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  • Need to buy a car. Car guys please help!

    I got in a head on collision Monday. Thankfully no one was hurt. My car has some frame damage and I am probably going to end up getting a different one...



    I am looking for a wagon or hatch or some sort. I don't want a big SUV type or car, but something big enough to haul a little bit of gear without much hassle. I do a lot of traveling for work and it is not uncommon for me to drive 500-800 miles in a day, so comfort is my main concern. I would also like some power because in driving those distances there always seems to be some point where I could use a little extra pickup or power on the expressway.



    All I am really coming up with is the Acura TSX wagon, Subaru Outback, or maybe a VW Jetta Wagon (though the VW stuff scares me a little since I have heard so many horror stories about things failing early on).



    What am I missing that's worth checking out? Max I want to spend is around the 30 mark, give or take.

  • #2
    Look at Mazda too. They have the 3 hatchback, the 5 which is a mini-minivan, and the cx-5.

    Subaru is probably the best built option, but mpg will be less (right? I'd have to check).



    VW scares me too.

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    • #3
      Yea! I really want to like the VW.... I'll give some serious consideration to the Subaru. It gets about the same MPG as the Acura.

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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by Unclemeat
        View Post

        Subaru Outback, or maybe a VW Jetta Wagon (though the VW stuff scares me a little since I have heard so many horror stories about things failing early on).



        What am I missing that's worth checking out? Max I want to spend is around the 30 mark, give or take.




        Yeah, the Subaru are definitely good value cars. Reliable and maintain a big chunk of their value. Though their styling has usually left me cold. They are extremely popular where I live and folks often joke that the wagons are popular amongst the granola heads and lesbians.



        I really like the styling of some of the Audi wagons. I might be tempted to look at Volvo as well. About the only SUV/wagon crossover that has ever caught my eye is the Infiniti FX. You could look for a pre-owned one of those.



        But yeah, I'd be mostly drawn to Audi or VW but they do indeed have their points in time where the work has to go in. I know a German auto mechanic, owns his own shop locally, and he calls it a "plastic party". He said, "but I've got to quit calling it that because people think I'm saying I'm going to have a party with their credit card, but what happens is that they use a lot of plastic parts in the engine compartment and with time the engine heat degrades them to where they begin to malfunction and then they need to be changed out". He said that usually happens with them after the 60K mileage mark. Before that, they're trouble free (quoting).



        But I'd still look there and try to get one that either still has a good chunk of miles before that point or is old enough and well maintained enough to have already had its first major plastic party.



        Happy hunting. 2 years ago I had to replace my own commuter car. My No. 1 car is a 2005 Honda S2000 but only after just 1 year, I added a used '96 Caddy Seville SLS to my fleet to drive to work on "the crappy days", which is most of them since I live in the PNW. Well, 4 years later the tranny on the Caddy said "adios", so rather than dump another $3K in it, I went out looking for a somewhat newer "commuter car". By the time I was done working my way up thru over-priced used cars with too many miles, I ended up with a new 2010 Nissan Maxima. Don't know if I'd do that again, but it always seems like the deals on the used cars you'd like to get just aren't around when you need them. So now I'm in purgatory or "$500/mo. for 7 years" Well, just a little over 4 years to go
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        • #5
          I don't own one (yet) but I would look hard at the Jetta TDI wagon. Reliability on them has been pretty good (plus you'll get a new car warranty, and can always negotiate with the dealer for an extended warranty for free, or near free). Diesels often get 300k miles on them, which it sounds like you might need it!



          The Subarus are good too, and the 2013 models get slightly better mileage from what I've read. Good in upstate weather too, though the last few years we've hardly needed snow tires let alone awd. Toyota has a new RAV4 coming out, which might not be soon enough for you, but the 2013 models should be blowing out soon. New ones will only have a 4cylinder, but the outgoing model does have a 6cyl that is highly rated. It's really not an SUV, but car based. Not exciting, but reliable, roomy and safe.



          A slightly used Volvo V70 wagon is nice, big here in Ithaca where I live. They tend to last too, if maintained.



          Do you like the Honda Crosstour Wagon/hatchback. They are kinda odd to me, but based on the Accord they're roomy and good handling. Sort of pricey imo, but I think deals are to be made for sure. Worth a look see.



          The Acura's are nice too, no local dealer in Ithaca, so I don't pay too much attention to them. What about the Ford Edge? Supposed to be pretty nice too.

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          • #6
            I like my outback a lot. Fits a ton of gear. Great in the snow. Very comfy. Not sure what engine comes standard these days. I have the 2.5l and sometimes wish I had a little more HP (coming from a V6 accord coupe). Speaking of accords, take a look at the crosstour. I haven't driven one yet, but an AWD accord wagon is a formidable car. Just not sure of the cargo space. Other cars I was considering when I bought my outback were a Honda Element and a Nissan Rogue. I drove Cooper's SUV/wagon thing today. Fun car. Maybe not the cargo space you need though.

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            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by GAS Man
              View Post

              Yeah, the Subaru are definitely good value cars. Reliable and maintain a big chunk of their value. Though their styling has usually left me cold. They are extremely popular where I live and folks often joke that the wagons are popular amongst the granola heads and lesbians.



              I really like the styling of some of the Audi wagons. I might be tempted to look at Volvo as well. About the only SUV/wagon crossover that has ever caught my eye is the Infiniti FX. You could look for a pre-owned one of those.



              But yeah, I'd be mostly drawn to Audi or VW but they do indeed have their points in time where the work has to go in. I know a German auto mechanic, owns his own shop locally, and he calls it a "plastic party". He said, "but I've got to quit calling it that because people think I'm saying I'm going to have a party with their credit card, but what happens is that they use a lot of plastic parts in the engine compartment and with time the engine heat degrades them to where they begin to malfunction and then they need to be changed out". He said that usually happens with them after the 60K mileage mark. Before that, they're trouble free (quoting).



              But I'd still look there and try to get one that either still has a good chunk of miles before that point or is old enough and well maintained enough to have already had its first major plastic party.



              Happy hunting. 2 years ago I had to replace my own commuter car. My No. 1 car is a 2005 Honda S2000 but only after just 1 year, I added a used '96 Caddy Seville SLS to my fleet to drive to work on "the crappy days", which is most of them since I live in the PNW. Well, 4 years later the tranny on the Caddy said "adios", so rather than dump another $3K in it, I went out looking for a somewhat newer "commuter car". By the time I was done working my way up thru over-priced used cars with too many miles, I ended up with a new 2010 Nissan Maxima. Don't know if I'd do that again, but it always seems like the deals on the used cars you'd like to get just aren't around when you need them. So now I'm in purgatory or "$500/mo. for 7 years" Well, just a little over 4 years to go






              Ouch, I once had a VW Jetta GLI that was almost $500/month. I lease now because I don't put many miles on, but I lease my Camry and a Honda minivan, about $600/month for both. I'd like to get off the leasing train, but I hate having used cars that break down (happened to me too), and with both cars under warranty, I never have any surprised (and my Camry's maintenance has all been free). Not sure what I'll do in the next 5 months when its lease is up.

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              • #8
                Wife has the TSX sedan. Great car. Nimble handling. She routinely gets 32mpg highway
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                • #9
                  I have a RAV 4 V6. Mileage is not great, but I only gave up 2 mpg to the 4 and it goes like a scalded cat. I like Subi's, but if you can get by without AWD, the new Ford C-Max is pretty damn cool. 25K ish, hybrid, nearly 50 MPG, and tons of gear room. That is on my short list for a next car. Also, a Diesel Golf in addition to the Jetta, but, I have heard the same things with VW, lots of weird glitchy issues. Nothing engine, mostly electrical weirdness.
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                  • #10
                    Anything Honda or Toyota. My Honda Civic has 170K miles and literally drives like new. Never had an issue with it and I commute 120 miles M-F for work.



                    My dad has a 6 cylinder Toyota Rav4. It's a sweet ride and very comfortable. I borrow it when I need to lug gear around.



                    I am guessing/hoping that your company pays for gas so MPG is probably not a major concern for you.



                    The Acura TSX wagon looks kinda boring to me. I like the Subaru better.

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                    • #11


                      This is what my wife drives.

                      It has good seating position Plenty of cargo room .

                      it's good for about 30mpg highway and I like the style.

                      It has the sport suspension pkg. and is fun to drive even with the smaller engine

                      Ours is a 2008 we've had since new and have no problems with it

                      I call it her little hearse but then again I consider hearses kind of cool

                      I would defiantly buy another

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                      • #12
                        VW GTI
                        True happiness pours from the inside out.

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                        • #13
                          Wife has a Lesbaru Outback. It's an '08. I really like the damned thing. Gas mileage is 23 around town, can't fault it too much as it's AWD. CV boots gave up the ghost at 50K baking constantly down here in FL, but half shafts were under $50 apiece and easy to change. Good for hauling gear.



                          Yeah, I love the TDI engine, the rest of the VW crap scares the heck out me too, and I fix my own cars.



                          Acura's are great, kinda pricey.



                          Audi, ummm, no. Have you seen the price of replacement parts?



                          Good luck
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                          • #14
                            My wife bought a VW Jetta TDI wagon with manual transmission the summer before last and it has been a great car. It is not a car I would have considered, but I must admit I have enjoyed it. The fuel mileage with the TDI is terrific, and it is comfortable. I also understand that the resale value is pretty high.



                            I have been told by several people that VW made some big strides in their durability over the last few years.



                            My biggest complaint would be the clutch (for some reason I stall the damn thing getting out of first if I haven't driven it in a while; my car for the last 12 years is a manual by the way). There's just something funky about the way it releases from a stop. It isn't the fastest thing, but it does well enough. I do have to remember that there isn't an abundance of torque, and to shift accordingly.

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                            • #15
                              toyota venza
                              HCGB Trooper #315

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