By on June 11, 2014
Dave writes:
Hi Sajeev -

I live in Brooklyn and I have a 2011 Prius that I still owe about $10k on. Before mocking my choice of personal transportation, remember that driving dynamics mean next to nothing when you live in a place where it’s hard to go above 40 MPH at any given time and the roads resemble 1990′s Kosovo. That said, my best friend is the service manager at a Volvo dealership and she just received a 1993 Volvo 940 wagon on trade.

It has 124k miles on it, and it’s been garaged and meticulously maintained with new tires, new muffler, new brakes, etc. She’s having her shop give it a once-over and she can sell it to me for $3k and I’m impulsively forking over the money without giving it a second thought. I’ve always wanted to own a Volvo wagon; perhaps it’s because in 1993, our family owned a 1986 Nova and a 1991 Saturn and I was always painfully aware of the better options on the road. Psychoanalysis aside, I’ve been a ‘car guy’ my entire life but I don’t know the first thing about fixing a Volvo.

Here’s my plan: keep both the Volvo and the Prius for the summer and decide to sell one of them at the end of August. Forge a good relationship with a local, well-reviewed Volvo repair shop. Be honest with myself and realize that the Prius will likely get the boot come August.

Since I’m currently paying $300/month in car payments, I could save that much and presumably spend it on the Volvo (which I wouldn’t mind, knowing that I’d be driving my dream car). I don’t depend on my car to get to work and would put less than 10k/year on the Volvo were it to become my daily driver.

I can’t tell if this is the best or worst idea I’ve ever had and I’d love to get your thoughts.

Sajeev Answers:

Aside from parking availability, this is one of the smartest things I’ve seen in months. Here’s why.

One of my closest friends lives in Brooklyn, and I’ve spent a few days there with his family.  I kinda loved it, as so many things were within walking distance from their apartment. So I see where you’re coming from. And your assessment of the Volvo and your need to find a reputable mechanic implies you’re covering all the bases. Considering the roads and availability of public transportation in NYC, having an old Volvo as your only mode of transport isn’t a bad idea.

It’s kind of a great idea. Plus, if you fill the cargo area with crates of PBR, you’d be the coolest cat in your borough.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist making a hipster joke. 

Get the Volvo, find a good indie mechanic, register on the brickboard forums and be an active lurker, sell the Prius and live a happy life with your dream car.  Many of us will be jealous, but we’ll be happy that you are happy.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice. 

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100 Comments on “Piston Slap: Brooklyn’s Dream Machine?...”


  • avatar

    Inside NYC parking is very difficult because many homes are overcrowded with illegal sub-leasees.

    You can spend over an hour in Holland tunnel traffic trying to get from NY to NJ.

    That can also be the case when trying to cross a bridge if Chris Christie is mad at your district.

    That’s why a car like the Camry, Sonata, Altima or any other mid-size is a good choice. A 4-cylinder is just fine so long as it can tow your load.

    You really don’t need to be able to accelerate from 0 – 60 because the legal limits here are 45mph and max at 55mph on the highways – which is really stupid, but done so they can ticket people and earn revenue. Di-Blasio has recently lowered the speed limits in many areas to 25, just so he can get me…

    • 0 avatar
      Hemi

      Says the guy with TWO SRTs….

      Comeon bro, you know if you’re not doing 70-80 on NYC or the NJ Tpke, youre getting run over. No one does the “45″ limit.

      De Blassio added speed cameras for out safety!!!! (/Sarcasm)

      • 0 avatar
        Hemi

        I will add if you care about MPG, keep your Prius. Nothing worse than sitting in NYC traffic and watch my average MPG drop from 28 to 10 lolol. Luckily I don’t care haha

        • 0 avatar

          Hemi

          Exactly. I’d completely love my cars if they had a START/STOP technology to let me keep running the AC and blasting the stereo while the engine is off.

          START/STOP would probably increase mileage by about 5MPG.

          I get really, really upset and anxious when I’m in traffic, so my strategy is to be at the front of every light and to stay so far ahead of other people that they can’t possibly hold me back.

          As you might imagine, I go through brake pads and tires.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Prilosec, too, I suppose.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            That start/stop thing while keeping the A/C running is available in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. I suppose you could build a conventional drivetrain car with an electric A/C compressor and extra battery, but by the time you add all that you’re most of the way to hybridhood anyway, and you might as well add the electric motor for torque fill.

      • 0 avatar

        Hemi

        I see the Theory of Relativity in action all the time.

        When I’m on the road surrounded by 4-cylinders and 6-cylinders… being able to out accelerate everyone with ease means that even if they are moving at 75, it feels like they are standing still.

        Even if they are moving at 85 it feels like they are standing still.

        I can’t wait to supercharge one of these animals.

        • 0 avatar
          Synchromesh

          I’d be careful about saying that. There are quite a few 4 and 6-cyl cars that can easily handle a stock V8 SRT. Properly modded Evos and WRX can squeeze out over 500hp and with lighter weight and awd will wipe floors with anything but a Viper. Last gen WRX does about 4.7s 0-60 bone stock, fyi.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I was puzzling over your post until I realized you said TOW your load, not what I thought you said. I mean, who “tows a load” in NYC? And with a Camry no less??

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    This seems like a fantastic idea to save some money. If you’re a car guy, the Volvo redblocks are very easy to work on as is the 940 itself. Look under the hood and you’ll realize there is enough space for another engine.

    The cars are very durable and can handle some abuse. The fantastic folks on the Brickboard plus a good indie mechanic will keep this thing going for a long time. Use those big rubber bumpers to muscle your way through traffic (though you won’t be going anywhere fast).

    I used to have a 1994 940 Wagon and loved it. If you don’t buy it (or want to sell) let me know!

  • avatar

    I think I deserve a pat on the back for not telling Dave that he should embrace Panther Love if the 940 doesn’t work out.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Your dream car is a 20 year old Volvo wagon? You dream big, pilgrim.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      Welcome to Brooklyn.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The interior would have to be in perfect condition (in leather) for me to make this trade-off.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        For a Volvo wagon to achieve “dream car” status in my eyes it would need either a V8 and Newman’s Own assprint still clearly defined in the driver’s seat, or big stickers, no ground clearance, and the lingering musk of Rickard Rydell.

        I had some formative experiences in a Volvo station wagon but they can’t overpower my distaste for the typical Volvo tugboat-hewn-of-solid-steel driving experience.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      There was once a time when the purchase of a Volvo wagon signified a new member entry into the “comfortable” levels of American Middle Class.

      Now if you purchase a Volvo wagon of similar vintage, you’re not being initiated into said socioeconomic class (you’d need a German crossover to achieve that), you’re just a guy with an old, nerdy-looking wagon.

      That said, I wouldn’t mind owning a well-maintained 240. And no, it doesn’t have to be a wagon. I’d just like to beat up on one for a while and see what all of this fuss is about, because most older Volvos sure are painful to look at.

      Side note: I will happily trade MOST any (not just any in particular, some being excluded) of my organs for a low-mileaged V70R. I do however, believe that daily they are getting several steps closer to achieving unicorn status.

      One more thing: I see more XC90′s then I can shake a stick at in the upscale fringes of St. Louis Suburbia.

      Be advised: should you travel approximately 20 minutes further outside of St. Louis, and if you are caught driving a Volvo, the good ole’ Mid-Missouri folks might take you for one of them Obama-loving Socialists.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a classic. It’s the cleanest of the Brick styling.

  • avatar
    Hemi

    What part of Brooklyn do you live on? I ask because most would whimper and cry in a corner at the thought of 2 cars in Brooklyn.

    I agree on the Kosovoesque streets, however do you not leave Brooklyn? Even driving local, I’m able to enjoy driving dynamics, or headed out east, upstate or anywhere else honestly.

    Since you drive so much in the city under 40mph, I’d keep the Prius. Only because of the city MPG. I also assume you care about MPG and was reason for buying it?

  • avatar
    Jesse

    ’93 is a good year for the 940:
    *r-134 AC
    *Output shaft bearing instead of bushing on the transmission,
    *b230 oil-squirter block
    *Locking rear diff
    *etc

    I think it’s a very wise choice. A 940 with low miles like that will be a real sweetheart of a vehicle.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Your plan is understandable and not that bad an idea – the money saving part anyway.

    However, having a 21 year old car as a daily driver is a bit risky (I know, mine is a 1991 model). If you don’t drive much and you have a place to keep the car parked (I used to live in D.C. and I know what tough, daily parking is like) I guess it won’t matter much. The Volvo will, however, need attention and continually more attention as it ages – it’s the nature of the beast. You just need to make sure that you are up for that.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      No worry, he lives in a place we call civilization. The $300 saved in the first month after dumping his Prius can buy him a 1-year Muni pass, a 1-year CitiBike pass, and half a dozen Uber rides.

      • 0 avatar
        Hillman

        I am surprised that he even thinks he needs a car. Every time I go to NYC and Brooklyn I found that the metro is perfect for my needs. Of course that is from a tourist who vista often.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    seems your on the right path for the Volvo, It will still drive better going upstate than your car now if needed but the mileage will suck but you know that. I doubt you will spend to much on the volvo in repairs if you have a good shop, you will save money, the parking is a wash, the only thing I would think about is the winter driving, but you have mass transit for that. you have to park the car you have now somewhere. I think it is a win but gotta agree two cars in Brooklyn is a tough gig even for a few months, good luck.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The non-turbos are not bad mileage wise. I got 26-27mpg at 70mph with my ’94 945. 23-24 around town. Turbos suck gas though – 18-22 at best.

      Of course, either is terrible in comparison to a Prius, but they are soooo much nicer places to spend the time. Second best seats ever, only Peugeot 505 are better in my opinion. Prius seats were designed by the Marquis de Sade.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    As robust as the Volvo is, your Prius is a) one of the most reliable cars ever made, b) safer that something designed decades ago, and c) won’t suffer old-car problems as various wear items wear out.

    Keep the Prius unless you need the cash now.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      I would agree, but here the OP is paying for the Prius (and saves $300/mo with the Volvo) and the car is only for occasional use.

      If the OP relied on the car to get to/from work every day, keeping the Prius (and the $300/mo payment) is money incredibly well spent.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        That $300/month is $3600/year. If he’s reasonably mechanically apt, and doesn’t drive much, this could work out.

        If he isn’t and has to have major work done, it won’t.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          The car is an anvil. You’d have to blow an engine a year to spend anything like that on a 940. I’ve owned enough of the things. I bought a 212K miler off e-bay as a temp ride for a summer for $1K and spent less than $500 on it getting maintenance up to snuff. It needed no actual repairs at all and I put 6K on it in 6 months. Then sold it for a profit. The ’94 945 that is now my brothers has needed $200 in brakes, a $30 fuel pump relay, and a $200 exhaust kit in the last six or seven years. It is due for a tuneup and timing belt though – call that $100 in parts. Has more than 250K on it now. Still one of the quietest and smoothest of them I have ever driven.

          • 0 avatar
            baconator

            I’m on Volvo #6 and would second krhodes. The B230-engined cars, particularly ’91-’94 940′s, are nigh unto indestructible. Maintenance will easily be cheaper than the payment on the Prius. I recognize Prii are proving to be awfully reliable, but even so, the Volvo will get you money ahead. There’s simply no part on it that costs a lot to fix/replace. And IMHO, the driving experience is vastly better with the Volvo.

            One caution, though: Consider snow tires mandatory in winter.

  • avatar
    TR4

    21 year old car from New York? I’d mostly be concerned about body rust.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      Why? Not much snow/salt in the winter. Except for the last one.

      NYC car means: abused suspension, abused transmission, and if the odometer is digital, a likely case of it having been rolled back.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        MY93 should still be a mechanical unit however all RWD Volvos of the period have issues with the odometer breaking (as did Audis ask me how I know).

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          93 90S, broken odometer. I reset the trip while in motion. x.x

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Its less the odometer and more-so a little plastic gear beside the mechanism, the teeth snap with so many clicks.

          You have to take the cluster out and the speedometer, then replace the tiny gear. This is more tedious than pricey ($15-$20 for a new one made from stronger plastic), but its worth the trouble. A good Volvo mechanic can probably do it in about an hour.

          At 28D: What kind of Audi did you end up with? I see some of their 80′s stuff on the road on rare occasions, must be elderly owned examples.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I had a MY90 Audi 100 I5 FWD until 2010. Looked like this except it was teal green.

            youtube.com/watch?v=hQbD0YqiHUQ

            UPDATE: This is the exact car I had color and all, the only differences are his headliner is better than mine was and I had cloth seats and not leather.

            youtube.com/watch?v=aaAWH7Hqcug

            I really liked the car and I miss it, but it was a bit bizarre and required alot of esoteric stuff. The transmission seals needed done again, the bomb needed replaced (brake booster), the Pentosin was leaking, and after the winter of 2010 I couldn’t get it started (so close though). My mechanic convinced me it was too expensive to be worth saving and I let it go.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Can’t resist a pearl Audi.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @corey

            I really liked that Audi. If one is looking for something unique and can turn a wrench, I highly recommend the Audi 200/200TQ which is usually found in 5spd form (I’m not even sure an auto was offered).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I do believe only a 5-sp was in the 200, and certainly only manual for any Quattro version. A rare bird would be the 200 TQ Estate – so much glass.

            Though if I’m going to have to wrench and do this and that, I’d go Jag instead.

            You might know this: Was there a great build quality difference and/or reliability between the X300 and X308? Seems like only the engines changed, but it would have been after a bit of Ford ownership.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You guys and your old Audis. Stop giving people ideas about owning a 5000/100/90/200/whatever. Bad news bears.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            I’d for sure take a 200, rather sedan OR wagon, if one could find a wagon.

            I suppose a stroll over to Ebay may produce one; however, expect to pay a very, very, retail like price.

            And the 220hp that the 200 produced must have surely been underrated, because those cars seemed pretty damned quick.

            And Corey, a Jag? You’re brave…

            Although there are few cars as striking as a 3rd generation XJ6. I’ll take mine with a file full of maintenance records, wire wheels, and clad in British Racing Green :)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @corey

            Good question on X300. The original X300 ran the Jaguar I6 AJ16 through MY97 I think on a ZF 4spd auto. The X308 changed the motor and transmission to a 4.0 V8/5spd ZF, the AJ-V8 if I’m not mistaken. The AJ-V8 had a notorious cylinder lining problem (the Nickasil issue) in MY98, 99, and I believe part way through MY00 (inc XK8s). Jaguar/PAG had to replace the motors under warranty, the replaced motors I believe have a plaque mounted on them near the firewall. However some of the Nickasil motors were not replaced under warranty as I there was no official recall. I just saw a MY98 XJ8 at my buddys shop six weeks ago come in with an issue that two other shops (inc the dealer) could not figure out. He mentioned a cylinder pressure issue to me after I inquired about the gorgeous X308 and I told him about the Nickasil issue. The now retired lady bought it new after her husband died and was mortified. I think she sold it cheap to a Jaguar aficionado my mechanic knew. So IMO, avoid all MY98,99, and early MY00 X308s. If I were to choose between the two, I would go X300, or 308 if it were near free and do a motor swap. I saw online there is a shop in SF which will do an LS2 swap into an X308.

            @bball

            If a person is into old Eurotrash cars (as I am), RWD Volvo is probably the safest bet followed by BMW. Mercedes built a solid car but they have high running and parts costs. Audi prior to MY91 is somewhere in between, IMO.

            @raresleeper

            Maybe. The thing is the older FWD Audis are not as glamorous as the later AWD examples and do not have the positive reputation of something like RWD Volvos, period Toyotas, etc. I wonder if as they age the prices actually will come down because nobody cares about them anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            Alden

            The 940s of that vintage don’t seem to have the issue the 240s, in fact as far as I know 940s NEVER had that issue, they did have some cluster issues in 91 but that was bad caps on the board

            But yes if he reset it while driving yea it could strip the trip odometer gear

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            28: Thanks for the Jaaaag info! They are lovely looking cars, especially in VDP LWB trim. Or R, but those are a bit overpriced for my taste. There was also a “200″ Edition I think I saw once on Ebay, lots of black with red piping. It was noice.

            Raresleeper: Yeah Jags, because I have already had three(!) Audis, and I want to see what different sorts of problems a Jag might have, assuming I have a shop manual and am trying things meself (accent there). The Audi vacuum issues drive me bonkers, and you can’t fix them on their older cars.

            Bball: Audis make me feel special when I’m behind the wheel!

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      940s pretty much just don’t rust. The ’94 I had which is now my brother’s car has been a northern New England car since new, it has zero body rust at all, just some light surface rust on the unpainted suspension parts. Amazingly well built cars. Ditto the ’95 I had for a summer between selling 9-3SC and delivery of 328! wagon.

      One thing I did forget about – they do suffer from bad solder joints in the instrument panel circuit boards. Easily fixed by hitting the joints with a small soldering iron. I had to do that to the ’94, half the panel was dead when I got it. Had it on my ’92 745T as well. Though most of them have probably been replaced or fixed by now, it was at about the 10-12 year mark they played up.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Given that the Prius is actually the better car, I never would have bought the Volvo. I think you’ll regret keeping it and dumping the Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yeah, this sort of extra car for funsies thing only works in non-crowded places.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Prius is very good at what it does no question, but why is it better?

      Volvo build quality is quite high, I would venture to say higher. RWD Volvo parts are incredibly cheap and for the most part they can be worked on by their owners or a shadetree mechanic.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        In traffic, the hybrid drivetrain is a big help, it’s quieter and smoother than a conventional one, plus it will use less than half the fuel the Volvo would. A plug in hybrid or battery EV would be even better, but since he already has the Prius, he’d be spending more money for a small improvement.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I made a mileage comment in a later thread, yes I agree the Prius’ running costs are probably half. But it depends on what you need the car to do. Many in NYC us some element of public transit, whereas many parts of the country have no public transit, or its so ineffective it might has well not exist. If you live in a place were you have access to transit and need a car for other purposes, the 940 may win out.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I know this much, with a 940 you get real metal bumpers behind plastic while the Prius is just plastic and foam. Safer at high speeds, but in New York traffic it just means high repair bills.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Buy it!!!! Only fly in the ointment is finding two parking spaces…I know, I’ve lived in NYC.
    If the Volvo turns out to be too big of a PITA, take it to Riverhead and flip it for a profit. You can always get a new Prius, they are cheaper today than ever. In a Volvo wagon, you can drive the LIE or BQE without wetting your pants.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I had a base model, 4.0L equipped (with 4wd) 99 Jeep Cherokee (“XJ”) when I was about 18-22 years old and lived in the urban-most part of the City of St. Louis.

    Even with cheap all-season street tires, the XJ held up extremely well.

    Now, this city boy decided to take it off road while camping, and after fording one too any rivers, I sank it and ad to swim out of it, thereby totaling it. BUT… that’s another story.

    I would recommend an XJ Cherokee for the urban environment. I couldn’t kill it, and I was a punk kid terrorizing the pothole ridden streets of St. Louis. I doubt Brooklyn would give it any ounce of trouble.

    I’ve recommended the XJ’s previously, but people seem to think they are unicorns. Actually, there’s generally more than a few on Ebay, and probably even more on Craigslist in your area.

    But if you go XJ- get a alarm. Oh yes, get an alarm.

    Sayeth the troubled urban youth to me, on many occasions: “We steal those.”

    By the way, people love their Volvos. I especially love hearing “My Uncle Phil…” stories and the other mythical qualities of unheard of reliability of the Volvos. In reality, Volvos have their own issues.

    Such as? Wiring. The chewing up and spitting out of motor mounts.

    Just sayin’ :)

    Choose wisely, Kind Sir….

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Uncle Phil had a Volvo and a Jag.

      (90s TV)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I don’t know much about the 960s, but all of the RWD I4 Volvos go through motor mounts. The design of the mount is part of the safety feature of the car, it allowed for the motor to fall freely in a crash. Many wiring issues are due to the biodegradable harness used in the mid 80s, which was eventually dropped I believe by MY88 or 89. This is not to say the cars don’t have their quirks and oddities (because *they do* believe me) but for the price of entry its tough to nix the deal simply because you may have to get a manual and apply yourself during the ownership experience.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        The motor mounts are rubber and can degrade. As long as the prior owner didn’t spill oil from the filter change on a regular basis on the mount, they may well be fine. The BB indicates changing the most susceptible-to-wear motor mount isn’t too big a PITA and can be done with a jack and some patience. Mine were original and still were OK. Put a grocery bag over the front mount when you’re pulling off the Mann filter and no oil gets on the rubber.

        I miss my 940 now.

  • avatar
    tedward

    As a fellow wagon-driving brooklynite I have some input to share. That Volvo has some heinously expensive exterior pieces (compared to a mainstream brand.) Either plan on letting the love taps accumulate while it lives in NY or budget time to head over to autohaus in NJ and raid the junkyard. Remember, your hand will be forced by damage to headlights.

    Parking will be awful, both in terms of getting spots and in the non cosmetic damage you risk with a larger car. That Volvo is freaking huge, long enough that you will be longer than the median parking space recently abandoned by some auto-indifferent Prius owner (ha). Keep in mind that with extra length comes an increase in aggressive bump parking. There are douchebags out there that will push your car forward with their econoline vans and SUV’s, and if you have an automatic…well, you deserve to buy a few transmissions if you made that choice in the first place (double ha).

    Also, you are missing out with both cars. NY has some really fun driving environments within close range. I can’t imagine either the Prius or Volvo being too engaging at Bear Mtn or the Catskills. Aren’t those places the only non-ikea reason to own a car in NY?

  • avatar
    Chetter

    Non-turbo 940 = Bulletproof. Too bad Volvo doesn’t make cars like this anymore or they wouldn’t be an afterthought.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Buy it.
    Worse case is you sell it at the end of the Summer.

    You will never have the lingering feeling of “should I have bought that old Volvo I wanted?”.

    Best case, you’ll be driving around in something you find more enjoyable than the Prius…or you’ll just find out you really are a Prius guy and there was a reason you parents never bought a Volvo in the 80′s-90′s.

  • avatar
    srogers

    I think that a Prius would be the perfect car for Brooklyn. Small and easy to park, stone-axe reliable and very efficient in stop/go traffic. I love the idea of the Volvo, but you aren’t going to end up saving that much money, and that Volvo, while not ancient, is getting older every year…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    940 Wagon is generally an excellent choice, with the added bonus of being built in Gothenburg as opposed to the DAF facility in Belgium (where I believe most US 940 sedans were built) or Halifax. Mileage is the key difference here, because Volvo RWDs just don’t get killer MPGs. If you drive frequently, Prius prob makes more sense. If you take public transit for most things and only need a vehicle for occasional shopping/weekend use I think its a good buy. 900s are tough cars, just channel that $300/mo into proactive parts replacement (suspension/shocks, brakes, tires, fluids etc). I would also see which HVAC unit the 940 used and recharge it (it should be R134a for MY93). the 850s I’m told use a GM unit which is very effective, my 240 does not and its not very effective in any weather above 70F.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      Another factor is depreciation – the RWD Volvo is at the end of the depreciation curve. When I was looking for my 940, condition and upkeep far outweigh mileage and age.

      I don’t think it would be unreasonable to expect that in 2-5 years you could sell the thing (presuming you kept up with maintenance and the body was in good shape) for probably $2k. The Prius would be worth substantially less even with good upkeep. 940s are in the not-quite-a-classic-but-good-ones-are-hard-to-find part of the curve now.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Shows how people buy a Prius for the wrong reasons. Since these two cars are complete opposites of each other, I see that the Prius you bought is the opposite of a dream car for you. And you obviously paid good money for it.

    Big, durable, safe European wagon that is outstanding to drive, with rear wheel drive, excellent steering and brakes, great ride, superior highway stability and terrific seats. Versus a Japanese transportation pod devoid of any qualities mentioned above.

  • avatar
    Stovebolt

    Buy it! I would. There’s nothing better than a car you like. A good Volvo is hard to find and it will only get more difficult.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    I also vote buy it. I had a 1991 960 and loved it. I only got rid of it because I was having (more) kids and thought I should get something with side airbags–so I traded up to a later V70. I always regretted getting rid of Brown Sugar. This was because the 960 outlived the V70.
    If you don’t get it, you’ll always complain about the one that got away. And for driving dynamics, who gives a hoot? You’re creeping around the city and if you can tolerate a Prius, you’ll be plenty pleased in a Volvo. This isn’t about money, it’s about enjoying yourself a little and if a Volvo wagon makes you happy, then do it. It’s not like you’re buying an ancient abused Jaguar or some other fussy old thing that costs a fortune and is impractical.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Unless this car can be Trifecta Tuned I don’t think you should buy it.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    If you don’t but it let me know. I live in Queens and i miss my V40 wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      Stovebolt

      Had a V40; it revved like a tractor and gurgled like an Eraserhead radiator. Also had a 245, which we still miss. I would expect a 940 to be better than either–nice interior, great visibility, and cargo space galore.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        Far wiser Volvo-ists and Brick enthusiasts than me say the 940 is a 240 with all the stupid removed. Having never owned a 240, I found the 940 a great starting place to start learning how to get my hands greasy.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Hipster… “Indie” mechanic…

    I see what you did there, Sajeev.

    You wordsmith, you.

  • avatar
    alfabert

    Find your independent Volvo mechanic ASAP first – and go ahead and buy that 940 wagon before it gets away. I had a ’93 non-turbo – just a GREAT and SOLID and REAL vehicle – and I’d expect I’d still have it except Norm the Drunk rear-ended it and punted the 945 90 feet down the street with his Volvo XC90. Everyone walked away – Norm the Drunk cuffed and supported by an officer on each side.

    Plan on nothing better than 20 mpg with the red block engine until you’re on the open road, acceleration in the slow lane, and $1800/year maintenance at 8K-10K miles/year. But the lower car insurance and taxes compared with the Prius will make up much of the maintenance. It’ll may be overdue for a replacement radiator – it’s cheaper than the eventual head gasket replacement that is the alternative

    But this isn’t about the economics – buy it because you’ve always wanted one, and will enjoy it. It’s that simple.

    And then post your experiences for those of us whose 740/940 driving lives ended prematurely.

  • avatar
    kuponoodles

    If OP was asking about a v70r or something, thats one thing. Otherwise, I believe OP just wants to feel at home when driving through Williamsburg/Carrol gardens/park slope with all the other Volvo, Subaru, Audi wagons.

    OP Currently owns a prius…. But isnt a commuter…… Ok..so… Why wven have that car mich less buy another?

    Then asks, not so much for advice but affirmation, that buying the volvo, would be a wise move. But also admits he wont drive the dream wagon that much.

    Who….cares….? Buy whatever you want.


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