Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

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pittpirate1985
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Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by pittpirate1985 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:28 pm

So I am an avid Boglehead but have been a quiet lurker - reasonably conservative in spending. Do not see reasons to buy very expensive cars, etc. I drove a Honda Civic for 8 years, despite being in what is considered a rich profession where people show off their cars. Now the time has come to buy a bigger car.

This is more of a would-you rather question - would you rather buy a Volvo XC90 T8 2017 Hybrid with 20K miles, or a new XC90 T6 non-hybrid for the same price? Cost is around 55K for both, 60K with taxes. Explanations for your preference would help. Any pros and cons of buying a one-year vehicle with those many miles on it? Thanks in advance.

My other option is a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but that will probably be around 40K. A new T8 Inscription Hybrid is out of my price range. However, the Highlander Hybrid is not REALLY a hybrid.. it gives 29 MPG in the city, and nothing much on the highway, compared to an XC90 T8 which is significantly better on a highway (around 55 MPG).

here are some of the priorities -
1. 3 row SUV is key. Ideally 7-8 seater.
2. Safety is priority. AWD.
3. Minivan not acceptable to spouse.
4. I like nice things. I was conservative with the Civic as it was my first car, but it would be nice to have good interiors for this car.
5. Hybrid is optional. Live in city, and live in an area that does not really incentivize environmentally friendly cars (no lanes for fuel efficient vehicles on highway). Would like hybrid for personal reasons, do not want to contribute to pollution, but dont want to break the bank.
6. I am grouchy when it comes to spending money on things I dont need e.g. premium unleaded gas. I suspect the XC90 may need me to do that. Its fine, and i can get used to it though.

Options I have entertained by driving/reading these forums and other websites are:
1. Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2. Volvo XC90 Hybrid/non-hybrid T8 model.
3. Honda Pilot (maybe)

I have not tested out a Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder or Mitsubishi Outlander but hear that the third row seats are not large enough for adults.

Tesla is too expensive. I ideally dont want to spend more than 50K, but can push to 60K if I have to. Would really like to spend as little as possible, but obviously get bang for the buck. Nice interiors would help.

Other question is whether its worth buying a new hybrid, or leasing a hybrid/non-hybrid for a few years, and then buying a new one in 3 years with better technology. I could probably hang on to what I buy for 10-15 years, but have heard hybrids start going bad in 8-10 years, and technology is constantly improving.

Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks!

delamer
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by delamer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:12 pm

I would not buy a car that had been on the road for only one year and had 20K miles on it.

That use is too heavy.

We almost always buy used, but only vehicles with 10K or less per year.

PS There is nothing in the Boglehead principles listed on this site that address what type of cars Bogleheads should buy or how much they should cost.
Last edited by delamer on Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Housedoc
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Housedoc » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:15 pm

I bought my wife a new 2017 Highlander Limited. Not a hybrid but we love it. 15K on it. Many trips. MPG 27 or better highway with AC @75. Many safety features. Costco auto buying pgm very good. I enjoy the haggle but Costco gives invoice pricing for each option. I ordered mine and saved cash and time

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Alexa9
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:21 pm

Highlander is a bulletproof vehicle that you can easily drive for 15 years with regular maintenance. Clear choice to me. The Honda Pilot would be a good comparison shopper.

GT99
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by GT99 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:00 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:12 pm
I would not buy a car that had been on the road for only one year and had 20K miles on it.

That use is too heavy.

We almost always buy used, but only vehicles with 10K or less per year.

PS There is nothing in the Boglehead principles listed on this site that address what type of cars Bogleheads should buy or how much they should cost.
The higher the mileage, the more likely the mileage is highway, which is lower wear and tear. The difference between 10k and 20k is negligible without knowing how it was driven - the price reduction for the higher miles is probably worth it.
Not to mention, for that short of time-frame, you can't assume 1 year just because it's a 2017 model. Model year vehicles are usually released in the prior calendar year. High probability it was purchased in 2016 and was driven for at least 18 months.

pittpirate1985
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by pittpirate1985 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:03 pm

Thanks for quick replies. My wife liked the Highlander, I was so-so on the interiors. To me its the smart choice, but I would probably still pine for a car with nice interiors in the future.

Any benefit to going hybrid vs non-hybrid if we are could keep it for 7-10 years? The price difference is about $5000-6000. I was thinking the hybrid is a no-brainer, but I heard from folks that if we have to sell it (lets say we end up needing a mini-van), hybrids are harder to get rid off after a couple of years.

pittpirate1985
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by pittpirate1985 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:05 pm

GT99 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:00 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:12 pm
I would not buy a car that had been on the road for only one year and had 20K miles on it.

That use is too heavy.

We almost always buy used, but only vehicles with 10K or less per year.

PS There is nothing in the Boglehead principles listed on this site that address what type of cars Bogleheads should buy or how much they should cost.
The higher the mileage, the more likely the mileage is highway, which is lower wear and tear. The difference between 10k and 20k is negligible without knowing how it was driven - the price reduction for the higher miles is probably worth it.
Not to mention, for that short of time-frame, you can't assume 1 year just because it's a 2017 model. Model year vehicles are usually released in the prior calendar year. High probability it was purchased in 2016 and was driven for at least 18 months.
Thats a good point. Thanks to both of you for your replies. This is probably the only way I would feel comfortable paying for a Volvo XC90 hybrid - I cant bring myself to shell out $80000 for a car, or pay > $1000/month for financing. It would have to be this route if I were to do it. Or else I wont do it.

seawolf21
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by seawolf21 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:18 pm

Not sure if you are Costco member or not but if you are, there is a Costco/Volvo promotion until July 2.

I have a 2018 XC90 T6 while my sister in law purchased a 2018 Highlander.

There’s no debate the sensible option is the highlander if all you need is to get from point A to point B. 8 seater and stock rims looks nicer the XC90 stock rims IMO.

XC90 must be fed premium gas. Acceleration is great (for an SUV) and even better on a T8. PilotAssist is pretty useful on long road trips. XC90 has a large touchscreen but I have to admit I use Waze on my phone for navigation.

I had the same decision last year Highlander sensible or Volvo splurge. I fell for the dark side.

pittpirate1985
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by pittpirate1985 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:28 pm

seawolf21 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:18 pm
Not sure if you are Costco member or not but if you are, there is a Costco/Volvo promotion until July 2.

I have a 2018 XC90 T6 while my sister in law purchased a 2018 Highlander.

There’s no debate the sensible option is the highlander if all you need is to get from point A to point B. 8 seater and stock rims looks nicer the XC90 stock rims IMO.

XC90 must be fed premium gas. Acceleration is great (for an SUV) and even better on a T8. PilotAssist is pretty useful on long road trips. XC90 has a large touchscreen but I have to admit I use Waze on my phone for navigation.

I had the same decision last year Highlander sensible or Volvo splurge. I fell for the dark side.
Yes I am a Costco member. The promotion does not cover the XC90 T8 hybrid; it does cover the T6. Thats why the option of non-hybrid T6 vs slightly used hybrid T8 for same price :)

Was the dark side worth it ;)?

Something makes me feel if I am going to keep a car for 10 years, keep the Volvo XC90. I feel like the Highlander Hybrid technology (brake-charged battery) is going to faze out soon. Its fun and whatever, but its not electric. Having said that, my driving currently is pretty much city driving, so Highlander Hybrid makes so much more sense with the brake-charged battery hybrid model. One thing - lease on the Highlander Hybrid is pretty much on par with the financing. Or else I would just lease it for 3 years and go back for a nicer long-term car when our family planning was done.
Last edited by pittpirate1985 on Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mark500
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by mark500 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:31 pm

Check the true cost to own from Edmunds.

https://www.edmunds.com/tco.html

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TxAg
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by TxAg » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:32 pm

The Volvos looks sharp, but I think Toyota is the sensible choice.

seawolf21
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by seawolf21 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:38 pm

Only regret I have with xc90 was I should have picked the nicer rims and maybe Grey or Blue instead of Silver.

Love the moon roof and pilot assist.

One word of warning if you are planning to tow/bike rack. The OEM hitch is a bit ugly as it involves cutting the rear panel while after market hitches will not involve cutting but will hang low under the panel leading to a low clearance between hitch and ground. I wish Volvo designed that better.

delamer
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by delamer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:41 pm

GT99 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:00 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:12 pm
I would not buy a car that had been on the road for only one year and had 20K miles on it.

That use is too heavy.

We almost always buy used, but only vehicles with 10K or less per year.

PS There is nothing in the Boglehead principles listed on this site that address what type of cars Bogleheads should buy or how much they should cost.
The higher the mileage, the more likely the mileage is highway, which is lower wear and tear. The difference between 10k and 20k is negligible without knowing how it was driven - the price reduction for the higher miles is probably worth it.
Not to mention, for that short of time-frame, you can't assume 1 year just because it's a 2017 model. Model year vehicles are usually released in the prior calendar year. High probability it was purchased in 2016 and was driven for at least 18 months.
You might be right on how the mileage was acquired making a difference, but I don’t think you’d normally be able to determine that.

I specifically said “ been on the road” because you need to check to see when the car first was driven. As you suggested, a 2017 could been driven for 18 month at this point. Or it could only be 9 months if it was bought just as the 2018’s were coming out. CarFax (or equivalent) is great for checking when a car was first registered at a DMV.

Obviously, these are my personal guidelines. The OP might feel differently.

Olemiss540
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Olemiss540 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:45 pm

2 year old Lexus. I do like the look of the new highlander tho!
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

pittpirate1985
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by pittpirate1985 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:48 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:41 pm
GT99 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:00 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:12 pm
I would not buy a car that had been on the road for only one year and had 20K miles on it.

That use is too heavy.

We almost always buy used, but only vehicles with 10K or less per year.

PS There is nothing in the Boglehead principles listed on this site that address what type of cars Bogleheads should buy or how much they should cost.
The higher the mileage, the more likely the mileage is highway, which is lower wear and tear. The difference between 10k and 20k is negligible without knowing how it was driven - the price reduction for the higher miles is probably worth it.
Not to mention, for that short of time-frame, you can't assume 1 year just because it's a 2017 model. Model year vehicles are usually released in the prior calendar year. High probability it was purchased in 2016 and was driven for at least 18 months.
You might be right on how the mileage was acquired making a difference, but I don’t think you’d normally be able to determine that.

I specifically said “ been on the road” because you need to check to see when the car first was driven. As you suggested, a 2017 could been driven for 18 month at this point. Or it could only be 9 months if it was bought just as the 2018’s were coming out. CarFax (or equivalent) is great for checking when a car was first registered at a DMV.

Obviously, these are my personal guidelines. The OP might feel differently.
Ugh. Thanks. Just checked Carfax - bought in Jan 2017, so yes, 18 months. Problem - Accident reported
Vehicle involved in a rear-end collision
Involving rear impact
with another motor vehicle
Rear primarily damaged
Minor damage reported
Vehicle drivable
Airbags did not deploy

Thanks for letting me know to check Carfax THAT carefully.

Looks like I have narrowed down my options to a Highlander - hybrid or non-hybrid. leaning towards hybrid unless some reason not to. $5000 more, but nicer technology (short-term?) and hopefully lesser environmental pollution.

delamer
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by delamer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:53 pm

pittpirate1985 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:48 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:41 pm
GT99 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:00 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:12 pm
I would not buy a car that had been on the road for only one year and had 20K miles on it.

That use is too heavy.

We almost always buy used, but only vehicles with 10K or less per year.

PS There is nothing in the Boglehead principles listed on this site that address what type of cars Bogleheads should buy or how much they should cost.
The higher the mileage, the more likely the mileage is highway, which is lower wear and tear. The difference between 10k and 20k is negligible without knowing how it was driven - the price reduction for the higher miles is probably worth it.
Not to mention, for that short of time-frame, you can't assume 1 year just because it's a 2017 model. Model year vehicles are usually released in the prior calendar year. High probability it was purchased in 2016 and was driven for at least 18 months.
You might be right on how the mileage was acquired making a difference, but I don’t think you’d normally be able to determine that.

I specifically said “ been on the road” because you need to check to see when the car first was driven. As you suggested, a 2017 could been driven for 18 month at this point. Or it could only be 9 months if it was bought just as the 2018’s were coming out. CarFax (or equivalent) is great for checking when a car was first registered at a DMV.

Obviously, these are my personal guidelines. The OP might feel differently.
Ugh. Thanks. Just checked Carfax - bought in Jan 2017, so yes, 18 months. Problem - Accident reported
Vehicle involved in a rear-end collision
Involving rear impact
with another motor vehicle
Rear primarily damaged
Minor damage reported
Vehicle drivable
Airbags did not deploy

Thanks for letting me know to check Carfax THAT carefully.

Looks like I have narrowed down my options to a Highlander - hybrid or non-hybrid. leaning towards hybrid unless some reason not to. $5000 more, but nicer technology (short-term?) and hopefully lesser environmental pollution.
Glad to help.

Odd how that works sometimes — checking for one problem and finding a different one.

CarFax isn’t infallible; it might miss an accident or other problems.

But it wouldn’t create a non-existent accident. :?

carguyny
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by carguyny » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:09 pm

I know leasing isn't really popular on here, but if you don't need a lot of miles it's worth looking into. Total cost of ownership can come out significantly ahead on good deals.

For example, I know from time to time you can lease an XC90 T5 for $400/mth at 10k miles/year (12k won't be much more). Factor in the $50k earning 2% after-tax a year invested and you're down to less than $320/mth. Car is always in warranty, always get new tech/safety, no repairs at all to cover as it includes oil changes. Just tires you might need to replace once.

I also regularly see heavily discounted leases on the Lexus GX 460.

delamer
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by delamer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:14 pm

carguyny wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:09 pm
I know leasing isn't really popular on here, but if you don't need a lot of miles it's worth looking into. Total cost of ownership can come out significantly ahead on good deals.

For example, I know from time to time you can lease an XC90 T5 for $400/mth at 10k miles/year (12k won't be much more). Factor in the $50k earning 2% after-tax a year invested and you're down to less than $320/mth. Car is always in warranty, always get new tech/safety, no repairs at all to cover as it includes oil changes. Just tires you might need to replace once.

I also regularly see heavily discounted leases on the Lexus GX 460.
Do you mean that leases cover standard maintenance at no charge?

Also, I understand there are websites that list particularly attractive current lease terms. Do you know any of them?

Barefoot
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Barefoot » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:22 pm

pittpirate1985 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:48 pm


Ugh. Thanks. Just checked Carfax - bought in Jan 2017, so yes, 18 months. Problem - Accident reported
Vehicle involved in a rear-end collision
Involving rear impact
with another motor vehicle
Rear primarily damaged
Minor damage reported
Vehicle drivable
Airbags did not deploy

Thanks for letting me know to check Carfax THAT carefully.
A scratched bumper that got repaired could result in a report like that...

GT99
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by GT99 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:31 pm

pittpirate1985 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:28 pm
So I am an avid Boglehead but have been a quiet lurker - reasonably conservative in spending. Do not see reasons to buy very expensive cars, etc. I drove a Honda Civic for 8 years, despite being in what is considered a rich profession where people show off their cars. Now the time has come to buy a bigger car.

This is more of a would-you rather question - would you rather buy a Volvo XC90 T8 2017 Hybrid with 20K miles, or a new XC90 T6 non-hybrid for the same price? Cost is around 55K for both, 60K with taxes. Explanations for your preference would help. Any pros and cons of buying a one-year vehicle with those many miles on it? Thanks in advance.

My other option is a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but that will probably be around 40K. A new T8 Inscription Hybrid is out of my price range. However, the Highlander Hybrid is not REALLY a hybrid.. it gives 29 MPG in the city, and nothing much on the highway, compared to an XC90 T8 which is significantly better on a highway (around 55 MPG).

here are some of the priorities -
1. 3 row SUV is key. Ideally 7-8 seater.
2. Safety is priority. AWD.
3. Minivan not acceptable to spouse.
4. I like nice things. I was conservative with the Civic as it was my first car, but it would be nice to have good interiors for this car.
5. Hybrid is optional. Live in city, and live in an area that does not really incentivize environmentally friendly cars (no lanes for fuel efficient vehicles on highway). Would like hybrid for personal reasons, do not want to contribute to pollution, but dont want to break the bank.
6. I am grouchy when it comes to spending money on things I dont need e.g. premium unleaded gas. I suspect the XC90 may need me to do that. Its fine, and i can get used to it though.

Options I have entertained by driving/reading these forums and other websites are:
1. Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2. Volvo XC90 Hybrid/non-hybrid T8 model.
3. Honda Pilot (maybe)

I have not tested out a Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder or Mitsubishi Outlander but hear that the third row seats are not large enough for adults.

Tesla is too expensive. I ideally dont want to spend more than 50K, but can push to 60K if I have to. Would really like to spend as little as possible, but obviously get bang for the buck. Nice interiors would help.

Other question is whether its worth buying a new hybrid, or leasing a hybrid/non-hybrid for a few years, and then buying a new one in 3 years with better technology. I could probably hang on to what I buy for 10-15 years, but have heard hybrids start going bad in 8-10 years, and technology is constantly improving.

Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks!
Let me preface this by saying. I'm not an SUV guy - I'm partial to performance vehicles (which creates a harsh inner battle with my love of saving money). That said, I worked in the auto industry for 10 years and had the opportunity to do a number of comparison drives in luxury SUVs (although I don't recall ever driving an XC90). It's hard to do a cost-benefit analysis here because the benefits are mostly personal preference, but my personal opinion is that SUVs are "less worth" the premium than luxury cars. My wife drives a loaded 2016 Honda Pilot. There's no way I'd think about paying 20k+ more for any of the luxury SUVs I've driven at that price point. Not even close. Maybe 10k - even that's debatable.

Regarding safety - these days, the difference between the safest vehicles in a class and average for it's class is so negligible, it's not worth making it a factor. You'd make far bigger difference putting a helmet and fire suit on your kids (I'm assuming that's the reason for the safety priority). The biggest differentiator in safety these days is size (i.e. SMART car = less safe).

pittpirate1985
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by pittpirate1985 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:30 pm

All these replies are very good. Thank you.

I think the last comment hits the nail on the head. If you were to ask me practically, it makes no sense to shell out 20K more for a XC90 vs a Highlander Hybrid other than the vanity. My wife and I have spoken and we will probably buy a nicer luxury sedan down the road. So sounds like I just need to decide now whether the hybrid on the Highlander is worth it, if I am going to keep it for > 5 years.

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peterinjapan
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by peterinjapan » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:58 am

We must all drive something we feel happy with. I drive a BMW series 1 convertible in the U.S., but I got it used (almost new), and I love it because it's probably the last stick shift I'll ever own.

Happily in Japan companies are allowed (almost encouraged) to buy cars for employees/owners to use, so I get my Japan car for "free" here.

Skierajs
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Skierajs » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:23 am

If you like the Volvo, you can get a 2019 T8 built to order for $60,800 - $5,000 irs tax credit (maybe more in your home state) = $55,800. Plus they’ll provide 2 round trip premium economy tickets to Sweden, a factory tour, a few meals, and a night’s hotel room in Gothenburg where you can pick up the car and drive it around for a bit before they ship it to you in the states for free. It’s called Overseas Delivery and it’s unbelievably great. The price list is non-negotiable: https://assets.volvocars.com/us/~/media ... f?la=en-us

You just call the dealer and ask them to place an OSD order and read it off that price list, and don’t let them dissuade you.

The IRS tax credit info can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/qualifie ... 12-31-2009
Last edited by Skierajs on Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

onourway
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by onourway » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:50 am

I think you should get the vehicle you like. $20k spread over 10 years is not enough to obsess over. In my opinion the Volvo is more than enough nicer than the Toyota to make it worth the cost. I would (do, in fact) drive a couple of year older Volvo over a brand new Toyota.

My only concern would be to consider carefully the reliability of the T8 model. Volvo has had some issues with this platform, so buying an early model may be more problematic Han you’d like.

dsmclone
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by dsmclone » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:18 am

I really like Volvo's but Volvo's don't come close to Toyota in reliability.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-rel ... -stack-up/

Not to sound cross but it sounds like you've made up your mind on the hybrid piece because of environmental impact so that's probably the way you should go whether it saves you money or not.

Over 100k miles, you're going to save roughly $3,000 in fuel costs if the hybrid gets 5mpg better and fuel costs $4/gallon. But you're going to pay $5,000 more for the vehicle. The question is whether you can get that remaining $2,000 back in resale. In the end, it's probably a toss-up and since you want to be green, go with the hybrid.
Last edited by dsmclone on Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

grok87
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by grok87 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:18 am

pittpirate1985 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:28 pm

here are some of the priorities -
1. 3 row SUV is key. Ideally 7-8 seater.
So just wanted to chime in on this specific issue. I test drove the Toyota Highlander a few years ago. IMHO THe 3rd row is ridiculous- basically no room. You couldn't fit a malnourished ferret in there.

As far as i can tell this is just a ploy by Toyota to be able to say they have a 3rd row. Sort of like hotels that have a crappy pocket-handkerchief sized pool so they will show up to people searching on the web for a hotel with a pool. ("Look honey it even has a pool!")

cheers,
grok
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

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hand
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by hand » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:34 am

Not sure why this is a Boglehead guilt issue, Bogleheads are about making good reasoned financial (life?) decisions which includes being mindful about costs - there's no requirement to drive cheap cars (though there is obviously a subset of Bogleheads who do both).

To me, Volvo is nicer, likely safer, and more expensive to buy, drive and maintain.
If you value any of these items more than the cost differential with a Highlander and can afford it, you should buy the Volvo.

Personally I splurged somewhat unwillingly on an XC90 and the non-material (to me) cost differential was worth every penny when I learned my wife and kids were in an accident. (Everyone was fine, and would have been in any large vehicle.)

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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Admiral » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:36 am

Just FYI Car and Driver rates the Highlander as terrible in terms of driving dynamics, if you care. Strict family hauler and that's about it. Go read up on it at their site (free). They also think the hybrid is a waste of money. (And don't kid yourself, you're still polluting even if you're saving 2 MPG. If you want to create less pollution, buy the non-hybrid and drive it fewer miles.)

Those two cars are not in the league, I would compare the Highlander to another mid-level SUV (Pilot etc) rather than a luxury vehicle.

You might look at the new Volvo wagons....

EDIT to add: Also consider the Subaru Ascent if you really need 3 rows and can afford it. But I agree with above that only large SUVs (Tahoe etc) have 3rd rows that can accommodate adults.
Last edited by Admiral on Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

onourway
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by onourway » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:37 am

grok87 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:18 am
pittpirate1985 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:28 pm

here are some of the priorities -
1. 3 row SUV is key. Ideally 7-8 seater.
So just wanted to chime in on this specific issue. I test drove the Toyota Highlander a few years ago. IMHO THe 3rd row is ridiculous- basically no room. You couldn't fit a malnourished ferret in there.

As far as i can tell this is just a ploy by Toyota to be able to say they have a 3rd row. Sort of like hotels that have a crappy pocket-handkerchief sized pool so they will show up to people searching on the web for a hotel with a pool. ("Look honey it even has a pool!")

cheers,
grok
In most of these SUV's 3rd rows are for kids age ~6-13 where they fit fine.

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Fletch
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Fletch » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:49 am

In my opinion, always throw the "service/maintenance department" into your consideration of a vehicle brand, whether an indy or the dealer. An unscrupulous service department can cost you unnecessary thousands over 10 years. Do some research and talk to happy and unhappy customers to help you make your decision.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

grkmec
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by grkmec » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:53 am

How about the Acura MDX SH AWD Sport Hybrid ???

Admiral
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Admiral » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:56 am

Fletch wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:49 am
In my opinion, always throw the "service/maintenance department" into your consideration of a vehicle brand, whether an indy or the dealer. An unscrupulous service department can cost you unnecessary thousands over 10 years. Do some research and talk to happy and unhappy customers to help you make your decision.
How would one locate unhappy customers of a particular service department? In my experience, a manufacturer's service department is only worth it when the car is under warranty. Once out: Independent mechanic only.

jman36
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by jman36 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:07 am

One tangential piece of information, Volvo Car Group is majority owned by the Chinese company Geely.

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dwickenh
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by dwickenh » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:16 am

GT99 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:00 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:12 pm
I would not buy a car that had been on the road for only one year and had 20K miles on it.

That use is too heavy.

We almost always buy used, but only vehicles with 10K or less per year.

PS There is nothing in the Boglehead principles listed on this site that address what type of cars Bogleheads should buy or how much they should cost.
The higher the mileage, the more likely the mileage is highway, which is lower wear and tear. The difference between 10k and 20k is negligible without knowing how it was driven - the price reduction for the higher miles is probably worth it.
Not to mention, for that short of time-frame, you can't assume 1 year just because it's a 2017 model. Model year vehicles are usually released in the prior calendar year. High probability it was purchased in 2016 and was driven for at least 18 months.
+1
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by seawolf21 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:37 am

jman36 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:07 am
One tangential piece of information, Volvo Car Group is majority owned by the Chinese company Geely.
I heard Toyota is Japanese owned.

LarryAllen
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by LarryAllen » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:41 am

I'd probably buy an Acura MDX based on your criteria. A great all-around SUV. One model even has captains chairs in the middle row. So only 6 seats but nice for keeping the kids separated. Lol.

Or look at the top of the line Infiniti QX60 which can be purchased for about 20% off MSRP. I mention this as they seem to use MSRP like fake news there. The reality is a very reasonably priced car with lots of cool tech.

Teague
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Teague » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:46 am

Skierajs wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:23 am
If you like the Volvo, you can get a 2019 T8 built to order for $60,500 - $5,000 irs tax credit (maybe more in your home state) = $55,500. Plus they’ll provide 2 round trip premium economy tickets to Sweden, a factory tour, a few meals, and a night’s hotel room in Gothenburg where you can pick up the car and drive it around for a bit before they ship it to you in the states for free. It’s called Overseas Delivery and it’s unbelievably great. The price list is non-negotiable: https://assets.volvocars.com/us/~/media ... f?la=en-us

You just call the dealer and ask them to place an OSD order and read it off that price list, and don’t let them dissuade you.

The IRS tax credit info can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/qualifie ... 12-31-2009
Thank you for maybe a little "inside information" and welcome to the forum, Skierajs! :sharebeer
Semper Augustus

Admiral
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Admiral » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:55 am

You should also test drive the Mazda CX-9. The third row is small but it's there. It drives very well (for a truck) and for 40k you can get one nicely appointed. The interior is on par with luxury SUVs, IMO. And you're saving A LOT of money. It's no Volvo, but it's nicer than the Highlander and drives WAY better.

killjoy2012
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by killjoy2012 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:56 am

seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:37 am
jman36 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:07 am
One tangential piece of information, Volvo Car Group is majority owned by the Chinese company Geely.
I heard Toyota is Japanese owned.
I believe their point is that Volvo is no longer the niche Swedish luxury car player it used to be, and that most people still commonly associate with the name/brand. Just as the American offerings are no longer the ugly, unreliable products of the early '80s that many here somehow still seem to associate with those brands. Not going to preach brand preference here, but I just have LOL when we're talking mid/large SUVs, which is clearly the American product specialty, yet the 2 products being discussed are Asian. As someone else said, if you're paying the money for the Volvo name for self ego, then fine...

GT99
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by GT99 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:00 am

Admiral wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:36 am
Just FYI Car and Driver rates the Highlander as terrible in terms of driving dynamics, if you care. Strict family hauler and that's about it. Go read up on it at their site (free). They also think the hybrid is a waste of money. (And don't kid yourself, you're still polluting even if you're saving 2 MPG. If you want to create less pollution, buy the non-hybrid and drive it fewer miles.)
I strongly agree with Car and Drive on this. When we first started looking at SUVs a couple years ago, the Highlander was at the top of our list. Then we drove it, and it immediately dropped to the bottom. I couldn't believe how poorly it drove - I literally thought there was something wrong with that specific vehicle, but the salesman assured me it was driving normally.

Admiral
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Admiral » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:01 am

killjoy2012 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:56 am
seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:37 am
jman36 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:07 am
One tangential piece of information, Volvo Car Group is majority owned by the Chinese company Geely.
I heard Toyota is Japanese owned.
I believe their point is that Volvo is no longer the niche Swedish luxury car player it used to be, and that most people still commonly associate with the name/brand. Just as the American offerings are no longer the ugly, unreliable products of the early '80s that many here somehow still seem to associate with those brands. Not going to preach brand preference here, but I just have LOL when we're talking mid/large SUVs, which is clearly the American product specialty, yet the 2 products being discussed are Asian. As someone else said, if you're paying the money for the Volvo name for self ego, then fine...
I believe Volvos are still assembled in Sweden (though of course like all cars parts are likely sourced from all over.) The fact that they are owned by a Chinese conglomerate means nothing. Jaguar is owned by Tata.

happytrades
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by happytrades » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:02 am

I bought the Volvo hybrid one year ago. The range to run only on the battery is short. I don’t think gas savings are sufficient to justify purchase. However, the ride is great. Lane keeping, adaptive cruise control and other Tesla-like features are great as well.

You need to decide “who you are” and match your values to that car.

mmmodem
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by mmmodem » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:05 am

Go ahead and get the car you want. Just make sure you get a good deal on a used example.

When I was younger after having driven Civics and Corollas my whole life, I wanted something nice. I'm a very frugal person by nature but I do love cars and putting them through their paces. Therefore, I picked up a used Acura Integra GSR. It was a beautiful machine. I loved how it looked. I loved how it handled. I loved how my friends and family give me complements on my gorgeous red sports car. It has really nice body hugging seats. However, I switched back to a Civic after this vehicle.

Despite loving it, I hated the loud rough riding interior. The engine just droned at highway speeds. I got two tickets immediately after purchase. Speeding? Bright red color? I don't know. I hated paying extra for premium fuel. I hated low fuel economy requiring frequent fuel ups. I disliked the expensive wide sports tires when it came time for replacement. Maintenance and repair costs were higher as well which insulted me because this car is badged a Honda in the rest of the world. But because it was an Acura here, I had to pay extra.

I got rid of the car after 2 years. It was not a mistake to buy the car because It taught me that I preferred frugality over the shiny new sports car. If I had not bought the car then, today I would still be pining for something better than my Prius. Because I bought the vehicle used, it wasn't too expensive a lesson to learn.

Skierajs
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Skierajs » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:15 am

Teague wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:46 am
Skierajs wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:23 am
If you like the Volvo, you can get a 2019 T8 built to order for $60,800 - $5,000 irs tax credit (maybe more in your home state) = $55,800. Plus they’ll provide 2 round trip premium economy tickets to Sweden, a factory tour, a few meals, and a night’s hotel room in Gothenburg where you can pick up the car and drive it around for a bit before they ship it to you in the states for free. It’s called Overseas Delivery and it’s unbelievably great. The price list is non-negotiable: https://assets.volvocars.com/us/~/media ... f?la=en-us

You just call the dealer and ask them to place an OSD order and read it off that price list, and don’t let them dissuade you.

The IRS tax credit info can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/qualifie ... 12-31-2009
Thank you for maybe a little "inside information" and welcome to the forum, Skierajs! :sharebeer
Thanks! I’m sure others on this forum have done this as well. The only downside is you may have to wait a few months for delivery as the program is very popular. The 2018 osd slots were sold out by early January for July delivery. They are currently taking MY 2019 orders for delivery this fall (I got one in for August).

There is a pretty active forum on this program at swedespeed: http://forums.swedespeed.com/forumdispl ... /55?page=1

onourway
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by onourway » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:45 am

killjoy2012 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:56 am
I believe their point is that Volvo is no longer the niche Swedish luxury car player it used to be, and that most people still commonly associate with the name/brand. Just as the American offerings are no longer the ugly, unreliable products of the early '80s that many here somehow still seem to associate with those brands. Not going to preach brand preference here, but I just have LOL when we're talking mid/large SUVs, which is clearly the American product specialty, yet the 2 products being discussed are Asian. As someone else said, if you're paying the money for the Volvo name for self ego, then fine...
American brands are good for large SUV's if you want a truck-based option. If you want a large SUV that rides and drives more like a car, then European (and to a lesser extent, Asian) brands are going to be a better bet. Volvo is still very much a niche (223k vehicles sold globally in 2017), and very much a product of Sweden. The styling, design and comfort are all radically different between a Volvo and the American offerings. Given that a Tahoe runs $45-70k it's not like you are saving much buying American. And the Tahoe still looks and feels like a Chevy.

killjoy2012
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by killjoy2012 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:59 am

onourway wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:45 am
killjoy2012 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:56 am
I believe their point is that Volvo is no longer the niche Swedish luxury car player it used to be, and that most people still commonly associate with the name/brand. Just as the American offerings are no longer the ugly, unreliable products of the early '80s that many here somehow still seem to associate with those brands. Not going to preach brand preference here, but I just have LOL when we're talking mid/large SUVs, which is clearly the American product specialty, yet the 2 products being discussed are Asian. As someone else said, if you're paying the money for the Volvo name for self ego, then fine...
American brands are good for large SUV's if you want a truck-based option. If you want a large SUV that rides and drives more like a car, then European (and to a lesser extent, Asian) brands are going to be a better bet. Volvo is still very much a niche (223k vehicles sold globally in 2017), and very much a product of Sweden. The styling, design and comfort are all radically different between a Volvo and the American offerings. Given that a Tahoe runs $45-70k it's not like you are saving much buying American. And the Tahoe still looks and feels like a Chevy.
I think it comes down to personal preference. If someone offered me a new loaded Chevy Tahoe or XC90 for free, I'd take the Tahoe in a heartbeat. While it may not have as much of an elitist appeal in terms of brand, it's way more practical and performing IMHO. OP stated their needs as fitting 7-8 people with a 3rd row -- would love to see that in practice in the XC90 or Highlander, short of 4 of the people being < 10 years old and having absolutely no gear/luggage to stow concurrently. Then again, I'm also one who doesn't understand the appeal of a BMW sedate interior styling as somehow being upscale - it actually feels rather plain and boring to me, but again - personal preferences.

Skierajs
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by Skierajs » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:21 am

Also if looking at XC90 T8s they increased the usable battery capacity by 10-15% as of MY 2018 so you might want to consider that if you are trying to maximize electric only range / mpg.

ssquared87
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by ssquared87 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:31 am

Toyotas are for people who have given up on life and just don't care. You mention you drove a civic,so if you chose that over a corolla, it shows you have at least a small preference for a well designed, moderately fun to drive car vs. rolling refrigerator with 30 year old engine/transmission technology and cheap plastic everywhere.

Get the Volvo, its a more enjoyable vehicle. Safety and comfort in the Volvo are on a completely different level and well worth it. It drives pretty well too. Getting a 20k mile used one is the right way to go. 20k on a car these days is nothing. People put a huge premium on getting new, and in most cases with premium vehicles, the lightly used version is unreasonably discounted so its a great deal to pickup used.

Volvo's reliability is questionable though, but if you have a good independent mechanic, can afford the repairs, to me its worth paying a bit more for.

seawolf21
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by seawolf21 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:04 pm

Admiral wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:01 am
killjoy2012 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:56 am
seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:37 am
jman36 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:07 am
One tangential piece of information, Volvo Car Group is majority owned by the Chinese company Geely.
I heard Toyota is Japanese owned.
I believe their point is that Volvo is no longer the niche Swedish luxury car player it used to be, and that most people still commonly associate with the name/brand. Just as the American offerings are no longer the ugly, unreliable products of the early '80s that many here somehow still seem to associate with those brands. Not going to preach brand preference here, but I just have LOL when we're talking mid/large SUVs, which is clearly the American product specialty, yet the 2 products being discussed are Asian. As someone else said, if you're paying the money for the Volvo name for self ego, then fine...
I believe Volvos are still assembled in Sweden (though of course like all cars parts are likely sourced from all over.) The fact that they are owned by a Chinese conglomerate means nothing. Jaguar is owned by Tata.
I believe Volvo have plans to assemble XC90 in South Carolina which I think is also where BMW assemble the X5.

SuperGrafx
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Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Post by SuperGrafx » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:07 pm

Buy the car that you want.
Don't let the forum guilt you into something you really don't need.

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