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By UDPride
#97572
I created a long thread with legs over on Rennlist a year ago about my search for a AWD, winter wagon, daily driver, camping, road trip car. But I'm not gonna update that thread with the conclusion and will instead do it here -- so F em'.

I'd narrowed it down to a 2008 Subaru Outback LL Bean or a Volvo XC70. The specific Outback because it was the last year of that generation w/the S-Drive and the LL Bean came with the 250hp 6 cylinder. The XC70 basically because it was a bit roomier and nicer and the 2008-2012 range had enough supply in the market to make their prices in the same ballpark as the Suby.

I was literally three minutes from laying a deposit down on a 2008 LL Bean from Phoenix about 4 months ago but someone walked in and bought it before the guy could call me back and take down my credit card. I'd scoured Autotrader, Cars.com, Facebook, Craigslist etc for a year with my notifications turned on. Some were too high mileage, some roached out and uncared for, some too far away to really gauge the quality or be financially smart after factoring in shipping or flights/hotels to get it home, some priced too high, Carfax accident reports, 25 prior owners, and a couple just in a color I refuse to drive. Its so frustrating when you want something very specific with a long wish list.

With the XC70 I started moving them above the Suby on my search list the last 2-3 months for several reasons. First, they were shockingly the same price or less than the Subys despite them originally being $40-45K cars. Just seemed like more car for the money and I was not reading any major mechanical horror stories to justify it. Second, I started liking the idea of more room and the boxy Volvo has a lot more usable space than the cantilevered sides and rear of the Outback which encroaches on space. My one negative was so many XC70s have the pale tan interior and I just couldnt warm up to it. I wanted black interior. Other than the climate package (heated seats) however, I was open to most configs. I was also focused solely on the 3.2L version as I had no need for the T6 and could keep my price down.

Low and behold a 2010 XC70 T6 pops up on my Autotrader alerts and its only 20 miles away at a local big-box dealer that normally sells Mitsubishis. Only four grainy pics. And I really dont need the T6. Its more than I really want to spend, but in fairness its priced fair for a T6 with perhaps room to knock a few pennies off. I call and they say sure come look at it they got it in on trade by someone who bought a new Mitsubishi hybrid. But then they email back and its still being cleaned and reconditioned so wait until Monday. So I called Monday and made a trip Tuesday to see it.

You know normally how this goes. Only four exterior pics, nearby, only 100,000mi which is low for this car. It never ends up being as good as you think it is and usually a shocking disappointment. The kind where you have one foot out of the car, see the vehicle in question, and just get back in and drive off. But the Carfax was interesting: basically one owner from new (changed hands in 2020 but to a family member) and always serviced at the same Connecticut Volvo dealership every 5,000 miles on the nose. Who knows, maybe this was the proverbial "grandma car".

So I go to see it and really cant believe it. Im a picky car buyer. I take care of all my cars almost to an unhealthy level so I dont like worn out automobiles. Mileage doesnt bother me, but if I see a 250,000 mile car, Im only interested if it looks and drives like it has 120,000 miles on it. In this case, this car looked like it has 10,000 miles on it. I almost did a damn double-take to make sure the car wasnt completely repainted. Even the plastic cladding which is all over the exterior bodywork which usually gets scraped and faded over time, banged up from shopping carts, etc. looked brand new. There wasnt a scratch, ping, chip, dent, or swirl mark on the hood or bumper -- or really anywhere (ok I found two tiny pings). I dont think its ever seen rain, nevermind snow. Im not sure its ever been parked outside.

The inside was more or less as good as the outside. All of a sudden the price they were asking which was fair but still in the KBB range seemed like a bargain just because of condition. To recondition something to this level would cost a lot of money no matter the miles -- replacing cladding, windshields, headlight lenses, splitters, tailgate guards, rims, repainting mirrors, hoods, bumpers, etc. I dont understand how it has 100,000 miles on it.

Did the test drive thing, talked turkey, and got em down another few hundred bucks and sealed the deal an hour later. I kept trying to beat them up a bit on price and play the "well I really didnt want or need a T6" but I also knew I wasnt gonna lose this car over $500. Another car sure but not this one. I didnt want the T6, didnt need the T6, didnt want to spend $11 grand, but sometimes you have to the buy the car in front of you or you're just stupid. The price doesnt sound like I stole it, but with the condition I effing stole it. And I was tired of looking anyway. Plus the damn thing even has brand new tires from June. They are shitty Kumhos, but hey I can run em' til they fall apart no problem. There was no way Id find another car -- Suby, Volvo, or otherwise -- with this many miles in this good condition with this ownership backstory and paper trail at this price unless I personally knew someone selling a car I wanted (which I didnt).

Its not perfect. The silver front splitter has taken a couple chunks from curbs over the years but they are small. And I need to top off the A/C with some 134. Beyond that however, Im just stunned at how nice this thing is. Im gonna shed a tear with the first snowfall because its almost too nice to drive in bad weather. And its gonna be parked outside for a few months until I get a double-stack installed in the garage to get everything indoors. NOOOOOO!!!!

Drives on the highway like a freaking dream, tracks like a bullet, these seats are so damn comfortable, the T6's 280HP gives it honest power, and its black on black which I figured Id never find. Other than not coming with the Bi-Xenons its got everything I want and unlike my Pcars and M cars this thing blends in with the drapes so I can go and park anywhere. I go downtown into the city a lot and on the "west side" where the malfeasance is and feel like every time I go and park the Cayman its not gonna be there when I return.

Turns out the car was owned by a lifelong Volvo couple that sold it to their relative who then turned it in for the Mitsu hybrid when the car hit 100K miles thinking that's the point where all cars go to die. I read through the owner's manual last night and the owner had dozens of yellow post-it notes with notations on pages describing how the various switches and controls worked compared to his earlier V70. He had notes like "To adjust the clock you need to use more counterclockwise twisting force on the peg dial to change the hours than the minutes. Probably not perfect but not worth fixing."

Its got the big folding cage for the back cargo area and I dont think the owners ever lifted up the cargo area's secret storage floor, nor the spare tire area. Even the door jams, trunk, and rear hatch jams looked like they'd been buffed and polished -- shit only I would waste time doing because I have no life.

Made appt to get the window tinted, and will start shampooing/steaming the seats and carpets next week but almost by habit and not need.

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I already took that stupid dealer vinyl decal off. The Swedish looking medallion is from the original dealer. I may keep that on for posterity as a thank you to the original owners for being good stewards. Nobody should be this excited over an 11yr old $11,000 Volvo. On paper it makes no sense when AirKuhl just unloaded a red Ferrari from a transporter.

But I am.
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By fpena944
#97740
UDPride wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:35 am

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Nice find!

You have a lot more patience than I do. I remember years ago when shopping for my first P-car I wanted either a 944 S2 or 968 in a cabrio body style. Since they're relatively rare in terms of production numbers it was a difficult search.

There was one instance similar to what you described but I drove from NYC to Philadelphia to get my hands on a 968 cabrio. As I'm arriving some guy is finishing up the paperwork on a car that I just called hours earlier about. What bad timing, eh?

But I ended up finding my 944 on Long Island and it was a car that served me quite well for several years until I traded it in for my current 996 back in 2009.

Hey you deserve to be excited, you got more than you bargained for at a good price, congrats and enjoy!
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By Scott at Team Harco
#97767
Nice find, UD.

We have a V70 R. It's pretty cool. :beerchug:
UDPride liked this
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By UDPride
#97813
I dont think the dealer knew quite what they had and figured okay its really nice condition but 100K miles is 100K miles and KBB says its worth X to lets price it as a really nicely KBB graded T6. Problem is even KBB doesnt account for the proverbial time capsule exceptions -- especially those with this many miles. Its usually one or the other -- time capsule and low low mileage, or typical wear/tear and high mileage. This car didnt have a price category for Volvos. Nobody buys a Volvo wagon to treat it with kid gloves. They are bought to be used and abused and take it up the ass almost like a pickup truck.

The dealer was making their pitch about the car and talking up the good points. They saw my Cayman in the lot and mentioned that the Volvo also has the benefit of "German engineering". I about choked. My first thought was, "Oh man what else are they trying to BS me on...maybe these are the biggest BS sheisters on the planet." Then I thought, "I really think they may not know what they have...this could be my big moment to snooker them and get outta here with a royal flush."

Its funny that you can look nationwide for a year and literally consider hundreds of cars but then the perfect one shows up 30 minutes from you. This happened to me when I bought my 930 in 2003. Looked everywhere for a queenie, drove to neighboring states to look at ones for sale. Almost 2-3 years of futility. Almost switched to buying a 3.2 or a 928. But then one shows up for sale literally 5 minutes from me. One of those motherload moments after looking at it. Only question was the price. That thing was bought in the first 2 minutes -- though I didnt tell him that of course! Its treacherous buying cars far away. You just never know if your expectations are too much or the seller really is the kind of guy you want to buy a car from. I bought both M3s on Ebay. Flew to get one and shipped one. Luckily both were as advertised. But, you just NEVER KNOW until you're there. Thats what scared me about $7-12K Subarus and Volvos. These things are driven hard and put away wet. Your chances of getting a roach are more likely -- yet do you really want to spend $1-2K on flights and gas and hotels or shipping on a $7-12K car thats already tight on market price? Thats what made this search difficult. On a $100K car, an airline ticket or enclosed shipper aint gonna change whether it was a good deal or bad.
amdavid liked this
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By E55AMG
#99271
Nice find. My last several company cars were X-60's, although my wife is the exclusive driver LOL. Current car is a '16 with 50,000 miles on it. Service wise, it's been near perfect. Engine is pretty awful, performance wise, sound wise, etc. Seats, as you mentioned are a Volvo thing. I've always thought Volvo and porsche have the best seats in the business.

I've looked a few times at the XC-90 but the reviews/reliability are God awful. The one thing I will say with my car is that the headlights are the WORST. You'd be better off holding a candle out the window. My wife really struggles with it. Embarrassing really, on a 2016 car.

I would also disagree about Volvos being driven hard. I think the opposite is true. Most are owned by suburban moms - maybe they're being driven hard :eyepop:
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By UDPride
#99558
Im already looking to swap out the bulbs on the XC70 with some LEDs. There are some pretty easy DIY plug-and-plays that have some traction with other owners. The T-6 engine in this thing is probably my favorite part of the car so far...beyond the utility of the wagon. Super smooth and has some legitimate oomph. Its a 6 cylinder and I thought Volvo started focusing on the 5-cylinders. Not sure what the XC60s and 90s have. Is the XC90 the one thats both turbocharged and supercharged? I had a buddy buy the model with both of those bolt-ons and it was the most expensive Volvo Id ever seen. Had so much tech almost like a Tesla..could read street signs, lane assist this, laser that, parking this, cloud-upgrade that. He kept it for about a year or so then traded it in...but that was his mojo on most cars.

Wagon goes in for window tint this week. Will post pics.
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By E55AMG
#99588
The XC-90 is the big 3 row SUV. It's beautiful with great fit and finish. It's a 4 cylinder that is supercharged and turbo'd. I don't care what they do, a 4 is just too small for a car that size. From everything I've read, including volvo owner boards it's a reliability disaster.

I think you got a great deal and that car is very solid. I think they got out too fast on he XC-90 hence all the issues. As you said, lots of tech on that thing.
User avatar
By N_Jay
#99808
Sounds nice.

It took me almost 4 months to find my GL320.
Finally landed one with 96k miles that looked like 10k miles.

I use it hard and felt a little bit bad as my first year put on more wear than the previous five.
User avatar
By Bill d Cat
#101890
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My '98 winter/beach beater.

Original clutch.

It's been in 3 accidents, run without oil ( oil cooler fitting rusted off) and run without coolant (hose ruptured).

Currently waiting for a turbo outlet hose (now 6 weeks back ordered. Made in Italy, needs to be shipped to Sweden and then shipped to the US) and I miss driving it.

(I would buy another one but they don't make 'em like that any more.)

Sounds like you got a bargain!

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great representation ~!