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What Vehicle Should I Buy Reprise

Thanks to all you generous folks who gave me input on my car dilemma. We now have a new twist, after mulling over these ideas. Our latest thought is to buy something on the quite used side. The rationale is that 1) Our 15-year-old son will be driving the next vehicle: and 2) our 19-year-old daughter can not be rated on our current insurance, as she had a hideous injury accident with a provisional license. This means, at least in CA, that we have to get a high-risk policy in order for her to drive. Obviously this is going to be more costly if we have a newer car.



We will be looking at these 2 Volvo Wagons:



Asking $1500 –



1983 Volvo 240 Wagon, Automatic, 227k miles (half life for a Volvo as we all know), Runs and drives great, New Timing belt, New brakes and regular oil changes, Great Heater, CD Player, Clean title, smogged and ready to go!

Has slight body damage behind the passenger drivers side door, it doesn’t effect anything purely cosmetic.



Asking $4500 –



Volvo V70 T5 wagon. Runs and looks great. 118K miles. All power, no body damage, leather interior. Regularly serviced by the dealer in Oakland, and I have all service records. Comes w/ Volvo roof rack and cargo carrier.



I’m sure there must be something like Consumer Report archives where I can research these, since the reports I found go back only to 1999. So, once again, I seek your input, either with direct experience with either of these vehicles, or websites where I can research reliability of older vehicles. I truly appreciate the time you take to help me out.

That '83s about used up, major repairs ahead, and I don’t want a teen driving a '80s car, even if it is a Volvo. The V70 is better, and it might be OK on reliability. What year is it.

Sorry, I thought I put the year on it. It’s a '98 and I found stats on CR going back only as far as '99. Which, by the way, were not stellar. Thanks for your help.

I saw the '99 V70 was ‘average’ on CR, so the '98 might not be much different (same generation). Much depends on the service record - have you seen it? However, the T5 the high output turbo, which I (maybe it’s just me) get nervous around - 236 hp out of 2.3 liters is highly stressed. I’d recommend a V70 model other than the T5.

This goes down purely as hearsay (and you’ll shortly see why) - but I have a friend/neighbor who has a good friend who is a Volvo mechanic. Through this “grapevine” I have heard that the late 90s V70s (98-99) were among the worst things Volvo put out. I would certainly continue to do research on that b/c 1) I could be remembering wrong, and 2) it is hearsay - and I’ve played the “telephone” game before.

The owner states he has records showing regular servicing by the dealer. We will be looking at it tomorrow.

One more thing - a turbo can have a very uneven response to the throttle. Another thing to worry about with a teen driver.

A teenager and a car with a turbocharger is a potentially lethal combination, IMHO.

I wuld avoid both cars like the plague; they will be money pits even if they are in good shape. For kids, a good Ford Taurus, Ford Crown Victoria, older Mazda Protege, and may other cars Consumer Reports rates well on. Avoid anything turbocharged, with sunroof, auto climate control, etc. All these thigns will cost an arm and a leg later on.

My neighbor had two girls in college; he bought each one a totally stripped down Honda Civic, with stick shift and no options whatsoever. The cars saw them happily through school and never gave problems.

Docnick speaks the truth…a strong second. My kids shared an 86 Chevy Nova (Corolla clone) through College. We finally clubbed it to death (250K+ miles) after the second got tired of it.

My stepfather had a 99 V70 with the non-turbo 2.4L and it was appallingly slow, even by family car/station wagon standards. However it did return good fuel mileage and was amazining reliable (it went 297k with only routine maintence). He traded it in on a 2005 model with the 2.3L high pressure turbo, which suprisingly isn’t particularly responsive. It’s plenty quick once the turbo spools up, but in ordinary drving it’s gutless. My mother has a 2005 C70 Convertible with the 2.4L low-pressure turbo and IMO it’s the best choice between the non turbo 2.4L , the low pressure turbo 2.4L and the high pressure 2.3L. Turbo lag is minimal, and there is excellent mid-rpm punch.

My stepfather had a 99 V70 with the non-turbo 2.4L and it was appallingly slow, even by family car/station wagon standards. However it did return good fuel mileage and was amazingly reliable (it went 297k with only routine maintence). He traded it in on a 2005 model with the 2.3L high pressure turbo, which surprisingly isn’t particularly responsive. It’s plenty quick once the turbo spools up, but in ordinary driving it’s gutless. My mother has a 2005 C70 Convertible with the 2.4L low-pressure turbo and IMO it’s the best choice between the non turbo 2.4L , the low pressure turbo 2.4L and the high pressure 2.3L. Turbo lag is minimal, and there is excellent mid-rpm punch.

Sorry, double post. I’m flagging the first one.

Sorry, double post. I’m flagging the first one