I've had a theory for a while now that the CR-V is the modern day Volvo 240. Last produced 21 years ago, Volvo never replaced the 240 wagon with anything as utilitarian, so that sent people who cared far more about practicality and longevity than badge snobbery. It's a car people only get rid of when the smells inside of it become too difficult to live with.
But a couple weeks ago, The Car Connection proposed that the real successor to the 240 is, in fact, the Subaru Forester. And if you live in former Volvo strongholds like the Northeast, the comparison is pretty easy to see.
|2014 Subaru Forester (Photo: Subaru)|
And both are driven by people who aim to drive them into the ground. Scratches and dents only enhance their charm, and it's expected the cargo area will be covered in animal hair.
So let's say the Subaru Forester is the Volvo 240 of today. What are the new car equivalents of old cars?
|BMW M235i (Photo: BMW)|
Here's just a general rule: the new "small" luxury cars are really just the current compact luxury cars before they gained all the weight and bulk they have now.
|1992-96 Toyota Camry (Photo: Toyota)|
The Camry didn't always used to be this way. Even after some Americanizing to make it more appealing than its very Japanese first and second generations, Toyota's midsize sedan oozed refinement in ways no other car in its class did at the time. And it had just enough style to stop it from being totally anonymous, unlike plenty of nameplates that have been forgotten in the last couple of decades.
|2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T (Photo: Hyundai)|
Even launching it in a color called Urban Sunset (read: orange) does nothing to hide the fact this Sonata is very inoffensive. People say it's blander than the last one, and that's probably true. But plenty of people thought the old one looked cartoonish, with all of its curves and swooshes. This car looks detailed, finished and not accidental. It looks refined.
|2015 Toyota Camry XSE (Photo: Toyota)|
Toyota doesn't really make a Camry as we knew it anymore. But then Volvo doesn't make a 240 anymore. For fans of those older cars, they can take comfort in a Hyundai and Subaru showroom, respectively. At least for BMW E36 and Audi B5 devotees, they can still show up at the same dealership.