Skip to comments.Crash in a Volvo or in a Toyota?
Posted on 08/30/2011 6:27:20 PM PDT by WesternCulture
Recently, Toyota have been claiming to build the safest cars on Earth. Just like (Chinese owned) Volvo Cars have been doing for decades.
I happen to live in Gothenburg, Sweden, home of Volvo.
I also happen to admire and respect Japanese culture.
But I fail to see how average Toyota cars actually could compete with vehicles like the Volvo V70/XC70/XC60/XC90. The Avensis can, to a certain degree, but is not representative of their product line.
Don’t know much about those puddle-jumpers, but I feel very safe in my Ford F-350.
How’s Saab doing these days?
Neither if you please.
This is drivel since the gubment motors induced Toyota recall turned out to be operator error. My wife was t-boned by a Volvo wagon (coincidence) traveling at 55. She was struck squarely in the driver door. A bump on the head and a slightly torqued neck was the result. This was in an Accord and not a Toyota but is a good example of top tier Japanese safety engineering.
“Hows Saab doing these days?”
- I wouldn’t be surprised if they survived both of us.
Volvo- very expensive, complex/over engineered, not mechanically the most reliable nor durable, but very safe cars.
Albeit, their legend is highly inflated and padded with them having faked some of their staged tests years past and having to deal with their own set of blunders:
Toyota has nothing to worry about. Compare apples with apples (size and weight class of car) and they do just fine: http://www.iihs.org/ratings/
LOL. Drinking again.
I owned the 850 right after university. Pretty old car but one thing I have always noticed about the ole station wagons is that they are “heavy”, sturdy, reliable but murder $$$ on the service.
Driving also got me some nice cheap cribs. My former landlord who gave me my first apartment after graduation from uni later told me that the reason why she gave me the apartment after so many people looked at it because I drove the Volvo..plus, the back had a lot of room to umm..fool around.
“not mechanically the most reliable nor durable”
- We don’t know about cars made today, but Volvos and M-Bs have, up to now, beaten most other brands.
American cars of the 1950s also seem to sort among the most reliable ever manufactured.
(British made cars of the same era displayed a very short life-span)
Anyhow, there’s a particular reason to why American cars of the above mentioned era appear to be indestructable (from a statistic viewpoint); Namely the popularity these cars enjoy among enthusiasts like those of Scandinavia.
According to some sources, Sweden boasts more classic American cars than California.
- What would you do if you were an unemployed car freak living in Scandinavia?
“LOL. Drinking again.”
- Have I ever apologized when sober?
I do not know about recent Volvos, but my first was a
P1800, two door sport coupe, bought from a friend who was quite knowledgeable about cars. (1965)
My friend, an aircraft parts distributor, as well as an auto affectionado, considered the Volvo to be the safest car on the road.
I was single and in my early 20s, so the car was perfect for me.
In my later years, I had a number of Volvo wagons, with excellent results.
My last few years in the US, I was in my old Volvo wagon, going about 60 when a pickup pulled out in front of me
at a crossroad. There was no way to stop, and moving to fast to swerve.
I smashed into the bed of the truck, spinning him 180 degrees.
I drove onto my appointment, another 15 miles away.
I had only a leaky radiator, along with minor body damage
Insurance, however, totaled it due the nature of the wreck, and age of the car, which had well over 100,000 miles.
Keep in mind, all of my four Volvos were 1960 to 1980 models.
It passed away earlier this year.
“one thing I have always noticed about the ole station wagons is that they are heavy, sturdy, reliable but murder $$$ on the service.”
- Yeah, Volvos are heavy (compared to most other cars imported to the US at least), reliable, but also expensive to maintain.
However, over here in Sweden they are among the least expensive ones to keep rolling.
Considering the economy of it all, I can’t see why anyone living in Sweden would drive any other car.
But I used to like BMWs. That is before Dame Edna began designing their fronts.
What BMW once used to be:
I like my honda accord, and my three kids all fit in the back heh.
I’ve always driven foreign, toyota, honda. I like quality, and I like not supporting the unions, and I also like companies that aren’t owned by the government.
If I need a diesel truck, which I may at some point here, I would probably opt for the F-350, now that Ford fired International.
My uncle who now lives in Canada used to own the 650. He told me he drove it across America and if he didn’t have the time nor the cash to sleep at a motel, he parked alongside the road and slept in it.
One time, he told me he was at the Grand Canyon (drove all night and parked at a nice spot overlooking the canyon) and at 6 am, the sheriff knocked on the window, waking him up and he saw the greatest sunset of his life. He wasn’t supposed to park at that area LOL but the view was so perfect that the sun just rose from canyon towards the area.
Nothing does Dame Edna say about the BMW! What’s up?
Quite the sunset at 6 am.
I know what you meant to type.
“Nothing does Dame Edna say about the BMW!”
- I was referring to the similarity in design regarding present day BMWs and her spectacles!!!!!
Guess you’re well aware of this and just wish to Edna up the great thread I’ve initiated:)
I’ll take my chances in a Saab or Volvo any day over a Toyota or Honda. And I have family experience, tragically, to attest to that.
Wow...are you sure about that? Tests on flat-front cab trucks historically are not pretty.
Safest car I ever owned was a ‘75 LTD, two tons of rolling iron that turned three other cars into scrap and rolled on.
Nothing beats big and heavy.
Down with the little tin boxes!
your landlord liked that? :-)
With a B18B engine and dual SU carbs, same engine that was in my old 142. I wonder if I still have the air flow meter I used to balance those carbs.
Agree about the 350. I asked my insurance agent why the premium was so low on it, less than most cars even though it is far more expensive than a car, and he said, “What could happen to it? It’s going to face down anything less than an M1A2 Abrams. We’re certainly never going to have to pay off on a medical claim for you.” (He’s a farm boy.)
“With a B18B engine and dual SU carbs,”
My friend showed me how to adjust the carbs, without any meter.
There was a cut-off button on the bottom of each carb.
IIRC, I would cut one off, while adjusting the other.
I sold the car to a girlfriend who had the really neat red color changed to white...yuk.
The car caught fire in Interstate 40 and burned up....served
her right, haha.
The red was beautiful. Made the P1800 (and the S and the E) look like a Ferrari.
From adhesives and plastics that break down, to sealed lubricated areas, rust inhibitors that begin to fail, battery packs with a finite life, or even cylinders without sleeves bored straight into the block... modern cars are “buy, use, throw away.” All of them! While some older cars might require maintenance (i.e. grease fittings etc) they are designed to be serviced and are easily rebuilt. The modern car uses lots of thermoplast that makes up it's design and integrates things like headlights, bumpers... The problem is there are few generic substitutes and often car manufacturers discontinue manufacturing certain parts after the bare minimum required by law. The car is packed full with electronics, emission controls and the designs are so tight that they don't even lend themselves to easy maintenance. They require proprietary diagnostic equipment that costs thousands and “so called” mechanics at most dealerships simply replace major components but don't actually do any component level repair. The margins of error and tollerances are extreamly small, pushed by performance and efficiency demands. Modern cars tend to be less forgiving when for example the engine overheats (Aluminum heads and block) or if you hit the curb (Aluminum rims).
Most of these cars are simply screwed together by end componenets from many various suppliers and these firms are international. The designs are even shared or borrowed... A Toyota Tundra is more American than either Ford, GMC, Chevy or Dodge pickup trucks. The Mercedes ML is made in Mississippi, the BMW 3 series and some Z and X models in South Carolina... The old Ford Mustang with a 2.3 liter turbo had an engine made in Germany. The so called low quality British car you describe might have an engine made by Isuzu if it's a Lotus (Years past). Perceptions and cliche's are hard to argue after they have been established may that be for the awesome quality of one brand or the horrible poor quality of another. The way the Japanese won is by simply building awesome products and keeping the prices down, eventually having the consumer realize, "Holly crap, that Honda Accord is a really good car."
Most of the perceived differences in quality are a matter of personal perception based on limited sampling and simply good/poor advertising... There are some makes and models with design flaws (some Volvo's have a known issue with transmissions going out on them prematurely), certain makes and models do better at certain things (off road, towing, performance driving etc). But in general even the cheapest KIA is a well built car and BMW's might be in the shop constantly, but the BMW owner still think they're the best car because of how he perceives quality. At the end of the day, “quality” is a matter of perception, and even though the older 3.8 liter V-8 from Mercedes had a horrible design defect (timing chain tensioner) the make “Mercedes” is still synonymous with quality. BMW had steering wheels lock up on drivers of 3 series cars, Audi had automatic transmissions that would pop into drive after the owner would set them into neutral, Fords will catch on fire even after turned off... The perception of quality is a matter of definitions for those getting into the weeds (looking at it objectively) and positioning of brands through marketing and advertising for the common layperson that has a feeling about what quality means. Truth is, Japanese cars use to be considered “low quality” many years back when in reality already then they were kicking the crap out of both US and Euro auto makers in terms of defects per one hundred, fit and finish and durability as reported by their owners (a good source for that is consumer reports)
If you think Volvo has some awesome advantage over Toyota in safety, that's a perception and it's Volvo's angle (their marketing gimmick in the game of “product differentiation”). All makes want to differentiate their products after they establish themselves on the market. That's how you demand higher prices for your product. The makers throw in some cheesy product (the feature) that is supposed to convince you (with the money) that you should buy theirs and not the competitors product. So you end up with lots of silly crap on cars that usually only gets used seldom and then only has some marginal benefit if at all. Because Volvo is the “safe car” they throw a little IR sensor in that brakes (50% of max) the car if it thinks you're gaining on something in front of you rapidly. Of course it doesn't really work all that well nor under most circumstances (It can't, otherwise it would constantly engage when it shouldn't, or pose a safety hazzard itself), but if you construct just the right scenario and the vehicle is new and everything works, it looks real cool and adds a bullet on a sales pamphlet under the safety section.
If I were you, and safety were the issue, I would use empirical data from a semi (politics does bleed in and they're not the end all answer) neutral source.
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