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Published on August 4th, 2023 | by Senchoo

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Finding a vehicle in Sweden

There has been a long time since i wrote the last time. There has been a lot of grown up stuff in the way during the latest times.

But I want you to enjoy what I have been struggling with lately.

A new car!

Okay so my background is this:

  • I got a Labrador that only likes to ride in a cage
  • I got a MIM Variocage SL (Single Large)
  • Volvo V70 was perfect in every single way (XC70 was even more perfect)
  • VW Passat Alltrack works

There aren’t very many extra things i was looking for in a car more than it should fit the cage, and is a little higher up than a standard car (like Volvo XC70 etc.). Although for some back pain reasons i need to check for a SUV as well.

But you also need to know some background in Swedish taxes.

  • Bonus Malus is hell for any car that isn’t PHEV or EV
  • Last government thought it was bad that some people could get cars cheaper than others via companies (Förmånsbil) and made sure it is just as expensive as buying it private (Thus destroying a good priced used car market). Then again we had people in charge of transportation that didn’t even have a driving license.
  • If you add any extras to the car and you want to grab it thorugh a company the swedish IRS (Skatteverket) want to fuck you a little more.

So in short it is not fun to try to get a hold of a car in the first step of just calculating.

Next is to find a car that fits the needs that isn’t scuffed.

My needs list:

  • Parking sensors
  • AWD (or 4×4)
  • ACC
  • 360 Camera (back camera at least)
  • Hybrid (if taxes aren’t fubar)
  • Room for the MIM Variocage
  • Not older than 3 year and not over 30k KM

Volvo

The Swedish brand that had the end all car that solved all problems must surely have the perfect alternative. The V70/XC70 is perfect for all reasons to even own a car, but it was discontinued about 2016 because Volvo was tired of being successful and wanted to be a luxury car manufacturer.

Even though they today are referred as “an unmodified Chinese car” by security researchers.

So i tried a lot of the cars that they offer today.

V60 (Recharge)

The numbers are close to the 70 so it must be close to the same specs. Except the “shooting brake” wannabe boot window it must be close. Nope, extremely small boot for the size of car. Does not work.

XC60 (Recharge)

Exactly same as the V60 but even less boot space for the dog cage. But with a little upcharge because it’s a “luxuary SUV” even though it was said as a “perfect family car” that is if your family is minimalist and your boot space will be a stroller only. Fuck you if you have a large dog in your family and want a crash tested cage apparently.

V90 Cross Country

The V90 with a little more height, although discontinued now with the last round being done in a month or so. It works quiet well, except that because of back issues it was still too low. And oh yea no PHEV motor, only a mild hybrid.

XC90

The mother of all ginormous SUV:s. Finally a car that the cage works in (if you sacrifice the third row). With the things we needed it came out to a price point at half of my home (and then it’s not even fully equipt). Well that’s not gonna happen, I’m not a psychopath that wants to ruin my economy for years to come. Sorry but an extra 300k (SEK) above the XC60 to be able to have my dog with me isn’t worth it.

Fun fact is that the V70 I once owned costed me less than 300k SEK total after 4 years ownership, excluding diesel.

Last words Volvo

I had really high hopes about Swedens last car manufacturer for the “simple people”, but seems like they are either being pressured to go for a segment that isn’t for swedes anymore. They keep saying it’s Swedish, but every time i see a commercial it feels as Swedish as seeing Zlatan doing a Bing Chilling.

Ford

Okay let’s cut this short. I checked out most of everything that I thought would fit the dog cage and was a hybrid that wouldn’t need me to sacrifice any goats for the Bonus Malus. The Bronco was out of the question.

Here i was glad i went to check out the Explorer Hybrid. It was a lot bigger than i thought it was, since i had only seen it on the screen. It would most definitely have enough space for the dog cage, but I was questioning if Sweden would have room for it. The proof was already out in the parking lot of the dealership, it was filled with a lot of cars that i didn’t see any customers to.

Me in my Passat (thank god for 360 camera) had a hard time to getting out of the parking spot, and thinking back trying to do that with an even bigger vehicle would have been hell. 360 camera or not.

So yea, Ford was out of the question.

Skoda

Same group as VW so I wasn’t really expecting anything fantastic.

The one that worked there was also a V70 variant (Superb). But walking around trying to find help in the showroom was weirdly hard. This meant we just left because the people working there were more interested in doing something at their computers than helping. It felt like an omen that this would be the experience in being a customer here. Also Suberb was too low even as Scout. And the Larger SUV was not a PHEV.

A rebranded VW more or less, nothing spectacular.

Jeep

Now here i was expecting things to work out. The Wrangler is shown as the end all be all in any terrain and overlanding. And in overlanding you can’t be too bad with boot space, since the amount of stuff you need.

The boot space was small. The outside fooled me that the trunk would look better (even via Pictures and videos online). So it stopped there, was not even interested in doing a test drive since I knew I was to be just wasted time.

Land Rover

Now here we go with cars that were built in carrying people long distances and being the rugged version of everything.

Discovery

There are no Hybrid discovery. FML.

Discovery Sport

There is a hybrid. And getting the cage in is possible by moving the second row. And also not wanting any extra luggage space. It is a step down from the Passat in comfort, size. But a good step up in price if i feel like being poor for a while.

Yea i think i’ll skip that one as well.

Defender 110 PHEV (The new one not classic)

Okay, when this came out first i was the second customer in the entire Gothenburg area that got to test drive it. I was reading everything about this and was really thinking about getting one as my car instead of the Passat, this was little over 3 years ago. And then the Bonus Malus wasn’t “that” bad in hindsight, but it was enough to scare me in the long run. But today it would have been a better “investment” since they cost almost as much as they did new. FML.

Would the dog cage fit in it? Barely, but there were a lot of options to actually make the trunk separated, back then it would be an option.

But I got the chance to see a PHEV Defender 110! Would this be it, would it work?

NO! The battery is in the trunk taking up floor space as a semi pyramid and the charging solution is for some reason a fast charge. Why the thought that a non-flat area in the trunk was a good idea is beyond me. And any separators for dogs do NOT work in the PHEV model. Fucking beautiful.

After searching anyhow to make it work and checking options on forums etc. I finally understood the solution people were suggesting: Don’t but the PHEV version.

Well shit.

INEOS

Here we are checking what the new kid on the block brings to the table. The Grenadier is what people thought the new Defender was supposed to be. It has the correct forms and is just the correct amount of technology needed to make it modern.

Trunk space is big, even if it’s the same length as the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. How i don’t know, maybe some black magic or maybe someone knew what people actually wanted.

Good height (and then some) with physical buttons for everything. Wow.

Okay the driving is a terrain car, it has the sloppy middle that is accustomed for driving in terrain and the steering wheel doesn’t really return to middle as most people in regular cars are used to. Which means it’s a lot of concertation in keeping it straight at higher velocities. Unfortunately this was a deal breaker since it would not be appreciated by everyone.

And then we had the Bonus Malus on this. 33k SEK a year for the Diesel version. A typical PHEV has 360 SEK a year. So yea a price at around 100k SEK for 3 years to the driver license free government is out of the books.

Final thoughts

Here I am still without a new car looking at all these options that are crazy expensive, which for me is still because of “covid” and “the war”. Which now i feel is just a POS reasoning.

Think i will stick with my Passat in wait of a great depression within the vehicle industry or someone finally release a XC70 version again as hybrid (or even an EV).

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About the Author

Started airsoft back in 2005. Now mostly working a day job and getting into the details of gear, optics and NVG.



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