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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans



  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "I don't know why you think the buttons waste space, though- it's a smart layout."

    I didn't say the buttons waste space, i said having them in a narrow row is a waste of space. There's a lot of center console that is just that brushed aluminum look material with nothing on it. There could be buttons there for commonly accessed functions. For example, if i want to change some setting, i have to push the right "primary button" then pick the right little chicklet button off the center console. If there were more and bigger buttons spread out, it's be easier to perform these sort of operations by touch, or with a quick glance.

    Of course, i've just had a few short drives, maybe if i owned one i'd get more proficient at the operations. But i still think that having a large center console mostly devoid of buttons is a waste of space.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "the Europeans actually consider the S80 T6/Executive versions as smart alternative to costlier versions of the Audi A8 and BMW 7 series"

    I frankly don't think those are competitive cars. I've driven the 7 and s80t6 and the s80 is a pig compared to the 7. The handling isn't even close, and the s80's ride and interior don't measure up either. However, the s80 is quite a bit less costly than the 7. I think the s80 competes more with the 5-series. If you go to the volvo website, they compare the s80 to the acura RL and the audi a6, not the a8 and 7.

    "The S60R despite being much cheaper than the S4 will still run with it in terms of performance. "

    The fact that you repeat this in every post doesn't necessarily make it so. Yes, it gets to 60 about as fast. There is a lot more to "running with it" then 0-60 time. Otherwise, the subaru forester XT makes the s60R overpriced and redundant, then, doesn't it?

    "Hell BMW had drums up until the early 90's on lesser variants of the 3 series."

    Really? I can't find drum parts listed for a 1990 318i. There are ABS parts listed, though, something not listed for a 1990 240.
  • "Really? I can't find drum parts listed for a 1990 318i. There are ABS parts listed, though, something not listed for a 1990 240. "

    Lesser European 3 series had drums on them into the 1990's. I was utterly shocked when I realized the 1985 Audi 5000 I purchased had drums on the rear - bad assumption on my part - I just assumed since my 1978 240 wagon had 4 wheel disc a later model "Performance" sedan like an Audi would.

    So all the European journalist are wrong win they compare the S80T6/ Executive editions against car such as the A8 and recommend it as a less costly alternative to the BMW 7 series ? I think that says a lot for a car that at least in the states sells for $20,000 or more, less than the cars its being compared to.

    When the S80 came out I believe it had more interior room than the BMW 5 series that was available and it offered in the Executive versions, rear seat refrigerator, LCD screens in the rear head rest etc - features available as options on cars such as the BMW 7 series, Audi A8 available. Armoring was also available.

    Have any of you Audiphiles posted any numbers...slalom etc showing the S4 will actually out perform the S60R ? All you talk about is the interior is better (questionable).
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I don't think many people brag about Audi... they brag about Mercedes and BMW. By the way, you're implying that I don't like Volvos- I do. They're perfectly good cars. I'm just saying, they're really not luxurious enough (yet) to really pose a threat to big luxury companies like: Acura, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and (oh my god!) Volkswagen. Saab may be a little bit nicer than Volvos too, if not as nice overall.

    I just don't think 'special' when I see a Volvo. I think 'special' when I look at my brand-new S4 Cabriolet, but not a Volvo, not even the S60R. I don't know why- I still admire the S60R. It's a cool car, and better for the money than an S4, C55, or M3.

    By the way, if Audi doesn't have anything special over Volvo, I don't think Volvo has anything special over Audi, either.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I don't understand why you think Volvo can even match up to any European company... that may be harsh, but it's so true. In June 2004, Car&Driver compared:

    Audi A6 3.0 quattro
    BMW 530i Automatic
    Cadillac CTS 3.2
    Chrysler 300 V6 (2005)
    Jaguar S-Type 3.0
    Lexus GS 300
    Mercedes-Benz E-320
    Volvo S80 T5

    Eventually, the S80 came in last... the 530 was next, then the A6, and so on... It's just that Volvo doesn't have the refinement, the innovation, the luxury, the power, to compete with European companies. It actually may have the power, but not really the performance cars, and there's a difference. It's obvious that you'd like Volvo- look at your name. And, they have the features (TV, refridgerator), but that's not necessarily luxury. It's just features. It's like throwing a plasma TV into a Kia Rio and calling it luxury at its best. Why not Saab, though? They may not be plush, but they're more stylish than Volvos. To me, at least.

    But Sweden doesn't have what it takes, and it will never, ever, catch up with Japan and Korea's growing car economies.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They're doing better than you imply, the S40/V50 have been eating Saab 9-2x's lunch in the showrooms. And the XC90 has the best resale of any luxury SUV, beating BMW and Mercedes.

    I think you are underestimating Volvo. They're known for safety first, not necessarily luxury, but they're holding their own.

    Also, the models you are picking on are older and due for replacement.

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "So all the European journalist are wrong win they compare the S80T6/ Executive editions against car such as the A8 and recommend it as a less costly alternative to the BMW 7 series ?"

    Really? Every european journalist is doing this? I admit that i don't read every single euro car mag, but i don't see a whole lot of comparisons between the s80 and 745, etc. In fact, the last few mid-level sedans left the s80 out as "old and not competitive."

    As for you claim that "lesser european threes" had drums on them until the nineties--even if this claim of your is true, eh, so what? Are we supposed to debate "the ultimate AWD sedan" based on the fact that you claim that some of the others had drum brakes on them in '85? That's an awfully weak argument, IMO.
  • My point is that many German car fans brag about how superior their cars handle, how well they brake, etc etc - swear these cars are the best at this and that yet they are going to salvage yards to pull rear Disc brakes assemblies off the back of 20 year old Volvo 240(s) to put on their similar vintage or newer BMW - i think that says a lot.

    You are often way overcharged for the performance you get with German makes. You may get drums brakes(recent history), the quality isn't that great etc etc. I know if i go buy a used Volvo 2 series, 7 series,8 series, 9 series, etc it will always have 4 wheel discs - the engines are robust, the transmissions are robust

    Yet these little Bimmer/Audi heads surrounding me at work who probably haven't turned as many wrenches as I (and some have never even owned a BMW or Audi) will swear how superior these German marks are and have been for decades. I guess hollywood did a good job of building that image in their heads. Just because something is more expensive and may allow you to oversteer more easily doesn't make it better.

    I had a 1990 Volvo 740 Turbo - co-worker had a 1995 or newer 3 series and bragged how his car could take me - I offered to pay for track time and meet him - he always declined. Was he afraid his tranny was going to drop out if he pushed it hard ?

    Yeah there are lot leased BMW's, Audi's and VW in the parking lot wear I work. ($400 a month to lease a Jetta ? with $2K down a few years ago- it's all about fashion not quality)

    By the way isn't the Volvo S80 the oldest model on the market out of the sedans being compared and is FWD ? Big deal it came in last in the comparison. Compare it and Drive it for yourself. Last time I looked BMW's weren't doing to hot in comparions against some of the Japanese and American competitors either.

    I've worked for a mechanic (he has a 240 with 800,000 + miles) while i was in college and drove everything from gray market BMW 7 series, Porsche 928's and American muscle - sorry the German marks never impressed me over Volvo - especially when you factored price.

    Spec out a Volvo S60R against less expensive Japanese competition the price difference isn't that huge when you consider what comes standard on the R.

    I like older SAAB 9000 Aeros but as with Audi 5000 - if you got an automatic you could count on replacing it. I spoke to a SAAB mechanic and he said he couldn't afford to own a SAAB and drove a Volvo 740 Turbo. - that helped make my decision to stay away from SAAB. SAAB did more readily have more advancements in terms of performance than Volvo in the late 80's and very early 90's but at what price ? Reliability, long-term affordibility ?

    As far as Ultimate AWD sedans I'm still waiting on you pro-Audi people to put up some numbers (maybe i missed them ?). Slalom. acceleration etc etc.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Lately, at least, Saab's reliability numbers have been better than Volvos (per CR).

    I realize that wasn't the case a decade ago, but it is now.

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "many German car fans brag about how superior their cars handle, how well they brake, etc etc - swear these cars are the best at this and that yet they are going to salvage yards to pull rear Disc brakes assemblies off the back of 20 year old Volvo 240"

    Really? They are? And, again, how does this relate to ultimate AWD sport sedan, even if true?

    I mean, for example, TODAY you can't get a BMW without dynamic stability control. On the s40, volvo's best handling car, it's an option, and a lot of cars on the lot don't have it. Should we then conclude volvo's not a serous player in safety? This is a more reasonable argument than yours, i think: at least it's current.

    I mean, ok, volvo built great long lasting cars 20 years ago. But, eh, so what? Are the engineers and design goals the same? Those were RWD for starters.

    It's great that you're a brand fan, but this "us vs them" mentality doesn't win converts, you know. I'll certainly look at the s60R before i buy a car again, but i think it's got pluses and minuses and is not top echelon, nor would i expect it to be for 34K. Here are some assessments that seem reasonable to me:
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I know that- that's why they can't compete with the Germans. Besides, Mercedes puts luxury and safety first.
  • magoonmagoon Posts: 32
    "Not necessarily, AWD shows its benefits even on that dry track. That's why the EVO and STi come from the factory with summer tires only. "

    So does the S60R....and even the A4 2.0T with sport package.
  • djinojaidjinojai Posts: 1
    do any of the sports sedan makers offer rear windows which open completely?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Never seen anything like that before.

    Certain EVO models have a rear wiper. That's common in Japan.

  • ukgpukgp Posts: 1
    I have to say here in the UK Volvos are not really up there with Audi, MB or BMW. ( & I have a C70 convert.) Especially the S40 which is based on the Ford Focus. Only certain Jags have any cachet the XJ, and S type. The xtype is based on the Ford Mondeo and smaller, more expensive. Nobody would think that VW are a luxury car maker. Honda have a better reputation than VW. I don't think that VW have helped themselves by using one car platform for so many different cars e.g. the Golf is used for the Skoda Octavia, Seat Leon & Altea, Audi A3, TT & A4. Now that Honda have started to make a decent Diesel engine their sales will rise even more. With regards to reliability the most unreliable car in the UK according to the Uk version of CR was the Audi TT.
    Doc D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, Audi TT is based on the old VW Golf (8+ years?).

    Sharing platforms isn't the same as selling a clone. I think Volvo has distinguished their car well, not to mention it was a good platform to begin with.

  • mdidmdid Posts: 13
    This is absolutely hilarious. Four guys driving $200K worth of auto playing golf at Van Cortlandt park!

    For the record, I don't know what "ultimate AWD" means, but I just took delivery of an S40 T5 AWD M and am very happy with it.

    I didn't even bother looking at the Audi due to (i) price -- my S40 is fully loaded at $29,500 while a comparable Audi (3.0) would easily run into the mid-30, which was outside of my range, and (ii) looks. I actually like the look of the Audi a lot, but I must see 50 a day. Same with the three series. There are so many on the road that they are becoming more like a honda accord in terms of whether or not you take any notice of them.

    The S40 has all the performance I need (but maybe not all I desire). ;-)
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    You can't even get a 3.0 any more unless you buy it used. The new A4 is already out, the 3.2, and it has the same price if not like $100 more than the old one. BTW, the 2.0t is in the T5's class, not the V6. The 3.2 A4 is much faster than an S40.

    I like the S40, though. It's very small, smaller than the old one, but nice. BTW, I think that you'd notice the new 3 Series and new A4 now.

    I have a brand-new '05 S4 Cabriolet, in sprint blue, and I'm completely obsessed. So is my wife, sons, and daughter. And anyone else who ever looks at it.
  • Not even the RS Audi models can run with the Volvo S60R through a slalom course. The Nissan 350Z 35th Anniversary edition can barely, barely nudge past the S60R.

    S4 - No way.

    BMW 330i ? No.

    645Ci ? No.

    A8 ? No.

    That just goes to show how tightly integrated AWD system is with Volvo's Stability/Traction Control systems, Yaw Sensors and Electronically Controlled shocks - it can be wrapped up as single system, 4C, Continously Controllable Chassis Concept.

    Previous (base) Corvette Model couldn't either - I think the new (base) one finally can.

    The much smaller Subaru WRX Sti can outrun it on a slalom course and so can again, the much smaller, Mitsubishi EVO VIII MR.

    So I think at this point the Audi S4 is out of the running for this title way behind The Volvo S60R.

    My statements are based on Road & Track.
  • "The new A4 is already out, the 3.2, and it has the same price if not like $100 more than the old one. BTW, the 2.0t is in the T5's class, not the V6. The 3.2 A4 is much faster than an S40. "

    But for the PRICE of a nicely equipped 3.2 A4 Quattro you can get a Volvo S60R that has features you can't even get on the 3.2 A4 Quattro.

    Where are your numbers to show the 3.2 A4 is MUCH faster than the S40 T5 ?

    The S40 T5 is faster then the Audi A6 3.2., so is the "ANCIENT" Volvo S80 T6 yet both Volvos will eat the A6 3.2 Quattro for lunch in the quarter mile and slalom despite in the T6 case putting all its power through its front wheels.

    Audi most be short-changing you somewhere at the performance table if in old FWD car (S80 T6) can best its premium Quattro models.
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