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Diesel buying advice/opinions - newguy

Im a new member but have been an active reader for a few months :)

My question is I have seen a Volvo S40 diesel for sale. Its a 2000 w reg. 163000 miles with full history. Looks clean and tidy. Asking price is £1450.

are these cars any good? I dont know where I read it or heard it. ...are these renault engines?
Are these as well built as the larger volvos we always here about with starship enterprise miles?
Any known problems or anything to watch out for?
I need the car for a 100 mile daily commute so a cheap reliable diesel is the way forward (I think)

Any opinions from current / past owners?

Cheers Guys


Edited by Pugugly on 22/04/2009 at 00:08

Volvo s40 Diesel buying advice/opinions - bell boy
too many miles and too old for what you need
why not buy a nice tidy fiesta zetec for your 50 mile each way jaunt?
Volvo s40 Diesel buying advice/opinions - newguy
sorry meant 100 mile each way commute , so total of 200 miles a day.
I need the car to be comfortable, reasonably quick or at least able to keep up with traffic, reliable and economical. Hence looking at a diesel.
I dont have a big budget unfortunately due to personal circumstances. I need a workhorse to get me to work and back!
Volvo s40 Diesel buying advice/opinions - bell boy
you are buying a car thats done lots of miles and yourself going to cover a 1000 a week
there is no way i would buy this volvo as nice as it looks and with its paperwork stack
what would i buy with £1400
a mondeo petrol 1.8 or 2.0 litre with a lowest mileage as possible backed up with the fact the car looks genuine
you will get similar mgg and no big bills (clutch excepted)
Volvo s40 Diesel buying advice/opinions - Avant
That's a very long trip each day. I'd suggest something Japanese but not too small - maybe Toyota Corolla /Avensis, Nissan Almera / Primera, Mazda 323 / 626.

Seriously, maybe think about getting a bedsit near your place of work during the week. You'll be too tired to work effectively if you don't; and the costs may be quite favourable compared with the costs of running an old car doing about 50,000 miles a year.
Volvo s40 Diesel buying advice/opinions - bell boy
a bedsit avant?
you will be telling him to get an old dormobile next
i dont think 100 miles each way is that many if hes under 30 but you are probably right as he fancies a volvo v40
i would also have said a primera 2.0 litre old shape up to 51 plate but i drive one so thought a ford might be a breath of fresh air
Volvo s40 Diesel buying advice/opinions - ifithelps
Two hundred miles a day is £25-odd in fuel alone.

Has to be a bedsit/bed and breakfast surely?

Cheaper and less stressful.

I once did three days of about 110 miles each way for a one-off job at work.

By the third day I'd had more than enough.

I wouldn't take on 100 miles each way 'all found' in a £25k car, let alone on the OP's low budget.
Volvo s40 Diesel buying advice/opinions - EoinM
My buddy has one at a similar mileage. Going like a train to be honest which was susprising to me.

But as someone who has a long commute, don't buy a high mileage car to begin with if you're going to rack them up. Buy as low a lieage car as possible and try get one with a full service history. Mondeo suggestion is good, B&B is's what I do most nights these days
Volvo s40 Diesel buying advice/opinions - Alby Back
I can understand anyone wanting to get home as much as possible.I have spent my life travelling albeit usually to different destinations each day or week. Staying away is not all it's cracked up to be. I'd still rather have an hour in the late evening at home with my family than stay away.

I do about 1000 miles a week a lot of the time. Tried all sorts of cars from expensive premium ones to real bangers. Best compromise for me is a Mondeo. Cheap to buy and run. Safe and reliable. Most of all, comfortable.
Diesel buying advice/opinions - Downesi1
There a re a number of things that you should think about before buying the car;


In no particular order. If your doing a 200 mile motorway commute then I'm sure that a diesel Volvo will be a great car. However if your doing less motorway an more town/B road driving I'd be looking for a lower mileage car.

Comfy, safe, economical, reliable (all mine have been) and in the right price bracket would be the 406 hdi.

Personally I belive that on a 1000 mile weekly commute a diesel would be best.
Diesel buying advice/opinions - newguy
I really want to get home every night. Better comfort at home.
Im under 30 by the way and have 3 kids all under 5 yrs old so would like to spend some time with them every night.

80% of my commute is on motorways. rest on free flowing A roads.

Im thinking of making my own bio diesel, few mates already make some so I was looking at cost saving from that angle.
Unfortunately cant afford anything more than £2k, but would like to spend less.
Diesel buying advice/opinions - TheOilBurner
Looking at it like this (from what you're suggesting):

Buy a £2k car, put 50k miles on a year and then scrap it after 2 years (unless it still seems bullet proof).

That way your depreciation is only £1k a year on top of your £5k fuel bill.
Seems sensible enough.

Given that, I wouldn't want to be putting 100k miles on a car that has already done 163k!! Forget about the Volvo badge, it's Renault engine and the car as a whole is not built like Volvos of yore (although many Volvo fans might disagree..).

I would say, go down the Mondeo/Vectra route. Only way to do it without messing about too much with awkward motors that promise more than they can deliver.

It shouldn't be a problem to find a 2002-03 Vectra C with a 2.0 DTI engine (or even the 1.8 petrol, not much different in costs) and around 100k miles on the clock for £2k privately. Get one that's been cared for and continue looking after it and you stand a better chance of making it last than with the Volvo above, IMHO.

I wouldn't bother spending more on lower mileage, newer cars because the depreciation will be savage. At least with the cheaper cars you can always bin them without too much worry if something does go bang.
Diesel buying advice/opinions - Alby Back
Not saying this is a good car or not but just by way of an example....

I put in "Any make", "Diesel", "under £2000", "under 100k" and "under 5years old" on AT and found a 2004 Astra estate with 70k for £1950. Can be done.........
Diesel buying advice/opinions - Brian Tryzers
I have a long motorway commute too - although not quite 100 miles each way and not often five days a week, thank goodness. I do it in a six-year-old Volvo S60 D5, which is pretty well perfect for the task and does a good job of making it tolerable.
I have to say, though, that the S60 is in a different league from the old S40 / V40. I've driven S40s as dealer courtesy cars and didn't like them at all, and certainly wouldn't fancy spending four hours a day in one.

Assuming this is a new job, so you've not yet tried out the commute to see how it affects you, I'd advise you to be very careful in considering your options. If you must drive every day, you need a car that is comfortable and capable - not just the seats, but the noise level and the ability of the engine to keep up with the flow on a busy motorway without leaving you frazzled by the effort of keeping it going. Without all these, you'll be little use to your employer or your family, and you could be a hazard to yourself and your fellow road users.

But I agree with the others here that if you have to be there every day, you should look into staying away at least a couple of nights a week. If you work normal office hours, I also fear you're deluding yourself if you think you'll be home in time to deliver more than a bedtime kiss to your under-fives. That's been my experience over the last two years, so I do stay over from time to time.

Personally, I put up with the long drive because I enjoy my job but would rather live where I do than on the western fringe of London where I work. I can also work at home, and I travel abroad on business, both of which reduce my driving time. And finally, the job I do pays me enough to cover the cost of running a car that's up to the task of getting there. I obviously don't know your personal circumstances - and I don't mean to pry - but this seems an awful long way to go for a job that leaves you only £1,000 to spend on a car.

DP will be along in a minute to tell us how he picked up an old S60 for a song and is delighted with it. You could probably have my D5 for not much over £3,000 if I had any inclination to part with it - by which I mean to say that there are comfortable options available for not much more than the budget you've set. You might even find a Citroen C5, which would be wonderfully wafty and probably very cheap. Look carefully, and make sure you're comfortable. You're taking on a tough assignment and I wish you well with it - but if your original question was 'Should I buy that old Volvo?', my answer would be 'No'.

Value my car