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OT--Getting new/used car


Carp
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looking for opinions. Married 2 kids (4 and 2). Have Honda minivan, looking for comfortable car for long commute. Choices:

Saab 9-3 convertible

Saab 9-5 aero (sedan/wagon)

Acura RL/TL

Volkswagon Passat

Audi A6

Volvo S80/V70/xc

Mazda 6

Obviously want reliable, comfortable, and good gas mileage.

Let the opinions fly.

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Of all those options I think that I would get the Mazda 6 wagon myself. I have an Audi S4 Avant and I love it but you said that you wanted reliablility so I would stay away from anything but the Japanese cars. In my experience they don't have the hosepower of the American and Euro cars but they have the reliability and gas milage.

->Ben

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Avoid the SAAB's, I had a 9000 CSE as company car and the maintenance costs my company had to fork out for it were horrible! Odd things too, like it would eat batteries, it killed ( dead first cell ) 3 in 5 months and they it stopped doing it! The company was glad when the lease expired as they could just walk away from it....It was a great car to drive, roomy, comfortable, fast, great handling ( for the size of car ) and had fairly good gas mileage as long as you kept off the turbo....

Since Ford now owns Volvo & Mazda I would steer clear of them too! I have a Ford and they are not kidding when they say that Ford stands for Fix Or Repair Daily .... Found On Road Dead....etc

I'll second the motion to consider Subaru. My wifes 2000 Subaru Outback Wagon has been a good runner, other than routine maintenance items ( oil, tires etc ) we have had no additional expenses....it runs well, is very comfortable and has enough room for a couple of cases in the rear.

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Just bouhgt a Honda Pilot and we like it alot. It will be used on long trips and around town. So far it gets 20 mpg avg in the city/hwy trips we have taken. I used to work on Saabs and can testify to their lack of worthiness. No problems yet, but a few rattles and such. hondapilot.org has info if you are interested.hondapilot.org

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I love my Dodge Dakota Quad Cab. Plenty of room in the back seat for kids or adults. Plus I have a boatload of room in the bed for "stuff". I have a fiberglass cap on mine so I can lock everything in it. Of course, being a 4x4, it's great in the snow. I have the 4.7L V8 w/ a manual transmission and average ~15-16 mpg mixed driving.

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Guest thomas_m
Originally posted by Art

Just bouhgt a Honda Pilot and we like it alot. It will be used on long trips and around town. So far it gets 20 mpg avg in the city/hwy trips we have taken. I used to work on Saabs and can testify to their lack of worthiness. No problems yet, but a few rattles and such. hondapilot.org has info if you are interested.hondapilot.org

LOL! What color? We just bought a silver one... We like it a lot - especially the DVD player and wireless headphones that keep the kids quiet on the trip to the mountain!

If you see a silver Pilot with matching Thule box and an "Alpental' sticker, you know at least one hardbooter is around.

:D

Thomas

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I don't have personal experience with VW but 5 friends with VW's (jetta'a and GTI's) had constant problems with their cars. I will never buy one after seeing their problems.

As for the Ford reputation mentioned earlier, I have a '97 Explorer and have never had a single problem with it - I've changed the oil and thats it - nothing else. I hear a lot of people talk smack but my experience has been nothing but lucky.

My wife just started driving a 99 volvo s70, it's only been 5 days buut so far the car seems great - a little shy on power though.

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I'd go with a Mazda 6 Wagon or Hatchback. Mazda is VERY reliable (contrary to Ford, even if they own them). It's less expensive to buy and to maintain than the others you mentionned and it is more reliable. Both have lots of storage space. I drive 1992 Mazda 323 and it just won't die (like all the others I see around town, and they are a LOT considering they stopped producing them in 1994). My father owns a 2003 Mazda Protégé5 and he is very satisifed, travelled a lot with it in the last year.

As for the 4wd argument, I think with good winter tires (I have Pirellis, my father has Michelins) and good driving, front wheel drive is enough (and I think the Mazda 6 has traction control, I'll have to double check).

Derf

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Guest Comrade

Comrade's dad here (he told me about this thread and said to post).... We bought a Volvo XC70 Cross Country a year ago and it is a terrific car. We also have a Subaru wagon, there is no comparison between the two. Yeah, the Subaru gets us around in a tinny, buzzy sort of way, but the XC does it in style and comfort.

Things we like about the Volvo:

1. Exceptionally smooth riding, but not like driving a waterbed. It still handles.

2. Very quiet inside.

3. The first 10K miles have been flawless.

4. Sophisticated Haldex AWD system.

5. That loveable, quirky Volvo look.

6. Great ergonomics.

7. Cool drivetrian: 5 cylinder turbo charged motor with a 5 speed automatic. It's even pretty quick.

8. 23 MPG average for a very capable 3800lb car. 28 on the freeway. That's amazing.

9. We haven't experienced its safety virtues yet, but we hear they are the best.

If we were ga-jillionaires, and cost was no object, this is still the car I would drive.

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We rented the XC70 last winter for the SES and apreciated the great snow driving ability ( snowfalls...) and all the quality mentionned above.... To my euro eyes the fuel consumption sucks thu... Its considered a great engine over here ( the 2.5T) but the worst in terms of consumption in the Volvo line....

Most of the models sold in europe use the common rail D-5 engine ( turbo charged diesel ) that takes like 35 mpg with quiet sound and great torque..

Would i have to choose a car in your list it would be an A6 audi station wagon (quattro of course), but the volvo trunk is bigger and your quiver needs room!!

N.

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Thomas, look for thr the dark grey (they call it something or the other green) with the IAFF sticker in the left rear upper window. we opted out of the DVD package and will go with a portable model. Right now the Brio and Thomas catalogs do the trick. No matching box on the top yet but if you see this car with a red Packasport box on top it's me for sure. right now all we can afford are a couple a cans o' Krylon to make it match (the box that is;) As for VW, I have owned them for many years and have never had any problems. The 95 golf is still going strong at 79k. BTW, didn't you have a Rover?

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I gotta step up for VW here.

We are 3.5 years into my wife's, and have yet to have

a single problem with it. Routine oil changes only.

Considering how my wife drives, that's saying something.

And the VR6s run like a bear.

I've owned an Audi, and a Porsche in the past,

and I wouldn't hesitate for a second to get another VW.

If I had the cash, I would get a Touareg TDI.

5800lbs, 0-60 @ 7.5 sec, 23mpg.

That's only my $0.02, I'm not really a car guy.

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Guest thomas_m
Originally posted by Bob Jenney

When they shake all the bugs out, watch out BMW, Rover, etc.

LOL! I'm no engineer but I would take my 1990 RangeRover County with 100k miles over any Touareg when it comes to anything resembling serious offroad. Even without the upgrades I've added.

Same with the '96 Discovery and '97 Defender I used to own. They are just in a different class than the VW when it comes to turning off the asphalt. I would be less likely to make such a strong statement about the new DiscoII due to the rear overhang and the new RangeRover because anyone who takes an $80K car offroading is either too crazy or too rich for my understanding...:p

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I hoping for better mpg than 18, the epa range is 18-24 on the sticker. Like any car, if you are pedal heavy milage will suffer.

Most people that have this car are doing in 22-25 range for normal driving.

http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3155

Originally posted by Jack Michaud

I love the look of the new Legacy, but Consumer Reports said the GT gets an average of 18mpg. That's unacceptible, imo, and I previously really wanted this car. The base Legacy is the same car but with 80 less horses and better milage. How bout an Acura TSX?

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You don't mention a price range but assuming you might want value and not new.

One place to look would be the Lexus Certified pre-owned line. If you want mileage and comfort and superb reliability go with a used ES 300 or 330 -- if you buy a certified pre-owned from Lexus, it come with a 100K warranty-- I did say "comes with" the car from Lexus. Not one of those $1500 warranties you buy and then it never covers anything that goes wrong. My girlfriend has a lease returned ES300 perfect in and out- paid $28K for it and it is like having a new car except it comes with more warranty than a new one.

Then if you want mobility go with the RX300 or 330 - I have 63K on mine and never had anything done except service.

If you want speed and great mileage go with a C5 Corvette -, Mileage might suprise you-- 26mpg on the highway plus will get you there in comfort and quick. Damn quick I might add. Very reliable too.

Additional advantage of Lexus or Corvette - resale value is quite high..:)

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For me, the happiest day of 2004 was the day I got rid of my 1999 Audi A6 Avant. What a piece of junk. I'd give details but I'm in therapy to try to put it past me.

As for the VW, it's basically the same. Nice when new but everything starts to break at 3-4 years and costs you an arm and leg to fix.

If you want reliability, I'd go with the Acura. Can't beat Honda for quality. Owned 2 Acuras and 1 Honda in my life and loved them all.

Older Bimmers ('98 and older 3 series) are great deals right now. Superb cars. Handle like a Coiler race board.

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Originally posted by Carp

looking for opinions. Married 2 kids (4 and 2). Have Honda minivan, looking for comfortable car for long commute. Choices:

Saab 9-3 convertible

Saab 9-5 aero (sedan/wagon)

Acura RL/TL

Volkswagon Passat

Audi A6

Volvo S80/V70/xc

Mazda 6

Obviously want reliable, comfortable, and good gas mileage.

Let the opinions fly.

For family and fun, get Mazda 6 or if you can put more money then Acura TL.

Mazda 6 has enourmous cargo space and when rear sits are folded the space is flat. The interior should perfectly fit 2 adults and 2 kids. You can get one V6 for not much more than $20000 (US)

As far as Acura TL you will get very powerful car with beautiful styling. All things like leather, moonroof and many more are standard in this car. I believe that the only significant option is navigation system. The down side of TL is that leather wears out quickly and can get damaged relatively easily which is sad as kids usually do not care what they are doing. That's from review by one of parents, but you can try edmunds.com and several other places for to hear that for yourself from owners. Anyway TL is way over $30000.

But why not Honda Accord? It is as spacious as TL and has excellent handling (friend of mine has now two of them... bought this year). They are cheaper as well.

Anyway I was considering TL, Accord and BMW3 series. Since I do not have kids and the car is basically for me to drive (and I prefer real performance for affordable price with REAL shift transmission) I ended up with BMW 325i. Now shopping for Winter wheels... but I already found some wheels and Dunlop WinterSports M3 tires:-)

Have fun with looking for a car. It took me about 2-3 years to make up my mind to get beemer :-( Now I am not going to look back at other cars :-) It is that different piece of car, but everybody has different sense of taste and needs;-)

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Originally posted by Justin A.

I drive a Saab 9-3 Aero, and I absolutley love it. I reccomend either the 9-5 Aero Sedan, or a BMW 330x. Both are AWESOME cars and will serve you well. I've had the 9-3 for about 3 months now and havent had a problem yet.

-Justin

BMW 330 is overrated. Just any 330 except 330i with performance package which is a 6 speed shift stick and has boosted engine. Anyway, what do you expect from 330 if you take 4x4? If so then perhaps it would be better to get X3 with that 3liter engine.

I have seen some beemer owners who do not seem to know why they selected the 330 any model,. They simply can't use that car, but they certainly thought that they could show off. the most funny thing was that guy who told story about his wife driving 330i and regretting that she did not get 330x. Well, even that car you need to know how to drive, but once you learn rear wheel drive and get (SERIOUSLY!) winter whels the car can run as good as many SUV's. that just requires some drivers experience and proper setup for winter conditions. 4x4 will not rescue from dumb mistakes and lack of driving skills. That guy was wqarning me and I was laughing at him since it is not my foiirst rear wheel drive and I alread spun such car on highways many years ago. Today my driving is just another story (as I am appraoching perhaps some other level... ) I do not know... I drive simulator of many cars with whole physics of racing. I spin a lot and those simulations are realistic since I modelled my own car and it seems to have quite similar feel. We will see... I am getting better:-) ... and definitely can do a lot more in 325i than many drivers with more powerfull and 4x4 cars. Perhaps I am missing a lot... but slowly I am getting there.

By the way BMW 3 series are small cars. I would not recommend them as base car for 4 people family. The cargo space is the weakes part of this car. I don't have idea how one could fit two kids stuff in 10 cubic feet trunk.

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Keep them coming guys. I've always owned Saab's since I was 17 and absolutely love the way they drive and the nearly endless ammenities. Seems like a lot of bang for the buck. The down side is they depreciate quickly, which can be good when buying but when selling stincks. I've had a 1995 9000 cse that I had to put a new tranny in at 125k and now I have to replace the A/C compressor, but aside from that just normal wear and tear brakes, and such. I've had an 89 900 that ran great for 4 years and then something went wrong with the exhaust and no mechanic I took it to could figure it out, so I dumped it and went with a 89 9000 cd and that car ran flawlessly, however did get some rust damage on the drivers side door from the salt we use in Wisconsin. I've been test driving all sorts of car and keep going back to the Saab 9-5 aero. My concerns are reliability from JD Power, Edmonds, etc. With GM owning them has reliability improved or gotten worse? I'm not sure. I'm not rushing into anything but wanted to say thanks for all the great feed back and I hope it continues.

I'm happy for all those that have already gotten out this season and ridden. I'm hoping mother nature will get winter here early this year.

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