Review: 2008 Volvo XC70

Not long after I drove the Volvo V70, I had the opportunity to drive the XC70. It was an interesting opportunity to compare these similar cars and get a feel for the differences.

Volvo XC70

Most notably are the obvious. With over 8 inches of ground-clearance, this car sat much taller than it’s little brother. It was slightly longer in the cargo area, and it’s exterior styling was much more aggressive and macho. I’m personally a big fan of the XC styling, and think that has that little something that begs to be taken outside, run through mud puddles, stormed up to the mountain, and hosed off when home. Not to mention the addition of stock four-wheel drive on the XC70s, the differences are slightly more than cosmetic, and Volvo has provided a car worthy of the mountain in both its function and appearance. Continue reading Review: 2008 Volvo XC70

Review: 2008 Land Rover LR2

I’m going to start right off with the nicest feature I’ve seen in a car this year: When you have 50 miles left on your tank, the LR2 will beep and give you a low fuel warning on your dash. Sure, you say. That’s normal. “Not so fast,” I reply, because then it will automatically turn on the navigation map highlighting all gas stations in your area! This is fantastic! This is technology actually working for us the way we have been promised. This is the future. Your car knows you need gas and is helping you find gas stations without any action on your part, a completely automated system. While this feature may exist in other cars–and truthfully, I don’t tend to test the low-mileage feature on them–this is the first time I’ve seen it. All manufacturers who employ technology in this way should be congratulated, and rewarded. Thank you Land Rover. I heart you.

2008 Land Rover LR2

As for the rest of the car? It didn’t disappoint. Continue reading Review: 2008 Land Rover LR2

2007 Ford Shelby GT Mustang

Who wouldn’t want a 500 hp candy cane delivered within a week of Christmas. It’s big, red, shiny, and the most power I know of under $50,000. And every single person that sees it notices it. For those who are looking to over-compensate with their vehicle, look no further.

2007 Ford Shelby GT Mustang

I don’t think there was a single time someone walked by this car when I was either getting in or out and didn’t comment. The gas attendant, who saw it from afar, and staring at it as he walked up to take my order, merely said “That’s what I’m asking for for Christmas.” The homeless man who rode his bike/trailer combo by my house one afternoon only saw it from behind, and with the trunk open, but still was exclaiming about how hot my ride was from 20 feet away. Getting out at my friend’s house, at 8pm in the evening, elicited shouts from the neighbor porch, “Hey man, you wanna sell me your car!” Over and over again, this was the object of attention. And for anyone who rode in it, it held their attention the entire time.

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Volvo S80 V8 AWD

Beautiful, elegant lines is what defines this car, inside and out. And while the differences over the past years’ models aren’t dramatic, the result of those years of refinement to the current styling is. From close up, to far away this car is beautiful, and the inside only amplifies that sentiment.
Volvo S80 V8 AWD
The interior is definitely one of the nicest I’ve seen in a car under $60k, and while the price of this car reached $56,000, it started at a humble $38,000 (before adding the V8 and a basket-full of features and expensive luxuries). For a car this nice, I can’t believe it has a base price so low. However, I’d be heart-broken to strip out those luxuries which quickly added up to and took this car from one price class to another.
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2008 BMW Z4 3.0si Roadster

There are days when your life is bad, when your friends don’t call and it rains and you are so broke McDonald’s Value Meal sounds expensive. I’ve been there. But then there are days when you can drive a BMW Z4 3.0 through winding roads, sun shining through the summer trees, top down and feeling the 85 degree air whip hair into a tangled mess. Those are the days I feel like I’m in a commercial, and that I truly am blessed, and a bastard.

2008 BMW Z4 3.0si

In fact, that’s 94% of everything wrong with this car. When people see a young, 31-year-old guy driving a BMW Z4 on a summer day with his young wife sitting shotgun, you immediately gain their disdain. I had so many people NOT let me merge, NOT let me into traffic, and generally NOT look at me with nice expressions. I can understand, driving this car, I must look like a guy who has it all, and probably hasn’t had to work that hard for it. Whether or not that’s true is not up for debate. When people see you in this car, that’s what they’ll assume.

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