2000 Volvo V40 Station Wagon (277)

Overview:

Just last night at a party I listened to a conversation about how station wagons were out. I thought, hey I just drove a 2000 Volvo V40 Station wagon and loved it. The comment was made relative to SUV’s that have been all the rage over the past decade. Now even Porsche is said to be getting into that market. Fads may come and go, but when a fad turns into practicality, the product stays around for a while. And that’s the case with station wagons that have been around since those great old Woody’s. Even Mercedes has a station wagon. I’ll bet Moon Doggie now puts his surfboard on his Benz. What’s this world coming to?

No, station wagons are not out of style. But they have been replaced in large numbers by SUVs. Station wagons smack of the practical family car, and give the impression of “down home” kind of people. It is, after all, just a stretched out family sedan that speaks of mom, dad, the kids and grandma on vacation. Right now SUV’s are the IN thing. They are OFF ROAD for goodness sake. They’re safe. Mom can drive in the rain, sleet and snow to SHOP and get the KIDS to school and back safely. You never know what obstacles you’ll need to negotiate out there on the streets of suburbia.

SUV’s also allow dad to give a SPORTing reason for buying this robust “Wagon”. They can tow stuff, haul other stuff and best of all they’re unisex. Dad can have the benefits of a station wagon and still be MACHO and mom can have practicality and also display that new macho femininity.

Well, in theory that all works, but in the real world 90% of the time the SUV will never get off road and the 4-wheel thing is just a costly appendage. The wagon does it all and does it more efficiently including much better gas mileage.

Think about it. Is that right or wrong? If you said that’s right, you’re less likely to be swayed by fashions and fads designed by marketing experts to separate you from your wallet. You’re probably a leader rather than a follower. You’re your own person who really cares about the real utility of a station wagon to handle the chores of suburbia for less money. Don’t misunderstand me, I love SUV’s. I’ve done off-roading and even gone on a three day Jeep Jamboree. However, two things come to mind to contrast these two options. Consider that both perform relatively the exact same function. Now picture a little child climbing into both. The wagon is accessible to the child while a stepladder is needed for those little kids to get into the SUV.

I’ve owned both and driven tons of others over the years and objectively speaking “That’s the Truth”, as one of Lilly Tomlin’s characters used to say with a slight lisp. And since Volvo is built in Sweden it’s appropriate to recall the Old Swedish saying that “Vee get to soon Oldt, Undt to late Schmart”.

Smart considerate shoppers will consider this Volvo for their small or young family. I was truly surprised at the price after the test drive. I highly recommend you look at this station wagon. There is a window of opportunity to get Volvo quality at a great price. I don’t believe it will be as affordable after folks learn what a good deal it is today. Volvo is trying to appeal to younger buyers who couldn’t afford the usual higher prices. Informed young families will surely take them up on an offer that’s hard to refuse. Are my kids listening?

The competition:

Subaru Legacy Wagon $18,395 – $23,695, All the mini vans in this price range, None of the pricey SUV’s .

Good News:

Compact size to zip around town, powerful, solid and well built, comfortable, handles great and is simply fun to drive, more rounded styling, lots of conveniences and most important it’s an exceptional value for the money.

Bad News:

Compact close quarters for bigger people, ignition poorly placed and hard to get the key in.

Standard Equipment:

1.9Liter inline turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, 4-Speed Automatic transmission with Sport, Economy and Winter settings, 4-wheel power antilock disc brakes, dual front and side airbags, rack and pinion power steering, unit body construction, rear child safety locks, open door warning system, 8-way adjustable driver’s seat, climate control, power windows and mirrors, cruise control, stereo with cassette, remote keyless entry, tilt steering column, and much more.

Gas Stats:

21 City and 28 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $23,900 – $23,900

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

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