October 27, 2007

Alas, fair Volvo, I drove thee well.

Apparently, when we went off the road, the front struts were driven up into the strut mounts and and bent the strut mounts out of shape. The insurance adjuster told me this on Friday. He also told me that he got a quote for fixing it and that it would cost $23,000. Since he believes the cost of the repair to be more than the cost of the car, our beloved v70XC is a write-off.

I was not pleased with this news. When we went off the road, the surreal smoothness and incredible handling of the vehicle - not to mention that we were able to drive it from Watson Lake back to Whitehorse afterwards - only increased my appreciation of what a great vehicle it is. Or was.

Our history with the car was long. It was a royal pain-in-the-butt to get serviced, but it was a joy to drive and suited our lifestyle quite well. It had everything that I wanted in a vehicle: all-wheel drive, good ground clearance and a low centre of gravity (something that SUV designers have never been able to figure out), enough cargo space for my tuba, and places to tie down a canoe or two. And now we have to find a replacement. Indeed, I was not happy with the news.

I spent yesterday vehicle shopping and was less than impressed, though I tried to keep an open mind. I even tried a couple of minivans. I was pleasantly surprised by the minivans but at the end of the day, I couldn't find anything that was even half as good, versatile, or as nimble as our XC.



Anonymous said...

Why not get another Volvo, say the XC70? Or do you want something that can be serviced locally for less money?

We own the Official Whitehorse Vehicle, y'know a Subaru Outback, and really dig it. Also have a Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 which is awfully fun. Can carry a lot of mountain bikes in the back and kicks butt off-road. Around town it's, well, a big truck, but great driving for where it is intended.

Meandering Michael said...

We probably will get another XC70 (the same year or one or two newer), even with the service issues. I was out exploring my options to see if I could find a suitable alternative for a reasonable price. It didn't happen, but I'll keep my eyes open.

Fawn said...

See, when it comes right down to it, we've been driving a luxury vehicle for the last four years and you'll never give up any of it: power, handling, braking, clearance, comfy seats. While a Suburu could probably compete on all these points, Michael can't give up that big boxy back-end that gives us incredible amounts of cargo space.

When we moved to Whitehorse, I thought we could downsize, since we would no longer be buying 2 weeks of groceries at a time. But, by George, we use the space. A kid and a dog sure take up a lot of room. Seriously.