Good station wagons to get? - Page 2 - Fuelly Forums

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Old 06-28-2008, 01:06 PM   #11
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In that price range, I concur with the others, an Escort (or Tracer) wagon is probably about the best you can do. If you need something larger, an Accord Wagon is about the only choice that makes any sense, IMO (but would be tough to find for $3k).

There was a Corolla wagon for a while, but they are rather hard to find. There was also a Tercel wagon, but that's going back quite a bit, and also can be hard to find.

If you had quite a bit more to spend, a Volkswagen Jetta Wagon comes with their excellent TDI engine, but I hope you do your own work, because they have some reliability problems (I went through 3 starters, 3 MAFs, 2 batteries, and a few other miscellaneous parts in 80,000 miles before I had to sell it to get something that would hold three car seats).

If you want to make your own Biodiesel, get a Mercedes 300D (or similar) wagon, from the early '80s. They go for $2k-3k, are extremely reliable, have extremely strong metal bodies, and require minimal work to convert to biodiesel.

Incidentally, if you get an older Escort Wagon, make sure you get a Carfax or other history report, because most of them have 5-digit odos, and they try to sell you a car with 178,000 or 278,000 miles as "78,000 original miles". A dealership near me has a mid-90s Escort (not a wagon) with "only 11,000 miles". Yeah, right...
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:08 PM   #12
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Manual transmission is FAR more hypermiler-friendly.

What about a Camry wagon?
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:29 PM   #13
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i've been trying to find a camry wagon but most of the ones locally are v6. in looking at its fuel economy, the 4 cyl gets under 30mpg right?

and i dont see too much about diesel passat wagons too much on here. are they bad on reliability?
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:34 PM   #14
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I think Passat and Jetta diesel wagons are good, it's just you won't see one for less than about 5 grand unless it's a total basket case.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
I think Passat and Jetta diesel wagons are good, it's just you won't see one for less than about 5 grand unless it's a total basket case.
ahh... i see that now.

is it a coin toss on the escort and saturn then? any major pros of one over the other?
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:29 PM   #16
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Horrible grinding noise when the motor turns over???? RUN!!

But I guess it could need a new starter, you kinda have to hear the noise, if it's inside the motor, avoid like the plague. If it's not getting fuel there's an inertia switch fuel cutout that's on the right side of the trunk under the panel that could need resetting. However, try and settle on a low low price, before popping the panel out, resetting it and driving away
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:54 PM   #17
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I stand by the Escort wagon. I've had one for 8 years - a 99 model. It's been a great car and taken a lot of abuse.
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:24 PM   #18
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I would recommend the Escort wagon if you can find one in good condition that has been well cared for and serviced regularly. I have a 1997 wagon and on a trip earlier this month consisting of about 1100 miles of highway driving with the cruise set at 55 I averaged over 45mpg. It is a 2.0L 5 speed manual. I also have two other Escorts and have gotten great service from all of them. One of them has 476,000 miles on the original engine. (Never been rebuilt.)
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:35 PM   #19
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Even though his high miler is an '88 the block has changed very little from those in the 2.0 SPI motors, mostly the head is different from the 1.9. They typically have moly rings, and mine had excellent ring seal at 200,000 miles, I hope it still will when it goes back together.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:34 PM   #20
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I think Passat and Jetta diesel wagons are good, it's just you won't see one for less than about 5 grand unless it's a total basket case.
They're out there, but oh so scarce.
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=217686
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