Tough Volvo Powertrain....Get the 4 speed tranny .
written on 02-08-2016
Stay away from the five speed tranny (FORD). It fails early...The 4 speed automatic will go forever, as will the 5 cylinder engine. The front ends on these cars squeal, squeak...The dealer will say that you need an front end rebuilt...Don't do it...it will still squeak after you pay $2500 to get it rebuilt, and the original front end will go 250,000...if you don't mind the noise. All in all, Volvo tough...and a fun car to drive.
What a fun car to drive! Only problems are minor, and peculiar to convertibles (this is my first). For instance, the shoulder belt is hard to get to when the door is closed, and the inside rearview mirror view out of the tiny rear window is ... well, tiny. Also, there's a huge blind spot for the driver off the right and left rear sides in the back seat, where the convertible top blocks a lot of the view. It's hard to change lanes, sometimes, or to pull out into traffic and be confident you can see oncoming traffic. Other than this, it's a great car. We bought it used, a year ago, and have gone through one Pennsylvania winter so far, no problems.
This car is surprisingly nimble for a convertable, but the cowl has a noticable shimmy when going over uneven surfaces. Had to replace the upper engine mount (some $60 in parts and my own labor) which really helped isloate the engine noise. The 60k service was a real killer (love those Volvo parts prices), but the biggest expense I had while owning this car was the electronic throttle body. It developed a dead spot right in the cruise position and would cause the computer to make the car surge ahead or slow down - as though it can't see the throttle and moves it wide open then completly closed. That cost me a cool 1k but the car drives much better now.
This is a great car but clearly Volvo missed a few minor beats. 1) I'm not big on cupholders, but Europeans need to get over themselves and install ones that work. 2) Why is the steering wheel a dirt magnet? 3) Did they not realize the seat belt would rub the seats and make the upholstery look like old shoes? 4) What is with that check engine light?