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Touring wagon for the wife?

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  • Force McCocken
    started a topic Touring wagon for the wife?

    Touring wagon for the wife?

    So, I put my tow vehicle plans on hold. My wife is considering the need for another DD. It is currently a '99 Miata.

    She drives to 2-3 appointments on average to meet with clients. (can't be a ****box like I prefer to drive)
    We have a large dog. (70# greyhound)
    We need a good road trip car, something that can rip off 800 miles in a day without leaving us feel like we ran a marathon.
    She doesn't want an SUV.
    "About 20 mpg is good for me, more if possible," she says.
    Budget ~$8-10k

    The usual suspects:
    Lexus IS 300 SportCross - I like this car, great quality, "feh!" gas mileage. I don't know how good this car is to travel in long distances,.
    BMW e46 3 series wagon - Problematic automatic, would go with a manual - like finding a unicorn. No AWD wanted. Love this car, but I know the repair issues (cooling, subframe, etc.)
    BMW e39 5 series wagon - Same as above, Might be a bit large. I would probably try to find a 528iT.
    M-B E320 Wagon - Good friend recommends the 3.2 V6 for less issues, still problematic, says we should look at the E-class
    M-B C320 Wagon - Looks like an egg on the back, nice features, 03-05 models are the ones to get apparently.
    Mazda 3 5 dr - My wife likes this car, I have concerns about whether or not I could stand driving it 12 hours straight without wanting to tear my spine out.

    If any of your has experience with any of those cars, let me know. Any other recommendations or considerations would be appreciated! Would consider a WRX, but hard to find a decent one in that price range. She didn't seem too keen on the Forester. Discuss.

  • anorexicpoodle
    replied
    Congrats, they are great cars it will serve you well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Force McCocken
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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  • bawareca
    replied
    You know,without pics it didnt happen

    Leave a comment:


  • Force McCocken
    replied
    So, I had been watching the IS300 Sportcross off and on since '07. Our recent trip to Atlanta (~350 miles one way) finally pushed me to the brink. It's fine for me if I'm alone to drive a beater/enthusiast car, but with the wife, bags and dog - not so much.

    I told the wife enough was enough and put the plan into action. I had 4 cars on the list, watching them over the past couple of weeks. #1 was in ATL and checked out great, I put the call into the dealer, planned to fly in and drive it back. Someone from VA put a deposit on it. #2 didn't have repair history I felt comfortable with and it was red...my wife has a heavy foot and I can just imagine the draw of that color to police. #3 and #4 were actually the same car! It has been transfered ~160 miles away after sitting here in Raleigh for about 3 months. It had some very minor cosmetic flaws, but when I looked up the VIN and maintenance history, it would up being the best of the bunch! 1 owner, meticulously dealer-maintained since day 1 (at the same dealership), southern car it's entire life (Charlotte). Literally 13 pages of records found online through Lexus.com. By far the best repair history I have found in all the time looking at these things.

    Drove out to see it Friday afternoon with cash in hand. It looked better in person than in the pictures. Negotiated the price (thanks to the negotiation thread posted here), whipped out a stack of cash, drove it home. LOVE. IT. Quiet, smooth, surprising handling. Search over. Now I have unload one of cars, the RSX most likely. Thanks for all the help, everyone!

    Leave a comment:


  • julian
    replied
    Originally posted by suki101 View Post
    Expect to replace the PCV system at least once in 75-100K, the front strut bearings/mounts wear out every 25-30K, and if the car has been neglected you can expect the head gasket will go at 150K or less; mine did.....that being said the pre '99 cars seem to have less electrical issues as the later cars had coil packs, VVT, and a bunch of other emissions related garbage. Unless you're a glutton for punishment, I'd stay far away...oh and the newer R cars, I think 03-05, suffer from angle gear failure, and the wiring harness on the top of the engine will turn to dust
    good to know on the 99+ cars. I have a 96 850R sedan and have been browsing craigslist for an 850 wagon or v70 so sounds like it's better to stick with an 850. I just replaced the headgasket on mine (170k) since it overheated several years ago due to a bad coolant temp sensor.

    Leave a comment:


  • bawareca
    replied
    Originally posted by Force McCocken View Post
    I know! E30/E39 wagon for her, X5 for towing, E30 cabrio to replace the Miata when I cage it. Fanboy-ism to the extreme!!!! Yeuuuussss! Only 2 hours or so to the BMW plant in Souf Cacky!

    No, seriously, she would shoot me dead.
    You are getting close

    Leave a comment:


  • Force McCocken
    replied
    I know! E30/E39 wagon for her, X5 for towing, E30 cabrio to replace the Miata when I cage it. Fanboy-ism to the extreme!!!! Yeuuuussss! Only 2 hours or so to the BMW plant in Souf Cacky!

    No, seriously, she would shoot me dead.


    Originally posted by suki101 View Post
    Too bad these are hard to come by in the states.....

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]6134[/ATTACH]

    ...then you could be an E30 family

    Leave a comment:


  • suki101
    replied
    Originally posted by Force McCocken View Post
    "kill it with fire"
    I'm a VW guy, family has VW's too, and this is what I'd tell you about most of their slushbox cars.......

    Now for Volvo's; I have owned a '98 V70r for 5 years and it's a decent car. Expect to replace the PCV system at least once in 75-100K, the front strut bearings/mounts wear out every 25-30K, and if the car has been neglected you can expect the head gasket will go at 150K or less; mine did.....that being said the pre '99 cars seem to have less electrical issues as the later cars had coil packs, VVT, and a bunch of other emissions related garbage. Unless you're a glutton for punishment, I'd stay far away...oh and the newer R cars, I think 03-05, suffer from angle gear failure, and the wiring harness on the top of the engine will turn to dust

    Leave a comment:


  • anorexicpoodle
    replied
    Originally posted by julian View Post
    what about a Volvo v70 wagon. turbo 5 cylinder. or a v70R if you can find one with a manual trans.
    A good friend of mine owned an S60R which is mechanically identical to the v70r. I wouldnt wish that car on anyone. He experienced over the 3 years of ownership $24,000 in repair work, which was thankfully picked up by his 3rd party warranty, which eventually cut him off due to the cost of repair exceeding the cost of the vehicle. When that happened he promptly drove it to a honda dealership and traded it in and got a honda fit because it was an even trade. Some of the breakage highlights were: rear main seal failure which caused clutch and complete transmission failure. Two rear diff explosions (at the time volvo would not sell diff parts, just whole units), and some kind of perfect storm of EFI electronics failures which was the last straw. There was lots of other little stuff for 1k here and 1k there as well.

    The car was great to drive when it ran but had a turning radius only marginally better than the tractor that pulls the space shuttle at NASA (every parking garage required 3 or 4 point turns at the 180's). There are far better wagons to be had that wont bankrupt the owners for bad reasons (feeding them gas and tires are not bad reasons).

    Leave a comment:


  • Force McCocken
    replied
    Any mention of an Audi/VW product results in an automatic "No ****ing WAY." from her. I believe the term "kill it with fire" is also another response from her regarding those brands.

    The Volvos are strife with electrical issues more so than the German cars. They also use proprietary diagnostics which are difficult to decipher outside a dealership. It's a pity because the v50 is a beautiful car and perfect for our needs. Richard is 100% correct. If we had the TSX Estate the Europeans received in the first gen model, I would on it like white on rice. My wife's business is high-dollar telecomm accounts, which to me seems similar to drug reps. A nice cruiser, upscale, but not to flashy. I would prefer an automatic for her for ease of use and long drives in traffic.

    Sigh. I think as mentioned before about the IS300 Sportcross; reliability tax is in the fuel economy.

    Leave a comment:


  • granth
    replied
    Originally posted by Force McCocken View Post
    So, I put my tow vehicle plans on hold. My wife is considering the need for another DD. It is currently a '99 Miata.

    She drives to 2-3 appointments on average to meet with clients. (can't be a ****box like I prefer to drive)
    We have a large dog. (70# greyhound)
    We need a good road trip car, something that can rip off 800 miles in a day without leaving us feel like we ran a marathon.
    She doesn't want an SUV.
    "About 20 mpg is good for me, more if possible," she says.
    Budget ~$8-10k

    Not sure about the 10k part but the TSX wagon is a very nice car and your wife would be very happy, plus it's a Honda it will run like a top.

    Leave a comment:


  • julian
    replied
    what about a Volvo v70 wagon. turbo 5 cylinder. or a v70R if you can find one with a manual trans.

    Leave a comment:


  • Silversprint
    replied
    I have seen a couple of Passat wagons sell for less than $10K. They are not as fancy as what you are looking for however they are usually newer and have fewer miles.

    Volkswagen : Passat 2.0T in Volkswagen | eBay Motors

    Leave a comment:


  • bawareca
    replied
    Originally posted by SeanB View Post

    If it weren't for the 25 year ban we'd be able to import something like an e60 m5 touring with 500hp and 6MT. .
    I am on a path of creating one.If one is mechanically inclined and willing to send a few thousands $$$ of leftover parts the price my be quite tempting.

    Leave a comment:

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