1 2
russde Reader
4/2/22 1:08 p.m.

I am giving serious thought to selling my slightly modified 2007 GX470 and getting into a 'cool' wagon.

Budget would be what I can get out of my GX plus a little bit so probably in the 15 to $20,000 range.

Looking for decent gas mileage, reliability, sporty-ish and longevity.

The Acura TSX seems like a great choice, looks nice, good gas mileage, kind a sort a sporty.

Not big on the VAG products, my wife has a Q5 right now that is decent but we have a warranty on it. I suppose if I could pick up something with a warranty that would be all right.

Not overly familiar with the Volvo wagons but I certainly like the way they look, unsure also on reliability.

Any others I should consider in that price range that may or may not be available with a warranty that I'm forgetting about? The Q5 we have right now came from CarMax and we bought their extended warranty and it pays pretty well.

I do love a good hunt...

STM317 PowerDork
4/2/22 1:38 p.m.

3 series wagon?

russde Reader
4/2/22 2:29 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

I'm a BMW fan, but really don't know much about anything newer than the E46, my 98 M3 has been great.

Are the newer ones, in that price range, reliable? Did they fix the cooling system? Seems like every used BMW guide I see still says to watch the cooling system.

Tom1200 UltraDork
4/2/22 4:03 p.m.

Not really cool but I've been very happy with the Outback I've been driving for the past 8 years. Allows me to get to some old ghost towns and haul wheels to have race tires mounted etc. 

It also handles well enough that you can have fun on a twisty road. Note mine is a 6 speed manual.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
4/2/22 5:14 p.m.
russde said:

Looking for decent gas mileage, reliability, sporty-ish and longevity.

Another option would be Mazda 6 wagon.  It would be older since I think only the first gen came as a wagon here, but your budget could buy a really nice one with low mileage.

I've seen V6 wagons with a stick, not sure if they ever came wagon+4cylinder+manual.  The hatchback version that I have is pretty cool too.

MyMiatas New Reader
4/2/22 11:31 p.m.

How about a Lexus IS300 Sportscross. Way cool wagon!  I would think that they have lots of performance parts from just the regular IS300's

lnlds Reader
4/2/22 11:39 p.m.

I like the tsx wagon but so does everybody else. Prices are absolutely ridiculous for them.  How about a lowered cx-5? Better transmission, more readily available. Materials are probably not as nice. Also not a true wagon. I test drove a 2016 and was impressed coming out of my wife's 1st gen 6-speed tsx.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/3/22 1:04 a.m.

The Mazda six wagon was only available with the 3.0 Ford V6.

ddavidv UltimaDork
4/3/22 8:02 a.m.

Any Golf/Jetta wagon with the 2.5. It's the only bulletproof engine VW has in the range that isn't a diesel. Ours has been rock solid. Meanwhile, all the turbo folks are replacing internal engine parts. Build quality (interior materials) are a bit Subaru level. But, you can pick these up really cheap because of VW's reliability stigma.

buzzboy SuperDork
4/3/22 9:49 a.m.

My GF drives a MK6 Jetta Sport Wagon. Amazing car to drive, practical, and the TDI gets her mid 30s around town. And it's had lots of random issues in her year of ownership. Torn because I like it but it scares me.

russde Reader
4/3/22 12:29 p.m.

Interesting choices.

I'm a real estate agent, and while we don't take clients in our cars to see houses anymore, appearances matter (right or wrong, some people judge you by how you dress and what you drive).

I'm going to be buying a 4x4 'farm truck',  my wife's term, for towing/hauling/etc and trips to the beach (which we can drive on in South TX), so don't need the GX's capabilities in that department.

My first thought was wagon, but a sedan might be a reasonable option as well. I drive between 30 & 200 miles a day, it just depends, so mileage is important (yes, it's deductible, but the current per mile allowable isn't cutting it in the 15mpg GX, and it comes out of my pocket up front).

I've got the M3 as a weekend fun, stick, occasional auto-x car, as well as a back up vehicle.

Looking for a daily that's fun, reliable, respectfable, decent mpg...and a nice place to be for the long road days. Autos are fine, maybe preferred even.

How are the 335 D's ? I think they're in my budget range.

dannyp84 Reader
4/3/22 12:37 p.m.

In reply to russde :

My sportcross is posted on the cars for sale forum, on the highway it'll get about 23-24 mpg which certainly isn't great but it beats the GX.. I know a guy who was very happy with his 5 series diesel but I think all the issues of a used BMW with modern electronics are still going to be in play there. If you're willing to go with a sedan you might also consider the Mazda6 which imo looks really sharp for the price with a nice interior, and on some trim levels is available with 3 pedals.

Brokeback (Matt)
Brokeback (Matt) HalfDork
4/3/22 2:39 p.m.

I love wagons (still want a 90s road master but that is the only car my wife will NOT let me buy) and have been looking at somewhat similar stuff. Consider me interested in where this thread goes :-P


335d and 535d are sedan only (as far as I can tell) but the 328d came in wagon. Seems like all BMW diesels have the potential to have carbon build up issues in the intake/head but how common it is, is up for debate. 

also considered x5 diesels (could be heavy enough to be considered a commercial vehicle for business purposes, maybe? I've seen that mentioned before online) which seem to be cheaper than the Audi Q5 diesel which is also tempting. 

not sure why I've been so focused on diesels other than I like torque and don't live where there is any emissions testing. Oh, and I'm focusing on things with AWD because we get snow in the winter and the wife wants AWD because of that. 

CyberEric Dork
4/3/22 2:52 p.m.

If you are willing to consider sedans, the last gen Mazda 6 is a real gem in the way it drives and looks. It can be had with a MT or a nice auto trans. Probably in your price range. The newer turbo ones are probably impossible to get in your price range.

You could certainly get a first gen Mazda 6 wagon in that price range, if you can find one. Also a nice car. I've driven both and I think both of them are a nice balance of sport, comfort and space. Similar to a BMW without as many issues. The first gen 6 is probably not going to be as reliable both because of age and because the Skyactiv 2.5 is really stout. 

I would also be shopping VWs with the 2.5. Although they scare me. 

Brotus7 Dork
4/3/22 3:26 p.m.

Dodge Magnum SRT8?  It doesn't tick many of your boxes, but they look cool and make nice rumbly noises.

Appleseed MegaDork
4/3/22 3:58 p.m.

Buick Regal Tour X

cyow5 Reader
4/3/22 8:41 p.m.
russde said:

In reply to STM317 :

I'm a BMW fan, but really don't know much about anything newer than the E46, my 98 M3 has been great.

Are the newer ones, in that price range, reliable? Did they fix the cooling system? Seems like every used BMW guide I see still says to watch the cooling system.

I have never been a huge BMW fan, but I bought an E91 last year on somewhat of a whim. I've been a huge fan now. At 120k miles, I've expected some issues but not actually had many yet. The oil pan leaks because aluminum bolts are a terrible idea, but new bolts seem to have done the trick. Some corrosion around the oil level sensor had to be cleaned off to get the gasket there to seal again, and the shocks blew ( to be fully expected at the miles). 230hp isn't going to set any records, but it is plenty for fun and the combo (rwd, manual, 230hp) makes for a more interesting daily than just about anything else you can get. The drivetrain is so simple and mass-produced that I'm not fearful of having to replace anything. I only paid $10k for mine because of the miles, and I am pretty sure a similar car now would be around $14k. A lower mile example could be had at the top of end of your budget but with more life left in it.  

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom UltimaDork
4/4/22 12:09 a.m.

How did I not know there was a Lexus IS wagon?

03Panther UberDork
4/4/22 12:54 a.m.
Brotus7 said:

Dodge Magnum SRT8?  It doesn't tick many of your boxes, but they look cool and make nice rumbly noises.

I loved the magnum I had for a while! 'Course I didn't have much money in mine. I imagine some of their faults would annoy someone with top dollar in one. 
Mine had the tiny V6, and while not fast, got 27 mpg on the hwy, and was not unsafe slow like some rant about. 
I like what I've seen of the Regal tour x, but haven't seen one in the wild, yet. 

RabidBullFrog New Reader
4/4/22 3:25 a.m.

Mitsubishi Legnum VR-4

dxman92 Dork
4/4/22 7:18 a.m.

Mazda CX-5 gets my vote. Drives and handles better than an SUV should. Last year of stick was 2016.

Subie Forester was made until 2018 with stick I recall.

Dark horse but you could get a Honda HRV with a stick until 2019.

Outback of some flavor is probably the safe choice here.

Duke MegaDork
4/4/22 8:05 a.m.
Jesse Ransom said:

How did I not know there was a Lexus IS wagon?

Because they were rare, auto only, and were not imported for even the entire run if the IS sedan.


Placemotorsports HalfDork
4/4/22 8:23 a.m.

I've been looking for a decent A4 Avant for a while.  Wagons are definitely getting harder and harder to find.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
4/4/22 8:38 a.m.

The Buick Regal TourX is awesome. I do work for GM (# required), but I have wanted to get one for ~3 years now. Felt pretty quick, had massive interior space including a large backseat, and was quiet/comfy for being a good sized AWD wagon. I think I was reading that first year (2018) had some water issues, and I wouldn't get one with a panoramic roof - but it's got the LTG engine GM has in everything and many parts (at least front end) common with regular Regal sportback.

03Panther UberDork
4/4/22 2:15 p.m.

In reply to classicJackets (FS) :

Only problem for me (besides cost, but that's my problem!) is it's only available in awd. I have absolutely no need for awd, and no want, either. If it was an option, and I could get one without, it would have probably interested me in several years. 

1 2

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners