It’s now almost ten years – I bought my current 2012 Volvo C30 T5 in Sept 2011. It’s been a great car – I usually get “new car syndrome” around every four years, but the Volvo has kept me entertained with its raspy 2.5 liter turbo five cylinder, 6 speed manual, and those great seats. But it’s getting time for a timing belt/water pump/cam seals change – not a cheap fix; especially here in Japan. I anticipate it will need a new clutch after that. And while I’ve been lucky, I’ve found that at the 8-10 year mark, most European cars will start to nickel and dime you. So I’m considering something new, and have pared it down to five models. I’ll likely pull the trigger this Summer or Fall when some of these models have new versions coming out – before then, I’d be interested in your opinion…
Toyota Crown RS. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve had three different generations of Toyota’s Crown – and I was very happy with each one. They were typical Toyota – bullet-proof mechanically and very refined. I’m not a big fan of the current front styling, but it’s not a deal-breaker – and the rest of the car is extremely nice.
High Points: Meticulously assembled, very luxurious, dealer on almost every street corner – easy to service.
Lows: All things being equal, I kind’a prefer something a little sportier, not unique – see one on every street corner.
Subaru Levorg. This is the WRX wagon that is not exported to the states. It comes with the 2.0 turbo flat four with 305 hp. The current model has been around since 2014 and a new version will be introduced later this year. Rumors are it will come with 1.8 and 2.4 liter turbo engines with lots more horsepower.
High Points: All the fun of a WRX with the space of a wagon.
Lows: Only auto transmission and it’s a CVT – Ugh…
Golf GTI. The new Mark VIII GTI looks really nice – I’ve always wanted one but have shied away due to the reliability reputation. But reports seem to indicate VW is improving on that score.
High Points: Delightful to drive – and you can get a manual!
Lows: That sneaky feeling in the back of your mind that something is about to go wrong.
Mazda 6 (Atenza). I’ve always liked the current generation Mazda 6 – I think it looks more like a Jaguar than any of that brand’s current models. It’s been around in its current form since 2013 and a new model is due this Jul – it’s a looker too. Mazda has also “premium-upped” their interiors recently, and they’re a very nice place to spend some time. It may also have Mazda’s new inline six cylinder engine.
High Points: Beautiful to look at – enjoyable to sit in.
Lows: Might have some new-model kinks to work out, but I doubt it.
Volvo V60. I like all of Volvo’s current models and as I mentioned, I’ve had good luck with the C30. This V60 wagon hits the sweet spot for me in terms of size and luxury – and the Scandinavian interiors are a thing of beauty.
High Points: The styling, the seats.
Lows: At the far end of my budget but think I can swing it.
Well, what do you think? I’m about 60% decided on one, but always appreciate more opinions; especially from our knowledgeable CC enthusiasts. Thanks.