Pick my SUV

Would you pick a more luxury SUV with more mileage and earlier make or a newer one with less mileage.
Considering 2008 PONTIAC TORRENT with 88,829 km or a 2006 VOLVO XC90 with 143,034 km.

The Volvo has a lot more features, sunroof, heated seats, leather, etc. While the Torrent is standard. Which will last longer? What would you buy?

More info: Volvo: 4x4, leather, AWD, heated seats,power&memory seats,full power groups, rain sensing wipers,reverse park-assist,cruise, traction control, dual climate control, fog lamps, woodtrim accents, and alloy wheels. Engine 4.4L V-8 cyl

Pontiac: automatic with ice cold air cond, power windows and locks, auto head lamps, and alloy wheels. Engine: 3.4L V-6 cyl

Volvo is about $20 more.

So they are basically the same price. Any comments would help because I don`t know much about cars.

I would never buy a used Volvo because of the poor reliability and complexity. The same applies to any high miles (like 143,000 km) European make. As for the Torrent, it’s the Pontiac version of the Equinox, so repair costs should be reasonable and parts should be available.

Thanks for your comment, I didn`t think of repair costs and that is such a great point! :smile:

You might want to buy a copy of the Consumer Reports car buyers’ guide, it has lots of info on reliability, and also recommended used vehicles at various price levels.

Used European cars often look like bargains because the owners don’t want to put up with the upcoming high repair and maintenance costs.

+1 to texases’ comment.

Like with most European cars, Volvos are nice to own during the warranty period.
Once the warranty expires and the repair costs start mounting up, most smart people choose to dump them on the used car market, and the second and third owners are the ones who suffer the incredibly high cost of the frequent repairs that are typically needed on Volvos.

As I tell my friends…I owned a Volvo…ONCE

What is your budget? Or target price.

Avoid the Volvo even at half the price! It’s a money pit waiting for you!

Another agreement with @texases if you are buying. Be careful buying used AWD SUVs and be real careful ( avoid) models with poor reliability according to CR. Don’t depend solely upon CR buying guides but don’t disregard them entirely. Elven a well regarded SUV can give you trouble if abused but at least it will tell you which to avoid…like many used Volvos. Generally, buy the newest you can afford and sacrifice having a luxury model for a more recent one.

Like @VDCDriver intimates about these European makes past warranty, you are better off leasing them for the warranty period instead of buying them for “all time”. My neighbor likes the Volvo for it’s features, driving capabilities and performance. But, he leases all 3 (two Volvos and a plow truck) of his personal cars for about 3 years. If you do that, there is no restriction.

Between the two, I’d buy the Pontiac. It will be less expensive to repair, and will need much less work since it has a lot fewer miles. This all assumes that the Pontiac was well maintained. I don’t know why you are limiting yourself to these two. You can look at dealer used car stock on line unless you want something that is to old to be one new car dealers lot.

OP should realize that neither choice sounds very good, we are going with the less evil one. You might want to broaden the choices.

A used VOLVO can be expensive to repair not to mention parts might be hard to find. Pontiac is gone. I have to agree with The Same Mountain Bikes comment on another thread. Why present such poor choices?

As texases said, the Pontiac Torrent is a rebadged Chevrolet Equinox, so mechanical parts should be available as well as service. Body parts might be more difficult–I don’t know if a front clip from an Equinox could be grafted to a Torrent.
Years ago, the 1959 and the short run of the 1960 Edsels were just rebadged Fords. When the Edsel line was dropped, the 1959 and 1960 models could be had for much less than a Ford and were really good buys. The same may be true for the Torrent–it may be a better purchase than an equivalent Equinox with the right price break.

Luxury vehicles aren’t necessarily less reliable, but the European ones generally are. There is a reason why that fancy Volvo is priced where it is. Lexus and Acura make reliable luxury utes, but buyers know it and the resale values are high. Both of the vehicles you’re looking at are old enough that condition is key. A poorly maintained Torrent could be a worse buy than a well maintained Volvo, though I’d be looking real hard for other options if that was my choice. In this case the rather minor difference in age is nothing compared to the mileage difference. Almost all contemporary cars make it to 100,000 easily, often without needing any major repairs.

My neighbor had been leasing several GM car based SUVs for a half dozen years through 2008. We live in a tough area and the drive train left a lot to be desired. It lacked the sophistication to handle both steep hills and slippery going. One day his wife kindly pulled over in a turn out to let me pass as I was coming down, and sat there spinning her front wheels while not moving one bit as I passed. She then had to back down a slipper hill to get a run, like any 2wd car. I said to her, "please don’t pull over for me as long as you own this car. Let us move aside for you " She was apologetic about not being able to handle the car to which I assured her it was not her at all but the poor drive train in her car. The next lease, they went to Volvos and they have been excellent on our very tough road with good ground clearance and an AWD system that hands our road as well as anything we have. And yes, she had snow tires on all her cars, just like the rest of us who live there; that was not the issue.

GM, like many car based SUVs, cannot seem to shift enough power quickly enough to the rear to get up a really steep slipper hill. Volvos can. This has been my observation on several types of each our neighbors have owned on our road over the years. No one drives GM car based AWD anything anymore…no one. Several Volvos, yes ! But, Volvos are less reliable…so, as many have said, lease them. They are still good winter performers and they always have been. Of course yours is a couple years older. I have no doubt that the drive train is better. Personally, I would buy a Subaru for the least expensive car based SUV for bad weather driving on road.

Our RAVs and present Venza have been decent but never as good as our old Subaru… But, I instructed my wife on hills, not to pull aside for anyone, punch out the stability control button and just drive up without stopping and force the person comming down to pull over. It is really the best way to handle this situation.