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Station Wagon vs SUV



  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Can you take the top off of a WRX and store it in your shed for a summer?


    Steve, Host
  • alfoxalfox Posts: 716
    With a sawsall and a Dremmel I can do anything....

    Does it have to go back on in the Winter?
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    Can you take the top off of a WRX and store it in your shed for a summer?



    I like that!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    dc: the Marginal score was for the Legacy sedan. And 93% of Legacys are wagons.

    The Outback wagon is higher up, that plus other differences may be why it scored the highest ever in Australia's similar side impact test.

    Bizarre, since they are very similar, but just thought I'd point out the difference.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    KC, it probably depends on which Subie you're talking about. I doubt the Magnum AWD will out-handle a Legacy GT wagon. Other Subies, perhaps (?), but not the GT. The COG is very low on that model, and it been reported to be a world-class handler by many.

    Ahhh, I meant the Magnum vs an SUV, not any Subie.

    Smart Shopper and Wagons Message Boards
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    I cut a Simca in half with a sabre saw back in the 60's. It deserved it.

    Steve, Host
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "He could care less about 0-60, skid-pad G's, refinement or residual value (obviously!)"

    Hmmmmm, haven't noticed residuals have been bad on Wranglers... Twould likely be better than any Station Wagon I can think of....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wrangler is a unique vehicle, though.

    If you look at other Jeeps, they're not so good at holding their value.

    Back in 1998, I cross-shopped a Cherokee Sport with the Forester I ended up buying. The Grand Cherokee was $5000+ out of my price range.

    Well, today, KBB has the value of my Forester not only above the Cherokee Sport, but even above the Grand Cherokee, by a good $800, too.

    That means it has depreciated about $6000 more than my Subie.

  • We just bought a pilot and went through the same exact experience with Honda dealers in the San Francicso area. That said, I don't know about the long term quality of the pilot but I can't help but feel like I'm in a very well made vehicle. I'm impressed with everything it does. However, we traded in an 01 Montero for it so coming from that perspective, the handling and acceleration is superior.

    The OB is a great vehicle and we have a '97 with 90k miles. We plan to have it till it dies. If we did not want larger vehicle (and 3rd row), the 05 OB would have been a strong contender.
    For me, the pilot's HUGE plus over the HL was the packaging. If you get the pilot ex, you get everything. With the highlander, i think you had to get two packages to get the popular items. the tricky thing was finding one on the lot that did not also have all the other pricey dealer add-ons.

    As far as bad dealer experinces, you are not alone. We went to one dealer that had a $4k markup over MSRP price. The only way to combat that is do your research beforehand and KNOW how much you want to pay. When I was unsure and doing test drives, the dealers seemed to smell it and want to wrangle and wrangle. When I decided that I wanted the pilot with navigation and I wanted to pay not one dime over $500 over invoice, I called five dealers, told them I was buying "today" and could they match my number. I got a return call, came in, endured (and rejected) the pitch for the extended warranty and paint protection, wrote a check and left after an hour.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    one wagon that has a lot of power is the new dodge magnum wagon with the hemi....nice to have the ability to turn off 2 (?) cylinders and save some gas....

    the Audi Rs6 allroad with the 4.5 liter , 450 hp engine is a screameer too.....
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    I'd like the benefit of allthe thinking you guys have been doing. My old wagon just died and I'd like to replace it with a small/mid-size wagon or a hatchback. I am 6 feet 2 inches tall, 65 years old and not as "limber" as I used to be. I also weigh around 225, so seat comfort is a significant issue for me. I live in the Boston area, so AWD is a potential consideration, especially since we need to drive, at night, after performing. (though this is not a deal breaker for us) I need to carry a stand-up bass and amp, as well as a small amount of luggage (garment bag and medium suitcase) Because of the bass, a flat loading surface is a must. I also need to drive from Boston to Carolina in a few months, so I am concerned about how comfortable a small car will be on such a drive.

    I almost never use the backseat, so it's not necessary that it be a comfortable backseat.

    I really didn't like the Ford Focus or the Honda Element. Thought the Element's quirky styling appealed to my wife, the driving experience was not as good as we hoped. We also did not like the Ford Escape. The drive was just too trucky to us, and that is not something we are used to. The Dodge Magnum wagon is bigger than I want, I think, just to give you an idea of size. I liked the Pontiac Vibe, believe it or not, but it probably is too small.

    My brother is telling me "just buy the Subaru Legacy or Forester."

    99% of our driving is around the Boston suburbs and into Boston, with the occasional long drive. We aren't mountain goers. I am not a driving aficianado, so won't really appreciate any of the real driver's hatchbacks/wagons. I just want some good basic reliable comfortable transportation.

    I would really like high MPG, but my brother is trying to convince me that since I really only drive 12,000 miles/year, there isn't a great cost to me of getting 25 mpg verus 35 mpg, and those 35 mpg cars might feel too uncomfortable for us in the long run (and on those long drives).

    Thanks for any advice you folks provide, and best wishes.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru's market share in the US is 1.1%. In parts of New England, it's 7%.

    The point?

    Those is the snow, know, Subies are great. The all-weather package (XS, LL Bean, or XT) includes not only heated seats, but also heated mirrors and wiper de-icers front and rear. AWD standard, ABS standard, rear LSD on all but the base model. Full-size spare tire, too.

    For your needs I think the Forester is perfect. It has the most front leg room of any compact SUV, period. And the tight back seat is not an issue given you never use it.

    Front Legroom / Vehicle
    43.6 Forester
    41.4 Grand Vitara
    42.3 RAV4
    40.2 X3
    41.6 Escape/Tribute
    41.3 CR-V
    41.0 Element
    41.6 Santa Fe
    42.1 Tucson/Sportage
    40.8 Liberty
    41.8 Freelander
    42.3 Outlander
    41.2 Vue

    You want something small, and it's about 175" long, small for the class. Curb weight is also comparably low.

    The seats are firm with good side bolsters and adjustable lumbar support. Try them out, though, because we're all shaped differently, and for you this is make or break.

    Lucien bought a Forester XT so that his wife's cello would fit! Coincidence. WRX wagon was a bit small for that.

    CR named Subaru the most reliable brand for 2004. Ahead of Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti. Noone's perfect, but not bad.

    Finally, 23/30 mpg in the non-turbos is pretty darn good for AWD, in fact that's also best in class.

    Against? Smallish back seat, but you don't care about that. '06 model will get a face-lift, but if you like the 05 you can get a deal now because discounts are steep. And finally there are more efficient FWD wagons like the Matrix or Mazda3 5 door that might do the job almost as well.

    You should drive one, though, to see if it fits your tastes. I recommend an XS or LL Bean model for you. It has all the inclement weather stuff you'd want.

  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    thanks for the input, juice - good advice

    PS For those of you who know/remember me and who "care," I wrote this message in the first person, but it is my brother who is in need of the new car. I am the brother saying, "just buy the Subaru."
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    ...and give it to him.

    If he's stubborn go to the NHTSA and IIHS web sites and show him. The Forester is right on top in pretty much every crash test out there. Bumper basher test also.

  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    LOL - I already cut and pasted it into an e-mail to him.

    Sorry if I violated your copyright. :-)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No problem, I'm flattered.

    Also tell him Edmunds has an active Subaru Crew community that is extremely helpful and friendly.

    In fact we chat every Thursday night, tell him to drop in.

  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Ah, you don need no stinkin AWD...get an RSX (or he should). I find the seat comfort excellent (of course, I'm WAY smaller than him....5'7", 175), so he'd have to try it. But the hatchback has an amazing amount of room (carried a gas power washer AND a mountain bike inside last nite with the rear seats down, of course) and gets great mpg.

    Subarus are great (we have an Outback, too) but if the extra room is not needed, the RSX is a contender.

    Of course, it's a blast to drive, that doesn't hurt a bit, esp on long drives. I drive 200m each way on many weekends, and believe it or not...I look forward to it.

    Ok, it's not a wagon or SUV, but you mentioned hachback. And you better not get an SUV ;=)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Isn't that kinda small? You put a bass in the hatch and it's full, I'm not even sure you could carry a 2nd passenger.

  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    Sails: the RSX drives way too nicely for my brother's tastes! If it has too much pick up, he'll think it is the wrong car for him.

    Are we really classifying the Subies as "SUVs"??

    I think a hatchback could be fine, but am not sure any of them are really big enough froma cargo perspective, except perhaps the Prius.
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    they used to make do with that funny square Honda CIvic wagon/hatchback thing, but that was nearly 15 (?) years ago. But they didn't make any long drives back then, either.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You put a bass in the hatch and it's full...

    Where on Earth have YOU been fishing? We want to know! :)

    tidester, host
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I would definately take a look at the Vibe/Matrix. It may not handle quite as well as the Forestor (something you said did not matter) and it gets EPA 26/31 vs 22/28 for the Forrestor (something you said did matter). It is not the quickest vehicle, but it is within a whisker of the Forrestor in acceleration because it is quite a bit lighter. It has a little more rear seat room, and a little less room in the way back, but if you are not carrying rear seat passengers you can fold the seats down and there is plenty of room for cargo.

    Personally I would prefer the manual tranny with FWD and a set of 4 snows for the winter. Gas mileage then goes up to 29/36 and the purchase price is quite a bit lower as well. The FWD version also has a touch more hp to go along with less weight.

    If AWD is not required the Jetta diesel is another candidate.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My fishing hole is a secret. ;)

    Forester is, technically, a car, at least that is how it is registered.

  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    Dudley - good points. But my bro won't drive a stick. (I agree that tires are key, even on AWD vehicles.) Hell, they wouldn't even test drive the Forester because the gear shifter looked funny (is it a "maze?")

    as you can see, myt brother is NOT a "car guy"

    they felt that the Vibe/Matrix was a bit tinny, but they DID like it. Can't recall if they liked the Scion. They liked whichever one starts out as a Corolla.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,677
    they wouldn't even test drive the Forester because the gear shifter looked funny (is it a "maze?")

    I was going to suggest a Mazda6 wagon but your last post makes me think the Legacy/Outback wagon might be for them (doesn't have a gated shifter, does it?).
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    I think the Subie DOES have a gated shifter. Are they difficult, at all?
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Be careful on the outback... I have had one only three months and do a ton of driving. Over 9000 miles. The abnormally low armrest was bothersome at first but I have since gotten used to it. You can get for approx $150 an extender. I am sure if I had really noticed that in my test drive I would have insisted the dealer install one as part of my deal with them. I am sure would have cost them less than $100 & installing a piece of cake.

    I must admit, although I love virtually everything else about the car, I am having a hard time getting a comfortable driving position & if I had had the oportunity of taking a longer test drive might have had second thoughts. Otherwise, the vehicle is obviously great in the snow, I am getting used to the 2.5 engine which is not exactly the swiftest one around. Never tried the turbo or 6 cause I was afraid if I did I would have wanted one (to the tune of around $4000 extra plus having to use premium fuel) I might mention gas mileage is beginning to improve as the weather improves. Have been averaging 24.8 since I got the vehicle (mostly highway driving) but on a trip this week down to Harrisburg, PA (I live in Seekonk, MA) averaged almost 27. Can't tell you much abour the Forster, however.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Some models do, others don't.

    I wouldn't call the VTD shifter a gated one, really, it's up and down and then has a cog to the left for manual shifting.

    But that's different than the gated shifter on other auto Subies - like the Forester and Impreza.

  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    How about the up and coming Audi A3 sportback for your brother?
    It's a 5 door hatch with a sweet 2.0 turbo. AND a direct shift gearbox (manual without an automatic clutch) which has shift paddles on the steering wheel.

    Li_sailor - I'm actually thinking of trading in my RSX for one of these babies. It probably won't happen, but I'm going to keep my eye on it though this summer to see how the feedback is on it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A3 looks hot, I really like those. I think they nailed the styling.

  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    well, they tried the Subies yesterday and have ruled them out. My brother's wife has a chronic wrist problem, so the shifter caused her pain. I can't judge the validity of this complaint, as I have not played with the shifter. I also don't know if some Subies have the odd shifter and some don't. Suffice it to say that the Subies are off the list.

    I am sure the Audi would be a great ride, but it is way too much of a car for my bro. The latest development is they are borrowing a Camry and all the gear fits just fine in the Camry, and they really like the ride. The bass fits in the back like a middle passenger, with the neck proturding into the front seat between the passenger and driver. No, you and I would not choose to do this, but my brother likes the idea of having a "regular" car for the majority of his driving (the bass rarely goes in the car), so......

    but then he talks positively about the Pontiac Vibe. :confuse:

    It's interesting to be talking to somebody who is so NOT a car person. For most people, buying a car is a really lousy experience. The sales people often suck. It's the biggest expenditure that most people will ever make other than buying their home. It causes a lot of angst. I'd say a small minority get any enjoyment out of it.

    Interestingly, and I say this because neither my bro or his wife are "car people," they drove a Prius yesterday and LOVED it. (but you can't get one in Boston for like 6 months). I say "interestingly" because I have assumed the buyers for the Prius would NOT include people who are not car people and are not "gizmo" people, unless they are hard core environmental issue consumers. These folks fall into none of these categories, so I am surprised that even they thought it was a great car. (not commenting on whether the Prius is great; just commenting on my biases about the Prius)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's the Legacy and Outback that have Sportshift, and aren't gated. Forester and Impreza are gated.

    Camry scores well in "ease of use" if that's what he wants.

  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    they've decided on the Hyundai Tucson (whatever the new, small Hyundai SUV is)

    the warranty made them really comfortable
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I drove one a while back. Not particularly sporty but a nice, practical vehicle for the price.

  • durability05durability05 Posts: 142
    I consider our Pilot the family station wagon, same goes for all the rest from Foresters to Freestyles. Only the Truck base vehicles are SUV's, except for the specialty vehicles like Range Rovers with their unibody, but reinforced components.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Well, depends on what the perspective of the comparison is but're not gonna get much disagreement there.
  • durability05durability05 Posts: 142
    I remember those country squire wagons of the 70's, those things had body on frame, and independent front suspensions. They could be driven thru fire roads and except for ground clearance issues, they were okay. They could even tow 3500 pounds without the need of complex oil and power steering coolers like the Pilot.
    So after going thru my 04 EXL PIlot, I said to myself , what an uncanny resemblance, its my Daddy's station wagon, and I bought it because it reminded me so much of that Station Wagon I wanted as kid, because it had seating for 8.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's basically the replacement.

    There was actually the minivan inbetween, but it went from wagon to minivan to SUV for the family vehicle of choice.

    So, what's next? Crossovers?

  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    Interesting, It is sort of the rugged all road type vehical (SUV) has/is moving towards the station wagon, while the 'soccer mom vehical' (or SMV I guess) has gone from the station wagon to the SUV (now w/ many with 4WD optional, who would of ever thought that you would hear of a 2wd jeep).
  • i need to know what what a buick roadmaster station wagon is considered due to window tinting laws differ between cars & suvs and they do not consider a wagon in a class by itself for some reason. on our registration it says SW for stationwagon.. but the car tint place says it is either a car or suv.. help plz?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Car, I'm pretty sure. Back then they were not expoiting the loopholes the way they are today. For instance, I believe Dodge calls the Magnum a multi-purpose vehicle, so it would be fall under "suv" to your tint shop.

  • 2007 Honda CR-V
    Iam in the market for a 2007 CR-V EX-L With Navi. Based on my research during the last few days, Understood
    that CR-V is going MSRP (The Max i could come up with is MSRP - $500) and Still Wait for a few weeks to
    actually get the car delivered.
    Here are my questions..
    (1). Do any of the NEW CR-V Owners feel that the low end torque is little less?? (I felt it when i was test
    driving yesterday -- Propably because its a 4 Cyl Fuel Efficient SUV and we never owned a SUV before).
    (2). I also felt that the engine noise was little more particularly when the CR-V starts accelarating?
    Are (1) and (2) -- something that is expected from a Fuel Eff 4 Cyl SUV??

    VW Passat Wagon 2.0T --
    After my initial impression with CR-V (Particularly MSRP on the CR-V).. Iam starting to think towards
    07 VW Passat Wagon 2.0T with Package # 2 and NAVI
    My driving impressions were good on this, However i might loose some space for the rear seats compared to CR-V
    Liked the EPA Mileage and Truck Space.
    With all the gadgets this is just $2k over the CR-V (I was offered below invoice).
    However iam concerned about the reliability of VW and Any feedback on the VW NAVI(Could not see one yesterday
    on the dealers lot, Does it do Voice Recognition?)

    Comments are welcome and Thanks in Advance..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A couple of other things to think about - the VW is a turbo and needs premium fuel. I doubt your maintenance costs will be as low as the Honda. Plus, no AWD, less ground clearance, if that matters to you.

    Advantages? Better handling, probably less noise.

    Honda's NAV wins all kinds of awards, so I bet it's much easier to use.

    No experience with VW, but I took a road trip with a buddy in his S4 convertible (sweet!) and the thing I liked least about it was the NAV. Took him a good 15 minutes once to find a single address, which you enter key by key (no touch screen).

    Try before you buy, that's all.

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