Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM
You are in the Volvo S80
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Volvo S80, Sedan
#1094 of 2415 Reliability on 2002 S80 2.9
Nov 11, 2002 (7:49 am)
I have read through the messages for the last 12 months or so and see many comments about poor reliabiity on the S80, but most of them seem to be on the 1999 and 2000 models.
I was out driving several vehicles last week and had not been considering the S80. The dealership I was at has Audi, Jaguar, Volvo and the saleman mentioned that Volvo is offerring incentives to move out the remaining 2002 models. The rough price we are talking about is about $1k less than the TMV for my area with the options that are included and just barely gets into the high end of my price range.
I am intrigued by the safety features ( I have a 7 year old son), I like the ride and feel of the car (I fit much better than in an A4)and it has a distinctive look to it.
I guess it is the opportunity to get more car than I thought I could afford that intrigues me. At the same time, there is a reason they still have a half dozen of these sitting around the dealership.
Your comments are 2002 reliabililty are appreciated.
Nov 11, 2002 (5:34 pm)
A journalist from a wire service is looking for comments about heated seats - do you really love them, or really hate them, or really hate having to pay for them in an option package? Please send your thoughts and daytime contact info to jfallonedmunds.com by Tuesday, November 12 at 2pm Eastern.
Nov 12, 2002 (4:08 pm)
Wait a second, on my '99 T6 the initial wipers were Bosch MicroEdge blades. I replaced them with MicroEdge Excel blade refills and they were a perfect fit (I've since not been able to find refills in this size and have had to buy entire new blade assemblies.) I never had a problem with any chattering with my original or replacement wipers.
Did later S80s get cheaper original wiper blades?
Nov 12, 2002 (4:31 pm)
My original blades also never gave any trouble. I replace blades in Oct. or Nov. for the rainy season, with Bosch replacements, which have also not given any trouble. (my vehicle is a '99 T6.)
As to heated seats, my lady wouldn't let me get a car without them. We first had them in a '87 760 we picked up at Gotenburg and drove in Europe for a year. She loved the nice warm seats in the European cold winter! And I enjoyed the warm tush too. I have come to like them as much as my wife and like air conditioning, wouldn't have a car without them.
Still love my T6 too. rld.
#1098 of 2415 safty/car seat (also posted on the S60 board)
Nov 13, 2002 (7:02 am)
What kind of car seat for a new born would you say offer the same kind of safty like Volvo to its passenger? Would it also be something Euro?
Co-worker here just crash his minivan up north in Michigan, all adults are fine, but the 9 month old baby suffer terrible injury on his jaw, possibly due to the impact to the car seat.
I guess when people decide to pay $35K for a safe car, they should also pay more and get the best car seats.
#1099 of 2415 Thoughts on the S80/End of lease
Nov 14, 2002 (7:48 pm)
I am currently in the 31st month of the 39 month lease on my 2000 Volvo S80 2.9. Even though I am 8 months away from deciding on what to do next, I would like to post a few thoughts on my experience (I pardon in advance if it seems like just a random stream of thoughts) and see what others my have to add.
My experience with the S80 has not been as painful as others have spoken about on here. I have had no engine or transmission problems with the car. The biggest thing was some body repair done on the rear of the car (people on the street where I used to live have no idea how to parallel park). However, my experience with the S80 has been painful in other ways. 99% of the problems I have had with this car have related to the following - doors unlocking while driving or refusing to lock when I set the alarm, loud cycling of the AC fans, door seals on the driver and front passenger doors consistently deteriorating, gears slipping and then catching when accelerating onto a highway from an onramp, etc. Besides the door seals, which have been replaced 4 or 5 times, my dealer (Boston Volvo Village in Allston, MA) has never, over the past 30 months, ever been able to duplicate these problems. I have complained to their service manager and the like, yet nothing was really ever done. As much as I like the S80 (size, features, safety), with its history of unreliability and with the problems I have encountered, I am eagerly looking forward to turning it back in in 8 months and saying "good riddance." In addition, I am quite hesitant to lease or purchase another Volvo.
This brings me to my next thoughts. Having spent a day at the recent New England International Auto Show, I was able to view, in one fell swoop, a variety of cars which will eventually replace my S80. I have the field narrowed down to 4 cars - the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Saab 9-3, and VW Passat. You are probably wondering why I'd go from such a large, stately car to something smaller and sportier. When I first went into the lease with the S80, it was mostly based on impulse rather than careful planning. However, after 3 years, I have realized that the S80 was never really a car designed for the under-30 crowd, and have decided to go with something more fitting to my age. I would like some thoughts on which car would be more reliable. I am also a bit wary of going back in to a BMW dealership. Back in 2000, I visited Herb Chambers BMW (on Commonwealth Ave) to test drive some BMWs, but was told by one of the sales people that there were no BMWs to test drive, that the reason I should buy a BMW is because it was a BMW, and that someone my age should be out smoking weed. If you know of ANY BMW dealers in the Boston area that are free of attitude and elitism, please let me know. The same goes for any friendly Audi, Saab, or VW dealers in Boston, too.
Thanks for any feedback.
Nov 14, 2002 (9:20 pm)
The S80 has been a problem child for Volvo, very true.
It represented a huge leap forward for Volvo and should have been left in the oven longer.
The other children of the P2 chassis, the S60 and V70 have done very well, even the current S80's are quite trouble free.
If you want guarranteed reliability stay away from the Euro cars.
Audi, BMW and especially Saab reliability are worse than Volvos.
Lexus and Acura are your best bets, at least according to JD Power, and Volvo currently is not far behind either of them.
Volvo has done alot of hard work to improve theircars and its finally starting to pay off, also Volvo might be willing to help you with incentives to stay with them.
For a younger person, the S60 is definitely the way to go.
Stay away from Saab at all costs!
BMW, will make yo pay for the privilige, and their reliability is so-so, so is the dealer network.
Audi, nice car, jury out on reliability, less expensive option is VW, alot of the same hardware.
VW Passat, nice car, dealer treatment, warranty etc not in lux car class though.
#1101 of 2415 tennberg - car choices
Nov 15, 2002 (3:15 pm)
tennberg, I mostly agree with Volvomax. Your options in Boston are tough (I hated my treatment at Herb Chambers BMW also).
VW and Audi's are very nice looking cars with nice suspension engineering BUT their reliability is terrible (lowest of European manufacturers who sell in the US.). Saab's outgoing 9-3 was problematic but the new one is unknown. I will say that I've looked at the new 9-3 and I really like the look which surprised me (it looks like a cross between the new A4 and 3 series particularly around the C-pillar now that they've dropped hatchbacks). Pricewise I think the new 9-3 is the most attractive for what you get (world class safety engineering that you expect from the Swedes).
As Volvomax said, BMW will make you pay dearly for their cars unless you special order a stripper.
Here's a couple of suggestions to consider for an under 30 person (in no particular order):
-Lexus IS430 (it's the IS300 with the GS430 engine)
-Volvo XC90 (yeah, it's a SUV but take one out and really push it and you'll see why it beats some sports sedans like the Acura TL in specs - also Volvo is now the top rated European producer when it comes to quality)
-Nissan Murano (too new for me to say much about safety or quality though)
-Mazda RX8 (too new for me to say much about safety or quality though)
-Infiniti FX45 (I'm not sure when this thing hits the streets but it'll be the one turning the most heads I think)
-Infiniti G35 Coupe or Sedan
Regarding dealer choices I can't help much here. I've had horrible BMW and Audi/VW (Brookline and Natick?) and mediocre Mercedes experience (Herb Chambers in Somerville). My experience with Chambers' Saab (right across from their BMW dealership) was good and I've had great experiences at Boston Volvo Village.
p.s. - I've not been to most of these dealers in the past 18 months.
#1102 of 2415 Continuation - #1060
Nov 16, 2002 (2:56 pm)
Hey rollie and volvomax,
Thanks for the quick responses and insightful comments.
Rollie, regarding Herb Chambers BMW, I was in there the other day to see about getting some brochures on the 3 Series, but was told there wasn't a single one in the entire building and then the salesman walked away. Did I mention I hate them?! So, I wrote an e-mail to their HQ complaining about how awful this dealership is, but I doubt I will hear back from them. While I was there, I popped in to the redesigned Herb Chambers Saab dealership next door, and was treated extremely well. It's amazing to think that there dealers are only 10 feet apart yet a world apart in other aspects. Their entire showroom was filled with the new 9-3, which I am liking more and more each day.
My thoughts are this so far...I am heavily leaning toward turning my S80 in at the end of the lease and not using the buy-out option. I did test drive the XC90 while I was at BVV, and liked it. It did feel rather "disconnected" from the road, but I haven't driven an SUV in a couple years, so I'm not the one to ask. Plus, I hate SUV drivers but that's another story. Back on track, unless Herb Chambers BMW calls me back and apologizes, I am either going to another BMW dealership (BMW of Peabody or BMW Gallery) or just forgoing BMW entirely (I also hate BMW drivers on the road, the way they cut people off...). Anyway, between the A4, 9-3, and Passat, I definitely like the sportier look of the 9-3 over the classy look of the A4 and the so-so look of the Passat. However, I am concerned that the new 9-3 is too new to judge reliability. Plus, my roommate said this is the first Saab to be 99% GM parts - engine, transmission, and all. The A4 has been around much longer and is more proven (I would assume) than the 9-3 is.
My other questions is would you buy a new 2003 A4 or 9-3 or go with a 2 year old model instead? I want to get the best deal possible.
P.S. - Any good Audi or Saab dealers? I am thinking that Clair Audi (VFW Parkway) or Brookline Audi would be good, and also Herb Chamber Saab or Charles River Saab. Let me know.
Nov 18, 2002 (9:56 am)
Hi tennberg. It sounds like your taste mirror mine exactly - I don't like SUVs and find most BMW driver's habits distasteful.
Regarding the 3 options you mentioned, I would focus more on the A4 and 9-3. Pricewise they are quite close to each other. Regarding the fact that the 9-3 has a lot of GM influence I wouldn't necessarily be concerned about it (oddly enough). GM is doing quite well these days in many respects (and Toyota is now actively looking to copy some of GMs manufacturing efficiencies - I didn't see that one coming to be honest). GM has been one of the best in the business when it comes to trannies (which is why BMW and Volvo use them). I can't say much (positive or negative) about their engines.
I suspect that both of these cars will do well safety wise with a probable edge to the Saab. If you opt for an A4 with Quattro the Audi will have better resale value I suspect (neither has been stellar but Audi has been on the upswing the past few years.) I haven't driven either of these new models so I can't give any real insight there.
Regarding the new vs. used issue, I've got no good info here. Financially, you are almost always better off going used (let someone else pay depreciation) but the newer models are newer for a reason (improvements, more features, etc.). (Of course with so much discounting on some cars these days it's not as clear cut anymore.) I've known in my head that used is a more logical way to go but all 5 cars I've bought so far (I'm 34) have been new - I'm trying to make myself buy used but it's so tempting with all the new toys always hitting the market...
If you think you'll be comfortable in a couple of years driving a body style that has been around for several years (and replaced a couple of years back) then go for the used option.
Regarding dealers, I forgot to comment on Charles River. My experiences there were average on the whole (but I do recall them seeming a little more anxious to deal than some - possibly due to their less than ideal location).