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Premium Member
2004 Forester XT PP
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Discussion Starter #1
OK, well here's the deal. I'm selling my Dodge Daytona Shelby on eBay currently, and looking for a wagon. My wife has the XT most of the time.

My Auction:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1,1&item=4606819959&sspagename=STRK:MESE:IT

Anyway, I know it's strange that I'm considering an OBS and a Volvo 850R. They're entirely different cars. However, they are in similar price ranges.
I'm looking at a model year 1996 on the 850R. The OBS is flexible.
Requirements for both are 100k miles or less, and maintenance records are a must.

I know that being in a subaru forum, I'm going to hear a lot about why I should get the OBS. However, the 850R is a freaking wicked wagon. It's really nice. My ONLY reservations are:
1. Reliability
2. Maintenance cost.

I KNOW the OBS is reliable with that 2.2L. Subarus are generally fairly expensive to work on.
What about Volvo? I would assume they are expensive to work on, probably more so than Suby. I have heard good things about Volvo reliability too...

Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Mark
 

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Premium Member
2012 camry se 6AT
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2,809 Posts
For performance and enjoyment, I would go for the turbo 850R. My cousin had one and it is a great handler for a front drive. I also really like the classic Volvo design on the 850. Sleek and mean. Sleeper somewhat too. My cousin is a SAAB/Volvo mechanic and claims they are the Shiznit! 850Rs come only in AT FYI if you care. The base 850s aren't bad either and on par power to weight ratio as the n/a Imprezas.

For cheap maintainence, I would opt for the Subaru. IMHO, I also think Subies are fairly easy to work on. I also don't take reliability ratings literally. You care for what you own and it will last you. (fords and chevys that another story)

I think a better comparison would be:

850 wagon vs Impreza OBS

850R wagon vs Impreza WRX wagon

Good luck on your search.
 

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BLUE WASABI, (#2 Info Provider)
2008 SG Model D
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9,051 Posts
Hard to say...probably performance wise w/ a sweet interior would be Volvo but subaru is pretty comfy inside and is more reliable. Volvo is probably the best all around package (i.e. looks, performance, comfort). Tough call b/c both are real nice rides. I would probably go w/ the Volvo...guess it depends on how deep your pockets are.;)

Also, subarus are one of the cheapest cars to work on AFAIK and what consumer reports stated last year. You can always get PDX to tune your OBS XT to 400WHP, change the brakes suspension and seats to better stuff...but you will loose the warranty unlike the Volvo which already has a decent amount. I still say get the volvo w/ a nice full warranty, don't mod it and live happily ever after.

Okay just reread and noticed these weren't brand new cars...yes I got up at 4:45AM and NO I don't drink coffee. Hmm, now I have no idea...good luck.
 

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The Volvo is an excellent choice. My fiancee's parents have a 1995 850 (non-turbo) and have been extremely happy with it. The interior is so so but the seats are some of the most comfortable I have ever experienced. Even the back seat is very comfortable in prolonged drives.

Consumer Reports spoke well of the 850 in it's day, it's one of the few Volvos ever made that had good all round reliability. It's also a very fast car.

I drove a turbo once and I thought it didn't have very good power/throttle response off the line. Keep in mind that it does 0-60 in 7 seconds, and most of that is the automatic/turbo combo is taking its sweet time to kick in. Once the turbo arrives though, the power is incredible. I am sure a manual could chop at least a second or more off that number. It takes some getting used to the turbo/automatic combo, and around town the auto robs the motor of a lot of potential. On the highway though it's a great car.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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sirwilliam said:
You can always get PDX to tune your OBS XT to 400WHP, change the brakes suspension and seats to better stuff...but you will loose the warranty unlike the Volvo which already has a decent amount.
There is no OBS XT... you're thinking Legacy Outback. The OBS is an NA Impreza.
 

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Premium Member
2004 Forester XT PP
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10,114 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Nuvolari said:
The Volvo is an excellent choice. My fiancee's parents have a 1995 850 (non-turbo) and have been extremely happy with it. The interior is so so but the seats are some of the most comfortable I have ever experienced. Even the back seat is very comfortable in prolonged drives.

Consumer Reports spoke well of the 850 in it's day, it's one of the few Volvos ever made that had good all round reliability. It's also a very fast car.

I drove a turbo once and I thought it didn't have very good power/throttle response off the line. Keep in mind that it does 0-60 in 7 seconds, and most of that is the automatic/turbo combo is taking its sweet time to kick in. Once the turbo arrives though, the power is incredible. I am sure a manual could chop at least a second or more off that number. It takes some getting used to the turbo/automatic combo, and around town the auto robs the motor of a lot of potential. On the highway though it's a great car.
Thanks for taking the time to post. The Volvo sounds awesome, but they all seem to have a few problems that are extremely costly.
i.e: Most of the 850 wagons had A/C condensor problems. They cost like $1400 to get replaced.

However, I know all cars have "common flaws" so that's not really holding me back. I think, in all honesty, I'll buy whichever one I can find closer to me. I need a car on the quick! ;)
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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One more thing, Mark... the OBS will feel really cramped in comparison to the Volvo. It's one reason why I upgraded to the Forester. I just couldn't live with the size anymore. Also, the seats are somewhat uncomfortable as they lack lumbar support. Long trips always caused me fatigue and backaches after a few hours. If I were to own one of the older models again, I'd swap in some WRX seats.
 

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2004 Forester XT PP
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10,114 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
pleiad7 said:
One more thing, Mark... the OBS will feel really cramped in comparison to the Volvo. It's one reason why I upgraded to the Forester. I just couldn't live with the size anymore. Also, the seats are somewhat uncomfortable as they lack lumbar support. Long trips always caused me fatigue and backaches after a few hours. If I were to own one of the older models again, I'd swap in some WRX seats.
thanks for the tips. I think I'd be equally happy with both choices...although the thought of having another suby in the family sounds really nice :)
 
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