Geneva, Switzerland –The second largest auto show on the European calendar is staged in scenic and historic city on the lake bearing the same name.

Typically, many cars are unveiled here that just don’t make it to our side of the pond but this year was different – several notable reveals will make it here.

Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek has been a huge hit for Subaru with the highest satisfaction among Subaru owners ever since the original arrived in 2013. The all-new Crosstrek is built on the same Global Platform as the recent Impreza. The goal was to make a much more sophisticated driving car with world class safety. Another major selling feature of Subaru cars is the advanced safety suit called Eye Sight which is available, plus the introduction of dynamic headlamps with auto high beam and low beam. The goal was to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus with these new features. The new platform is much more rigid and with a 2.0L direct injection 4-cylinder, standard all-wheel drive and an impressive 220mm of ground clearance, this go anywhere crossover is targeted for city dwellers who like to head out of town on the weekend. The new Crosstrek arrives this summer.

VW Arteon

VW is back in the big car market with a stylish GT sedan with impressive design and a practical layout. The Arteon is a mid-to-full-size four-door sedan with a coupe-like roofline and hatchback layout; like Audi’s A7. Built on an elongated platform shared with the Golf and upcoming Atlas SUV, the Arteon is a foray into the premium space. The Arteon will go on sale in Europe later this year with standard AWD and six available engines. For the Canadian market expect to see the Arteon arrive next year. Engines have not been announced for the Canadian market but a good bet would be a turbo 4-cylinder base engine and an optional V6, as has been announced in the Atlas SUV.

Range Rover Velar

The Velar is based on the same platform as the F-Pace Jaguar cousin but has a design that is all Range Rover. This stunning SUV is placed between the Evoque compact SUV and the Range Rover Sport. For the Canadian market it will be priced, starting at $62,300, which is $12,000 more than the F-Pace. It will be available with a turbo 4-cylinder diesel or a 380hp supercharged V6. Unlike the F-Pace the Velar will be available with an adjustable air suspension for off-road duties. The interior is much more polished than the F-Pace featuring two 10-inch centre screens for car controls and infotainment readouts. The rather sparse interior of the F-Pace is replaced with cloth and quilted accents that do look more upscale. The exterior of the Velar is like the Range Rover Sport and due to the popularity of that vehicle, this smaller option will be a massive hit for Range Rover. The Velar will be available this summer

Volvo XC60

Volvo has been on a vehicle renaissance lately with the highly successful XC90 crossover winning the North American SUV of the Year award last year. For 2017 Volvo hopes to capture lightning in a bottle twice with the smaller XC60. This new version will be available before the end of the year and should be a hit because it looks and shares many of the same components with the award winning larger sibling. The same turbo and supercharged 4-cylinder engine is standard with an available plug-in hybrid model. The interior features the same layout and the same level of finish is present. With a smaller and more agile footprint, plus Volvo’s reputation for advanced safety features will help accelerate the rented interest in the Volvo brand.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Some might remember the Mitsubishi Eclipse name on a car but the trend these days is to crossovers, so the name has been resurrected on the latest model called Mitsubishi Cross. This all-new crossover will sit between the RVR and Outlander models in size. With a turbocharged 1.5L 4-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission, the target might be the Honda CR-V with similar tech. The design is sharp and looks like a fastback from some angles. The rear styling is edgy and might be a bit polarizing. The interior is a major step forward with a touch-pad controller for the new centre screen and the materials look fresh and upscale. The Eclipse Cross will arrive towards the end of this year.

zack [dot] spencer [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

Volvo's 60th anniversary celebration

Volvo’s 60th anniversary celebration, celebrated in Hollywood, California.

Swedish automaker Volvo celebrated 60 years in North America with a special gathering of celebrities and vintage cars at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.

Comedian and vintage Volvo owner Jay Leno entertained a crowd of more than 300 Volvo owners, executives, retailers, and media amongst an unprecedented collection of new and historic Volvo cars, live music, and Scandinavian fare.

Notable cars on display included a 1928 PV4, Volvo’s first covered car; a 1955 PV444, the first Volvo exported to the U.S.; the 1967 P1800S driven by Roger Moore in the hit sixties’ television series, “The Saint”; and the all-new, award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle.

Guests explored Volvo’s past and future by visiting a series of Volvo branded shops created in the facades on Paramount’s City Streets back lot.

In the Volvo Cars Art Gallery, for example, was a collection of Julius Shulman-inspired photos starring Volvos past and present taken recently by Ann Street Studios at iconic locations around Los Angeles, where the very first Volvo was imported in 1955. Shulman was an American architectural photographer whose work spread California mid-century modern around the world.

Guests perused the collection of vintage Volvo advertisements in the Volvo Cars History Museum, and in the Bowers & Wilkins Listening Room, audiophiles appreciated the high technology powering the 19-speaker, 1,400-watt entertainment system available in the all-new XC90 sport utility.

“Volvo has had a special place in many Americans’ hearts for generations,” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. “Maybe they grew up riding in a Volvo, or were saved by one, or perhaps they learned to drive in one. Whatever the case, we are celebrating those experiences and now our version of luxury for generations to come.”

Volvo Cars is benefitting from a recent investment of $11billion that is being used to develop an entirely new lineup of luxury vehicles. The company has experienced nine months of consecutive year-over-year growth and is aiming to increase sales to 800,000 cars globally in the medium term.

“If you like a sporty and great handling car with supremely comfy seats and enough power for any task, this V60 T6 is fantastic.” (more…)

“Compact yet comfortable, the Volvo C30 has a bigger car feel and a sporty, fun-to-drive disposition, yet it excels in both ride comfort and safety appointments.”

The Volvo C30 is a compact two-door hatchback that seats four people in up-level comfort.

I’m always struck by how attractive and sharp looking it can still look, when I see one on the road, even though its design dates back to 2006 and Volvo last sold the C30 in Canada in 2013. That distinctive big-glass rear hatch is a tribute to the Volvo P1800, a classic 70s era sports car.

We join the C30 story in 2009 when a mild redesign brought new standard equipment and added a new R-Design package. Heated front seats, front fog lights and an upgraded 8-speaker audio system with steering wheel-mounted controls became standard features.

A base C30 comes with a 2.4-litre, 5-cylinder engine that can produce 168-horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 5-speed automatic with Geartronic (a manual shift mode). Fuel economy is rated at 11.9 L/100 km in city and 8.5 L/100 km on the highway using the new five-cycle method, but premium fuel is recommended.

WATCH: Zack Spencer review Volvo’s 2015 V60 (YouTube)

The T5 edition of the C30 comes with a turbocharged 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder engine that can produce 227-horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed manual transmission was standard and it came with the optional 5-speed automatic with Geartronic. Fuel economy the same as the 2.4-litre.

Volvo uses a quiet, low-pressure turbocharger on the 2.5-litre engine and it’s engineered to provide good pulling power at low engine speeds. Comparing it to the 2.4L, the 2.5L can develop an addition 66 ft lbs of torque at an engine speed as low as 1500 rpm.

The side doors are extra long and allow good access to the rear seats. However, they can also be awkward to open in a tight parking stall. The rear seatbacks split 50/50 and fold to create a flat expanded load floor with 57 litres of cargo room. Even with the seatbacks up there’s still 37 litres of storage space.

The SIPS (side-impact protection) and the WHIPS (whiplash neck injury protection) are just two of the many great safety features built into a C30. Optional advanced safety systems available included a camera-based Blind Spot Information System (BLIS).

In 2010, Volvo revised C30’s trim line up and it came in Base 2.4i, Premium, R-Design, T5 Premium and T5 R-Design trim levels. The 2.4i engine editions were discontinued in 2011. It also got a styling refresh that included new fenders, trapezoidal headlights, lower front valance, and honeycomb-pattern grille with larger badge. Some small changes followed in 2012 and no changes were made for its final (2013) year in Canada.

Compact yet comfortable, the Volvo C30 has a bigger car feel and a sporty, fun-to-drive disposition, yet it excels in both ride comfort and safety appointments.

Price Check: Volvo C30 2009 – 2013 (March 2015)

Year                    Edition                                                 Expect to Pay Today

2009                       T5                                                          $13,000 to $16,000

2010                       T5                                                          $15,000 to $18,000

2011                       T5                                                          $17,000 to $20,000

2012                       T5                                                          $19,000 to $23,000

2013                       T5                                                          $21,000 to $25,000

*Prices vary depending on a used vehicle’s condition, mileage, usage and history. A complete mechanical check should always be performed by a reliable auto technician prior to purchase.

Safety Recalls: 2009 to 2013 with the Volvo C30

2007 to 2010 – Overheating may occur to batteries manufactured within a limited date code range. Dealers will direct customers who have an affected unit to the Garmin Web site, which explains how to verify if their units are involved and includes procedures to follow for product exchange.

2008/2009 – An improperly manufactured power steering return hose may rupture, leak fluid and cause an unexpected loss of steering power assist. Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the power steering return line assembly.

2010/2011 – The gearshift lever stud assembly may not have been tightened to a correct torque setting. If the gearshift lever cable or stud assembly becomes loose, it may not be possible to engage, disengage, or shift gears. Dealers will inspect and torque the gearshift lever stud assembly to the correct specification.

2011 – A body frame member (in the engine compartment) may have been manufactured incorrectly and may have developed a crack during the forming process, reducing crash performance of the vehicle. Dealers will inspect the member and if a crack is found, Volvo will take the vehicle out of service and replace it with a new one of equal specification.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“In a vision statement, Volvo boldly predicted that no person will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.”

You’ll probably see, hear and read much about an all-new Volvo called the XC90 in the coming months.

The XC90 will be the first completely new, all-Volvo vehicle in a very long time and that’s mainly because of what’s been happening, behind the Volvo logo, in recent years.

The XC90 is the first vehicle built on a new and adaptable “SPA” chassis structure designed for large and midsize vehicles. “The XC90 is the first of eight new models within the next three years that will be built on this new adaptable platform,” said Marc Engelen, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of Canada Corp.

Volvo is also currently working to a new “CMA” small car platform. It will underpin and spawn a new generation of smaller vehicles and, according to Engelen, some of these will also be coming to Canada. Good news for Volvo fans who lament the discontinued importation of its smaller 30 and 40 series vehicles.

The first production Volvo car was made in Sweden way back in 1927. Designed to survive the country’s rough roads and cold temperatures, it was nicknamed “Jakob”. Structurally strong vehicles with highest level of passenger safety have become fundamental Volvo qualities and the brand has a “Designed around you” build philosophy.

Marc Engelen has been with Volvo for 22 years and served the company in Sweden, Germany and Belgium before accepting the Canadian leadership appointment in 2012. He was part of the Volvo negotiation group that led to the Zhejiang Geely Holding of China takeover of Volvo Cars, in 2010.

The trucking, heavy duty and marine sides of the business are now under separate ownership, called AB Volvo. Both companies share the Volvo brand name and logo and co-operate in running the Volvo Museum.

Prior to 2010, Volvo was under Ford Motor Company ownership, as part of its now defunct Premier Automotive Group, which also included Jaguar, Aston Martin and Land Rover.

“When Ford took over they brought in a lot of Ford managers to align Volvo with Ford systems, procedures and processes,” said Engelen “Since the 2010 takeover, Geely has not appointed even one manager to Volvo Cars (outside of China, where it operates two Volvo production facilities).

Geely has invested heavily in Volvo Cars and as long as the company continues to deliver on its long-range strategy plan, it does not plan to interfere with current operations. “We are now responsible for our own destiny,” explained Engelen. “They have been pouring money, resources and investments into the company.”

The big items on the Volvo restructuring shopping list were to have its own platforms, its own engines and its own electrical architecture.

“Our digital systems are intuitive,” added Engelen. “You shouldn’t need a manual in order to understand your car … and you know every car has a big manual. Everything should be simple and intuitive. You shouldn’t have to go through fifteen menus to do something.”

In a vision statement, Volvo boldly predicted that no person will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.

“Our XC90 is already semi-autonomous (if you can say that),” according to Engelen. “We do require a driver to have hands on the steering wheel, although this car can drive itself (provided the road infrastructure is compatible). It doesn’t matter if it rains or snows or its night. Our new auto-braking systems can recognise pedestrians, cyclists and even animals bigger than 60 cm.”

Volvo car sales were down by four per cent in Canada in 2014, however, but this was not unexpected as a couple of models were dropped from the product line.

Redesigned and new editions of the S60 and the V60 have been added for 2015, in addition to XC90. Sales growth this year and for the next five years is forecast to be in the 20 to 25 per cent range, according to Engelen.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“Polestar is evocative, sexy, incredibly agile and designed to satisfy with every ride…”

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to writing down your to-do lists.

One argument says that writing lists causes the brain to get lazy; therefore, it doesn’t retain information as easily because it knows there is a backup somewhere.

Another suggests that highly effective people write lists because when they scratch their tasks off, it creates positive reinforcement and motivates individuals to continue to work hard. Call my brain lazy, but I love writing lists.

It seemed only natural to have such a list while the Volvo’s performance version of V60 sportwagon was in my garage. The V60 Polestar is evocative, sexy, incredibly agile and designed to satisfy with every ride. And yes, this is a Volvo.

For those not familiar with the tuning division of Volvo, their roots go back to 1996 when they started working with the Swedish brand in regards to motorsports. Since then, they’ve helped develop not only track-worthy competitors, but also street cars.

Clad in a Rebel Blue robe, our time together would not be for eternity, but the memory will recall the experience without need of a list!

Here are just a few things that I felt inspired to do with the 345 horsepower V60.

1) Have fun.

2) Find some snow and play in it.

3) Paint my toenails the same colour as its exterior. You know, because it’s what all the cool kids are doing.

4) Impress first-time Volvo passengers with its competency.

5) Make a Polestar joke (or many) and see how many people laugh at my sharp wit.

6) Make use of its 692L cargo capacity.

7) Accelerate quickly. Make someone’s day.

And the list could go on…

The Lower Mainland doesn’t experience the wrath of winter as other parts of Canada do. Regardless, this V60 warmed up in a flash. Minutes into my drive the heated seats in full swing, the heated steering wheel toasting my fingers, and the hot air blowing out of the vents. The Swedes know cold and how to keep it outside.

The car’s handling prowess can be attributed to its front and rear Öhlins Shock Absorbers, MacPherson front and multilink independent rear suspension. This V60 gives you the confidence you’d like in turns while having a blast and making sure occupants are comfortable.

As for playing in the slippery and the snow, count on Volvo’s Haladex Four-Wheel Drive System to distribute power to the wheels that are in need of it the most. Add in razor-sharp steering and running errands just doesn’t feel like a chore anymore.

Then there’s what really gets the party started. Under its hood is a 3.0L, turbocharged T6 engine that produces the aforementioned 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Torque is harnessed as low as 2,800 rpm and then delivered via a 6-speed automatic transmission. Paddle shifters also come as standard equipment. If there were to be more of a kick while accelerating quickly, that would be welcome, but not necessary.

Speaking of acceleration, getting up to 100km/h from zero takes a mere 4.9 seconds. Getting you back to zero is made possible by using Polestar’s 14.6-inch ventilated front discs matched with six-piston Brembo calipers with 11.8-inch ventilated discs in the rear.

The only real drawback of the Polestar, I found, was its turning radius. Tight turns at low speeds wasn’t ideal, but if you need to a three or four-point turn to get into the mall’s cramped parking stalls, so be it.

At the end of our test time together, I’m happy to report that I checked off all the items on the list. If the universe unfolds in my favour, we shall meet again.

The Volvo V60 Polestar is available in limited quantities and has an MSRP of $66,895.

Visit for more information.

Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

VIDEO: Volvo V60 Polestar: The Ultimate Estate for Petrolheads and Compulsive Hoarders

“Driving the 2015 V60 wagon can be likened to a floatation tank experience: but don’t close your eyes and turn off the lights to enjoy the tranquility!”

Whistler, B.C.

Each morning, I wake up to my inbox clogged with a plethora of messages boasting of “great deals.”

And while I swiftly send most to the trash, I often entertain the idea of not paying full price for a meal, or getting my mani/pedi at a 75 percent off, or occasionally splurging on a spa treatment. Not to mention yoga classes at a fraction of the cost.

One message in particular from West Coast Float caught my eye recently and gave me an excuse to take the Volvo V60 T6 R-Design wagon for a longer drive up to Whistler.

The image accompanied with the text looked like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. There was this woman, floating in lagoon-blue water, in a rather interesting contraption. Beside it were words like “sensory deprivation,” “relaxation,” and “salt.” A colleague had mentioned to me in conversation about these float pods so I bought two sessions and brought along a friend to enjoy it with me.

Without going into too many details on the experience, I floated for 90 minutes in my private room. Note: do not rub your eyes! When it was all over, I was very relaxed.

I am so glad the V60 T6 R-Design was the chariot home because I wanted the feeling of serenity to last as long as possible. The V60 certainly facilitated this state of being.

Driving the 2015 V60 wagon can be likened to a floatation tank experience: but don’t close your eyes and turn off the lights to enjoy the tranquility! It glides effortlessly and handles brilliantly in whatever environment I put it in.

Thanks to the R-Design Sport chassis, which has been lowered 15 mm, and spring stiffness is 15 per cent higher compared with the Dynamic chassis in the standard V60. That said, it’s stiff in all the right places.

The dynamic handling on the sinuous roads made me realize just how much I missed driving the Swedish brand’s vehicles.

The smooth-revving 3.0L, turbocharged I-6 engine also helps sweeten the deal.

With 325 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque being produced (with Polestar Performance software tuning), it’s no sleeper.

It’s then linked with a six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with advanced Quick Shift, and a Sport Mode
Haldex electronically controlled all-wheel-drive with Instant Traction.

I was hoping for some snow on the ground so I could play in it a little, but alas, my request was not answered. Maybe next time.

The cabin offers a simplistic yet stylish setup – one that has been a common theme through the Volvos I’ve tested over the years – complete with Volvo’s “floating” centre stack.

It’s sublimely quiet at highway speeds and because of its Climate Package ($1,350), I had such features as a heated steering wheel and a heated windshield, along with the standard heated front seats, to keep my body blissfully warm in the sub zero temperatures.

With room for five inside, a cargo area of 692 litres, and an overall impressive execution, I didn’t want to give this bright red wagon back.

Though I wouldn’t call it a deal with a price as tested of $58,700 (then again, the base V60 T5 FWD starts at $38,900), it is the real deal: an incredible wagon that gives you all the pleasure of driving without the salt in your eyes. Just on the roads.

Visit for more information on the V60.

Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“While I didn’t expect the Volvo V60 Polestar to eclipse Ford Mustang GT, it was certainly good to see Volvo, a company with a great history that has teetered on the brink of extinction, back in the winner’s circle.”

Margareta Mahlstedt accepting the Canadian Car of the Year award

Margareta Mahlstedt accepting the Canadian Car of the Year award.


The 2015 Canadian Car of the Year competition moved in to its final phase with the announcement of the final fifteen “Best New” category winners by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, better known as AJAC.

These category winners were chosen by 73 Canadian automotive journalists following a recently completed hands-on, five-day, back-to-back evaluation drive event, known as “TestFest”, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The testing is both detailed and a challenging process that generated 1,640 evaluation drives, approximately 106,405 data points and 500 category ballots.

“TestFest is the most intensive new vehicle evaluation process on the planet,” said CCOTY Co-Chair, Gary Grant.  “No other organization employs such stringent testing methods to determine their car of year award winners. Data driven and Canadian expertise:  that’s what makes an AJAC winner”.


The 2015 Canadian Car of the Year “Best New” award winners are:

City Car:                                                Kia Soul EV

Small Car (under $21k):                        Honda Fit

Small Car (over $21k):                          Volkswagen Golf

Family Car (under $30k):                       Subaru Legacy 2.5i

Family Car (over $30k):                         Hyundai Sonata

Luxury Car (under $50k):                       Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Luxury Car (over $50k):                         Hyundai Genesis

Sports – Performance (under $50k):      BMW M235i

Sports – Performance (over $50k):        Volvo V60 Polestar

Prestige (over $75k):                               Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Prestige – Performance (over $75k):     Porsche 911 Turbo S

SUV – CUV (under $35k):                        Subaru Outback 2.5i       

SUV – CUV ($35k-$60k) :                       Toyota Highlander

SUV – CUV (over $60k):                         Porsche Macan S

Pickup:                                                     Ford F-150


Within this group of “Best New” category winners is the eventual 2015 Canadian Car of the Year and 2015 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year and these announcements will be made at the Canadian International Auto Show, in Toronto , on February 12, 2015. In addition, AJAC will also present 2015 awards for Best New Technology (January 15 / Montreal Auto Show) and Canadian Green Car of the Year (March 24/Vancouver Auto Show).

Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Subaru were all double winners and, as usual, there were a few surprises. You can look at the voting and scoring details plus all the collected data on performance (acceleration, braking, fuel economy, etc.) on the AJAC web site ( You can also look back on previous winners going all the way back to 1985, when the Volkswagen Golf (an omen perhaps?) was a winner.

A few weeks ago, I made some winner predictions for the seven categories that I managed to drive all entries, while at Testfest. Three proved to be right on the mark, two were runner-ups, but sadly, my Toyota Camry Hybrid and Chevrolet Tahoe choices were completely off target. The Acura RLX Hybrid was my most disappointing non-winner, as I also considered it a good candidate for overall Canadian Car of the Year. The RLX is an amazing sophisticated automobile that could yet win a new technology award.

There were just two entries in all-electric City Car category and the Kia Soul EV was a clear winner. I’ve heard both small car victors Honda Fit and VW Golf talked about as the potential overall winner. The double wins for Subaru and Hyundai were a bit of a surprise (to some) but it was certainly nice to see Porsche recognised for two outstanding products. While I didn’t expect the Volvo V60 Polestar to eclipse Ford Mustang GT, it was certainly good to see Volvo, a company with a great history that was teetered on the brink of extinction, back in the winner’s circle.

All voting for Canadian Car of the Year is done by secret ballot and the esteemed accounting firm KPMG tabulated the results.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

Paris, France.

The Paris Auto Show is one of those must-visit events for those of us charged with reporting on the latest and greatest new vehicles.

So many manufacturers now develop products for a world market so these early European shows often offer a glimpse of what’s coming next to our shores.

Here are five machines that caught my eye.

Lamborghini Asterion (more…)

Station wagons are officially and endangered species in North America.

Richard Nixon was president when the last really cool one was built in America. A quick look at the cars on this list might make you re-think any preconceived notions that wagons were all “Mom Mobiles” for the pre-minivan generation.

1955-57 Chevrolet Nomad

The iconic Tri-Five Chevy, built from 1955-1957, was likely the post-war high-water mark for Chevrolet. It came in myriad body styles and was available with the first version of Chevrolet’s legendary small-block V-8. The two-door Nomad wagon gives even the convertible a serious run for its money in the cool department.

1959 Pontiac Safari


The 1950s were littered with cool station wagons with over-the-top styling. Our vote goes for the ’59 Pontiac Safari. That was the model year in which tail fins reached their absurd apex. The ’59 Safari actually had two sets of fins on the top and the bottom of the rear fenders, making it look like a Redstone ballistic missile – which was probably not an accident.

1964-65 Chevrolet Chevelle

RS 64 Chevelle Greg Gjerdingen

Two-door wagons are very impractical to the point of defeating the purpose of having a wagon in the first place, but they look cool. We love the first-generation Chevelle two-door wagon for its handy size, great looks and the fact that all of the performance parts from the two-door SS coupe will fit on the wagon, making it a great sleeper muscle car.

1968-72 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

RS 71 VistaCruiser

The Vista Cruiser and the Ford Country Squire are the cars that immediately come to mind when referring to the “back backseat,” and it was probably in one of these wagons where the classic slow-burn phrase “Don’t make me come back there” was first uttered by an agitated father. The Olds gets the nod in terms of cool, simply because we love the glass roof and GM’s spot-on styling work.

1971-73 Volvo 1800ES


Volvo of the 1960s and ‘70s wasn’t exactly a company synonymous with high style. Frumpy but practical 544s, Amazons and brick-like 240s were the stereotypical Volvos of the day. But the P1800 coupe was gorgeous, and for a few brief model years it was available as a very pretty two-door sports wagon. Nicknamed “Cinderella’s Coffin” by some for their long, flat roof lines and generous glass, these wagons are among the few truly collectible Volvos — and they run virtually forever.

Rob Sass is the vice-president of content for Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at and you can email rsass [at] hagerty [dot] com

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