Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Best Used Wagon

Oh yea, and volvov70 makes a good point. My other concerned about buying a used Subaru is the all-wheel drive. Mine has been great but I’ve also taken care of the suspension. Full sets of new tires always matching rotating the tires Etc. That’s an unknown when you’re buying a used vehicle.

@volvov70 I am trying to get an estimate on AC, but it’s difficult to find an independent that can fit me in and actually work on it. The dealership says they want to replace the entire system at around $2,000 that’s about the value of the vehicle. So that’s out. Plus to be honest, with over 200,000 miles on it I’m starting to get nervous about other problems. Even though I’ve always taken very good care of the vehicle and don’t necessarily have any reason to think anything’s wrong with it. What I don’t want to do is find myself with a vehicle that I can’t afford to repair or can’t be repaired and have to find a vehicle on the spur of the moment taking whatever I can find. That would mean either paying more than I want to for something, or buying something I really don’t want because it’s available and in my price range. Emergencies don’t really allow for a lot of time for researchbor shopping around. I figure I’m better off finding something now before that happens and I’m stuck. That scenario would be even more stressful if I was already in school, and had to have a vehicle immediately.

As for driving into the ground, my husband is of the opinion that i already have. But he drives a Chevy so what is he know?

Again, I regard the forester (and it’s ilk) the modern equivalent of the station wagon. Yo can call it a cuv if you want, but functionally it is a wagon.

I liked the Passat wagon, but like the forester more. Higher seating position counts for a lot. Also more foot and head room.


Billrussell, that’s where you and I differ. I don’t prefer the higher seating position. I prefer a car, which is why I drive one. With respect, the modern version of a station wagon is still a station wagon not a cuv. A cuv is a cuv. Just because wagons have become rare in the u.s. market does not mean that a cuv is now a wagon.
I guess that was why the original post. I’m looking for input on reliability of older cars so that I can get a true wagon with the realization that I will need to go back in time a little to find one. Buying older would also make some of the European wagons feasible, but it makes no sense if they will be broken down all the time. That would defeat the purpose of replacing my current car.

Also, there may be ltitle difference in cargo room in current ob and gorester, but both have less than my 05 ob.

I guess we have to agree to disagree.

Billrussell, I guess so. But this isn’t about right or wrong, just a matter of personal preference. I prefer the feel of a car, you prefer the higher seating position of a cuv. Nothing wrong with that. Now as for the cargo space that is not opinion, just fact varifiable. :wink:

It matters not what it’s called. A rose is a rose by any other name.
I prefer to sit low. Unfortunately, I’m too old to get into the cars that sit as low as I like to sit. :smiley:

@Jacy, if a Venza is too expensive, then the European wagons you can afford must be at least 10 years old. Any car that old should be considered unreliable for a 3 hour commute every day no matter who built it. You can find a used Venza for under $20,000. I’m not sure what your limit is, but if you can’t afford $12,000 to $15,000 for a commuter car, maybe you should consider a loan. I don’t like loans either and haven’t had one on a car for decades, but reliable transportation for your commuter and family car might be worth it.

Thanks jtsanders. I have been looking at the Venza but have yet to be inside one. They seem a little on the small side compared to my outback and the xc70 for instance, but maybe they are large enough to work. I definitely plan to test drive one.
They are generally more expensive than I want to pay, but not more than I can. I just prefer to not spend more than I have to with school and childcare and the possibility of unknown expenses popping up.
As for age, my current car is well over 10 years old and has been very reliable, the only current issue is the ac. I think age is less of a factor than mileage and upkeep. Provided that is it is a well made vehicle built for reliability. Seems that the European vehicles may not be built to be reliable from what I’ve read.
I may also just go with a cuv, I don’t love them but practically and necessity may win out. At least in the short term, a 2012 kia sorento with moderate mileage may end up being the way to go.
I’m also tempted to find another older model ob with 100k miles or less, though the awd aspect worries me some. I just keep feeling like used OB’s are somewhat overvalued.

I also like wagons, but don’t need or want AWD. It seems most mfgr’s go to crossovers and small SUV’s and perhaps that limits the “wagon” market. Like the old Accord and Camry wagons, I’d think a Ford Fusion wagon could be a really nice family car. But, what do I know?

I think I have similar tastes to yours - I’m still driving my 1999 Outback. I looked for a new vehicle a few years ago but instead I just put leather seats into my outback - best $1,200 I ever spent because the cloth interior was beyond any cleaning technology known to man. I’m coming around to the newer Outbacks even though I too mourn their transition from true wagon to crossover and I don’t like the CVT. While I loved a Honda CRV when I test drove it, ultimately I prefer the lower profile of a wagon. Maybe a Mazda3? Those are looking cute lately and I don’t think they are AWD. The Lexus CT is also cute. Neither probably has the interior cubic footage of an old outback, but they are cars rather than crossovers. Have you looked at the Impreza wagon? It’ll still be AWD, but its shape is more like an old outback (of course it’s more generic looking). I’ll be interested to hear what you decide on.

I’m not convinced that CUVs are the new wagons until they ditch those large wheels and tires that pretend to be off-road ready. Those big round things requires more fuel to get rolling, reduce interior space, and cost more to replace. And yet they’ll never see a lick of mud.

Back to the OPs question, perhaps there’ll be a disgruntled vw owner itching to part way with a jetta/golf sportwagen TDI

Since your last vehicle was “semi newer” in my mind… The wagons I like dont quite fit the bill as far as something newer. My rule of thumb is usually to buy a vehicle with a later mfg date than the current vehicle I drive, so excuse my wagon selections… They are older…but me likey

Volvo S Wagons…the Turbo ones… sweet…
BMW 3 and 5 series Wagons…
The older Accord Wagon…

Not that many companies still make a wagon do they?


The Volvo V60 is a wagon and BMW sells a 3-series Sport Wagon. Mercedes Benz also sells an E-class wagon.

I have a fondness for those Volvo Turbo Sporty Wagons…

This one… But in BLACK…