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Sell-it-yourself: 2005 Volvo S60 T5 AWD

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In the up-and-down, high-and-low churn of Volvo in the United States, one thing has been incontrovertibly consistent: Volvo builds safety. "Safety" in a Volvo typically references passive safety, i.e., your ability to survive an accident. But with a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive – like our featured example – you might be able to prevent the accident altogether.

In 2005, Volvo was a member of Ford's Premier Automotive Group. It presumably benefited from Ford synergies in production and distribution, but lacked the focus of an independent automaker. At the time of the S60 launch in fall 2000, however, the S60 was a departure from the three-box sedans Volvo had been building. Suddenly, the Swedish carmaker was viewed as a logical alternative to the small sedans of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, though it failed to realize the popularity enjoyed by the Germans.

This "for sale" example presents well. Its 135,000 miles seem realistic for a 12-year-old car. The T5 powertrain and all-wheel drive check the right boxes, but you'll want some money in reserve; repairing older Volvos can be as pricey as the German competition. The owner's asking price is almost twice the average selling price, but if its pre-purchase inspection reveals few or no problems, where will you find this much transportation value – and safety – for around $5,000?

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