Vw Passat wagon vs Volvo V50 wagon for a TBI survivor

I have a Traumatic Brain Injury and bumps that are an annoyance to some folks mean days of queezy-tummy , foggy-head, and pain.
I also need a vehicle that has a tail gate (like a station wagon) so big items like dishwashers can just be pushed in. I prefer one that is not so high up that you feel like you are loosing control in a quick turn (which I try not to take as it messes with my head).
I am looking at the Volvo V50 wagon and the VW Passat wagon.
I prefer to destroy my own vehicle rather that pay some knuckle-head big bucks to do it for me so ease of service is also a consideration as is availability of parts.
I am not rich so money is a consideration though both are not cheep.
Thoughts folks?

If you are hauling large appliances, get a pickup truck. I highly doubt a dishwasher would even fit inside the tailgate of a VW or Volvo. They (cars not appliances) are also very expensive and difficult to repair and maintain.

Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma should be on your shopping list.

“I also need a vehicle that has a tail gate (like a station wagon) so big items like dishwashers can just be pushed in.”

As far as I know, the days of passenger vehicles (be they station wagons, SUVs, or Crossovers) with a tailgate are long gone. I really doubt if you will find a passenger vehicle less than 20 years old that has a tailgate.

As mleich stated, a small pickup truck would suit your carrying needs, but–unfortunately–vehicles like that are also known for ride qualities that are…not the best.

I will continue to think about the question that you have posed, but at this point, I’m not sure if there is any modern vehicle that has both a tailgate and a limousine-like ride.

What is your budget? Are looking at brand new vehicles?
If you’re looking at older models, be aware that European brands are known to be more expensive to maintain and repair than Domestic or Japanese or Korean. VW is also known to have phantom electrical problems that crop up now and then.

Alternatives are:
Acura TSX wagon, Toyota Venza, Ford Flex, Scion xB, Nissan Cube, Kia Soul, Chevy HHR, Subaru Outback

Actually I ran a Chevrolet Cavalier wagon (1994) till it was totaled by some knuckel-head.
I actually did just open the tailgate and shoved the dishwasher in to my Cavalier so I want a replacement.
But a pick-up truck is totally out of the question (only fits 2-3, has an exposed bed unless you put a cap on it, is so high up I could not lift heavy stuff up and shove in and lastly they ride like trucks which completely blows the deal, TBI survivor, remember!)
Looking at the V50 and the Passat the width and height are about the same as my Cavalier but that dishwasher would stick out a bit in these as the rears of these are a bit shorter. (In the Cavalier I was able to close but not latch the hatch.)
What I was hoping was that someone actually knew how these two are to work on and drive in.

OH budget.
Well $13K+tx is my absolute MAX.

Buy another Chevalier…You were made for each other…

They stopped making the Cavalier wagon in 1994
Looking through the Internet around the country cannot find any with out rust.
If I could find a clean body I would have the drive-train rebuilt.

How about a Toyota Matrix or Pontiac Vibe, then? Mazda 3 hatchback

Actually, this is probably your best vehicle choice:



When I first responded to this thread, about 5 days ago, I pointed out that the OP is unlikely to find a vehicle with a tailgate that also has the type of ride that he is looking for. Nobody else seems to have picked up on this detail, and the OP did not comment on it.

As I think about it now, I am now of the theory that the OP is actually referring to a LIFTGATE, which of course, is common to almost all SUVs, Crossovers, and station wagons. If the OP will be satisfied with a liftgate-equipped vehicle, the field of vehicles from which to choose will be considerably larger.

i-mt: Do you require a vehicle with a tailgate, or will a liftgate (such as your Cavalier wagon had) suffice?

The small CUV’s (CRV, RAV4, Escape, Equinox) should all do. Have you checked them? Are they too high?

Both VW and Volvo are nice, but not that reliable as they age, and parts are expensive. I also like wagons and wish more were available. Given your price ceiling you’ll be looking at cars from a few years ago. Mazda made a very nice wagon of their Mazda6 until a few years ago hat is about the right size. It didn’t sell well so may be hard to find. It only came with a Ford six that isn’t as reliable as the rest of the car,- but it would still be cheaper to run than any European model.

There is also the Hyundai Elantra Touring. It’s smaller than a Passat, but about the same as the V50. It’s a simple car and recent Hyundais have been quite reliable. It’s only been made for about three years, but might be cheap enough.

Of course, the biggest seller of wagons for years has been Subaru, and they are exceptionally reliable. Any Legacy wagon/Outback would be about the size you’ve been looking for. They have the advantage of being very common and not changing much, so can easily be found of any age at reasonable prices. And they’re AWD, which is good in ice and snow, but cuts MPG a bit.

Of compact crossovers, the older Subaru Forester is essentially a high-roofed car with a lot of room in back. You could probably put a dishwasher in. The driver doesn’t sit up high, unlike competitors and unlike the current Forester, which sits up higher than you want.

Great idea, Bladecutter. Look at a Transit Connect.

OP, if you are regularly hauling large appliances with the tailgate open, God help us all. This is dangerous and should be illegal if it isn’t already.

If you are looking for something inexpensive to maintain, VWs and Volvos shouldn’t even be on your list!

I think the best place to start your search is in the bookstore. Pick up a copy of Consumer Reports Buyers’ Guide (one for new, one for used). All of the possible choices aill be listed and comparisons made. From there you can begin searching and doing test drives on those that look good to you.

Thanks Mark M for the Subaru, looking at those.
To VDC, no I meant Tailgate and they are still made, not many but they are made (outback, mazda 6 wagon V50, Passat wagon)
To “the same mountain bike” and others, yes consumer reports likes Subaru but I was hoping for personal experience, especially from mechanics.
To doubleclutch yes these are expensive but that cost is maily labor as the parts thought higher are not astronical, again I was hoping a mechanic or two might tell me about the actual level of difficulity for these beasts. Perhaps Subaru is a better alternative?

One more thing, the dishwasher was held in with the tailgate and it was kept down with bungie cords. So it would have had to break the bungies. Then the tailgate would have had to fly open and then it would have had to work its’s way out. Not likely at the max speed of 25.

Oh thanks for the Hyundai Elantra Touring add to my search list.

“To VDC, no I meant Tailgate and they are still made, not many but they are made (outback, mazda 6 wagon V50, Passat wagon)”

i-mt: You need to look again, or to re-define your terminology.
As the owner of a 2011Subaru Outback (and the former owner of a '97 Outback and an '02 Outback), I can tell you that these vehicles–like almost all vehicles on the market–use a LIFTGATE, not a tailgate. The new-design Outback (as of 2010) has a ride quality that is remarkably smooth, but it does not have a tailgate!