Just for those who don’t speak Swedish, literally; “Oh God, I own a Volvo now!”

Yes, for those that know me feel free to begin snickering. However, I’m actually pretty happy with this “radical decision”.

It’s true that I ride my motorbike, even as the temperature drops around here. However, the reality began to set in as I realized that my motorbike is going to be next to useless in a few weeks once we get the first serious frost of the season… at least in the morning. We’ve had a frost or two, but they were light and were mostly dissipated by the time I went to work. Now, as that realization hit I started to look at my trusty SVX and realized that it wasn’t going to cut it any more.

Why? Well, simple logic. Rebekah’s looking to go back to work soon, so she’ll need a car to ferry her around. She’s started applying for lots of jobs… wish her luck. Anyway, I knew that the occasion would come when I would have to pick the kids up from school. Not that bad in an SVX for all the distance I’d be driving… but not so practical realistically. Plus, it’d be nice to have at least one car with less than 100,000 miles (the SVX is at 136,000 and the Acura’s at 108,000).

OK, so the need for another car was there… but do I need to get into a car payment again? Well, simple math told me I could afford it… but I’ve sort of become accustomed to having both my cars paid off. However, needs must… so a car payment it was.

So, about a week ago I started lightly car shopping. That car shopping was interrupted by me getting a bad cold and being in bed for two days… but we continued. I have to admit I’ve always had a soft spot for Volvos. Actually, I have a soft spot for Swedish cars in general (as my long-term “affair” with a Saab will testify), so after a lot of research I wasn’t too surprised when the two top contenders for my money when I whittled out all those cars that lacked either the “must have” or “nice to have” features were a Saab and a Volvo. I was looking then at a 2001 Saab 9-3 (an updated version of my old 900… turbocharged, sporty… small) and a 2001 Volvo S60 (slightly bigger, slower but plusher ride and some niceties).

Obviously, from the subject you know where this is going… but it wasn’t quite that cut and dried. Even with lower miles, the Saab would have been cheaper… but that also was a black mark against it. Both cars cost the same new… roughly… so that meant the Saab was losing value significantly faster than the equivalent Volvo. OK, so the Volvo’s not fast… but it is built like a tank! Plus, since Volvo have made a good attempt to update their image in the last few years they produce some nice looking cars. I passed up an S40 just about two years ago simply because I wanted my SVX at the time.

So I go shopping for cars anyway… best not to put all my eggs in one basket. I saw one in particular I liked at WestPlex Motors in St. Charles; the same dealership where I purchased the Acura 2.5 years ago. It was a 2001 S60… pretty much a base model plus the mid-range stereo system, a sunroof, heated leather seats and a nice tasteful “gold” paint job. It’s not “pimp ma raad” gold, but a nice Volvo gold. This is on the first day of shopping. Rebekah and I tentatively agree that this would be a good one… but we shop around a bit more anyway.

Over the next week, we check out and test drive a Saab 9-3 that becomes the front runner for a day or two… and a Jeep Grand Cherokee that barely came close.

So what swayed my decision? Well, when I had it narrowed down to the two cars, I drove them both and asked myself which car was going to work for me until I’m 40? When I realized the Saab was going to be more fun while the Volvo gave me a more comfortable ride, the choice became rather obvious. I am not a man in a mid-life crisis… I’m a man with kids and a need to ferry myself and them around safely. The Saab would have done that job admirably as well, but in the end there was only one point separating the two; finances. While the Saab cost less, I could get a better loan interest rate on the Volvo. If the loan were to run to 5 years in total (I plan to pay off in two… but that’s another story) then the price difference would only be about $1000 on the total loan. That, and when I called up West County Volvo/Saab (a dealer for both cars that I trust and used to deal with when I had my Saab… in fact where I bought my Saab) I asked their service department about comparative ownership costs over 5 years of the two cars (given they were both 2001 models). It appears the Volvo earns top marks for costing less over the last five years than the compared Saab.

Now, does that mean the next 5 years are going to be any better? Who knows? I guess we’ll find out 🙂

So I now own a Volvo. I’ve still got my SVX and my Acura… but maybe an SVX-owning friend of mine will buy it off me. We’ll see.

For now… ta bekymmer om dig själve , och Jag vill tala till du senare.

Icke gör det partiet alltför härdad!

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