Replacing my Volvo S80 - Paul Robinson
I?ve been driving for nearly 34 years now and have never had a car for as long as the last 4 years that I?ve been driving a January 2002 Volvo S80 2.4 (140) SE manual, but I?d now like to decide what to replace it with.

I do about 300 miles per week, 95% within a 20 mile radius of home. It can be increasingly difficult to quickly find a parking space big enough for the Volvo at some of the places I visit regularly, but I do need to carry four large adults at times. For the last 2 years we have been living in the country, so I need to take into consideration that most of the year the car will be covered in mud from the tracks and will regularly get driven up verges and rubbed against hedges squeezing past other traffic in the lanes. Most of the year our staffy/corgi cross is also covered in mud and would be better in the boot than on a rug and strapped to the back seat. Reliability is now more important than ever as there are no buses/ taxis/car hire close by.

I use my car to visit a wide range of business clients with my work as an Accountant/Consultant. Budget is £15K max, I?d be happier at £10K and I don?t want anything more than 3 years old.

Suggestions please??
Replacing my Volvo S80 - OldSock
Volvo V50?
Replacing my Volvo S80 - Brian Tryzers
Four large adults in a package shorter than an S80 - presumably significantly shorter if parking length is a problem - should be pushing you towards mid-size MPVs. That suggests Scenic (which might not qualify on grounds of reliability) Touran (perhaps likewise, although experiences here vary), Toyota Verso, Ford C-Max and Mazda 5. The last two might work for your country lane requirements, since they have second rows that aren't really wide enough for three but take two comfortably, so the car is less wide overall. The C-Max also doesn't bother with a third row of seats, which you don't need, and so has a lower boot floor for your dog to jump into. Lots of them about within your budget, and with a wide choice of engines.
Replacing my Volvo S80 - Brian Tryzers
Forgot to mention the various Citroen Picassos, but if you're used to Volvo ergonomics, you'll find twisting your neck towards the far side of the mantelpiece to read the instruments intolerable.
Replacing my Volvo S80 - apm
We really liked the S80 when looking for a new car recently, but felt that it was just too big a lump of car for everyday suburban life (parallel parking, supermarket car parks etc.), so ended up with an S60. Most of the refinement and toys of the 80, just a smaller platform (we find plenty of room in the back but it's been criticised so best check for yourselves). Your £10k should get you an 06 plate or later; we chose the D5 (185 bhp) engine which is a peach, paid £12k for an 07 with 25k). £15k should get you a last of the line 08 plate (the model has just been discontinued; a new S60 is out, I think, in 2010). We've had the 60 for 2 weeks now and absolutely love everything about it.

Hope this helps,

Replacing my Volvo S80 - ex-Triumph man
In my mind, there is only one car that will meet your needs. the Volvo XC70. Still carries 4 adults, the dog, go up and down country lanes/verges etc all at the same time.
Game set and match!
Replacing my Volvo S80 - davros
I'd take a Subaru Outback over an XC70 any day. Cheaper, nicer to drive and more relaible :-)

Replacing my Volvo S80 - TheOilBurner
XC70 is still 4.7m long (compared to 4.8m for the S80) and practically the same width, so not much of an improvement.

The V50 as suggested above will be good (especially for the dog!) at just 4.5m long and a few crucial cm narrower. Plus, the turning circle is better, so it's easier to get it into tight spots.

You'll still get 95% of everything a Volvo should be, and it's better equipped (and more comfortable+safer IMO) than the Ford Focus it's based on.

If you've been happy with the detuned Volvo 2.4 140 lump, then a regular 2.0 four pot petrol might suit you fine. If you want an auto you're looking at a 2.0D with Powershift (probably out of budget) or a D5 with conventional auto or maybe another 2.4 five pot, but this time knocking out 167bhp. You might even find yourself drawn to the cracking 220bhp T5 with AWD, but I suspect that's not what you're after.

To be honest, as much as I love my S80, I also find the sheer size of the thing (plus a very poor turning circle) can be a problem in many car parks and narrow lanes. Downsizing seems to be the way to go, but it just doesn't seem the same to be squashed in something like a V50 somehow.... :)

Edited by TheOilBurner on 17/02/2009 at 17:46

Replacing my Volvo S80 - Paul Robinson
Thanks for the suggestions so far. In an ideal world I'd like almost as much interior space as the S80, with a more compact exterior. I think a V50 will be too tight for room in the back, but will put the C-max on the short list.
Replacing my Volvo S80 - PST
Sounds like the requirements have CRV written all over them. Reliable, lots of rear space for adult passengers, ideal for muddy dog and muddy lanes and surprisingly nimble in town and reasonably refined. Petrol and diesel options for your budget and nearly a foot shorter than the S80.
Replacing my Volvo S80 - motorprop
or a Nissan X Trail ( not 2.2 diesel 136 bhp ) , plenty of very well specced 07 models for about £8k, with the option of switchable 4wd
Replacing my Volvo S80 - slender75

Last year I was in a very similar situation as you needing to replace my beloved '02 S80. My reasons were different to you but I looked long and hard for a car that was comfortable with lots of front leg room and could carry four adults. I also live in the sticks with not a shop or a bus stop for miles and my car is no stranger to being plastered in mud. I bought a 6 month old Mercedes A Class and remain absolutely delighted with it. You could get a 6 month old model easily within your budget.

Good luck with your choice.
Replacing my Volvo S80 - Brian Tryzers
> For the last 2 years we have been living in the country, so I need to take into consideration that most of the year the car will be covered in mud from the tracks and will regularly get driven up verges and rubbed against hedges squeezing past other traffic in the lanes.

At the risk of poking the ants' nest, which bit of the OP's statement said 'My normal, big-wheeled saloon car is constantly getting stuck or grounding on farm tracks, so please recommend some pseudo-offroad vanity 4x4 to replace it'?
My Volvo saloon has been driven on country lanes and farm tracks in many parts of England, Wales and France, and while I've occasionally wished it weren't quite so wide, it's never been defeated for want of 4WD. Nor, I suspect, has the OP's S80.
All 4WD does here is raise the floor (and the access height for the dog), reduce the space inside, add weight and increase fuel consumption. If a CRV or X-Trail's big mudguards and spotlights on the roof let you think you've bought a 'lifestyle' rather than a 'mumsy MPV', then that's a fine example of the self-delusion that keeps marketing people employed.

I'll go and find some antihistamine cream.
Replacing my Volvo S80 - PST
In hindsight, you're right. I hadn't considered the social implications of driving a "pseudo-offroad vanity 4x4" and how apopletic certain sections of the public would get if you chose one. (Typical of a 4x4 driver really)!

I was really thinking of rear leg room (which I'll stick my neck out and say no Volvo can match) and reliabilty which I don't have to stick my neck out on.

But as we all know, sticking with the existing car is the most economically sensible and green thing to do and failing that buy a Mondeo.
Replacing my Volvo S80 - Paul Robinson
I don't need to be economically sensible or green. If I had to do lots of long distances a Mondeo would be on the short list, but they are as big and awkward to park as the S80 now.
Replacing my Volvo S80 - PST
Paul, the last sentence was meant to be tongue in cheek in response to WdB.

My day to day car has been a big saloon and is currently an Impreza. But in many ways I prefer driving the wife's CRV - especially when I have 4 people/dog to cart around. I find the height useful around town and down the country lanes (genuine advantage seeing over some hedgerows etc). It's very easy to park due to light controls and most importantly I don't have to make an age related grunting noise when I get in or out of it.

It's 2 wheel drive 99.9% of the time and I think worthy of a look/test drive, that's all - as would be an X-Trail, A-class or smaller Volvo.