New ride time, Which wagon? (OT)


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Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Dec 29, 2011 - 10:29pm PT
I've heard the same about Ferrai's and Boeing 747's....

the last bivy
Dec 30, 2011 - 12:36am PT

Fred's slide show
Fred's slide show
Credit: LuckyPink
not my photo

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 30, 2011 - 01:24am PT
Yeah my friend, the other day was just telinlg me about how much time his 747 spent in the shop.... He's running a Zepplin now....

Actually I hope one of my friends gets one of those ford transit campers!

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Dec 30, 2011 - 03:52am PT
Really, every car make and model can have issues, or you can get lucky and have none. Take my 2006 A4 wagon. Seen a ton of posts on the Audi forums with people having horrible electrical problems, loss of boost, and fuel cut issues. Other than a couple warranty recall items which were fixed for free, I have not had a single issue with my car in 4 years other than routine maintenance, which I now do myself once the free factory service ran out. There is no way I am paying the $200 an hour labor rate in CA. And I've also added mods that bumped up the HP/Torque by 50 of each with no issues for 4 years. Even on an Audi, most shite ain't rocket science! Just need the tools. If you get a code, you can even buy the software to check it yourself and fix, or pay someone near you $10 to read the code for you and then go fix it.

All that being said, I always wanted an Audi for their interiors, turbo 4 cylinder which is fun as hell to drive in a manual after a few upgrades, and Quattro AWD. But I do know I am one bad break from a $2000 repair bill. But I am willing to take that risk, because every time I get in my car it makes me smile. I'm 6'1 and I've slept in the back several times with no problems.

If I couldn't have my car I'd probably go the Outback route.

Somewhere out there
Dec 31, 2011 - 10:11pm PT
My vote is Audi A4/A6…

Sweet ride…

Bad gas milage, but… you have a job most of the time… you can afford it..

Trad climber
Butte, America
Jan 1, 2012 - 11:07am PT
For all "those" people (I once was one) who say that Subarus are slow--AND those posting 100mph dash shots...

I rarely get passed in my 95' plain Jane Legacy wagon, any road condition--it's the driver, IT AIN'T THE CAR !!!!

edit : Ask Ionlyski :-)

Trad climber
Jan 1, 2012 - 11:21am PT
Did you get 1 yet?

I like the XC 70 a lot. I know nothing about it's reliability, I just like how it looks.

BTW, I love my 2004 Sprinter 2500. I got it for 14K on Ebay with 70K miles on it. It can sleep 4 easily, I get 25-28 MPG fully loaded and it goes 80 up the passes here in Co. A pal who owns a Dodge dealership in Detroit says the engine is good for 300K, but as you said earlier it isn't the engines that kill rides these days.

The user formerly known as stzzo

Sneaking up behind you
Jan 1, 2012 - 11:24am PT
Dunno about newer VWs, but my '96 is rarely "broken".

Parts wear out for sure, but the one that wears the most quickly is one that I can replace myself.

Trad climber
Jan 1, 2012 - 11:53am PT
I could tell the Element was too short just from looking at it.
Subaru's get mediocre gas mileage. And all of mine seem underpowered, but I'm too cheap to spring for the bigger engine. They are great off road to a point, but are certainly not high clearance. I do like being able to cruise around places like Indian Creek without worrying about tearing something up, or having to go 3mph.
My Ford truck gave me more repair-free miles than any of my Subarus have except for my '08 and the jury's still out on that one.
My '98 had to get the main gasket replaced at about 60k, an expensive repair. This was common with the '98. I did keep that one for over a decade though.
My '03 has some funkness, for sure.
I can sleep in the back just fine, but I am 5'9".
They made the latest version too big. It's really not a normal size car anymore.

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jan 14, 2012 - 10:00pm PT
Audi Allroad:

that's what I'm talking about

Jan 14, 2012 - 10:02pm PT
C'mon man Ford Aerostar.. or one of these
Credit: kennyt

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 14, 2012 - 10:24pm PT
You getting any closer on this?
This seems like it should be a tightly competitive field....

Kennyt, that thing has a longer wheelbase than a shortbus!

Jan 14, 2012 - 11:22pm PT
Yeah, Jaybro it really isn't very practical
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Mar 15, 2012 - 11:40am PT
I have a 97' Subaru Wagon with 234,000. I think it is the best value in an AWD car with decent clearance. I just checked the bluebook value and its under 2K. And yet it gets it done!

I am lucky that my wife has a Prius. On the last road trip we got 52MPG. So we mainly drive that. I would love to see a thread on cars with over 40MPG that still work great as climber cars. For example, we took my wife's old Prius on a serious Baja surf trip. Everyone else either a Tacoma or and F150. And yet we got by just great and got about 48-50 MPG. We even able to sleep in the back. Only downside was we had to drive a little slower on the gnarly dirt roads.

Awesome article here on loving your old car.


Remember when you first started climbing, or skiing, or mountain biking, and you went out and bought all the gear, and then you immediately sped to a car dealership to purchase a reliable $45,000 sport utility vehicle so you could drive to all places you needed to go?

Me neither.

seth kovar

Reno, NV
Mar 15, 2012 - 12:01pm PT
Maybe also consider Honda Element (if you don't mind fugly)?

...or horrendous gas mileage.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 15, 2012 - 12:16pm PT
still liking my 2011 JSW TDI... 42mpg city+highway
sucks off road though... low clearance...
sleep in the back no problem

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 15, 2012 - 12:55pm PT
I gave up, re-registered my Merc wagon and put new tires on it. Unless the tranny gives up the ghost, I'll try to get a couple more years out of it, then start looking again.

Actually, I'll be looking between now and then, but without a pressing need. I don't finance cars, all cash, and it's hard to get psyched to drop 20k or more on a vehicle when you're actually writing that check, I like the 2k-5k beaters, preferably from elderly folk.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 15, 2012 - 01:32pm PT
We were driving our new XC70 to WY last summer. Going up a steep hill on
I15 in Utah in a thunderstorm I was passing a semi doing 70 when I hit a
sheet of water and started going in a direction I didn't really care to.
While correcting I reached down and hit the big W get-out-of-jail
button and it felt like the thing was instantly locked onto a set of rails!
It was pretty awesome - I felt totally at ease about putting the hammer back down.
The wife, sitting as she was alongside the semi's wheels, did suddenly
acquire a new set of dinner plates for eyeballs.

My only beef is that you can't use the Selectronic shifting when in AWD.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 15, 2012 - 01:33pm PT
maybe I'll be an "old folk" by then!
you could by mine...

Feb 6, 2013 - 07:27pm PT

A piece of sh!t car.

Overpriced garbage.

Try and fix something on them and the parts cost a fortune.

Has blind spots all around it. Can't see out the rear worth sh!t.

We have two of them here.

Toyota donated them.

I hate those dumb ass cars so much I've never driven them further than just in the lot when repairing some bullsh!t on them .....
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