The Swedish band ABBA once asked you to ‘take a chance on me.’ Now you can take a chance on another Swede, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Volvo XC90. Let’s see if it price makes sure that when put to the test, it does its best.
Before we get down with the clown on things, I wanted to give you an update on that mega-mileage BMW M-Coupe we looked at last week. I had noted that the tags were expired and questioned whether the sale was prompted by the car’s inability to pass California’s smog tests. Well, the seller kindly reached out to me with a little more detail. It seems that the registration is actually up to date, but his pictures were not, having been snapped back in 2018 when the tags were good. Glad we could clear that up.
Another thing we can clear up is the outcome of Friday’s wicked red 2011 Lotus Evora. The little 2+2 came with a plethora of small updates and personalizations, which could have either added too or detracted from its perceived value. In the end, it seems they either swayed of were irrelevant to opinion as the car’s $34,999 price tag came in for the win with a 62 percent thumb’s up vote.
Do any of you remember back when Volvos were unapologetically boxy? Those were the best, right? With its current lineup, the Chinese-owned Swedish car company is thankfully getting back to those rectilinear roots. For a while there, Volvo’s cars started to look just like everybody else’s. Maybe for a while there few buyers were interested in square cars. Well, I say welcome back box.
One of Volvo’s models that seemingly kept the boxy flame alive was the XC90 tall wagon. This was Volvo’s first official entry into the lucrative cross-over market, introduced first as a concept and then a year later in production form at the North American Auto Show. Production began at Volvo’s Torslanda factory in late 2002 for the ’03 model year.
It sure feels like the XC90 has been around much longer than that and that’s probably due to the fact that Volvo has sold a gajillion of them over the last decade and a half. The second-generation model has extended the XC90s successful run, while the first generation continues in limited scope in the Chinese market.
This 2006 Volvo XC90 is interesting because it’s a special edition, and because it rocks the B8444 engine. The 4.4-litre four-cam V8 under-hood was built by Yamaha in Japan to Volvo specs. When new, the all-alloy engine was good for 288 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.
This isn’t a narrow-angle engine like Volkswagen’s VR6, but it is fairly compact, utilizing a V6-like 60° angle of the dangle between the banks. This was expressly chosen for the engine due to its intended use in transverse, FWD layouts. The six-speed automatic mated to that is also of Japanese origin, being an Aisin TF-80SC. The V8 was only available with AWD and that’s facilitated by a Haldex automatically distributing setup.
The XC90 features three rows of seating and if you’ve never sat your ass down in a Volvo you’re missing out. They do a pretty good job on interior styling and ergonomics. They don’t do as good a job on their choice of leather however, nor on the durability of some of their interior plastics.
This XC happens to be one of 800 special Ocean Race editions built to commemorate the Volvo Ocean Race yacht competition. As such, it features special metallic blue paint with silver side stripes, wrapped around a beige interior with contrasting stitching and VOLVO OCEAN RACE sill plates on the front door jambs. The paint looks to be in pretty nice shape, with no apparent issue or evidence of road rot. The brightly polished factory alloys do show some curb rash though, which is a shame since they’re such pretty wheels.
The interior shows every one of the car’s 152,000 miles on the front seats. This is where Volvo interiors almost inevitably fall down. The rest of the interior—dash, door cards, rear seats, etc.—all look to be holding up just fine. Heavy duty rubber floor mats give away the car’s northern mid-west residency.
The seller says the car comes with a plethora of luxury amenities, including heated seats, navigation and sonar parking sensors. They also claim that the engine and trans are ‘strong’ and that the tires are ‘good.’ You can’t get a much better endorsement out of a mid-westerner if you tried. They’re all humble folk. The title is clear, and overall the car’s condition is listed as excellent.
Being one of 800 Ocean Race editions and rocking that V8 makes this one special XC90. The question at hand is whether or not its $2,900 asking price makes it even more so. That’s pretty cheap and so you have to ask yourself, is there something unexplained that would make it unwanted? Or, are there just so many XC90s (Volvo sold more than 85,000 of them globally in 2006) that supply exceeds demand?
What do you think, is this special edition wagon special enough for someone to take a chance and plunk down that $2,900 asking? Or, is this this an Ocean Race that the owner is destined not to lose?
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