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Old 06-28-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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Good station wagons to get?

Hello All,

I'm looking for a solid FE station wagon. Wanted to get suggestions out there from you guys as to which models to get and why. I saw Scott's review on his top cars which included 97 - 99 Escort wagons, and 96 - 99 Saturns (is that for SW and LW?) Feedback on different models of station wagons would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:46 AM   #2
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How about price and age range?
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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price.. probably under 3k and not much preference on age but i would prefer something with airbags.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:32 AM   #4
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I'd think a Subaru wagon should be a dependable, affordable car with decent economy, especially if you get one with a 5 speed manual tranny.

-Jay
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:42 AM   #5
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Hum, there's a a subaru wagon or two getting worse than my minivan.

I'd got with the Escorts or Saturns, but there's also Sentra wagons, Accord wagons, the chance of catching a newer Kia Rio wagon cheap, newer Hyundai Elantra wagons, Ford Focus wagons (avoid early ones, teething troubles)
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
Hum, there's a a subaru wagon or two getting worse than my minivan.

I'd got with the Escorts or Saturns, but there's also Sentra wagons, Accord wagons, the chance of catching a newer Kia Rio wagon cheap, newer Hyundai Elantra wagons, Ford Focus wagons (avoid early ones, teething troubles)
RoadWarrior,
I see that you have a 95 wagon. Do you know if 96+ are better in terms of FE and maintenance?
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
Hum, there's a a subaru wagon or two getting worse than my minivan.

I'd got with the Escorts or Saturns, but there's also Sentra wagons, Accord wagons, the chance of catching a newer Kia Rio wagon cheap, newer Hyundai Elantra wagons, Ford Focus wagons (avoid early ones, teething troubles)
I think those are the outback models... They have higher ground clearance and many of them have AWD, neither of which is not good in terms of FE. Their other models should be pretty good though, especially with a 5 speed.

-Jay
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limerence View Post
RoadWarrior,
I see that you have a 95 wagon. Do you know if 96+ are better in terms of FE and maintenance?
96 is the final year for the 2nd Gen bodystyle, though in the wagons the body is substantially the same in the 3rd gen as the 2nd gen apart from the nose. That is also final year for the 1.9 SEFI before introduction of the 2.0 SPI. So if you particularly wanted a 2nd gen with 1.9 that you could put a scangauge in, then that's what you get in a '96. Passenger airbags became standard in 95, in previous years they were optional, but I think drivers airbags were standard from at least '93.

FE... later years seem to have gained a little weight, and the motor does appear to be a touch thirstier, but not by much and might have better mid range efficiency. Aero might be a tad better on the 97+.

Reliability, well looked after, they do the energiser bunny thing, neglected they can have issues with rusting out of the rear springs and hangers, and overheating, overheating can drop valve seats and overheating kills the auto trannies. If the tranny fluid smells chemical/rancid, it's toast. If the motor appears to have any cooling problems, verify it was either parked at the first sign of them, or whether it was driven with them, if driven with them, avoid!

Like many small cars they suffer from "disposable car syndrome" meaning people don't do maintenance and oil changes to them, get one with full history and it will probably last years.

Oh yeah, head gaskets seem to go at about 200,000 miles
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:16 PM   #9
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and as for saturns, it seems that most on here prefer the 5 speed as opposed to the auto. my question is how much greater in FE can the manual get?

and i see more posts on the SW than LW. any reason why?
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:57 PM   #10
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If you go with an older Saturn, inspect the dipstick and oil filler cap closely- I have a friend's 99 saturn SL (1.9 SOHC) in my garage right now- its on its 3rd cylinder head in 5 weeks (the "certified good used heads" must already have stress cracks in them). I've read that many of the older saturns have problems with the cylinder head cracking- but others go 300K without any problems so I wouldn't cross them off the list.
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