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  Reply # 1223458 27-Jan-2015 19:03
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Disrespective: 

The Mazda 6 is also decent but arguably not as good as the Subaru. Both would be very competent so will test drive them with the whole family buckled in to confirm space. 


Keep an ear out for road noise in the mazda. For a start, they are a lot louder when you only have 2 up the front, or driving alone. Ours is shocking on brand new pirelli tyres.
And make sure to hit some bumps and see how the steering responds. We took ours 500k on a holiday and I was tired from fighting the wheel to stay in our lane at 110kph, when a 500k trip used to be half a days work in a semi.
We're both pretty disappointed in the Mazda 6 wagon and are thinking about selling to buy another BMW (5 -series wagon) just so long trips are comfy. I think they're fine for around town, but way too hard in the suspension for Aussie roads on long trips.


Disrespective: 
In an ideal world we'd get the BMW and not expect reliability issues but i'm wary of maintenance costs on them... 


Find a good independant BMW mechanic and you'll be laughing.

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  Reply # 1223476 27-Jan-2015 19:26
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hmm ... i wonder if there are any good independent BmW mechanics in Dunedin ... might be able to afford one in 10-20 years ... !



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  Reply # 1223477 27-Jan-2015 19:28
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Camden: I have owned some of the cars you have mentioned.

Started with 2001 Volvo XC70.  Bought at 70k and sold five years later at 170k. Lovely car. Ex Japan import. Full leather and all the toys and sunroof. More than enough room for family of four for holidays with bikes on the roof rack and towing a 16 foot boat. It was a 5 cylinder turbo 2.4l petrol that drank at 19 mpg round town and 27mpg on a trip. Not a sports car in the handling department but very comfortable ride.

Next up for two years a Volvo V50. same engine with out turbo. Quite hard riding car and not as luxurious. Bought at 70k and sold it at 115k. Only just slightly more economical than the XC70.

Both cars quite expensive to service at the agents but a bit cheaper at the local garage. The parts are the expensive bit.

Just over a year ago I bought a VW Passat V6 4x4 wagon. The full works with all the toys. Again an ex Japan import. Bought at 90k and now done 108k and going beautifully. The seat comfort is good, the ride is good, plenty of room, tows the boat well and is all round a really nice car. Mine has the beige leather and wood trim. It gets used as a truck carting gear around and I fill it up to take stuff to the tip etc and the interior stays nice and tidy. Only had serviced at agents so far and they know how to charge but I put that down to piece of mind that the work has been done properly. Also that had the original build sheats in their computer and also the service history from VW Japan. Most suprising is the great full acconomy for such a big car. I get on average about 25 to 26mpg round town and about 34 mpg on a trip. I'm happy with that. I think the 6 speed twin  clutch gearbox has a lot to do with that. I don't drive it like an old fossal either as I chased my sons Skyline GT round Ruapuna the other day geting it up to 180k per hour on the main straight.

Have fun choosing a new car.
Thanks for the insight. The search is narrowing down and the Passat V6 is on it. I've seen a few R36 wagon imports but not sure if we can handle the insurance costs, heh.

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  Reply # 1223536 27-Jan-2015 20:25
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joker97: hmm ... i wonder if there are any good independent BmW mechanics in Dunedin ... might be able to afford one in 10-20 years ... !


HAHA, mine is 20 years old next month. Cost me 5k and rides like a dream.
It'd want to though, it was $200k when new. :)

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  Reply # 1223558 27-Jan-2015 20:36
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well, living in the deep south AWD is good to have ... looks like the next M5 will have AWD ... i'm happy to wait 10 years :D

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  Reply # 1223667 27-Jan-2015 22:34
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What about Skoda VRS combi or wagons? Choice of petrol turbo or diesel. Both lovely. Look at 2007 to 2008 models? Basically Golf GTI engine or Audi 2.0 TDI engine. You can chip them make it more fun too!

Boot space should be large. If you want bigger, Superb?



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  Reply # 1233247 9-Feb-2015 08:22
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Had another couple of test drives last weekend.

2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5 S - Same spec package as the turbo model but no turbo. ~$25k
This was rather nice. It drove well and handled OK. The 2.5l engine felt like it was lacking however when compared with the 3.2 and 3l models we have been driving. The i-sight system is nice for adaptive cruise control. I could see us using that quite a lot.

2009 VW Passat wagon 3.2l - Lower spec as the Legacy but still very nice. ~$18k
This drove well and felt like a smaller car on the road than all the others. Engine ran well and the DSG gearbox was smooth. Again i'd just worried about repair costs.

I'd still like to drive the Honda Accord Euro Wagon and the Legacy 2.5l Turbo but so far the leaders are the Subaru and VW Passat.

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  Reply # 1246319 25-Feb-2015 12:38
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A few tips
- older model passats (rounder front, the 2001-ish model) are well known for bad reliability (see european car review sites)
- newer passats seem to be overpriced for what they are for some reason.
- the DIESEL audi allroad is worth a look and doesnt have the reliability issues of the 2.7 biturbo. The 4.2 is fantastic.
- if youre looking at subarus , check the LL bean models, theyre a bit closer to euro trim standards. Personally Id just go euro, as subarus are no more reliable and in many cases less so. 
- certain mercedes models have extremely bad reliability (i.e. winning 'most unreliable car ever' in owner surveys), be very careful with those. 
- Some big exec saloons actually have more space (volumetrically) than station wagons, consider those too. 

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  Reply # 1246321 25-Feb-2015 12:41
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I'd also suggest that the passat and audi A4 are a similar size so I'd add A4 to the list. Not the 2.4s though as theyre awful (heavy underpowered inefficient v6). Personally I'd at least test drive the S4 avant the guy on this thread is selling - I bet that once you've tried it, nothing will come close. If you keep the revs down, fuel costs will be reasonable.

The other thing I'd consider strongly is volvo - you get a lot more for your money with those than almost any other car in NZ, and they're well up there with Audi/BMW standards.

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  Reply # 1246337 25-Feb-2015 12:57
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Lol. I have never met a Volvo owner that doesn't have anything breakdown that cost a fortune to fix



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  Reply # 1246347 25-Feb-2015 13:05
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Yeah i'm still waiting on the MPS to sell. I've driven a few A4 S-Line's and like them but they're all older and feel pretty worn so would worry the mechanical parts are the same. I suppose that's my biggest worry with any car but on average euro cars are just so much more expensive to repair.

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  Reply # 1246350 25-Feb-2015 13:06
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Took me almost a year to sell my MPS. It's not that they are a bad car, just a limited market for something like that. 



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  Reply # 1246351 25-Feb-2015 13:08
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Yeah, i've had offers but all low ball or not serious. We're in no rush but the new model will arrive in due course and i'd like to get it sold before then.

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  Reply # 1246354 25-Feb-2015 13:12
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UKNZ: I'd also suggest that the passat and audi A4 are a similar size so I'd add A4 to the list. Not the 2.4s though as theyre awful (heavy underpowered inefficient v6). Personally I'd at least test drive the S4 avant the guy on this thread is selling - I bet that once you've tried it, nothing will come close. If you keep the revs down, fuel costs will be reasonable.

The other thing I'd consider strongly is volvo - you get a lot more for your money with those than almost any other car in NZ, and they're well up there with Audi/BMW standards.


You don't buy an S4 for fuel savings (or any high performance/v8 for that matter).  That said I 3/4 filled my 3L 2010 A4 diesel the other day for $37 (87c/l diesel in levin).  Was one of the first proper drives I'd been able to take it on.  Loved it.  




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  Reply # 1246358 25-Feb-2015 13:13
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My 221 kw Subaru legacy wagon does 800ks on a 65L tank on road trips

Because it only weighs 1500 kgs it doesn't do too badly as a performance up to the legal limit. Beyond that I bet the S4 will eat it alive

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