Scott Morgan, executive vice president at advertising and PR agency BlattnerBrunner, on the other hand, says his Land Rover makes it into the repair shop every couple of months, yet he maintains his love for his upscale SUV.
"I think it is more about the brand than anything," says Morgan. "It's mystic as a rough and tumble 'rover' that can go just about anywhere from the Mojave Desert to the jungles of Africa."
But there's a practical side as well for Morgan: "I actually use it off-road and I ski frequently, so I'm often driving through snow storms."
The same vehicle, two different owners, two different reasons for their preference for it. It's hard to figure out what will turn the head and open the wallet of the luxury and specialty car buyer.
Bill Sorochman, service manager at Monroeville Chrysler Jeep, says he's turned on by Chrysler's Pacifica, a combination SUV, sport sedan and minivan that hit showrooms with its official kickoff last month. He's been associated for many years with Chrysler, a company that has introduced some of the most provocative models in recent years, including the Prowler, the PT Cruiser and the Ram pickup.
"It's the first vehicle that I'm excited about in a long time," says Sorochman.
I've seen a Pacifica on the road, and I can see why it gets Sorochman's blood pumping. I came of age lusting after muscle cars and have even owned a couple. But the car that really gets my wheels turning is the Volvo. I've had a passion for those metal boxes on wheels since the 1970s, when you could barely detect anything but a straight line in their clunky cubic designs.
No fancy names, not much in the way of gadgety options, just basic and reliable, the ultimate from-point-A-to-point-B personal transportation device with all the panache of a light rail vehicle. Yet, a Volvo to me is like a Van Gogh -- not beautiful in the classical sense, perhaps, but something I can look at for years and not grow tired of.
At the risk of sounding even more boring than I may already appear, my favorite Volvo has always been the station wagon, the ultimate in frumpiness to some folks. As you might suspect, I fell head over heels for the Volvo XC70 wagon when it was introduced as a 2002 model, especially in the Cross Country version.
The only thing that could supplant my passion for the wagon turned out to be the XC90, Volvo's first entry into the SUV market. In typical Volvo style, it has a low front chassis cross member, about the same height as the average sedan's bumper, to reduce the chance of excessive damage should the XC90 strike something smaller than a Lincoln Navigator.
The XC90 isn't cheap; the 2.5 model starts at $31,000, the T6 with a 2.9-liter inline six-cylinder lists at $39,975.
While the XC90's looks might not appeal to everyone, few could object to its ride, comfort and handling. The unusual inline five-cylinder engine packs lots of punch and the automatic transmission shifts as smoothly as glass. Like most of the higher-priced SUVs, the XC90 boasts a roll stability control system that corrects braking and acceleration automatically to compensate if the vehicle risks a tip-over by leaning too far to one side.
On the other hand, if you find yourself leaning toward the XC90 or any other vehicle, you don't have to resist the temptation to fall for it.
That's half the fun. How to reach: Volvo, www.volvocars.com