s60 vs. BMW?

Discussion in 'Volvo S60' started by Paul_B, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Paul_B

    Paul_B Guest

    I've got an '01 s60 2.4 that I'm very happy with. If things go
    well, I'm considering a new car.

    I'm told the BMW 3 series is the cat's meow in this price range.
    But from what I've seen, I like the Volvo's styling and safety
    features better. BMW might have a better interior.

    Any thoughts, experience, on this? I might be going the s60 "R"
    route, in which case the BMW M series might be the better
    comparison. At the least, I would want to go with AWD, and
    standard transmission.

    Also, does anyone know if major body changes are due for the s60
    in '07? I see the convertible is coming out next year, which
    could be a possibility.

    Paul_B, Dec 21, 2005
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  2. BMW is rear wheel drive, which is more fun. Volvos are front-biased and
    front-heavy due to the engine/tranny design (transverse front). I'd go
    for the BMW. Actually, I'd go for an 05 BMW, since the 06 3-series has
    expensive run-flats and no spare (although that can be remedied).

    Andrew Szafran, Dec 21, 2005
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  3. Paul_B

    John Horner Guest

    If your primary concern is the quality of the driving experience, get
    the BMW. They handle so much better than an S60 as to make a a no
    comparison situation.

    If a combindation of comfort, luxury, quality and resale value really
    floats your boat, then check out an Acura TL before you put your hard
    earned money on the line.

    Another interesting choice would be the '06 VW Passat which you can get
    in front or all wheel drive. VW has had some reliability problems in
    recent years, but so has Volvo.

    IMO the S60 is not a competitive vehicle in it's class today.

    John Horner, Dec 21, 2005
  4. Paul_B

    Steve Guest

    Why if the '01 is still ok? The 97 850 my wife drives has 145K, my 94 940
    turbo S/W just flipped over to 180,000.
    The BMW drives much much better, but the Volvo is a bit more comfortable.
    The 2006 BMW has run flat tires and am a late adopter--YMMV :)

    The BMW will retain loads of value the Volvo will have it's value drop like
    a brick.

    The BMW is quite simply the finest sports sedan in the world today as it has
    been since the 1960's when they invented the category.

    The Volvo is kind of in a class of it's own, but the hell if I would pay 40
    large for one.

    Since you mention 4WD you obviously are quite willing to compromise quite a
    bit for reality.

    If I might be so bold may I make a few suggestions:

    Saab 9-5 GM can't sell em, so they are still discounted quite heavily,
    but they are like Volvo their own class to a degree, and will lose value

    Subaru Legacy GT AWD, loads of fun, but not a luxury class vehicle

    Acura TSX Loads of fun, very very nice, not too expensive, very reliable.
    FWD, no AWD available.

    Acura TL Near luxury with loads of features for the money. A great car.

    Ford Explorer They just redesigned them, and for some reason they just
    can't sell em. If you can accept the many sacrifices it will require it's a
    good value. I would not buy one in a million years, but they are almost
    giving them away!

    Used Caddy Yeah what are you crazy? Well, no they are world class
    quality and do not hold their value--a lot of luxo barge for the money. A
    place in NJ right across the river from Philly has tons of 1-4 year old
    caddies for tres low bucks--Kerbeck on rt 73 Palmyra, NJ.

    Chevy Impala/Malibu Both are quite a lot of car for the money, and they
    are built quite well, they also drive well. Take a test drive some time--no
    cachet but low low price.

    Chrysler 300 RWD, awd available. Love it or hate it, it's the last E
    class Mercedes Benz for less then 30 decently equipped with the 6, $2-5k
    more with the hemi.

    Used 5 series BMW. I hate hate hate I drive--I drove a few bimmers with
    it and I do not like it. The last 5 series I think 2004? It is the panicle
    of automotive engineering to date--the 530 is sporty powerful safe and not
    too bad on gas. BMW certified used is a good program.

    and the ultimate cop out car Lexus es330 The ultimate Camry, and quite
    a very very very nice car it is. No fun whatsoever to drive.

    The list would not be complete without the Infiniti 35--powerful, RWD but no
    330I, a lot less money, and AWD is available and they are not $elling well.
    There is a front wheel drive version for a little less called the Nissan
    Maxima BTW...
    Steve, Dec 22, 2005
  5. Paul_B

    John Horner Guest

    A great list of alternatives Paul. The S60 simply does not cut it
    against the current crop of competing vehicles, which probably has a lot
    to do with it's poor sales of late and crummy resale value.

    Volvo made a big mistake when they replaced the 850/S70 with a smaller
    interior vehicle. I was shopping a few years ago to replace my '96 850
    and found the rear seat legroom of the S60 to be completely unacceptable
    for full sized adults on a long drive. The S60 styling also gave up a
    great deal of interior functionality in order to do the heavy curved
    roof line and sculptured sides look. Appearance over capability is not
    what the Volvo brand used to mean at all. Remember "form follows
    function". Volvo has intentionally forgotten that mantra.

    John Horner, Dec 22, 2005
  6. 05 Passat has better weight distribution and AWD system (Torsen that
    drives all 4 wheels all the time vs Haldex on the new Passat). Plus the
    new Passat is only available with AWD if you get the VR6 and slushbox (but
    that'll likely change since this is the 1st year or a new model). No
    diesel yet either, and when it comes, the DSG is only going on the diesel,
    gas models are stuck with either a slusheematic or a regular manual.

    Andrew Szafran, Dec 22, 2005
  7. Paul_B

    Guest Guest

    That can be corrected. Just get an extra wheel and tire to use as a
    fullsized spare. And carry a light hydraulic jack, handle, and sockets.
    IMHO, the BMWs have gotten worse since the last generation. No spare on
    even the base 3-series? Ugh. No temperature or oil pressure gauges.
    Ughx3. (Though both of those problems can be fixed by the aftermarket for
    $300 or so)
    GT wagon seems not to be available with manual in 06. Outback XT is
    though. I think they're about to discontinue the Legacy GTs since sales
    are slow so they're cutting back on versions.
    I wonder why? Could it be that gas is expensive and the trucks have lost
    their "truck" aspect? 4-wheel independent suspension in what started out
    in a work truck. *Sigh* (Yes, the Hummer also has 4WIS, but it has
    portal hubs to raise the CV axles high above the road).
    Um, the CTS is *not* a luxo-barge in any conventional sense of the term.
    Heck, you can even get it in stick (stick is mandatory on the CTS-V,
    IIRC). Caddy has changed a lot over the last 10 years!
    Front wheel driven garbage. GM did a bad thing when they discontinued the
    old Caprice/Impala. We can only hope to see more Holden-based RWD
    vehicles in the US in 2007 or 8. Supposedly, the "Zeta" program is back
    on track.
    I'd go for the Magnum or Charger instead. Charger is better looking,
    Magnum has practicality going for it.
    Thank you. So I'm not the only one who thinks BMW is on an unnecessary

    Guest, Dec 22, 2005
  8. Paul_B

    Paul_B Guest

    Thanks everyone for all the great replies thus far. Seems like
    the R owners like their vehicles, as evidenced over at Swedespeed
    forums and some review sites like yahoo auto and epinions. I'm
    partial to the s60's interior comfort and exterior looks, and the
    safety angle. The BMW's looks don't do much for me at all, nor
    does the price. I'd hate to pay a conformity premium.

    As I said, I'm happy with my s60, but I'd like more power, a
    stick, and Volvo's intelligent 4wd (though I really wish it
    favored the rear wheels; I also hate the car's obscenely wide
    turning radius). I also abhor BMW's I-drive. I guess the only
    thing is to test drive the two units, and pray on it, if I can
    find an R sitting on a lot.

    Anyway, thanks for the replies, from which I'm learning. Keep
    them coming and I'll keep reading.

    Paul_B, Dec 22, 2005
  9. Paul_B

    John Horner Guest

    There are many good choices on the market from a lot of companies.
    Don't limit your test driving to just Volvo and BMW.

    John Horner, Dec 22, 2005
  10. yep...it took my wife and i seconds to
    sit in the back of the s60...then move to
    the rear seat in the s80....loads of space
    difference between the two...

    i had a bmw 5 series before moving to volvos...
    the s60 and 5 series don't really compaire (imho)
    ....i would put the bmw 5 series against the s80....
    two very different sedans... it all depends on
    your likes and driving style....both are nice sedans...

    and, more important...your mechanic and/or dealer
    service department...loaner cars, etc...
    ~^ beancounter ~^, Dec 22, 2005
  11. Paul_B

    James Sweet Guest

    Kind of ironic since the RWD Volvos were famous for their tight turning
    radii. Never ceases to amaze me how easily I can manipulate my big 740
    in a tight parking garage.
    James Sweet, Dec 22, 2005
  12. The 850 wasn't much worse if at all. Ford has thrown function out the
    window in favor of style after acquiring Volvo, unfortunately

    Andrew Szafran, Dec 22, 2005
  13. Paul_B

    John Horner Guest

    One of the things Volvo did with the 850 design was to produce one of
    the tightest turning radius FWD vehicles of it's size ever made. This
    was part of the reason I bought my first 850 back in '94. Volvo
    literature of the time made a big deal of the special CV joints, etc.
    which were used to accomplish this.

    Somehow with the S60 the engineering direction changed in many ways.

    Clearly the old Volvo design/engineering ethic which put a priority on
    functionality is now sadly gone.

    Why is it that every company is chasing the young/hip/stylish consumer
    while at the same time the income and wealth of the developed world
    keeps skewing ever upwards in age?

    John Horner, Dec 22, 2005
  14. Paul_B

    Java Man Guest

    I find my 850 has an annoyingly large turning radius.

    Java Man, Dec 22, 2005
  15. Paul_B

    James Sweet Guest

    Probably because the young/hip market is huge. They may not be wealthy
    but they can buy it on credit. Not the way I want to live but credit
    seems to be the American way.

    I've not yet had a chance to drive an 850, I didn't realize they were so
    much better in that respect. I wonder if there's anything beyond cost
    savings that resulted in the newer cars having such a wide turning radius.
    James Sweet, Dec 23, 2005
  16. Paul_B

    James Sweet Guest

    Hmm does anyone have the actual specs? Now I'm curious.
    James Sweet, Dec 23, 2005
  17. Paul_B

    Steve Guest

    This is a discussion not a flame, so don't take this like a flame pls.

    What other sports sedan is better then a 330?
    Perhaps, perhaps not, in any case the GT is a real winner, albeit not a

    Exactly why its a potential replacement--the 4 wheel independant suspension
    and the low price of entry....

    The Deville is a luxo barge, albeit one I find looking better and better as
    the big 50 gets bigger and bigger in the windshield.
    I disagree. Well built good driving unexciting transportation with much
    more nice stuff then you ever thought a chev would ever have.
    Matter of opinion, the charger is way too in your face for me, the 300 is
    already rather more ...assertive then I would like, but it's a good car, and
    I think a very good alternative to the s60.
    I drove a 2006 530i on the interstae.
    125 (all MPH)
    The stuff went by faster, but no more wind noise, no weird vibrations, no
    steering getting all light.
    I would not buy one, but you must give BMW their due, it truly is a
    wonderful vehicle.
    Steve, Dec 23, 2005
  18. Paul_B

    Steve Guest

    Stick, AWD, Power.

    Subary Legacy GT. At least give it a look.
    Audi A4 v6 Quatro. You should give it a test drive.
    Audi $4 Quatro
    For me the I drive is a killer, but a AWD BMW 3 or 5 series XI

    What about a s40T5 AWD? I think that might be your answer, almost as much
    room as the s60, and very nice!
    Steve, Dec 23, 2005
  19. Paul_B

    Steve Guest

    Oh YES!
    going from my 940 to my wife's 850 is quite a difference!
    Steve, Dec 23, 2005
  20. Paul_B

    Steve Guest

    Steve, Dec 23, 2005
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