I have finally inherited this family heirloom. This car has been through heck and back a dozen times, and still mozies along like a old horse.
It was bought in what was then West Germany, and lived with us over there. She has seen more time at autobahn speeds than 95% of sports cars in the USA.
My brother and I both drove this car throughout our high school years. Neither of us were kind to it. Paint is missing from all of the doors, there are dents in the hood and the roof where the car has been used as a stepping stool or a picnic bench over the years.
It never got a timely oil change, or even half of its regularly scheduled maintenance. I don't know that the transmission fluid or differential fluid or fuel filter has ever been changed up until recently.
What an incredible car. That it still drives after what we've done to it is amazing. Further still, that it is reliable and still fun to drive is unbelievable.
The turning radius of this car is outstanding, and makes for extremely confident city driving. You can turn 180 degrees on narrow streets without even thinking about it.
The ride when new was really well balanced, but after so many years, (and jumped curbs) she gets a little more like a Cadillac. Which is fine, because we don't drive her like psycho's anymore.
The interior is still quite comfortable. And I think heated seats are going to be a requirement on anything I buy in the future. What a great feature.
The only thing I really never understood, was how the Swedish could make a car that was so bad in the snow.
This is a car that should have a dedicated set of snow tires. The traction is definitely sub par, even in the rain.
I am of the opinion that this is one of the finest cars ever made. It is close to the old Mercedes 240D, in reliability and fit/finish. Not quite there, but close.
With the difference in maintenance costs, it is on the same playing field as the 240D to say the least.
If the factory manufactured the exact same car brand new this year, my whole family would probably drive one. I would say the same thing about the Mercedes 240D. After those two, nothing even comes close.
I am planning on keeping this car till it can be put to sleep. I am confident it will be a while.