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A tamer successor to an old WRX?

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Member5637

My wife and I have been very happy with our manual 2002 Subaru WRX
Sportwagon. It's fun to drive, has been reliable, and has over 60
ft^3 of cargo room with the rear seats down. But with 100,000 miles
on the car, and almost 14 more years on us, we are looking for a
second car that doesn't have some of the faults of the WRX, but still
has some of its good points. We'd like a wagon or a hatchback with
less road noise, better gas mileage in the city, and a less firm ride
for longer trips. We'd like to still have --- as much as possible ---
a fun, reliable cargo-hauler.

We don't drive much. I work from home and my wife has a 3-mile
commute each way. We live in snowy upstate NY so we really want AWD.
Most of our mileage is stop-and-go in a small, hilly city. I like
having the WRX cargo room for vacation and trips to visit relatives.
But most of the time we just need room for my wife and me and a
medium-sized dog.

We tend to buy our cars new or newish and run them until they go to
charity. Frankly, I've been going around in circles, but we're
considering: 2012 Audi A4 Avant, used Audi allroad, Subaru Outback
(probably the 3.6R), used BMW 328i or 328d Xdrive sportwagon, Mazda
CX-5 AWD or a Mazda 3 (which supposedly is good in snow despite
FWD). I've owned a VW before and was unhappy with its reliability. So
maybe wrongly, I'm leaning away from the Golf. I've never warmed to
Volvos since I've never ridden in one whose back seat was comfortable.

Any thoughts? --- thanks

Priorities: Ride smoothness / Quietness / Fuel economy

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Wagon / Hatch

Car Needs: Long trips / Errands about town / Daily commuter

Primary Driver(s): Senior driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 35000
Maximum age: 4 years

Maximum price: US $ 35000

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Response from mkaresh

7:01 pm November 15, 2015

I was going to suggest a GTI. But if you don't want the Golf, you also don't want the Audi. Both the VW and the compact Audis have been reliable in recent model years, but it's too soon to tell how they're fare in the long run. The Mazda (best for handling) and Subaru (best for cargo room, more powerful engines) are safer bets.

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Response from jasonmreece

10:23 pm November 15, 2015

If you really want AWD, the Mazda CX-5 would be a great choice. I know two people who own CX-5s and I have met several others (at the gas pump or other public place) just by asking how they liked their CX-5! I have a 2012 CX-9, so it's easy to strike up a conversation about Mazdas since I drive one. Everyoone that I know and/or met loves their CX-5 unequivocally!

The Mazda3 5-door is a great choice also. With winter tires and and the excellent traction control system, AWD might not be necesary after all.

I know you mentioned not caring for Volvos, but I can't stop myself from suggesting the V60 Wagon. The standard T5 model comes in FWD or AWD. $30-$32k will buy a very low mileage 2015 V60 with AWD. Volvo also offers the V60 Cross Country which is a very sharp looking version of the AWD V60. Just something to think about.....

What about the Subaru Forester? The garden variety Forester is pretty dull, IMO. But the turbocharged 2.0XXT models are a blast to drive and they're AWD!

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Response from Member5637

8:19 pm November 30, 2015

I'll have to give the GTI some more thought, and pay more attention to the data than
to my personal experience, which was a long time ago. I wish the GTI had AWD.
(And I don't think the VW Golf R would work for us ;) )

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Response from Member5637

8:21 pm November 30, 2015

Thanks jasonmreece. I realize my prejudice against Volvos was not well-founded. I hadn't even considered the turbo Subaru Forester; that was a helpful suggestion.

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