Saab 9-5 Aero
Subaru Legacy GT
Dodge Magnum SRT8 (not sure about pricing)
In the market for a daily driver for <$15k thats low-key yet great fun to drive, and decently reliable. I've always loved the S60R/V70R and I'm seriously considering one, but what else is there in this price range? M3's anything AMG, or a 4 ringed monster are all off the table. I'm looking for something quirky and interesting. So what say you car lounge? What should I cross shop a S60R/V70R with?
I actually daily drive a Saab 9K aero right now and have all but given up driving my passat stancewagon because of how awesome and quirky that car is. So I'm ready to get rid of the passat and find a modern version of the 9k with working A/C
Saabs bankruptcy has all but scared me out of a 9-5 areo even though its my car of choice, which is I came back to a S60R or V70R.
The Legacy GT is a great driving car, but its a but dull on the inside and on the outside. I'd feel too tempted to turn it into another slammed atrocity.
So, I'm searching for cars I may have forgot even existed. Like the mazdaspeed6.
totally overkill for my mom though, the 200hp she has in the a3 she ended up picking up is more than any asian woman should ever have.
C'mon CL! Are quirky interesting, yet fast cars all but gone now that Saab is dead? Or is the Volvo my best choice? I see several of you who have responded own S60R's or V70R's, and are recommended other cars. Should I take that as a hint to stay away? Most of my experience with volvos has been nothing but positive.
Oh, and for viewing pleasure the car whos head is on the chopping block.
And the one that just won't die.
I finally drove a 5-speed Legacy 2.5GT, ~2005 and zomg I now understand the hype [much different driving experience than all the auto legacies, outbacks, foresters and imprezas (99'-12') i've driven]. So thus, I vote Subaru Legacy 2.5GT..........along with V70R w/ spaceball [I can't get enough of that car], non-GM 9000 Aero and that's really it.
Last edited by DTMTrini; 04-18-2012 at 07:16 AM.
Seriously though, if I was in this position, my list would be V70R (as much as I love S60R's, I surprisingly don't see many around, see tons of V70R's compared) or a 2.5 GT. For some reason I can't think of much more past those two.
What about going just a bit older?
This car is pretty striking in person. And it could be had for $4500.
| 2012 Nissan Leaf | 1995 Jeep Wrangler | 1999 Olds 88
| 2007 Toyota Prius | 1999 Plymouth Voyager | 1993 Toyota Previa AWD
I have really enjoyed my 2004 V70R, just make sure you set aside a 2-3k a year in maintenance expenses. Some are more reliable than that, some are not. Mine was almost perfect in its first 5 years, but in the last 3 it has racked up about 2500 a year in maintenance. The Saab 9-5 Aero will be more reliable, on average, but is FWD only.
Obsessing over: BMW X5 35d, VW Touareg TDI
The V70R is a worthy consideration if you need or want the utility, because it is in basically a class of one - there is nothing else that really compares to it. Alternatives are smaller, less powerful, less refined, or much more expensive.
The S60R is a harder sell because it's just a performance sedan of which there are many. Depending on where you live, I'd be looking for something RWD.
Options I'd consider would be an e46 or e39 (both available as wagons - the e46 also with AWD), the Saab (9-3 as suggested or 9-5 Aero), Subarus, etc.
1987 Mercedes 190E 16v Cosworth
1997 Volvo 855 T5
2010 Volvo XC90
Dont buy the a Volvo R car.
I had wanted a V70R since they came out. I finally bought one (a 2006 V70R) a couple years ago and it was one of the worst cars I have owned, reliability wise. I ended up selling it after about 6 months and took a bath on it. Volvo lost me as a customer after that car.
Here is my post from the day I sold it:
Wow, thank you everyone for your overwhelming support. I was a bit nervous starting my first CL thread.
I'm a little surprised to hear people, especially owners of the S60/V70R suggest something else. I really am. I didn't expect that at all. Especially on the reliability front. I know several people with volvo's of the same age and they rave about reliability, and build quality. So I wonder, are these issues limited to R's?
I plan to do all the work on my next car myself. I wouldn't say I know everything, but I'm very confident working on cars. I wouldn't dare work on too many things (engine/drivetrain) in my passat because of its complexity. This kind of makes me wonder about the R. I have experience working on an XC70 of the same age, and it was surprisingly simple, which is one of the things that lead me to its more athletic brother.
For most of my driving history my daily driver has been German. I've had an E46 330xi, C5 A6 4.2 and a 2.7T, a B6 S4, MKV GTI, and now the passat 3.6 4mo. I've gotten use to a pretty high standard of quality, but on the other hand most of those were VW's, and lets face it, those stay broken. Also, I'm just about to turn 28, I'm single, I have no kids in the near future. Practicality isn't a must, I just like the style of the V70R and have always wanted a wagon.
This has put me at an even greater loss for answers now I think. The last thing I want is a car I'm going to have to dump $3-4K a year in maintenance in, but then again at the same time the last thing I want is another dull boring BMW interior, or the headches of a VW.
Last edited by bgsapc; 04-18-2012 at 01:48 PM.
OP, they look pretty and are comfortable but just don't feel tossable (especially mine, which is an auto). Reliability-wise, knock on wood, but mine has eaten two coilpacks, has needed brakes and now needs shocks. Not too bad for a car with 153k on it. They have their issues (angle gear, clutch slave, massive turning radius). If you're looking for a stylish sedan/wagon with some grunt, go ahead. If you're looking for an M3-like sport sedan, stay away.
They are great cars on paper but honestly I wouldn't put them in either the "great fun to drive" nor the "decently reliable" category.
A 9-5 Aero with less horsepower and FWD is much more "fun to drive" imho than the 300hp AWD S60R. See how that sentence doesn't make sense? Like I said, great cars on paper. But drive one and get back to us, every Volvo R car I've driven hasn't lived up to its specs.
Hers needed a new transmission after less than 30k miles... not to mention the 234 other smaller things that have gone wrong, including alarm problems, door locks, and windows, interior pieces going to pieces, etc.
I love the v70Rs too but even though my mom's is only 1 example I'm completely scared off from that gen volvo.
Wow, so shocked to hear this. Both my parents traded an audi and a subaru for volvos and they've been 3 years with out a single hint of a problem. They rattle way less than all the VW products I've had. Now I'm not so sure what kind of car fits my bill.
I don't want too sporty of a car like a M3. I've driven both S60R and E46 M3's numerous times and I found the M3 to be hard, and boring...yet very fast and handled great vs comfortable and interesting, yet 'fast' or way fun to drive (like s2k). At this point I'm happy to trade speed for comfort. But I'm not willing to trade away reliability. $250 shocks I can replace myself doesn't really scare me THAT much, but I had forgotten about the electromagnetical suspension. Well, I reckon that would keep me from slamming it at least.
This is the hardest car purchase I've ever had to make. I've always known exactly what I wanted but this time I'm clueless it seems.
On a slightly related note...
I just sold my 2000 Volvo S40 that I daily drove for 3 years.
Reliability was so-so, probably comparable to a VW Mk4 1.8t but nothing like the Volvo's of the 80's/90's that drove for 300k easily. It was a bitch to work on as nothing was straight-forward and everything felt really crammed into the engine bay. Parts were somewhat expensive and most parts are available as factory Volvo parts only. It drove comfortably but too soft for a turbo sedan IMO. I called it my "grandpa car" because I felt like an old man while driving my leather, woodgrain, squishy automatic car.
Back to the OP question, what else should you look at for $15k, assuming nothing German:
1. 2005~2006 G35 (you can find them for $15k in good condition)
2. 2007 TL Type S (high mileage example are starting to fall in this price range)
3. 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed 6 (they were unappreciated when new, but that is why they are so cheap now)
4. 2008 G8 (the unloved V6 version are in this price range, the GT and GXP not so much)
All these cars will run rings around S60/70R and likely be more reliable and lots more fun to drive.
test drive a Passat w8 4-mo (if you can find a decent one in your area) one of my favorites.
not great on petrol, but makes up for it. a very solid feeling car with all the bells and whistles you could ask for.
edit - see also the E46 325i(2004-5). amazing to drive, and you wont find this build quality on many other cars in this price range
Last edited by Rockmonky; 04-18-2012 at 06:12 PM.
The parents S80 3.2 has been solid as well. Its an 07, has 50K miles and interior wise is rock solid, super super comfortable. Its not as fun or nearly as fast as the B6 S4 cabby it replaced. Its also kind of small potatoes when you put it next to a mercedes of the same age and size, but I prefer it.
I've really fallen in love with both of those cars over the past couple years. Really surprised people having big issues with them. Lots of the ones I see on Cars.com Autotrader and CL have 200K+ miles on them. I know my experience is just 2 cases, but thats my limited experience with the brand. I cross shopped S60Rs years and years ago and ended up with a B6 S4 of my own. But isn't long lasting and reliable what volvos are known for though? Among boxy, and safe.
I don't really have to get rid of the slammed passat. I have a lot in it, its got a great engine and drive train, interior is sort of bland but not that bad, only has 60K miles on it and still has a bit of extended warranty coverage. I'd for sure keep it before I sold it and bought an older VW. I guess theres not much out there thats appealing to me thats kind of big, 280+ hp, realiable and comfortable. Was hoping to get rid of my car payment, but now I'm wondering if it may not be wise just to keep it.
Really though, I appreciate all this input.