Volvo lover here. I currently own a 1988 Volvo 740, a 1990 Volvo 240, a 1990 Volvo 780 Bertone, a 1993 Volvo 940, a 1997 Volvo 850. I recently bought a 2008 Volvo S80, My older Volvos have 300,000+. Keep a car in maintenance and you'll have a pal for nearly the rest of your life. You can't let a car go and not take care of it. Volvos = A pal for life.
I thought I might be paying too much for Volvo repairs until I calculated the monthly cost. The cost is less than a small card payment. I could drive a new econobox. But, I will choose comfort, utility and sport; my 1997 960, which has over 200K miles.
I've put 80 of 103K miles on a 2002 Volvo S60 2.4T. It has never left me stranded. It's comfy, and seems to be aging like my 83 240 Turbo. Maintenance is average every 100K miles. (Not exactly, but the costs are such) Best car I've had so far.
Note: I have crashed this car four times. I beat the crap out of it. The front bumper cover is secured with cable ties. I also do my maintenance spot on every time. Oil changes every 5000 at 40 bucks a pop. Only thing coming up is timing belt at 105K. Shop estimate $625.
I was deeply in love with Volvo. Not anymore. I owned for 5 years a S80. The beautiful streamlined design by Pininfarina, soft touch to everything in the interior, always fresh looking crisp design.
On 30.000 it leaked the radiator, constant "check engine" light on, failed exhaust pump, constant false positive messages on fuel cap, never working on-a-key automatic seat adjustments, the CD player drops off the music on harsh roads (no buffer!!!) etc. You get the picture. The quality of Volvo was gone with its alliance to Ford. Ford killed Jags, Volvo and few others.
Now I was on a market for a new car. I tried Volvo along with many other cars and I couldn't find ANYTHING, I mean anything at all special about it. Just another car, grossly overpriced, below mediocre interior quality, cheap feel to the plastics etc. I wouldn't pay even half of the price for their vehicles anymore. I test drove many cars (A4, A6, 328xi, 535, C-Class, E-Class, IS250, ES350, GS etc.); ended buying new Infiniti G37x. Oh baby, what a car! Quality feel to everything. The engine! The navigation, electronics, everything! The style inside!!! The style outside!!! The acceleration!!! High quality, firm and precise ride!!!
To me, Volvo lost its way. They do have a chance now to get back on a track, but paying a premium price for nostalgic feelings isn't my choice. Volvo's CEO stated that they aren't on track for luxury cars, they will develop their own identity. So far, it is an identity of overpriced Fords manufactured in Sweden.