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  1. #1
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    which "wagon" is the best?

    Looking for suggestions, thoughts, experiences on wagons as we are selling the Infiniti SUV and thinking about getting a wagon. We still want some room in the back cargo area [which is why we are thinking wagon]. Some requirements are automatic, AWD and good MPG [preferably above 25mpg combined]. There is always the Forester, Outback, but what else is out there? Preferably we will be using a Yakima hitch rack.

    Let me know thoughts?
    Last edited by motard5; 05-05-2008 at 01:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    I 'm a fan of the Outback XT. I recently changed from this roof rack to a hitch rack (Thule T2)

    This is a fast ride and gets decent mileage (~23 combined) The non-turbo model gets better mileage (closer to 30)
    Long live long rides.

  3. #3
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    Most Subaru wagons will fit your needs nicely. American cars, as I'm sure you know, you won't have a lot of choices.

  4. #4
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    No experience what-so-ever with this....but saw a Mazda 5 Wagon on the way to work this morning. Don't know how it would fit your requirements, but it looked really cool and looked to have a ton of space in the rear. Made me think about it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5
    Looking for suggestions, thoughts, experiences on wagons as we are selling the Infiniti SUV and thinking about getting a wagon. We still want some room in the back cargo area [which is why we are thinking wagon]. Some requirements are automatic, AWD and good MPG [preferably above 25mpg]. There is always the Forester, Outback, but what else is out there? Preferably we will be using a Yakima hitch rack.

    Let me know thoughts?
    Quite a while ago I had a Nissan Maxima wagon. I thought it would be perfect for hauling stuff while still enjoying a car ride.

    What I found was that I almost never used the rear space up to the windows. I also discovered standard cars have fold down seats in the back that gave me 99% of my wagon usage - without the security risk of people being able to see inside the "trunk". In short, a big trunk has been just as effective for me.

    If you have a dog or something - wagon maybe.

    But think about how many times you have filled the back of your SUV to the top... (as the SUV is just a 4WD wagon)

    If you want real space, look to a chick-magnet minivan. I had to sack-up and get one, but after a 2 adults, 2 small kids, 2 dogs, and a 6" bike (all inside) road trip, I'm lovin' it. And I got a small minivan! The bike even kept both wheels on it!

    P

  6. #6
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    As was already mentioned, Subaru has a variety of models to choose from. Add the Ford Taurus X wagon and the soon to be released Flex. Both have AWD available. Mr.P is right, mini-vans are great when hauling bikes. Three people, three bikes, camping gear and six days of clothing, food and beverages can be carried comfortably inside a full size mini-van. Done it many times.

  7. #7
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    I will not succumb to the evil ways of the mini-van. Never I say, never!!!!! It is just my wife and I with no animals, so no need.

    Mr. P I hear you on the space and security, and it is something I have and will give thought to. I find the appeal of the wagon in the fact the rear is easy access and that you can throw a bike in there (or whatever) very easily. Plus on the times we have 4 people camping or for the wknd its very easy to just throw everything in there. If I can get a Forester or Outback wagon which has the same MPG as a standard car, why not I say?

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  8. #8
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    Look at the 2009 Pontiac Vibe AWD.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5
    I will not succumb to the evil ways of the mini-van. Never I say, never!!!!!
    We will convert you...

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  10. #10
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    6 cylinder/turbo Subis suck gas

    I have the 6 cylinder Legacy Outback. I'm lucky to get 25 mpg highway, and pray to reach 18 mpg in my mostly back road commute each morning (only 10 miles round trip so I can live with it),

    Do not buy a 6 cylinder or turbo if you are concerned with semi-good mpg. I am very light footed and can't get anything respectable.

    Four cylinders isn't much better but does meet your criteria.

    Do you really need AWD? That really sucks up gas and for most people, is not necessary.

    On the plus side, it is a very nice, well made, car with plenty of storage space for a couple of bikes.

  11. #11
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    I drive an HHR and it works great. I get 24-5 city and 27-8 hwy. There is plenty of room on the inside. Since its a chevrolet, the parts and maintainence are cheaper than that of all the foreign cars. Plus, they don't cost as much either.

  12. #12
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    higher fuel cost w turbo

    with having to use premium. I take you have a bit of a lead foot? My tribeca gets pretty good mileage ~27~ or so MPG cruising @ 70. This is according to the MPG readout. I also like the way it handles with the AWD, 18" wheels. and low body roll even though the suspensions kinda soft. But we can fix that cant we.

  13. #13
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    1999 sable wagon, 28-30 hwy, 5 person 5bike capacity, gear space, kind of ugly . not in production any longer.

  14. #14
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    My wife has had an Outback wagon for about 1.5 years and we love it. It is a very solid, secure feeling car, great in the winter. If the AWD is important to you, do a little research and I think you'll find that most folks think the Suby AWD system is the best. It was designed from the ground up as AWD instead of being added on to a front wheel drive system. All Subaru's are AWD only.

    Also they just redid the Forester for 09 and they look pretty nice now.

  15. #15
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    My 02.5 Mazda Protege 5 does a good job for a wagon.

    Granted it's not AWD (and not the most powerful thing on the road), but the handling keeps a smile on my face, and the 28+mpg don't hurt either...

  16. #16
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    2002 - 2006 Saab 9-5 Aero wagon

    Not fond of the look of newer models. 28-30mpg on the highway, 250hp, turbo, lots of cargo room.

    The Saab 9-3 wagon is nice but small.

    JMJ

  17. #17
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    2000 taurus wagon 28-30 hwy, 5 person 5bike capacity, gear space, NOT ugly . not in production any longer.
    the used 2004-2006 cheep enough that you could buy another bike or 2, compared to alot of the cars suggested

  18. #18
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    subaru wagons FTW I am on my second subaru now and have loved them. just go on NASIOC.com and ask the same question you'll get hundreds of people who will drive nothing else but a subaru.

  19. #19
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    I maybe partial to the Subaru, but there's a good reason why. They are great cars. There will be plenty of room in the rear of the wagon, and regardless of wether or not you fill the cargo area up past the window, you are still getting more cubic feet of cargo area on the floor versus any sedan.

    Quote Originally Posted by JGill
    Since its a chevrolet, the parts and maintainence are cheaper than that of all the foreign cars. Plus, they don't cost as much either.
    The parts maybe cheaper, but if you have to replace them twice as often then the cost quickly adds up. And contrary to popular belief, Subaru OEM parts are not that expensive if you know where to shop for them. Not any more expensive than your GM parts.

    +1 for the Subaru Legacy Turbo cause they are dead sexy!

  20. #20
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    I drive an 03 Mazda Protege5. It doesn't have as much cargo room as a conventional wagon but it fits a decent amount of things in the back. I just got back from a trip to yosemite with it. With two large coolers, camping gear, two bouldering pads and two bikes, the P5 still managed 30+mpg! No joke. I just picked up an 07 BMW 335i coupe, and even though I love driving it, i wish I got better then 22.5 mpg with it. anywho, hope that helped.

  21. #21
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    Which Infiniti are you selling? An FX?

    I just got an EX35, which is essentially a wagon. You ought to check that out - look at my pics on the last page of the sticky thread.
    Ride more; post less...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGill
    I drive an HHR and it works great. I get 24-5 city and 27-8 hwy. There is plenty of room on the inside. Since its a chevrolet, the parts and maintainence are cheaper than that of all the foreign cars. Plus, they don't cost as much either.
    The HHR is not good for tall people. I had one as a rental and I had to lean forward and look up to see any traffic light, what a pain. The roof comes down to low.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5
    Looking for suggestions, thoughts, experiences on wagons as we are selling the Infiniti SUV and thinking about getting a wagon. We still want some room in the back cargo area [which is why we are thinking wagon]. Some requirements are automatic, AWD and good MPG [preferably above 25mpg combined]. There is always the Forester, Outback, but what else is out there? Preferably we will be using a Yakima hitch rack.

    Let me know thoughts?

    Audi A4 wagon AWD. Blacked out of course.

    not the best MPG, but you won't find any wagon with 25 and AWD

    I have an A3 and it gets about 23 MPG avg. If you need legroom and cargo space I can't recommend the A3 though.

  24. #24
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    suzu sx5 hatch awd is what im lookin at, but i do have soft spot for vw/vag cuz ive owned a few, and the subies are pretty nice too but a few years back it seemed everyone was getting them or mitsus (which ive also owned)...and driving the stink outta them, then turning them around. wouldnt want a used one unless it was thoroughly checked...fresh ones begin around 20 though.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by blahwtf?
    suzu sx5 hatch awd is what im lookin at, but i do have soft spot for vw/vag cuz ive owned a few, and the subies are pretty nice too but a few years back it seemed everyone was getting them or mitsus (which ive also owned)...and driving the stink outta them, then turning them around. wouldnt want a used one unless it was thoroughly checked...fresh ones begin around 20 though.

    does honda still make accord wagons? they're dorkmobiles but prob have good MPG?

    i'm not sold on the AWD thing...as it only helps in acceleration, not handling, braking, or turning. good for mud or snow, but a waste on asphalt.

  26. #26
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    Here's another vote for wagons. My 05 Audi Allroad hauled bikes, gear, kids, surfboards, dogs, a cord of oak, a large capacity dryer, and towed a boat. And went 150mph.
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  27. #27
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    There are 2 things I don't like about my 2001 Forester.

    1. Cup holders are lame and won't hold a proper coffee cup.
    2. Only 1 power outlet in the front.

    Otherwise, its been good to me.

  28. #28
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    Vader I'm digging your Allroad. What kind of mileage does it get?

  29. #29
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    I picked

    A Subaru Tribeca. I love the AWD, It really has the feel of a touring wagon..but the space and ride height of an SUV. Lived in it @ cool 24 and it worked great.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    Four cylinders isn't much better but does meet your criteria.
    I have a Legacy 2.5i wagon and generally get about 27 avg, 30+ on the highway. I'd say, compared to the H6 and Turbo, that is much better.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by blahwtf?
    suzu sx5 hatch awd is what im lookin at, .
    I think you mean the Suzuki SX4 Crossover, at least that's what they call it in the US. Very impressive little car, I wish I'd heard of it before I bought my Element. AWD, Italian design, Japanese quality, and very affordable. Reviewers say it handles very nicely too.

  32. #32
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    VW Passat. I had an 04 and loved it til it got totaled in an accident by a big truck. Bike friendly roof rack and plenty of room inside. Got 30mpg as well but was just FWD. THey make an AWD model but your mileage will suffer. We live in White Mountains of NH and I never had any problems with winter driving.

  33. #33
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    New car looks good. Doesn't look like much of a wagon though, more along the SUV/crossover lines.

  34. #34
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    I have a BMW wagon...323i from 2000. Get's almost 30 on the highway and about 23 in town for short trips...Can make Denver to Fruita on about half a tank of gas and it is about 250 miles door to door. It is a 6 cylinder engine

    If you can get one they are great. I just wish it had heated seats
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  35. #35
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    don't forget the volvo wagons. I have always liked the xc70
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    A Subaru Tribeca. I love the AWD, It really has the feel of a touring wagon..but the space and ride height of an SUV. Lived in it @ cool 24 and it worked great.
    don't you mean the space and ride height of a MINI VAN
    it looks like a minivan without the slideing doors

  37. #37
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    I drive a wagon

    Hi Guys,
    I drive a Mitsubishi EVO 9 Wagon with a Thule roof-mounted bike rack....... tons of space for my biking gear and the car is also good for a couple of hot laps around the race track @ Sepang!!

    for WAGONS!!

  38. #38
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    ... and not available in the US

    Like most nice, small cars, it is not available in the US where the orgininal poster comes from.

    I would love to trade all the freaking SUV's, Mini Vans and Pickup Trucks (keep it if you have commercial plates and an actual reason to drive something that gets less than 20 mpg other than a boost to your manhood) for the small cars readily available elsewhere in the world.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz
    Which Infiniti are you selling? An FX?

    I just got an EX35, which is essentially a wagon. You ought to check that out - look at my pics on the last page of the sticky thread.
    It's really sad that Nissan totally refuses to call their vehicles that have 4 side doors and a rear door, wagons (when they are).

  40. #40
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    Best Wagon has to be a 2000-2005 Jetta TDI Wagon.

    my mpg 45-50 mostly intown

    My personal best is 68mpg on a road trip (all interstate) to Oregon and back. These TDI engines are amazing.

    Check out tdiclub.com

  41. #41
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    I have a '07 Subaru WRX wagon and love it. I average 21MPG, but I drive fast and mainly in-town. I'm sure you could get it up to 23ish.

    Handles great, good power, lots of storage, built in roof rails for a top carrier. AWD is nice, good for when you get up in the mountains and run into a little snow. Good on wet streets as well.

    I'd hate to see one in automatic though... sorry.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairchild
    I have a '07 Subaru WRX wagon and love it. I average 21MPG, but I drive fast and mainly in-town. I'm sure you could get it up to 23ish.

    Handles great, good power, lots of storage, built in roof rails for a top carrier. AWD is nice, good for when you get up in the mountains and run into a little snow. Good on wet streets as well.

    I'd hate to see one in automatic though... sorry.
    On the highway I get 28 when I'm driving like other people, but mine is the 2.0L which probably does a little better on the gas than the 07s which moved to a 2.5L.
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  43. #43
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    I have a 02 wrx for past 6 years, 120k miles, and love it with the following caveats:

    1) for a wagon, it is small... i mean almost civc hatchback small. it does not hold a lot of luggage/gear.
    2) i drive very conservatively, and get an acceptable 23-24 mpg. however, it uses PREMIUM gas, which costs about 20-24 cents more per gallon.
    3) if you've never had an awd car, you must be pretty religious about rotating your tires to ensure even wear, otherwise you're looking at huge repair bills.
    4) related to #3, if you get a unrepairable flat and the new tire tread is more than 3/16" deeper than the other tires, you MUST replace ALL FOUR tires

    All said, I love my car and the awd is great in winter. Subarus also have a pretty high ground clearance, too. You could look to get a non-turbo impreza model, which would save about $5000 off the wrx cost as well as 10% gas savings.

  44. #44
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    Wagons are a great, and often overlooked alternative to an SUV! I think a lot of what you choose will depend on how much cargo area and rear seat space you need. We're downsizing the "fleet" to 1 car and I'm considering a BMW 328i or an Audi A4 Avant. The Audi A3 is awesome, but a little small for our needs. I'm leaning towards the 328i as I currently really like my 330i sedan. It handles great has good power, gets good milage (26MPG highway with bikes on the roof at 70+). A 328i wagon with sport package comes the closest to the car that does it all for me (well I guess a BMW M3 or Audi RS4 wagon would be nice!). The bimmer imitation leather is awesome BTW - it is impervious, lasts for ever, requires little maintenance, feels 90% like the real thing, and costs a lot less

    Regarding the AWD thing, BMW has a great traction control system that works almost as well as AWD in slippery conditions, and the rear wheel drive handles way better in the dry IMO.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader
    Here's another vote for wagons. My 05 Audi Allroad hauled bikes, gear, kids, surfboards, dogs, a cord of oak, a large capacity dryer, and towed a boat. And went 150mph.
    We have that same REI tent. You could almost park the car inside it.

  46. #46
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    Theres the IX offering

    I was considering the 330IX but it lacked the space and ride height i was after though. It drove as well as my subaru

  47. #47
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    jetta wagon out soon.

  48. #48
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    Oddly enough...

    Quote Originally Posted by dlmlaw
    VW Passat. I had an 04 and loved it til it got totaled in an accident by a big truck. Bike friendly roof rack and plenty of room inside. Got 30mpg as well but was just FWD. THey make an AWD model but your mileage will suffer. We live in White Mountains of NH and I never had any problems with winter driving.
    I have a neighbor with an AWD Passat wagon with the 1.8t engine in it and a stick. I didn't ask what he gets MPG-wise. He said they only imported like 150 of them into the US.

    I want one bad.

    There were also a few manual AWD W8 wagons floating around the used lots in the Bay Area. Man, that would be uber pimp, but prolly super expensive to maintain, not to mention the 18 MPG fuel suckage. Prolly why the owners dumped them.

    Yeah, and new Jetta wagon out soon. The euro version (Golf Combi) looks sweet. Like a new baby Passat.

  49. #49
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    one recommendation I would make is get a vehicle with a plastic floor instead of carpet. it increases the noise inside a bit but is more than worth it for any outdoors type. I drive a 6 speed fj cruiser (which I know you don't want; stick, less than 20 mpg, and suv... just bear with me.) I carry my bike covered with mud in the back get in in my muddy shoes, last week I even carried firewood for a camping trip in the back. after nine months of no love for this interior I swept it out with a broom and wiped it down with a damp cloth and it looks like new again. unless I am mistaken the honda element gets in the mid 20s has an awd option(I'll get to that in the moment) and plastic floors.

    as for awd/full time 4wd. if you live anywhere where you get real bad weather such as snow and ice storms instead of just rain ignore the people who say you don't need it. I have owned bmws with all the fancy traction control and at least a dozen different cars with a mix of front wheel drive and rear wheel drive. I always managed to get where I was going in the winter, but nothing compared to how sure footed the full time 4wd in my toyota is. the only way to even compare a real awd or 4wd system is if you are comparing pirellis or some other fine expensive tire to a set of continentals.

    to the people who expressed security concerns over wagons and suvs. privacy glass is a wonderful thing. you can't just be walking by and see the bike in the back of my toyota. all the glass looks blacked out from the outside. the other advantage to blacked out glass is the car won't greenhouse as bad in the summer sitting in the sun. I had a black rental last week when it was in the mid 70's, that thing got as hot inside then as my black toyota got on the mid 90's days middle of last summer. my point is get tinted windows or privacy glass; no one will be eyeing your gear enviously and you won't get cooked alive in the summer.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by farkus888
    unless I am mistaken the honda element gets in the mid 20s has an awd option(I'll get to that in the moment) and plastic floors.
    You are correct. It also has very darkly tinted rear windows, very hard to see into. The AWD works pretty well in the snow, and I agree that plastic floors beat carpeting by a mile, especially since I'm often putting my bike in the car. I get about 26 mpg on the highway at 65, if you like to go fast your mileage will drop, the thing is a brick. But it carries a ton of stuff and is easy to park.

  51. #51
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    How about a Mercedes-Benz W124 (late 80s-early 90s) turbo diesel wagon?

    Automatic and good MPG check...if you can find a 4matic one (they made them in Europe) then AWD check also.

  52. #52
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    How about a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. I know a lot of people will say these vehicles lack "personality" (to me that means it looks unique but not reliable). I have a 2001 Honda CR-V which 131,000 trouble free miles and a 2008 RAV4 V6. The RAV4 V6 actually gets around the same gas milage as my older CR-V (and has 269 HP ) I know gas prices are up but I have never owned anything else but 4-cyl cars and wanted for once in my life to have some decent power under the hood. You can't go wrong with either of these compact SUVs, they both come in 4WD (although these are "on-demand" systems where the front wheels detect wheel slippage and torque is them applied to the rear wheels. On the highway they are basically FWD for improving gas mileage). They drive and handle pretty much like a good sedan. The RAV4 comes in a 4-cyl also, but the V6 actually sems to get better highway mileage.

  53. #53
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    I'll follow suit on the Audi line. I have an Audi Allroad. It's basiclly the a6 wagon with some extras like height adjustable suspension. You can raise the height of the car 3.5 inchs at teh push of a button. Makes getting into some of those trail heads a little easier.

    Wide car also, I have it setup to carry 3 bikes and still have my ski box on top. Gas mileage is on par with what my Subaru Legacy GT wagon got and this car has a lot more pick up and go when you need it. 2.7L turbo and every toy you can imagine.

    Oh did I mention the pretty blue headlights!!!

  54. #54
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    Ride height but less space..

    Quote Originally Posted by crackhead
    don't you mean the space and ride height of a MINI VAN
    it looks like a minivan without the sliding doors
    then a mini van, which was the other option but the subaru AWD sealed the deal..

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    Quote Originally Posted by hizzity
    don't forget the volvo wagons. I have always liked the xc70
    Yeah how about the "Cross country" model, why so little mention of them.

    Do they look to much like MamiVan's or what

  56. #56
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    hey if you don't mind waiting for a while, check out subaru's new exiga. looks pretty sweet.
    http://www.autoblog.com/2007/10/25/t...exiga-concept/
    It's go time

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGill
    Vader I'm digging your Allroad. What kind of mileage does it get?
    I don't have the Allroad anymore. I put 100K (trouble free) miles on it in a year and a half. Mine had the twin turbo V6 with a performance chip, and never got more than 24mpg on the highway. I now drive a A6 SLine with the V6 and got 28.5mpg on my last road trip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hizzity
    hey if you don't mind waiting for a while, check out subaru's new exiga. looks pretty sweet.
    http://www.autoblog.com/2007/10/25/t...exiga-concept/
    Man, that is one of the worst looking concept cars I've ever seen. That interior looks like it came right out of some cheesy sci-fi porno flick. I bet they stayed up the whole night before slapping that thing together.

    A 7 passenger wagon is a good idea though.
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  59. #59
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    Kinda mazda 5-ish..

    maybe it grows on you..

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    Quote Originally Posted by karateka
    does honda still make accord wagons? they're dorkmobiles but prob have good MPG?

    i'm not sold on the AWD thing...as it only helps in acceleration, not handling, braking, or turning. good for mud or snow, but a waste on asphalt.
    Sorry, but you are dead wrong on your assessment of AWD cars on pavement. AWD cars can outperform fwd and rwd cars; just watch the World Speed Challenge Touring Car series, and you'll see Audi A4 Quattros, beating up the Mazda 6, Acura RSX, BMW 3 series, Dodge Neon's etc.,etc.

    I've had about six AWD cars, and currently have an Audi S4 that will beat up on almost anything on the road (not so good for carrying bikes and kids, therefore I have a newer Honda Odyssey too)

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    I love my 06 Toyota Matrix I get 30 mpg average but I only have the 2WD version If you go up to the 4WD version the fuel economy goes down do to extra weight, or so I have been told.
    Sometimes your the windshield, other times just the bug. That's life. (c:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Streamline.by.design
    I love my 06 Toyota Matrix I get 30 mpg average but I only have the 2WD version If you go up to the 4WD version the fuel economy goes down do to extra weight, or so I have been told.
    I like mine too, I have the XRS version with 6m, I don't get 30 because I mostly drive stop and go city only, no highways. I get 24 to 26 and over 30 Highway. good for transport to the trail head or bike path. I like the little extra power for merging into traffic or blowing off an occasional SUV. this thing revs stupid at 8000 + rpm. red line. so I don't do it all the time.

    The AWD version only comes with a 4 spd Automatic. this would limit your mileage also.
    I think for AWD an Subaru Impreza hatchback would or Outback be choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zevy voom
    Sorry, but you are dead wrong on your assessment of AWD cars on pavement. AWD cars can outperform fwd and rwd cars; just watch the World Speed Challenge Touring Car series, and you'll see Audi A4 Quattros, beating up the Mazda 6, Acura RSX, BMW 3 series, Dodge Neon's etc.,etc.
    But he will probably be driving his car, not racing it.

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    My bike carrier..........a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 Wagon

    This is what I use to ferry my bike............a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 Wagon.
    Its got 45,000 km on the odo and packs 380bhp under the hood.






  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by krome
    This is what I use to ferry my bike............a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 Wagon.
    Its got 45,000 km on the odo and packs 380bhp under the hood.






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    Quote Originally Posted by krome
    This is what I use to ferry my bike............a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 Wagon.
    Its got 45,000 km on the odo and packs 380bhp under the hood.
    That car looks just sick! Just be glad you can get that sort of thing in the UK. Most of the car manufacturers have determined that there is no market for performance wagons in the US. There are some great options in the EU, like the BMW M5 or 335 Touring.

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    I am from Singapore......

    Hi funkle,
    The car is registered in Singapore..... its a JDM (Japanese Domestic Model, i.e. a grey-import). Mitsubishi only made like 5000 of the EVO 9 Wagons and a even smaller number for the EVO 9 MR Wagon version (think its like a production run of only 500).

    My dream wagon is the RS4 Advant...although the M5 Touring will also do nicely!!


    Quote Originally Posted by funkle
    That car looks just sick! Just be glad you can get that sort of thing in the UK. Most of the car manufacturers have determined that there is no market for performance wagons in the US. There are some great options in the EU, like the BMW M5 or 335 Touring.

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    Ah, my bad. I assumed based on the license plate. Looks like a brilliant car.

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    that wagon is sick...

    Long live long rides.

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    No worries.....

    Quote Originally Posted by funkle
    Ah, my bad. I assumed based on the license plate. Looks like a brilliant car.
    No worries.....and thanks!

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkle
    Wagons are a great, and often overlooked alternative to an SUV! I think a lot of what you choose will depend on how much cargo area and rear seat space you need. We're downsizing the "fleet" to 1 car and I'm considering a BMW 328i or an Audi A4 Avant. The Audi A3 is awesome, but a little small for our needs. I'm leaning towards the 328i as I currently really like my 330i sedan. It handles great has good power, gets good milage (26MPG highway with bikes on the roof at 70+). A 328i wagon with sport package comes the closest to the car that does it all for me (well I guess a BMW M3 or Audi RS4 wagon would be nice!). The bimmer imitation leather is awesome BTW - it is impervious, lasts for ever, requires little maintenance, feels 90% like the real thing, and costs a lot less

    Regarding the AWD thing, BMW has a great traction control system that works almost as well as AWD in slippery conditions, and the rear wheel drive handles way better in the dry IMO.
    The three series actually is not that large, the usable rear storage is limited because the seatsback do not fold down. ONly 5 percent come with that option. The A3 would be better for storage. It is more fun to drive with the auto stick shift 6 speed, the fwd does spin the tires to easily with very little throttle input.

    The BMW sedans are over hyped for what it is. Sorry! The car feels heavy, it is sprung too soft and leans to much in the corners. The shifter feels like shifting a wet noodle. the automatics are very sluggish including the 330i . The '08 Subaru WRX Impreza handles as well if not better than the 3 series. the X3s are a joke.

    BMWs do have great Leatheret seats. it is water and dirt proof and looks like real leather. they are great long distance touring cars. and their is that BMW Euro mystique. The Wunder Car! lol!

    Actual mileage for the '05 325 sedan, combined 20 mpg, 16 city driving, 29 best highway mileage.

    the Warranty Maintenance Service is way overrated.

    yes, I admit it after owning a BMW for 3 years and having experienced 2 dealers and BMW North America Customer Service. I hate BMW, will never buy another one. I never thought I would become a hater. I really hate BMW.

  72. #72
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    Good comments made, but I've gotta go point by point on this

    Quote Originally Posted by nagatahawk
    The three series actually is not that large, the usable rear storage is limited because the seatsback do not fold down. ONly 5 percent come with that option. The A3 would be better for storage. It is more fun to drive with the auto stick shift 6 speed, the fwd does spin the tires to easily with very little throttle input.
    This is a standard feature on the new 3 series. From the catalog:
    "The rear backrest has a 60/40 split and
    can be folded down."

    The BMW sedans are over hyped for what it is. Sorry! The car feels heavy, it is sprung too soft and leans to much in the corners. The shifter feels like shifting a wet noodle. the automatics are very sluggish including the 330i . The '08 Subaru WRX Impreza handles as well if not better than the 3 series. the X3s are a joke.
    Some people say the car feels heavy. To me it just feels solid and secure. To me the A4 steering feels too light. It's a personal call.

    I'll give you that the A4 auto is better.

    You must not have the sport package. If anything, some people feel it is too rough. I think the 3 series sport package suspension strikes a perfect balance between performance and comfort/compliance. I have no issues with the way mine corners, and I do like to corner pretty hard. I think it has a level of composure that few cars can match. You can push the envelope pretty hard, and it is always forgiving and has great road feedback.

    BMWs do have great Leatheret seats. it is water and dirt proof and looks like real leather. they are great long distance touring cars. and their is that BMW Euro mystique. The Wunder Car! lol!
    I hate all the stigma that goes with BMW. There are posers and there are drivers. To me, a lot of the performance claims are genuine, I think it is a great drivers car. And if you are looking for a rear wheel drive car, it is one of the only options out there.

    Actual mileage for the '05 325 sedan, combined 20 mpg, 16 city driving, 29 best highway mileage.
    I get 26MPG highway in my 330i with bikes on the highway. Not bad for a 230HP 6 cylinder.

    the Warranty Maintenance Service is way overrated.
    I dunno, I'm liking not spending a penny on maintainance aside from tires.

    All in all, there are plusses and minuses, but for me it strikes the best balance between performance, utility, comfort (I love the sport seats), looks and luxury.
    Last edited by funkle; 05-22-2008 at 09:57 AM.

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    i must agree with you about balance, feels awsome wjtb the rear drifting out a little thru hi speed tuns w/o much input other than steering.

    the new style does look very sleek, the 330 i coupes

    as far as warranty, how many times have they replace rotors or allegeded electrical items under warranty? I was told my engine light was on once. (It wasn't) and another that my wiring harness needed replacing, they repaired it. clever way to shoot a non traceable warrranty repair thru to BMW North America. brakes and rotors were replace twice, come on! how often do rotors wear out? I guess BMW rotors wear out of tolorance at - .01cm tolorance. But who cares. since I wasn't paying, I went along with the sham.
    the coupe de grau was on my last visit was a few miles out of warranty, they charged me $110 to replace the head light bulb. not the zenon but the regular regular bulb. I replace the other side myself in two minutes, cost of bulb $7. I am making a claim against them for this at CA Bureau of Auto Repair. when I brought this up to BMW Customer Service, they guy told me i would be back since after all I was now driving a donkey. (Toyota) this is the same condesending attitude the permeates the dealers and many owners. with all due respedt I know you love BMW. I don't love Toyota either. I do love my mt. bike.

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    Hey Funkel,
    I was at the end of my lease and very close to going for a '08 330 i 6m, and was leaning toward a Mini S 6 m because of the better gas mileage. I test drove the mini s and was supposed to meet with the salesman last January. However after being disrespected by the dealer and BMW USA, I jumped ship to the Matrix SRX 6m.

    so far utility is better than BMW. the mileage is much better. 16 city vs. 24 city the power is not bad for a 4cyl. won some battles vs. uber SUVs. lol. Hi speed Handling, or lack thereof. I'm hoping its the cheap tires it came with (Hancook) It pushes really bad. sigh! I miss the rear drive driftt.

  75. #75
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    hear hear. bmw is way overrated...

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagatahawk
    i must agree with you about balance, feels awsome wjtb the rear drifting out a little thru hi speed tuns w/o much input other than steering.

    the new style does look very sleek, the 330 i coupes

    as far as warranty, how many times have they replace rotors or allegeded electrical items under warranty? I was told my engine light was on once. (It wasn't) and another that my wiring harness needed replacing, they repaired it. clever way to shoot a non traceable warrranty repair thru to BMW North America. brakes and rotors were replace twice, come on! how often do rotors wear out? I guess BMW rotors wear out of tolorance at - .01cm tolorance. But who cares. since I wasn't paying, I went along with the sham.
    the coupe de grau was on my last visit was a few miles out of warranty, they charged me $110 to replace the head light bulb. not the zenon but the regular regular bulb. I replace the other side myself in two minutes, cost of bulb $7. I am making a claim against them for this at CA Bureau of Auto Repair. when I brought this up to BMW Customer Service, they guy told me i would be back since after all I was now driving a donkey. (Toyota) this is the same condesending attitude the permeates the dealers and many owners. with all due respedt I know you love BMW. I don't love Toyota either. I do love my mt. bike.
    Re the warranty, to clarify, It is actually the free maintenance I was talking about. Oil changes, regular scheduled services are no charge. Audi is doing this too. You gotta figure this into the price. Unfortunately out of warranty German cars aren't a great thing.

    But even die hard BMW fans will point out you get more bang for the buck and reliability buying Japanese. Hell, I'd buy Japanese in a second if they offered a good looking RWD mid size wagon with decent performance. It just doesn't exist.

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    Their Mini Cooper is great...

    It may be a BMW product but it sure is fun, doesn't cost much and we just averaged 47.1 mpg over a 210 mile trip. You might even pretend it is a "mini" wagon for two people.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by karateka
    hear hear. bmw is way overrated...
    Overpriced. Audi too.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkle
    Re the warranty, to clarify, It is actually the free maintenance I was talking about. Oil changes, regular scheduled services are no charge. Audi is doing this too. You gotta figure this into the price. Unfortunately out of warranty German cars aren't a great thing.

    But even die hard BMW fans will point out you get more bang for the buck and reliability buying Japanese. Hell, I'd buy Japanese in a second if they offered a good looking RWD mid size wagon with decent performance. It just doesn't exist.

    BMW wagons and the rest held all balls in the 80's and most of the 90's; they were awesome cars for their time. but the newer models have a 'cheapo' feeling to them, especially the interior. and stock suspension on the 3 series? ummm, i won't say anything about that.

    i used to think volvos had great interiors, their CC model looked nice, but man it's a TANK; audi beats all in interiors.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc
    Overpriced. Audi too.
    a little overpriced...but not bad for german engineering.


    you can always upgrade the engine with StaSIS ; APS tuning will chip your car for better MPG as well as a 50 HP boost!

    audis(most, i think, not all) have rails built into their roof frames so that bike racks mount directly onto the top, like bmw. it's a huge plus IMO.
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkle
    Re the warranty, to clarify, It is actually the free maintenance I was talking about. Oil changes, regular scheduled services are no charge. Audi is doing this too. You gotta figure this into the price. Unfortunately out of warranty German cars aren't a great thing.

    But even die hard BMW fans will point out you get more bang for the buck and reliability buying Japanese. Hell, I'd buy Japanese in a second if they offered a good looking RWD mid size wagon with decent performance. It just doesn't exist.
    hell, I'll never buy another German car. rwd nothwithstanding.

  82. #82
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    Speed 3

    Does anyone own a Masda Speed 3, that was one of my choices. it felt almost overpowerd. if that can be possible. what mileage do you get and how do like the performance with fwd. I felt the torgue steer during a standing start right hand turn at low throttle input. ergo felt good, shifted almost as good as the WRX. looks are sleeper except for the wheels.

    Given the power, Consumers Reports recommends the car for dependability, and performance.

    I would consider the masda3 hatch non turbo for the mileage. I'm used to no power with my Matrix.

  83. #83
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    I love wagons!

    Here's the one I hope they make It's the wagon version of the new Pontiac G8....although the last motortrend suggested that the wagon version may have been axed while the stupid Sport/Ute El Camino version is a go. With a 400hp Corvette engine I doubt it gets very good gas mileage though.

    I'm liking my Ford Freestyle (Taurus X now). More car-like than a mini van in appearance, sitting position, and handling but with 9/10ths the utility. The Volvo-designed AWD system works well and it's been reliable through 76K miles. Careful highway driving will yield 24-25mpg. I average around 19-20 with a mix of city and highway.

    If you are thinking smaller wagon I'd echo the Mazda5, Toyota Matrix, Outback , A4 Avant, VW Passat or Jetta suggestions and would add the Volvo V50.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2453224823/" title="fruita and moab 0025 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2360/2453224823_c1e9c117f4_o.jpg" width="900" height="675" alt="fruita and moab 0025" /></a>
    Last edited by KRob; 05-27-2008 at 05:31 PM.
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    Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe. Nice cars really. Sure they're not the best performers, but I think they're the best for the money.

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    I like your ford x, probably has a nice ride too. but I just know fords will sooner or later give you problems as will the vw's, seen it too many times. I hope yours will be dependable.
    I was considering the Ford myself, but got a good deal on a Matrix SRX. the extra power comes in handy. The power band is kind of wierd. mileage is utility is great. I finally got my roof racks up, Yakima/Thule hybred. Thanks GWB for the incentive!

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    You might look into the 09 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI.

    140 horse, 240 ft lb and 50 mpg. It should do real well, except for the lack of AWD. It should also have the roof rack attachments built into the roof.....my 02 jetta has them. Nice touch!

    Also.......to the guy who claimed he hauled a chord of wood in the back of that Allroad......I don't think so. I cannot even get a full chord in the bed of a 3/4 ton truck....

    Sure it wasn't balsa wood?

  87. #87
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    I had a Mazdaspeed3. Your mileage will really depend how you drive it. When I kept it under 3000 rpm, I averaged around 29-30mpg in about 75/25 highway/city driving. When I used the turbo a lot more, I averaged about 23-24mpg. Keep in mind that all my driving is above 5000 ft so the car uses a bit less fuel than at sea level.

    Comparing it to the WRX, the Speed3 has a much nicer shifter in my opinion. The WRX shifter was really vague to me. The Speed3 performance is really good and the steering is great. The torque steer is manageable once you get used to it. I only test drove the WRX for about 20 miles, but overall the Speed3 felt sportier and much more nimble to me.

    BTW, I have a brand new Thule roof rack for the Mazda3 if anyone is interested. It is the European fixedpoint version...very cool. PM me.

    --
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagatahawk
    Does anyone own a Masda Speed 3, that was one of my choices. it felt almost overpowerd. if that can be possible. what mileage do you get and how do like the performance with fwd. I felt the torgue steer during a standing start right hand turn at low throttle input. ergo felt good, shifted almost as good as the WRX. looks are sleeper except for the wheels.

    Given the power, Consumers Reports recommends the car for dependability, and performance.

    I would consider the masda3 hatch non turbo for the mileage. I'm used to no power with my Matrix.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsteve
    You might look into the 09 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI.

    140 horse, 240 ft lb and 50 mpg. It should do real well, except for the lack of AWD. It should also have the roof rack attachments built into the roof.....my 02 jetta has them. Nice touch!

    Also.......to the guy who claimed he hauled a chord of wood in the back of that Allroad......I don't think so. I cannot even get a full chord in the bed of a 3/4 ton truck....

    Sure it wasn't balsa wood?
    Maybe not quite a chord but as much split pine and oak as I could stuff in. The adaptive air suspension doesn't care what wood you run. Sorry, no pics but here's a large capacity dryer.
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    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    I'm liking my Ford Freestyle (Taurus X now). More car-like than a mini van in appearance, sitting position, and handling but with 9/10ths the utility. The Volvo-designed AWD system works well and it's been reliable through 76K miles. Careful highway driving will yield 24-25mpg. I average around 19-20 with a mix of city and highway.
    Obviously I love the Taurus X / Freestyle. By various measures, it's about 85% of an Expedition and handles most family needs very nicely at a smaller size and economy. I said enough on the Taurus X review thread, so read my review and other comments there.

    I get maybe 2 MPG lower with the Taurus X. It's got lots of great power, and I'd say it's even over powered. The smaller Freestyle engine may have been better for economy if Americans could only get off their power trip.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    I get maybe 2 MPG lower with the Taurus X.
    Well..... I may have been exaggerating a bit. I did get over 24 mpg average over a 600 mile trip to vegas and back once but there were no bikes on the roof, no other people and their junk in the car, and I think I had a pretty good tail wind going and coming. Driving like l normally do 22-23mpg is more realistic hwy mileage and on our road trip to GJ, Fruita, and Moab with two bikes and loaded up, driving 80-85mph, and fighting a head wind in both directions we only averaged around 17mpg.

    Here's the true "best" wagon. Talk about your "too much power"!!

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2453224335/" title="fruita and moab 0019 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3003/2453224335_0f2a728101_o.jpg" width="900" height="456" alt="fruita and moab 0019" /></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2454051260/" title="fruita and moab 0020 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2305/2454051260_e8a60c9c13_o.jpg" width="900" height="675" alt="fruita and moab 0020" /></a>
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Here's the true "best" wagon. Talk about your "too much power"!!
    Now we're getting somewhere, finally!
    "The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."

  92. #92
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    serious kick ass wagon:


    read the story here:
    http://jalopnik.com/358639/four-engi...a-wagon-master

    it has awd and plenty of power to embarrass that exotic sports car at the stop light.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3
    serious kick ass wagon:


    read the story here:
    http://jalopnik.com/358639/four-engi...a-wagon-master

    it has awd and plenty of power to embarrass that exotic sports car at the stop light.
    Seriously rediculous car that can't be used for anything other than trying to race in a straight line for a short time period. I'm not sure what it "kicks ass".
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by karateka
    a little overpriced...but not bad for german engineering.


    you can always upgrade the engine with StaSIS ; APS tuning will chip your car for better MPG as well as a 50 HP boost!

    audis(most, i think, not all) have rails built into their roof frames so that bike racks mount directly onto the top, like bmw. it's a huge plus IMO.
    Nice to see a STaSIS Engineering fan on here....STaSIS modified, transported and supported my 2.7 twin turbo S4 for a number of magazine shootouts ( EuroTuner GP, European Car, etc). They are top notch for all things Audi. I may pick up a 2.0T A3 and modify it in a similar fashion to the one that STaSIS' owner had done for his wife when the car was first released in the U.S.

  95. #95
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    Thanks, that is the info I was looking for. I think it is a amazing fwd car.

    Quote Originally Posted by don_o
    I had a Mazdaspeed3. Your mileage will really depend how you drive it. When I kept it under 3000 rpm, I averaged around 29-30mpg in about 75/25 highway/city driving. When I used the turbo a lot more, I averaged about 23-24mpg. Keep in mind that all my driving is above 5000 ft so the car uses a bit less fuel than at sea level.

    Comparing it to the WRX, the Speed3 has a much nicer shifter in my opinion. The WRX shifter was really vague to me. The Speed3 performance is really good and the steering is great. The torque steer is manageable once you get used to it. I only test drove the WRX for about 20 miles, but overall the Speed3 felt sportier and much more nimble to me.

    BTW, I have a brand new Thule roof rack for the Mazda3 if anyone is interested. It is the European fixedpoint version...very cool. PM me.

    --
    Don

  96. #96
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    My experiance with wagons:

    2004 Toyota Matrix AWD - Great car for short trips and around the city. Terrible on the highway due to the total lack of power. The gas mileage wasn't wonderful either. 27-28 max on the interstate. More like 25-26mpg.

    2008 Honda Fit - Really fun to drive. Very flexible cargo room. Not gutless, but not an interstate driver either. Zippy. Generally better than the 04 Matrix all around.


    If you are an interstate driver and are looking for a small wagon, I highly recommend the Mini Clubman. It doesn't have as much space as the two above, but the performance and comfort is wayyyyy above any small car. Very nice with a fair amount of room.

  97. #97
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    Second that recommendation

    We have a regular Cooper with the standard engine and the 118 hp are more powerful than you would expect plus I recently averaged 46 mpg on a 210 mile trip. Yes, 90% highway but pretty impressive. Go for the six speed.

    I've been in the Clubman and have to admit I'm intrigued with the concept. Its not that much bigger than the Cooper but just big enough in todays rapidly arriving $5 +/gallon world.

    The twin back doors really allow decent access and with the rear seats down, cargo space is more than you would expect. The car, after all, is a box with a hood (damned cute one though).

  98. #98
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    I have a 03 Protege 5 wagon as well and love it. Also just got back from a trip and average 29.5 mpg with 2 bikes on the roof. The replacement for the 5, the 3 is a great car, too. The MazdaSpeed version is a blast to drive and starts around 23,000.

    The Saab 9-3 SportCombi might be a good choice, too. My wife has a 9-3 sedan that has a lifetime mpg of 29 mpg. On a recent trip we averaged 36 mpg. IMO, the wagon version looks better than the sedan. I was in Detroit last weekend and saw a 2009 Aero X SportCombi (280 hp supercharged V6) -- a great looking car! Saab also covers all maintenance and the lease/buy rates are pretty good right now, especially if you're an employee or know one

  99. #99
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    Dodge caliber?

  100. #100
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    All great choices here. All I know is I guess mine is a keeper. 00 Legacy GT / 5-spd / AWD.

    In city no matter how hard I drive it, I always get a consistant 23 mpg. I drove from Austin to El Paso, average MPH was 85 (thanks to speed limit on I-10) and I always got 26mpg. It has little over 130,000 miles. Not bad, aee?

    Oh, only mod is a COBB "CAI", other then that, nothing special.

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpartaSpartan
    I have a 03 Protege 5 wagon as well and love it. Also just got back from a trip and average 29.5 mpg with 2 bikes on the roof. The replacement for the 5, the 3 is a great car, too. The MazdaSpeed version is a blast to drive and starts around 23,000.

    The Saab 9-3 SportCombi might be a good choice, too. My wife has a 9-3 sedan that has a lifetime mpg of 29 mpg. On a recent trip we averaged 36 mpg. IMO, the wagon version looks better than the sedan. I was in Detroit last weekend and saw a 2009 Aero X SportCombi (280 hp supercharged V6) -- a great looking car! Saab also covers all maintenance and the lease/buy rates are pretty good right now, especially if you're an employee or know one
    The 9-3 Aero has a 2.8L Turbo V-6 engine, not supercharged. I have a 2007 9-3 SportCombi Aero (same engine as TurboX and XWD models but with less HP). I average between 18-20 for 95% city driving and get between 28-31 HWY.

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by endeavorc
    The 9-3 Aero has a 2.8L Turbo V-6 engine, not supercharged. I have a 2007 9-3 SportCombi Aero (same engine as TurboX and XWD models but with less HP). I average between 18-20 for 95% city driving and get between 28-31 HWY.

    Ooops, I meant turbo, no super. I like the turbocharged 4 cylinder for the better city mileage and have never felt like I was lacking horsepower. I'll probably get a SportCombi as my next car. I'm somewhat locked in to getting a GM vehicle, and there aren't really any other wagon options. I'm hoping they bring over the G8 wagon -- that's a great looking sedan with good performance -- and there's speculation that there will be a Cadillac CTS wagon, which would be an option if it weren't so expensive.

  103. #103
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    I used to have a 2001 Volvo V70T5 that I liked but the new ones I'm not too keen on, at least style wise.. seems like Ford as changed a lot of what made a Volvo a Volvo.

    I've since gone to the XC90 and now the BMW X5. I'm liking BMW engineering a lot more these days.
    I came, I rode, and I crashed!
    My Bike

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpartaSpartan
    Ooops, I meant turbo, no super. I like the turbocharged 4 cylinder for the better city mileage and have never felt like I was lacking horsepower. I'll probably get a SportCombi as my next car. I'm somewhat locked in to getting a GM vehicle, and there aren't really any other wagon options. I'm hoping they bring over the G8 wagon -- that's a great looking sedan with good performance -- and there's speculation that there will be a Cadillac CTS wagon, which would be an option if it weren't so expensive.
    Last I read, the G8 wagon will not be hitting our shores I would buy that in a second, gas prices be danged!!! I am not to keen on the CTS wagon. It is a shame that no one will sell a wagon anymore. The times have shifted and so should manufacturers ideas on what vehicles should be made. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT talking about a wood sided slab of metal and glass but a nice sporty wagon.

    Have you seen the new Ford Flex that is coming out? Looks to be too big for my tastes but at least Ford is trying.

  105. #105
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    Take a look at the Dodge Magnum. The SXT high-ouput V6 gets 20 MPG (comparable to foreign models), and if you and your friends or family are 6'+ you will be way comfortable on the way to the trail in the front or back seats. The RockyMount Noose fits the factory rack. But this car is not going to get you far beyond pavement. I have an '05 and love it. Dad has a BMW X3 that's short for tall guys...sister has a CRV that's ok for short hauls. If I replace the Magnum it will be with a Volvo XC70 or 90 (b/c magnum has been discontinued), but nothing else strikes me now.

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by krome
    This is what I use to ferry my bike............a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 Wagon.
    Its got 45,000 km on the odo and packs 380bhp under the hood.
    Here's mine.................before and after pics.....
    Before



    After

    Last edited by Wickedfactory; 06-26-2008 at 09:46 PM.

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by endeavorc
    Have you seen the new Ford Flex that is coming out? Looks to be too big for my tastes but at least Ford is trying.
    Ford is trying? Trying what, putting out retro-styled and retro designed products that belong in the market of 2003 and not the market of 2008?

    I do love the look of the Flex. Sort of like a double sized Mini Clubman. I think it might sell well to people moving from Expeditions. I do think Ford is waking up a little, claiming they'll bring the real new Ford Focus to the US market. Now if they would only bring the five door and wagon versions of it and maybe a wagon version of the Fusion.

  108. #108
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    Subaru...any one of them

    I have a '97 outback limited and love it...122k miles and the only money I had to put in is for new tires and brake pads...

  109. #109
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    I've had 2 1.8T Audi A4 Avants, 1 Volvo Cross Country, and 2 BMW 325ix wagons.

    Audi- The Audis had fantastic finish and interiors. My wife and I went to a car show and the second we sat in the Audi, we knew it was the right car for us. The turbo lag was a little annoying but once she got spooled up, she just wanted to jump to 80 mph. MPG on both was around 27 mpg with a rocket box and bike trays. On one trip without the rack, I average 30. Maintenance costs were limited due to the fantastic warranties but when something did go wrong outside of that period, get ready to open the checkbook. The timing belts were the main issue to watch for as far as ongoing work before the 100K point. Sport suspension was great. AWD system is one of the best on the market.

    Volvo- Big car, auto with Tip, fast turbo when you drove in manual, automatic searched for gears too much when driving in the mountains and the resulting turbo kick was annoying, TONS of space, very soft suspension. Bad gas mileage- around 17mpg I believe. AWD system was good especially with some studded snows. It just never felt right and we sold it to get the first BMW.

    BMWs- we now have matching 325ix wagons (2002, 2005). We live at 9K' so snow and AWD is a fact of life. I would like to have a turbo but the smooth shifting of the manual and power band make up for it. It does lose power at altitude going over the Divide but all non-turbo cars will. The second 325 is an auto with the manual mode which I like for driving up the canyon. Makes a big difference. Interiors are good but could definitely use some updating. Quality is good and as long as you stay away from the dealership and find yourself a local Bimmer shop, you'll be OK with repairs maintenance. The AWD system is not 50/50 and shifts to the front wheels on demand. In the summer, it feels like a rear wheel drive BMW. In the winter, with my studded snows, I've had no problems getting up a black ice covered hill that has left other AWD cars in the ditch.

    Before purchasing my last BMW, I did drive the Legacy, Outback XT, WRX, and a slew of other Japanese imports but I could never get past the lack of finish detail and the feeling of crude implementation. There was never enough soundproofing, doors whistled, horrible turbo lag on the XT that would give you whiplash once it kicked in, etc. I spend a lot of time in my car for work so I was looking for a balance between comfort and performance. A WRX for 6 hours on rough roads didn't sound appealing!

    In conclusion, I would definitely say the second gen A4 Avant was my favorite car but the ongoing threat of long term maintenance prevented me from going back to Audi. The 2005 BMW is right up there as well.

    My .02!
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    Finding parking lots could be a problem (Im not the seller - e*** auction)...

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lactic
    A WRX for 6 hours on rough roads didn't sound appealing!
    A wrx is not a very harsh car, and the new ones are even softer. Don't confuse it with the wrx sti, the sti is going to be a rock relatively, but the wrx is not harsh or bone-jarring. If you have any car that handles well, it's going to have stiffer springs, but the wrx is nowhere near that upper-end that makes driving on rough roads impossible. It's no outback, but everything is tucked-up in the chassi nicely.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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    We got this 99 VW Passat for a decent price-its all decked out with leather, heated seats, etc.
    Its got the 1.8Turbo, manual and gets like 28 city 30ish highway-mileage was better with the stock rims/tires.
    I routinely throw 2 bikes, fully assembled, in the back with all the rest of the gear.
    You need to be on the ball with your maintenance if you go the VW route, although you should be properly maintaining any vehicle you drive.

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