Wouldn't an Outback be considerably cheaper than the rest of the cars you posted up?
Seems sort of out of place among the rest of the choices.
What say you mighty TLC? Which wagon would you choose on the cheap? The goal is a cheap wagon with 25+ mpg's.
All of these choices are 03 or newer. Any ownership comments are welcome.
Audi A4 Avant
Last edited by That1njguy; 04-12-2012 at 12:59 PM.
Our Passat has been great. In 5 years of ownership I've replaced 3 CV boots and done a timing belt job. It hauls an 8' countertop, handles reasonably well with summer tires, and gets along just fine with the 170hp 1.8t.
It does seem to hover just below 25mpg during city driving. On the highway, low 30s are typical.
Inside your list, I'd go with the Passat or the Subaru.
Outside your list, you can probably find a 525iT or 530iT, and if you don't mind getting your hands dirty every now and again, they'll run 200k easily, and are a blast to drive.
Any reason you're limiting yourself to the XC70, instead of the V70?
Based on you options, and the fact you're probably looking at older and higher mileage, your best choice is Volvo or a Legacy/Outback wagon.
I trust Volvo's with even 200k miles on them, and they're a remarkable value at their used selling prices. There's plenty of well taken care of 100k+ mile examples under $5-6k, and can also be found in manual fairly easily. The T5's can get around 30 on the highway, and also offer decent performance. Subaru stuff won't get decent mpg's because of the AWD.
Only old high mileage Passat I would trust the TDI. Problem with the Legacy or Outback wagons, even though they're cheap to fix and hold up decently, is the Subaru used prices are a joke. People with their 200k wagons think they are still worth $10k, which is why I recommend Volvos.
Last edited by jepva; 04-12-2012 at 01:37 PM.
If it were my decision, it would come down to the Outback and 9-5.
The Mazda's. BMW's are worthy considerations, however there just aren't many in my area. I reason why the XC70 was chosen over the V70 is for the more powerful motor and all wheel drive. The 2.4 is a bit of a slug. I consider the V70R or Subaru B Spec, but you're not touching those under $10K. The 3 series is too small as a tendacy to do some people carrying. So that takes out Jetta and Focus wagon.
Last edited by That1njguy; 04-12-2012 at 02:33 PM.
Not an enthusiast.
It also has 260k on it and it never has given us a problem. I'm sure that if you could get the stock 2.4t in a wagon it would be more than quick enough for what you want. You might can probably get 25 mpg out of a stock one. Volvos are pretty cheap and go forever so I definitely choose the Volvo.
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Most of the euro models would be rattling/squeaking by now.
I'd go for the Outback H6 VDC. The economy would be comparable to most of the choices you've listed. The 1.8T in a Passat/A4 wagon is dog slow, and anyone that claims they are reliable are beyond delusional/fanboys.
The McIntosh system in this thing will make your ears bleed, offering very very good SQ.
I'm not sure if the Volvo offers the Dynaudio or a Premium Dolby system on this generation.
I'm a big fan of the Swedish ones =) i love driving the 9-5 wagon, and i really like that generation of Volvo.
if you can find a passat wagon with v6 4motion, that would be my top choice, but not the best gas mileage..
(did you exclude e39 bmw wagons because of mpg? my all-time favorite wagon)
V70... they were really designed to 'go the distance'. I've got good friends with a battle-tank of an 02' (first year of the P2, maybe 01'). V70 2.4T... almost 500k kms on it. No work done to the engine aside from a minor rebuild to the turbo at around 400-450k kms... the culprit was the blowoff valve was stuck open. While it was being fixed they reconditioned it for the sake of it burning oil slightly thru its seals (maybe 1/2 a liter every few tanks of gas... not bad, but not going to get better). Their transmission is original - benefited from the software updates since new to turn into a reliable unit - the first few years, there were some transmission issues on the V70 due to poor choices in how it was programmed. Suspension lasted till around 350k kms, then it was re-done completely (this is phenomenal for a luxury car in Canada... our roads are horrible on ball joints and bushings).
They get roughly 25mpg, maybe a hair under when driven in town... but on the highway you'll hit your target. All of these cars will struggle with a continuous 25mpg tho. The Subaru and Audi especially, with AWD.
I'd avoid the XC70 unless you want AWD. The added weight and complexity might not be worth it at the pumps, or your wallet in terms of repairs (the AWD system has one or two weak points, they don't usually show up on 2.4T's, but you might see the angle gear go on a T5).
Another vote for Volvo!
The 1.8T isn't any slower then the 2.5i in an outback... takes the H6 to make it feel anything but completely gutless.
As for squeaks/rattles... I think any older car might have them. Test and be sure. My A4 with 200k kms on it made no noises. My friends V70 only rattled after they got into an accident with it. When they finally got their suspension done, the door panel re-attached properly, and the one blown speaker replaced (mom, dad, and 3 kids learned to drive in it, and abused the living crap out of that car... what do you expect) the car was rattle-free. I've been in a few B5.5 Passats that are drum-tight too. The Subaru shown in the OP's picture is a pretty solid car, but the interior is dreary, the headlights seem from about 1985 in terms of output, fuel economy wasn't great for a 4-cylinder, and it had no more/less noises then any other higher quality older car I've driven (was a 2002 Outback sedan that I drove).
Last edited by Live-Wire; 04-12-2012 at 04:18 PM.
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