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Moving from Europe to the US - Where are the hatchbacks and wagons?

greenicegreenice Member Posts: 41
Will be moving from Europe to the US in December and started to think about what car to drive. I want a car with good driving dynamics, but it also has to be practical. Size wise, I need at least mid-size since I have two kids. A five-door hatchback would be a natural choice, or maybe a sporty wagon. In Europe there is plenty choices:

Mazda 626: sedan, wagon, hatchback (that's what I am driving now)
Honda Accord: sedan and hatchback
Mitsubishi Galant: sedan and wagon
Nissan Primera ( thats your Infinity G20) sedan, wagon + hatchback
Toyota Avensis (Europe-only model about the size of the Mazda 626), sedan, wagon and hatchback.

Then there are the Germans: Opel Vectra, Ford Mondeo, VW Passat and a number of choices from France, all available as hatchback or wagon and often in both styles.

Now, what options do I have in the US (I don't have the money for a luxury name plate): As far as I can see, there are the Subaru Legacy and VW Passat wagons. Anything else? Btw, I want a manual car, AT is not an option.



  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    Actually, one has a lot more choices for hatchbacks and wagons in the USA nowadays... than in previous years. Although I do agree, it's much harder to find vehicles available with manual transmission here than in Europe, but not impossible.

    In addition to our Which 5 door hatchbacks discussion, you may also want to check our Upcoming Station Wagons and Upcoming Hatchbacks discussions to see what new vehicles have been released..., or are to be released in the very near future.

    Good luck with your decision. Btw, I'm curious to know what part of Europe you're moving from...? Please feel free to share this with us in our "Introduce Yourself" discussions. You'll find these linked near the top of the Hatchbacks and Station Wagons message boards.

    Happy Motoring! ;-)



    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • sergprofansergprofan Member Posts: 6
    I know Europeans are not big fans of Korean cars, but you might want to consider a Hyundai Elantra GT Hatchback. I've had mine for 6 weeks now, and for around 15 or 16K (out the door) you can't beat this deal. Great value, lots of room, lots of features, and a great warranty!
    Good luck!!
  • greenicegreenice Member Posts: 41
    thanks for your input. You are right, there is already a lot more choices for hatchbacks than a few years ago. Most, if not all of them are in the compact class, though. I will probably pick a Protege 5 for our second car. My wife has driven Mazda 323 hatchbacks all her life and has been very happy with them (the latest being a 91 3 door hatchback).

    For our 1st car we want something larger, and in the midsize class there do not seem to be hatchbacks available in the US, at least right now.

    Btw, I am in England right now (Oxford), but have lived most of my life in Germany. From 95 to 96 I used to live in Oregon. I had an Acura Integra at that time. But hey - this was when I was still single.

  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    Thanks for sharing a little about yourself.... ;-) You're correct: it does seem like many of the new hatchbacks are compact.

    Just curious, have you checked out the Chrysler PT Cruiser? You'll find that discussion linked to several of our message boards, including this one.

    Also, I believe the 2003 Toyota Matrix and 2003 Pontiac Vibe will be more in the mid size range. Not sure what your budget is, but you may also want to check out our Lexus IS 300 SportCross discussion.

    Use the Search feature (upper/left) to find discussions of interest throughout Town Hall. Good luck with your decision, and please keep us posted. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    VW Jetta Wagon is what you need. 5 doors, room for kids and cargo, and choice of 2.0, 1.8T, TDI, and VR6 motors. Possibly too small for your needs.
  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
    I think he wants a hatchback built from a mid-sized sedan's platform, am I right? Most of the hatchbacks that are offered in the U.S. are compact cars, no Accord hatchbacks.
  • thedarkwolfthedarkwolf Member Posts: 70
    Its probably the worst looking car ever made but it is more or less a mid sized 4 door hatchback.
  • focusmatt2focusmatt2 Member Posts: 106
    Welcome to the US! I am of European descent so I welcome you here. It won't be so bad, just don't lose touch with your heritage.

    There used to be almost no offerings in the hatchback and estate but we're undergoing a hatchwagon renaissance, and within 5 years I bet we'll see many many more on the road.

    If you want manual, you're going to have a tough time. You can get the Focus wagon, the Protege-5 (a Mazda 323 estate), BMW 325i wagon, the Jetta wagon (Bora/Golf estate), the Passat wagon, or an A4/A6 in manual transmission.

    I'd personally recommend getting a 1.8T Passat wagon with manual transmission and cloth seats. You can get one for about 25K us, which would be about 19,500pds.

    We're expecting the Mondeo to come sometime in the next couple years as a Mercury! YAY!
  • raybearraybear Member Posts: 1,795
    The Subaru Impreza Wagon?
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Member Posts: 591
    I believe the Saturn large wagon and Saab 9-5 wagons are based on the Opel Vectra platforms. Both are available here in North America. I own and enjoy a Saturn LW200 and would love to own a 9-5 Aero Wagon...

This discussion has been closed.