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  Reply # 1485849 5-Feb-2016 12:14
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Lizard1977:

 

Thanks for the many replies.  Cars seem to be one of those things that excite vastly different opinions and experiences.  I appreciate all the feedback and insight.

 

One more factor that I've been trying to keep in mind is the overall size of the vehicle.  My wife is not a confident driver and doesn't enjoy driving.  She's reluctant with anything larger than what we've got (which is what she learned to drive in).  That's another reason why I've shied away from the SUV-style vehicles.  There is a tradeoff of course - wagons are inherently bigger than their sedan equivalents, but some vehicles seem to have a TARDIS-like quality which gives them better space inside without being substantially bigger on the outside.  I took a Nissan Qashqai for a drive last year (just for kicks) and was bewildered at how it seemed to ride so high and loom large on the road, but getting in an out of the car didn't feel any bigger than my Altezza.  Weird but true.

 

After reading all the replies thus far (and keep them coming, it's all useful to read), I'm teetering back towards the Subaru.  It sounds like the cost/reliability issue is a variable one.  I'm not one to shirk servicing, which sounds like it might mitigate many problems, though there's always a risk of picking up a lemon.  The one that I drove that I liked most has 130,000 kms on the clock, which is about 50,000 kms higher than my Altezza when I bought it in '06.  but my distance travelled these days is a lot lower.  I average about 5-6,000kms a year, which means I would be owning the car for about 10-12 years before I hit 200,000kms overall.  If the mileage-based maintenance required over that time is minimal, then it's a viable option.  However, if the vehicle starts to fall apart (despite regular servicing) at 150,000kms then it's a different story.  I'm planning on contacting a local Subaru specialist workshop to get an idea of actual servicing and maintenance costs for the model/year/mileage, which may assuage my concerns somewhat (or reinforce my fears).

 

The comments about Avensis are interesting.  It's one of the cars I'm hoping to look at this weekend.  It's hard to picture an unreliable Toyota, but I guess every maker has their lemons.  I had an '84 Celica that seemed to be a frankenstein model and it was ludicrously expensive to maintain and repair (compared to my current Altezza).  The other car I've got in my sights is the Mazda Atenza/6 wagon.  There seem to be a few of those around, which gives me a bit of choice.  After trying those models out it might clear my thinking somewhat.

 

 

Personally, if I were going to buy a Subaru, I'd get the older model that's been fully rebuilt.  You can find a bunch of them on TradeMe with the engines having all the important stuff done to them, gaskets, belts...etc, or even a full refurb of the engine.  I'm sure you can find later models with the same stuff done.

 

In general when I buy a car, my search criteria are usually: "rebuilt", "reconditioned", "receipts".  My partners brother found a Ford 4x4 that had been fully reconditioned (engine and gearbox) by the mechanic that owned it.  Got it for 5 or 6k, but he knows it will go forever.

Otherwise, consider the Corolla wagons.  Sure, you don't get the creature comforts of the Subaru or BMW especially, but at least you'll know for sure it will get you where you want to go!






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  Reply # 1485850 5-Feb-2016 12:15
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Lizard1977:

 

There is a tradeoff of course - wagons are inherently bigger than their sedan equivalents

 

 

Not always true! the current Mazda6 wagon is actually slightly shorter than the sedan - 4800 versus 4865mm. That said, wagons inherently feel different to drive in that the view out the back window (including from the rearview mirror) is quite different and initially off-putting. But my wife's in a similar boat - she finds my 6 wagon too big to drive comfortably compared to her Honda Jazz, and TBH I kinda always feel a little bit scared what damage she may do to my car when driving it! It'll be a good idea, if your wife is going to be driving it a good amount, to ensure she also test drives any car you're keen on...

 

One thing to be mindful of, if this is of a concern to you (and no doubt will be as you mention kids' car seats), and I'm sure you already are aware, is that many of the Japanese imports come with lower specs than the NZ-sourced models, especially in airbag count.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1485853 5-Feb-2016 12:18
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Lizard1977:

 

Thanks for the many replies.  Cars seem to be one of those things that excite vastly different opinions and experiences.  I appreciate all the feedback and insight.

 

One more factor that I've been trying to keep in mind is the overall size of the vehicle.  My wife is not a confident driver and doesn't enjoy driving.  She's reluctant with anything larger than what we've got (which is what she learned to drive in).  That's another reason why I've shied away from the SUV-style vehicles.  There is a tradeoff of course - wagons are inherently bigger than their sedan equivalents, but some vehicles seem to have a TARDIS-like quality which gives them better space inside without being substantially bigger on the outside.  I took a Nissan Qashqai for a drive last year (just for kicks) and was bewildered at how it seemed to ride so high and loom large on the road, but getting in an out of the car didn't feel any bigger than my Altezza.  Weird but true.

 

After reading all the replies thus far (and keep them coming, it's all useful to read), I'm teetering back towards the Subaru.  It sounds like the cost/reliability issue is a variable one.  I'm not one to shirk servicing, which sounds like it might mitigate many problems, though there's always a risk of picking up a lemon.  The one that I drove that I liked most has 130,000 kms on the clock, which is about 50,000 kms higher than my Altezza when I bought it in '06.  but my distance travelled these days is a lot lower.  I average about 5-6,000kms a year, which means I would be owning the car for about 10-12 years before I hit 200,000kms overall.  If the mileage-based maintenance required over that time is minimal, then it's a viable option.  However, if the vehicle starts to fall apart (despite regular servicing) at 150,000kms then it's a different story.  I'm planning on contacting a local Subaru specialist workshop to get an idea of actual servicing and maintenance costs for the model/year/mileage, which may assuage my concerns somewhat (or reinforce my fears).

 

The comments about Avensis are interesting.  It's one of the cars I'm hoping to look at this weekend.  It's hard to picture an unreliable Toyota, but I guess every maker has their lemons.  I had an '84 Celica that seemed to be a frankenstein model and it was ludicrously expensive to maintain and repair (compared to my current Altezza).  The other car I've got in my sights is the Mazda Atenza/6 wagon.  There seem to be a few of those around, which gives me a bit of choice.  After trying those models out it might clear my thinking somewhat.

 

 

 

 

For what it's worth, I would encourage your wife to overcome her reluctance. I spent a fair bit of time helping my wife learn to adjust to new vehicles, getting more confidence and she is now what I would call an excellent driver. Backing cameras are a god send I think as well. 

 

 

 

She can also parallel park really well now. 

 


It really is a matter of practice. Limiting your choice of cars due to size seems something reasonably easily overcome.


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  Reply # 1485856 5-Feb-2016 12:22
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Holden Cruz Station Wagon. Just throwing it out there, no idea if they're any good.


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  Reply # 1485861 5-Feb-2016 12:29
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networkn:

 

For what it's worth, I would encourage your wife to overcome her reluctance. I spent a fair bit of time helping my wife learn to adjust to new vehicles, getting more confidence and she is now what I would call an excellent driver. Backing cameras are a god send I think as well. 

 

She can also parallel park really well now.

 

It really is a matter of practice. Limiting your choice of cars due to size seems something reasonably easily overcome.

 

 

You need to come to my house and teach mine!






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  Reply # 1485868 5-Feb-2016 12:37
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Dairyxox:

 

Holden Cruz Station Wagon. Just throwing it out there, no idea if they're any good.

 

 

 

 

No no and no. Gutless and hopeless.


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  Reply # 1485871 5-Feb-2016 12:40
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The new Skoda Fabia wagon looks nice. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1485979 5-Feb-2016 15:11
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Lizard1977:

 

 

 

After reading all the replies thus far (and keep them coming, it's all useful to read), I'm teetering back towards the Subaru.  It sounds like the cost/reliability issue is a variable one.  I'm not one to shirk servicing, which sounds like it might mitigate many problems, though there's always a risk of picking up a lemon.  The one that I drove that I liked most has 130,000 kms on the clock, which is about 50,000 kms higher than my Altezza when I bought it in '06.  but my distance travelled these days is a lot lower.  I average about 5-6,000kms a year, which means I would be owning the car for about 10-12 years before I hit 200,000kms overall.  If the mileage-based maintenance required over that time is minimal, then it's a viable option.  However, if the vehicle starts to fall apart (despite regular servicing) at 150,000kms then it's a different story.  I'm planning on contacting a local Subaru specialist workshop to get an idea of actual servicing and maintenance costs for the model/year/mileage, which may assuage my concerns somewhat (or reinforce my fears).

 

The

 

 

Most cars will do 200,000 pretty well. You might get some noisy idler pullys or tapping valves after 150,000Ks. The valves I haven't done but the idler pulleys are just cheap bearings replaced/re-pressed (same for most cars).

 

I don't know about the newer Subaru Outbacks, but I like the centre back seatbelt disappears in to the roof cavity to get it out of the way. However the rear seats can not be adjusted for back comfort. However I spend all the time in the front seats. The back seats are slightly higher up than the front too which makes it that bit easier to get in and out of.

 

 

 

The Outback usually has self leveling suspension too.


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  Reply # 1485989 5-Feb-2016 15:24
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joker97:

 

Apparently wikipedia says the petrol engines are the same engines they use for European Corollas and RAV4s.

 

The D4D is a diesel. I know nothing about diesels, have just stayed away.

 

 

 

 

The 2 litre 1AZ-FSE and 2.4 litre 2AZ-FSE engines use the D4 system. When I was investigating buying one the amount of problems you read about it was huge.

 

eg: http://www.aa.co.nz/cars/ask-an-expert/buying-selling/show/8494/

 

The local corolla uses the 1ZZ-FSE 1.8 litre engine. I like it so much I had a corolla until recently when I went back into a work car and currently my with drives a Caldina with the 1.8l


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  Reply # 1486059 5-Feb-2016 16:23
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networkn:

 

The new Skoda Fabia wagon looks nice. 

 

 

 

 


... and it's got really low emissions to boot, just ask the manufacturer!


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  Reply # 1486089 5-Feb-2016 17:01
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dafman:

 

networkn:

 

The new Skoda Fabia wagon looks nice. 

 

 

 

 


... and it's got really low emissions to boot, just ask the manufacturer!

 

 

 

 

Haha, I always take those figures with a grain of... salt?


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  Reply # 1486117 5-Feb-2016 17:46
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Handle9:

 

joker97:

 

Apparently wikipedia says the petrol engines are the same engines they use for European Corollas and RAV4s.

 

The D4D is a diesel. I know nothing about diesels, have just stayed away.

 

 

 

 

The 2 litre 1AZ-FSE and 2.4 litre 2AZ-FSE engines use the D4 system. When I was investigating buying one the amount of problems you read about it was huge.

 

eg: http://www.aa.co.nz/cars/ask-an-expert/buying-selling/show/8494/

 

The local corolla uses the 1ZZ-FSE 1.8 litre engine. I like it so much I had a corolla until recently when I went back into a work car and currently my with drives a Caldina with the 1.8l

 

 

Ah I see, so it is a "direct fuel injection" engine. The people are saying because the [read: all] injectors are not circulated with engine oil the carbon builds up and craps it out eventually. The thing is, most advanced Euros are direct injected. Maybe they will all crap out too. [Note: I don't know, it's probably a luck thing.]




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  Reply # 1487841 9-Feb-2016 09:01
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So I was able to take a few cars out for a drive this weekend.  I got my hands on a 2005 Toyota Avensis wagon, a 2005 Honda Accord Type S wagon, and a 2008 Mazda Atenza wagon.  The short story is none of them really impressed me the way the Legacy did.  Only the Avensis felt like it had the same kind of space in the back seat as the Subaru.  All of them drove reasonably powerfully and smoothly, the Honda was indeed very quiet to drive.  But I wasn't blown away by any of them, whereas I was buzzing after taking the Subaru out a few weeks back.  It's helped me make up my mind somewhat - I'm still a bit nervous about the cost of owning the Subaru, but while the others may end up more reliable over time, I also don't think I would gain all that much from my current car which kind of makes the change pointless.

 

At any rate, I won't be in a financial position to do anything for a few more months, and the actual cars I end up comparing will undoubtedly be different models/configurations.  I'll be getting a full mechanical check on any cars I actually consider buying, but the experience has helped clarify what makes/models I'll be looking at.


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  Reply # 1487847 9-Feb-2016 09:22
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Why not look at the 08+ accord tourers?

 

Look for a NZ model similar to this one http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/honda/auction-1022462731.htm

 

They are a far superior beast to the earlier model and very well specced

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1487888 9-Feb-2016 10:09
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I had planned to take that model out for a drive, but the only one of those in Palmerston North wasn't available, so I settled for driving the '05 Type S which was available.  When I'm actually looking to buy in a few months I'll be looking at what's available at the time, and it may come back into the frame.


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