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Help Me Select a Wagon

driver36driver36 Posts: 57
edited August 2014 in Volkswagen
I have been looking a sport wagon for awhile ever since the A4 came out. I love the way how the Avant drives but the Passat wagon has better rear seat room for long trip. I would love to hear someone chose one over the other and tell me why or how they pick their car.

Thanks in advance!


  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    I think that the first thing that you need to do is determine your max budget...once done you need
    to decide what features are the most important.
    Whatever the product...the one that fulfills most
    of the *needs* on your list and falls into your
    budget is the one for you.

    In my experience the biggest mistake that people make is being short sighted about the things that they need and sacrificing them for a monthly payment. You don't want to go over budget; that's
    for sure, but you want to make sure that you get
    as many of the features as you can that fit into that
    budget...THAT IS VALUE. And make sure that you select
    a car that will work for you for at least 5-7 years. You don't want to outgrow the car before it is paid for. Best case is yours
    free of payments for at least 3-5 years...PS
  • Driver36,

    We had the same dilemma last year and opted for the Passat. The rear leg room was the key for us. If you plan on anyone sitting in the A4 back seat, you can't have the front ones all the way back. That plus it saved about $5-8K. But, the interior of the A4 was really nice. We got the V6 (I prefer the larger engine) so even our Passat has some wood, but the Audi was classy.
  • I looked at the A4, which is nice, but opted for the 2001 passat wagon GLX, loaded. The interior is not inferior to A4, and the body is slightly larger (read cargo room adn back seat) as you can clearly see looking from the back of the vehicle. I think passat gives you more value for the $ for sure. If you ahve more money, skip the A4 and go for the BMW wagon.
  • While I agree that VW (comapred to AUDI, BMW, and even Mercedes) gives you more "bang for the buck", the basic bumper-bumper warranty for VW sucks. I've consequently written off the VW after bing told that repairs like to the sunroof are not covered after 2 yrs.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    How long do you typically keep a car?
  • oyoungoyoung Posts: 10
    I am in the same situation. I currently have a '97 Golf Trek. Great car, blast to drive, but I got it basically to commute to and from work and to do an occasional road rally.

    Well, after having just gotten divorced, I now have to take my kids (3-1/2 and 2 yo) every day to and from daycare, so I figured it was time to upgrade.

    I've pretty much decided on the A4 with the 1.8T, Quattro, and a 5-spd. It's my understanding that a Passat with 4Motion only comes with the automatic. While Tiptronic is fun, it's still an automatic! Also, comparably equipped, the Passat came in around $32K while the A4 comes in around $29-30K. And, like Sundance_Gold said, I believe the Audi warranty is better.

    The Jetta is just too small, IMHO. And rear leg room isn't as big a deal for me since I'll be having two car seats back there for awhile!

    Would love to hear other opinions, since I am looking to do this within the next few weeks.

    Thanks, all!
  • tomwcarrtomwcarr Posts: 1
    Price comparisons between the Passat and A4 can be a bit misleading. The A4 comes with Quattro. As mentioned above, if you want AWD, VW forces you to purchase 6 cylinders and automatic, which greatly increases the price. The Audi comes with many "options" as standard; the list is long so I won't hash it all out. The warrantee covers routine maintenance for 3 yrs 50k, that's *everything*, including oil change or washer fluid - no cost.

    All that said, for me it came down to the AWD. If I wanted a FWD car I would have saved some cash, and got the Passat. But to say, as I sometimes hear, that the A4 is just a snobby and expensive Passat, is off the mark IMO.

    BTW, I was OUT THE DOOR (tax, title, etc) with an 2001 A4 Avant, 1.8T Quattro Manual, no other options, for $28,800.
  • We looked at the Passat awd wagon and A4 avant too. The only real advantage the Passat had on the A4 was size (rear leg room), IMO. But, 90% of the time I'm the only one in the wagon and we haven't started having kids yet so we opted for the A4. Plus, we think it's the best-looking wagon out there.
    I admit that I stare at my A4 in the parking lot. Pretty pathetic for some expensive piece of metal.
  • They compared the A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series AWD wagin, the Subaru Outback and the VW 4motion Passat wagon. Here are the results for the SPORT wagin comparision in the $30k range:

    4th place......Outback

    Drive the A4 and you might see why
  • gotenks243gotenks243 Posts: 116
    Keep in context though, that that test was about SPORT wagons. The Outback and Passat aren't and really don't try to be. So of course the Audi and Bimmer would win... If sport is less of a concern though...

  • Is Audi or Volkswagon going to import diesel wagons? I would order either an A6 or a Passat tomorrow. We already have a Jetty diesel, but we need a bigger car.

  • It's my understanding that there will be no diesels in the larger cars. The bad rap that diesels got here in the US (laid solely at the feet of GM), plus regulations (see above feet of US Gov.), plus the cheap cost of gas here just about kills the diesel. Mercedes doesn't even bring their oil burners over the pond. I agree, I love diesels and my ideal car would be an A4 with a turbo diesel automatic Quatro....
  • daotodaoto Posts: 6
    I have a 2000 Passat Wagon V6 5 spd and three kids. I was wondering if anyone in wagonland has installed a third seat for the cargo area? Also, I have cloth seats and was wondering if anyone has found good seat covers that work with the sideairbags. Thanks. Dana
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    I had a customer a couple of years ago that owned a MBZ wagon
    with a 3rd Row seat where his son and friends normally sat. Well...
    he was *rear-ended* at a stop light by a Suburban doing around 40 MPH.

    The Wagon collapsed to the back of the Regular back seats...fortunately,
    the son was sitting up front with his Dad.
  • jaypel2520jaypel2520 Posts: 2
    I currently drive a '98 A4 1.8T Quattro sedan and have never been impressed with the gas mileage [avg. 16-17 mpg in Los Angeles driving]. I am looking at the A4 Avant 1.8T Quattro but am wondering if any of you owners out there can tell me about your gas mileage experiences with the Avant? As I am also considering a Passat, I'd like to hear about actual mileage experience with those vehicles as well. Thanks.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Hi everyone,

    In order to simplify matters, I've removed the numerous makes/models names that were previously in this title and changed the name to "Help me select a Station Wagon!"

    One more note: To further enhance your experience at Town Hall, be sure to check out the Additional Resources box on the left side of this page. In this area, you'll find links to other related discussions/articles throughout Town Hall.

    Please note, not all of these discussions are from the Station Wagons Message board. You'll also find links to other message board discussions. (i.e. Women's Auto Center: Help me select a vehicle!)

    So if you need more feedback to your question..., don't hesitate to also post (copy/paste) your message in one of these other discussions. Hope this is helpful. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • ksimosksimos Posts: 3
    I test drove and looked at the 98' Audi A6 and I thought that it was nice and roomy though kind of slow. I really want a wagon with room and it seems to have that.

    I am interested in the overall performance of these cars being that a test drive does not quite give one a true sense and also what are the maintanence history's of these cars as well as the cost of the maintenance.

    I also looked at a 2000 Passat GLS which was nice, any thoughts
    Many thanks,
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469

    My father has a 5-speed Passat wagon with the 1.8t, and averages about 31 in DC Subarban driving. He gets 32-40 on the highway depending on speed. Auto tranny and AWD probably hurt the Audi - not to mention traffic. My father is retired, and does no do the rush hour thing too often.

    If you want good mileage skip the AWD and get a good set of snow tires. FWD and good snow tires will do better than AWD without snows. Remember AWD does not help braking, but snows do. Actually if you live in LA you probably don't need either.

    Also someone was concerned with the VW warrenty being 2 years. Maybe this was mentioned already, but I think 2002 models will have something like 4 years 50,000, but will drop the free maintenance, and the 100,000 miles on the drivetrain.
  • You want to also look into the Jetta GLX VR6 wagon.
  • perritoperrito Posts: 66
    It's overpriced, heavy-nosed, and for that price you can get the much more spacious Passat wagon. And I'm not saying this because I own a Passat -- I own a Forester, so there, I'm not biased!
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628 overpriced, you're basically getting a GLS with power seats, just get the GLS with the V6, or better yet, the 1.8t stick. I don't think the world needs (though it seems ready, willing and able to have) a 30k Jetta wagon.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    you should check out this new article from Edmunds' Advise section: Low Interest Auto Loans and Rebates Abound, How to Use Their Money to Your Advantage, by Phillip Reed. Let us know what you think.

    Has anyone here taken advantage of the lower interest rates currently being offered...? Thanks for your comments. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • eelmereelmer Posts: 2
    I'm looking at a 92 Audi 100 CS Quattro wagon with the 2.8 liter V-6 and auto tranny. The car has 168,000 miles on it and seems to drive and shift great. My questions are how many miles can I expect out of this motor and tranny, and is this the same engine as the VW VR6? If not, can a VW VR6 be installed without too much hassle? Any insight would be appreciated as I am having a mechanic check it out next week.

  • Howdy All,

    I just thought I would fill everyone in on the fact that VW is putting the TDI in the 2002 wagon. I just saw my first one on the lot, w/auto tranny the wagon is rated at 45mpg on the highway.

    VW's web page doesn't mention the TDI in the wagon, in 2001 it was unavailable. So for all you diesel lovers, your wagon has arrived.


  • For those of you who have driven the new breed of sports wagons available today, how does the rear legroom on these cars compare? I am in the market for a wagon, and I have tested the Passat, IS300 Sportscross, and the PT Cruiser in the last couple of weeks. Overall, I like the Passat best for its value, the IS for its performance, and the PT for the style. However, the IS300's rear legroom number is listed at only 30 inches even though it did not feel that much less than the other two cars. Can anyone tell me how legroom is measure and offer some suggestions in my search for a wagon.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    The best way to measure legroom is to sit in and adjust both the front driver and passenger seats and then go in the back seat and try it out for yourself. Driving or sitting in cars "on paper" is a good way to start looking at cars but the only way to know for sure is to get your butt in one.

    Since the front seat moves back and forth, you may also find it useful to add the "on paper" front and rear legroom numbers to give you a total legroom amount, as you can adjust the available back seat room quite a bit that way. Some car manufacturers seem to give big front numbers and not worry about the rear numbers for cars where they don't think anyone is going to sit back there anyways.

    I bought a Saturn LW200 sport wagon myself, and find the passenger room to be very good, often transporting 4 adults and my son in a child seat. The Saturn large wagon is based upon the German Opel Vectra so I find it to be a very good value for people looking at the Passat, as it has a stiffer suspension and better road feel than your average North American wagon. It has very similar dimensions and pretty much the same features as a Passat wagon for thousands of dollars less so you may find it is worth a look.
  • My family owns two Subaru Legacy L wagons, and both my wife and I love them. No, these are not sporty but rather basic, but it is the best bang for the buck.

    If you are looking for performance (and fun!), the Impreza WRX and Outback VDC are worth a look at $24,000 and $31,000 (sticker), respectively. Consumer reports (this issue) did an article on the WRX, you may want to take a look.

    My dad owns a VW Passat wagon, and I agree it has more toys for the buck compared to my subie. It also has side curtain airbags for extra safety. I think the subie rides quieter on highway, but the Passat corners better (on dry road). Both wagons have comparable interiror space.

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    here's an informative article that you may find interesting: Online Car Buying Revisited, by Philip Reed. Happy shopping! ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Folks- If you need help deciding between a station wagon or suv, here's a good discussion to post your message: Station Wagon vs SUV. This discussion is also linked from this board over to our SUVs board, so you'll be able to solicit feedback from both station wagon and suv owners.... Happy shopping!

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • I've just entered the market for a station wagon, and am beginning my research here.

    My main requirement is that it be stick shift, and at least pleasant to drive. It must also be large enough to be practical for home depot, but reasonably-sized enough to park in a city.

    Price is not so much of a concern. And while I would like it to be somewhat fun to drive, my other car is an Audi TT roadster, so i don't need something along the lines of an S6 Avant. Right now I'm leaning toward the Passat, but want to make sure I'm not forgetting something obvious.

    Any insight? I'd really appreciate it.
This discussion has been closed.