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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-16-2006, 09:41 PM   #21
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

dont think you will go wrong between those two choices. i would go with toyota, but i hear good things about the subaru
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 03:45 AM   #22
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

only problem i had with the rav 4 was the awd system stinks....its more a front wheel drive with rear wheel assist at times...having had full 4 wheel drive vehicles prior i never had a problem with unloading my jet ski in a sandy area ...the rav 4 spins and takes some work each time to get off the sandy ramp.the bmw x3 i just got handles it like a charm with its awd system too......if you arent buying the rav4 for anything more than light snow its fine
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 07:08 AM   #23
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

I suspect you already know what I think. Unless they somehow ruin the product, I am a Subaru customer for life.

Having said that, I don't think you could go wrong with either. Have you checked crash test and IIHS ratings? I put the most stock on the bodly injury loss data at www.carsafety.org although I also pay attention to their crash tests as well.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 08:12 AM   #24
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!
OK, so you are 17 years old and married at a young age?
Um. No and no.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 09:33 AM   #25
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

We've got two rav4's in the family. A 2001 and a 2004 that my dad bought because we had good luck with our 2001.

They seem rather tall for the 'station wagon' qualifier!

The good:

Great gas mileage...25-30 depending on whether its mixed or all highway. Good visibility. With the rear seats out its an excellent hauler of stuff and dogs. Decent ride and handling. Maintenance is pretty easy on ours...you sit in front of the car and reach under and the oil filter and drain plug are right there up front on the bottom just behind the bumper. No reliability issues.

The bad:

Interiors a bit noisy, lots of hard plastic without a lot of muffling, but you're getting a lot of car for the money so some corners needed to be cut. In what seems to be standard in many japanese cars, the 'auto up/down' drivers window can be a pain in the butt to get to open just an inch or two...it wants to go all the way up or down so you have to flick the switch sometimes 4-5 times before you can make it move just a little. Do not, I repeat, do not get the sunroof. It vibrates, rattles, and if you open only the back windows when you go over 40mph it starts violently popping up and down. Whoever engineered that sucker needs to be shot, its obviously a poorly done el cheapo item added in after the model was designed. Oddly, the rear tailgate simply opens in the wrong direction, from the left. If you're parallel parked and want to load some stuff from the curb, you have to put your stuff in the street, open the door, put your stuff in the car, close the door, go back to the curb and get more stuff. Its perfect for people in japan, england and other places where they drive and park on the wrong side of the road. The seats in ours are great but dont fold the back ones down and then put any sort of weight on them...theres some cheap thin plastic backing that just crushes...bad planning IMO.

In this category I'd look at the honda CRV and the Scion xB. At the time I bought our rav the honda was due for a makeover and the rav had just gotten one. I think the newer CRV was better than the rav, but now the rav's had another makeover.

Without even seeing the car, I can say for sure that adding a little length to it and a 3rd seat cant be good. I cant imagine anybody other than preemies being put in that 3rd seat, and they'd have to tuck in their feet.

Cant compare much with the subaru. I've only driven one forrester and one outback and hated both of them. If you're short you might like them more than I did. I found the seats and driving position very awkward and uncomfortable. It was a few years back, but they also liked to do enough oddball things a la Saab to make getting in the car and driving it the first time a little more complicated...IIRC they have the key between the seats and the heating controls were unusually labeled and laid out.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 11:24 AM   #26
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
theres some cheap thin plastic
Back when I was shopping for a new car, I took a look at the RAV and "cheap plastic" was the first thing that I noticed inside. The price tag is pretty low for an SUV, though, so you have to make allowances. I decided that I didn't need an SUV that badly and ended up buying a Camry for way less than a RAV would have cost me.

Quote:
Cant compare much with the subaru.* I've only driven one forrester and one outback and hated both of them.* If you're short you might like them more than I did.* I found the seats and driving position very awkward and uncomfortable.
At one point I took a Forrester for what I call "an extended test drive": a couple of weeks in the mountains of the Pacific NW. (There are some advantages to my peripatetic lifestyle* :P ) It handled differently than most cars I have driven and generally felt, um, weird. I am not sure if I could get used to it, but when I was in the market for a new car some time later, I decided not to chance it. I guess the lesson is to test drive your cars thoroughly before you buy them.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 11:48 AM   #27
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrooge

At one point I took a Forrester for what I call "an extended test drive": a couple of weeks in the mountains of the Pacific NW. (There are some advantages to my peripatetic lifestyle* :P ) It handled differently than most cars I have driven and generally felt, um, weird. I am not sure if I could get used to it, but when I was in the market for a new car some time later, I decided not to chance it. I guess the lesson is to test drive your cars thoroughly before you buy them.
Not sure what you are referring to exactly, but Subaru's have flat 4 (boxer) engines. This tends to give the a lower center of gravity than would otherwise tend to be the case, so handling is different. Much less tippy.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 12:28 PM   #28
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

I have several vehicles right now, front wheel drive Ford Focus, real wheel drive Mazda Miata and 1985 VW camper and 4 wheel drive Jeep Cherokee. They all drive differently. A lot of it is preference, the Miata is fun and the rear wheel drive adds to steering control in turns. Most people (those that don't drive sports cars) prefer front wheel drive. It "pulls" through corners and provides some comfort Vs control/performance. The 4WD/AWD are interesting. Once you get familiar with a performance car with AWD (Mitsubishi, Audi, Subaru WRX...) you will come to love it and feel a loss with anything else. But it is personal experience and preference.
For a number of reasons, although I do not own one, I really love the Subaru products. My older son has one and I did put one of their engines in my old VW camper. Their engines are great and they really understand 4WD, which I like. But I do like 4WD and at least annually do go to Death Valley, but that is what the Cherokee is for
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 12:29 PM   #29
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Well we are looking at the Honda Fit sport model it isn't a station wagon but it is good on gas about 34 in the city and the price is not bad abut 17000..any one here know anything about them this will be a second car.

Kathyet
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 12:38 PM   #30
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Quote:
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Well we are looking at the Honda Fit sport model it isn't a station wagon but it is good on gas about 34 in the city and the price is not bad abut 17000..any one here know anything about them this will be a second car.

Kathyet
I bet insurance rates for the car will be ugly if you are in a state with high average premiums. What happens when a 5000 pound SUV hits one of them?
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 01:26 PM   #31
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Not sure what you are referring to exactly, but Subaru's have flat 4 (boxer) engines.* This tends to give the a lower center of gravity than would otherwise tend to be the case, so handling is different.* Much less tippy.
Yes, the handling was different, although I am not sure I can describe the difference. It seemed to be subject to crosswinds much more than you would expect from a sedan with a lower center of gravity* The road noise was not only relatively loud, but also, um, different.

Oh, I don't know, it just felt different! Damn it, Jim, I am a doctor computer guy, not a race car driver!*
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 01:57 PM   #32
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

I felt the same way. Drove it in a mild snowstorm with some good wind and it felt tippy to me for such a low vehicle. Did great in the snow though...
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 02:01 PM   #33
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Still not sure what you guys have in mind. FWIW, I found the forrester to be a lot bouncier and less stable than the legacy when I test drove 2003 versions of both. Bought the legacy.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 03:12 PM   #34
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

My husband's legacy has a sport suspension and it makes me carsick to ride in it. I can drive it fine.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 07:29 PM   #35
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

On the RAV4
Quote:
Interiors a bit noisy, lots of hard plastic without a lot of muffling, but you're getting a lot of car for the money so some corners needed to be cut.
The local dealer can add a "sound proofing" package. Anybody heard of that?
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 08:47 PM   #36
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

The 2006 RAV4 is a totally different vehicle due to it being totally re-designed. So it cannot be compared to earlier models. It is essentially the same dimensions as the Honda CR-V now. DW had made a decision late 2005 to buy a CR-V (after having also looked at the Subarus) but then the new RAV4 came out and that won her over. The RAV4 has essentially stolen sales from the slightly larger and bulkier Highlander at considerably less cost. The decision really comes down to personal preferences.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 08:51 PM   #37
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathyet
Well we are looking at the Honda Fit sport model it isn't a station wagon but it is good on gas about 34 in the city and the price is not bad abut 17000..any one here know anything about them this will be a second car.

Kathyet
?? A Honda Civic can be had for 14.5k and gets 32/40mpg with an automatic. I don't get the selling point of the Fit.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 09:51 PM   #38
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

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Originally Posted by Laurence
?? A Honda Civic can be had for 14.5k and gets 32/40mpg with an automatic.* I don't get the selling point of the Fit.
The OP is looking to seat 7. Kinda tough to do that in a Civic.
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 10:24 PM   #39
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

The Honda Fit seats 7?
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K
Old 07-17-2006, 11:28 PM   #40
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Re: Best vehicle (station wagon) for under $30K

Quote:
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The Honda Fit seats 7?
I doubt it. Perhaps this thread got derailed.
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