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Keven New Reader
10/23/10 11:52 a.m.

My sister and I both drive TDI Jettas (04 and 00) and we both love them (even though mine seems to be constantly having issues). Now my mom is in need of a new car and is interested in the TDI Passat wagon (which was only available in 04/05). After some research, it seems like the TDI Passat has many many issues and requires a lot of $$$ for maintenance. Not exactly what she was looking for. Can anyone recommend a safe, reliable wagon for less than $11,000 used? Needs to <10 years old, reliable and safe. Suggestions?

mtn SuperDork
10/23/10 12:21 p.m.

Subaru Legacy or Outback wins this one every time.

10/23/10 12:26 p.m.

Mazda 3 5-door.

Last-gen Subaru Foresters are actually great driving cars and get little love, so probably affordable. Subaru has had very strong quality ratings for the last several years, too.


scottgib New Reader
10/23/10 1:12 p.m.

Mazda 5

erohslc Reader
10/23/10 1:25 p.m.

Not so many to choose from.



benzbaron HalfDork
10/23/10 1:47 p.m.

Focus wagon?

Keven New Reader
10/23/10 1:56 p.m.

Any reason why? Can any of these compete with the MPG of a diesel VW?

mtn SuperDork
10/23/10 2:22 p.m.
Keven wrote: Any reason why? Can any of these compete with the MPG of a diesel VW?

No, but the money saved from maintenance more than makes up for it

1988RedT2 HalfDork
10/23/10 2:37 p.m.


dyintorace GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/23/10 2:54 p.m.

jrw1621 SuperDork
10/23/10 3:45 p.m.

Scion xB second gen is a pretty big wagon and are more popular among the "old folks" than they are to the supposed younger target demographic.
All the reliability of the same Carmry 4 cyl engine that they share and none of the recall for "sudden acceleration."

Ford Focus Wagon for MPG
Ford Freestyle Wagon for max space
Mazda 6 wagon, all around cool but V6
Mazda 5, sort of a mini-mini van but still 4 cyl
Pontiac Vibe/Toyota matrix, similar to xB
Subaru, any model, all have all wheel drive.

Chevy HHR, how much do you hate your mom?

Visit www.fueleconomy.gov to see and compare MPG on any car sold in the US since 1985

grimmelshanks HalfDork
10/23/10 3:51 p.m.

tdi jetta wagon?

81gtv6 GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/23/10 7:21 p.m.

mndsm Dork
10/23/10 7:32 p.m.

Miata with a trailer?

Sorry, I had to.

JtspellS Reader
10/23/10 7:42 p.m.

But this is the real world soooo......

Vigo HalfDork
10/23/10 8:41 p.m.

Dodge magnum. VERY safe.

GhiaMonster New Reader
10/23/10 9:34 p.m.

My 87 year old grandmother called me excited last week about buying a 2007 Audi wagon. If it works for her it could certainly work for the parents. Oh, maintenance is a concern, never mind.

stereoking15 New Reader
10/23/10 9:55 p.m.

Maybe a volvo v70r or a saab 9-5 sport combi aero, Both are notoriously swedish therefore reliable and very safe, had a saab 9-3 viggen comfy and very safe vehicle. Worth a look and usually quite frugal the saab regularly 32mpg.

Keven New Reader
10/23/10 9:56 p.m.

The current ride is a 1999 Volvo V90 and its been a piece of junk. These suburus are pretty reliable? Any years that are better than others?

motomoron HalfDork
10/23/10 10:37 p.m.

I saw a black Magnum today w/ black cop steelies + center caps. And it had a pair of anti-static grounding strap deals dragging on the pavement off the back. Totally badass.

To stay on topic - last gen Accord wagon when they still made 'em? My parents had one they loved.

Sonic Dork
10/23/10 11:30 p.m.

"low maintenance" ≠ VW or Audi. Never.

I agree with lots of the above options: Mazda 3/5, Scion xB, Subarus with the 2.2 or 2.0 (2.5s have enough issues to scare me away), Vibe/Matrix, 325iT, all are good choices.

mtn SuperDork
10/24/10 12:22 a.m.
stereoking15 wrote: Maybe a volvo v70r or a saab 9-5 sport combi aero, Both are notoriously swedish therefore reliable

Sorry, SAAB stands for "Swedish Auto's Always Break". I have a 9-5 as a daily driver and I love it, but it has a habit of breaking when its least convenient. Although some of that could have been the fact that my brother treated it like E36 M3 for about 9 months.

EvanR New Reader
10/24/10 2:15 a.m.

For $16k, how about a brand-new Hyundai Elantra Touring?

neon4891 SuperDork
10/24/10 9:46 a.m.

The last Accord wagon was the 5th Gen. in '97, not meeting the age part, but if they can find a clean one, it shouldn't be bad.

On Subbie 2.5s, IIRC, the "issues" had been taken care of by 2000.

itsatrap New Reader
10/24/10 9:56 a.m.

And it must be an Aero model.

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