"Sportwagon" model rides like sports
car. Return rate on shocks is hard
enough to bring excellent handling, but
also annoyance over speed bumps and
rough roads. Quick-handling PT Cruiser
like Suburban next to this. Base engine
needs expert touch; auto tranny
cooperates once you figure out the
shiftpoints. Hand dealer your Amex and
pray; longer repairs than any other
shop. Swapping shorted shiftlock chip
(in the cabin) for the tranny cost as
much as replacing the topside motor
stabilizer bushing. Power seat mechanics
susceptible to early failure. Paint on
leather wears quickly in sun. Scheduled
service expensive due to labor charge.
Sporty handling. Also a surprisingly
good-sounding stereo, though adding an
in-dash CD unit on 1994 model requires
surgery (don't know why). Volvo CD
changer for pre-wire system $600.
Hard-to-find wiring harness for
compatible Alpine 6-disc.
New models ride softer. Most new ones
have in-dash CD, but changer still a
pricy extra. Package prices on scheduled
services would help to avoid excessive
labor charges. AC is too weak for
Southwest. High cost of parts...when
they eventually break.
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