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Looking for my first Volvo. Why so HARD TO FIND?

  #1  
Old 07-22-2018, 12:31 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Pottstown, PA
Posts: 13
Question Looking for my first Volvo. Why so HARD TO FIND?

All,

I am hoping to buy my first Volvo soon, but I'm encountering some obstacles. My first obstacle is that there are very few of them near where I live (Pottstown, PA). I'm finding that I mostly have to drive 45 minutes at least to find a car that I can test drive. I've only been able to find 3 cars within 20 minutes of my house! That includes private party and dealers.

Is having to search far and wide a typical experience for people looking to buy a used Volvo?

I'm looking for some advice regarding my approach. I hope some of you will chime in here.

Volvo Acquisition Objective
I have two teens, an older daughter, and a wife, plus many pets that live in my household. We are down to one car (her Sienna), and I currently need a car for myself. I would use it to go into the office once or twice a week (45 min / 35 mi away). Then use it to take kids places, errands, etc.
The older teen will be getting her permit this year, while the younger one will be getting his permit in about 2.5 years. The thought is that this is the car they will learn to drive in, and then actually use after they get their license.
The overarching objective is to leverage Volvo safety designs to keep my kids and their passengers alive while they learn how to drive.
At some point in the next 3 or 4 years, hopefully I can transfer ownership to one of them and get myself something better.


Constraints
  • Budget is $5200 plus taxes and fees
  • Wife is adamant about needing 7 seats based on our lifestyle, and she's mostly right. We're frequently hauling more than 5 people in our Sienna, which has about 246k miles and won't last forever. Therefore we're looking at XC90, V70, XC70 models with 7 seats.
  • Cannot afford major repairs or maintenance bills in the first 12 months.
  • Don't much care for fancy gadgets, luxury, or awesome engine performance.


Questions
  1. Is there a club of local Volvo owners that I could join for car buying advice?
  2. Volvo dealers don't have anything close to this price point in their online inventories. Are they likely to have good used cars that they just don't advertise?
  3. Would it be better to work up a relationship with independent Volvo repair shops?
  4. Where can I find a list of gotcha's to look for in these specific models while I inspect them or test drive them?


That's all for now.

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!!

Best,
JPG.
 
  #2  
Old 07-22-2018, 10:31 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Birmingham AL
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If your wife is "adamant" about needing 7 seats, you are only going to find that in the XC90. The XC70 with the third seat barely accommodates a toddler - within a year they are too large for that tiny seat.
 
  #3  
Old 07-22-2018, 03:01 PM
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Location: Ridgefield, CT
Posts: 4,664
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there are plenty of online buyer tools - I tend to browse autotrader.com (how I found my 2012) which is used both by dealers and private sales. I also like KBB.com to see local market sale price estimates to get a sense of the market pricing for a given model - ie if you have a budget of 5200 - look for the private sale and dealer pricing for various years of the XC90s - as I agree with Tony that the XC70 and V70s are 5 passenger cars with a "jump seat" for toddlers. In terms of buying, based on your budget, I'd expect you can find something in the 2004 to 2007 model years with 125 to 175K miles for that price. I suspect you'd need to cut a 200 mile range for your search. You may also want to check out the auctions in Manheim... but you'd need to have some mechanic skills with you.
 
  #4  
Old 07-22-2018, 03:17 PM
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Location: Birmingham AL
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Why not let your wife find the car?
 
  #5  
Old 07-22-2018, 03:35 PM
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Location: Ridgefield, CT
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lol, that's how I came to own a Toyota :-)
 
  #6  
Old 07-24-2018, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Pottstown, PA
Posts: 13
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@Tony:
  • I looked at the specs for the 3rd seat V70 / XC70 and I agree they will not meet my needs.
  • If I let my wife find the car, we'll end up with something like this (hahaha):



@Mike:
  • Really hoping I won't have to go 200 miles to find a car. I'm not a collector or Volvo superfan (at least not yet). I cannot afford to cast such a wide net.
  • I wish I could go to the auctions but I'm not knowledgeable enough.

Thanks,
JPG.
 
  #7  
Old 07-27-2018, 08:45 PM
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Location: Placerville, CA
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Try Ebay, lots of nice cars. Cars.com and Autotrader also work great. Craigslist is no good anymore, at least in my area.
 
  #8  
Old 07-30-2018, 11:15 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 28
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I highly recommend checking European Motors out in Reading, PA, which isn't far from you. European Motors Volvo

We bought our first C70 from them after finding it online. They worked with us and answered all the questions we had. After deciding to purchase, they came in on a weekend to close the deal, as we were coming from 6 hours away.

They get cars in all price ranges, and might even be able to find a car that meets your needs if you talk with them. All they do are Volvos, service and sales, and have many repeat customers.
 
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