This was our first new car. It's been an every day commuter since we bought it. We had almost zero problems for the first 100K miles. After that, only the seat motors have gone out and a few minor electrical problems. The reliability seriously rivals an Accord. Also, it's surprisingly quick for only 200 HP. Finally, it's built like a tank. Girly men need two tries to swing the doors shut. That may sound like a downside, but I hate the tinny feeling of a 3 series BMW. And, for a two-door, the back seat is amazingly roomy. A 5'10" man can sit very comfortably for a long ride.
Bought this car used with about 30,000 miles. I've owened now for 6+ years, very little problems. I had an issue with the turbo (was leaking and had it repaired for about $150). Other than that, it has been a pretty good car. The only issue with this model (and the dealers I've visited agreed with me on) is the ABD braking system. It is flaky and kicks in during normal braking conditions. One issue I had recently was with the switching panel on the dirver door that controls the windows, the unit blew up while I was driving and I saw smoke come out inside the car. I ordered a brand new unit for about $145 (if I remember correctly) and replaced it myself. Other than that, it's been fun
I married into this car. Wife explained she liked the style, the seats are very comfortable, and she got a good deal on it. I agree with her, however, this car has been to the shop way too much. Things like, light switch, power seats, strut mounts, sunvisors, abs system, oil leak. I can't even list them all. Allow me to sum it up: I think Volvo engineered a good car but assembled it with lousy parts.
One of the most comfortable cars I have ever driven (if only others could make seats as well as the Swedes... even if Ford owns them now). Not a great car on the backroads, but not much better for highway mile eating or long sweeping bends... Lots of power, although too heavy to be fun in the twisties, and too front wheel drive to always get it all down. A limited-slip-would go a long way to improving the fun to drive factor. All in all, a beautiful, comfortable, and relatively quick car.