Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM
You are in the Volvo S80
What is this discussion about?
Volvo S80, Sedan
#401 of 2415 Re: Attention
Oct 10, 2000 (1:36 pm)
Sigh. Poor Volvo.
The latest issue of AutoWeek had a review on the S60, which Volvo is positioning as a sport sedan to compete with the A4, 328, and C-class. Autoweek's comments were sadly familiar:
"shows its familysedan roots"
"like all Volvos, it displays a quiet isolation from the road, with no (wheel) feedback to speak of."
And so forth. Autoweek had the first mention of what appears to be Volvo's strategy: Styling + safety. But, as they put it, "in the luxury classes in which Volvo is fond of playing, safety is a given. Volvo could not sell cars on safety alone."
I haven't had that many problems with my S80, but over the last year I've become less enchanted with its overall design concept. Many have described the Volvo as a "Swedish Buick", and I now have to concur. The S80 is basically an ok car, but with a LOT of rough edges. Particularly in handling, noise isolation, and suspension. It does not display the high level of BALANCED competence than its German competitors do.
Volvo's apparent choice to emphasize styling as its primary "new" attribute harkens back to the bad old days of auto design (both US and European) in the 60's, when the only new thing was an extra piece of chrome. The Japanese exposed this practice for the laziness it was. In the face of its competition, this decision is not wise. The worst thing a company can do is not deliver on the promises it makes.
It is interesting to note that BMW is essentially indistinguishable from Lexus anymore in terms of initial quality. Audi is middle of the pack - understandable, since they were rotten for so long.
However, if our new Passat is any indication, the quality and solidity of the VW-Audi group platforms is superb. So good, in fact, that I am hard pressed to justify the purchase of another luxury car when the high-midrange class offers nearly as much for much less. Still, the new A6 comes out in Fall 2002.
I will be watching with great interest.
Oct 10, 2000 (3:15 pm)
Shauns, you ARE lucky. I just finished looking over the Passat bulletin board. You think S80s have problems?
#403 of 2415 My Faith Is Slipping
Oct 10, 2000 (5:57 pm)
I had posted a number of positive comments about my 1999 T6 (late build) in the Reliability Topic and this one earlier in the year. At that point, my experience was mostly positive but a few new items of concern have developed in addition to having received the much discussed recall notice. Since the car is at 14,900, I plan on calling today to get an appointment for the 15K, the recall work, and the following list of wierd items. Unfortunately, many of them do not occur all the time and that usually seems to spell the dealers' reps looking at you as though you have two heads and can't think with either one!
1. Since leasing the car, it has stopped, dead, on at least four occasions. Three while on the road (all in slow moving traffic) and once in my driveway. No warnings, no messages, just turns off. On the road, since the car is so quiet at idle, I didn't realize it until I pressed the accelerator and it didn't go...then looked down and saw all the warning lights on. Reported to dealer (Prestige Volvo, E. Hanover, NJ) at 7.5K checkup and got the two headed response! "We can't find anything"
2. AM radio lets out a shriek at about 10mph, up or down, apparently worse on weaker stations. In addition, since reporting this to Prestige (and again getting the two headed response) the reception has gotton increasingly worse in AM band. FM and CD are fine.
3. Door lock on drivers side rear door fails to open with remote entry about 25% of the time. Have to use the unlock on drivers door. This just started a couple of weeks ago.
4. About 5% of the time, when starting the car in the AM (garaged), I get extremely rough idling for a few minutes. This started a couple of months ago.
5. On a number of occasions, the car has "lurched" as it (I think) shifts from 2nd to 3rd gear. This occurs at relatively low speeds and without hard acceleration. This started about a month ago.
6. This morning when I started the car in the garage (it had been sitting for three days while I was on a trip...significant?), it let out a very loud whine which seemed to be louder as I turned the wheel while backing out. It was not a belt squeal at all. It continued making the noise as I drove off for about 5 minutes and then quieted down. This is a first.
Oh, and when I took the car in for the 7.5K I asked them to turn off the DRL feature. When I picked up the car, they said that it was not something that can be done?!?!? Rather than stand there and argue with the rep (remember I already got the two headed response for the radio), I just grabbed the keys and left, thinking, "I know more about this car than you do, moron! And it scares me!" Thanks to those of you who posted the various settings that can be changed with computer codes.
Wish me luck at the dealer!
#404 of 2415 Re: Passat
Oct 10, 2000 (6:38 pm)
All right, I admit that the Passat is quite new, so no wierd problems have cropped up. And I've had personal experience "early build" problems in even the best automobiles - reliability wise. And frankly, a problem rate of 1.72 per vehicle is dang good. Consider what it was just 5 years ago.
My impression of the Passat is that it handles better, is quieter, and is more composed over bumps and rough pavement than the S80, for 10K less. Heck, so was my Accord.
My point here is that these two cars deliver - in terms of performance - more than their unremarkable styling would imply. Stealth cars. Volvo, on the other hand, poured everything into styling, making compromises in front end geometry (having to do with the lack of a V-6 that would permit deeper suspension elements?)
and suspension that prohibit it from performing well against its competition.
A contemporary luxury car must offer a clear advantage over midrange vehicles to be competitive. This is partly emotion, partly reality. Volvo must improve its design balance greatly to be viable long term.
#405 of 2415 disappointed S80?
Oct 10, 2000 (7:50 pm)
I have not met any disappointed S80 owner yet, I am very happy with my 99' T6 especially the awesome GPS, to my opinion the GPS design is better than Audi, Mercedes, Accura, Lexus, Infinite and BMW. It takes me to everywhere always in pleasant ride, despite of the bushing, light bulb and one time false check engine warning light issues. This morning I took my car to dealer for 15K miles service, met a lady having the T6 in the same color of Nautic Blue, her comment of "I love my Volvo" along with her beautiful smile, reflects my opinion of S80.
#406 of 2415 my faith is slipping
Oct 10, 2000 (11:44 pm)
Art is isn't your faith or your S80 that is slipping, it is your dealer that is slipping. If I was you I would run to the nearest dealer other than the one who has already demonstrated his lack of knowledge on previous occassions. What makes you think they will suddenly have an awakening and become S80 experts the next time you go in. Your other problems sound electrical in nature, my guess is a bad ground somewhere in the wiring harness. As regards your recent whine at start up, check your power steering fluid level, it may be low, and if it isn't that check your belt it may be glazed and slipping as well. The fact it went away when it warmed up is common to either of those conditions.
#407 of 2415 Rough Shifting from 2nd to 3rd
Oct 11, 2000 (2:44 pm)
My '99 S80 2.9 continues to have a vibration problem shifting from 2nd to 3rd. (This is really noticeable under heavy acceleration.) I've seen posts before regarding this subject. Can anybody who's had this problem tell me what the dealership did to correct it and if that correction actually worked?
#408 of 2415 28-23 or 28-26 idle variance
Oct 11, 2000 (11:32 pm)
can someone please explain what 28-23 or 28-26 idle variance is? Is it a software upgrade like one-touch unlock?
#409 of 2415 Lost my faith in E. Hanover
Oct 13, 2000 (1:44 am)
I feel your pain. Bot a 99 S80 2.9 in June from your friends. After waiting for 3 months, I am still waiting for my 2nd key. They tell me that a blank ignition key is back ordered, and has been for 3 months - other area dealers do not have the problem. I am now waiting for national customer service to engage. Needless to say, I use a different dealer for service, and my parents who covet a Volvo wagon are going elsewhere as well. Try another dealer - may make you feel better about your wheels.
#410 of 2415 disappointed4 - Survey results
Oct 14, 2000 (8:04 pm)
Regarding post #420:
disappointed4, I'm afraid your bad experience with your car has robbed you of your ability to objectively read and comprehend. The J.D. Powers survey you posted everywhere was for the TOP 15 cars in the survey. There are many many more vehicles that didn't make it into the Top 15. That said, sure I would like to see Volvo closer to the top but being in the Top 15 with a couple of models is no disgrace.