I don't know anything about FWD Volvos, so I don't know how relevant my experience is, but my '82 240 wagon with manual trans has 222,000 miles on it and the engine has never been apart. It burns no oil between changes (3000 miles) and has never let me down in the harshest weather. The a/c works well (added an electric fan in front of the condenser) and it has a big, sturdy feel, although not as substantial as most Benzes. With religious 40,000 mile timing belt changes, a B21/B23 Volvo motor will run at least as long as any other gas car engine. My sister in law drives an 86 740 wagon with 191,000 on it. Again, it is still solid, looks good and runs very well. It starts in any Chicago winter weather and has been very reliable. In short, my general experience has been that Volvos more durable than any other car with the exception of M-B, and are much cheaper to maintain and repair than a Benz. Just my .02 worth.