I saved up so long to buy my first brand new car. There were so much literature on the Volvo, and after reading them I decide to test drive it, and bought one. It was an S60 Volvo, gold in color. I used to have a Proton Perdana V6.
After having a Proton Wira for 2 years as a bachelor, I decided a bigger car was necessary to accommodate my new growing family. The Perdana was selling at a good price, and was being offered by a local doctor near my home. He apparently was selling this to get into a Mercedes Benz E240.
The Perdana never had any major problems, but my wife did not like local made cars. So eventually I went to look at the Volvo range. I always wanted a BMW or a Mercedes, but the Volvo was about the only European car that was available at the lowest price that I could afford.
The BMW 3 series was simply too expensive for a small sized car. The Mercedes E class was even dearer. Although the Mercedes C class was cheaper than the E class, it was still too small. In the end we decided the Volvo S60 was the most affordable, and hopefully would be our family car for the next 7 or 8 years.
What a joke this turned out to be.
I had to send this Volvo S60 back for repairs at least 14 times during the first year. After the warranty ran out, I realized the costs were becoming unbearable, and simply not worth it for a car of this caliber. Even the trusty old mechanic who was earning my money to repair faulty components in my Volvo told me to get rid of this car, as he explained that even a BMW or Mercedes is frequently slightly cheaper, and could outperform any Volvo in his view.
One day I drove a used BMW 523 (2001 model) and came to the conclusion that my Volvo was indeed a pale comparison. I asked my wife to test the BMW, and she too came away shocked and impressed.
A couple of months later we test drove a Mercedes Benz E240 (year 2000) and simply loved it. We bought the car because it was slightly larger than the BMW 523, and provides a rock stable comfortable ride, which the Volvo could not. Mind you before this, we even tested the Volvo S80 and XC-90. About the only good thing with Volvo is their sales staff were very attentive and polite. We were even served drinks on very comfortable lounge chairs.
Till today, the Mercedes (year 2000) has had no major troubles. Yearly servicing is actually cheaper, and it has proven to be a hassle free car, unlike my brand new Volvo!