Would a Volvo owner be happy with a Subaru?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by H. Whelply, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. H. Whelply

    H. Whelply Guest

    OK, I love my S60, but I'm not sure I can afford two of them. So the 2004
    Subaru Forester Turbo has been intriguing. It seems to be a safety-conscious
    design, with an interesting side airbag that doubles as a head protector,
    like a side air curtain; active headrest; and five-star crash test results.

    I need: something reasonably economical, that can carry some extra stuff now
    and then, and occasionally go soft-roading. Have to make a decision by
    December, when the lease is up on the old car.

    Any Volvo owners here who are also Subaru owners? Can a Volvo lover get by
    with a Subaru?


    H. Whelply, Jul 4, 2003
  2. They are fine, but I'm not a fan of turbos. If they have a non-turbo
    or bigger engine, get it instead.
    Joseph Oberlander, Jul 4, 2003
  3. H. Whelply

    dgcam55 Guest

    Well...I wasn't a Volvo owner, but I did own a new 2002 VW passat
    It was a $30 thousand dollar car, and very well built. I traded it
    for a 2003 Forester XS premium. I did this trade for a number of

    1) The Forester was quite a bit less expensive ($22k).
    2) Inexpsensive car with proven All Wheel Drive (which I need where I

    We needed to do this for economic reasons as my wife is out of work
    and we needed to cut our monthly payments. Luckily, because the
    passat had low mileage, I only lost about 500 bucks in the trade.
    At first, it really killed me to get rid of the passat. I loved that
    But, I have now had the Forester for about a month now, I have come to
    LOVE it. I am having more fun driving this car, and it appears that
    it will be cheaper to own overall (oil changes are $23 at my dealer
    compared to $40 for the passat).
    I have been getting 28-30 miles per gallon consistenly despite the
    21-26 it's rated at on the sticker (XT model is rated for less mpg).
    I say definitely check it out. Take a long test drive.
    It is VERY well built with no squeaks or rattles, is very practical
    fun to drive car. Although not a "luxury" car like a Volvo or even
    loaded Passat, it holds its own very well. It's hard to compare a
    $20,000+ car to a car that costs over $30+ - but if you are a
    practical person its not that hard of a jump. If you are concerned
    about "status", you may find that the Forester is NOT for you.
    I love mine though, and wouldn't go back to my $30,000 passat at all.
    (I considered the S60 when buying my passat - nice car...high
    maintenace cost though).

    Good luck -
    dgcam55, Jul 4, 2003
  4. what about the wrx.....i am thinking of
    looking at that one (vs. a s60r) in anticipation
    of a new car...in 1 - 2rs from today....

    some buddies told me to make sure i checked
    out the wrx turbo of 03 or 04...they all claim
    it is a sweet, fast sedan...4 door?......
    ~^ beancounter ~^, Jul 4, 2003
  5. H. Whelply

    James Sweet Guest

    I work with a guy who has one, it's fast, that's for sure, seemed fairly
    comfy and well built, if I were one to buy a new car I'd look into them.
    James Sweet, Jul 4, 2003
  6. H. Whelply

    H. Whelply Guest

    The turbo in the top model Forester is somewhat detuned from that in the
    WRX, from what I've read; lower boost, by about three pounds or so. That's
    fine with me, since I'm well beyond my WRC days. But I like the idea of a
    vehicle about 300 lbs. lighter than my 2.4T having 23 more horsepower and
    (if memory serves) 17 more ft. lbs. torque, though at a bit over 3K RPM
    rather than 1800 or so as in the Volvo. The non-turbo Subaru 4 cyl. is only
    about 165 HP and about the same number ft. lbs. torque, as I recall. That
    would be hard to move down to since both current cars are in the 200 HP

    H. Whelply, Jul 4, 2003
  7. H. Whelply

    arthur wouk Guest

    not too far back we owned both a '91 940T (my car) and a '96 legacy gt
    wagon (with the 2.5 liter engine)(my wife's car). after her death i
    drove both.

    1) the volvo is infinitely more comfortable and has a much better
    driver position.

    2) the subaru was and is underpowered. it was an excellent driving
    machine, possible better than the volvo, but definitely underpowered.
    i took a 3,000 mile trip in it, much of it in mountain driving, and
    would have much preferred the volvo for that trip.

    when i got rid of both of them, i tried the forester, but for comfort
    reasons plus i chose another '91 940T (getting into a rut, aren't i). the
    forester is just as underpowered (same engine), somewhat better
    seating arrangement for the driver.

    the subaru was very well made, much better reliability than any volvo
    i have owned - maintenance was minimal. but since i value the driving
    experience, and comfort i would not get another subaru till they get a
    bit more space in them, and either a turbo or the very expensive six
    cylinder engine.

    i have had: '66 240, '72 142, '73 145 '89 240 wagon, and two different
    '91 940Ts.
    arthur wouk, Jul 4, 2003
  8. H. Whelply

    Bev A. Kupf Guest

    The ex and I owned a '95 Subaru Impreza Outback and a '90 Volvo 760 Turbo.
    The Volvo was definitely a better vehicle to drive, but the Subaru wasn't
    bad. A little under-powered, and ride felt a little soft. On the other
    hand, I liked the all wheel drive handling, especially in heavy snow.

    I preferred the Volvo, and our negotiations let me keep it. Traded it in
    a while ago for a newer 850 that I don't like as much.

    Bev A. Kupf, Jul 4, 2003
  9. H. Whelply

    Bob Noble Guest

    In '95, our daughter was given her mom's 240 wagon as a college grad
    gift promised earlier. We had decided that any future purchase would be
    based on our Sierra winters, so would be AWD - though *not* truck-based
    (SUV). In '95 this left a field of 1, here in Reno, a Subaru Legacy -
    oh, yes, an automatic was also required which my choice (Audi) didn't
    include at that time.

    As others have suggested, the power at that time was short, so runs over
    Donner Summit (7,300') required use of 3rd gear to maintain a steady
    70. This also meant 4,000rpm, which necessitated new cam seals
    (warranty). Comfort OK; general fit & finish OK, though not to Volvo

    I subsequently got a '98 V70XC as soon as they became available, but the
    wife happily drove her Subaru until an '02 S60AWD moved into my side of
    the garage and she inherited the V70XC.

    The Subaru met every weather-related expectation handily. Performance
    was all that could be expected from its 135-140hp, but a turbo (not then
    available) would have been welcome. Low maintenance costs - I do oil
    and other maintenance on "my" cars, but the Subaru went to the Dealer
    for its service requirements, as they were very reasonably priced.
    Overall, we felt good enough about the Subaru to pass it along to our
    son, who was in need of a "civilized" vehicle to use when his van
    wouldn't do.

    Subaru was fine, but aren't Volvo-level. Basically, you get what you
    pay for - the Subaru was fine at $20K in '95, but not up to the '98
    V70XC at about $37K or the '02 S60AWD at about the same.

    bob noble
    Reno, NV, USA
    Bob Noble, Jul 4, 2003
  10. After owning many Volvos I bought a '90 Legacy LS because I needed AWD
    and Volvo didn't have it at the time. The Legacy was cheap and well
    appointed. At 90,000 miles the AWD/transmission failed and had to be
    replaced. Before that the drivers door lock, the drivers sun visor, the
    air conditioner, and many other items had failed. There is much rust
    and the tail gate had to be replaced because it rusted out. We retired
    the Subaru after 4 years and replaced it with a Volvo 850 which we put
    175,000 miles on and sold for $6,000. We still have the Sabaru but only
    drive it in the winter when we need AWD. It is worthless on the used
    car market. That should tell you something.

    A Volvo is an investment.

    A Subaru is an expense.

    The choice is up to you.

    Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to
    Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA, USA
    Owned '67,'68,'71,'74,'79,'81,'87,'93,'95 & '02 Volvos.
    The '67,'74,'79,'87,'95 and '02 through European Delivery.
    Stephen M. Henning, Jul 4, 2003
  11. H. Whelply

    H. Whelply Guest

    From AutoWeek, July 7, 2003, p. 13: "The XT, a sport-minded edition of
    Subaru's second-generation crossover vehicle, uses the WRX's turbo four that
    makes 210 hp [OK, I had it at 220--my bad] in this installation. Whereas in
    the 300-hp STi the engine is tuned for near-supercar response off the line,
    the Forester is tuned for strong torque down low, meant for sold around-town

    On the Subaru site, it's indicated that the plain WRX sedan has 227 hp, 217
    lb.-ft. torque, also more than the Forester. So, perhaps "tuned differently"
    is somewhat more accurate than "detuned," but the Forester is less powerful
    than the other cars mentioned. So is "detuned" really all that far off?!
    H. Whelply, Jul 5, 2003
  12. H. Whelply

    Jim Martin Guest

    I'm glad someone responded with comments relevant to a recent model Subaru.

    We intend to buy an AWD car next year and will choose from the soon to be
    released 2005 models of the Legacy GT and Passat. We might consider the V70
    AWD but our experience with our 850 turbo has been negative.

    For information on the Subaru take a look at:

    Word has it that it will come to the US with the same turbo motor as that
    available in the Forester.


    Jim Martin, Jul 5, 2003
  13. H. Whelply

    dgcam55 Guest

    I considered Legacy GT also when looking at my passat. I felt passat
    was a better deal, with the "luxury feel" w/o luxury price!
    I liked volvo s60 too - but just a tad too much $$$ for me.
    The legacy GT was nice - but it didn't DO anything for me when I drove
    In other words...a pretty bland drive...but that was a couple years
    ago now too, and I understand they are breathing some new life into
    the model this year - so it would probably be worth a good look.

    I don't regret my Forester purchase at all... just a note: The passat
    is 190 horsepower. Forester 165. Passat is a much heavier car. I
    feel the Forester (in 5 spd) compared to my Passat (auto) are pretty
    comparable when it comes to everyday driving needs. Forester feels
    sportier and more firmly planted to the ground though (AWD?).

    Good luck on your purchase. Test drives are free....take them all for
    a few spins between now and then - you will have your mind made up by
    then if you do!

    dgcam55, Jul 7, 2003
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