Thanks to all for your thoughts on the Volvo vs. Camry wagon issue.
You all make excellent points for and against. I think that 240
ownership would sit well with me. I have a garage full of tools and a
head full of know-how when it comes to car repairs, so know that I will
learn and understand and maintain the Volvo car very well. As long as I
can get a very good specimen (no rust, well maintained, good records),
I know I'll be allright.
There is a certain appeal to have a "turn the key, drive it and forget
it" kind of car (ie. Camry), but in my experience they are not the most
awe-inspiring vehicles to drive (used to own a 93 Camry wagon)! I've
test driven a couple of very nice mid-90 Camry sedans in recent weeks,
some with very low mileage. One can't fault the finish, the interior
features, the comfort, etc., but I find them very bland (except maybe
the 92-96 models, which are more appealing on the outside). I suppose
it's a price to pay for peace of mind and trouble-free driving. Then
again, buying a 10+ year old Camry (as some of the Camry wagon
specimens I have seen) is fraught with risk too (one needed brake/fuel
lines because the ones on there were quite rusty, front shocks, engine
mount, the antenna wouldn't go up, the rear wiper didn't work, etc.;
however the A/C was nice and cold, the interior was like new).
I've got my eye on what I think is an excellent 240 wagon specimen (90
DL) that has had a lot of parts replaced in the last 18 months (owner
is selling regretfully). It's a few hours away from where I live so I
have to negotiate a long distance deal but it might prove worth it.
I also own a 1982 Mercedes-Benz diesel sedan (240D) with over 200,000
miles and which I use from Spring to Fall (I'm driving it full time now
since selling my 90 Corolla a few weeks ago). So the wagon (VOlvo or
Camry - or maybe Subaru as someone recommended me!) would largely be
used during the colder weather, as well as for general all around
driving in the other seasons, taking the kids and I camping, hauling
stuff, etc. I store the MB in the winter, so the Volvo would be my only
means of transport during the winter, which is why I wanted to get a
sense of how reliable a 15 year old Volvo would be in that case. Sounds
like when properly tuned up, and with good winter tires and
preventative maintenance, should be no problem.
Michael Cerkowski wrote:
> We have an '88 240Dl and a '95 Camry sedan. In most areas except
> longevity and ruggedness-in-a-crash, the Camry is the better car. The
> Volvo is nice, but in terms of economy, reliabilty and overall value,
> I would definitely choose the Camry. It easily gets 27-35MPG average,
> while the 240 struggles to get 26MPG average, and they are both the
> same approximate weight & size (body and engine). Both are automatics.
> The Volvo also handles a bit better, at least with proper tires,
> and the seats are more comfortable. The electrical system is definitely
> worse, as is the fuel system and the A/C. If you want a 'driver's car',
> consider the Volvo. if you want a 'consumer's car', the Camry is by far
> the better choice. Ours has 145K miles on it (about the same as the
> Volvo; neither burns oil), and all we've replaced is the radiator and a
> couple of small parts. I've actually lost track of all the work done on
> the 240. It's now the "spare" car. It's tough, it's got character, but
> it isn't a Commuter's Dream.