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I think this could make for some interesting discussion, as the SAAB 9-2x has been oft criticized for being GMs "stopgap" vehicle, until a new entry level SAAB could be designed using one of GMs existing platforms.
This is reminscent of Ford Motor Corporation's use of the Mitsubishi Carisma as a "stopgap" S40. As you can see, the platform and many of the body panels are similar between the Carisma and S40 are shared. Many would therefore call the S40 a "rebadged Carisma."
Now comes the tricky questions. Do you believe that Volvo's brand image was diluted by Ford's use of the Carisma/S40 as a "stopgap" measure as they developed the existing S40? Or do you believe this "stopgap" was an effective measure that retained Volvo's brand identity and introduced the brand to new entry level buyers?

 

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The carisma or any car like it wasn't sold in the US, so the situation is a fairly different one. I have noticed in Europe where both cars are sold, S40 resale values are much lower (unless the car is really cheap there). So I'm thinking that where consumers are aware of the similarity, the car suffers along with the brand somewhat. The design does look very much fitting with Volvo's current designs, though, while the Saab 9-2 looks about 50% Saab and 50% Subaru.
I think the next S40 (also a platform sharing car, but more unique) will do better and be more competitive. Also, the old S40 to the best of my knowledge had a competitive interior to go with its Volvo style exterior. IMHO the 9-2 doesn't, but that's subject to argument I suppose.
-Andrew
 
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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (sisiisis)

Quote, originally posted by sisiisis »
This is reminscent of Ford Motor Corporation's use of the Mitsubishi Carisma as a "stopgap" S40. As you can see, the platform and many of the body panels are similar between the Carisma and S40 are shared. Many would therefore call the S40 a "rebadged Carisma."

This is what Jamie referred to as "making trouble"...
First off, the Charisma/40-series predates the purchase of Volvo by Ford. Ford had nothing to do with it. The car was already in production when Volvo was acquired.
Secondly, there's not a single shared body panel, inside or out, between the 40-series and the Charisma. The 40-series was styled by Volvo's current chief of design, and it was the first vehicle to show Volvo's new design direction, which was further evolved on the S80 and then the S60.
Inside, almost every single thing is pure Volvo. The seats are the same as in the S60, and the dash shares the same textures and materials. The engines are also unique.
In fact, the only way one can tell that Mitubishi had anything to do with the 40-series is in the crappy feel of the wiper stalk switch and its accompanying motor, which feels straight out of my old Mirage. Everything else is pure Volvo.
End of discussion. This thread should be locked for pointlessness.
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (bgluckman)

The old S40 used little more than the chassis of the mitsubishi, and even that had some significant reinforcments IIRC so it could get the safety ratings that volvo was looking for. Interiors, exteriors, powertrains were all different. Its more analogous to what Ford and volvo did with the new S40 and a focus chassis, than what GM is going with the slightly rebadged WRX wagon.
 

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Re: (Slonie)

Quote, originally posted by Slonie »
Judging from my experience with my mom's V40, the release of thevehicle to the US diluted Volvo's image.

it did, and their were crys from volvo owners saying it wasnt "volvo" enough,
Now imagine what 9-2 owners are going to say....
 
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Re: (Slonie)

For the record, I like my V40. I really, truly like it--a lot more than I ever thought I would. It's one of those wierd cars that grows on you the more you drive. I've got going on 7000 miles on mine (!), and I'm very pleased overall, enough that a new V50 would probably be my #1 pick for my next new car, even if Acura were to bring out a TSX wagon.
Other than the aforementioned wiper stalk module, and the only semi-functional stereo (which I plan to have fixed at the first service interval), I have no complaints. The load area is a good size, the seats are quite comfortable, and all the controls are quite logically laid out and easy to use. The interior's terrific, actually--a nice mix of tans, silvers and greys, far nicer IMO than the yellow leather used by VW. The gauges are simply the best gauges I've ever used--they're not fancy at all, but they convey information quickly and easily, and the Indiglo feature is probably my favorite touch in the car.
The engines got good pep, and the car handles quite well for a family car without sacrificing ride quality--which is good considering how crappy DC roads are. The brake pedal is spongier than my tastes would prefer, but the car stops without drama or any annoying ABS feedback. I've already autocrossed it, and it's actually a fun car to toss through the slalom--lightweight, suprisingly quick to rev, and fairly easy to keep boiled up with boost. Once I get my upgrades in place, I'll be really looking forward to running it.
And the BBS rims that came stock look terrific. For $26K loaded, I feel very happy with my purchase, and I'd definitely consider another Volvo.
 

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Re: (Slonie)

Its true many Volvo enthuisasts don't considered outgoing 40-Series as "real Volvo", especially when it serves as a replacement for the legendary 240 "tank". It simply lacks the integrity and rigidty of being a Volvo. However, it has more "Volvo feel" than Mitsubishi in the whole car. In fact, its a lot more of a Volvo than what a 9-2 can be dubbed as "SAAB".
The interior design of 40-Series were all Volvos, as Brian said, except for crappy starks. On the other hand, 9-2X doesn't have SAAB's famous center ignition switch (many can argue 9k didn't have neither), joystick vents and "U" style headrests.
I have a feeling this thread's purpose is to flame those who hate the 9-2X, unlike the original poster himself.



Modified by A4Jetta at 5:10 PM 1-12-2004
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (sisiisis)

sisiisis,
So glad you asked! First off you must understand that here on the Vortex "stopgaps" while done by most automakers at some point, is only bad if it's done by GM. Honda's Passport(Isuzu), and the myriad stopgaps stemming out of Chrysler and Ford over the years is NEVER an issue here. ONLY IF IT'S GM.
The excuse for the 1st gen S40 is that it didn't share body panels...
...to those people it should be said that the 9-2 shares as much with the WRX(roof/glass). Its panels are unique, as are the nose, tailgate, hood, and lighting. So much for using that to excuse the S40 stopgap.
Just as the 1st gen S40 bought Volvo the time they needed to put out a great S40, Saab will do the same with the 9-2. The difference is that the Saab won't be on the market nearly as long as the first S40 was.
 

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Re: (A4Jetta)

Quote, originally posted by A4Jetta »
Its true many Volvo enthuisasts don't considered outgoing 40-Series as "real Volvo", especially when it serves as a replacement for the legendary 240 "tank". It simply lacks the integrity and rigidty of being a Volvo. However, it has more "Volvo feel" than Mitsubishi in the whole car. In fact, its a lot more of a Volvo than what a 9-2 can be dubbed as "SAAB".
The interior design of 40-Series were all Volvos, as Brian said, except for crappy starks. On the other hand, 9-2X doesn't have SAAB's famous center ignition switch (many can argue 9k didn't have neither), joystick vents and "U" style headrests.
I have a feeling this thread's purpose is to flame those who hate the 9-2X, unlike the original poster himself.


Modified by A4Jetta at 5:10 PM 1-12-2004

A4jetta, to be fair none of us have driven the 9-2 so you are not in a position to tell us how "Saab-like" it will be. Just as the S40 was tuned to be more Volvo in feel(it failed) the 9-2 supposedly is tuned to be Saab-like by way of suspension and steering tuning.
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (Whirling_Dervish)

Quote, originally posted by Whirling_Dervish »
sisiisis,
So glad you asked! First off you must understand that here on the Vortex "stopgaps" while done by most automakers at some point, is only bad if it's done by GM. Honda's Passport(Isuzu), and the myriad stopgaps stemming out of Chrysler and Ford over the years is NEVER an issue here. ONLY IF IT'S GM.
The excuse for the 1st gen S40 is that it didn't share body panels...
...to those people it should be said that the 9-2 shares as much with the WRX(roof/glass). Its panels are unique, as are the nose, tailgate, hood, and lighting. So much for using that to excuse the S40 stopgap.
Just as the 1st gen S40 bought Volvo the time they needed to put out a great S40, Saab will do the same with the 9-2. The difference is that the Saab won't be on the market nearly as long as the first S40 was.

no, you failed to realize that volvo reengineed much olf the mitsu to make the S40, and it still wasnt enough.
meanwhile the saab didnt even redo most of the interior, or drivetrain. its not about it being from GM.
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (Whirling_Dervish)

All kinds of manufacturers share platforms. As has been stated, the S/V40 and Carisma do share a basic platform design--but are far from a simple rebadge. Having seen both European-spec cars in person, parked nearly side by side, I can assure you they are NOTHING alike. They do not share powertrain components, either. This is more like the Saab 9000/Alfa 164/Lancia/Fiat 'platform sharing' concept rather than a typical Big 3 rebadge job.
While the S/V40 was roundly criticized by European press in nearly every test I've read, and while it wasn't extremely competitive here in the US against the A4, 3 series, etc (not enough powertrain choices, no AWD, no manual) it sold reasonably well.
Personally, even after driving an ipd modified V40, I'm just still unenthused about the drive. The automatic transmission seemed indecisive and reluctant to shift when I wanted, even when the car was chipped. The ride on the 2 I've driven (stock and modded) was choppy, and handling on the stock version wasn't great (I'd give partial blame to the smallish 15" wheel/tire setup).
The new S/V40 can't arrive quick enough.
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (Jettavr666)

Illustrate what was re-engineered. I've read Saab has tuned the driving characteristics of the 9-2. The first S40 is the equivalent of the 9-2. The first Honda Passport only recieved Honda badges. Mazda's pickup for many years have only been Ford Rangers, rebadged and decontented. Do I even need to start on the Colt/Mirage crap cars? How about the many Suzukis sold under many brands???
The point of this thread as I see it is not the merits of the 9-2, but rather is why the double standard with GM versus the many that have done and do the same, often with far less differentiation....
 
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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (Whirling_Dervish)

Quote, originally posted by Whirling_Dervish »
The excuse for the 1st gen S40 is that it didn't share body panels...
...to those people it should be said that the 9-2 shares as much with the WRX(roof/glass). Its panels are unique, as are the nose, tailgate, hood, and lighting. So much for using that to excuse the S40 stopgap.

Um, do you read? The 40-series only shares its basic platform with the Carisma, along with a few isolated bits. Engines, transmissions, body panels, interiors, the unibody structure, everything else is different.
The only deviation between the Saab and the Subaru is the front clip (which is mounted on the same unibody frame), tailgate and taillights. Even the interior is shared with Subaru, being as those pieces come out of the Impreza-derived Forester parts bin.
And for those folks who haven't driven a 40-series (which is most of you, and no, a ten-minute test drive doesn't count), the car drives much like other Volvos, except it's a lot lighter on its tires. The most important thing is that the drivetrain shares its characteristics with other turbo Volvos. I've tuned all the cars that I've owned, and I can tell you that handling and ride characteristics are so easily tuned that saying by changing some spring and shock rates you can make a Subaru drive like a Saab is utterly laughable. A ceertain kind of "feel" does NOT come from that kind of tuning--it comes from the responses of the drivetrain, the touches of the interior, and the way the steering feels. It's like saying that if somebody changes their clothes, they become a different person. Hardly.
Unless Saab's giving the car a completely differently configured steering rack (which, at last check, they're not), it'll drive like exactly what it is: a WRX with softer shocks and springs. Big whoop.
And for godsakes, stop calling the 40-series a stopgap, because it wasn't. It was built specifically by Volvo for a segment of the market, and it was the last Volvo designed and built fully by the company before it was taken over by Ford.
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (Whirling_Dervish)

Quote, originally posted by Whirling_Dervish »

The excuse for the 1st gen S40 is that it didn't share body panels...
...to those people it should be said that the 9-2 shares as much with the WRX(roof/glass). Its panels are unique, as are the nose, tailgate, hood, and lighting. So much for using that to excuse the S40 stopgap.

Sorry - you're wrong... the 9-2 shares a lot more than roof and glass. The tailgate is the same, however they have bolted on a trim piece at the beltline to make it appear different. Also the doors and door handles are carbon copies as well.
From the A-pillar back, the sheetmetal is all unchanged. It would have been too costly to do it any other way.


I happen to like the 9-2 even if it is a stopgap design. I haven't participated in these debates before, nor am I one of the faithful GM basher's you're so desperately trying to roost. I am one though, who sees BS and calls it for what it is. I have seen this car in person - close up, doors open, doors closed. Have you?
You can add the '.orig.jpg' extension to each of those image URLs if you need a closer look. In fact, I'd recommend it.
>8^)
ER
EDIT: Spellin'


Modified by Peloton25 at 6:23 PM 1-12-2004
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (bgluckman)

Quote, originally posted by bgluckman »

The only deviation between the Saab and the Subaru is the front clip (which is mounted on the same unibody frame), tailgate and taillights. Even the interior is shared with Subaru, being as those pieces come out of the Impreza-derived Forester parts bin.

Wrong. A-pillar forward, body panels are unique. Tail is also. As are the lighting parts. Interior is shared with the Forester which helps it stand apart from the WRX. Sounds like much went into it after all. And again, until we drive it no one can say how much the driving character has changed. So maybe we should stop ASSuming....
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (Peloton25)

I thought roof/glass would imply b and c pillars and the doors connecting them. I'll be more specific in the future, ok? http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: What are your opinions of Volvo's use of the S40 as a "stopgap" vehicle. (Whirling_Dervish)

Quote, originally posted by Whirling_Dervish »

Wrong. A-pillar forward, body panels are unique. Tail is also. As are the lighting parts. Interior is shared with the Forester which helps it stand apart from the WRX. Sounds like much went into it after all. And again, until we drive it no one can say how much the driving character has changed. So maybe we should stop ASSuming....

okay okay fine we dont know exactly how it drives, but I dont think thats even relavent, we all know how well the WRX drives. The main point is that GM did very little besides the front end to differentiate this car from the WRX wagon. You guys can cry all you want about berating GM, and not ford, but your just making things up. Subaru vehimantly tried to stop GM from producing it, but with a 25% stake in subaru, they couldnt do much. This isnt platform sharing, this is rebadging
 
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