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What the hell happened to the wagon?

The Mazda 5 is a possibility. Unfortunately, my city of 60,000 does not have a Mazda dealer. Sometimes I need to haul 4 tympani. I can fit them in the Uplander and could get them in the Windstar that I had before the Uplander.
My favorite minivan was the Ford Aerostar that I traded 10 years ago. However, like everything else that I liked or found useful, the manufacturers stoppped makng it.

at $900 a pop, they shouldnt be looked over.

The Audi A3 drivers seat moves up/down. You might look at it and any other car that offers that feature. My sister in-law is 5’ at most and she had no problem with her Chrysler T&C with 6-way power seats. And come to think of it, she enjoys her Kia Rondo. Take a look at them.

Do you mean “shouldn’t be looked over”, or “shouldn’t be overlooked”?

There is a difference in meaning.

You need a Sprinter passenger van. There’s enough room for your ensemble and all your instruments. It will even get better fuel mileage than any van you’ve ever owned. The used one’s can be attractively priced, but the new ones are over $40,000.

The traditional family wagon of which you’re thinking has disappeared due to one thing; very little market for them.
No car maker wants to design and manufacture a vehicle just to sell a few thousand copies. (other than the occasional engineering exercise like the Plymouth Prowler)

EXACTLY…

The new Honda Crosstour is really stylish and attractive. However, I think that for anyone who actually wants to haul large objects in it, this is a classic case of style over substance.

The way that the roof slopes sharply in a fastback effect makes it impossible to carry anything sizeable in the cargo area. I had the same reaction when I saw the Dodge Magnum (now discontinued), namely:
“A station wagon with a rear opening that is significantly lower than the roof in the passenger area? Huh?”

Like a tiger without teeth, a station wagon/crossover without significant cargo-carrying capacity is something that looks great but is not what it may claim to be.

Thanks so much for all the input! We are seriously considering the Outback now. We are hardcore devotees of Consumer Reports, for better or worse, and it is very well rated. I even discovered that my dog crates DO fit in the trunk with about 1/2 inch to spare. (Felt a bit funny doing that in the dealer showroom this week.) Of course, that leaves no cargo space at all for anything else, so we’re still having to think about that. For serious trips, we’re considering the extra roof storage attachment option and/or a trailer hitch (for one of those platforms behind the car rather than a trailer).

The Volvo is of course a possibility, but it is just so expensive. The minivan hasn’t been ruled out either, but it will require a workaround for Grandmom. She has a lot more upper body strength than lower (which means she can push herself up out of a car without much difficulty), and has terrible arthritis in her knees (which make stepping up a problem). My wife really likes being able to see out as well as you can from being up so high, but she found the driving wasn’t to her liking even after making all the adjustments. She prefers a sedan’s layout where you’re more cupped in the seat and less erect.

Will take a look at the Mazda 5 too.

Yes, my post was more rant than anything else, but I very much appreciate the constructive input.

Maybe the limo makers will stretch a Subaru Outback.

I gotta remember that one.

“The used one’s can be attractively priced, but the new ones are over $40,000.”

Had a chance to drive and talk with commercial owner of one…great vehicles, but for commercial use mainly. Plan on thousands more to set vehicle up for your needs. The average joe, unless loaded can do better, ride, handling etc. But it is cool way to get about with lots of stuff as long as it’s earning it’s way otherwise…

dooooh… shouldnt be overlooked…

Why should it cost extra to “set up” a Sprinter? They are available as passenger vans, too.

Remember when you look at consumer reports that the differences between average rated vehicles and the best are ridiculously small anymore - so small that most of their samples are not large enough to have any confidence that the measured difference even exists. After all, any car with an average rating or better for any system by definition has LESS than a 3% failure rate.

In my book, that makes an AVERAGE rated vehicle pretty darned good.

That’s also why they report Ford as 16th best as a brand overall, but “world class” and on par with Honda and Toyota for reliability… there really is basically no difference in overall reliability… you’re splitting hairs at that point.

So I would just use them to filter the worst of the worst… and ignore all their criticisms about “feel” - you’re a better judge of what feels good than they are.

Of course, they also rated my lawnmower as the best available… and because of extremely poor design, it disassembles itself as you push it across the lawn (bolt that should have been reverse-threaded wasn’t).

I believe you mentioned “Used” alternative. Over 40K for a Sprinter in general new means over 43k to 50K for a passenger new specifically, and to me that’s thousands more, new or used. Used ones may be quite reasonable for cargo model, but again, thousands more for passenger…unless he wants to set one up…still much more. I don’t think new or used a Sprinter passenger van is a reasonably priced alternative. 95 year old grandmother isn’t going to leap in and out with ease either and making adjustments for her needs will be expensive.

Unless the guy uses it at “commercial level”(that means daily high miles) and I do like it for that, it’s hard to justify IMO. If he is, a good idea. I commented unsuccessfully in short hand.:wink:

It just occurred to me that you might want to check out the Ford Transit Connect. It’s really a small delivery van designed for the Euro market, but it is available as a “wagon” with rear passenger seats and has a lot of head room and space for cargo. Not sure how much room the seats take up in the wagon version, but maybe worth looking at.

We are hardcore devotees of Consumer Reports, for better or worse, and it is very well rated.
Hardcore to CR is for better I feel…you could be a hardcore devote to Motor Trend (or any advertisement mag.) which is worse.

The value drops pretty fast. A new passenger Sprinter is expected to lose 64% to depreciation over the first 5 years, while a comparably priced Odyssey will lose only 47%. A new passenger Sprinter starts at $42,000 and a 2007 can be purchased for about $25,000. BTW, we’re both right. The 2009 passenger Sprinter starts a little over $40,000 while the cargo version starts at about $38,500. But apparently Dodge is discounting the if they are still available. Edmunds indicated that the 2010 Sprinter will be marketed by MB, but MB doesn’t show it on their USA web site yet. I saw an RV article that said they would be available in 2010 as a Benz.

Like I said jt…I do like it very much, and if I hadn’t just dumped a “bundle” on another new tractor (one of my passions) I’d consider one…in 4 wd which I need ? The fwd Transit as mention after this appeals to me only as a light load,high volume in city transport. FWD,4 cyl,heavy loads,much speed and hills scare me…I’m a whimp I guess. I do like the effort by Ford and their inventiveness to try it on this market

Take a look at the VW Jetta Sportwagen or its slightly larger sibling the VW Passat wagon. These are true station wagon versions of the Jetta and Passat lines respectively. Since your wife is “short in stature”, the VWs should be good fits for her. My wife and I have had the earlier incarnation of the Jetta Wagon since it was new in 2004, and she loves it (BTW, she’s full sized).