2008 Volvo S60 or 2009 Passat?

I currently own two cars and I need to sell one of them. “My” car is a 2008 Volvo S60 with 29,000 miles. I inherited a 2009 VW Passat with 49,000
miles. So one car is a year newer, but one care has 20,000 fewer miles. The Volvo has a 2.5T 5 cylinder engine and the VW has a 2.0T 4 cylinder. They have about the same safety features except the Volvo has rear airbags and rear park assist. They both have nice upgrade options like including moon roof, leather seats, and premium sound. They also have nearly identical KBB values, with the VW about $200 higher.

I’ve driven both of them many times and the ride is pretty comparable. The main con to the Volvo is the turning radius is a full foot bigger than the Passat thus isn’t as nimble. They both have equally nice interiors, however the VW’s interior has better design features. They both have just mediocre reliability ratings. I’m having trouble discerning which has the better value. Am I missing something obvious like duh, the Volvo is a safer car? I do not have children and don’t intend to. But the Passat is a year newer. Any advice?

Sounds like they’re just about even. That includes safety-wise, the Passat scores a bit better than the Volvo according to this ranking:

So it comes down to personal preference, along with maintenance: do you have a complete maintenance record for the Passat? Which will be more expensive to maintain in the coming years? If one has a timing belt, and one a timing chain, that will be a factor.

Which do you like more?

+1 for @texases.

While the cars are pretty equivalent, in the long run I think the VW will cost less in repairs and maintenance and I’ll opt for the VW. The Volvo can become a huge money pit and once the warranty on it expires the costs of repairs falls on you. Volvo repair bills are simply huge, and all to frequent. Volvo service departments don’t blink an eye when presenting customers with multi-thousand dollar repair bills, it is just too normal in their experience.

The Volvo will eventually become a MERCILESS and VICIOUS moneypit

The VW will probably, eventually become a moneypit

IMO don’t keep either of them past 100K

Whichever one you keep, open the maintenance booklet now, see what will be needed in the future, and budget accordingly. Don’t fall behind on any of the maintenance items.

You put on a little less than 6000 miles per year. Any mileage related reliability issues are a long way off for you. Keep the one you like more and enjoy it until it becomes too expensive to maintain.

Alternative - sell them both and get something new, like an Accord…

Actually I purchased the Volvo in May, 2011 with 19,000 miles on it, so I probably drive less than 5,000 miles/year. The Passat was purchased in Nov, 2011 with 18,000 miles on it, so that driver drove about 20,000/year–mostly highway miles. The Passat purchase included the extended service contract good to 100,000 miles/Nov, 2019. The Volvo warranty expires in Feb, 2014. So the Passat is looking like the better deal maintenance-wise. And I do like it. This has all been really helpful since something made me think people were going to recommend keeping the Volvo, but it sounds like not!

Before you finally decide, who is behind that VW service contract? Is it VW? Many third-party warranties prove to be troublesome.