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I'm just looking ahead a bit here but need some thoughts from the TSN brain trust.
My wife's '03 9-5 Linear is at 155K and doing fine. It's going to need a few things over the next year, but no reason to not keep it for several more years. Still, I'll inherit it in the next year or so and run it past 200K and my treasured '96 9K (now at 228K) will be my hobby car. But in replacing the 9-5 as my wife's ride I'm thinking about the options.
I'm a cheapskate so we always buy used and don't believe in leasing, so I'm looking at what can be had for maybe $15K (at the most) that is some type of wagon and is comfy enough for the 12-14 hour trips (each way) we do a few times a year to our second home. I prize road manners, seats, and durability. I'm a good wrench, and like to DIY (part of the cheapskate thing), so I'm okay with doing most maintenance--I do 85% of the work on our 4 Saabs.
The usual stuff is domestics like the Ford Edge, or CUVs like the Ford Escape, or going Asian with a Venza, Murano, etc. Those might be fairly cheap to keep, but I do wonder about long term durability, as we tend to keep cars 10-15 years.
One thing that keeps coming to mind is a Mercedes M-class or E-Class wagon, or an Audi A6 wagon (not an All-Road). I'm just starting to do the research but would love to know what people here think. I know these critters can need cash infusions when bought used, but some of what I've learned so far isn't too crazy. As with a Saab, a car with a service history is the way to go.
And yes, Saab fans, I know I can buy a newer 9-5 wagon, and that parts are not a big issue (yet), but I'm just looking for other options.
Thoughts and input welcome!
1999 9-3 SE auto (daily driver)
1996 9000 CSE 5 speed (soon to leave)
2003 9-5 Linear SportWagon (wife's)
1984 C900 4 door Base model (RIP)
1995 9000 CS (sold)
1996 9000 CS (RIP)
2000 9-3 SE (RIP)
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