I love Volvo's but that 2.4 non-turbo is kind of gutless even in 5 speed form. Personally I'd go with the e46.
Subaru Legacy Outback
BMW 323i Touring
Other (please specify)
So, still waiting to hear if the HHR is totaled. in the mean time, I've been looking at replacments and determined I want a station wagon with a stick shift. I'd love a B6 Passat or Audi A4 wagon, but I haven't been able to find one in my price range, and I know better than to go with a B5 or B5.5. So, here's what I've found:
1999 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited AWD - $5,981
2004 Volvo V70 2.4 (non-turbo)
100,000 miles. At a local dealer and one of our fellow TCL members works there. They got it in as a trade and will wholesale it in a about a week. But I can grab it for $6,000 fully MD inspected. 5-speed stick, nice graphite leather interior, upgraded 16" Thor alloys, automatic climate control, electric sunroof, trip computer, wood trim, cruise, no self-leveling, no roof rails, no luggage net., has winter package. New tires, but they are Coopers. Work that will be done if I get it: CV boots, headlight bulb, front rotors, and right outer tie rod for inspection. It will also get a fresh timing belt job as it will be due in just a couple thousand miles.
2000 BMW 323 iT - $6,800
Silver/ Black leather, Manual TRANSMISSION, moonroof, xenon headlights, heated seats, cd player, ski bag, 3 keys, NICE 12 year old car, A/C blows COLD, everything in good condition.
Pic is representative, not the actual car.
Or, if none of those, make a suggestion for a station wagon with a manual trans for under $7,500 out the door.
Last edited by StormChaser; 06-28-2012 at 02:07 PM.
Improving the signal-to-noise ratio
Last edited by StormChaser; 06-28-2012 at 12:04 PM.
If hauling stuff is a priority, then don't go for the E46.
If there's a weakness here, it's cargo capacity. Although this is the biggest 3-series wagon yet, it has the smallest cargo hold of the three Euro players contending in this realm, seats up or folded flat. The Audi and the Volvo offer 62 and 61 cubic feet, respectively, whereas the BMW can only accept 48 cubes of stuff. On the other hand, the double rear hatch (the glass can be opened separately) covers a portal with generous dimensions, making loading and unloading easy, and if you're considering a wagon in this size class, you're probably not planning to use it as a moving van anyway
I like the suby and actually drive the non-outback version from that generation. You get lots of room, pretty easy to work on, can be pretty reliable. But;
-the 2.5 in the outbacks are known to have headgasket issues a lot sooner than the 2.2's in the non-outbacks. If the headgasket hasn't been done I would consider it.
-If you are worried about gas mileage this might not be the best. Mileage seems to vary by quite a bit owner to owner but I average around 25/26 which isn't terrible.
-Finally that price seems a little steep. There are a billion of that gen legacy's around. Yes, low mileage examples are getting harder to find, but I paid 3k for mine with 76,000 miles and all it needed was rear struts. I'm into it mine less than that asking price with full tune-up, new brakes, and new springs and struts.
Just my $0.02
"Whenever I'm suffering from Insomnia, I just look at a picture of a Toyota Camry and I'm straight off." - Jeremy Clarkson
I chose subaru only bc the state you live in see's some snow. e46 in snow hauling stuff wouldnt be as safe.
Miss my mk5 gti,e28 535is, mk3 jetta, mk2 jetta coupe, mk1 rabbit gti:, 67 type one bug,will always be on the look out for another e28 or fb or fc rx7.
I don't suppose anyone knows where I can find a sales brochure for a 2004 V70? Or a good online listing of what came with the Premium Package? It looks like this one has the Premium Package, but I'd like to read up on what all came standard and on that package.
All three are probably decent choices given your budget but the E46 has added bonus of being a great car to drive. The Outback is close 2nd in my choice but I have never like the compromised handling of the Outback. The goofy 2-tone paint is also looking really silly and dated now. I would probably go for it if it was a Legacy rather than Outback. The non-turbo Volvo is like hitting the snooze button. If you haul a lot of stuff, this is probably a better choice but it doesn't drive like the E46.
Because I'm leaning towards the Volvo but wanted others opinions.
In true TCL tradition, why has no one suggested something way out of his budget (that also happens to be a TCL favorite)? Is TCL broken?
Subaru. In the 5 years we've had my Wife's '96 (~80k miles when she got it) we've... um... well the brakes are due for service, bad passenger front wheel bearing, oil temp gauge was broken when we got it.
Has 115k miles on it now. Solid cars. Looked at BMW when I was Forester XT shopping... drives nice, but didn't want to look at the repair bills (tbh, I was looking for XI, and the enthusiasts all swore up and down; 70k mile replacement interval for front arms and bushings... $700 in parts. NO THANKS.)
2.0 for life, 224k miles (unless I'm in the 2.5xt)
Saw the light, now rocking fender gap on RPF1s
I voted v70 because its bigger than e46. For the money I'd find a manual e39 wagon - 528i can be had for under $5K in decent condition.
Last edited by goin440; 06-28-2012 at 01:47 PM.
you comment on B6's being in your price range is pretty accurate. I was VERY suprised that when we were looking to replace our B6 Variant, we ended up getting 60% of the purchase price 5 years and 55K miles later. they held their value way better than I could have imagined.
Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan