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Snow worthy station wagons - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Is the Outback just a raised Legacy?
More or less. As I understand it, same frame, body, and engine. Raised + different suspension + extra plastic crap on the bumpers; maybe different gear ratios but that's beyond me.

Subaru model names are confusing though. "Outback" is a raised Legacy, but "Outback Sport" is a raised Impreza (smaller car).

www.cars101.com has the best breakdown I've seen.
post #32 of 56
Thread Starter 
Anyone drive a VW Passat AWD Wagon?
post #33 of 56
I test drove a Passat 4-Motion W8 wagon with a stick a couple of years ago and wass blown away. I think there’s less than a dozen of them in Canada though (with manual, there are more W8 auto’s...)
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Anyone drive a VW Passat AWD Wagon?
I currently drive a 2004 VW Passat Wagon but it does not have AWD. This is the car I commute to/from work in although i also take it skiing when I'm not taking the whole family. I really like the Passat.

When I'm taking the family skiing I drive a Toyota Sienna AWD (2004). With 4 children, I need all the room I can get and did not want to pay huge gas bills for an SUV with gas at its current price level.
post #35 of 56
Thread Starter 
For those of you with the Subie Legacy...do you ever run into any clearance problems when driving through deep snow?
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
For those of you with the Subie Legacy...do you ever run into any clearance problems when driving through deep snow?
Nope, went cross country skiing a couple of years ago the morning it snowed about 13 inches. Drove into the partially plowed parking lot and parked in a non-plowed spot. No problems at all getting in or out. That's why I'd never buy an Outback over a Legacy. Legacy drives better and I don't think the extra ground clearance in the Outback gets you all that much over the Legacy.

Legacy GT spec B. mmmmmmmmm
post #37 of 56
You might need it on unasumed roads, private cottage roads, mud roads in Alberta, and other roads that can become severely rutted. As for just driving on public roads to and from the ski hill, I wouldn't bother with the extra ground clearece. You can get anything stuck if the snow's deep enough, but where do you draw the line?
post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Anyone drive a VW Passat AWD Wagon?
model yr 2004: The down-sides is that it has pretty low ground clearance, less interior space than a Volvo, and less comfortable seats (the saving grace to the seats is the flexible adjustments). There are windscreen fogging problems -- imo, insufficient air-exchanges. You need to manage the fogging. There is no climate control -- you need to manage the discharge temp. Also, rather odd is the cabin pressure changes with a single window open -- especially just the rear. You need to open two to get a pressure balance. I dunno about the new ones.

The Outback claims 8.4" clearance, I checked this years VW sedan at 131 mm or about 6.25".

The 2004 has the same differential as the Audi. It's an agile and quite surefooted car. The geartronic transmission is better than the automatic, dunno about manual. The 1.8T is not quite enough power -- it lacks a bit of acceleration, but you may think differently -- the V6 was recommended by consumer reports - Ive not driven the v6. The ride is stiffer than the volvo. I much prefer VW -- I've considered getting a Jetta TDI wagon.

Mileage for the 1.8T is ok -- HWY: 8.5 l/100 km without a roof box, dry pavement. 10.5 l/100km with roof box on wet with winter tires. City: depends on how bad the traffic can be -- double or triple -- all depends on the crawl and idle.

So far, I have not seen a better choice.
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
After checking out the Volvo third row I can see this isn't going to work for our family. Sigh...I really wanted a wagon with 3 usuable rows. I guess we'll stick with the SUV for moving lots of kids. So, I've received the greenlight to get a standard 5 seat AWD wagon. I'm guessing the majority on this board would vote for the Subaru based on the past threads I've seen.
Most mid-sized vehicles with third row seats do not offer enough space for six or seven normal sized people. Even adolescents traveling in the third row won't tolerate the lack of comfort for more than a short trip around town.

The Ford Freestyle offers real utility for six or seven normal sized adults for longer trips. Smaller vehicles might have a third row, but that area is not very useful for more than thirty minutes of travel unless its used by children.

If you want a balance of performance, price and utility in a five passenger vehicle, the Mazda CX7 is the hot ticket. This turbo AWD offers a class leading performance and is ideal for high elevation travel. Turbos can maintain HP better than a non-turbo at high elevations.

see: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do.../pageId=101565

Cheers,

Michael
post #40 of 56
Subaru is the way to go as others have said. You might want to check out the new Forester 2.5 XT as well.

I drive a Saab 92X (Saabaru). I gave up some size for performance. If you have a roof rack and hitch with carrier it can haul plenty though.

We just picked up a new Saab 97X last week. Pretty sweet but poor MPG.
post #41 of 56
What About Saabs? The 3 series wagon looks pretty hot but I hear that the quality on them isn't so good. Anybody know about the quality issue? How about winter driving. They used to be awesome.
post #42 of 56
Subaru is a great choice, if you fit. It's much too cramped for me.
post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
The Ford Freestyle offers real utility for six or seven normal sized adults for longer trips. Smaller vehicles might have a third row, but that area is not very useful for more than thirty minutes of travel unless its used by children.

If you want a balance of performance, price and utility in a five passenger vehicle, the Mazda CX7 is the hot ticket. This turbo AWD offers a class leading performance and is ideal for high elevation travel. Turbos can maintain HP better than a non-turbo at high elevations.
The Freestyle excels in the space department. It's probably a bit underpowered. If I remember correctly, it weighs well over 4,000 lbs and is propelled by a 200 hp V6.

The CX7 looks like it might have some large blind spots. I haven't actually been in one, but it's worth checking out. Note that the 4WD model of the CX7 also weighs close to 4,000 lbs, with 244 hp.

The dressed-up auto-trans turbocharged Subaru Legacy comes with 250 hp and weighs 3,500 lbs. It is not flashy and does not attract a lot of attention. This is sometimes an advantage.

And, of course, in the Hot Wagons With a Semi-Useless Back Seat Department, we have the Audi S4 Avant. Same size as a VW Jetta wagon. 340 hp V8, AWD, goes like a bat. Very expensive.
post #44 of 56
The only AWD Saabs -- the 9-2x and 9-7x -- aren't actually Saabs; they're Subarus and Chevys, respectively. And both will be dead within a year -- the former due to the demise of the FHI (Subaru)/GM partnership, the latter due to the demise of the GMT360 platform.

AutoWeek says that Saab isn't getting a member of the GM crossover family, which is too bad, because they actually look promising. The 2009ish redesign of the 9-5 may include AWD, but that's probably outside your timeframe.

In addition to the Mazda CX-7, you might try the CX-9 (coming in October, IIRC), which has a third row. It's based off the Mazda6 plaform, rather than the Mazda3/Mazda5.

I actually think that the ideal inexpensive ski vehicle for a family with three kids would be a Mazda5 AWD. But Mazda doesn't make them AWD.
post #45 of 56
I just drove the 07 VW Passat Wagon Value Edition.

For $25K it's definitely worth a look. 4Motion not included-

Let's face it, the real issue with 2 sets of drive wheels is that it dramatically increases the number of moving parts in the drivetrain.

I can't justify it myself.
post #46 of 56
Any thoughts on the AWD Dodge Magnum with variable displacemnet?
post #47 of 56
Volvo V70R. I drive a 1998 V70R with 42K on the clock. Car is amazing in the snow (awd). And performance wise it outhandles and outsprints most other cars on the road. Check out www.volvospeed.com/bb for more information. Theres a lot of helpful guys over there in all departments. All of the "R" series come fully loaded with awd. The P2 R has 300HP and can either be a 5spd auto or 6spd man. Great cars. Volvo for life.
post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Most mid-sized vehicles with third row seats do not offer enough space for six or seven normal sized people. Even adolescents traveling in the third row won't tolerate the lack of comfort for more than a short trip around town.
If you want a real third row, get a Toyota Sienna AWD. Not a lot of clearance, though. It's also probably the most money you can spend on a car you're embarassed to be seen driving. But still.
post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
The only AWD Saabs -- the 9-2x and 9-7x -- aren't actually Saabs; they're Subarus and Chevys, respectively. And both will be dead within a year.
I hope my 92X and 97X last more than a year!!

Seriously though...that is why you can get such good deals on these vehicles. If you can look past all the press and speculation.

We own both and they are great vehicles. The 92X is based on the Impreza and they didn't mess with the important parts, except to add some STI steering components. They made it look much better. The 97X was re-worked in the suspension/steering dept. and also looks much nicer...and all options are standard. Both good values.

post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
I hope my 92X and 97X last more than a year!!

Seriously though...that is why you can get such good deals on these vehicles. If you can look past all the press and speculation.
Sorry -- to clarify, they won't be sold new a year from now. The vehicles themselves should last. And yes, assuming you can get a good deal, it will undoubtedly be worth it to go with those over their donor vehicles, since they've been improved IMHO. But they're not really Saabs.
post #51 of 56
The Saab on the right's too small and the one on the left's too tippy.
Bring back the real stationwagon!
post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
The Saab on the right's too small and the one on the left's too tippy.
Bring back the real stationwagon!
Roadmaster
post #53 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Roadmaster
That would do (Buicks version of my car), but I think the proper term is roadmonster or roadmasher? You will have to settle for a '96 though.
post #54 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Subaru is a great choice, if you fit. It's much too cramped for me.
I agree. When we discuss ski cars or Metrons, both subjects raise the same question in my mind. Do these come in adult sizes?
post #55 of 56
I would get a car with stability ESP or something like that well before an AWD car. Of course, you should also have dedicated snow tires as well.

In my experience, an AWD car (Subie in my case) does not handle better in the snow. and an AWD car certainly does not stop faster than a standard car.

And of course, an AWD car does use more gas.

Of course, the ultimate snow car would be AWD with ESP, but since I have not been stuck in the snow for 30 years, I think I can live without AWD.

But ESP will help prevent spin outs, which I have done more often in AWD cars that non AWD cars.

Larry
post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
The Saab on the right's too small and the one on the left's too tippy.
Bring back the real stationwagon!
Saab lowered the 97X by an inch so it's not real tippy. It handles reasonably for a truck.
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