What should I be driving?

EyeMWing

Forum Addict
DONOR
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
5,334
Location
Dual life MD/SoCal
Car(s)
Subarus and shit
So.... I can sell/trade in the WRX for *A MINIMUM* of its new MSRP cost. I'm not attached to the thing, so I'd be an UTTER FOOL not to do it if I can figure out something better to drive with my money. Normally this would be a 'Fine, give me an Outback XT' but nobody bought Outback XT's and in today's market they are all FORTY GRAND with high miles for their ages. I could buy a new one, I suppose, but it's a bit more than I'd like to spend, and it'd almost assuredly have to be special ordered.

Here's what I need:
- A hatch of some sort. Dogs. Mandatory. Low to the ground would be nice but I know that's practically an impossibility these days
- Round about the $30k mark or below
- Not made of explodium 235
- Serviceable
- Mostly 30 mile grocery store and hardware store runs two or three times a week
- No commuting
- Must accommodate the occasional 1000-mile-a-day epic roadtrip

Nice to haves:
- 8000lbs towing
- 30mpg fuel economy
- 3-pedal configuration
- Modern driver aids (the WRX not having these is a travesty)
- Wooshy turbo noises

I'm normally laser focused on what I want but... Yeah. I just don't really know in this case. And this market, where used cars are VASTLY more expensive than new ones is seriously broken.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
20,642
Location
Hot Dog with Everything
Car(s)
'03 Audi Allroad, '87 Mercury Colony Park
You’re either getting 8,000lbs towing or a manual transmission equipped car. I don’t know if trucks/SUVs still are offered with a stick.

Other question, how long do you plan to keep it for? Are you against a car that has a timing belt?
 

EyeMWing

Forum Addict
DONOR
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
5,334
Location
Dual life MD/SoCal
Car(s)
Subarus and shit
The 8000lbs towing is the most optional nice-to-have. That would mean I can shed the truck. It would also almost necessarily mean buying a truck, and those are all vastly too expensive (I already own the last reasonably-priced truck ever produced and it's twenty years old).

This is intended to be the Forever Car - the last ICE car I will ever purchase for daily use, and therefore needs to end up bridging the gap between now and widespread BEV adoption. Of course I said that about the WRX.

A timing belt is fine, as long as it is possible to replace it without being stupid.
 

gaasc

Desperately looking for a title
DONOR
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
9,298
Location
Honduras
Car(s)
3 of them
1627871586458.png


It'll tow 5000, it's very serviceable and dependable, it has a hatch and you can have it in a Manual.
 

EyeMWing

Forum Addict
DONOR
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
5,334
Location
Dual life MD/SoCal
Car(s)
Subarus and shit
5000 isn't enough headroom with a trailer that already weighs 2000lbs. And they're now like, 7 years old, and have Plz Start To Actually Replace Parts Now miles.

They are, however, cheap. If something important rusts out on the truck I'll buy one of those and an aluminum trailer.
 

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
DONOR
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
16,005
Location
Four from the top and two from the third row, GB.
Car(s)
2020 Tesla Model 3, 1990 Discovery 1 Bobtail
It is a handsome color...
That looks great, I think we're done here. :p

I'd say just do it and be happy, what other good wagons are still available in this price range that haven't been replaced with SUVs and how long before you're pining for a Subaru if you buy something else? Can the dealer sweeten the deal for selling them something that's in such high demand? An extremely good finance deal for the extra amount you're spending (to the point where you don't notice the extra cost)? Alternatively the accessory catalogue looks juicy.

I'm not sure if there are any sporty 3 pedal wagons out there now. It doesn't even look like the Golf Alltrack was sold with a stick in the USA recently but others can correct me.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
20,642
Location
Hot Dog with Everything
Car(s)
'03 Audi Allroad, '87 Mercury Colony Park
That looks great, I think we're done here. :p

I'd say just do it and be happy, what other good wagons are still available in this price range that haven't been replaced with SUVs and how long before you're pining for a Subaru if you buy something else? Can the dealer sweeten the deal for selling them something that's in such high demand? An extremely good finance deal for the extra amount you're spending (to the point where you don't notice the extra cost)? Alternatively the accessory catalogue looks juicy.

I'm not sure if there are any sporty 3 pedal wagons out there now. It doesn't even look like the Golf Alltrack was sold with a stick in the USA recently but others can correct me.

Both the sportwagen and alltrack were sold with manual transmission options. Not even just basic spec either. Alltrack SE and I believe SEL could also be had with a stick. I looked through the lineup for a few months for a while before I got one for work. Which is how I knew if you asked for heated seats, in basic spec that meant alltrack. :D
 

EyeMWing

Forum Addict
DONOR
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
5,334
Location
Dual life MD/SoCal
Car(s)
Subarus and shit
.... Oh that's right.

Must-have:
- HEATED SEATS. Frankly this is probably why I don't love the WRX as much as I did the BRZ.

That green Subaru... I feel like I might be eternally tempted to cover it in cryptic black or white lettering, and I don't know that that's a good look for a daily driver.

1627918111350.png

There is, of course, also Deep As Your Eyes blue.

... And your typical whites, blacks and grays. I guess two good color options is something to be thankful for.


The VW's are interesting, but inexpensive and that's alarming because:
1) Inexpensive is unusual right now
2) They're VW's. What's broken?

They also aren't very visually exciting IMO. If they weren't wagons they'd get lost in parking lots.
 
Last edited:

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
20,642
Location
Hot Dog with Everything
Car(s)
'03 Audi Allroad, '87 Mercury Colony Park
View attachment 3562045
It is a handsome color...

Can you still get these with a manual? I remember the 2.5L with a CVT is miserable because it's trying so hard to get you the best power at the given throttle input that the CVT is very well known it's there. the 3.6L however, the "Gears" are hardly noticeable. I like these, but also they have a glass/plastic infotainment that glares badly in the sun at the right angles.
 

CraigB

Ich bin ein Kartoffel
DONOR
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
14,809
Location
SWMO
Car(s)
Mustang SVO - Nissan Frontier Pro-4X & Altima
.... Oh that's right.

Must-have:
- HEATED SEATS. Frankly this is probably why I don't love the WRX as much as I did the BRZ.

The BRZ's heated seats work amazing. They seem to work nearly instantly, where the ones in my truck take like 10 minutes to get warm.
 

EyeMWing

Forum Addict
DONOR
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
5,334
Location
Dual life MD/SoCal
Car(s)
Subarus and shit
Can you still get these with a manual? I remember the 2.5L with a CVT is miserable because it's trying so hard to get you the best power at the given throttle input that the CVT is very well known it's there. the 3.6L however, the "Gears" are hardly noticeable. I like these, but also they have a glass/plastic infotainment that glares badly in the sun at the right angles.
Manuals are gone, unfortunately. However, this is the 2.4 turbo from the Ascent, which replaced the 3.6 with wooshy sounds and better fuel economy. I have a desperate crush on this motor and want to put one in everything.
 

gaasc

Desperately looking for a title
DONOR
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
9,298
Location
Honduras
Car(s)
3 of them
5000 isn't enough headroom with a trailer that already weighs 2000lbs. And they're now like, 7 years old, and have Plz Start To Actually Replace Parts Now miles.

They are, however, cheap. If something important rusts out on the truck I'll buy one of those and an aluminum trailer.
6000 Better?

1627929987590.png


Actually, the V6 will do 6000, the V8 will do 7,000. You can also get a manual V6 Pathfinder, but good luck finding one. The larger Armadas are also available, and those can tow up to 8,000. If you can swing one, also take a look at a TRD Sequoia. It's enormous. it's quite frankly a bit ridiculous, but if you want it to be a forever car...the giant SUV with the cushy suspension, the NA V8 and that can tow 7,400 is going to be great for that.

EDIT: The Regal TourX has a tow rating of "no", but if it keeps you away from a Subaru that's fine. :p
 

Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
5,799
Location
Finland
Car(s)
Insignia CT 4x4 CDTI Biturbo
Buick Regal TourX?

Those that have the Opel version here seem to be very satisfied with them. I know I am, but I have the previous version you didn’t get.

The AWD doesn’t have a rear diff. There’s a separate clutch for each rear wheel and a brain box that puts out torque to each wheel as needed. Doesn’t sound very reliable in the long run, but i’ve heard zero issues. Maybe @RdKetchup can chime in, he has the same system in his Focus.

The tow rating is weird (as always) because my car is rated for 1.9 tons. I think the Buick has a quarter of that.
 

RdKetchup

Snow Mexican Surender Monkey
DONOR
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
5,152
Location
Montreal, Qc, Canada
Car(s)
FoRS, Japanese touring triple
Those that have the Opel version here seem to be very satisfied with them. I know I am, but I have the previous version you didn’t get.

The AWD doesn’t have a rear diff. There’s a separate clutch for each rear wheel and a brain box that puts out torque to each wheel as needed. Doesn’t sound very reliable in the long run, but i’ve heard zero issues. Maybe @RdKetchup can chime in, he has the same system in his Focus.

The tow rating is weird (as always) because my car is rated for 1.9 tons. I think the Buick has a quarter of that.

The AWD system on the Focus is great, both in the summer on the dry or wet, or in winter in the snow. Super playful, and quite effective.

Only negative, on the track it tends to overheat and turn off.
 

WDWBen

Subaru Killer
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
1,458
Location
Disney World
Car(s)
2021 Mini Cooper S
What about a Mini Countryman SE ALL4? It's a hatch, low-ish to the ground, has some all-electric range to eat into you gas bill on the grocery store runs but can have a tank full of gas for long range stuff, is turbocharged, comes with a lot of kit standard. Looks like it tows 3300 lbs, too.
 

EyeMWing

Forum Addict
DONOR
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
5,334
Location
Dual life MD/SoCal
Car(s)
Subarus and shit
Man, if you ever want to be depressed, go to Carvana and filter on Wagon and nothing else.

Endless Kia Souls, Impreza 5-doors (WHICH ARE NOT WAGONS) and Prius V's (ALSO NOT WAGONS).

So yeah, comprehensive survey of the used US longroof market from the past 3 or 4 years seems to be Outback (which is really a large crossover or a weirdly proportioned SUV but whatever), the VAG twins, one lonely volvo, the Buick, and a BMW 3er (possibly only with a diesel? I didn't see any with a gas engine) and 3-pedal only on the VW (if it's available on the Audi nobody's giving one up).

I might have to *sigh* look at crossovers.



We can forget about the tow rating, it's definitely not happening.
 

WDWBen

Subaru Killer
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
1,458
Location
Disney World
Car(s)
2021 Mini Cooper S
When I was looking for my car, I had the same depression in regards to wagons. I thought of something else, in addition to my idea above.

What about a minivan?
 
Top