Religiously every Tuesday evening, I look over the vehicle sheet for the local Portland OR Copart auction the following day at noon. I often purchase reliable, sensible cars with abundant parts, but every so often I find a vehicle that seems so awesome, I say to myself to damn with reliability.
A few weeks ago, it was this 2004 BMW X5. The sensor was causing the air suspension in front to sag. Easy fix. Fun to drive, handles more like a car than a 4.4l V8 SUV. Yea it was awesome until my uncle pretty much forced me to sell it to him, which is fine (family), and because the excitement of buying fun new cars to drive from auction is as addictive as crack (even though I really wanted to keep that x5 damn you Uncle Zak!).
Next week I scoped out a sweet 02 Acura MDX with low miles and a rare Navigation system.
And oh boy did I love driving this bad boy, while it wasn’t as fast or nimble as the x5, it was pretty damn close. Which is surprising when you consider it has an turbo V6. Driving this SUV has made me seriously consider purchasing the latest generation MDX, but why? This 133k beast is still running strong with absolutely no check engine lights or leaks.
So a couple weeks ago I got that itch and I’m scooping out the auction list with my girlfriend, I had my eye on an 02 Lexus RX SUV. I showed it to her and she didn’t seem too impressed so I ask her “What would you have me buy?” She points out a navy blue 4door Volvo. I asked her why and if she’s owned one before. She says “I’ve never owed one” then she adds with a smirk “but they always seem like such proper adult cars. I always feel people in Volvo’s have it all together.” To which we both laughed.
Without fail, the next day at auction I decided to buy it and even though I got into a bidding war with some jerk I was able to secure the vehicle for a few grand under kbb/market price.
Fresh off the lot
So unassuming, yet timeless in its design. Had a half tank of gas and no warning lights, regardless after checking fluids and a visual inspection I gingerly drove it down to DEQ for emissions a few blocks away. It was here, at the DEQ emissions booth, that I learned what I actually had on my hands. The attendant said “Hey nice S80 I have two of them.” That’s cool I thought to myself. The attendant sets up the system, walks around the back a let’s out a low whistle. I look over and he says “Hey buddy you got the T6 edition, that’s sick!” I sheepishly smile and ask “What’s the difference?” Instantly regretting the dumb, dumb, idiotic words tumbling out of my mouth as I notice his smile falter a bit. He informs me it has a turbo and to dumb things down even more he adds “It goes fast.”
The car passed emissions with flying colors and he hands me all the official paperwork. I thank him profusely, probably because I felt like a car moron in his eyes, but justified it away in my head thinking to myself “I’ve honestly riden in a Volvo exactly one time in the back seat for 30 mins, not particularly a huge sampling. All I know is they’re supposedly safe.”
On the way home I decided to open it up a little bit .......
First of all the car peels out from a dead stop under half throttle......WTF
Secondly the car rockets from 40mph - 90 like it ain’t no thing, reminds me of my BMW 540i, but how is that possible in a FWD turbo inline six?
Thirdly I’m slightly speeding through my neighborhood pass a cop going 10 over and the police didn’t look at me twice, it was like I was invisible, just like when I’m in my Prius and I’m black (so thats a big deal, I always get pulled over in my BMW and Range Rover).
I got it home and cleaned it up
The initial impressions aside, I can see why Volvo lovers love their Volvos. Mine even came with an AT&T car phone. The leather is nice, the seats are comfortable. This is a proper mid level luxury car. I’m glad I essentially paid .5% of the original 44k sticker price but I feel like I won soooo much car for the price. I kinda feel obligated to give it to my girlfriend since she picked it out but there’s no reason we can’t share, until next Wednesdays copart auction that is ☺
Any other Volvo enthusiasts out there? What are your experiences with them? I’ve heard by the Portland C&C guys the transmission goes bad on these but I haven’t experienced any issues. I even had Less Schwab inspect the four-c system as well as brakes and they told me everything looks great. Let me know what you guys think thanks!
(And please forgive any spelling or grammatical derps, I wrote this on my phone half asleep in my PJs)