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Which new car would you recommend?

hi, my wife is in need of a new car and she wants a wagon with a manual transmission. Her former car was a 2000 Saab 95 wagon that she loved. unfortunately it was totaled in an accident (thankfully no one was hurt). Ideally she would like an upscale vehicle and we have looked at Audi Allroad (no manual transmission), A3 wagon (to small), BMW (no longer make a wagon), VW jetta sport wagon (slightly too small), Acura TSX (no manual).

are there any other wagons or small crossovers that might fit? manual transmission is a must.

Last I read BMW was still going to sell the 328 wagon, the new model should be out shortly. Also, the X3 is really a wagon, just a bit taller. Pretty sure you can get one with a manual.

Not many true wagons left out there today. You’ve pretty much gotta choose between a hatchback or an SUV. Also, going upscale, you’re gonna lose the option for stick since most people who buy those upscale cars want automatic.

Thanks texases and bscar2, BMW no longer sells the 3 series wagon which was based on the last 3 series car. A new one is coming out in 2013 but we can’t wait that long. The BMW dealer we went to said the X3 doesn’t come with a manual.

We are going to look at the Mazda CX-5 in the next couple of days.

The new-design Subaru Outback, which has considerably more interior room that the pre-2010 versions, is available with a 6-speed manual transmission. Unfortunately, the only engine available with the manual trans is the 4-cylinder engine, but you should be able to wring more performance out of that engine with the manual trans, so it might not be a problem. Only a test drive will tell you for sure.

With the manual trans, the Outback is rated at 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway.

The only significant complaint from owners of the first and second year’s production of this new design was that they wanted crisper handling. The 2013 model has a thicker rear anti-sway bar and a stiffer chassis, so that should give it improved handling.

Or get a manual Legacy Wagon from Subaru. Then the money you save from not getting the Outback can go towards options / packages / niceties.

As VDCdriver points out though, you would end up with a 4 cylinder engine.

More power from Subaru with a Manual would move you to a smaller vehicle in the Impreza category.

Thanks for the suggestion. We looked at the Subaru Outback first. The problem there was that they offer but don’t really have a manual. the dealer told us it would be impossible to get. Subaru has almost no tech. we need at least Bluetooth and satellite radio. Maybe the local dealer was the problem. We will take another look.

The Mazda CX-5 does come in a manual but only the most basic version. we drove the middle trim model and it was a really nice car. The only know is that is is underpowered. if they used a slightly bigger engine it would be much better.

we are going to drive a mini countryman soon.

Kudos to your wife for wanting a manual. I doubt this is what you’re looking for but the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is available with a manual and has all of the tech. you need. In addition to 550hp it can be had with Brembo brakes and Recaro seats.

“Subaru has almost no tech. we need at least Bluetooth and satellite radio”

The dealer is the problem.

While my 2011 Outback undoubtedly has less technology than…let’s say…a BMW with the hated I-Drive system, it is not exactly old-fashioned in that regard either. My car has a very nicely integrated system that combines the 9-speaker 440-watt HK satellite audio system with its Bluetooth feature, the GPS system, and the backup camera. Central to all of it is a very clear 10 inch flat-screen display in the center of the dashboard

If I am listening to satellite radio or a CD when I get a phone call, the audio is automatically muted so that I can take the call. Additionally, the sound quality of its Bluetooth is better than that of my friend’s Toyota-based Bluetooth.

I can toggle back and forth between the map for the GPS system and the display for the audio system. If I shift into reverse, the image from the backup camera overrides any other display.
If I wanted to watch a DVD while the vehicle is parked, it also has that capability, but I have no interest in ever using that feature.

“Almost no tech?” I beg to differ.

However, I will grant you that models with the 6-speed manual trans are rare, indeed. If you want an Outback with the manual trans, the dealer would likely have to search for it. If you want one that also comes with the optional tech features that I mentioned above, you will have to special-order it. Expect about an 8 week delivery time, as the Lafayette, Indiana factory is backlogged with orders for Outbacks. Legacy sedans, and Toyota Camrys–all of which are built there by Subaru of America.

“Or get a manual Legacy Wagon from Subaru.”

If the OP resides in North America, that option in a new vehicle no longer exists, Nebin.
While Legacy wagons are still made for the Asian and European markets, they have not been sold in the US since the 2009 model year. The choices for US and Canadian buyers are the Legacy sedan and the Outback (raised) wagon.

First pick up a Consumer Reports New Car Preview at the local bookstore and let her review all the choices. Then test drive the ones she likes.

“…the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is available with a manual and has all of the tech. you need. In addition to 550hp it can be had with Brembo brakes and Recaro seats.”

An “equivalently” equipped Allroad would be about $48,500 and the MB E63 AMG wagon is over $90,000… Of course the Audi trembles in the presence of the greatest station wagon ever built. And while the Benz will give the CTS-V a decent run, it is over $30,000 more and only has auto transmission. You can get the 2012 CTS-V wagon for less than $60,000 now. But reconsider the automatic. The CTS-V set the production sedan record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife with the automatic in full auto mode. But it does have paddle shifters in case the Mrs wants to try and beat the auto shifts.

One more thing: Get the Mrs driving instructions at the Bondurant School or a similar class. Tanner Foust said after a test drive that no one should drive this car without serious instruction in driving a racing car.

The best deal in town at the moment for a wagon is the 2012 Hyundair Elantra Touring. It’s a wagon based on a lengthened Elantra chassis. I saw one advertised for $15,000 + with standard transmission. Thes are leftover models and being cleared out to make room for the 2013s. Have a look at your Hyundai dealer.

just saw a car review on an entry level Acura that had a 4 cylinder engine and ONLY came with a manual. brand new model. I think it was a CNET review. Check that out. Maybe your wife will let go of the wagon…

6-speed automatic transmissionThank you to everyone for posting comments. we are still looking and will try a new Subaru dealer later this week.

The Cadillac is interesting but the CTS V sportwagon with a manual is too much money and they are really rare. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t offer a manual trans and the price is higher than we wanted to spend.

We tried a Toyota Venza and its big enough for our family of 4 but it is not a car to love. the Prius V was interesting but there are only a few around and the car is way under powered.

You might have to settle for one with a manumatic; an automatic you can shift yourself