S/V40 Purchase/Ownership advise

edited September 2019 in General

Hi all,

We have 3 young boys (5, 3, 1) and currently own a heavily modified Pajero as our only vehicle. This does the school runs (80km per day) and shopping duties, pretty much everything. I ride a pushy to work whenever possible, but looking for something a little smaller and as a second car for the daily. The Pajero will become the weekend car and my ride to work if it's wet.

Initially looking at Toyota Corollas, Lancer wagons etc. but then realised for the same price, if not cheaper, I can get SOOO much more vehicle in a Volvo! My Dad owned 2 of the old 200 series wagons and they were bullet proof, took us on many journeys from Adelaide to Perth and back fully loaded.

So looking at under 10k which from what I can find lands me in 2006/2008 S40 and S60 territory with 100-150k on the clock. My main (and extremely uneducated) concern is ongoing maintenance costs. I've always owned Japanese vehicles that have been very easy and cheap to service/repair. So looking for advise as to whether I should steer clear, what should I be concerned about with these models and what are they like to work on. I do most of my basic servicing, oil/brake changes myself, but do 'normal' mechanics shy away from the European vehicles?

At what age can kids use the inbuilt booster seats instead of their bulky kids seats?

I was also looking at the VW Passat, but I like the idea of owning a Volvo... it's different and I have a soft spot for them.

Any advice would be appreciated!


  • 2.4i manual s40 is the answer

    Otherwise a gen 4 manual 2.0 golf

  • Is that because the auto and or turbo have known issues? I haven't seen many manuals around.

  • Against a Corolla or Lancer in that price range the Volvo is safer, but don't expect it to be as absolutely bulletproof. They aren't hugely roomy (if you or partner are tall there's little leg room in the back) but are a nice car.

    Do normal mechanics shy away from them? Some do, some don't. Best off with a Volvo indie in general though. Bear's recommendation is for the most trouble free variant.

  • The auto S40's are OK as long as the transmission fluid is religiously changed. The turbos don't have any significant issues but there is obviously more to go wrong.

    Steer clear of the S60's as they do have transmission issues.

    You might be better off finding a V50, same car as the S40 but a wagon so more practical.

    As Chris said, don't expect Corolla-like reliability, but they are pretty good in general. Get the latest model you can afford, as most of the early ones had some issues such as the PCV/oil filter housing failing which is no big deal but somewhat costly.

    Also be aware that the front suspension on these wears out relatively quickly, be prepared to replace the lot by 200k.

  • Thanks! I don't believe any car is 100% bullet proof, just want to shy away from ones that are known headaches.

    Sorry for my ignorance, what's an 'indie'??

  • So they S40/S0 don't share the same 5sp auto? What sort of issues are we talking about? Mechanical or electronic failure? Assume it's an expensive fix... Only asking as I don't see many manuals at all, so if auto is the only option, then I would like to go in known what I might be up for.

    Yeah looking at the V50, the wagon would be great. Seems to be less around though.

    What years are 'early' with the PCV etc issues? I'm looking at 2006 to 2008 in my budget.

    I have always replaced factory suspension on any car I've owned between 100k to 200k. By the 'lot' is it more than just dampers and springs? Are we talking ball joints etc as well?

  • The S40/V50 have a less trouble prone version of the Aisin-Warner AW55-50SN gearbox. The S60/V70/XC70 had a reputation for mechanical failure, the more powerful the engine and more complex the drive train the higher the failure rate (hence XC70s blow them more than S60 2.4s). There were a number of running changes made to improve the box, with later S60s etc better than earlier ones.

    The 'sealed for life' nonsense most manufacturers claimed also hastened their death, and the S40/V50 suffered from this as well. So you'd want to do a tranny fluid change for sure unless in the very unlikely event you find one where the owner knew about this issue and had it done.

    I'll let others chime in on suspension and PCV etc.

    Indie = independent, e.g. in Melbourne Voldat, Berry, Mason's.

    With three little uns I'd say go and have a look at one fairly soon to see if they are going to be big enough, particularly if you're planning to carry all 3 at once. I doubt they will all fit with car and booster seats. Your 5 year old is too young to come out of a booster yet (to answer that question) and states vary on whether they accept the Volvo ones as a suitable substitute.

  • To avoid the PCV issues, I think you need 2008 or newer. This will also get you a post-facelift model which looks better, has a slightly better interior (difference centre console) and will probably give you AUX connectivity. But realistically, if you found an immaculate earlier model, it isn't a big deal to get the PCV changed.

    With suspension, I think strut mounts and LCA bushes would be a minimum, a Volvo mechanic can advise on other common failure points.

    Also, as Chris said, interior space is limited so make sure you check one out.

    Manual S40's are not impossible to find, manual V50's, S60's and V70's do exist but are pretty rare.

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    With 3 growing children I'd go v70 if you can find manual or budget an auto rebuild and upgrade in the purchase price.

    V60 are getting cheaper too. But v70 more room.

    Ask Mark @iceton1975 , he will be selling his updated,upgraded and sorted v70T6.

  • Manual p2 t5 s60 is also up there in stupid reliability and solid car

    The p2 s60 is noticibly bigger than the s40 as well

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Now you mention it Mark will be selling really nice S60T5 that's been fully sorted and has the atacama interior!



  • Sent Mike a message :) Thanks guys!

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    He won't mind if I share his number.

    0434 897 144

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    The S60/S80 in later guise is a big car,the S40 is about corolla size really.....

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