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Help Me Select a Wagon



  • lmxlmx Posts: 35
    a very interesting option for the 4th generation jetta is the sport luxury package that includes golf gti suspention,sunroof,and 17 inch wheels it changes the looks completly and with very good storage,the best thing would be the handling without been too soft like the base version mounted with i5 inch wheels
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's common, a special package right before a car gets replaced. Just make sure you see the new one and that you prefer the old model, because it'll be available soon.


  • lmxlmx Posts: 35
    the package is available since 2002 for the north american market (wagon)
  • hankyhanky Posts: 6
    I negotiated down to $200 below invoice on a 2005 Jetta GLS TDI Wagon. Is that a good price?
  • lmxlmx Posts: 35
    hello mr. hanky


                     how can you be so sure?invoice is the price the dealers pay isn't it?so in short terms the dealer lost 200.00$ on a new 2005 jetta wagon tdi....i don't think so!if you where a buisness men would you sell and loose money?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    There is also a hold back and there may have been a rebate. Dealers pay less than the official invoice for their cars - holdback is usually 3% or so.
  • gkbenjigkbenji Posts: 29
    I can't believe nobody has mentioned Saab in this discussion (mods, can you put them in the "What's this discussion about" tagline?).


    The 9-5 wagon was my recent choice. I didn't want an SUV or minivan, and my criteria were gas mileage, cargo capacity, some towing capacity and *fun to drive* (which was why I nixed the SUV and van), then reasonable reliability. The towing capacity requirement (up to 2000lbs) quickly whittled the list down to three cars: Subaru Outback, Volvo V70 and Saab 9-5.


    The Saab (2.3l light-pressure turbo Linear) gets low 20's MPG around town, and near 30 on the highway! Even the Linear is a great car to drive, handles well, and if you get the Aero (2.3l high-output turbo, 250 horses) you can almost fly. In addition, Saab seems to finally have done something about their poor reliability reputation; the 9-5 gets average or above average ratings from consumer reports.


    The Subaru is probably the most reliable of the three, but it just didn't excite me. Someone told me SUBARU stands for "Sometimes Useful, But Always Really Underpowered." And it drives like it. Now, if I could have afforded a brand new '05 Outback 2.5 GT, it would have been a different story....


    But I thought I at least ought to throw Saab into the mix here.
  • re: invoice


    I think by now dealers have recognized that "invoice" is often the standard by which people will negotiate. With that said, invoice means little when equating to "break even".


    Pricing models for most american cars start off with a rediculous thing called MSRP and usually immediately come with "discounts", which often bring the car under "invoice". e.g. I purchased an '04 F150 last June - this is the initial year of a major remodle and they were advertising them for under "invoice"!? And Ford will tell you that their trucks are what makes up most of the company profit.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Pricing models for most american cars start off with a rediculous thing called MSRP and usually immediately come with "discounts", which often bring the car under "invoice". e.g. I purchased an '04 F150 last June - this is the initial year of a major remodle and they were advertising them for under "invoice"!? And Ford will tell you that their trucks are what makes up most of the company profit.


    Selling a vehicle at or below invoice has no effect on the manufacturer's profit. Invoice is what the dealer pays the manufacturer for the vehicle, so the manufacturer gets ALL their money no matter what. Selling at/below invoice only hurts the dealership, which is a separate private business.



    Host - Wagons
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That acronym for Subaru is outdated since the WRX, Outback XT, Legacy GT, Baja turbo, and Forester XT all provide class leading acceleration (or close to it).


    Saab 9-5 is a good choice, IMO. What I really liked about it was how roomy it felt inside. Almost feels like a full-size car.


    Resale is a concern, but shop used and you'll find bargains IMO.


  • "Look at Consumer Reports for reliability data. The experience of friends is too small of a sample. I am fairly sure the Volvo is no better than the Passat."


    Finally had a chance to look at the latest Consumer Reports. The Volvo V70 does come in slightly higher than Volkswagen Passat wagon for reliability.


    Regarding the Saab 9-5 wagon: I really don't like the exterior. Of the wagons I've looked at, it seems to be the least wagon-like and the most "take a sedan and add a bubble above the trunk" in terms of style. If you compare the 9-5 wagon and sedan, and then look at either the V70 compared to the S60 or the Passat wagon compared to the Passat sedan, you'll see what I mean.


    This weekend is the NJ Auto show. We're going to hopefully get to see the BMW 5-series wagon and/or the Audi A6 wagon that's coming out for the 2006 model year.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I bet that was intentional. Most people prefer sedans over wagons.


    But I know what you mean. Remember Saturn wagons, before the Ion? They didn't even change the shape of the rear door. I hated that, major cost cutting.


    5er wagon is cool, they had it at NAIAS. Check out the auto closing hatch. Audi showed an allroad concept that should echo the MY2006 production vehicle.


  • wilkichwilkich Posts: 52
    All nice points about the saab and why it will likely be on my short list if we decide to buy used. If we go new, then the Outback GT without a doubt. We have a 97 Outback and it has been the most reliable car I've had with the possible exception of my old miata.


    One drawback is the lack of AWD on the Saab and there is great piece of mind heading to the mountains without thinking about chains. Also, I noticed that the 01 and 02 9-5s were on the recommended Consumer Reports list. Now, they seemed to have fallen off. The fact the 9-5 made the list in the first place is probably good enough for me but I wonder what happened. Finally, does the 9-5 require premium fuel? (Don't know if it matters as the Outback turbo probably does)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Probably, but I don't recall specifically.


    I drove a CPO model at a dealer, it was nice, just a bit of turbo lag. The Legacy GT has less lag (more displacement carrying less weight).


    I still like both, however. 9-5 is incredibly spacious.


  • This seems to be the best place to ask this question, since my 98 Outback is moving quickly toward an unanticipated retirement. I'm starting to shop for another used Outback (2002-2004) and My Son The Volvo Mechanic told me to find out whether Subaru has begun networking its newer models. "Networking" means that major systems and engine work has to be done ** at the dealer ** because only dealers have the software for diagnostics, downloads for the computer systems, etc. Can anyone offer any words of wisdom about this? I live out in the country in VT and rely on independent mechanics for my thus far, excellent car service. The nearest Subaru dealer is inconveniently far.


    Many thanks.


  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,735
    based on my experience, make sure you have a good dealer, if you own a saab. obviously, i did not.

    like i have said before, i really wanted to like that car.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • gkbenjigkbenji Posts: 29
    I agree with wilkich, if I could afford new I definitely would have looked at the Legacy GT. But the poor resale value of the Saab worked in my favor. (Plus the fact that in Colorado, sometimes it seems like every other car is an Outback. Yawn.) As for driving in snow, I would take a FWD car with good snow tires over most AWD cars with cheap all-seasons any day. On the passes around here, the restriction is chains *or* snow tires, usually. BTW, the 9-5 does want at least 87 octane, which is mid-grade in my neighborhood.


    As for having to take the car to a dealer for maintenance, the Saab needs special computer equipment (TechII) for some stuff beyond standard OBDII, and it wouldn't surprise me if other manufacturers had similar set-ups. Indy shops can buy the gear, but unless they specialize in one make it's doubtful they would have it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Elizabeth: Subaru uses OBD2 just like everyone else. I think a good independent shop can service yours just fine, thanks.


  • I swung by a Saab dealership yesterday and test drove a 9-5 Linear wagon. Driving the car was a lot nicer than I thought it would be. The little "S" button (don't remember exactly what it was called, and the brochure didn't mention the feature at all, surprisingly) on the transmission gave the car a nice kick when starting from a stop.


    There were four things that I didn't like about the 9-5, only one of which I think is significant:


    1. Lack of places to put stuff for the driver.

    2. It's nice that leather seats are standard, but my wife and I didn't care for the feel/looks of the leather.

    3. My previous comments on how the 9-5 wagon looks more like a sedan with a bubble over the trunk as opposed to a real wagon still stand.

    4. (the significant one) The ride seemed to be more on the rough side and the car seemed to be noiser than the other wagons we've looked at. The 9-5 wagon definitely seems more to be on the sporty side than on the luxury side of things, but since we're looking for a family car, we're looking for a softer ride.


    On the other hand, since my wife is going to be the primary driver of the wagon that we'll be getting, and I'm going to get her Camry, I'll definitely be trying out Saab's when the time comes to trade in the Camry.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Are different wheel sizes optional? I'd check the options sheet.


    Some times the Sport Packages are overkill for pot-hole laden roads like we have in DC. I have a couple of friends with Z3s that bent a rim or two.


  • The Saab 9-5 wagon comes with 16" wheels standard, with 17" wheels as an option. The car we test drove had 16" wheels.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869


    Out here where I live in the SF Bay Area, there are a number of independent mechanics that specialize in Subaru. From what I can tell, they are fully capable of making all the repairs a Subaru dealer would.


    I know for a fact that Subaru sells service manuals to the public so all the basic information should be available to independent shops. Also, the engine/systems diagnostics are run by an industry standard tool (OBD scanner) so I don't believe there is anything that would prevent an independent doing repair.


    The only area an indy might have a disadvantage would be information on brand new models, like the just released 2005 models. However, there really would be no reason why someone would go to an indy with a brand new car since everything would be covered under the B2B warranty.


    So, in short, I don't think there would be any issues with a 2002-2004 OB. It's a very popular car and there should be lots of information and parts available for it.


  • carquerycarquery Posts: 35

    I'm looking to trade-in my mid-sized SUV since I find I'm using it 85% of the time in city driving and the mileage (15-16mpg with premium) is a major bummer. However, I do like the spaciousness of the cabin and the roominess in the back seat, which makes a big difference with two car seats in the back. My wife's Outback Legacy feels very cramped with the car seats and is really too small for me in the front (I'm just about 6'0"). I thought about the Scion Xb, Honda Element but have safety concerns with all of those. Can anybody recommend a roomy wagon that gets good mileage (24+ in the city) that also has good safety features.

    Any input would be most welcome.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Safe wagon bigger than an Outback, with 24mpg on regular fuel (since you complain about premium)?

    Saab 9-5 wagon comes to mind, but I think it needs premium and might average low 20s. A6 Avant, but again premium fuel. Volvo V70 is also roomier.

    Maybe try a Ford Freestyle?

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,092
    Roomy and good gas mileage? Tough one. A few come to mind that might get around 20 mpg city -- VW Passat wagon, Volvo V70. Another option might be the car-based SUVs like Toyota HIghlander or Honda Pilot since you like the space -- about 18 city I would think.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good idea, they even come in FWD if you don't want AWD. Or a hybrid Highlander or Escape.

  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    VW Passat TDI wagon will get you the best mileage, probably about 31 in city driving. friend of mine has one and it is very roomy up front as well as for the second row.

    I have a Mazda 6 wagon and find it very roomy . I am 6'6'' and don't have any head or legroom problems with it. I usually have two child seats in the back and on occasion can fit three. You can also get a much better deal on the 6 than the Passat right now.

    If you are looking at resale you can't beat the Highlander, even in 4cyl. FWD.
  • christinadchristinad Posts: 34
    I just drove home my new 05 Malibu Maxx, and I love it. While cargo room may not be as abundant as in some true wagons, the room for passengers is excellent. The 05 models have additional side/thorax airbags on some models, as well as head curtain and driver and passenger, and the safety is great. I think it would probably meet your fuel economy requirements, too, according to the type of driving you do.
    I'd take a test drive if I were you. It's hands down the best deal for the money, and it has so many thoughtful extras it just makes me giddy!
  • townhometownhome Posts: 104
    Just to add to carquery, the Malibu has also won the Intial Quality Award from JD Power for the mid-size segment.
This discussion has been closed.