Reader Question: Volvo Replacement?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Lowell writes: I own a 2020 Volvo XC40 T5 with no liens and the nearest dealer is 100 miles away. This is a big inconvenience. However, there is another town 22 miles away with a variety of dealers. Can you give me advice as to what to purchase with cash only? Mileage is very important as  I don’t use moonshine (ethanol). A used vehicle with low mileage would suffice. Should I wait until prices drop or does it make a difference?

My reply: I’m curious why you’re wanting to get rid of the Volvo as it is barely three years old and that is usually the wrong time to sell/trade as doing so will usually cost you a hefty depreciation premium – although that may not be case at this moment due to used vehicle values having risen to stupendous highs over the past year. The first thing I’d do is check into the current market value of your Volvo before deciding to do anything.

Second, you don’t have to go to a Volvo dealer to get basic service such as fluid/filter changes done – and your nearly-new Volvo ought not to need anything other than basic service for several years to come. A warranty claim would probably need to be handled by the dealer, of course – and I can see how that would be inconvenient.

You didn’t mention the kind of vehicle you’re interested in – other than it being high-mileage. In that case, you might want to consider a hybrid such as the Prius, which is actually a slightly larger car than the XC40 and has pretty generous cargo capacity (50.7 cubic feet with the second row folded down) too. It also averages 56 MPG – and it’s hard to beat that. They are also quite affordable. The ’22 model lists for just over $25k and you could probably find a 2-3 year old example for well under $20k. You might be able to sell the Volvo for enough to buy the Prius outright and maybe even have some cash left over.

Another possibility I’ll suggest is the Ford Maverick – which is also a hybrid and also a small pick-up. These sticker just under $20k for a new one and they get 40-plus MPG, too. Having a bed in back can be very useful as well.

Hope this is helpful – and gets you pointed in the right direction!

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