Need a New Wagon

We need a new daily driver. We are a family of 5 and 1 dog. We have been driving a Volvo V70 wagon but have decided that newer Volvo’s are to be avoided because of mechanical issues. I am leaning toward bio-diesel and my Wife refuses to drive a minivan.

I’ve been thinking about a Volkswagon Jetta 1999-2006 for their ability to run bio-diesel and good mileage. Are these a good vehicle and does anyone have any other suggestions?


Aren’t those Jettas REAL tight for your size of family? You really need something with some decent room, which rules out moderately-priced diesels (there are MB and BMWs available, but $$$$). If minivans are out (the best solution), then a 3-row CUV would be next, like a Pilot, Traverse, or Ford Flex.

A good question about the size issue. One child is 16 and will be off to college soon, the other two are 5 and 7. We have not sat in the car yet and need to go to the dealership to check one out. I also have and “long” back and need a very tall seat to be comfortable. Thanks for the suggestions of the other models.


Try a Toyota Venza or other wagon look alikes. The only other options for that large a family might be something like a Honda Pilot. Right now, there are not enough diesel powered vehicles to give you enough choices.
Keep working on your wife to try out at least a minivan.

Subaru Outback/Forester or Audi A4 Avant. Bio diesel it too much of a PITA and not worth the trouble. Most engines are only approved for 50% bio diesel at this time. 100% bio requires special engine seals and fuel lines. If you are serious about bio, get a mid-1980’s Mercedes – they will burn anything.


It always seems the ones that would benefit most from a minivan are those that refuse to even look at them.

A minivan would be best. The Sienna is trying to shed its soccer-mom image, and looks a lot more distinctive than, say, a Highlander, Pilot, or Traverse.

The second best would be an MPV like the Mazda 5 or Kia Rondo.

Third best would be the aforementioned Highlander, Pilot, or Traverse. But I don’t think that you will look magically cooler driving one.

It’s not a minivan, it’s a Swagger Wagon
"This goes out to all ya’ll minivan families out there . . . Sienna SE in the house"

Thanks all for the great advice.

To answer your VW question, I don’t like them. They’re just not very reliable. Jettas from that era are known to be problematic.

Look at a Kia Rondo. It seats 7 in 3 rows. My BIL has one for his family of 7, though they usually fit 5 or 6 in it. Mileage is OK. It uses gasoline, and you will be hard pressed to find any diesel automobiles in the US. The BMW X5 also seats 7, but gets about the same fuel mileage as the Rondo and costs twice as much. You might also look at a 2007/2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I still vote for the Rondo.

I gotta ask why some new cars have those little faux wing windows. My CX-7 has them, and it would be nice to see those little wing windows make a come back that actually work. Those were nice on the Chevelle I had