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Need used wagon, volvo vs subu vs audi?

need help deciding. thinking about:

volvo v70 or v50 vs. outback or forester? or maybe an audi a6?

2005 or maybe earlier.

anyone have any opinions? i’ve checked consumer reports, they seem negative about audi. but dont want to just rely on CR, not sure where else to check.

would love input from you folks. moving to vermont, snow would be in play. and 2 kids.

Avoid the Audi and Volvo, older = money pit. I’d go with a Subaru Outback for the room, newer = better.

In your town, which can you have serviced at a reasonable price and ease ?

In THIS small town I would never even consider any of those.

Case in point ( wrong brand for the area ) just today, 15 minutes ago, a lady calls in a bit of a quandry that no one has an oil filter for her 09 Kia Borrego ( I’m the Ford dealer mind you, but we service all. ) and it’s due for a oil change. I calmed her by stating we have one other 09 Borrego customer and we’ll simply call Car Quest ( even told her their part number ) when we don’t have a Motorcraft or ACDelco.

I would advise you to AVOID any European makes.
They are luxurious, good-handling vehicles, but once the warranty is over, they tend to turn very rapidly into money pits.

That being said, you need to be cautious regarding any used car, since a fairly large percentage of the public does not maintain their cars properly. The negligent first owner may not suffer, but the second, or third owner will be socked with big repair bills caused by lax maintenance.

Of particular concern on many vehicles is the timing belt. Usually, this needs to be replaced by 105k miles or 7 years, whichever comes first. The result is that many folks trade their car in or sell it in order to avoid paying for timing belt replacement. The clueless new owner winds up with a severely damaged engine when the over-aged timing belt snaps.

So–if any car that you are considering uses a timing belt, do not buy it unless you see documentary evidence of the belt’s replacement. Of course, you also want to see documentary evidence of timely oil changes, trans fluid changes, coolant changes, etc.

And, beyond getting documentation of maintenance, you still need to have a serious candidate for purchase vetted by a mechanic of your choosing. He can detect incipient problems, as well as prior collision damage that was not revealed to you.

Lastly, DO NOT interpret a “clean” Carfax as evidence of a good car. These reports are frequently not worth the paper that they are printed on.

2005+ Legacy/Outback.

The word “used” should be defined as meaning a coin flip. The big issue is whether the vehicle in question has not been hammered into the pavement by a lead-footed driver and/or suffered maintenance neglect.

Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing the answer to either of those questions and should never rely on statements about “driven easy” and “meticulously maintained”.