Why a Volvo V70 is a good thing

This is a Volvo V70. One you can currently purchase, in fact.

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And one you should, as I have suggested over on Chris Pollitt’s site, Not2Grand.co.uk. Why? Because wagons are always cool, and the V70 is also just a good car. Here’s my opening paragraph:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that wagons are cool. Well, perhaps it is not universally acknowledged, but it should be. As a case in point, take the second-generation Volvo V70. It more or less started out life as an S60, not a bad car in its own right, but rather forgettable. Turn it into an estate, however, and it suddenly becomes desirable (which is pretty much true of any Volvo, actually). Whilst retaining Volvo’s characteristic civility and restraint, the estate becomes eminently practical, more comfortable, and better to look at, not to mention that it will trick your neighbours into thinking you are refined and sensible.

Read the rest here.


Can you find a Mercedes W210 that hasn’t rusted to death?

When I was younger, I remember thinking the W210-series Mercedes was a distinctly unattractive car. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m now in my mid-30s, or maybe they have just aged well, but as of late I find myself looking at them and entertaining thoughts of what it might be like to have one parked in the drive.

The problem, of course, is that it seems near impossible to find one on a bangernomics budget that has not rotted to pieces. For whatever reason, Mercedes’ of the 1990s and early-2000s, while having largely reliable running gear – there are lots of examples with well over 200,000 miles – seem prone to rust to death. You can search eBay for months on end and find nothing but examples that look something like this.


So I was surprised this week to see two E280s come up for sale, both in remarkably clean condition. The first was listed on eBay (though is no longer available), and the second on AutoTrader (with remarkably low mileage).

An E280 would be my second choice (I think you’d sacrifice little economy for the improved performance of the E320, and though I’d love an E430, I need to feed my children), but given the infrequency with which clean W210s come up, I’d probably jump at either of these if I was looking to buy.

If nothing else, this is proof that if you really want a W210, and you exercise considerable patience, a nice example will still turn up.

Is it cool to own a Rover 75/MG ZT?

Honest John certainly thinks so. In the past few weeks, they’ve featured both a 75 and a ZT, noting that these are modern classics worth buying. And that is even more true as good examples can easily be picked up for under £1000 at the moment. ‘If ever there was a car that has become the epitome of an up-and-coming classic,’ they wrote yesterday, ‘the Rover 75 is it.’


Largely engineered by BMW, the 75 and ZT are well-built cars, and the KV6 engine in particular commands a lot of praise (after BMW worked its magic on it, that is), some going so far as to suggest it is bomb-proof. You’d definitely want to look for one that’s had a recent cambelt change, however – it’s a solid £800+ job, and even if you were to do it yourself, the whole kit will run you at least £250, not to mention the time you’ll need to carry out such a complex task. That being said, a quick check of the eBay listings regularly turns up decent examples. That’s good news, because as Honest John says, ‘now…is the time to strike, while there is still a strong supply of above average examples left.’

I’d have the ZT over the 75, as I think it looks better, and will be more enjoyable to drive. But lest you’re worried about whether or not it’s ‘cool’ to own a 75/ZT, this guy from Sweden has gone and made it look like an attractive option.