What should I buy?

I just totaled my 2001 Saab 9-5 turbo wagon, which we loved. We need a replacement. We like wagons, not SUV’s, we want pretty good mileage, that is, better than 20 on the low and and near 30 or better on the high end. We’re willing (even eager) to go diesel. We’d like to spend less than 30K but could go higher; on the other hand, we’re not opposed to looking at less luxury brands like Hyundai etc. We liked the feel and features of the Saab: heated leather seats, electric adjustments, etc, though none of that is necessary.

It seems that hardly anyone makes a real wagon these days. We are willing to look at used cars.

What are our options, what do you recommend?

I recommend that you pick up a Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide at the local bookstore and test drive those that look good to you.

You can get a VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI for far less than $30,000. The Audi A3 TDI is right at $30,000 MSRP. The Toyota Venza is not a diesel; it gets 21/27 with the 4-cyl and 19/26 with the 6-cyl. Of course, a Saab 9-3 2.0T wagon will set you back about $30,000. The TDI’s get 30 city and 42 highway. A 2009/2010 BMW 328i wagon is priced at or below $30,000 (mileage 17/26). You like luxury; you want a diesel. Take a look at the Audi A3 TDI.

You’re right, there aren’t a lot of real wagons these days, at least not at reasonable prices.

Take a look at the VW Jetta TDI wagon. I believe it has everything you’re looking for, and it’s a particularly handsome car IMHO.

If you don’t need diesel power there’s the Acura TSX sport wagon.

If you like AWD there’s the Subaru Outback, although I’m not crazy about the new styling. But that’s just me.