I bought the car for a super price of $3,500, after having it looked at by a reliable repairman. The AWD had been disabled and I knew that the front differential needed to be replaced at a cost of $2,000, but even with the added cost, the rest of the car was completely unblemished (well, an issue with the passenger side window - front seat will only roll down for passenger, back seat will not roll up for driver, but this does not bother me) and the safety record really sold me - I have three small children.
BUT - I am also a single mom, and very well below the poverty level. I thought spending this much on a car that I had checked out would give me a good while without trouble, but 2 weeks after buying the car it began jumping down the highway, like the tranny was going. The first mechanic said it was that, but I didn't trust him, so I took it back to the mechanic who initially looked it over. It was a small part in the front differential, but could not be sold separately, so I bought the whole thing new, $2,000.
Two weeks later it busted. Then Volvo informed us that we needed to replace the rear drive shaft or differential or something, so there was another $1,200, but they did replace the front under warranty.
3,000 miles after that costly repair, it breaks down 50 miles from home, the drive shaft fell out, or something. I am waiting to call Volvo myself, my mechanic says they refuse to replace the part again. Folks, three thousand dollars is a whole lot of money to me, and if it weren't for my tax refund right now, I wouldn't have any way to pay for these repairs. And I would think that a $3,000 part would be worth that much, no matter if you make $12,000 a year or $200,000 a year.
I had a Saturn before this, with 217,000 miles and AWESOME gas mileage. Before that, I had a kickass Subaru that died at 307,000 miles, and I sold it for $550...
I like looking like I have money by driving this thing, and I am happy that it's so safe, but I am beginning to think it's so safe because it's always in the shop, which drastically cuts down on the chances of being in an accident.
One commenter had it right - I really really want to like this car, but I don't think I do. But if I sell it, too, I will lose a lot of money. SNAP!