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View Full Version : Advice regarding 3-er wagon vs the competition (Passat wagon and Subaru wagon)


rumratt
08-30-2003, 09:28 PM
Here's the scenario: I drive a 330i and my wife will be getting a new car in the spring. She wants a wagon and right now she's considering either the low-end Passat wagon or Subaru Outback.

But I recently learned that I will be in Germany on business this December so if I ordered the car ASAP I could pick up an ED 325 wagon, and when you do all the math (including the resale of the vehicles 4-5 years from now) the BMW would be darn near the same total cost to own as the Passat and Subaru. :yikes:

The main problem is that we wanted a slightly larger car than the 3-series. Has anyone compared the size of a 3-series to the Passat and Subaru? According to edmunds.com, the 3-er has the same max rear cargo room and only 0.9" less rear leg room. :confused: Can this be possible? The rear legroom in my 330 is pretty darn tight, and I thought the passat was quite a bit bigger.

We really didn't expect to get a second BMW, but I'm having a hard time imagining having a passat in the driveway when we could have a 3-er wagon for the same money. :slap:

The unfortunate thing is that we need to decide ASAP because I would need to order the BMW soon to have an early Dec pickup. We'll probably go drive all the wagons soon and try to decide, but any advice is appreciated.

Kaz
08-30-2003, 10:02 PM
I don't believe legroom is any different in the wagon, though people that ride back there have commented on this, but I think that has to do with the fact I have manual seats which seem to be roomier underneath. The big change in the rear seat area compared to the sedan is headroom and overall 'feel.' Because the C-pillars aren't the wide, sloping kind, and the roof doesn't slope down toward the rear glass, it feels a lot roomier for passengers back there.

I've sat in the back of a Passat wagon, and it's WAY roomier back there (and up front, too).

·clyde·
08-30-2003, 10:20 PM
Here's the scenario: I drive a 330i and my wife will be getting a new car in the spring. She wants a wagon and right now she's considering either the low-end Passat wagon or Subaru Outback.

But I recently learned that I will be in Germany on business this December so if I ordered the car ASAP I could pick up an ED 325 wagon, and when you do all the math (including the resale of the vehicles 4-5 years from now) the BMW would be darn near the same total cost to own as the Passat and Subaru. :yikes:

The main problem is that we wanted a slightly larger car than the 3-series. Has anyone compared the size of a 3-series to the Passat and Subaru? According to edmunds.com, the 3-er has the same max rear cargo room and only 0.9" less rear leg room. :confused: Can this be possible? The rear legroom in my 330 is pretty darn tight, and I thought the passat was quite a bit bigger.

We really didn't expect to get a second BMW, but I'm having a hard time imagining having a passat in the driveway when we could have a 3-er wagon for the same money. :slap:

The unfortunate thing is that we need to decide ASAP because I would need to order the BMW soon to have an early Dec pickup. We'll probably go drive all the wagons soon and try to decide, but any advice is appreciated.
IIRC, the measurements on rear leg room in the Touring show a tenth or two more than in the sedan. I agree with Kaz that the headroom and thin C pillars, it feels a lot more open. That said, it's just not roomy back there. Not sure how that part compares to the Passat or Scooby though.

There is not a lot of cargo space in the 3er wagon. The Passat is pretty small too, but more workable than the 3er. The shock towers were less intrusive in the Passat IIRC.

I'm not all that familiar with how ED works, but would it make sense to get the process started now to ensure that delivery would fit your schedule? IIRC, you would still have a fair amount of time before you reach the point of no return.

rumratt
08-30-2003, 10:50 PM
IIRC, you would still have a fair amount of time before you reach the point of no return.

Hmm. I didn't think of that. But I'm not sure I want to do that to a dealer. Maybe it's no loss to them though since it didn't come out of their allocations, but still.

I re-ran the numbers using the best depreciation rates I could estimate by extrapolating edmunds.com's "true cost to own" figures, and it look like over 5 years the 325iT and 325xiT would cost an additional $2000 and $2800 more respectively (compared to the Passat). The BMW's depreciated at a faster rate than I had though. They really weren't much better than the Subaru or VW according to edmunds. :confused: Plus, who is going to buy a used BMW wagon once the X3 comes out. :eek:

So I would pay a bit more money to get the BMW, pay sooner, and I would get a smaller car. Also, I don't really need the car until next April, so having the ED arrive in February is a bit early. But it would be a bmw. Hmmmm.

Kaz
08-30-2003, 11:26 PM
There is not a lot of cargo space in the 3er wagon. The Passat is pretty small too, but more workable than the 3er. The shock towers were less intrusive in the Passat IIRC.


Are you comparing it to a Caravan or something?

I agree, the shock towers are rather in the way, but that's the sacrifice in order to keep the normal (good) suspension back there instead of some sacrificed crappy setup (torsion bars???).

But here are a few things I've carried in mine:

32" Sony WEGA TV (standing up but not in box)
25gal 6hp air compressor (on its side, not in box)
10ft lengths of metal electrical conduit

If the wife isn't very critical about the driving aspect, she might be better served by your other choices (or wait for the Mazda6; the current Subaru Legacy lineup will start being phased out soon as well) but.

·clyde·
08-30-2003, 11:52 PM
These are small wagons, based on less than full sized cars. Caravans (or Pacificas...still on my wife's short list :eeps: ) are in a whole different league. My childhood was spent sitting in the way backs of a Mazda RX-3 and Datsun 510 wagons.

In this segment, it shouldn't be about the ultimate amount of cargo space, it just won't be found here. For me, it was about getting more cargo space/utility value than a sedan without compromising performance/dynamics to any noticeable extent.

MR325iT
08-31-2003, 04:53 PM
I looked very closely at both the Passat and A4 before going with a 325 wagon. Both had noticeably more cargo space than the 3, however in the 3 years I've had mine, there's never been as issue with cargo space. I've packed in bathroom cabinets, made runs for 80-lb bags of concrete, and most recently hauled a pair of 90-lb garage workbenches home from Sears.

I liked the VW, but just didn't see myself excited about it 2-3 years down the road, re: handling, engine smoothness, overall look & feel, etc.

As for the Subaru, the new Legacy (sedan and wagon) will be out in about a year, I think. A turbo-four or a flat-six good for 250HP, and (IMO) they look great. You can see pictures at Subaru's domestic site - I think its www.subaru.co.jp.

At any rate, no regrets at all with getting the 325iT.

MR325iT
08-31-2003, 04:56 PM
My childhood was spent sitting in the way backs of a Mazda RX-3 and Datsun 510 wagons..

I got to ride in the center seat of a '73 Datsun pickup, back when child safety seats weren't even considered necessary. Doobie Brothers on the 8-track!

uter
08-31-2003, 11:45 PM
Here's the scenario....

We really didn't expect to get a second BMW, but I'm having a hard time imagining having a passat in the driveway when we could have a 3-er wagon for the same money. :slap:

The unfortunate thing is that we need to decide ASAP because I would need to order the BMW soon to have an early Dec pickup. We'll probably go drive all the wagons soon and try to decide, but any advice is appreciated.

I looked long and hard at the others before getting my 325xit. The other day I drove a Passat W8 wagon that was a loaner while my wife's Touareg was getting a service. While I liked the engine, the fit & finish of my 3-touring with sport pack (admittedly, no suspension changes since I have the xit) was much better.

Go with ED and get the 325it with the sport pack. Also, it was just so freakin' cool to drive my wagon on the autobahn.

For the record, my wife finds my manual transmission wagon very easy to drive.

JetBlack330i
09-01-2003, 03:13 AM
I drove a loaner 325 wagon. I liked the shape. From the driver's seat, it's no different than a sedan.
I also drove a coworker's Passat (sedan). I'll admit (but not to my coworker) that the Passat has slightly more leg room in the back. But it's no bimmer. If I had to buy a wagon, I'd get the bimmer just for the ED experience.

The Roadstergal
09-01-2003, 08:56 AM
There's a certain appeal to the BMW wagons. The 528iT I did a novice school in beat the pants off of my boss's Outback wagon, driving-wise. And that one was plenty roomy (more so than the Scooby, it seemed), although of course more expensive than the 3.
Has she tried a Protege?

LMC
09-01-2003, 09:00 AM
Another thing about this decision -- don't delay too long or the 325iT will be history (in the US market.) I don't think BMW has said that, but does anybody expect the US-market E46 wagon to survive the introduction of the X3?

PhilH
09-01-2003, 09:06 AM
We have a Passat wagon along with my 330i. The Passat has more than an inch of extra legroom and the specs on the cargo capacity show the Passat is just about the biggest wagon you can buy. The Passat wagon has 39.0 cu ft of cargo space behind the rear seats, and the 325iT has 25.7.

We're getting rid of our Passat as soon as the Mazda 6 wagon is introduced next Spring.

pdz
09-01-2003, 09:07 AM
Here's the scenario: I drive a 330i and my wife will be getting a new car in the spring. She wants a wagon and right now she's considering either the low-end Passat wagon or Subaru Outback.

But I recently learned that I will be in Germany on business this December so if I ordered the car ASAP I could pick up an ED 325 wagon, and when you do all the math (including the resale of the vehicles 4-5 years from now) the BMW would be darn near the same total cost to own as the Passat and Subaru. :yikes:

The main problem is that we wanted a slightly larger car than the 3-series. Has anyone compared the size of a 3-series to the Passat and Subaru? According to edmunds.com, the 3-er has the same max rear cargo room and only 0.9" less rear leg room. :confused: Can this be possible? The rear legroom in my 330 is pretty darn tight, and I thought the passat was quite a bit bigger.

We really didn't expect to get a second BMW, but I'm having a hard time imagining having a passat in the driveway when we could have a 3-er wagon for the same money. :slap:

The unfortunate thing is that we need to decide ASAP because I would need to order the BMW soon to have an early Dec pickup. We'll probably go drive all the wagons soon and try to decide, but any advice is appreciated.

how did you like driving the passat wagon versus the 325iT? (you're not looking at the xiT, also, are you?)

and you should maybe drive the audi a4 1.8T (manual, not auto).

am not sure you'll be all that pleased with the outback. those things are heavy (3800+ pounds), slow, and expensiVE! 26-28k for the flat six ones?!!?!?!? even more, i think, depending on equipment. yikes. the interiors of the subarus do not hold a candle to the VW, the BMW or the audi.

audis have come a long way in their handling, i would drive one of those. i like the basic 325 setup, though, it's very difficult to beat the basic BMW suspension (NON-xi setup!). i think that if you're confined to an automatic, though, you'd be well off to get the v6 passat....you can never have enough power as it is safety and fun factored into it.

rumratt
09-01-2003, 03:11 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions guys and (R)gals.

MR325iT: We need the car by March/April of next year because that's when her current lease runs out, so waiting for the next gen Subaru won't work.

Uter: She's not willing to get the sport package. However she is willing to consider manual and RWD. If we go manual then I'm sure the 325 and the passat 1.8T would have more than enough power.

Rgal: She hasn't tried the Protoge, or anything yet actually. If I didn't have this possible ED trip, we wouldn't even be discussing this until next spring. But because I'll be in Germany we need to decide on the BMW asap.

PhilH: thanks for the info. You think the Mazda 6 wagon looks exciting, huh? I'll have to take a look. When is it supposed to be available?

pdz: I think most of the cars you mentioned are a bit out of our price range. She just isn't into cars enought that she wants to spend a lot of money on hers. We're only considering the BMW because of the "free" ED discount I could get while in germany.


My guess is that the BMW won't happen because we'd have to buy it a few months earlier than we wanted. :( But who knows. Maybe we'll convince ourselves it's worth it.

rumratt
09-01-2003, 03:42 PM
We're getting rid of our Passat as soon as the Mazda 6 wagon is introduced next Spring.

Hey, the Mazda 6 looks like a pretty good match for us. I wasn't crazy about buying a Subaru or VW that are going to be redesigned any day now. And she drives about 60 miles round trip to work so driving fun and gas mileage are important.

The interior looks a bit over the top for my tastes though...

PhilH
09-01-2003, 05:13 PM
Hey, the Mazda 6 looks like a pretty good match for us. I wasn't crazy about buying a Subaru or VW that are going to be redesigned any day now. And she drives about 60 miles round trip to work so driving fun and gas mileage are important.

The interior looks a bit over the top for my tastes though...
I test drove a Mazda 6i sedan just to see if the wagon was worth waiting for. The answer was a definitive yes!

IMO, the interior looks a lot better in person than it does in pictures. In pics it kind of looks Nissan-shiny-cheap, but it's much better than that when you're sitting in the car.

Here's a review of my test drives that I wrote on another site...

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=960711

PhilH
09-01-2003, 05:15 PM
PhilH: thanks for the info. You think the Mazda 6 wagon looks exciting, huh? I'll have to take a look. When is it supposed to be available?
There's a quote from a Mazda executive saying that the wagon will be available in the first quarter of 2004. I figure it'll be available by next Spring for sure, since it's already being sold in the rest of the world right now.

Here's the best Mazda 6 forum I've found...

http://www.mazda6club.com/forums/

rumratt
09-01-2003, 05:22 PM
Here's a review of my test drives that I wrote on another site...

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=960711

Great link, thanks. Just saw the next link too. I'll take a look.

Maybe we'll have to go test drive a sedan to see what we think of the car overall.

AF
09-01-2003, 05:28 PM
The Passat wagon is a very nice family hauler . .. we've been looking pretty hard at some of the choices out there like the Sienna & the MDX and to my surprise the Sienna actually feels like your driving a Lexus sedan . . . I was REALLY shocked by how great it drove !!!

My wife has been pushing to buy my fathers Allroad which he would love for us to buy from him. I think I'd give him $30k for it and it's a 2001 with only around 12,000 miles . . .

As far as waiting for the Mazda, if a wagon is in your future, Mazda makes excellent vehicles. I've had 3 Mazda's in the past and they have all been great cars !!!!

rumratt
09-01-2003, 08:10 PM
:rofl: :rofl: You're not going to believe this. I just talked to her and now she wants a Mini instead of a wagon! :confused:

First she wanted a small SUV, but I convinced her that a wagon would be better since she does a lot of highway miles. But when I was showing her the Mazda 6 and I could see that she didn't like it, and she finally admitted that it was too boring and didn't fit her personality. I said "an Outback or a Passat are OK, but a Mazda 6 is boring?". And that's when she mentioned that she though maybe a Mini would be better for her current situation. :yikes:

From and SUV to a Mini! We're clearly all over the place here. This could take a while.

Honestly I wouldn't mind having a Mini, but a 3-series wagon would be more practical. If we could just cross the 3-series off our list, we could table this whole discussion until February.

·clyde·
09-01-2003, 11:12 PM
From and SUV to a Mini! We're clearly all over the place here. This could take a while.

I had a deposit down on a Cooper S when I ordered my wagon. The day I ordered my wagon, I woke up thinking that I was going to buy a C5 Corvette. There's a bunch of other vehicles that were on the short list at one point or another that I won't even mention. It took over a year from start to finish (nearly two years from start until I asked for a refund on my MINI deposit)

ed325i
09-02-2003, 06:04 PM
How about a Forester XT? We have a non-turbo Forester and really like it. I have driven the XT, and found its acceleration to be excellent.

Ed

Case
09-03-2003, 12:08 PM
Recently purchased a 2003 Passat GLX V6 4Motion for the wife and have no complaints. We looked at the 325 wagon, but my wife was a little concerned about the rear wheel drive aspect. We were unable to find any xit's sitting around, and couldn't wait for an order. I'm not sure of the rear room numbers and how they compare but trying them out in person the Passat seemed to have a lot more room.

uter
09-03-2003, 12:40 PM
[QUOTE=rumatt]Thanks for all the suggestions guys and (R)gals.

ter: She's not willing to get the sport package. However she is willing to consider manual and RWD. If we go manual then I'm sure the 325 and the passat 1.8T would have more than enough power...
[QUOTE]

Not to split hairs, but the sport package on the xiT is just a seat and wheel package, no suspension changes.

Also, with respect to the MINI. I drive my father-in-law's Cooper S often since he lives nearby. I love the car, but I couldn't give up the utility of the wagon. $0.02.

pdz
09-03-2003, 12:44 PM
i agree. if you get snow tires or don't need xi, just get the 325iT with the 5 speed. it's a great car; the passat wagon with the manual and the 1.8T is my favorite powertrain that VW makes in all of their cars. i really am a huge fan of that setup.

Case
09-03-2003, 12:48 PM
[QUOTE=rumatt]Thanks for all the suggestions guys and (R)gals.

ter: She's not willing to get the sport package. However she is willing to consider manual and RWD. If we go manual then I'm sure the 325 and the passat 1.8T would have more than enough power...
[QUOTE]

Not to split hairs, but the sport package on the xiT is just a seat and wheel package, no suspension changes.

Also, with respect to the MINI. I drive my father-in-law's Cooper S often since he lives nearby. I love the car, but I couldn't give up the utility of the wagon. $0.02.


My mistake, I thought the xiT meant AWD. Either way AWD is what she would have wanted to go with if we could have found a new one or low mileage one around. But had no luck.

uter
09-05-2003, 01:27 PM
My mistake, I thought the xiT meant AWD. Either way AWD is what she would have wanted to go with if we could have found a new one or low mileage one around. But had no luck.

You're right, "x" does mean AWD. However, on my 325xit, the sport package gives me a sport steering wheel, type 72 wheels, and sport seats. There are no suspension changes, though, unlike the sport package in a RWD 325it. Honestly, it feels great to me.

I'd really recommend continuing your quest for a 3-touring, though. It's been a terrific car.

('02 325xit, SP, PP, navigation, HK sound, CWP, manual tranny)

rwg
09-05-2003, 02:17 PM
Well I almost hate to suggest this, but . . . if you decide to go with a wagon, take a look at the Volvo's. Reasonable handling, variety of engine options, decently designed . . . and they always seem to have an incentive on wagons.

WDC330i
09-06-2003, 07:41 AM
Well I almost hate to suggest this, but . . . if you decide to go with a wagon, take a look at the Volvo's. Reasonable handling, variety of engine options, decently designed . . . and they always seem to have an incentive on wagons.

We drove both the Volvo AWD wagon and the Volvo SUV before buying the 325xiT, and neither could compare in handling or smooth power delivery to the 3 wagon. The Volvo power cuts out just when you need it--to accelerate for a merge--amd it has the front-heavy, divey handling of a FWD car. It does however have very comfortable seats and a ton of room.

Anyone drive the A4 Avant with 3.0 Quattro/SP set-up? How does that compare to the xiT? My only serious complaint about the 3 is its relatively wimpy engine compared to our 330i--and the lack of a true sport suspension.

testyrosa
09-06-2003, 11:57 AM
Own a Passat 1.8T and a BMW 3'er. Love the Passat. We got basic model w/ no packages. Fit and finish on the Passat are first rate and I think on par with BMW (for a stipper, like I have), the seats are great and the car is quiet and comfortable. Handling is not too bad for such a large sedan. We did make a mistake and switched from a manual that we ordered to an auto that was available sooner. Turbo lag is waaay too scary when making a left turn at times. Either stick with the stick and the 1.8 or go with the V6.

Jeff_DML
09-08-2003, 11:58 AM
Own a Passat 1.8T and a BMW 3'er. Love the Passat. We got basic model w/ no packages. Fit and finish on the Passat are first rate and I think on par with BMW (for a stipper, like I have), the seats are great and the car is quiet and comfortable. Handling is not too bad for such a large sedan. We did make a mistake and switched from a manual that we ordered to an auto that was available sooner. Turbo lag is waaay too scary when making a left turn at times. Either stick with the stick and the 1.8 or go with the V6.

I will second that, 1.8T doesnt match up good with a automatic. We test drove the 1.8T passat with auto and it kept on getting shifting at bad times and hitting the turbo lag.

pdz
09-08-2003, 02:18 PM
We drove both the Volvo AWD wagon and the Volvo SUV before buying the 325xiT, and neither could compare in handling or smooth power delivery to the 3 wagon. The Volvo power cuts out just when you need it--to accelerate for a merge--amd it has the front-heavy, divey handling of a FWD car. It does however have very comfortable seats and a ton of room.

Anyone drive the A4 Avant with 3.0 Quattro/SP set-up? How does that compare to the xiT? My only serious complaint about the 3 is its relatively wimpy engine compared to our 330i--and the lack of a true sport suspension.


the a4 avant with the 6speed manual and 3.0litre engine rocks. it's a fun, fun, fun (did i say fun?) car. narrower and seemingly lower ceiling than the 325iT or 325xiT, though.

i preferred the a4 3.0 avant, but ultimately, it was not me driving the car everyday, so i relented.

rumratt
10-20-2003, 11:11 PM
For those following this saga, her latest choice is a Subaru WRX wagon. :yikes: Sounds like the most fun yet! I just need to make sure it has enough space to jam two bicycles back there.

Of course, a regular Impreza wagon (TS) would be $5K less and she probably wouldn't drive them any differently. :dunno:

But I guess the WRX would be more fun for me too. :D

elbert
10-20-2003, 11:47 PM
WRX wagons are great. I got to drive one for two weeks and it was a lot of fun. However, you might be hard-pressed to shove two bikes in the back unless you stack them. It is not a big car. With the seats folded down, I barely had enough room to get four wheels+tires to sit flat.

The TS might be more suitable for daily driving. It has a 2.5, versus the 2.0 turbo in the WRX. It has more low-end punch, as the WRX does have a bit of turbo lag below 3k rpm.

rumratt
10-21-2003, 07:37 AM
The TS might be more suitable for daily driving. It has a 2.5, versus the 2.0 turbo in the WRX. It has more low-end punch, as the WRX does have a bit of turbo lag below 3k rpm.

Thanks. I'm guessing the TS is more than suitable. We'll have to drive them, assuming she's still interested next week. :D

Nick325xiT 5spd
10-21-2003, 07:42 AM
You could always get a Forester XT and put an Impreza suspension on it. :D

rumratt
10-21-2003, 08:26 AM
You could always get a Forester XT and put an Impreza suspension on it. :D

I could lower it way down and have a pimpin slammed Forester. :bigpimp:

A mini SUV would be handy a few times a year, but this is her commuter car for a 45 minute drive. Seems to silly to have it be bigger/heavier (about 5 mpg less than the imprezza) and a taller right height. :dunno:

Jeff_DML
10-21-2003, 10:13 AM
You could always get a Forester XT and put an Impreza suspension on it. :D

yeah you should check out the XT, it has a detuned STi engine in it. Should have plenty of low end torque plus I think it has a bit more room then the WRX wagon. I havent checked out the WRX wagon that close but to me it is more of a hatchback. My wrx sedan is pretty small, quite a bit smaller then our 3 wagon.

elbert
10-21-2003, 10:24 AM
Jeff did you order wheels for your WRX yet?

racerdave
10-21-2003, 11:53 AM
Ok, this is not on anyone's list yet...

But my wife and I looked at the Passat, and while it was nice, it wasn't as nice as what we settled on... the Volvo V70.

The V70 is roomier pretty much everywhere (and especially the rear cargo area) and rode a little softer. Also, the transmission perfomance and feel (5-speed auto) is nicer than the VW as well.

We got a loaded (heated seats, moonroof, leather, etc) 01 in December of 01. Stickered at 37K, and we got it for like 31.5K because they wanted it off the lot so bad.

To this point, it has about 37K miles and the only thing it's needed are sway-bar end-links in front (rattled) and light bulbs.

So check into the V70... maybe you can still ED? (not even sure if Volvo does it)

racerdave
10-21-2003, 11:57 AM
DOH! I started reading the beginning of this thread and replied after only P1. Oops.

Anyway, the WRX wagons are fun. But they also are small, probably smaller than the 325.

Anyway, have her look a the V70 if you haven't bought yet. My wife loves her's.

rumratt
10-21-2003, 12:30 PM
Anyway, have her look a the V70 if you haven't bought yet. My wife loves her's.

For some reason, my wife hates volvos. I think they're OK, but she hates them. :dunno:

Jeff: The WRX may be small, but would you actually want to it up for a Forester? The Forester must be a lot less fun to drive.

marinakorp
10-21-2003, 01:16 PM
while the subaru wrx is zippy.. it has no cargo space whatso ever...

If the cost is 2-3k over the life of the loan... go with the 325xit... AWD can get a stick... looks nice and has the same room as the Passat (relatively)


OR find a nice used 540iT and have teh best of both worlds... room, power, styling

.02

rumratt
10-21-2003, 01:21 PM
If the cost is 2-3k over the life of the loan... go with the 325xit... AWD can get a stick...

Window of opportunity closed on that deal because we couldn't make up our mind. :cry: If we buy a 325xiT it's full price next spring... not likely to happen.

racerdave
10-21-2003, 03:14 PM
The new Forester with the 2.5-turbo is actually just as quick if not quicker than a stock WRX.

But the driving dynamics must be different.

Hey, I'd *rejoice* if my wife wanted a WRX wagon! :) (she hates them with a passion for some reason) If you need extra carrying capacity, get a roof rack (for bikes, etc) or a small utility trailer if you really need to haul something.

So I say go for the WRX! :thumbup:

KatanaPilot
10-21-2003, 04:25 PM
:rofl: :rofl: You're not going to believe this. I just talked to her and now she wants a Mini instead of a wagon! :confused:

First she wanted a small SUV, but I convinced her that a wagon would be better since she does a lot of highway miles. But when I was showing her the Mazda 6 and I could see that she didn't like it, and she finally admitted that it was too boring and didn't fit her personality. I said "an Outback or a Passat are OK, but a Mazda 6 is boring?". And that's when she mentioned that she though maybe a Mini would be better for her current situation. :yikes:

From and SUV to a Mini! We're clearly all over the place here. This could take a while.

Honestly I wouldn't mind having a Mini, but a 3-series wagon would be more practical. If we could just cross the 3-series off our list, we could table this whole discussion until February.
I just noticed this thread today and I feel I have to jump in here.
I went through a similar thought process in choosing a replacement to my 94 325i. I want something more practical, but still small enough to fit in tight parking spots. I love the 3 series wagon, but I really wanted the 3.0 liter engine. If BMW brought the 330i wagon here, I would've had one in my garage right now. And I wasn't willing to beta test the X3 for them, so I started looking elsewhere.

I test drove pretty much all small to mid size SUVs out there, anything from CRV, Escape, up to the X5. On the day I was going to test drive the Tribute, the Mazda dealer totally blew me off, so I stopped by the MINI showroom down the street. After a half-hour test drive, I put down a deposit. Yup, I was looking for a SUV, and I ended up with a MINI.

With the seats folded down, my MINI's cargo capacity is much bigger than my 325i. And the driver's seating position is supposedly identical to the 3 series as well (and it feels that way too) Therefore by going from a 3 series to a MINI, I got more cargo carrying capacity, while maintaining driver comfort. It does fit my need perfectly, and I am extremely happy with it so far.

And it was $17,000 cheaper than a 330i.

rumratt
10-21-2003, 06:17 PM
Yup, I was looking for a SUV, and I ended up with a MINI.


Hey, that's awesome. :thumbup: I know she still wants one, but was turned off by the amount of room in the back. Maybe we should check one out with the seat down.

It's still not big though. If it really has more room than your 325 sedan, that must be without folding down your rear seat, so it's not really a fair comparison.

I'm sure something even as small as a WRX would be a lot bigger. Would I be able to jam a bike in the back of the mini?

Tex
10-21-2003, 07:56 PM
How about doing ED in february on a 325xiT: plane tickets a dirt cheap then so savings are still there. Also, if the difference is about $2+k over 5 years, that is probably what you would spend in maintenance on most vehicle mentioned here: the Passat is a nice car, but it routinely has electrical problems on window motors and the likes, Mazda tribute is Ford Escape, so expect problems at 36001 miles. With the BMW, you are covered 4yrs/50kmi for warranty and maintenance.

Test drives: I test drove a Passat wagon V6 auto. Nice ride, I loved the interior (nice leather and plastics) but it just feels heavy in turns. Also test drove the A4 1.8T auto and the combination does not do it (slow, lack of torque) and Audis are way overpriced in my mind when compared to VW.

So, I would definitely try to do ED in late winter and get a 325xiT. That buys you time until Xmas.

rumratt
10-21-2003, 09:09 PM
So, I would definitely try to do ED in late winter and get a 325xiT.

Damn.. you're going to make me consider this seriously. It just seems wrong out of principle given that I'll be in Germany the first week of december! :rofl:

Where's that thread about someone's head feeling like it's going to explode? Add me to that list. :D

elbert
10-21-2003, 09:22 PM
Where's that thread about someone's head feeling like it's going to explode?

http://forums.bimmerfest.com/showthread.php?t=43950

Oh, you were kidding. This saga reminds me of The Simpsons, where what happens in the first five minutes has nothing to do with most of it, then sometimes comes full circle? If anything, your car purchase will be thoroughly thought out.

tashi
10-21-2003, 09:27 PM
Damn.. you're going to make me consider this seriously. It just seems wrong out of principle given that I'll be in Germany the first week of december! :rofl:

Where's that thread about someone's head feeling like it's going to explode? Add me to that list. :D


I dont think its too late to order for early december.
Last week I placed order for my 325i and the dealer confirmed the Dec 5th pickup in Munich.

rumratt
10-21-2003, 10:20 PM
I dont think its too late to order for early december.
Last week I placed order for my 325i and the dealer confirmed the Dec 5th pickup in Munich.

Wow. Really? Hmmmm..

Spinning Blue
10-21-2003, 11:06 PM
You're not going to believe this. I just talked to her and now she wants a Mini instead of a wagon! :confused:
I can't blame your wife for liking the Mini. I drove one the other day. 'Loved it to death. Hey, people in Europe make do with really small cars. It is possible to live happily with it. You can use the Bimmer for the bigger projects.

Jeff_DML
10-22-2003, 01:42 PM
rumatt,

Not sure what your timeline is but noticed you where originally intersted in the outback, subaru has redesigned the legacy(outback)

http://www.fhi.co.jp/english/news/press/2003/03_08_08e.htm

looks a bit odd but the hardware looks good. Lighter weight I think plus they are probably going to offer a turbo engine. Maybe a option? :dunno:

rumratt
11-04-2003, 08:58 PM
Not sure what your timeline is but noticed you where originally intersted in the outback, subaru has redesigned the legacy(outback)

Thanks for the link. It looks reasonable in pictures anyway. I think we might want the car before that one comes out, but you never know.

rumratt
11-04-2003, 09:07 PM
PhilH,

Have you seen this thread? http://www.mazda6club.com/forums/read.php?TID=2494&page=1

It's one of those "name things you don't like about your car" threads. These are always dangerous because people will often name silly little things, when in reality they love their car. However...

A few things I didn't like seeing:

- cabin noise
- multiple complaints about rattles
- horrible turning radius
- lack of low end torque
- major throttle dalay :mad:

And what annoys me is that you cannot order the side air bags without also ordering the sport package, sunroof, and bose stereo. :dunno: :confused: :mad: (at least for the current sedan models anyway)


She recently mentioned how she likes the looks of passat wagons, so we might consider them. I'm just amazed at how much the magazines (and edmunds, etc) love the Passat, but every Passat owner I know wants to get rid of theirs..

I'm still trying to talk her into a european delivery 325iT. :eeps:

AndDown
11-04-2003, 09:15 PM
Had a chance to drive the 330iT at Ultimate Drive recently and I completely forgot I was driving a wagon until I got out - if I had to get a wagon, it would definitely be a 330 with step or a 325 with manual. Also had the time of my life doing the Performance Drive on the same day. Will have to sign up for a longer session now.

rumratt
11-05-2003, 05:35 AM
Had a chance to drive the 330iT at Ultimate Drive

There is no 330iT sold in the us. :dunno:

PhilH
11-05-2003, 06:53 AM
PhilH,

Have you seen this thread? http://www.mazda6club.com/forums/read.php?TID=2494&page=1

It's one of those "name things you don't like about your car" threads. These are always dangerous because people will often name silly little things, when in reality they love their car. However...

A few things I didn't like seeing:

- cabin noise
- multiple complaints about rattles
- horrible turning radius
- lack of low end torque
- major throttle dalay :mad:

And what annoys me is that you cannot order the side air bags without also ordering the sport package, sunroof, and bose stereo. :dunno: :confused: :mad: (at least for the current sedan models anyway)


She recently mentioned how she likes the looks of passat wagons, so we might consider them. I'm just amazed at how much the magazines (and edmunds, etc) love the Passat, but every Passat owner I know wants to get rid of theirs..

I'm still trying to talk her into a european delivery 325iT. :eeps:
I read that board regularly, but I missed that thread (possibly on purpose, considering that my mind is made up that we're buying one). I thought you were going to link the thread about the rust problems. :eeps:

As for the problems you note, I'm not that concerned...

-cabin noise - I test drove a 6 and thought it was great, no complaints about noise
-rattles - every kind of car has owners who complain about rattles
-turning radius - I actually noticed this on the test drive when I went to park the car, but I don't think it's a deal breaker
-lack of of torque / throttle delay - this is my wife's car, and from my test drive, it's a full step up from our Passat in terms of driving enjoyment (and turbo lag, even in the VW 1.8T, is the worst kind of throttle delay)

The option packages are definitely wacked out, but I figure I'll just get a loaded one anyway.

The Passat was recently beaten in R&T comparo by a Mazda 6. The Accord was first, the 6 was second and the Passat ranked last. The Passat is a car with great road manners, but at this point I think it's starting to show it's age. I'm also not impressed at all with VW quality. You want to talk about interior rattles, creaks and squeaks... :tsk:

rumratt
11-05-2003, 07:01 AM
The Passat was recently beaten in R&T comparo by a Mazda 6. The Accord was first, the 6 was second and the Passat ranked last.

Thanks. I found it here. http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=437&page_number=1

This quote was interesting:

Overall, the Passat is a very nice, civilized sedan — and certainly our aesthetic favorite, but it has a disappointing softness in its steering and brakes, which is odd for a German car. As one editor noted, "It's a strange world we live in; the Accord feels like a German car, and the Passat doesn't."

rumratt
11-05-2003, 07:14 AM
The option packages are definitely wacked out, but I figure I'll just get a loaded one anyway.

Did you consider a 325 wagon? Once you load up the Mazda with options, you could get a base 325iT for LESS total cost of ownership if you do ED and consider the resale value later. I guess since your wife wants all the options the BMW would be a lot more. Plus the BMW is smaller.

However, the Mazda doesn't have stability controle, while the BMW and Passat do. My wife doesn't like practicing emergency manuevers, so I think it's particularly helpful for the car to be able to help out in cases like hers.

(Wow.. this sounds like I'm trying to talk out out of the Mazda-6, doesn't it. :eeps: )

PhilH
11-05-2003, 07:36 AM
Did you consider a 325 wagon? Once you load up the Mazda with options, you could get a base 325iT for LESS total cost of ownership if you do ED and consider the resale value later. I guess since your wife wants all the options the BMW would be a lot more. Plus the BMW is smaller.

However, the Mazda doesn't have stability controle, while the BMW and Passat do. My wife doesn't like practicing emergency manuevers, so I think it's particularly helpful for the car to be able to help out in cases like hers.

(Wow.. this sounds like I'm trying to talk out out of the Mazda-6, doesn't it. :eeps: )
I tried to get my wife into a 325iT a little over a year ago. When it came right down to it, she said she didn't want the image of driving a BMW. :tsk: (although in her mind it's obviously OK, or even good, for me to have one :dunno: )

We also want something a little bigger, now that we have two kids. The back seat of the Mazda 6 has a useful increase in rear seat legroom over an E46. Plus cargo room should be much better as well.

The Passat now offers stability control (with yaw sensors...)? I thought all their systems were basically traction control, which the Mazda offers as well. DSC would be nice, and the Volvo V70 I was looking at had it. However, it seems style is very high on my wife's priorities, and the V70 just didn't make the cut.

LmtdSlip
11-05-2003, 08:56 AM
So check into the V70... maybe you can still ED? (not even sure if Volvo does it)

Yes, Volvo does ED. My brother in law did it.
His wagon is boring to drive but very effective otherwise and has a nice classic understated elegance.

And what is it with Volvos burning out head light bulbs. He has gone through two.

Jeff_DML
11-05-2003, 10:18 AM
Yes, Volvo does ED. My brother in law did it.
His wagon is boring to drive but very effective otherwise and has a nice classic understated elegance.

And what is it with Volvos burning out head light bulbs. He has gone through two.

yeah volvo does euro delivery and it includes airfare and 1 night hotel and it still supposed to be cheaper :yikes: might be worth flying over and staying just 1 night

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You guys think you need DSC on a FWD car? I wouldnt think so but I dont drive in snow or even rain :D

elbert
11-05-2003, 11:51 AM
FineLiving had a segment on ED and Volvo and Saab were the best deals. You're basically getting a free Euro vacation (minus hotel stay more than one day) and your car at a discount.

http://www.fineliving.com/fine/best_for_less/episode/0,1663,FINE_11276_23474,00.html


And I doubt you'll need DSC on a FWD car in SoCal

FireFly
11-05-2003, 12:28 PM
I wish I had time to read the entire thread but here is my 2 cents:

Friends own the VW AWD Wagon and love it- they also have a new M3 convert. They would have purchased the BMW wagon but it was a bit more than they were willing to pay.

If you can get ED on the BMW then get it- you'll never look back.
Best looking wagon on the market and will drive much like the 325 sedan.

Some sat the 325 wagon is a bit under-powered. But don't think underpowered is like a 4cyl camry or accord. They think it's underpowered compared to a 330...

KatanaPilot
11-05-2003, 01:24 PM
You won't be able to fit bikes in the MINI. Bikes have to either go on the roof rack, or you have to get a bike carrier for the hatch.

My 325, even with the seats folded down, could not fit bulky items like a big TV. I couldn't even fit one of those small college dorm size fridges in my car. The MINI on the other hand, I could definitely fit my TV or my small fridge in it. My MINI can't hold skis though; too short for that. I had to get a roof rack for my skis.

As to BMW not offering 330iT in the US, well, I am sure I would have gotten one a couple of years ago if they offered it.

brave1heart
11-05-2003, 06:53 PM
I am surprised the A6 wagon has not come up in this thread. I have not shopped for a wagon (will in about a year, though) but I think the A6 would be on top of my list. The 3-series and A4 seem too small if you're planning on regularly transporting a kid or two in the back seat and the Passat looks and drives boring. I might consider a Passat only if I did some cost analysis on suspension and tire mods and it still came out cheaper than the A6...

rumratt
11-05-2003, 07:07 PM
I am surprised the A6 wagon has not come up in this thread..

Probably a great car, but it's in a totally different price range.

Jeff: Regarding DSC and FWD. I'm sure it's not "necessary", but I do know a friend who managed to put their FWD car into a 360 spin on a highway when they reacted to a car that swerved into her lane (probably swerved and slammed on the brakes at the same time :tsk: ) But if technology could have prevented it, why not... I have absolutely no idea how my wife would react in an emergency reaction. :dunno:

MG67
11-07-2003, 09:53 AM
When looking around to replace my 2001 Ford Focus (lemon law) piece of Sh*t... I considered a couple of cars, the Audi A4 Avant, Mercedes C240 Wagon, BMW 325it and the Volvo XC90 Suv.
Audi A4 Avant: didn't like seats
Mercedes: didn't like seats or packages on the car (not sporty...)
Volvo XC90 very nice but not available
BMW Touring, bought this car with Sport & Premium this car is great sofar, good mileage, pretty fast and when I need the space (when helping out my wife with large weddings) there is enough... this car drives almost like the 330ci coupe that my wife has and I love it.
My next car will be a new M3 though because I need those extra horses... :D

rumratt
11-08-2003, 12:20 AM
Thanks mgorgel. What kind of highway mileage do you get with your 325iT?

Terry Kennedy
11-08-2003, 12:30 AM
Thanks mgorgel. What kind of highway mileage do you get with your 325iT?Are you also interested in an answer for a 325xiT (should be a little lower than a 325iT, I think)?

I get 24 to 26 MPG combined city and highway. I can't tell you a lifetime average as a number of my DIYs involved disconnecting the battery :D. The best I've ever gotten was a smidge over 30 MPG, averaged on an 850-mile drive from NYC to Illinois (mostly interstates, some stop-and-go around Columbis, OH and Indianapolis, IN from traffic jams, and some slowdowns for road construction).

uter
11-08-2003, 08:10 AM
Are you also interested in an answer for a 325xiT (should be a little lower than a 325iT, I think)?

I get 24 to 26 MPG combined city and highway. I can't tell you a lifetime average as a number of my DIYs involved disconnecting the battery :D. The best I've ever gotten was a smidge over 30 MPG, averaged on an 850-mile drive from NYC to Illinois (mostly interstates, some stop-and-go around Columbis, OH and Indianapolis, IN from traffic jams, and some slowdowns for road construction).

I get similar mileage in my 325xit (by the way, Terry, your web page is great). Out here in Scottsdale, there's the opportunity for some pretty aggressive driving, and the mileage suffers a bit.

One thing I've noticed about the AWD is that it's really easy to park with power going to all the wheels. It's a noticeable difference over RWD bimmers I've had in the past.

Lastly, when I had the 325xit in New Hampshire last winter, it was unstoppable in the snow and muck.

rumratt
11-08-2003, 08:42 AM
Are you also interested in an answer for a 325xiT (should be a little lower than a 325iT, I think)?

Yes, thanks. I'm very interested. According the the stats, the xiT is a lot worse 3 (or 4?) mpg worse than the iT, but I'm getting reports that in reality they are about the same because the iT is geared LOWER than the xiT, so the iT has a higher RPM when cruising on the highway. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44944&highlight=325xit

Could they really get the same mileage and be rated so differently?

MG67
11-08-2003, 09:13 AM
Yes, thanks. I'm very interested. According the the stats, the xiT is a lot worse 3 (or 4?) mpg worse than the iT, but I'm getting reports that in reality they are about the same because the iT is geared LOWER than the xiT, so the iT has a higher RPM when cruising on the highway. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44944&highlight=325xit

Could they really get the same mileage and be rated so differently?

My car gets about 22 -24 mainly because I drive, city streets and freeway here in LA. I do drive pretty fast if I may say so myself. My car's computer says 22.3mpg and its says 37 mph average.... I think its pretty good...

BarryH
11-08-2003, 10:25 AM
I have a Volvo V70R and have never driven or considered a Volvo before. The R is like apples and oranges as it applies to your comparison but I can comment on the build and utility of the V. Without question, the car is the best built of any I've owned. The design, utility, and thoughtful touches make it the perfect hauler. I traded an MDX for it and can get almost just as much stuff in the Volvo. My two dogs fit comfortably in the cargo area with the back seat up which you can't say about any of the cars mentioned other than the Passat. I drove a new Hertz XC70 about a month ago and found the power delivery ample. With incentives, you can get a loaded V70AWD or XC70 for less than the cars mentioned. The XC70 is a cool looking car for the anti-SUV crowd. Volvo resale kind of sucks though so take that in to consideration. On that note, I'd check out vwvortex.com before I'd seriously consider a Passat. Lots of problems and reports of resale even below Volvo's. Good luck.

AF
11-08-2003, 12:14 PM
Matt . . . get your wife one of these . . . I heard they are very easy to park :rofl:


http://www.bmw-m.net/Humor/images/woman5_1.jpg

TD
11-08-2003, 12:23 PM
Let me throw in a vote for the Saab 9-5 wagon (especially the Aero version with a 5-spd). Sure, it's FWD. But it has a better driving feel than anything else in it's class, is damn fast, and it can be had with a manual transmission. IMO, it's pretty good looking too.

http://members.roadfly.com/ObviousMan/DSCN1553.JPG

rumratt
11-08-2003, 12:34 PM
Let me throw in a vote for the Saab 9-5 wagon

Actually, I've been looking at Saab's since I saw the threads about your new car. Heck, they even have european delivery available.

It seems like a pretty big vehicle though.. but it's probably still worth a test drive.

TD
11-08-2003, 12:37 PM
The power delivery is definitely "different" but once you get used to it it's kind of cool. Once the turbo kicks in, hang on. I'd actually speculate that, in the range of 40-60 MPH, the Saab pulls stronger than the M3. It really goes.

I know you're talking new, but at the rate Saabs depreciate, you might want to consider a slightly used one.

AF
11-08-2003, 01:38 PM
Matt . . . I hate to agree with tom :mad: but the Saab really is worth looking into. I've driven the 9-5 before and it is a great drivers car with all the comforts of a luxury car. Plus with the FWD you don't have to worry about your wife driving in the bad weather.

The resale on them stinks so I'd look into a 1 or 2 yr old model, just check to see how long the factory warranty is because I don't think you'd want to be left without a warranty.

rumratt
11-11-2003, 07:55 PM
OK folks... this drama might be over.....

She REALLY wants an X3. I am philosophically opposed to a vehicle that is heavier and has a higher ride height for no reason whatsoever, but, she has always wanted a mini-SUV's and after seeing the X3 she is in love. I almost had her talked into a wagon, but after seeing the X3 it's all over. :cry:

Since the X3 is available ED, we could take another European vacation next spring and pick it up. With the ED discount the total cost of ownership wouldn't be much more than a VW Passat or Mazda 6.

Plus, I have to assume that the resale of the X3 would be better than a 325 wagon. But we would probably get the 6-speed and mostly stripped down, so you never know. We might get hosed on resale.

elbert
11-11-2003, 08:09 PM
I almost had her talked into a wagon, but after seeing the X3 it's all over. :cry:

Sorry to hear; at least you tried.

rumratt
12-21-2003, 10:11 PM
Hey PhilH,

Have you seen this thread at edmunds? http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX?14@18.XuSjczfXful.8@.ef059e1/359It contains a decent amout of speculation on the Mazda 6 wagon that I hadn't seen before, and is disappointing (of course it's just speculation, but I'm guessing much of it is likely):

1) They won't start taking orders until May1, and the cars wouldn't arrive in the US for 60-90 days

2) For the first 1-2 monts, they will only sell automatics. :tsk:

3) There is no 4 cylinder engine, only a V6. (this one is confirmed on Mazda's web site

4) Some suggest that the premium for the wagon over the sedan will be high.


Put this together with ridiculous packaging system: you can't order side airbags without a moonroof, and you can't order heated seats without leather and the premium sound system :tsk:.

So basically the car I order would be almost fully loaded. This means it would have a sticker price of $27K, if not $28K, and it wouldn't make it to the US until late summer, possibly fall 2004.

A Euro delivery 325xiT is looking better and better. One side benefit of having 2 BMW's is that I could use just 3 sets of wheels (a bonus given my small garage!): 1 w/performance, 1 all-season, and 1 snow tires. In the summer I get the performance, she gets the all-seasons. In the winter I get the all-seasons and she gets the snows. :dunno: Her AWD car with snows obviously becomes the "snow vehicle". My RWD with all-seasons is just enough to get me home from work on my flat, 8-mile commute. This crazy plan could actually work! :thumbup:

PhilH
12-22-2003, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the heads up.

The only thing that annoys me about this news is the delayed launch, and even that is probably good for me. I want to sell our Passat wagon, but I probably have no real need to sell it quickly. Although I'm spending $280 today on a new battery and some basic maintenance on our Passat, nothing has really broken recently.

I probably was going for the 6-cylinder anyway, my wife likes automatics, and we'd probably get a loaded one, so I'm not sure the other points have much impact on my choice. The premium they're going to charge over the sedan should be reasonable, although there certainly isn't much competition in the midsize wagon market.

I've always thought a 325iT was a good alternative for my wife, but I'm happy to spend less and get a larger, more useful car as our family hauler.

rumratt
12-22-2003, 06:55 PM
They also mentioned that they may offer only a small number of options combos in the first few months, but I'm guessing one of them will be "loaded" and I vaguely remember you mentioning that what you'd want.

I guess I have trouble with paying $27K for a $18K chassis with lots of options piled on (many of which I didn't even want). Now we're back to the ED 325xiT with almost no options, except heated seats. :thumbup: We'll squeak in just under 30K. Seems like better value given our preferences and constraints.

PhilH
12-22-2003, 07:22 PM
I guess I have trouble with paying $27K for a $18K chassis with lots of options piled on (many of which I didn't even want). Now we're back to the ED 325xiT with almost no options, except heated seats. :thumbup: We'll squeak in just under 30K. Seems like better value given our preferences and constraints.
The E46 makes even more financial sense when you consider resale value and free scheduled maintenance (although w/ 11k miles on my car, I'm starting to wonder just how much money BMW's "free" scheduled maintenance is saving me...one free oil change a year? :tsk: ).

I forget if you've driven one or not, but in my test drive, I thought the Mazda 6 felt like a much more expensive car than it is. I think it easily has $30k car refinement. It may lack a premium brand name, but I think it has similar refinement to the Volvo V70 I drove, and it's quite a bit more fun to drive.

Also, with two kiddies to haul around, the Mazda offers a nice increase in rear seat legroom over the 325iT and I expect a lot more cargo capacity (although I've yet to see standard U.S. cargo space specs on it). It has FWD safety for mom and a loaded car should be around $27k, rather than maybe $33k+ for a comparable E46 wagon (she really likes all the bells and whistles). She has pretty much flatly refused buying either a BMW or a Volvo, and we don't want used car hassles with a mommy-mobile (Saab), so the Mazda 6 pretty much nails what we're both looking for. I just hope we get some decent reliability out of it, because I think we're going to keep it for at least five or six years.

Now I just have to wait until Mazda gets around to importing it. :rolleyes:

Don't get me wrong, the E46 looks and feels better than the Mazda 6 in nearly every way, but it costs more, my wife doesn't want one, and it's smaller.

rumratt
12-22-2003, 07:53 PM
Also, with two kiddies to haul around, the Mazda offers a nice increase in rear seat legroom over the 325iT and I expect a lot more cargo capacity

Yep. I think we agree. For someone is looking for a larger vehicle and wanting all the bells and whistles, the mazda-6 is probably the right choice.

And I have to admit, I like to do all the math pretending that I'm going to get the stripper BMW, but then I end up slipping in extra options at the end. :eeps:

uter
12-22-2003, 08:29 PM
...

And I have to admit, I like to do all the math pretending that I'm going to get the stripper BMW, but then I end up slipping in extra options at the end. :eeps:

Hmm, easy to do. When I ordered my ED 325xit, I rationalized all the ED and 'CCA rebate savings away for sport, premium, HK, xenons, CWP, navigation and xenons. After driving my brother's 325i with regular seats, I have to admit, the sport seats are not something to leave out. Also, don't omit the xenon headlamps, they're truly great.

"Honey, it's leatherette, sport package, and xenons. And not a penny more." She can drive stick, right? I just take very slow, deep breaths when the missus drives mine. In, and out. In, and out.

rumratt
12-22-2003, 08:36 PM
I just take very slow, deep breaths when the missus drives mine. In, and out. In, and out.

:lmao: Trust me, I know the feeling!

She drives stick just fine and that's what she wants. :thumbup:

The seats are another story though. She's sits in my car all the time so she knows the sport seats, and when we were at the dealer she sat in the normal seats and said she liked them better. :mad: But if we get the normal seats, I don't know if I'll ever want to take the car on long trips. :( We might need another trip to the dealer to see which seats are the best compromise for both of us.

Plaz
12-22-2003, 09:55 PM
All I'll say is that my wife (and less importantly, I) are more and more thrilled with our CPO'd 325iT each day. We basically got a "new" BMW 3er wagon, now, for Mazda 6 wagon pricing. Couldn't have been a better fit for our situation.

:thumbup:

uter
12-22-2003, 10:08 PM
All I'll say is that my wife (and less importantly, I) are more and more thrilled with our CPO'd 325iT each day. We basically got a "new" BMW 3er wagon, now, for Mazda 6 wagon pricing. Couldn't have been a better fit for our situation.

:thumbup:

I think that $ for $, you got a great deal (but obviously looked for a while).
Are there many CPO 325xit's out there for Rumatt?

WDC330i
12-23-2003, 07:38 AM
There may still be a few leftover 2003s in dealer inventory. We got ours new for $1,000 over invoice with 2.9 financing back in July. Best of all, it was Topaz, which is not available on the the 3s anymore and looks GREAT on the wagon. Much cuter than the sedan, in fact.

WDC330i
12-23-2003, 09:13 AM
Hmmm. Here's an attractively spec'd used 323iT (stick and sport package):

http://www.autoadvantage.net/fullpix/060310.jpg

060310 00 323it 4 door Jet Black Black 5-speed 44,873 $22,950

http://www.autoadvantage.net/3series.htm

rumratt
12-23-2003, 09:25 AM
060310 00 323it 4 door Jet Black Black 5-speed 44,873 $22,950

http://www.autoadvantage.net/3series.htm

Intersting. I actually wouldn't mind buying used in theory, and I considered it for my 330. But there are two factors that kill it for me:

1) Most of the used cars have options that I don't particuarly want (leather, etc). A few thousand $$ in options you didn't really care about can cut into the savings of buying used substantially.

2) The existance of an ED discount cuts into the savings even more.

When I was shopping for my car, I remember looking at CPO 325i's that cost MORE than I paid for my 330i. :yikes: Of course they were loaded, and mine isn't.. but still.

So, if we found a 325xiT with the options we want (and only those) then maybe it could make sense. Maybe I should keep my eyes open though.

TD
12-23-2003, 10:18 AM
Hmmm. Here's an attractively spec'd used 325iT (stick and sport package):

http://www.autoadvantage.net/fullpix/060310.jpg

060310 00 323it 4 door Jet Black Black 5-speed 44,873 $22,950

http://www.autoadvantage.net/3series.htm
That wagon has been there A LONG time. Months ago, Clyde linked it in a wagon thread and I recall posting then how long it had been there. It has to be at least 6 mos. Which means I'm sure that they'd really be willing to deal on it.

Plaz
12-23-2003, 10:22 AM
That wagon has been there A LONG time. Months ago, Clyde linked it in a wagon thread and I recall posting then how long it had been there. It has to be at least 6 mos. Which means I'm sure that they'd really be willing to deal on it.

*cough* bent frame? *cough*

Or is it really just that difficult to sell a wagon with stick?

TD
12-23-2003, 10:25 AM
*cough* bent frame? *cough*

Or is it really just that difficult to sell a wagon with stick?
I avoided it because it has the split bottom spoke on the steering wheel. That means it's post 06/00 production. Which also means that it's got the feather-light steering as well. No DBW throttle is good. Feather-light steering is definitely bad.

Otherwise, it's a sport package, manual tranny, DBW-throttle-less wagon. A pretty rare find.

WDC330i
12-23-2003, 12:35 PM
I avoided it because it has the split bottom spoke on the steering wheel. That means it's post 06/00 production. Which also means that it's got the feather-light steering as well. No DBW throttle is good. Feather-light steering is definitely bad.

Otherwise, it's a sport package, manual tranny, DBW-throttle-less wagon. A pretty rare find.

And with the extra torque of the earlier 2.5 engine. That would be nice.

Rumatt, there is also a used 325xiT at the same dealer. Also a stick:

120321 01 325xit Wagon Black Tan 5-speed 42,454 $27,950

PhilH
12-24-2003, 06:38 PM
The Mazda 6 grabbed second place in the new edmunds.com comparison of ten family sedans.

I like their summation on the 6...
Mazda 6
The Bottom Line: Not the biggest or the most practical of today's family sedans, but by far the most entertaining. Our top choice for driving-enthusiasts-turned-parents.

1. Accord
2. 6
3. Camry
4. Altima
5. Passat
6. Galant
7. Malibu
8. Sonata
9. Sebring
10. Verona

http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/comparison/articles/101056/article.html?tid=edmunds.h..reviews.rightbanner.1g