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Wagon's ho! Purchase recommendations please.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by robsalvv, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. I'm in the market for a wagon... my faithful and I have to say, reliable '97 VSII Commodore wagon is to be retired...

    I think I'm in the market for something not more than 2 yrs old and with a little class/edge... so I'm considering Subaru Liberty, Volvo's (e.g. V50), suped up Holden Captiva, and naturally the current crop of Holden/Ford wagons (with some extras - e.g. I like the VY sports kitted wagons)... it's not an exhaustive list though, as the tyre kicking process has only just begun.

    Ford Territories, Subaru Foresters/Outbacks and similar aren't in my interest zone.

    I'm tossing up whether to go new... the Subaru Liberty 2.5i sports wagon looks a delight... but the required cashola is a barrier. Near new sounds like the right zone.

    It's a farkin jungle out there, so as I'm a big word of mouth fan, share your plus and minus stories and help me whittle the test drive field down a little. I'm gonna be doing my own research, but horror stories and models to be wary of would be appreciated.

    Thanks Netriderinos :)

  2. robsalvv
    ...so I'm considering ....... Volvo's (e.g. V50), :-s

    This looks like a real contradiction, A rider that LIKES and worse still DRIVES a VOLVO?????
    I thought you had been riding for a fair while Rob.. Have you decided to change sides???8-[
  3. Hey revhead, bite me! lol :LOL:

    Late model Volvo's are pretty decent vehicles with fair power and plenty of safety. Hell, the main vehicle used by AMCN (when I was a regular reader) was a volvo wagon...

    The Nissan Dualis just made the consideration list... brand spankers 2009 nicely optioned Dualis's for <$33k ride away... love runout sales!
  4. The Liberty's are a great car - we have one. Excellent handling, and great in the wet, especially coming from a RWD Falcon. The 2.5 engine is pretty good, but it is reeaaallly let down by a very sluggish auto box (at least our 2003-ish model is like this). Foot down from a standstill if not in 'Power' mode, or getting caught in the wrong gear can mean frustrating acceleration. The power's totally there and a joy when you get there, but the 'box just never puts you in the right rev range when you need it.

    Mum has a 2.0 Sportswagon, and though the engine is not as powerful, the manual box makes much better use of them.

    Both of them have been bullet proof (touch wood). Standard services and nothing else (except a new battery).
  5. Rob, how many k's have you got on the VS? (mine's done 198,000 - runs as sweet as a nut). Not a speck of rust either. Only expenses have been a new radiator, rear fuel pump and power steering pump. Roof lining is starting to sag though...

    Best car I've ever had - even if did have to go to Adelaide to get a manual one.
  6. As a mechanic I have to admit that Volvos have always been reasonable vehicles (except for those bumpers, if they were removed there'd be a lot less traffic congestion). :p
    The only real problem was the drivers, that drove "the safest car on the road" because they needed to....." \\:D/
  7. Yep, I can just see you in one Rob...


  8. Jazzy mate, 252K km's and the engine still idles rock solid and makes plenty of power. Like my bikes, I've always kept the oil up to it, GTX2 or better. Every now and then I've even dropped it in for a full/auto service, which I wonder how full it was since the auto packed it in about 30K kms ago. I had to put a refurbed unit in. Front discs were replaced 50K km ago and I freshened up the shockers a ways back - but I've pretty much had no other mechanical issues.

    They're dirt cheap on the second hand market these days - they'd make a brilliant first car especially the equipe with ABS, cruise and air bags...

    +1 on the Subaru... it's the "heart on sleeve" front runner at the moment. ...something about that boxer engine that just appeals to my mech engineer side... and the refined AWD, solid styling and reputation... and not that many on carsales either which speaks volumes.

    hahaha Bluesuede! :cheeky:

    Bonk - would that be yours by any chance? ...sorry mate, a little too boxy for my aesthetic taste. :)

  9. Can't beat a Subaru mate. A good friend of mine has over 300,000k clocked up on his older model liberty without any dramas at all. Usual servicing etc was pretty good and it's still going really well. (He's a regional-based sales rep) I rarely hear a bad word about them...
  10. I'm in love with volvos after driving Rach's for a weekend. The thing just moves, and handles so well, and all the options i'd normally want are standard.
  11. There's only 1 Volvo wagon under $40K on carsales... they're rare as!
  12. I know you're not into the Forester, but mine has 176,000km on the clock and is still sweet.

    I had a Liberty before that and loved it. I so like the brand that when I was considering a new car, no other makes made it onto the list. The engine is a gem and though not endowed with a huge power, it's enough. Gearbox I've found to be great (auto) and the overall build quality separates it (IMO) from the usual Japanese fare.

    Good luck with the choice, can't wait to see (and also slightly envious!) the result.
  13. We have an Outback 6cyl wagon at work and it routinely costs a couple of thousand more a year than a Holden/Toyota/Ford to run. It's proven to be fussy with odds and ends that need repair, stuff like suspension nigglies and wheel bearings failure come to mind. Only done 80000km in 5 years by the way.

    A mates wife also has one with similar kms that they just traded for a Kluger - they had a similar experience. One time a pressure washer that wasn't secured well enough cracked the rear window of the wagon and it worked out cheaper to do an insurance claim than replace it out of pocket.

    Two cars obviously aren't a statistically meaningful group but you wanted feedback.

    I can say that they are a great car to drive.....and maybe the Liberty is different to the Outback?
  14. They're basically the same car. I've had no issues with either of the two Suby's I've had, also not a statistically reliable sample.
  15. Liberty and outback are good choices. The turbo GT and XT Forestera are the pick of the bunch. They are scary quick and turn like they're on rails. They look boxy but they're f**king fantastic so at least do yourself the favour of a teat drive.

    If you're genuinely keen on something poofy, check out the Peugeots, Mercs and BMW's. They all make some incredibley boring yet functional wagons.

    Don't waste your money on a territory. If you want a car that big, get a real 4x4 like a Patrol (highly recomended!!!!) or Landcruiser (prado's don't count).

    V6 Magnas rock- I wanted one when I bought both my last 2 cars (the previous was a Magna) but I couldn't get a manual. Mitsubitsh make some great cars, though I'm not so keen on Dad's ne Outlaner as manual isn't an option and tiptronic = crap. Lancers are tops though (if you can still get manual, I don't know).

    Try stuff you don't think you want, you might be surpised. ....That's how I ened up with my Peugeot. :)
  16. Considering I managed to kill the slushbox on my company VS in less than 80,000 kms, I'd say 220,000 was pretty reasonable.
  17. SAAB 9-5, all the luxury + good size in the wagon.
  18. Best choice is the Liberty either in 2.5i, 2.5 Turbo or if you can stretch the 3.0RB which is a bloody balltearer! Leave the underpowered 2.0 alone though! We recently sold our 04 Liberty 2.5i Safety Pack manual (5 speed) for a song (it had 175,000 kms though) and bought a new SSV Sportwagon, 6 litre 6 speed manual.

    Whilst the SSV easily outpulls the Liberty (obviously) in a straight line it would not get near it in a set of twisties and the build quality and spec list is sadly way below the much cheaper Subaru we sold. Friggin thing didin't even come with a glove box light! WTF? Or for that matter courtesy lights, map lights, height adjustable seat belts and lots of other stuff the Suby and even a base Hyundai has!

    Second hand private sales of the just superseded Subaru Liberty are an absolute bargain! They drive beautiful, go well, look great and are 5 star safety! What is not to like? Personally I would go the 3 litre 6 speed manual if you can find one. I checked out the new Subaru Liberty the other day and whilst they are just as beautifully built the styling looks like it was outsourced to a Korean SUV company. They have lost the bloody plot lately with the styling. The previous model actually looks way better! We regret selling ours and the new owner (a friend) always reminds us what a great car it is!
  19. Nah, mate, but it's low kays for it's age, 2.5 turbo, and it's got leather and a sunroof.
    They seem to hold their money pretty well, too, so if I was in the market for a wagon, I'd reckon on that being one of the better ones, and you're considering spending those dollars anyway for a new Nissan.

    You'd do well with a Subaru, too, though.
    Check out the auctions. A mate of mine works in fleet sales, and he's seen fabulous vehicles sell for a song after they're repossessed.