The last time I mentioned my dad was thinking about replacing his 2007 Saab 9-3 Aero 2.8T convertible with some kind of boring crossover, the crossover purchase wasn’t particularly imminent. Well, it’s becoming more imminent.
My dad got a fancy new job that is even fancier than the fancy job he had before, and as such he’s feeling a bit more financially comfortable, even though my parents are already rich bastards. My dad’s new job involves a 33 mile commute from their house in the DC suburbs to an office park kind of in the general direction of BWI airport. He is putting up with this commute, because, well, he’s the new CEO.
The sorta-main reason my dad wants a crossover is because at their other house near St. Michaels, MD they have a couple of boats: a 20 foot Grady White power boat and a little dinky 14 foot fiberglass sailboat. They store the power boat at a marina in the offseason. My dad motors it over to the marina, my mom drives there and picks him up. But they have a trailer for the sailboat. They use my mom’s 2005 Acura MDX to pull the sailboat 7 miles to and from wherever it gets stored for the winter. The trips to and from storage are the entirety of the towing they do in a given year.
My mom has been carping a long time about wanting to finally not drive some kind of utility vehicle. My parents keep cars a long time. They bought her MDX new, and before that she drove a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country (the fully loaded LXi trim of course) for 9 years, and then before that she had a 1989 Ford Taurus wagon (the fully loaded LX trim of course). Yes, since 1989, my mom has driven a total of 3 fully loaded utilitarian vehicles. She’s done.
So of course my dad decided he has this new job, and he’s going to splurge a little on a new crossover and get something premium-ish. He called me yesterday wanting to confirm his choice of an Audi Q5 and ask for other suggestions.
He doesn’t want some boring color, and he doesn’t want every single option, but he does want a tow hitch. The DC area Audi dealer he visited told him they’d rather do a dealer trade for some other Q5 with the hitch than install the factory accessory hitch themselves, and they found a green Q5 with brown leather seats and the hitch at a dealer in NJ where they’d do a trade.
Generally I don’t like Audis but I will admit, it looks pretty sweet in this color.
I threw a bunch of other ideas at him, including:
BMW X3 - “It only does Apple CarPlay, not Android Auto, and I don’t want to buy an iPhone just to use my phone with my car. Besides, I just can’t do a BMW, I know you’ve had 2 of them yourself but I can’t do it, it’s a snob factor or something.”
Mercedes GLC - “I’m kinda over Mercedes from the last time I had one, and I think it looks boring and there’s less cargo room than the Audi.”
Land Rover Discovery Sport - “I feel like it’s also got that snob factor like BMW.”
Jaguar F-Pace - “I like how it looks but there’s not enough cargo room and it has bad visibility.”
Porsche Macan - “I don’t need a Porsche”
Lexus NX - “I don’t like Lexus at all.”
Infiniti QX50 - “Infinitis don’t do anything for me.”
Acura RDX - “The current one is boring and I don’t want to wait for the new one.”
Lincoln MKC - “Everything I’ve read about it says it’s just not competitive.”
There might have been some others, but you get the idea.
The suggestion he was definitely open to was the XC60. The dark horse candidate I threw at him was a fully-loaded Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate which appealed to his inner cheapskate.
So then he went and test drove the lovely red XC60 you see above. He texted me the picture and this:
XC60 is nice. In some ways superior to Q5. Dealer is offering me this in-stock T5 Inscription with trailer hitch for $46,740. Very tempting.
In a couple of follow-up texts he said he wasn’t going to buy it on the spot, he probably was going to skip looking at the Hyundai, and yes he knows if he buys a car for himself he’s going to have take my mom car shopping very soon as well.
The sticker price on the XC60 is $50,740 including destination, but that’s before adding the Volvo accessory hitch and installation. Edmunds says the invoice price on this particular XC60 not including the hitch is is $47,775, so that number the dealer gave him appears to be solid.
It doesn’t have the luxury seating package that adds ventilation and massage functions to the front seats along with rear heated seats. The car he looked at has heated front seats and steering wheel but no ventilation or heated rear seats. The bolsters are similarly adjustable either way but the luxury seating package adds power adjustments to the bolsters. I think he’s probably not going to care about that.
So...maybe he’ll buy the thing in the next couple days here. We shall see what sort of fun car my mom ends up with after her 29 years of driving utility vehicles.
I mentioned to him today that the price the dealer is offering is below invoice at least according to Edmunds. I mentioned the vented seats which he would kinda like but can live without. I suggested he add 3M Crystalline film to the front windows and windshield to help keep the car cooler when parked outside on hot days and he liked that idea.
He mentioned the Volvo dealer offered him $2k for his Saab, and I suggested he keep it out at the shore for something fun to tool around in. He wasn’t entirely opposed to that.
The idea of keeping the Saab has crossed my mind, but there’s the cost of insurance, plus, if it sits unused for long periods, it’ll go downhill fast. I think I’ll check with USAA.
That’s right, my dad might soon be that guy who has not one but two Swedish cars.