We are 106,000+ car owners sharing real-world car information.

Join Us

Fuel-efficient cargo carrier

The Right Car for Me:

This member has purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius.

Grantkarl

Looking for a roomy but efficient vehicle; I'm a musician and need to have the cargo capacity to carry my equipment without turning my car into a one-seater, yet I'd rather not sacrifice fuel economy. I've looked at the Jetta SportWagen and the Subaru Outback. I prefer the economy and ride-reputation of the VW, but the AWD of the Subaru would be a confidence booster for the snowy MN winters. I like to drive, and this car may be used to make long trips, so comfort is essential. I currently drive a Honda Civic, which is great for MPG, but it is quite small and anxiety-inducing in hazardous driving conditions.

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Hatch / Wagon

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

Primary Driver(s): Senior driver / Tall driver

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars

« Return to results

Sign in or join TrueDelta to post your own thoughts.

Sort responses by likes

Response from willied

4:35 pm July 31, 2014

Do you have a budget? Does it matter if it's new or used? And how many miles can it have?

1

Link to this reponse

Response from acetech09

7:32 pm July 31, 2014

Also not sure on your budget but considering you're looking at two of the more pricey vehicles in that class, plus the SportWagen not being that old, I guess you're looking for low-miles used or new.

If you like to drive, it would serve you well to stay away from the standard honda/toyota offerings. I'm not sure if you have a preferred body style but standard hatch/wagons are much more fun to drive.

The Outback can plow through just about everything - but you also have the Impreza, which is smaller but also roomy, and will be fun to drive. The Outback isn't bad, though, either - especially with a v6. It won't have the best fuel economy though.

The Jetta SportWagen is a good, comfortable, decent handling car. All-around very very good if you are willing to pay for it. I believe it's actually a Golf chassis and interior that's branded the Golf Wagon in europe. The only problem you'll have is dealing with snowy winters with low clearance and FWD.

Another option that's on the pricey end is a Volvo wagon, XC70 for snow capability, V60 for economy. It'll be more expensive, but confident, capable, solid, and can be given a Polestar tune for pretty damn good engine performance.


That basically covers the fun, solid, lineup as far as I know. There are others, but as a fellow driver, I can't say that any of them are particularly interesting.

1

Link to this reponse

Subaru Outback
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Volvo XC70

Response from Member5684

10:29 pm August 1, 2014

I will second the suggestion for the Outback 2.5i with 25/33 mpg. The AWD is nice to have in the winter, but it's the real versatility of the thing that will make it work for you. It's half cargo hauler and half quiet road-machine sedan (Legacy). Seat comfort and engine pep were pluses for me. The new 2015 models are supposed to employ a lot of new features like active grill shutters that bump it up to 33 mpg on the highway. That's really good for a mid-sized wagon. I've been in a Jetta wagon but haven't driven one. It seems a little smaller than the Outback and I'd be more worried about repair costs there.

My runner-up suggestion is the Honda CR-V AWD with 22/30 mpg. It's based on the civic platform that you are used to driving but it's got a ton of room back there. There's a very low loading deck and a higher cargo ceiling than the Outback. I test drove one last weekend and it felt very reassuringly familiar compared to my '04 Accord daily driver. That said it's probably going to be less lively on the road. This is not a sports car. What it can do is transport a lot of cargo reliably without fault.

If you ned more room than that, get a Toyota Sienna. We own a 2011 and I call it the space shuttle cause it can just swallow whatever you need to throw in it and haul it. Gas mileage is only 18/25 at that point, though.

Hope that helps!

1

Link to this reponse

Subaru Outback
Honda CR-V
Toyota Sienna

Response from mkaresh

4:46 pm August 2, 2014

Among front-wheel-drive cars, you might also take a look at the Acura TSX wagon. Good handling, great seats, and discounts should be large as dealers can't seem to sell them. It and the Jetta are the only semi-affordable true wagons still offered in the U.S.

Really want AWD? Then unless you're willing to go crossover (where I'd recommend the Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester) or can buy a sedan (Ford Fusion and some others are offered with AWD), the Outback is the only somewhat affordable AWD almost-wagon offered in the U.S.

I assume Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Volvo, etc. are more than you want to spend. Volvos do have great seats.






0

Link to this reponse

Acura TSX

Response from Grantkarl

5:38 pm August 2, 2014

Hi all. Many thanks for the replies! I first posed the question on a mobile device, and thus didn't fully flesh out my position. We are on a budget; we are not looking for a new car, rather a used, preferably low-miles (although higher miles with excellent maintenance history is also attractive). We're hoping to spend something close to 15, even getting two cars if the prices would allow us to stay within our budget.

All of the responses have been helpful, and have given me plenty to consider; as I continue to look more I'll be sure to check back in. I've located a few recent model year Outbacks and SportWagens in my area, and an '04 Audi Allroad as well. The Audi has 85k miles; should I even consider it? Given its age, it fits into our budget, but should I be wary of other factors? What have your experiences been with the relationship between a car's age, mileage, and condition?

Many thanks!

1

Link to this reponse

Response from acetech09

7:28 pm August 2, 2014

I used to have an allroad. Definitely one of the favorite cars I've ever owned but it's a bad used car to buy, unless it's been very well cared for. Many,many things can go wrong with them: Turbos, air leaks, distributor, electrical issues, 85% chance of automatic transmission failure...

However, my 4.2L turbo-less manual V8 allroad was a solid car that took me places. The manual v8 version circumvented two big failure points. However, I ended up spending about $1000 a year maintaining the vehicle. That's only in parts - I did the work myself.

1

Link to this reponse

Response from mkaresh

2:15 am August 3, 2014

As acetech suggests, the first-gen allroad is among the least reliable cars you can buy. Another common failure point: the air suspension.

Subarus can get a bit expensive after 100k miles, including head gasket failures at least through the 2008s, but not nearly as bad as the allroad.

With the VWs, newer is definitely better, as their reliability has improved over the years.

0

Link to this reponse

Response from Grantkarl

4:03 pm February 22, 2016

Hi all, sorry to reply to this only after you all provided so many helpful suggestions (and after so much time has passed). The car we ended up buying back in 10/2014 was a 2010 Toyota Prius.

When we went out car shopping we weren't expecting to look at Priuses at all, but when we were describing what we were looking for to the salesman he suggested we take a look at a few that they had on the lot. The oustanding fuel economy, the surprisingly roomy interior (for a married couple with no kids), and the excellent reliability and longevity of these cars sealed the deal for us. We've since put about 40k miles on it and besides routine maintenance and a tune-up, we've only had to replace a wheel-bearing.

2

Link to this reponse

Toyota Prius
Sign in or join TrueDelta to post your own thoughts.

Return to top