Sunday, December 31, 2017

Which Cars Today Have a Feel Closest to the Beloved Models From Decades Back?

Photos by Salt Water New England
 A few years ago, readers discussed "preppy" cars <http://www.saltwaternewengland.com/2014/04/preppy-cars.html>.  For people looking at new vehicles today today, which have the feel closest to the beloved Volvos, Saabs, Mercedes, Land Rovers, Range Rovers, and others from decades back?

Volvos












Saabs




Mercedes









Land Rovers and Range Rovers















92 comments:

  1. I LOVE this post! I have been recently struggling with this issue. I much prefer older car shapes and can't find a new one I particularly like. I now drive a 1999 Subaru Forester which I absolutely love. It's a bit like driving around in a sunroom. I LOVE the visibility and I've been looking for another boxy car to replace it (but only when it dies!!). My favorite car is a Land Rover Defender but . . . . I'm thinking about a Volvo SUV. Will take suggestions.

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  2. Subaru seems most likely to inherit the mantle of a cut rate Volvo. If not in quality or length of service then most likely in perception. Vermont has the most registered Subarus per capita in the nation. And Volvo has seemed to abandon the dependable grocery getter to concentrate on luxury models.

    I would love to get my old '79 MG Midget back that I had to sell for rent money in 1987. C'est la vie. Is a Mazda Miata the new MG?

    Happy New Year to all. Cheers!

    Th Concord Diaspora

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    Replies
    1. The Mazda Miata is the poor man's sports car.

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  3. I am not enamored with the newer models of vehicles. None of them feel like the cars of yesterday. My husband and I are empty nesters and could easily purchase something new, but we choose to purchase 15-20 year old vehicles when they are needed and we cling to them till their death. Just had to depart with my Volvo XC 70, but my two Land Rover Disco's are holding their own. Let's hope they keep up for 2018 and beyond!

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  4. Boxy BMWs as opposed to the newer "softer" look I have a twelve year old
    convertible the look of which I much prefer to recent models. Also a ten year old X5 which is quite sturdy. Repair is is the key. I had a 90s Volvo wagon that the dealer couldn't fix the steering on.

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  5. While I have a certain feeling of nostalgia for cars of my youth (well, actually, for my youth), the ride, handling, braking and amenities of even the cheapest of today's cars can't be beat.

    Of course, a basic Civic has nowhere NEAR the panache of my HS senior year eight year old '60 T-Bird. A boulevard cruiser non pareil.

    NCJack

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  6. Oh, I’m not entirely sure I want to have a car with the feel of one I loved decades back. I certainly loved my MGs, but wouldn’t want to drive them again as a primary car.

    I truly did love MGs, and had several: a 1958 MGA, a 1959 MGA with a twin overhead cam engine (yes, I had one of those rare cars). More than a couple mid-to-late 1960’s MGBs, and even a 1976 MG Midget (a really dumb choice).

    I don’t think I’d go back.

    They were a joy to drive but a nightmare to maintain. More than one car (i.e., most cars) had serious electrical problems. Lucas electronics were a joke. Driving at night while raining was always a hit and miss endeavor. The electrical system would short out and the car die along the road, usually miles from any town or civilization, let alone a mechanic who really knows MGs. And, often, there was a woman I was trying to impress ...

    Even the cars that gave relatively few difficulties would give you trouble when you weren’t expecting it. I had a friend from England who owned and understood MGs. One night, we went to a party at his house. A thunderstorm erupted. As soon as I realized it was pouring outside, I panicked. He laughed knowingly. I had left the car’s top down. He said, “Ah yes, another night of wet ass.”

    No, I’ll stick with my late model car, thank you very much.

    Aiken

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  7. I can't think of any. They are all too safe nowadays, and they all look the same. Gone are the days of the 1970s when a seat belt was my mother's right hand swinging in the front of me in the front seat... Or three kids in the back of the Town and Country station wagon during night travel tucked into our sleeping bags with dogs all over us.

    We still have a car in the driveway that I purchased in 1983. I use it to go to town and back from time to time. It starts to shake at 50mph, but stops shaking very happily at 65mph. It is, for me, a stark reminder of how much more technically advanced and safer the newer models are. I love the nostalgia of thinking about the old cars that I, or my family had, and weep at the thought of how much money would have been made had we kept them all, but I'll stick with modern. Happy New Year SWNE, and here's to a safe year of driving ahead!

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  8. The essence of being a New Englander is minimalism and lack of ostentation.
    That leaves only one choice in automobiles: a Volkswagen Beetle.

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  9. Please, no soccer mom cars.

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    Replies
    1. Or white cars that resemble Star Wars stormtroopers.

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  10. Being overseas, we were going to take advantage of the "diplomatic sales" program to buy a new Volvo before returning to the U.S. While this would have violate my cardinal rule of never buying a "new" care (let some other sucker take the value depreciation hit), Volvo offers such good deals, they would be hard for this Yankee to ignore. But when I saw Volvo's 2018 line-up, I was aghast. I couldn't find a model I liked, and decided I would just look for a good, used 2009-2010 V70 Cross Country upon our return.

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  11. Living in Connecticut and going to high school in Westchester , I was around these cornerstone cars all my life. I now live in Colorado where these cars are few and far. I recently purchased an old Saab for no other reason than nostalgia. I will probably drive it one time a month to feel the horrible steering , really awful suspension, and an occasional exhaust leak and remember much simpler times.

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  12. The recent crop of (non-Defender) Land Rovers & Range Rovers have much smaller and restricted interior space than previous models. I can't work out why anyone in the countryside would want a 4x4 with a tiny cabin?

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  13. This is one of the SWNE posts I'll keep in the "Inbox" for quite a while - love the photos !

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  14. Had a 1954 Austin-Healey 100-4,'59 MGA and a couple old Volvo sedans. Wife and I now have Subaru Foresters. Perfect cars for everything we need.

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  15. Unless something drastic changes, we'll probably be buying a late model VW Golf Sportwagen in about two years when my car dies. We want a newer (within the last two or three years) car that's a station wagon that we don't have to take a car note out on...and since Volvo stopped making the XC70 this is the car that sits at the intersection of that. Unless anyone has any other ideas? Our budget is about 20K, and we're happy to buy a newer used car.

    - ER

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    1. We bought one of those just about a year ago. It's my wife's car. It replaced her V70 that was totaled. It's okay but like most new cars, it has way too many gadgets (for us). The owner's manual this thick. It's virtually the same dimensions as the V70 but seems smaller. It has more rounded corners. The performance is good but not as good as the V40 I had. The V40 only lasted 140,000 miles but we had our old DL wagon for eighteen years. I've owned two Rover sedans and a 88" Land-Rover, a series of Renaults but the most reliable, most economical car I ever had was a Ford Escort wagon.

      When we replaced the V40, my wife said I couldn't have a Mercedes or a pickup truck, so I bought another Ford.

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    2. BlueTrain - I'm currently driving a 2004 Ford Focus Wagon with 156,000 miles on it. I love this car a lot and it was what we could afford to pay cash for at the time, which is why we've stuck with it for so long...but there's no direct replacement for that car. If we stuck with a Ford I'd be looking at crossover SUVs or hatchbacks. Thanks for the information of the Sportwagen! I don't mind bells and whistles...I'm actually looking forward to some since our Focus Wagon is so basic!

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    3. The only quirk about the Escort was the automatic seat belt and I never really got used . The Focus wagons disappeared from the marketplace too quickly but the hatchback version is pretty good. As it happened, my choices were more influenced by cars that I had rented than by anything else, although a six-speed Opel SUV was not one I would have wanted, even with left-hand drive.

      The one thing my wife wanted in a new car more than anything else was heated seats.

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    4. I prefer a boxy design, which no longer exists. I recently needed a new car (to replace a 14 year-old VW Passat wagon), and the Jeep Patriot was actually a contender! After all, it was the vehicle most suitable to a wreath on the grill during the holidays. Eventually, I opted for dependability and features, so I ended up with a VW Alltrack. It was a way to get AWD, some cargo capacity, and a bit of style, without going for a high-end SUV. So far, I'm pretty pleased even though it's not that conducive to a wreath :)

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  16. Doing a search on "mercedes 300TD wagon" brings up an article from Bloomberg entitled "The Vintage Mercedes Station Wagon Is The Car That Will Never Die." Nice photos are available, too. I had a Volvo XC70 turbo wagon with all wheel drive. Regrettably, it was the first year available with that and the car developed transmission issues. I loved the solid sound and feel of the wagon, and I also got a significant "safe car discount" on my auto insurance. The car was nice and boxy, but also had some dash to it. I would like to get another, but repairs were too costly. I have 2 kids that need vehicles: one at college in Milwaukee, and the other in high school here in St. Louis. Weather can be an issue, but I'm really safety conscious. Any of the above pictured vehicles seem like they would fit the bill... My son always asked me, "Dad, what's your favorite kind of car?" My answer: "The kind that's paid for." Happy New Year Everyone!

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    1. You sound like my parents! Growing up my parents taught us never to have car debt! All my siblings are now in our 30's and have never had a car payment, even if it means we are driving 15-year-old vehicles. We pay cash for them and then drive them until they're completely dead. At 150K miles on our cars we start a savings account for a new car, put a few hundred dollars in a month, and just buy the best thing we can buy when the old car goes. 15 years of no car payments beats a year or two of saving for a new car upfront.

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  17. My beloved Volvo V50 got to the point in mid-2017 where I was faced with an additional $4000 in replacements. I would have preferred the V70 but ended up purchasing the XC60, with which I am generally happy. I miss the lower profile of the V50 but so far the XC60 has worked well.

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  18. The whole VW Golf line up is a good combo of unostentatious classic with all the safety, handling and tech of the current age. I am regularly reminded of my parent's three Volvo "box" wagons when driving my Golf.

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  19. Been driving Subaru Foresters so long I can't remember any other cars except a couple of Saab 900's. The Subaru is easily better than anything else I have ever owned.

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  20. While the Subaru is taking over as the utilitarian vehicle of today, and more and more people here in Texas are considering one, the pickup truck reigns supreme in the South.Trouble is, Chevy, Ford, Dodge, even the full sized Toyota trucks are all looking the same.....yesterday I saw a fully restored '57 Dodge pickup. Yesterday, the coolest vehicle on the road,

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  21. It seems that Volkswagen is the only company still making conservative designs.

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  22. Nothing will ever replace the functionality of the old cars. The 240 GL, Range Rover County LWB and the Defender. When the current designers stop developing cars designed for wind tunnels maybe they will go back and see what really worked in their archives.

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    1. Unfortunately LR are now building fancy street-cars for the Asian market . What we ( well , I ... ) loved about them will not be coming back :-( It was fun whilst it lasted .

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    2. I agree. Several years ago my husband and I went to go see if a Land Rover would be an appropriate car to get to trailer a horse. The newer Land Rover didn't even have enough gumption to pull my trailer + horse. We would have had to splash out for a custom engine. We ended up with a Ford Pickup truck and we haven't looked at another Land Rover since! I knew at that moment that it was over for Land Rover as a utility vehicle.

      - ER

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  23. I’m in the market for a newer car and I tested a Subaru Impreza. It handled well and not as bling you as some out there. Curious about RAV4. My husband wants new and I’m interested in new-used. I want a car, not an entertainment center.

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  24. The Subaru Forester is often called "the State car of Vermont" and with good reason. It goes just about anywhere and is far more reliable than any JEEP.

    My question here is why are there no vintage and newer Porsches in this series of photos? :-)

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    Replies
    1. "and is far more reliable than any JEEP"...highly doubtful.

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    2. JEEP = Just Empty Every Pocket

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  25. I am amazed at the number of people in the comments saying " Subaru."

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  26. While Subarus are known for their ruggedness and durability, a few models in their line up have their share of engine failures such as head gasket leaks and transmission issues. These are well-known problems. However, the myth of their reliability persists.

    If you want a trouble-free, reasonably-priced car which can weather through volatile snow storms and cyclical trends, I recommend the Toyota Land Cruiser or Lexus GX.

    For something slightly more practical, the top-of-the-line Honda Accord represents an excellent value for performance, reliability and durability. It won't win any social status points but this is what we call "smart money" in the investment business.

    Range Rover = "dumb money".






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    1. It is true that a very specific Subaru engine, long since removed from their product line, had issues. Subaru products generally are very reliable, over the decades, none the less. Volvo and all other manufacturers also have had similar specific duds. (For any major puchase, one ought to do research before buying. :-)

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  27. My car is not "preppy" in the least but it's definitely a traditional old lady American car brand: Buick. I'm very happy with it (and being typecast as an old lady). My fiance drives a Subaru. We both bought new.

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  28. We have a 05 and 07 Toyota Camry. Been great cars and plan to drive them until the wheels fall off and our mechanic says he will put them back on.! Also have a 1997 Ford Ranger that has become a big wheelbarrow and runs great. Lisa

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  29. Still see a fair few Range Rover 3.5 V8 ( now called Classic , as you all know ........ ) about the traps . There's a lot of after-market parts to keep them on the road . Fairly minimal electronics helps reliability of these aged vehicles .

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  30. After our 91 740 wagon died a few years ago,I bought a new xc70 and was appealed by it's throttle lag,sloppy shifting and nonexistent off road ability.traded it for a suBaru forester,also new. That was a decent car,nothing to love,nothing to hate,good in snow.we had a minor accident last year and while the car was in the shop,they lent us a jeep patriot and the Angels sang. There's a jeep in the driveway now and I wonder what took me so long.

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  31. Newer Jeep Grand Cherokees are all over Connecticut now..... the 1980's.. early 90's Grand Wagoneers were also very popular when I was younger...They were comfortable and appointed quite nicely back then....They are now commanding a good price now as classic SUV's.

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  32. After years of comfort and confidence in Volvos we moved an hour away from a dealer and have sadly replaced those vehicles with transportation. We have become what is sometimes known here in the land of sweet tea as a "Ford Family". I have never longed for or needed a pickup truck. I have only driven one and that was during a season-long stint as a Good Humor man but there is something about the new Jeep Wagoneer pickup that I've seen in pictures that makes me think - new vehicle purchase. A friend had a Jeep pickup back in the 90s and I liked it then. Yes, I read car reviews and I know the history of Jeep products but it's like when I was a kid and a family friend owned a Jaguar and it visited the shop so often, but it was a cool car.

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  33. Honda Accords & Civics. Same as always.

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    1. I bought a new Honda Accord in 1997 and had it fourteen years. It was a fantastic car. My ex was driving a Civic bought new in the early 2000s. His car was also excellent. I decided to get a new Civic in 2010. It was the worst car I've ever owned and nothing like the its reliable predecessors. I traded it in less than two years later.

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    2. I've owned Hondas since 1973. They've been consistently good, and I'm a loyal Honda fan. My current one is a 2009 CR-V, a well-designed practical car. But I have to wonder what has happened since because the newer models are aesthetically disappointing.



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    3. I had a Honda Accord, 1991. Didn't have a good experience with it. Constantly in repairs that got much worse after 3 years of ownership.

      One day I awoke and went out the door to go to work. No car in my parking spot. Did I leave the car somewhere last night? No, I was sober. Turned out, the car was stolen for parts!

      I was happy. Now I had to get a new car.

      I bought an Audi A-4. Excellent car. I had it 19 years, 287,000 miles, and still ran strong. In fact, it still had the original muffler! I hated to give it up, but it leaked like a sieve. After 19 years, the seals were shot and we had sawdust and auto fluid all over the garage floor.

      Aiken

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  34. The preppiest line of cars now is the Minis. Assuming you eschew the flashy stripes and union jacks, they are un-sexy and built to last. And perhaps best of all, they're English.

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    1. The Mini is definitely appealing, but I'm concerned about its safety factor in challenging New England winters ... not to mention the increasing numbers of menacing idiot drivers on our roads these days.

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    2. Ha- The Mini is German (owned by BMW). They are as impractical and about as cheap to fix as any full-sized BMW... which is to say, not cheap at all. Subaru wins in a landslide for practicality, costs, looks, and reliability. Toyotas are a close second

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    3. Minis look great & are cute; drive fine. The way they designed the dash is clever. However if you are taller than 5'4 you might think you were Alice and took a sip of the Drink Me bottle. Also, low to the ground presents some visibility issues zipping along the freeway; don't change lanes unless you know the they've seen you.

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    4. Ha- The Mini is German (owned by BMW). They are as impractical and about as cheap to fix as any full-sized BMW... which is to say, not cheap at all. Subaru wins in a landslide for practicality, costs, looks, and reliability. Toyotas are a close second

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  35. Volvo is now complex and less utilitarian than before, nice for what they are, but different. Land Rover and Range Rover each have one decent model in their ranges, but are unreliable and terrible values purchased new. The other models in their range are not desirable.

    Mercedes-Benz still makes some top-down toys that are well featured and built, but their regular models now lack the once superior engineering and durability and distinctiveness of thirty years ago. These days Audi has the best engineering and build, and the Q7 is a fabulous vehicle with a restrained and practical look.

    So sad that Saab are no more, I expected at this age I would buy a new fully featured Saab, or a three year old diesel Benz, to drive for many years. Alas, Saab is gone, and Benz is abandoning diesels while losing their longevity in any case.

    The practical replacements include Ford Flex, popular with Cape Yankee upper crust, and of course Subaru. My old Range Rover owning neighbor now swears by Land Cruiser, as he now makes frequent drives out West and needs utter dependability as well as off-road capabilities.

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    1. Ford Flex -- are you kidding? The vehicle that looks like an aluminum foil carton??!

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    2. Or a paper carton quart of milk on its side

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  36. Several years ago we were in Haiti, where “roads” are often defined by the imagination. A visit to the motor pool of a large aid organization was on the agenda. Two vehicles were on the lot, a Jeep Cherokee and a Toyota Land Cruiser. We asked the mechanic present which he preferred. He pointed to the Jeep and said, “those last three years.” Then gestured to the Toyota, “those last ten years.”

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    1. Well, I have a 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser with about 118k miles and I couldn't ask for a better vehicle in snow, mud, sand or daily driving. And best of all it starts each and every time without a hitch. It's low maintenance, dependable, and holds it value. I've owned a 1999 Honda Civic ( good on gas, relatively low maintenance, high mileage capable) 2000 Toyota 4Runner SR5 (still own, essentially our beach toy, low maintenance, currently at 142k) 2004 Acura MDX ( I enjoyed this vehicle, comfy, average maintenance at mileage 160k and up, but practically dead at 212k, always premium gas and synthetic oil) and last but certainly not least the 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser (purchased with 77k miles about three years ago, extremely low maintenance, regular oil changes with synthetic, tires rotated and replaced battery.

      To get a better idea of the reliability for your car you can check out Dashboard Light. You can find the results for the Land Cruiser here
      http://dashboard-light.com/vehicles/Toyota_Land_Cruiser.html

      Why anyone would consider Land Rover is beyond me with results like this.
      Discovery : http://dashboard-light.com/vehicles/Land_Rover_Discovery.html
      Range Rover : http://dashboard-light.com/vehicles/Land_Rover_Range_Rover.html

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  37. Jeep Wagoneers are still the best "original" SUVs and they command $50,000-70,000 price tags at Wagonmaster in Texas! I love 1983-86 Wagoneers and I refuse to give up my 1986 Volvo 240DL sedan! Old Wagoneers and old Volvos are made for Labradors! (Other dogs as well; I am just partial to Labbies!) Happy New everyone! Lisa

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  38. I had a Subaru wagon and loved its utilitarian feel, but mine had an underpowered engine. I recently sold it to a friend and bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee 4X4 for my husband and I love it. Totes our four big dogs around easily and has the feel of our old Grand Wagoneer, but without the constant mechanic visits. In fact, I'm thinking of trading in my S class for one for me.

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    1. Can I be present to see the salesman's face when you present your S class in return for a Grand Cherokee? Priceless

      Hell, they may give you the JEEP for free with the relinquishing of your current vehicle.

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    2. well, I didn't say it was a NEW S class.

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  39. Land Rover really ought to update the internals of the classic “Defender” series to meet modern emissions and safety standards, but keep the shape, roomy interior, and rest of the model, and restore that series to its product line. They need to resist the temptation to change tge shape or functional interiors, however.

    I can’t imagine buying a now-Chinese Volvo wagon (Volvo Car was bought by Geely); instead, the current Subaru Outback (suitably trimmed) has taken its place is at the top of our car buying plans.
    This is a big shift since first buying a Volvo 145 wagon back in the day.

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  40. While posted in central Europe, we purchased a 2001 Saab 93 Viggen, which continues to be our summer car;and represents the last gasp of Saab's individuality as GM assimilated the Swedish firm. Subsequent Saabs were mere Opel clones, apart from the 93 decapotable (which retained some styling character when the 93 body style changed in or around 2003. Still drive the Viggen (which has never seen a winter, and has only 19,000 kms on it), and enjoy the experience on dry summer roads; the torque steering necessitated a Viggen rescue kit, and is now fine. Don't think there'ĺl ever be anything like it again, and find it difficult to forgive GM's bean counters for messing up Saab. Our other vehicles are a 2013 C300 and a Ford AWD SUV. Have been thinking of a restored late 1970s MG,for summer drives...

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  41. Every now and then manufacturers hit on a winner and for SAAB it was the 900 Turbo hatchback, it did everything well! When ours finally expired we were lucky enough to pick up a 1991 900 Turbo convertible that had lived its life in an underground garage and clocked 50,000 miles, not so practical as the hatchback but fun in the summer! We have a 95 Aero estate for the workhorse now. In the late 1980s to the early 90s car design reached a peak in terms of utility and driving enjoyment. From the mid 90s onwards emission controls started to strangle engines and manufacturers started filling cars up with more and more complex solid state electronics. 30% of the value of new cars is now in electronics and software. When they break down or get in a collision it's often uneconomic to repair them.

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  42. The Volvo photo gallery was certainly a treat. I own both a 20 year old Volvo S70 and 4 year old Subaru Outback and can attest that the Volvo is a bit more sprightly and conveys a connection to the road that the Subaru cannot come close to replicating. That said, its a big car that can feel a bit unhinged if you push it too much on winding country roads. The Subaru is great in the snow and can accommodate five passengers along with the dog and gear for all. It offers little in the way of handling, its more of a tool than a toy. In terms of new(er) models I'm partial to wagons and have heard good things about the new Subaru Impreza and the VW Golf Wagons (personally, I'm wary of VW's after owning a Passat Wagon that redefined the term money pit but my brother has owned several and has had a better experience). These are both smaller wagons and will offer handling closer to the Volvo 's and Saabs of old but with all wheel drive. And while it was discontinued in 2014, the Acura TSX Sport Wagon offered small wagon versatility and great handling. It was based on the European Honda Accord and carries the same reputation for reliability. As for me, I'll continue to save my pennies for my dream car, an MB E-Class Wagon. Happy New Year!

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  43. Following the shockingly early demise of my latest XC70, I bought a '94 Isuzu Trooper on a whim. It's a plain, utilitarian box on 4 chunky tires with a manual transmission and wind up windows. It has high ground clearance for the days when the roads to the ski hill are not plowed. I am falling in love with it.

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  44. We left our 2014 subaru outback with manual trans.and AWD for the smaller 2017 VW Alltrack with manual trans and AWD. Both excellent wagons, both 6 speed manuals, both an excellent value on initial purchase. The verdicts still out on longevity.

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    1. Having driven six-speed vehicles when we traveled in Europe and the U.K. (one with right-hand drive), I'll take an automatic any day. Six speeds was more than I knew what to do with. Even five was unnecessary on my old Ford Escort.

      Driving on the left with right-hand drive wasn't all that difficult, at least after the first hundred yards. I even managed shifting with my left hand, although I still had trouble with a six-speed.

      I still wish I'd rented that Skoda they had on hand.

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  45. We have a ‘07 Forester with 212,000 miles on it. It always starts. It gets us home in the storm. It doesn’t owe us a nickel. Regular maintenance has paid off. It is a very utilitarian vehicle. We love it... For creature comfort we roll out a near mint ‘97 Volvo 960 with 105,000 miles. It’s our “Sunday car.” Heated seats!

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  46. I must say I have enjoyed these comments immensely and now have much to ponder when considering a reluctant replacement for my beloved 1999 Subaru Forester (but only when it dies). Right now it is perfect so ~ knock wood!
    Thank you, SWNE community, for sharing your knowledge and your experiences with your various vehicles!

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  47. My 2013 Volvo XC 60 has been great for me. Its AWD. Spacious (it perfectly fits my bike in the back when I take it along) and I have put a bazillion miles on it with few problems. Most importantly, I love the safety of having it with my kids often driving. A parent's peace of mind is priceless. I'm a forever Volvo driver.

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  48. Interested in the Jeep opinions! We're doing some vehicle shuffling, which means selling an Outback and getting a new vehicle for me (husband will get my Explorer). I was going to get a new Outback, but was also just wondering what else was out there.

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    1. I know its blasphemous in many circles to say this but based on data, Consumer Reports, and anecdotal evidence, a relative that works for a dealer, there seem to be a fair number of reliability issues with Jeep products. I've never owned one so I can't speak from my own experience. I've had good luck with Toyota's and would be inclined to look at a 4-Runner.

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    2. I had a Jeep and it stayed broken down.....my mother bought a Jeep SUV and could not get rid of it quick enough. She had so many reliability troubles, she traded it in for a Toyota 4Runner before the warranty ran out....and we are talking about 8,000 miles....

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    3. Ohhh, right! Forgot about the 4Runner.....I've had Subarus almost since my first car, which was a Toyota!

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    4. I'm on my fourth Jeep and other than the Grand Wagoneer (which, admittedly was 30+ years old when I was driving it), I haven't really experienced any issues. The Subaru Outback, on the other hand, had a number of "strange" (according to the dealer) repairs necessary, including new brakes at less than 40,000 miles and some electrical glitches.

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    5. The very first year that Subaru had a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), those transmissions were less reliable than usual for a Subaru. Multiple reports say that issue is long since resolved.

      Also, many report that Subaru's 6-cylinder engines have been more reliable than their 4-cylinder engines.

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  49. Not exactly relevant to the original question, but a prominent local Volvo dealer for the last few decades just passed away. His name was Don Beyer. His son, Don Beyer, Jr., is a former ambassador to Switzerland and currently a member of congress. They sold Land-Rovers and Subaru's, too, but he preferred driving his Dodge Charger.

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    1. I read Don Beyer's obit in the Washington Post the other day, and also found it curious that he drove a Dodge Charger. However, I have been more than pleased with my 2010 Subaru Forrester purchased at the Don Beyer dealership. I've also had good service from the dealership when my regular garage can't handle specific situations. We became a Subaru family just before the birth of our daughter. My husband eventually traded his 2000 BMW 7 series for a 2014 Subaru Outback.
      Sassy in Clifton, VA

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  50. I was excited to see recently that Volvo has introduced a new large wagon, the V90. It's available off the lot in the XC format or you can order a plain (YES!) version. I have had mostly Volvo & Saabs but recently inherited an Audi Allroad, which I love. Have been avoiding an SUV like the plague, but there are fewer and fewer big wagons to chose from. My Saab 9000 was the best car I've ever owned.

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  51. I totaled my Saab 9-3 hatchback 5 years ago and I'm still in mourning. I bought it (used) because I could haul anything in it. I now drive a 2004 Audi which is a good car but is costing me a lot in repairs. I would do anything to have my Saab again. Or also I might like a Jeep Cherokee as it is classic and basic and can also haul stuff. I wish they'd make those again.

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  52. Had a Volvo 544, then an early 80's Volvo 240 series. Sold it when it had 320,000KM on it and still ran perfectly (2 doors are not good with car seats). Now have had a Jeep Liberty for 8 years and haven't had anything go wrong. 105,000 miles on it and it will go at 200,000 miles or 12 years. Been a great car, runs in all the snow and hauls us and dog around fine. I can't think of a car built today that I would really want to replace it.

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  53. An old friend of my Dad used to say on rainy days - "third class driving is better than first class walking".

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  54. Current vehicles that remind me of the good old days in 1970s and 80s Connecticut are the Minis, Jeep Wrangler and Patriot, BMW 328x, VW eGolf Alltrack and Tiguan, Mercedes Wagons (my mom drives one) and Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. The new Jeep Renegade is a really ugly vehicle, and it looks like the 2019 Cherokee will be similarly hideous. Buick Regals are really popular here in VT with the old timers. I currently drive a 10 year old grey Jeep Liberty that is still in great shape with 1500000 miles on it. I love the stuffing out of it! It is manual transmission. I might get a Jeep Wrangler Sport - the 2018 one is supposed to be really nice..wish they would make a hybrid version. Long ago my favorite cars were my VW Camper, my 1969 Volvo 145 estate wagon (green - my dad gave it to me in 1981 - my first car), and our family Saab 900s.

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  55. Still good advice:

    Do: Any Jaguar built before 1965; any Jeep made before 1990; Land Rover Defender with wet bathing suits in the back and your younger son's hockey gloves; 1992 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon; Geladenwagen; anything without a visible registration sticker; anything with an Obama sticker Aston Martin; Porsche Turbo.

    Don't: Hummer (if you own one, just stop reading - you are beyond my ability to help you); anything made by Ford (expect possibly a 1989 Bronco II with several beach permit stickers from Nantucket); anything Japanese or Korean; anything with a Bush or McCain sticker; and finally, the ultimate sin, a Corvette.

    WHAT DOG TO BRING IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE RIGHT CAR OR TRUCK:

    Do: Golden Retriever (but only it its name is Pooh, Bear, or Poohbear); any Lab; Cairn or Jack Russell; Irish or English Setter; any breed with fewer than 5 registered dogs in the United States (as in "we saw her in Tibet and just had to bring her home").

    Don't: German Shepard; Beagle; Poodle; Yorkshire Terrier; anything with white fur; anything wearing a coat (unless the coat is a needlepoint with the Wesleyan Seal stitched into a dark blue or red background).

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    1. I like your advice however I disagree on a few of your "don't" dogs; German Shepherds, Beagles and Standard Poodles (no goofy haircuts) are all really cool dogs although I am a Lab person! Like I said earlier in the comments, Jeep Wagoneers and older Volvos are made for schlepping around labbies (or any other sporting/gun dogs)! Some rude person attempted to peel off my Obama sticker so I replaced it with a Bernie sticker in 2015. Lisa

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    2. Lisa, owning a poodle is, to true prep, the equivalent of not wearing boxers (male prep) or wearing blue eye shadow (female prep). It simply isn't done. Also, supporting Bernie was not prep. Sorry.

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    3. The equivalent of not wearing boxers -- Really? In my experience it is done all the time. There should be a poll on this. Tous mes hommes ne portent rien du tout.

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    4. Actually, Standard poodles were used as retrieving dogs in the past and the "goofy" haircuts were to protect parts of their bodies from cold waters. As far as being "preppy", Lisa Birnbach included the Standard Poodle in the group of dogs also favored by preppy families.

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  56. I've thought about this for a bit, being the former owner of two well loved Volvos in the 80's. One a 1976 and the other an 1988 240. I loved the basic shapes, purposeful design, usefulness and roominess of the vehicles. Although not a "car" the one of the best choices in this vein, believe it or not would be a basic no frills pick up Truck from Ford or Chevy, preferably Ford. In the new car category there are shrinking considerations. We drive a 2012 XC90 which has a lot going for it. Subaru, Volvo, Ford would be places I would look.

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  57. I am sticking with my Toyota Corolla which is low maintenance plus great gas mileage. The car runs like a tank!

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