2000 Volvo S80 T6 from North America
Not perfect, but a solid car that has never let me down and I continue to love driving
Over the past 16 years of ownership, plenty.
- ABS unit.
- Front struts.
- Sway bar end links.
- Control arm bushings (twice).
- Front oxygen sensors.
- Turbo rebuild with oil inlet and outlet seals replaced.
- Camshaft seals replaced as well as crankshaft seal.
- Cup holder.
- Center console leather top replaced.
- Trim molding around interior door handle replaced (sorta).
- A pillar fabric.
- Radiator replaced (was not the car's fault though).
- Fan replaced.
- Parking brake wire assembly replaced.
- Accessory belt.
- Timing belt.
I love this car, no two ways about it. My dad purchased it new back in 2000. It has been in my family ever since and currently has 223,000 miles on it. I am currently the primary driver of it. I started driving it when I was in high school about 7 years ago and have been driving it ever since.
It is definitely not the most reliable car. Not even close. But then again, if you want something extremely reliable you should be buying something boring and common like a Toyota Camry or Honda Civic. And when all things are considered, this car has not had a terrible reliability record. Honestly, most of the stuff that has failed are common failure points on a car of this age and mileage. You can't be driving a car with over 150,000 miles and not expect some abnormal work beyond the normal oil changes. No parts last forever and all parts will eventually fail.
In my mind, the lack luster reliability is part of the price you pay for driving a European vehicle. Mercedes, BMW and Audi are all pretty much the same when it comes to reliability. And with Volvo, you also get the added bonus of being extremely safe. Generally, the more complex a car is the more it will be in the shop as there is a higher potential for something to go wrong. Usually the most reliable cars are those that are simple and (to be honest) boring. For me, the slightly below average reliability is a fair price to pay for the higher quality, performance and safety of this Volvo.
Though, I understand if this car may be too much for the average consumer who takes their car to the dealer every time the check engine light comes on. You see, my dad and my brother and I have done virtually all the maintenance on this car for 10 years now (ever since the warranty was up). None of us are mechanics, but if you have the means and the willpower, it really isn't that hard. And it has saved us tons of $$$ over the years. I will admit, if we had to take this car to the dealer every time something went wrong, we probably would not have kept the car. This is not because we don't love it, but simply because in our family money is an issue and it would be more beneficial from a financial standpoint to buy something else.
If you can stomach the higher than average repair costs or are willing to do most of them yourself, this is an amazing car. Because we have kept it well maintained, it has never left me or my family stranded in 16 years.
- There is not a hint of rust of the body, amazing.
- Gas mileage is poor, especially by today's standards. I get 16 in only city and 30 only highway (huge differential there). A mix of both is usually 22 or so.
- Performance is solid. This is no race car by any means, but it is a pretty fast sedan.
- Wind and road noise are minimum, especially if you keep the sun roof shade closed and have the laminated windows option (as opposed to tempered).
- Handling is decent, but this is more of a highway cruiser than a winding road champion. Nonetheless, the car is a joy to drive on windy roads... but it doesn't take away any awards here.
- Steering itself is very nice, extremely light at slow speeds and slightly harder at highway speeds.
- Excellent storage space. Amazing how much I can fit in this sedan.
- Great leg room in the back row, though it's still tough to fit three adults back there.
- Interior is great, though quality does not hold up over time. Leather is poor by today's standards and 16 years of use make it worse.
- Interior styling is great, just keep in mind this is basically a late 90s car, don't expect the style to hold up to cars almost two decades ahead of it.
- Stock sound system is great, by far the best stock system I have heard.
- Some inside things will break, like the cup holder and center console leather. But with a little $$ and know how, these can be corrected.
- Seats are very comfortable.
- Never had a serious problem with the electrical system as others have, then again I have more know-how than you average consumer. Most issues I face I can fix myself with the Volvo software.
- Brakes are good.
- Exterior styling is my favorite thing about the car. Absolutely stunning. I have the Moondust color with the black molding.
- Great safety for a year 2000 car. Side airbags, front driver and passenger airbags, whiplash protection seats, headrests for all seats, curtain airbags, stability control, etc.
- Also, perhaps surprisingly, I have not had any work done on the transmission. When reading online you hear horror stories about the GM tranny. But 16 years and 223,000 miles later, still on the original transmission. Not sure if I am lucky or what you hear online is only the bad and not the good.
In conclusion, I know this car is not for everyone. And if you are looking for a no nonsense car, look elsewhere. At this point, any 1st generation S80 is going to be at least 10 years old and probably have 50,000+ miles. While you will have better reliability with a 2005-2006 model, it still may need more upkeep than average. But, if you love the looks, styling, performance and don't mind the higher maintenance costs, then go for it! With the proper maintenance and care, this car is amazing.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th August, 2016
8th Aug 2016, 07:18
Good honest review. Yes wear and tear is expected of any car at a good age and mileage, I really like this site, but hate reviews that bash on cars just for wear and tear that can happen to any car. Disappointing to hear about the turbo rebuild though - most turbo charged cars I've had, the turbo lasts the length of the car. Still Volvo are upmarket in my opinion and generally better than a lot of manufacturers - my family had some 740 and 940 saloon Volvos in the 80s and 90s, and they easily gave many trouble free years and miles, which is more than can be said for a lot of newer cars I've had recently from various other manufacturers.