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CraigKN New Reader
7/10/11 11:56 a.m.

So Mrs. CraigKN has decreed that, now we are married, I need more driving options than a 2 seat sports car. I want AWD, 4 doors, good cargo space. I come here in search of comments / ideas.

Not wanting to drive a SUV, I decided to look at wagons - narrowed down to two:

XC70 T6: Surprisingly 'quick' with the turbo engine. Vast trunk/cargo room. Nice interior. Good seats. For a two ton wagon, handles reasonably well. Better warranty than the Audi. Superior choice if I have to flee from zombies. Bad fuel economy, but runs on 87 octane fuel. Options like heated seats, bluetooth, etc - are a wash, would get almost the same on either car. Small aftermarket.

Audi A4 Avant: Feels faster and handles better than the XC70. Nice interior - sport package seats are nice. Less cargo room than the Volvo. Feels like the back seat has more knee room than the Volvo. Maybe better AWD than the Haldex based Volvo? Better fuel economy, however takes Premium gas. Gauges are stupid - speedo goes up to 180, and normal driving speeds, 0 - 80, take up a small fraction of the gauge face. Other controls are nice, however. Large aftermarket.

BMW 328xi: Have not driven one, not inclined to. Hate how quickly the price rises with options, feel the Audi and Volvo come with much better options at a reasonable price. I'm not paying 50K for a 3-series wagon.

Non euro choice - Subaru Outback: Sadly out of the question. Wife wants one of her own in a year or two, but wont buy it if I already have one.

Assuming they have legit sources of data, CR lists both the XC70 and A4 as "average" reliability, and both are Recommended. For whatever thats worth, better than a big black circle.

Other options would be CPO A6 Avant, or 535ixT; both strike me as future money pits.

The real decision is between the Volvo and Audi. The faster Audi, vs Volvo's cargo haulin, zombie squishing abilities.


pigeon Dork
7/10/11 12:40 p.m.

Look for a CPO 3 or 5 series wagon. Typically about 1/2 off sticker after 3 years and you get a very comprehensive 100k mile / 6 year warranty. A quick search on BMW's CPO model search turned up 35 535xiT wagons, including a loaded 2008 jet black, manual transmission, with 38k miles for $35k asking price.

Osterkraut SuperDork
7/10/11 12:57 p.m.

Legacy GT Wagon. V70R.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/10/11 1:55 p.m.

do you really need AWD? That can knock a LOT of money off of the price of the BMW.

personally, as nice as the audi may look and drive.. I would not touch one.. too many electrical issues and the threat of a perpetual check engine light scare me

jrw1621 SuperDork
7/10/11 4:31 p.m.
CraigKN wrote: Not wanting to drive a SUV...

Just to point out the irony, the Volvo XC70 and the Subaru Outback wagon are both classified by their manufacturers as SUV's.

The CTS seems like a great choice which can be had in awd combined with 2 different V6's and automatic. If you skip the awd you can get a V8 and even that can be had with a manual transmission!!!

CraigKN New Reader
7/10/11 5:39 p.m.

The CTS looks really nice. There is a locally available one at a good price, might check it out. Anything beyond a RWD V6 is outside of my price range, however.

The Volvo is standing out to me because of the warranty, options, and that the 2011's are heavily discounted - the 2012 minor interior refresh is on Volvo's website, so "last years model" are going for a good discount.

That 535xiT wagon looks insane. Manual trans? Its in Connecticut, not exactly close to home (Maryland), but drivable. Thats something to think about, as long as maintenance/etc does not cost a ton.

pigeon Dork
7/10/11 5:56 p.m.

I realize I posted the 535ixT but research before you buy - there's a well known problem with the high pressure fuel pump on those turbo cars that I'm not sure BMW has ever really fixed. Other than that, as long as you sell before 100k miles maintenance shouldn't be any worse than anything else - I've been trough one set of brakes and a complete fluid flush on my 106k mile 750Li, everything else was under warranty.

JtspellS Reader
7/10/11 7:47 p.m.

Another euro option is the new 9-5 and damn it looks good,

If that is out of the price range (when ever it comes stateside) there is also the 9-3x @ about 36-38k

As well as the normal 9-3 sport combi, Aside from that really i would be looking at the BMW personally.

amg_rx7 HalfDork
7/10/11 11:10 p.m.

Keep the sports car. You will miss it.

Get yourself a nice Suby wagon or a used e39 5 series wagon or e46 wagon. The maintenance and parts on the Audi are a f'in nightmare - which is why I sold my 99 Avant. Its just a crappy car overall IMO. My BMW E36 was a nicer driving car but also a maintenance nightmare in the shop every few months.

clutchsmoke Reader
7/10/11 11:28 p.m.

I wouldn't take either the Volvo or the Audi. The Volvo mainly because the Haldex is fragile and because you will take a BATH on resale value. Audi maintenance haunts my dreams.

I would go Caddy or 5 series.

wagonfanatic New Reader
7/10/11 11:37 p.m.

An E91 3-series is really a great buy if your a DIY kinda guy. Maintenance isn't really that bad, as long as you do preventative. I'd get the 328xit. The 325 is underpowered for the price

My mom has a B7 A4 Avant and its amazing. Everything has worked very well- but it only comes in Auto

Heres a great site for wagon research: http://velocityresource.com/default.aspx

Theres a bunch of different wagons under the "profiles" section

I'd also look at the Saab 9-3 Sportcombi, and older Volvo V70s

wjones New Reader
7/11/11 12:30 a.m.

I love BMWs (I own two). I would kill for a 5 series wagon, but it is stupid expensive. I did (twice) and will again buy a V70 as long as they are available. Volvo's CPO warrantry is pretty good. The interior is huge and fits way more than a A4 or 3 series touring ever could. It's super comfy and is a great family car. We currently have a 2.5 liter non turbo 2007. With my family in the car and our bikes on the hitch rack I never complain that the car needs more power. For me, I'd settle for an XC70 the next go around because the V70's are NLA. The V70 is a much better drive.

We test drove the new Outback before we bought the Volvo. The Subi is definitely an SUV now not a wagon.

jrw1621 SuperDork
7/11/11 6:14 a.m.

New Acura TSX wagon? 4cyl with automatic only.

pinchvalve SuperDork
7/11/11 7:55 a.m.

Audi Allroad.

Don't forget, the Aztec was AWD:

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/11/11 8:01 a.m.
jrw1621 wrote: New Acura TSX wagon? 4cyl with automatic only.

I was looking at one of these the other day. I think if you removed the "beak" part of the front grill and had it body coloured.. they would look a LOT better

jrw1621 SuperDork
7/11/11 8:11 a.m.

The Euro Accord version?

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/11/11 10:05 a.m.

definatly prettier than what we got

93EXCivic SuperDork
7/11/11 10:12 a.m.

Why do you need AWD? I would get a 5-series RWD wagon and put snow tires on it for the winter. I bet the BMW is more reliable then the Audi or Volvo.

rjones33 New Reader
7/11/11 10:21 a.m.
JtspellS wrote: Another euro option is the new 9-5 and damn it looks good,


jonny330 New Reader
7/11/11 10:35 a.m.

if you want a volvo look for an 850T5/850R or an older V70 built before 2001.

DaveEstey HalfDork
7/11/11 10:40 a.m.
Osterkraut wrote: Legacy GT Wagon. V70R.

This. Add a nice exhaust and a tune and you're over 300hp and 330 torques.

wagonfanatic New Reader
7/11/11 12:12 p.m.

Ferrari FF....AWD, 650hp V12, and room for the kids


wjones New Reader
7/11/11 2:46 p.m.
jonny330 wrote: if you want a volvo look for an 850T5/850R or an older V70 built before 2001.

That's silly. My 99 V70 was a POS.

CraigKN New Reader
7/11/11 5:57 p.m.

E91's are tempting, but finding a manual wagon is hard without special ordering, and finding one sub 40K is rare as well. Car shopping should be fun, its turning into a pain in the rear!

However, this did show up:

2011 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon. Alpine white, sport package.

How bad is BMW's auto trans? I'd obviously prefer manual, but not sure what the lead time is for a special order.

forzav12 Reader
7/11/11 6:38 p.m.

The Caddy would be my choice, stunning looks, unique, reliable, great platform and the CTS is a KBB resale champ, too. I won't own a new BMW once its warranty has expired(don't ask me how I know this). Saab, Volvo? not so much. Subes aare nice, but no where near as nice to drive as the CTS.

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