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2004 Ford Focus vs. 2005 Volvo S40

My husband and I currently own a 2004 Ford Focus with 78,000 miles. We recently were presented with an opportunity to buy a 2005 Volvo S40 with 68,500 miles for $10,000. The Volvo is in good shape according to the owner (a family member). They are only selling it because they had a chance to buy someone out of their Mercedes lease.

Anyway, our question is: Should we consider the upgrade? Our thinking is to buy the Volvo that will hopefully have another 100,000 miles in her. Does anyone know if that is true of the 2005 Volvo S40? Is a 2004 Ford Focus just as likely to be as reliable?

Please help with any helpful input. We have about a week to make a decision…

Overall, I believe that the Focus has the probability of being the more reliable car, and that is supported by the owner surveys conducted each year by Consumer Reports.

However, even if both cars needed a roughly equivalent number of repairs, you would find that Volvo parts are priced MUCH higher than parts for a Focus. Unfortunately, older Volvos tend to become money pits in terms of repair costs.

The Ford will be more reliable for the next 100,000 miles. Maintenance for the Ford will be significantly lower for the Ford for the next 100,000 miles. Repairs outside of normal maintenance will be far less costly and have fewer occurrences for the Ford than the Volvo. Parts for the Ford are more readily available. Most local corner garages and chain stores have all the tooling, equipment, and diagnostic capabilities to service the Ford. For routine maintenance like timing belt you’ll have to find a shop that has invested in the tools for that.

Having said that, I think the Volvo is a better looking car and more enjoyable to drive. Those are important factors too, right?

The funny thing is that the 2005 Volvo was made during Ford’s ownership of Volvo. Take a close look and you’ll see many “Ford” logos on parts on the Volvo.

The Volvo is a luxury are and will cost more to maintain n that alone. There are many more things that can go wrong on it than on your Focus. IF reliability is your sole concern, keep the Focus. If you don’t mind a higher expense to keep a luxury car running, then consider the Volvo. Think of it as the difference between a Lincoln and your Ford, or a Lexus vs Toyota. MSN Autos says that there are minimal problems with the S40.

Keep the Focus.

$10 grand from a family member for a 7-year-old Volvo? Ouch.

The price is about right if it is a loaded T5 with auto transmission. The base price for a 2WD T5 without optional equipment is about $8000, plus $720 for the mileage adjustment. The price is probably high, but it depends on which model and whether it has AWD or not.

I have a 2001 Focus with over 205,000 miles on it with no serious problems to report. This car is the utmost in reliability, so much so that we bought a 2007 Focus for our daughter. She loves it and has had no problems with it. We also added a 2008 Focus for a second car. We accidentally took this car off-roading (there was no sign saying that the road was ending and that what lay ahead was a rutted trail). After bottoming out and several tooth-rattling bumps this car came through without any problems. We now call it our Ford Focus Tank. I would and have recommend this car to everyone.

Thank you all for your comments! We’ve decided to stick with the Focus unless we can get the Volvo for $7k. :wink:

That’s a smart move. Your family member can decline and try to sell it to someone else. Leave the door open to buy at a later date if they can’t sell the S40 to someone else.