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  #1  
Old 27th May 2004
ccrnnr9 ccrnnr9 is offline
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Default 9000 vs. jetta, 3-series, volvo 850, etc.

Hey guys, I am new to these forums, so go easy on me!
I currently drive a 96' Mazda Miata. I am going to be leaving for school in the fall and want something that is a bit bigger and has room for more than two people. I am looking at a couple different cars and the 9000 is one of them. I have always loved the euro styling of the 9000. I have a budget of about 5000$ initially. I will have more money to add up's and such later, but I want to keep the spending on the car alone to 5000$. Other cars I am looking at include the Volvo 850t, VW jetta, or BMW 3-series. Here is what I am looking for in a car:
1. Reliability (I dont care if parts are expensive, as long as it is reliable).
2. Looks, I really like to have a car that isnt something you see everyday. For example, civics are everywhere.
3. Relatively easy maintenance.
4. Fun to drive...this includes it being rather quick (sub 8sec 0-60 times), rather nimble, but at the same time good for 4 hour road trips.

Please give me any advice you can! I am looking mainly at comparisons. If you can give me a run down of the different models that would be great. Feel free to throw in any other suggestions!
~Nick
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  #2  
Old 27th May 2004
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CleveSaab CleveSaab is offline
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I'd stay away form the VW. Been hearing more and more horror stories about them lately. Everyone has a bimmer.
I'd look at the 9K or the Volvo.
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  #3  
Old 27th May 2004
ccrnnr9 ccrnnr9 is offline
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Any reason to pick the 9k over the 850 or vice versa? I would say that my favorite of the four as far as looks goes is probably the 850 or the Jetta.
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  #4  
Old 27th May 2004
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You may get a somewhat biased opinion here :wink:

but as far as it goes - the volvo and the Saab are the most reliable choises, sure the parts are a bit more, but 200,000 miles saabs and volvos are common, the same can't be said for many VW's or BMW's.
As for ride and handling, the Saab wins over the volvo. Volvo's tend to be on the soft side, which is nice for flat smooth roads, but it makes me seasick when I drive my parents 850GLT.

go for the saab... you know you want to
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  #5  
Old 27th May 2004
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benji9k benji9k is offline
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Default Re: 9000 vs. jetta, 3-series, volvo 850, etc.

Let me start by saying, you're probably gonna get a biased answer here. But it will most likey be the right answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrnnr9
1. Reliability (I dont care if parts are expensive, as long as it is reliable).
I've heard some real horror stories about Jettas as far as reliability. Windows getting stuck down, brake calipers failing, throttle bodies breaking, etc. It scares me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrnnr9
2. Looks, I really like to have a car that isnt something you see everyday. For example, civics are everywhere.
For individuality, the 9000, has them all beat. Hands down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrnnr9
3. Relatively easy maintenance.
I'd say they all have their weak points. As long as you read up on failure rates, and know what to expect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrnnr9
4. Fun to drive...this includes it being rather quick (sub 8sec 0-60 times), rather nimble, but at the same time good for 4 hour road trips.
oooh, fun to drive. Well the BMW's got rear-wheel drive, but the saab, and the volvo got the turbos. choices, choices.

I guess in the end, it comes down to personal preference. That and a de-badged 9000T with a "Honda-killer" sticker across the windshield and 300hp would make me drool.
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  #6  
Old 27th May 2004
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well as others have said, youre gonna get a biased opinion, but ill tell you anyway .

ive driven both a 94 850 wagon and a 96 9000cs both base model automatics :-? for a few miles (one was my grandmothers former car and one my moms current)and i can say that the Saab wins hands down. and at your price range you could even get an Aero if you look carefully, and with 225hp and recaro seats you couldnt go wrong :wink: . but really its up to personal preference betwwen the two.

oh and also the newer volvos (850's mostly) are not nearly as sturdy as their ancestors were. my grandmothers basically started to fall apart around 100k . so be careful.

Paul
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  #7  
Old 27th May 2004
Rhino2.3t Rhino2.3t is offline
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the dub's a bit bland.. the 850 will see off a set of tyres in record time (they only manage 5k per front set in my experience - something to do with the geometry?)..having said that the T5R is a world apart from the GLE..
9000 will do the highway treks unlike any other, (regardless of price) whilst munching ricers if you're thoughtful toward the transmission.. (just zap 'em when they're already doing 40)

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  #8  
Old 27th May 2004
CosmicSaab CosmicSaab is offline
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What year BMW are you looking at? For $5,000 it isn't going to be anything within the last 2 generations I believe the current one is the E46, and the last was the E36, so you'd be looking at something before then. If it was an E36 I'd say go for it. I'd stay away from the Jetta. You might also want to look at the previous generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the old Mercedes are industructable. They'll run forever without any problems, and the new ones are getting that way again too, anything from Mercedes that is between 2000 and 2004 are problematic, but the ones before then are great. They are not very common either. You could also look at the first gen A4, though they are sometimes problematic.

And the Acura CL is another option.
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  #9  
Old 27th May 2004
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What? No love for the 9-3/900 model? Some wont drive it because of the looks, but that hatch is nice when you're packing up for school, and there is something to be said for the reliability. The 9000 is a bigger car, but it is also offered with some enticing engine choices. The 850 T5R is a cool car (222 hp I think?) but was never offered with a stick-shift. I dont know if 5K will get you one of the newer turbo Jettas, and I can assure you that you wont find a Bimmer for 5K that will keep you happy. If you find one with enough power, it will be much too old with too many miles. If you find one with the right mileage, you're probably looking at a 318ti. Good luck, I hope you find a car that you enjoy.
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  #10  
Old 27th May 2004
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I would not, as the owner of many different VW's over the years and a 01 jetta currently...get one for $5000 unless you get it from a VERY reliable source...i have had some very bad luck with used VW's while others have been great. of the great ones the first was purchased from a VW mechanic that i already trusted the other from a VW dealer that my family had been buysing from for years(for $5000 actually). Both were great and ran forever. One was an early 80's jetta the other an 89 GTI.
They are not hard to work on, on the contrary i learned much of what i know from VW engines. That said, when a VW goes bad it can go rrrrreeeeelllly bad.

Also keep in mind that it does not matter how expensive a part is if you can't find it....get something easy to find parts for....although i can't imagine anything you listed would casue that much issue.

I would stay away from BMW. i'll leave it at that

I would say Saab or Volvo...depending on where you are headed for school both will be great in the snow and for the most part reliable. i had a friend who started his Volvo with a spoon! once started that thing ran forever. like a Swedish tank
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  #11  
Old 27th May 2004
bassist5 bassist5 is offline
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A good friend of mine recently bought a BMW 3-Series (1992)... Red, 4-dr manual.. really nice looking car. It's got 130,000 miles and still running strong.. I guess that's a lot for a Bimmer.. They're not bad cars, they're really not.

On the other hand, I'd stay away from the Jetta if I were you.. Another friend of mine had a '95 Jetta and little things kept breaking on her.. at first it wasn't a big deal but after a while it added up.. This is just personal opinion, but the Jetta IIIs are hideous.. the old ones I like tho..

And, of course, if it comes down to Volvo vs. Saab, you know what to pick :wink:
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  #12  
Old 27th May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassist5
A good friend of mine recently bought a BMW 3-Series (1992)... Red, 4-dr manual.. really nice looking car. It's got 130,000 miles and still running strong.. I guess that's a lot for a Bimmer.. They're not bad cars, they're really not.
I certainly DO NOT hate bimmers, I rather like some of them
*BUT*
A) Much more expensive to care for than any Saab/Volvo
B) Much more expensive to BUY and INSURE
C) and they are EVERYWHERE.

An older SAAB/VOLVO will save you a ton on insurance.
They are safe and are very very very low down on the "top stolen cars" list. (In fact, S/V don't even make this list).
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  #13  
Old 27th May 2004
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Mattlach Mattlach is offline
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Default Re: 9000 vs. jetta, 3-series, volvo 850, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrnnr9
...and want something that is a bit bigger and has room for more than two people.
There are already answers for most of the questions ypu asked in this thread.

I'll adress the size.

I'm a 6'3" guy and I fit more comfortably in a Saab 9000 and a Volvo 850 than I do in either a Jetta or a BMW 3 series.

I mean, Jettas and 3 Series are really quite tiny cars. (well at least by American standards)

The 9000 and 850 are roughly similar in size, and allow people to sit comfortably in the back seat as well as in the front, something that can not be said for either the Jetta or the 3 series.

If you want to compare cars roughly closer in size from those manufacturers I'd look at the following:

Volvo 850t vs Saab 9000 (Aero if you can find one) vs. VW Passat vs. BMW 5 series.

here the Saab and the Volvo will win in the reliability segment. They will also be much cheaper than the 5 series. The 5 series will probably be the most fun to drive, but it will be very expensive and probably on its last legs.

Don't even bother looking at the Passat. its slow, boreing and reliablity wise a nightmare.

just my $.02
--matt
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  #14  
Old 27th May 2004
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something else i should add, the 9000 being the only hatchback in the bunch, with the seats down and the rear shelf out, you can fit some large items in the back, assuming the volvo isn't a wagon. Also worth mentioning, is that for $5000, you can get an excellent condition saab 9000, and still have money left over for a new exhaust or something else nice
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  #15  
Old 27th May 2004
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Although, even if the 850 is an estate, with the seats down, a C900 hatchback has a larger floor space / deeper boot.

(As we found out trying, or rather, failing to fit a new fridge-freezer into my parents 850, then succeded fitting it into our T16...)
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  #16  
Old 27th May 2004
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Reliability:
Jetta (Mexican) = OK. Not great, but take a stickshift and OK, automatic sucks.

9000 = Excellent. Shy away from ETS system on ~92-93 9000 turbos. LPT's and Trionic, natural aspirated and older ones are fine.

850 = Excellent.

3 Series = Very good/excellent but costly to fix.

Looks:
Jetta = Lame. Sometimes less lame, but nonetheless lame.
9000 = early models (86-90) ehh... later models are lookers.
850 = did someone say boxy?
3-series = Pretty nice but popular

Maintenance:
Jetta = Fairly easy most things
9000 = Same
850 = Pain in the ***** says Volvo owning cousin, bought an Acura.
3-series = OK

Performance:
Jetta = not, unless it's 1.8t or VR6. TDI is peppy.
9000 = Very,
850 = Not unless it's an R or a T5.
3-series = need to get an M3 or at very least a 328i.


4hr road trips? 9000!!!!! I've done some 4500km jaunts in a Jetta (A3), and the thing dances all over the road over 160km/h - it sucks.
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  #17  
Old 27th May 2004
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Be aware of the people's car as it is known to be a POS.
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  #18  
Old 27th May 2004
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ok so to summarize:

jetta:

beemer:

volvo: if you have to

saab: 8) GO FOR IT!!!

Paul
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  #19  
Old 28th May 2004
Saab-VS-VW Saab-VS-VW is offline
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ive had my 900 SPG for a little over 5 months now... its cost me about 1,700 in parts and labor.... i had a VW GTi back in the day that only got its hood lifted to rinse the engine during washes.. guess its different for everyone but my VW was bullet proof, the turbo in the saab is MUCH more fun, but in my opinion also more expensive...
bob
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  #20  
Old 28th May 2004
ccrnnr9 ccrnnr9 is offline
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Thanks for all the replies! I really appreciate them! I guess I have pretty much narrowed it down to the saab or the volvo (Im also looking at a nissan pathfinder or toyota 4runner as Im a big outdoors guy, but thats a different debate). I was wondering if you can give me a run down of the different saab 9000 models and that in comparison to the Volvo 850 ones. How do each preform?
~Nick
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