I am looking at '05’s & '06’s - any preference?
These aren’t that old so you should be able to get some good information from Consumer Reports.
My preference would be the Saab, just because it is really a GM vehicle and shares many parts with other GM cars. This gives you options when a repair is needed. More parts, more sources for parts, more mechanics familiar with the car.
Parts for the Volvo and the hourly rate for mechanics who know Volvo are very expensive. When the Volvo needs any repairs the bills will be 50 to 100% higher than a similar repair to a GM family SUV. A typical repair bill for a Volvo will top $1,000 easy. Price an new alternator installed, or a new fuel pump installed and you’ll see what I mean.
Since the Saab is just a dressed up Chevrolet I’d prefer it over the Volvo. Volvos can be very expensive to maintain. Parts and service for the “Saab” should be much less expensive.
I would avoid both, but the SAAB is the lesser of the two evils. There are a large number of very good SUVs on the market; Subaru Outback and Forester, Honda CRV & Pilot, Toyota RAV4 and Highlander, Mazda, etc. All are more reliable and longer lived with normal maintenance.
The Volvo should cost less in repairs. Edmunds estimates that the 2005 9-7X will cost about $8900 to repair (not maintain) over the next 5 years. The XC90 will cost $6500. Clearly, the Volvo should cost less in repairs. The Buick Rainier is very similar to the Saab; both are based on the Chevy Trailblazer. The Rainier can also be purchased with the 5.3L V8. Edmunds estimates that Rainier repairs will run about $5400 for the next 5 years. The Saab is supposed to be the most luxurious of the Trailblazer clan, but a premium of $3500 in repairs would make me look at the Rainier to see if it is satisfactory.
You might also consider a VW Tuareg. It’s estimated repairs is an economical $3600 for the next 5 years. An extra couple of thousand might be well spent on the Tuareg.
That’s Older ?
As stated, Volvo SUVs are car based, the Saab SUV is the GMC Jimmy/Chevy rebadged. It’s a little more truck (on frame) and will not ride or handle as well as the Volvos (car based). I personally prefer Chevy trucks over Volvo cars, as that’s your choice in essence. If you plan to tow, it’s the SAAB. Many obviously buy each for the name plate recognition and not actual performance/reliability factors. Real SAAB/Volvo owners know the difference and will not be impressed, and as soon as you order GMC parts, that will give it away to everyone else.
All those mentioned by Docnick are better choices… We have several friends that are Saab/Volvo freaks, and budget for the added repair just for the name plate. If you really want that look and want a little more reliability, I’d go Lexus first, and BMW second. More money; but then that legitimate upper class form and function is more costly.
I have a 2005 9 7x. Hate it! Wind whistles in all the windows…heater core went out in first 5000 miles, transmission has “a problem” GM cannot solve.
Get the Volvo SUV