Last post on Feb 21, 2007 at 8:37 AM
You are in the Wagons
What is this discussion about?
Aug 28, 2001 (5:50 pm)
I considered an SUV, but couldn't afford one in 1986. I did buy a 1986 Subaru GL 4wd wagon and used it successfully for 14 years to surf fish on North Carolina's Outer Banks. It would drag a little in deep, soft sand, but went anywhere with the tire pressure lowered to 13-15 pounds.
This was the model with the 4-wheel independent suspension, carb., crank windows, white spoke wheels, dual-range 5-speed, steel skid plate, armored exhaust system and 3-way manually adjustable rear shocks.
The front sub-frame members rusted through last year, so I sold it.
I enjoyed this wagon. It went on the beach, it floated briefly in seawater a few times (couldn't be helped!), it went in the snow and ice and hauled a lot of stuff, and people, over the years including 11-foot-long surf rods and the lumber I used to build a sun room off of the back bedroom upstairs.
All in all, a very practical vehicle.
Now I'm out looking for another go-almost-anywhere wagon.
I've been looking at Foresters, among some others, but let me use the Subaru as an example of what I'm finding -- automatically dimming rearview mirrors, compasses, thermometers, 6-cd in-dash changers, no front skid plates, entry- and exit-angles that are suspect, ground clearance that is suspect and they even stopped putting doors on the little storage compartments in the back.
SUBARU!!!!!(and the rest) Put the useful equipment back on the wagons and dump the tack-on junk like the auto-dimming mirrors and the heated seats.
And finally, all of the Subarus I've seen here are loaded with junk. No wonder they have to discount them 3 or 4k from the sticker.
Is anyone else looking for a useful wagon that doesn't have to double as a luxury sedan?
Aug 29, 2001 (6:37 am)
I guess it depends how well a line sells or soemthing. I bought a 2001 Saturn LW200 in late May when they were clearing them out and I still found one without ANY options installed, which is how I wanted it. The base car includes everything I wanted and really nothing I didn't want or haven't found useful.
As far as the original post goes, my wife and I did originally consider some SUVs as they looked like fun but we found them to be too big, making it hard to get us and our stuff inside, hard to park them, bad on gas and top heavy for handling. For similar reasons we didn't want a minivan.
We thought about the Subarus and AWD would be nice but the price point for a good sized Su wagon was just too high.
#4 of 1426 SUV vs. station wagons
Sep 04, 2001 (9:33 pm)
I was a former owner of a Nissan Pathfinder, for one year. It's hard for my aging parents to get in or out, it's too much baggage to be hauling around just for commuting to/for. I can't move as fast from lane to lane, compared to a lighter vehicle. I used to drive a F250, but then again, there was really no need for such a big vehicle, if all you need is to go shopping for groceries.
My next car is Subaru Impreza WRX. It runs so well, like an SUV, and go real fast like a sports car. I got everything I needed but better. It's also a AWD, excellent commuter vehicle, and as for my parents THEY LOVE IT SO MUCH, they helped me pay it all off this month! When we got rid of the SUV, they didn't even whine one bit when we showed up with my new car. The SUV is an image thing. You have to drive a big car to let the whole world you are well off, and others they think THEY OWN THE ROAD.
Station wagon is making a comeback. Those SUV owners are really polluting the world. It's like smoking a cigarette. The smokers know it's not good for their body, but they smoke anyway. The SUV owners are stuck because they bought it but they can't back away from it. But, people still buy them, because they know they CAN.
#5 of 1426 Wagon and SUV's evolving...
Sep 05, 2001 (6:56 am)
I agree that Wagons are going to make a big comeback, we'll see more and more "sport wagons" in the next couple of years. Right now though, I think the selection is a little thin, you can either get a really expensive wagon (Audi, BMW, Mercedes) or a cheap one (Suzuki, Ford) not much in between aside from the Subarus. I'm waiting for Mazda, Honda and Toyota to bring their wagons back (every try to find a used Toyota Camry wagon ?). In the meantime, you'll the SUV's evolve a little, see the 2002 CRV, not exactly the gas guzzling, environmental nightmare described above....
#6 of 1426 Subaru Outback SPORT vs. Nissan Xterra
Sep 05, 2001 (7:09 am)
For me these were the two finalists... The itty-bitty Impreza Sport Wagon vs. the Xterra 4wd SUV (One of the cheaper SUVs on the market). We compared the specs side by side... Imagine our suprise when the tiny sport wagon had more passenger space (headroom, legroom, etc) than the much larger Xterra. Granted the cargo space on the Xterra is bigger. But it seemed to be a no-brainer when you figure in the gas guzzling and the $24k vs $19k... We own a Subaru Outback Sport... still on it's first tank of gas
#8 of 1426 Thanks, but you're too late.
Oct 04, 2001 (6:01 pm)
I had a change of heart.
I bought a 2002 Silver Forester S Premium with leather and nearly everything except the hitch, rear skid plate and speaker upgrade. It came with the tweeter upgrade, but not the speaker upgrade(and it needs it, I think.) FWIW, all of the options were factory-installed.
So far, it's great. If there's any road or wind noise it's on a frequency I can't hear anymore. Getting 24 mpg with half of it on the Interstate and half in town and I'm always the first one away from the light, too.
Where do I buy a sturdy front skid plate? I've searched some, but need some user input.
Inconsiderate salesman/salesmanager story
I had the invoice price written on a piece of paper in my pocket and everything else in the car. I'd been looking all over the state and saved the local "We Sell For Less" place for last. Went in at 4:00 p.m. on 8/31, saw the one I wanted and asked for a cash price. I had an equity line check and a pen in my shirt pocket.
Mr. Almost-knew-his-product-line wanted to look at the sticker. He wanted to talk to the manager. He wanted me to drive it before he asked the manager for a price. He wanted me to drive it before he told me the price. He wanted to discuss Subaru's strong points. You know the routine.
He was a nice guy, just too predictable. I was ready for almost anything, but mostly wanted an answer to my questions "You're selling cars, right? How much is it?"
So he gave up and went to get a price. For those nodding off, I'll summarize. I still hadn't made an offer at this point, only commented that the sticker was a fantasy.
Five minutes later he's back with some story about them needing to sell one more to make 50 or more for the fifth month in a row. His first offer was invoice plus $100. Okay, that was rude. I'm ready to butt heads and whine and cry, and they pull that low-first-offer-take-it-or-leave-it nonsense. What kind of dealer is this?
I opened at $200 below invoice, but only got them down another $80. Then I went to dinner, but still couldn't get them to go any lower later. Oh, well.
The salesman promised to mail me a free tube of touch-up paint, but I haven't seen it. It was his idea!!!
What a guy! And I sent him a referral. Boy do I feel stupid.
P.S. My 79-year-old father wasn't too sure about the Forester - he likes large cars and at least a V-6. Then he drove it. He was very impressed with the handling, the ride and the pickup. Oh, and the headroom. He still likes wearing his hat when he drives. I claim it's a habit he picked up as a State Trooper. He denies it and claims to have witnesses to prove it's a much older habit. Who knows?
#9 of 1426 Okay, to be fair...
Oct 09, 2001 (7:04 am)
The co-worker I referred to my Subaru salesman bought an Outback yesterday.
Not only did he drive up in his new wagon this morning, he also brought me the long-promised touch-up paint!!!!! They had to order it.
Oct 09, 2001 (7:35 am)
Glad you got the paint.
Now, take it easy for the 1st 1k miles, keeping it below 4000rpm and vary speeds. I'm at 42k miles and she stills runs great.
Hop over to the Subaru Crew topics under Owners Clubs. There you will find several active topics. Hop into Meet the Members and introduce yourself, then hop over to Modifications and ask about the skid plates. I know Lucien will have some useful info, maybe Colin too. There were links to skid plate vendors earlier, but I'm sure they'd be glad to re-post them for you.
PS Oh, and we hold a weekly chat every Thursday night, join in