Whenever I drive this car, I always find myself giving it a pat on the dash, because it impresses me so much.
It's a very reliable car. I mean the fuel pump broke, I fixed it, and the car has been going ever since.
I bought this car from an old man who had died, and he had taken phenomenal care of this car. I mean it's basically in like new condition.
It has a nice way of going about business. Real light and easy. The motor isn't beautiful sounding, it's just this very quiet, peaceful relaxed four, that just steadily hums.
And then I turn on the stereo and I groove. I mean this car has an amazing radio. Six speakers, very well engineered.
The motor is very nice and efficient. It's a 2.3 liter four with a cast iron block, and an aluminum single over head cam head with 2 valves per cylinder. The cast iron block is tough and quiet. The cam is timed by a belt, which is very quiet and has to be replaced every 50,000 miles or else it may break, and then the valves will hit the cylinder, resulting in catastrophic engine failure. But apparently if you change the belt every 50,000 miles, the engine will run very long, reliably and efficiently.
The turbo is a real upgrade. It makes more power, lower down, uses less fuel, makes less noise, and has lower emissions. I mean my car with an automatic goes 25mpg city, 30mpg open road. The motor has a Bosch fuel injection system turbo with an intercooler, and behind the turbo there is a catalytic converter and two mufflers run one after another. So very quiet, clean and efficient.
The motor makes 160hp at 5800rpm, and 180 foot pound of torque at 2800rpm. So it's a very broad power curve, and it has a very smart way of casually making speed in real everyday situations. It never strains. It really cool, you hear this little four cylinder motor, but this big car is really getting going. SHHHHHH, and it's gone.
The brakes are the strongest aspect of this car's performance. There's vented disk in the front, and solid disk in the rear clamped down by dual piston floating calipers, controlled by a Bosch power anti lock brakes.
This car makes a 7 on my performance scale, because of its ability to accelerate and hold speed to the last second, and stop very quickly.
It only gets a seven because of its poor handling. It's really not a very agile car. It's smooth, but it's kinda an old fogey in the tight corners. However it has extremely precise and wonderful power steering, and it is really good in high speed corners out on the open road.
It's a unique and good looking car with a wonderful interior, that's very warm and stylish. It's certainly the nicest car I've ever owned, although I would say the best would be a Volkswagen, and the most reliable would be a Honda. But the bug isn't as nice, and the Honda isn't as well built as the Volvo.
The automatic transmission is the classic tough American hydromatic transmission. It's got a very quick shift, that works best under power. Unfortunately it doesn't have a torque converter lock up like on a Mercedes Benz. So the fact that this car get's 30mpg on the open road is really a testament to the efficiency of a small turbocharged motor.
Also, this car weighs only 3200 pounds, despite being a full size car, which means it was very efficiently constructed, because it's such a large car. A new Porsche or Mercedes weighs 3200 lbs.
Power everything. The only way in which this car is lacking is it doesn't have a diesel, and runs on gasoline. Apparently Volkswagen made a diesel for this car, but apparently it didn't work out very well. So I had to buy a Volkswagen Rabbit with a diesel and converted it. I hardly drive the Volvo anymore, so that I don't use fossil fuels. But I'm not going to sell my Volvo, it's been such a good car, and it's never let me down, so I'm looking at swapping a diesel into it. So yeah, who wouldn't be happy with a Volvo?