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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy a new car, and it has come down to the S60R and the RX-8.

I have done quite a bit of research on these two vehicles, looking at message boards of both fan clubs. I've also scoured more magazine reviews than I care to remember...


The RX-8 is my heart's choice, but the S60R is the the favorite in my head. My biggest three categories are:

1. Safety: Passive safety, mostly. Volvo has the rep for being safer than a cradle, but the RX-8 has many unique safety features itself. I am concerned mostly of side impacts, as I have seen the least information about these accidents. Can anyone compare these two vehicles on their safety, based on experience? This is my #1 concern with the vehicles.

2. Utility: specifically, how the cars act in show and rain (with the proper tires, of course) and how useful they are with body kits on. Is there any trouble getting up into driveways/parking lots without scraping the beautiful front?

3. Performance: they both zoom-zoom, the RX-8 around 6s for 0-60, and the S60R at 5.4ish...but can the Volvo do it as well around corners as the RX-8 can? Do I give up a ton of handling with the RX-8 for a faster S60R?

I am wondering if anyone here owns, has owned, or has driven these two vehicles and can do a first-hand comparison for me in these areas?

Any additional thoughts or ideas are more than welcome.

Thanks!
 

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When I bought my S60 R, I was trying to decide btwn the R and an 05 GTO/Audi S4. For an everyday car, I had to got with the R. After having and AWD Eclipse I wanted AWD with these great northeast winters. The R was cheaper that the S4

Dont get me wrong, I love my R, but if I was in a climate without snow/ice, I would have gotten the GTO. My eclipse was lowered, and even with the body kit, the R has more ground clearance. Just remember, the R is still low but I havent scraped yet.

I think it was a RX-8 commercial that said an on-ramp is a terrible thing to waste. Should have been for the R!!!

Dont know about the RX-8 safety features
 

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You're on the volvo forum, so one can assume you will get a number of R fans; I am one. The key thing for you to know, if you don't already, is regarding the 3 chassis system. On the fly, you can change to a more advanced suspension which handles incredibly well. I cannot beleive the RX-8 would have tighter handling, and if it does, I would not want to ride around in such stiff suspensions at all times. That is the significant benifit to the optional chassis you choose.
 

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The RX-8's are also having problems.
(Wife works at Mazda)
 

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I just went through the process of choosing a new car. My last car was an Audi S4 (2001) I had it mod'd with chip and suspension. Ran like a scalded dog and I loved the car.

I looked at the new S4 (drove it for about 3 days)
Test drove an M3 (took it on a makeshift track)
Test drove and C55 AMG (nice, but not me)
And of course the S60 R (I literally laughed when my friend suggested it... A volvo? LOL)

I ended up with the volvo, not because it had the best handling, best speed, best looks, but because out of the 2005 models of sport sedans, it is the best overall value. Said another way, none of those cars impressed me enough to justify the price difference.

I did not consider the rx-8, but if Saftey is a factor.... I could be very wrong, but I've never known Mazda as building a "Safe" car. I'm sure it has some features, but I would put $$ down that Volvo is way ahead of them. I recommend going into a volvo dealership and asking to see the GM. Then tell him that you want his best associate to give you a complete rundown of the saftey features and engineering build into the Volvo. Then do the same at Mazda.

For example, one thing I found out was that Volvo uses several accelerometers (sp?) to determine how bad of an impact it is and then decides if it should trigger the air bags. During thier testing they found that many people are injured just becaue the airbags go off in mininal impact wrecks.

Anyway, good luck on your decision. I personally think the 8 is a very nice car... but I'm just not into rice. I just have never cared for the japanese styling.
 

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I scrape mine all the time.....and have to go into my driveway at an angle to avoide scrapping one of the front sides of the sport kit....extremely annoying....even had the right side front almost buckle under the car by getting to close to a curb, luckily a body shop fixed it for free (very nice guys). That is my biggest complaint about the car. If I bend that again i'm taking both fronts off to gain higher clearance.

BTW, i'd go with the 60R over the 8 anyday, that's just my opinion
 

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I have driven a many fine vehicles and my vote is for the the s60R

After driving a mercedes 500 sl, rolls royce corniche II, dodge stealth twin turbo, ss monte carlo, grand national, tbird supercoupe, M3 bmw, 2005 5 BMW, and most recently a 04 xtype jaguar, I would take the Volvo

Here's why

The practicality and sometimes necessity of the 3 chassis suspension option. The advanced really stiffens things up and with proper rubber on the 18 inch rims, a clover leaf is a joke at 120 kmh. The get and go is there much like the Grand national but with better fuel economy and way , way way better cornering.

This is a serious grocery getter, that will pack a punch when needed but also cruise around town comfortably

Seats are awesome, stylin is nice, safety top notch, brakes on a dime, and so much more.
the AWD is a necessity where I live and what I do for a living.

Unique too, there are only four in a city of 700 000.
 
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