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  #1  
Old 18th November 2005
D. Thomas D. Thomas is offline
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Default Saab Wagon vs. Volvo Wagon

Ok, I am hen-pecked......

Continuing my search for a decent Saab Wagon (whilst the wifey drives a van borrowed from her workplace)..and she keeps pointing out the Volvo All Wheel Drive Wagon to me as an "substitute" for a Saab. Having owned a Volvo for the first time, I do like the way the engine compartment is layedout, but my heart belongs to the Saab.

Any diehard wagon lovers have any complaints with their wagons(9-5)?

I am slowly being drawn toward to Volvo Wagon since the choices are greater than the Saab choices available.
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  #2  
Old 18th November 2005
andante andante is offline
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A man who calls himself Wolfeman who listens to his wife about what car HE should drive.

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  #3  
Old 18th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andante
A man who calls himself Wolfeman who listens to his wife about what car HE should drive.

I like this guy, though he has no regard for human life, lol.

I was under the impression that you had found one.
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  #4  
Old 18th November 2005
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AWD is nice, but 99% of the time it's not needed. AWD cuts gas mileage significantly -- 100% of the time (like 4-5 mpg less highway). There are a lot more heavy moving parts for the engine to push around in an AWD system.

You don't list a location, but even in the snow belt, FWD with dedicated winter tires will do quite well, certainly as well as AWD with all-season tires.

I'm more and more convinced that AWD is more of a marketing ploy than anything else. It's nice to have, but at what cost? 4 mpg less for the life of the car?
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Old 18th November 2005
D. Thomas D. Thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andante
A man who calls himself Wolfeman who listens to his wife about what car HE should drive.

Yea, and your POINT?????????? Unfortunately she is MRS WOLFEMAN
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  #6  
Old 18th November 2005
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My thoughts exactly Black Beauty....also a helluva lot more to repair when there are problems with the tranny or drivetrain.....Me thinks she looks at it as smaller version of her old Suburban........

Just gonna have to move quickly and find the right Saab and not tell her, bring it home....and wait for my hell to pay!!!!!
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  #7  
Old 18th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy Wonka
I like this guy, though he has no regard for human life, lol.

I was under the impression that you had found one.
Found a beauty of a RED one and she didn't like the color at all, then found a black one and guess what????
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  #8  
Old 19th November 2005
kenhoeve kenhoeve is offline
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i know a bit about the volvos having been a long time owner. tell me which year/model you are looking at.
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  #9  
Old 19th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenhoeve
i know a bit about the volvos having been a long time owner. tell me which year/model you are looking at.
1999-2000 Cross Countrys and the V70's(all must have the third row seats)
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  #10  
Old 19th November 2005
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Quote:
(all must have the third row seats)
Ahh, that narrows it down. When we were buying my wife's car back in February, that's the criteria that led us down the path to a Mercedes E320 wagon, with AWD. (The wife had to have AWD. Didn't want a separate set of winter tires. Sigh. )

I don't think that the rear-facing kiddie seats in the Merc are too much of a safety compromise -- unlike, say, the front-facing 3rd row seat in the Acura MDX, which IMHO puts all of the vital parts of a third row passenger in the crumple zone. IIRC, the Volvo seats are the same as the Mercedes'.
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Old 19th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Thomas
1999-2000 Cross Countrys and the V70's(all must have the third row seats)
i gotta say stay away from the XC's. with the mileage those years have on it, you are rolling the dice on the AWD. the volvo AWD is very finicky about tire wear, and the bevel gears are lousy. without a warranty i would be too scared. if you can get a warranty, go for it.

the other main thing to worry about on those cars is the electronic throttle body. they go out prematurely and often, costing $1000 to fix. HOWEVER, a recent lawsuit has been settled and Volvo has now extended the factory warranty on the ETB's to 200,000 miles.

I would personally go with a V70 T5. Wonderful, wonderful car. Just a chip and that thing is a 14.6 @ 95 car(pretty heavy). Don't handle all that well though.
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  #12  
Old 19th November 2005
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Question

For what it's worth, my overly ambitious c900 t16, out performed a 4matic wagon, in 4" of snow. It was snowing, 4" on the road, and a turbo that likes to boost. I was surprised that the MB was so conservative. I'm sure it could have probably been more flexible, unless it's weight distribution, didn't allow proper traction for steering. Knowing MB it's probably near 50/50.
So it's anecdotal.
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  #13  
Old 19th November 2005
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Quote:
For what it's worth, my overly ambitious c900 t16, out performed a 4matic wagon, in 4" of snow. It was snowing, 4" on the road, and a turbo that likes to boost. I was surprised that the MB was so conservative. I'm sure it could have probably been more flexible, unless it's weight distribution, didn't allow proper traction for steering. Knowing MB it's probably near 50/50.
So it's anecdotal.
Well, I don't think that they made a c900 that seats 7.

My wife's previous car was a '97 Honda CRV, with it's "on demand" AWD. It proved useful getting started up hills in the winter. She liked it, hence the desire for AWD in the next car.

I suspect part of the reason the c900 does well is the narrower tires. The MB wagon has 235 size tires, which is pretty wide to do well in the snow.
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  #14  
Old 19th November 2005
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We've had a 2001 Cross Country and a 2004 Cross Country. Both have been great; the first go-around had a couple rattles but the new one is rock solid. The stereo is great, the power delivery is good and the AWD rocks in the winter time. I really like the interior fit and finish too... the seats are really comfy. I tried convincing them to get a 9-5 Wagon, because I think those look a lot better, but the AWD really, really helps in the snow (and we do have some nasty driving conditions in Southern Maine throughout the winter time).

A good driver should be able to make any configuration work in the snow, RWD or FWD, but there's no denying that having AWD helps a great deal.

*EDIT*

And there have been zero problems with either car in terms of engine, drivetrain, tire-wear, etc... they've been great.
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  #15  
Old 20th November 2005
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We had a 9-5 owner pull out a 4x4 stuck in the snow last winter! There's no 3rd row of seats on the 9-5 wagon, SAAB refused to fit them on safety grounds.
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  #16  
Old 20th November 2005
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just get a sticker that says AWD and stick it on there. she'll never know
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  #17  
Old 21st November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Thomas
all must have the third row seats
That really narrows things down and effectively eliminates the Saab.
However, I would suggest that you find one of these cars, take the whole family, and take one out for a drive ... with the kids in the very back.
Something tells me that would not be the standard place for them.
Not only that, but I believe the 9-5 wagon has more room than a V70 (my brother-in-law has one so I get to see it first hand).

I suppose if you had to by something else, a Volvo is not a bad way to go.

Having said that, I'm going to chime in on the AWD discussion here ...
Unless there is a fundamental need for AWD (meaning snow - and lots of it - and ice upwards of half the year or living in an area where wind is enough of a factor that AWD was needed), I would stay away.
As has been pointed out, you use more gas ... and today, that translates to a lot of money paid out.
Also, it adds weight (bad) and complexity to a vehicle ... which also translates to money paid out.

Keep us posted!
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  #18  
Old 21st November 2005
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I have an AWD cr-v and it doesn't really drink more gas over the fwd BUT it's one more thing I have to change fluid on (the rear diff). You COULD go vintage to get that extra row of seats. The Saab 95 has a two person rear facing jump seat in it!


How many kids do you have? I can sit 3 very comfortably in the back seats of my 9-5 sedan. Much more so than say an Accord.
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  #19  
Old 21st November 2005
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My sister has a V70XC. It gets around 25mpg max, and it has "decent" acceleration, though my aero can completely obliterate it. Not a bad car, but the awd system is somewhat high maintenance. Very comfortable car though.
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