDI but have heard horror stories about VW. I like Saabs and would get another if the deal was great, prefer used,depreciation is my friend. I prefer a auto that I want to drive to one that gives no joy to drive. I also take some clients out from time to time so it needs to look good as well. In the past I have had Saabs, Infinity, Accords, Audis, Budget is 20 k max. Thanks for the help!
You didn’t say you liked/disliked your ride, which is a problem. Maybe you love it, and want our approval for keeping it until the body rusts away to nothingness. Or maybe you have passive aggressive hatred, as you are a SAAB fan and actually loathe every moment in a Volvo.
Hard to tell, as the smart money is usually in keeping the rolling set of problems you currently own, even if old-modern Volvo problems are far more terrifying than old-modern Honda problems . Then again, you mentioned wanting an automatic car that gives no joy to drive. Put your money where your mouth is: dump the Swede and move to a nicely depreciated Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac, Lincoln, etc. The depreciation/value king of the bunch is probably the Lincoln MKZ/Zephyr, and their Fusion based parts are stupid cheap to keep running till the end of the world. A Lexus ES or IS would give you much more style, snob appeal, etc…but you don’t seem like that kinda guy.
Here’s the big problem: you already spent a ton on this hooptie! Dumping it now isn’t exactly the brightest idea, unless the right buyer willing to pay top dollar shows up. Odds are they shall not, so you need to keep it for 6-12 months to get some bang for the buck. Hope you don’t need too many other wear items replaced, or that no more surprises creep up in the meantime. It is, after all, a modern car from Europe…in America!
Volvo XC70′s have a lot of issues. The transmissions usually conk out between 90k and 120k due in great part to Volvo’s marketing of their transmission fluid as a ‘lifetime fluid’. The Camry and Altima from this time period were also given similar fluids and transmissions. Those manufacturers recommend replacement every 70k for a unit that usually hauled about 700 fewer pounds than the XC’s.
As a result, Volvo XC70 transmissions are hideously expensive at the junkyards. This ‘prestige pricing’ also goes for any software upgrades to the electronic throttle module which is now just outside of it’s extended warranty period for your car (10 years or 200k). The upgrades usually cost over a thousand dollars and can only be done at the dealer.
Add into this money sucking mix a bad record of glitch ridden electronics. Mediocre gas consumption. Expensive AWD systems. Expensive parts in general. Anything good for these XC’s? Well, a small plus are the seats and with 166k, it may just bring around 4k to 5k due to the uniqueness and all wheel drive.
I would sell it right now and move on to better things.
Since you do a lot of driving, I would opt for a car that has plenty of space and excellent seats. Does a newer Saab 9-5 work for you? Would an older Infiniti be a better bet? I wouldn’t rule out a Lexus GS. But then again I don’t have your tastes or your posterior.
So just find what you like and leave it at that. The B&B will offer plenty of input on the ‘buy’ side. Good luck!
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