XC90 XC90 V8 Reliability

Hi all,

With my new job im looking at problem having to a buy a good solid daily driver

Ive always been keen on a turbo wagon but decided to leave that as more of a weekend car. So the next best thing in my opinion that i like would be on of the older V8s. Currently there's a 2006 Xc90 V8 with about 160km and a s80 V8 with 116km on sale.

Now i am not one to be good at tinkering with anything (basically im hopeless) so reliability is probably the key thing for me. Is there anything i should look out for? Big mainteance costs, parts prone to fail etc etc

i dont want to get a vanilla Camry thats for sure....




  • I think the biggest problem on those is the transmission if it hasn't had regular servicing

  • ah thanks ramrod, will keep that in mind when i check the log books.

  • Serpentine belt idlers and tensioner, timing case oil leaks, stupid fuel pressure sensor housing, cooked alternator...the V8's might be fun but they're not for "hopeless tinkerers" unless you have some good mechanical friends or deep pockets. The 2006 V8s will need timing case and rocker cover gaskets unless done already and they're not for the usual service station mechanic to fool around with (ie that's how I got mine cheap...the local garage screwed the job completely)

  • ah...... well maybe time to consider something else... thanks really appreciate the advice

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    But once you fix all the issues its good for another 10 years.....

  • That's exactly right, but it's not a car to jump into at 10 years old and expect to be reliable nor cheap.

    How about an S40/V50 T5 AWD ? Simpler, cheaper and due to Ford/Mazda compatibility cheaper running costs ? Almost WRX performance stock, but quite a sleeper !

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    A tiny interior and useless load space in a V50. Issues with the engines probably worse the V8. S/V60T6 or D5 , V70 P3 D5 or 3.2 or a T6 if you can find.

  • i did always like the c30/s40 t5 and the v70 t6, maybe go with a r design, my v8 dreams can wait til then i guess.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Id be jumping on any reasonable price V8 now , get parts from USA cheap and having the known issues fixed then have some spares handy too. We had a loan of an S80V8 to test for the missus new car and took it back while trying out an XC90 , the V8 went in the mean time so got a S80D5 instead. The D5 is going to have similar costing issues down the track ( apart from no rear Haldex stuff at least ) but the V8 would have been running high fuel cost the way she drives......Had to warn and keep warning NOT to put the boot in from driveway as missus would have put into front window of house opposite us quite easily ......

    get the V8.

  • In my experience, anything older and European can be expected to cost money. Anything older and Japanese will cost something too, but if you buy right, the $ needed and frustration levels will be lower. I have had a ton of cars over 42 years and though I love European cars they have had the most issues and cost the most to run across Euro, Aussie and Japanese cars. I tend to run Japanese or the like for a while then indulge my Euro fetish for a while before retreating to something that is easier to live with again.

    If absolute reliability is key and you're not handy with the tools as you say then I'd generally not be going for something that old, but especially European. Now I know people are going to jump on here and say "I have/had/know about an old (insert Euro brand here) and it's been flawless". But you'll also find plenty who won't.

    I wouldn't say Snoopy is wrong, but he knows about Volvos and also knows all the independent repair guys so he's well ahead of the game in that respect.

    If the S80 is the one I think it might be it looks like your budget runs to about 15k? Plenty of good reliable stuff for those $.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    I fixed all the older ones i had myself but am sick of it so pay the independent shops to do work on my "new" volvos and yes , Chris is correct , Euro = issues , all the Euro cars!

  • There's a couple V70T6s on Carsales (one in Geelong at the moment that looks kinda decent!)

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    I had a look on carsales , the first one at $26K+ must have $15K of cash in the glovebox.....

    One that BMG have looked after has P* tune!

    Further down one has radar cruise , id rate that over all the rest as its brilliant!

  • The S80 V8s were AWD as well - the mechanicals are identical to the XC90. The engines are built by Yamaha, and the transmissions are Aisin (ie Toyota, used in the Mazda CX-9 with minor differences). The Big Volvos are basically Japanese cars, and are completely different mechanically to "Volvo". My V8 was so much fun that 2 friends also now have identical cars - theirs are both low km and we flushed fluids and fixed leaks on purchase...but all of our 3 cars were excellent buys and have needed significant attention. One has already had the engine dropped for a replacement timing cover due to a failed idler bearing I warned him to replace...They are not for a mechanical novice. The wife's car is an AWD S40 we got for free with a cooked engine, and my personal car is a Triumph Stag. I'm not only a mechanical massochist but the patron saint of mechanical lost causes. I'd agree with Snoopy that a V8 is a wonderful car to have and I'd buy another one in a heart-beat...but in all conscience I could not recommend one to a mechanical novice as reliable transport. At 10 years old they will all need front suspension and oil leak work - around $7,000 at a garage if you can find one which knows what they're doing, then assuming you get to the transmission before the valve body gets too cut up...

  • A thanks everyone for the feedback and advice, might have to ponder it a little longer. But really appreciate all the info everyone.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Have a chat with Grahame Berry or Mark at Berry Motor Group , no nonsense honest advice about what to expect for the maintenance and cost to do so.

    Any used car is going to need some big service or parts replaced because thats why people move them on for a new vehicle or one tha doesnt need that yet.

    Therefore the price reflects that fact. You buy at good price and spend money to get it back to as new again.

    A 2009 V8 has gone 10 years and may or may not have had all its required service repairs , having them sorted with the uprated parts will ensure at least another 10 years or more.

    The real World inherent and physical safety ability of a volvo over others is amazing.

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