skunkman New Reader
April 15, 2010 11:05 p.m.

Okay, after 3 trannys on the 1999 V70R I'm wondering if it's time to jump ship. Can anyone tell me the best bang for buck as well as longevity. Audi/VW Avant vs. V70R vs. Outback or Forrester?

I want something peppy, good gas mileage, lots of room for stuff, customizable, and durable. Any suggestions?

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 15, 2010 11:38 p.m.

Our 99 Outback with the 2.5 DOHC was decidedly NOT peppy.

Shaun Reader
April 16, 2010 12:29 a.m.
skunkman wrote: Okay, after 3 trannys on the 1999 V70R I'm wondering if it's time to jump ship. Can anyone tell me the best bang for buck as well as longevity. Audi/VW Avant vs. V70R vs. Outback or Forrester? I want something peppy, good gas mileage, lots of room for stuff, customizable, and durable. Any suggestions?

That is the worst luck with the asian warner 4 speed I have seen, sorry to read that.

I think the Subies win $/mile by a pretty big margin. People tend not to recommend VW and Audi products off warranty. When I looked into them the disassembly required to do routine maintenance and standard wear item replacement it was mind numbing. As much as I like volvo wagons for daily driving, suv mimicking, and touring, a turbo subie wagon of any flavor is going to treat you very well if your body likes siting in it. I like the mid 2000's 250hp turbo legacy wagons myself.

81gtv6 HalfDork
April 16, 2010 8:23 a.m.

Take a look at the 9-5 Aero wagon, it seems to meet all of your requirements plus they are easy to find with a manual.

lesabre400 New Reader
April 16, 2010 8:54 a.m.

A client of mine had a turbo Forester XT, which he loved.

224 hp for peppiness and as Shaun mentioned, a Subie would be much more reliable than an Audi or VW, generally speaking.

Matt B Reader
April 16, 2010 9:01 a.m.

I have a similar scenario swimming around in my head between volvo, subaru, and saab wagons, albeit at a lower price point. I really don't know much about these cars, so consider me subscribed.

PeterAK Dork
April 16, 2010 9:52 a.m.

We're a two Subie family. The '95 Legacy wagon with the 2.2 should go forever with regular maintainance. The 2005 Legacy GT will hopefully do the same but I will be okay with a bit higher long term expense for the added fun factor.

I think the Outback wagons with the 2.5 and a five speed are decent to drive--someone posted above that the 2.5 was a snoozer and I'm curious if their experience was a slushbox.

2005 is the first year the LGT got the turbo, and the only year they put a manual in the wagon version. I searched for six months to find mine. Had the windows tinted, added the factory option subwoofer, and just replaced the wheels with cheap ones from Discount Tire. When and if I decide to sink more money into it an Accessport and uppipe are on the short list. Super happy with both of these cars.

lesabre400 New Reader
April 16, 2010 10:07 a.m.

^ A black, turbo, manual Leggy wagon. That is orgasmic. Nice ride, PeterAK.

SilverFleet New Reader
April 16, 2010 3:14 p.m.
PeterAK wrote: We're a two Subie family. The '95 Legacy wagon with the 2.2 should go forever with regular maintainance. The 2005 Legacy GT will hopefully do the same but I will be okay with a bit higher long term expense for the added fun factor. I think the Outback wagons with the 2.5 and a five speed are decent to drive--someone posted above that the 2.5 was a snoozer and I'm curious if their experience was a slushbox. 2005 is the first year the LGT got the turbo, and the only year they put a manual in the wagon version. I searched for six months to find mine. Had the windows tinted, added the factory option subwoofer, and just replaced the wheels with cheap ones from Discount Tire. When and if I decide to sink more money into it an Accessport and uppipe are on the short list. Super happy with both of these cars.

Wow, that is one ultra rare Legacy GT wagon you have there! Nice!!! When I was shopping for a new car a couple of years ago, I couldn't find one, or else I'd have one too.

Out of the choices you gave, I'd get the Subaru, or some other sort of Subaru. Yes, I'm biased because I've owned two Subarus so far, but I've also owned 1 VW (a 2002 Jetta) and that VW had nothing but problems for the entire 3 years I've owned it. The Subarus have been WAY more dependable. Also, I have friends that had or have similar vintage Audis/VW's and they have also been very problematic.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 16, 2010 3:36 p.m.
PeterAK wrote: I think the Outback wagons with the 2.5 and a five speed are decent to drive--someone posted above that the 2.5 was a snoozer and I'm curious if their experience was a slushbox.

Yessir. Slushbox.

blackm3sedan
blackm3sedan New Reader
April 16, 2010 3:38 p.m.

My vote is a manual tranny V70R.

Shaun Reader
April 16, 2010 4:39 p.m.
blackm3sedan wrote: My vote is a manual tranny V70R.

That's my next Volvo. A 2004-2007 V70R, if the clutch and slave cylinder have been replaced with the revised parts, and the angle gear is in good shape, I can deal with the rest of maintenance. 15k will get you good one. The last pre ford hot rod volvo wagon.

MrJoshua SuperDork
April 16, 2010 7:50 p.m.
Shaun wrote:
blackm3sedan wrote: My vote is a manual tranny V70R.

That's my next Volvo. A 2004-2007 V70R, if the clutch and slave cylinder have been replaced with the revised parts, and the angle gear is in good shape, I can deal with the rest of maintenance. 15k will get you good one. The last pre ford hot rod volvo wagon.

Wow-I keep finding them well north of $17k, often over 20. That, and the fact that my wife thinks they look like a hearse means we probably won't ever own one. (And the fact that the CTS-V prices have dropped lower than the V70r . )

Prowlerflyer
April 16, 2010 7:58 p.m.

I am in a similar perdicament. Alot of what drives your car is going to desires and bounderies; how much can you spend, auto or manual, RWD, AWD, FWD preference, sporty or not .... Each one of these can narrow or widen the field substantially.

As for hot wagons you going down the right track, Subie, Volvo (although no more new ones here!) and Audi are the main players. Subie Legacy 87-92 had the Touring Wagon w/2.0 closed deck non-intercooled JDM WRX motor (160hp in US trim), but auto only (5spd in the Sports Sedan). My family had one of these ('91) and it was a fantastic, reliable car, just disappointing not being a manual. Hard to find one now though. The later LGT ('05+) are great and as mentioned can be had with a manual.

I love all the Audi wagons and almost all can be had with manuals, but maintenance costs off warranty frighten me a bit.

The Volvo V70 wagons are great and some are quite fast. All are FWD except the XC & R models. The '98-00 R wagons were AWD and auto only, but the '95-05 T5's were FWD with an available 5spd and both are quick w/quite aftermarket for upgrades. The '04-07 R's were AWD with both auto or 6spd & 300hp stock. I helped my mother buy a '05 V70 T5 auto and it is quite quick and dead reliable for the past several years.

Enjoy!

Sonic Dork
April 16, 2010 9:23 p.m.

How about a 3 or 5 series wagon, more reliable than the Volvo or Audi (and probably equal to a 2.5 subaru) and more fun to drive than all the rest. Available with manual transmissions or all wheel drive, lots of aftermarket, well engineered....

skunkman New Reader
April 16, 2010 10:13 p.m.

I was leaning twards the VW/Audi for the TDI option. What year Subi's are good, which engines are best?

4g63t
4g63t Reader
April 17, 2010 3:34 a.m.

I know one thing. The plugs in my 2001 Outback H-6 VDC are a motherberkeleyer to change. I HAD to have the McIntosh stereo.

skunkman New Reader
April 17, 2010 8:28 a.m.

Is the 4 better than the 6? Turbo?

Shaun Reader
April 17, 2010 11:14 p.m.

In reply to MrJoshua:

I really like the CTS and the the job Cadillac has done reinventing the brand. I want 4 wheel drive this time around for towing and launching a drift boat and getting up to the snow.

I just used the Google advanced search feature and found many 2004 v70rs form 11-15k.

Keyword: 2004 v70r site: craigslist.org

2004 v70r site:craigslist.org

Shaun Reader
April 17, 2010 11:16 p.m.
Sonic wrote: How about a 3 or 5 series wagon, more reliable than the Volvo or Audi (and probably equal to a 2.5 subaru) and more fun to drive than all the rest. Available with manual transmissions or all wheel drive, lots of aftermarket, well engineered....

The 5 series wagon is gorgeous.

Prowlerflyer
Prowlerflyer New Reader
April 17, 2010 11:49 p.m.

Be aware of a number of revisions Volvo made for '05 w/the R models. A source like the R fourm on www.swedespeed.com could address those more closely. I believe in '05 they also switched the AWD to a Haldex type.

imprezal23454
May 2, 2010 6:53 p.m.

go with the outback, we have a 99 5 speed outback wagon and love it. Its defiantly not as slow as some may say, although this is with the manual. will last a long time and are easily found for a good price.

oh yeah, 50/50 torque spit. Not a fwd-biased awd system found in some of the lower end volvos/audis

HiTempguy HalfDork
May 2, 2010 6:58 p.m.

I'm curious, if you are looking at an Avant (A4) wagon, why not a WRX wagon? Hell, I can get 02/03 WRX wagons up here in Canada for below $10k now.

I also wouldn't mind a Avant quattro though. Both are stellar cars for different reasons, and the only reason to fear a VAG product is if you aren't doing the maintainence yourself.

wagonfanatic New Reader
July 9, 2011 3:42 p.m.

I love my 323 Wagon, especially with the 5-speed, but my next one will get better MPG. I only get 28-29 on the highway, and thats really trying (given: I've got a 3.46 diff, so swapping that will really help)

Next wagon is a Jetta TDI 6-speed!

chandlerGTi Reader
July 9, 2011 8:05 p.m.

I posted my E39 touring elsewhere, it seems to tick the boxes. 27mpg so far, five speed, tourqes good, looks good.

Zombie threads all over tonight.

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