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Help Me Select a Wagon



  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Modern AWD is very efficient. The Torsen is a nice system, and the traction control stays out of the way under normal driving conditions.

    In both the Subie and the VW, the loss in mileage is smaller than it usually is with 4WD, even though AWD is engaged full-time.

  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483
    Of course, for high altitude and shear fun, nothing beats a turbo (why else would I be interested in the Forester XT?).

    As I said, the Passat is not a sports car. But the power-to-weight ratio only gives you a singular number. It doesn’t tell you how you got there, i.e., how much torque you have available when you accelerate in a gear towards max power (which is the meaningless point where you switch gears).

    The Passat has good low-end grunt like most V6s (206ft-lbs at 3200rpm), but unlike some, it likes to rev - as Juice said. Of course “likes to rev” is relative. 4500-5500 feels unstrained – high for many V6s, but it is not the 7000-8000rpm you see in some 4-bangers. The Subies’ H6 max torque is about the same, but it takes 4400rpm to get there. So with the VW you get a bit more torque down low, a little less up high – but the VW goes there (high) willingly, whereas the H6 lets you know it doesn’t really want to be there. To me (subjective), the H6 drives a bit like a more powerful H4, somewhat peaky in torque, it is better suited to the relaxed driver.

    I’ll try to dig it up, I believe the Passat has better passing time than the V6 Accord which is rated at 240hp, which again, has roughly the same torque – but at 5000rpm(!). In other words, you have to wind up the Accord to 5000rpm before you can tell it has the same power.

    - D
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
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  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I dunno, this is purely subjective but the 2.8l V6 didn't feel torquey down low to me. That was in an A4 when it had the same engine, but I don't think those are any heavier.

    But yeah, the H6 needs revs too.

    Any how, we're splitting hairs. Both engines are more than adequate for anyone's needs.

  • simplysuesimplysue Member Posts: 5
    I was reading these posts with interest - I have the 2001 Sienna Mini-Van and am ready to trade it in for something different and probably smaller. The main reasons are poor handling in the snow (I have discovered snow tires are a necessity not an option), we don't use the extra cargo room or extra seats as much as we thought and it's just too big and not enough fun to drive around in. The '04 solves some of the problems - windows that open and the fold down seats but it is even bigger. I am not sure if they fixed the cup holder problem - if you have kids in car seats the cup holders in the door are too far away for them to reach and the ones on the seats are too low - there has been a lot of spillage in our van because of this.

    So far I drove the Matrix, RAV 4, CRV and today the Outback. So far the CRV and Outback are my favorites but after reading these posts I will have to try the Passat wagon - I love my husbands GTI.

    Other suggestions are welcome!
  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483

    My main point was that horsepower numbers can be deceiving and don't tell you much about how the car drives in practical terms. You are absolutely right about the minute differences between the V6 and the H6 engines. You are likely to account as much of a difference between two Passats (or two Outbacks) than between the two models, depending on how the car has been driven in, who last drove the car etc.


    As for alternatives: since you also looked at smallish cars/SUVs, many of us here would recommend the Forester. You may feel it handles a bit better than the Outback. And if you like power, in a few weeks the Forester Turbo should be available. Likewise, if you don't need AWD, the Jetta Wagon may be large enough for you. My personal opinion is that the Jetta Wagon beats the Matrix in all respects (except, perhaps, reliability). And then, on the expensive side there is always the Audi A4 wagon.

    - D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I think VW has the better tranny, Subaru has the better engine. Combined they're an even match. That's IMHO of course.

    Sue: I think you're on the right track. We shopped a similar list of cars and ended up buying a Legacy L (Outback minus the two-tone and the raised suspension). Good luck.

  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    Someone suggested the Jetta wagon, but the rear seat leg room is really on the short side, especially if the front seat occupants are on the tall side (I'm almost 6'3" and my height effectively eliminated usage of the seat behind my driving position).

    The Passat, on the other hand, will give you more ample leg room. In fact, I don't even have my driver's seat pushed all the way back in our 2003 Passat wagon. We have only one child, but we're still in the stroller/pack and play mode. On a recent trip, we had 4 suitcases, a folded pack n play, a stroller, a bag of gifts, and winter coats and everything fit in the "way-back," without obstructing our vision. We got almost 32 mpg (sorry can't give you the metric equiv.), while cruising at 72 mph (we have the 1.8T engine).

    I see you live in Kitchener, Ontario. I don't know how much snow you typically see, but we had about 60" or 154 cm of snow this winter (which according the a Canadian website I found may be a bit less than you see on average). I live on top of a hill and I have not had any problems getting around with the OEM Michelin all-season tires. So you may not necessarily need a 4 motion VW, which could save you a good bit of money and will improve your fuel economy. Good luck with your search!
  • K9LeaderK9Leader Member Posts: 112
    We have a 1998 Sienna and a 2000 Outback. We like the Sienna, and it has been a good vehicle for us, as our children are older (12 & 15 now - 7 & 10 when we bought it) than yours (assumed from your comment about car seats). As your children get older and you have to haul friends/teammates/Scouts around, the extra space may become needed.

    I don't live in an area that gets as much snow as do you (I'm in Delaware) but this winter (and the fact we moved to a neighborhood with many more hills than our old one) proved the Sienna's shortcomings in the snow. The lack of limited slip differential didn't seem like such a big deal when we got it, but would have helped tremendously this winter.

    My other complaints about the Sienna are the poor turning radius (my gas-guzzling land yacht Lincoln Mark VIII turns tighter than the Sienna), and the sloppy body roll during cornering/turning. I also have come to dislike the driver's seat -- bottom cushion is too short and doesn't adjust to enough of an angle for me (yes, should have gotten the 6-way electric seat!). Funny thing is, I drove the Sienna as my daily driver for the first 3 years we had it, and the seats didn't really bother me. Then I got the Mark VIII and my wife took the Sienna. I drove the Mark VIII as my daily driver for 18 months until last month when I got the Subaru. After the Mark and the Outback, which both have great seats/seating positions, I hate the driving position of the Sienna.

    Otherwise, I like the Sienna's smaller size than other minivans (easier to park, better stopping distances, better acceleration, better fuel mileage -- all the benefits of less weight -- but I concede that if I had three children it would not be big enough) and the Toyota reliability and build quality. My wife doesn't seem to mind the driving/seating position of the Sienna, so it works out.

    Good luck with your search. Fortunately, there are many smaller-than-minivan-size vehicles available now (Mazda 5, PT Cruiser, Matrix/Vibe, etc.) along with SUV alternatives (Outback and wagons from many other makers) and car-based small SUVs (RAV4, CRV, Forester etc.). So there are many more family-friendly choices than there were even 2-3 years ago.
     -- K9Leader
  • mvcjonesmvcjones Member Posts: 14
    I just bought a 2003 Passat 1.8T Tip sedan and was considering a wagon of the same for my wife.

    We felt a little odd about owning two almost identical cars of the same year, due to potential problems related to a make/year.

    We ultimately got her the Subaru Forester 2.5XS. A little smaller and less expensive than the Passat, less refined, more rugged, very good reliability and very versatile. The positive of AWD is offset by the lower gas mileage. (We don't go off road and live in the desert, AWD, is not terribly useful here)

    Look at the Forester. It is a nice alternative, a little more pricey than the competition (like the Passat) but offers value that commands the price.

    BTW, we got both cars for about invoice, maybe $200 to $300 over. Plus good financing rates. It is a buyers market.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Ever drive on sand? :-)

    Forester is great on the beach.

  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    Have you checked out the Anniversary Edition of the Outback. For about $36K CDN, I think it's a pretty darn good deal for a 6-cyl AWD wagon. I don't think it comes with a sunroof though, if that is a deal-breaker for you. In comparison, I find the Forester very pricey -- 4 cyl, not even a power driver seat.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Prices in Canada are higher than comparable models in the US, so that can be true. Get a basic X model, though, and they offer good value.

    Canada got the H6/cloth first, that's the anniversary model you're talking about. Now you can get a similar model in the USA, it's $24k and change for them here.

  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    Yeah, that's true. The basic Forester seems like decent value. Then you go to the pp & pp plus which don't really add a whole lot. Then you go "Whoa", the prices are into a whole different neighborhood! Also, I find the Outback interior to be of a higher quality than the Forester in terms of material.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    They should, given they cost more.

    I see Foresters from $18.7k up to about $25k. Legacy wagons start at around $19k and go all the way up to $30 grand.

    Those are all street prices.

    I kinda like the new Forester interior. They use a black, dimpled plastic that is soft to the touch. Reminds me of what Acura uses for the RSX Type S.

  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    looks kind of spartan though, IMO
  • petersjfpetersjf Member Posts: 8
    Thought I'd throw in my 2 cents about the Saab vs. others since I just finished researching this area.

    Budget was 25k - 33k
    My priorities:
    1. Safety
    2. Reliability
    3. Room for 4 + baby stuff
    4. Freeway handling/performance
    5. Luxury (sound system, features, quality of interior materials)

    Other cars I considered in order of preference:
    1. Passat v6 - excellent car, concerned about reliability, slightly smaller than Saab, handling less precise
    2. Highlander v6 - very reliable, roomy and comfortable but too much body roll, soft handling, gas mileage good for SUV but not up to wagon standards
    3. Volvo 2.4T - also an excellent car, but problems with volvo reliability in my immediate family (+ independent reports) scared me off

    Really liked the Forester, but the missus dissed the exterior styling + I'm 6'5" and need someone to be able to sit behind me.

    Ended up choosing Saab 9-5 Linear wagon for about 32.3k + TTL including premium and touring package (max options)

    Really happy with it so far. Main positives are the excellent performance in safety testing even without side curtain airbags (which you may not want with small kiddos in the back seat.) Very stable and smooth at high highway speeds. Low-end torque is surprisingly good for a 4-cyl but you should do a prolonged test drive to make sure it's sufficient (for comparison, I could never get used to the turbo lag in the Passat 4-cyl 1.8t engine though it's admittedly in a different price class). I've enjoyed the extras such as xenon's, rain-sensing wipers, and rear object sensor much more than I thought I would.

    Good luck shooping a wagon/cross-over!
  • westrid_dadwestrid_dad Member Posts: 22
    Yeah, the Saab 9-5 was on our short list as well. In the end, two things kept us from getting it: No AWD and no local Saab dealer. We ended up with a VW Passat 4Mo wagon, with ESP. Sounds like you got a pretty decent price on your Linear.
  • windsurfer02windsurfer02 Member Posts: 5
    Someone was mentioning the power of their Passat. We have an Outback, 4 cylinder & find it just doesn't get it up the hills very well.

    We have been travelling & find steep hills & even some gentle ones really make you feel sometime like you want to get out & push. I usually just put it into D3 when it really gets sluggish.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    I've always found the V70 variants to have an excellent combination of size, capacity, styling, performance, luxury & safety features including available AWD. But it seems to get the least consideration amoungst the Passats, Subies, Saabs. Is perhaps higher prices a factor? Or are consumers worried about reliability and build quality issues?
  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483

    I think price does play a big role. If you are shopping for a $35,000 to $40,000 wagon, you get into BMW and Mercedes territory. Edmunds' TMV for the V70 AWD version is about $3,600 more than a Passat 4Motion. That may not sound like much, but I think it is beyond a magic barrier. Some people are shopping for a $25K to $30K wagon, and the Passat compares well with competition in that price range. The 4Motion wagon is just barely above $30K (all street prices), still acceptable to many. And you can buy a Legacy wagon with AWD for much less than any of the above.

    - D
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    The BMW AWD wagon is only available with the 2.5l engine which is underpowered. Likewise, the MB C 4matic with the 3.2V6 and sunroof will run almost $10K CDN more than an XC70. The Legacy couldn't touch the Volvo for features or refinement. I do think, however, the the Passat GLX 4motion is a good value compared to the XC. For the extra $$, I can't think of anything off-hand that the XC has over the Passat other than ground clearance and greater passenger room.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Member Posts: 591
    Saab is owned by GM and Fuji heavy is part owned by GM so for a small AWD car Saab is getting essentially a rework of the Impreza and WRX. Perhaps Saab will get other AWD in their bigger models too. The Subaru AWD system is showing up in many of GM's partners now, even ones which had their own 4WD systems already (e.g. Suzuki Aerio AWD).

    So in future, those of you cross shopping Subies and Saabs may find the decision more difficult, or easier depending on your opinion.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Isn't Saab going to add AWD to the 9-5?

    In fact, they announced a Saab 9-2 at the NY show, interestingly it'll use Impreza wagon mechanicals, both the 2.5l and the WRX powerplant.

    Volvos get plenty of consideration from wagon shoppers. The V70 costs a bit more than the Subie or Passat, but resale is good, and they offer something for everyone (R models, AWD, sedan and wagon, etc.).

    The 4Motion doesn't sell in big volumes, I bet the 1.8T is Passat's volume leader, followed by the FWD V6.

  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Member Posts: 464
    I remember reading a few months ago in one of my car mags that VW was going to start offering 4Motion with the 1.8t, rather than just with the V6. Has anyone actually seen any of these yet? This combo will bring VW's AWD right down into Subaru territory...I'm guessing mid-20's for a ?Passat 1.8t 4Motion.

    I'm still VERY leery of VW's, though, since I have a few friends with new VW's (post 1999) and they are all having tons of electrical problems with them.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I dunno, add a few options to a wagon and prices still might be higher.

    In part, that's because most wagons come with automatic. In fact, I could not find a single 1.8T wagon with a 5 speed manual. Sedans, yeah, but not wagons.

    Any how, when I was shopping around, that put the 1.8T wagons in the mid 20s without 4Motion.

    I want max space, max speed, min price, so build more wagons VW!

  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    In your opinion, the V70 line-up should be worthy contenders inspite of the higher MSRP?
  • cabbatan1cabbatan1 Member Posts: 40
    I have just completed an extensive search for the
    "perfect wagon" and have test driven several models. Many have been mentioned here so I would like to share my experience as I often find these mini reviews to be the most helpful when car shopping. The wagons I Looked at were the Audi A4 1.8T Avant,Subaru Outback VDC,Volvo XC70 and BMW 325ix

    Audi A4 - Pros: Nice interior,very solid feel to car,back seat was more spacious than I had initially thought it would be, lots of fun to drive with 5 speed,exterior design is a masterpiece
               Cons: Sluggish 1.8 engine with Auto transmission,center stack on dash intrudes on your right leg when you are in driving position
    Not much else
    Bottom line: I loved this car and was convinced this would be the car I chose.
    Outback - Pros:Smooth 6 cyl engine,very quiet ride,lots of interior room,low price
              Cons: cheap looking interior,fake wood,lots of plastic,two tone plastic molding on the exterior,gold wheels,ride was very soft,transmission was horrible

    Bottom line: I tried to like this car but just could not get past the awful styling. I really like Subaru as a company and I believe they will hit their mark in the next couple of years.

    Volvo XC70 - pros: Excellent interior,very comfortable in every respect,lots of interior room,handsome exterior and has great presence due to slightly raised suspension,newly revised engine and AWD system,All around good performer
                 Cons: Volvo reliability was weighing on my mind but I had decided that all European cars are about equal in this respect,Not much else I didn't like about this car.

    Bottom Line: This was my wifes favorite car. I could easily live with this and it would suit my needs perfectly although a little lack lustre driving experience. Almost a done deal

    BMW 325xi - Pros : perfect blend of speed,handling and balance,Solid feel without feeling heavy,In line 6 cyl engine was smooth and responsive,handsome and non-fussy interior
              - Cons : Small cargo hold.

    Bottom Line: After my wife test drove this car,she forgot about the Volvo really quick and I factory ordered a car the next day.

    Hope this helps anyone trying to decide on what to get.(I didn't include the Passat but I think it's also a great looking and very functional vehicle)I think the new model will be out in 2004
    so that's something to consider.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483

    Just one question: why are you comparing the 325xi to the 1.8l turbo A4 wagon, and not to the 3.0l A4 wagon? The latter has about 20% more power and torque than the BMW, for about the same street price (at least in the US). The 3.0l A4 AWD wagon looks like a clear winner to me: better interior, better AWD, much better performance.

    - D.
  • cabbatan1cabbatan1 Member Posts: 40
    I did in fact consider the Audi 3.0 and you are right,it is a sweet car with all those attributes you mention. The problem was that when the salesman worked out the lease price for this vehicle,my monthly payment was going to be huge. I'm not sure what formula they use or perhaps it is due to Audi's typically lower residual value but on paper,the monthly payment of the 1.8t was more in line with my budget and almost identical to the 325. After driving the BMW,it was an easy choice for me. The one thing I did learn from my experience is that you must absolutely test drive all the cars you are considering before making a predetermined choice. What is published on the spec sheets often does not translate into the real life experience.
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Member Posts: 464
    My best friends just bought a loaded 2003 a few weeks ago...Wow, that's a nice car. My Outback feels so dumpy by comparison; but then I don't have a $700 car payment, either. :) Maybe next time around!

  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    I too would have considered the 325xi except for the small cargo area which was the same thing that made me cross the A4 Avant off my list. I just wouldn't be able to fit the luggage for our family of 4 in it for even a weekend ski trip.

    cabbatan1: How did you find the XC's acceleration and steering feel compared to, say, the BMW and the Outback?
  • cabbatan1cabbatan1 Member Posts: 40
    Acceleration on the XC was decent and I would say on par with the Outback but not as quick as the BMW. (Only my opinion) All three cars weigh about the same.(3600 lbs plus)I found the steering on the Volvo a little numb and too much assist but better than the Subaru.
    The Volvo was definitley more refined than the Outback in it's handling capability although the Subaru's 6 cylinder was quite smooth and very quiet. Much more so than both the Volvo and the BMW.(Too quiet for my liking actually)
    If you need the space,I would definitley go for the Volvo. It's an excellent blend of utility,sport,comfort and prestige. As I mentioned above,I would have been quite happy with this car but the sporty side of my brain won out over the practical side. I'm sure I'll be cursing when we try and pack our stuff this summer. Fortunately,we don't head up north very often and the car will be mainly used in the city.
    By the way,lots of Canadians of this thread. Do we like wagons more the our Southern Neighbors?
    Good luck!
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    I think our southern neighbors still like their SUV's a bit more.
  • nonjth13nonjth13 Member Posts: 91
    Just as well you didn't get the Audi because you wouldn't have been able to fit 4 people in it anyway. Yes I do own a 2003 A4 avant. 3 people and stuff, 2 people and lots of stuff. 4, down to the corner and back.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Getting a lightly equipped V70 through European delivery brings the price to a reasonable level. Something to think about, at least.

    Carmine: bingo, you asked for it, you got it. The 2004 Outback ditches the silver/gold wheels for a simpler 5 spoke all-silver design. They're the ones from the current Baja. Just saw it at the NY auto show.

    Also, the gold badges are now chrome. Subtle change, but if you thought the old one looked cheesy, it is a decent improvement. Also, for 2003 you could get a monotone Champagne color, so if they continue that in 2004, you could get a very stealthy Outback. Maybe next time.

    VDCs are about $29k now and the best equipped (6 cyl, 6CD, heated leather, 2 moonroofs, stability and traction control, AWD, all standard).

    But my favorite wagon in the show was the Forester XT! Gotta love it. Huge moonroof, heated leather, 235 lb-ft of torque, AWD, 16" alloys, basically nothing I could reasonably fault. Loved it!

  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    I think Subaru needs to come out with a 5-speed auto tranny, at least for the upper-end H6-VDC models.
  • dcm61dcm61 Member Posts: 1,567
    is coming. The prelimnary specs for the redesigned JDM Legacy state that it will have a 5 speed auto. So, we should begin seeing a 5 speed auto when the '05 Legacy debuts. No guarantees at this point, but it looks promising.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I agree absolutely. Even Kia has 5 ratios on some autos now. Give it Sportshift while you're at it.

    The H6 is a good engine held back by a reluctant 4 speed auto. It's smooth shifting, but does not put the power down like I wish it did.

    The good news is the 5 speed auto should arrive, along with a boosted H6, with maybe 240hp or so.

    The 2004 Legacy is out, the 2005 can be previewed when the new generation arrives in Japan this summer IIRC.

  • sschilfsschilf Member Posts: 63
    I have been looking at the Passat GLX wagon (automatic with ESP). This car is the most I would pay for a wagon. What are other wagons out there that have a price less then or equal to the Passat? I have talked the dealer down to 28000 TOTAL for this wagon but I feel ackward paying this amount for a wagon?!? What would you recommend?

    BTW - the purpose of this wagon is for our first baby coming anytime now and the fact that my wife says that the sports car must go!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Why? Wagons are great, for most people they are a better fit than SUVs are.

    The Passat is nice. Also check out the Legacy/Outback, perhaps the latter has a better perceived value in your eyes due to the SUV styling cues? A VDC (with stability control) runs about $29k at It's completely loaded, that's the only way you can get S/C though.

    I also like the Audi A4 Avant, if the size fits.

  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Hi Everyone- Check out the wagons in Edmunds' Consumers Most Wanted Vehicles for 2003. Thanks for your participation!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • ncvolncvol Member Posts: 196

    Do you have it confirmed that the 9-5 will get AWD? I had seen it for the new 9-2, but not the 9-5 (which would seem to make more sense, at least for the wagon). That's really the biggest drawback of the Saab for me right now.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That's what they said at the Saab display at the NY Auto Show. I'm not sure that qualifies as "confirmed", that only happens when I see it on the roads! :-)

  • ymillerymiller Member Posts: 10
    Been doing some research about new small wagons, and there's not that much out there--I want a true wagon, not a hatch, and in my price range (approx. $15K) I've been eyeing the Focus wagon. Rebates and low demand make for good deals to be had, but will I regret it if I do this? Have most of the bugs been worked out on this model?

    I drive only about 8K miles per year, so I'd like to keep this wagon for a while. Should I maybe wait and save up more money and try for a Subaru or VW wagon? Or consider a used Volvo? Any current (later model) Focus wagon owners' opinions are welcomed.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Member Posts: 483

    Even if you only drive 8K miles a year, I think it is quite important you sit down and look at what your true needs are, what features you simply like and what important preferences you have. True, the selection of low-cost wagons is slim. Yet, do you really need a wagon, or is a hatchback style just something you don't like as much? Depending on where you live, AWD may be an advantage; perhaps you won't need to change to winter tires.

    Generally speaking, Subarus and VW are some of the safest cars you can buy (in terms of test results and standard airbags available) - if that is important to you.

    While it may not be the safest, the most luxurious, the most powerful, or the most reliable, the Focus is a quite roomy car with good handling and decent mileage for its price. Given how little you drive, that plus an extended warranty should cover most of your concerns.

    Unless you really hate to have the car serviced, even under warranty. In that case you would have to go all the way up to a Honda or Toyota SUV before you hit something "wagonish" with truly stellar quality (I hate the word reliability, because a car can be reliable but still require some work or replacements here and there). And from what I see, the CR-V is not part of this equation. Perhaps the Forester would be in that category.

    - D.
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    they are just tall wagons.

  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Member Posts: 464
    I rented a 2003 Focus wagon (with an incredible DuraTorque diesel engine) in France a few months ago and we were absolutely amazed at how well that thing drove.

    Size-wise, it felt bigger inside than my 01 Outback, and was able to hold 4 adults and all our luggage with room to spare. Handling, fit and finish, and performance were impressive...and that diesel engine sold me. We averaged over 40mpg on the autoroutes traveling for hundreds of miles at a time at 110-115mph, and the torque was addictive.

    Although it's not here yet, look for this engine to appear in US Focuses by the end of 2003. As far as the Focus' notoriously poor reliability, just get an extended warranty. For the money, this wagon is hard to beat...unless you need AWD.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Focus is a very roomy wagon, and probably wins the cubes-per-dollar race. I can see the appeal, it's actually EPA registered as a mid-size, if you can believe that. The BMW 5-series has less room, and is considered a compact.

    Personally? I dunno, I don't think I'd pull the trigger. I had a Mustang in the 80s, a '91 Escort, and my dad has a Taurus. None were particularly reliable. My dad has spent a fortune keeping his Taurus running, I think $6 grand so far (it's a '92 with low miles).

    But, who knows, maybe you'll get lucky. Or get an extended warranty since the price is so low you could afford it.

    The other thing is 130hp might labor to pull the weight if you really fill it up. Too bad they don't make an SVT wagon. I do like the 5 door, but it's not nearly as roomy.

  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    are you sure BMW 5-series is compact. I think you meant 3.

This discussion has been closed.