suggest st.wagon/small suv for Mom-In-Law, please

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I know that CR's tone can rub some people the wrong way in their frank assessments of products, but I find that they really are accurate in reporting what they find. And unfortunatley for some makes, their data and observations consistently throughout the years support the fact that those models deserve well below rankings and ratings. Despite all the patriotism and anecdotal evidence to the contrary, Toyota and Honda are simply in a league of their own, subjectively and objectively.
 
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Do you have Skoda (Octavia) in US? It's basically a VW/Audi Golf assembled in Czech Republic. In consumer reports Skoda comes out better than it's German family and are cheaper. Ford Focus, Opel Astra, VW Golf, Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic are other popular cars here. Korean cars aren't that popular yet, but the quality of those cars are raising fast and so do design. If you want a larger car, Subary Legacy, Ford Mondeo, Opel Vectra, VW Passat, Toyota Avensis, Mazda 6, Honda Accord are fine cars. Very few American cars are sold here. Large trucks (Ford, GM, Dodge, etc..) and Daewoo (now Chevrolet) are the exception.
 
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Interesting, I had heard that the Mazda 6 (and the forthcoming Ford Fusion) would be based on a platform intended for North American usage only. The Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique was basically a rebadged Mondeo. They cancelled it after 2000. What's funny is that I have a dual-mode crankshaft damper on my 1996 Ford Contour which is an improved part intended for the next-generation Mondeo that never made it here! Apparently Ford stocks those parts here and US dealerships can order them. EDIT: The dual-mode damper makes the engine noticeably smoother at higher RPMs, and I think I detect a difference even at 3K RPM highway driving speeds.
 
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I don't see a single black dot for any VW products. So Willy, you should pick up a copy of CR for yourself and ...well, you know what to do with it. [Eek!]
 
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quote:
Do you have Skoda (Octavia) in US? It's basically a VW/Audi Golf assembled in Czech Republic. In consumer reports Skoda comes out better than it's German family and are cheaper. Ford Focus, Opel Astra, VW Golf, Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic are other popular cars here. Korean cars aren't that popular yet, but the quality of those cars are raising fast and so do design. If you want a larger car, Subary Legacy, Ford Mondeo, Opel Vectra, VW Passat, Toyota Avensis, Mazda 6, Honda Accord are fine cars. Very few American cars are sold here. Large trucks (Ford, GM, Dodge, etc..) and Daewoo (now Chevrolet) are the exception.
No Skoda or SEAT is available in the US. The US version of the Opel Vectra, the Cadillac Catera, isn't being made anymore, I think. The same goes for the Ford Mondeo clones Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, which haven't been made in years.
 
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When you look at what VW-Audi offers the US market in comparison with what they get in Europe, we know we're the red-headed stepchild over here. But so what?
 
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It's the same for aftermarket car stereos. Just try finding a single one that supports RDS (Radio Data Service, the feature that tells you what song is currently playing among other things), yet every single European model supports RDS and the parts to enable RDS probably cost about $2.
 
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When you look at what VW-Audi offers the US market in comparison with what they get in Europe, we know we're the red-headed stepchild over here. But so what?
There's no market here for an A3 with a 1.6l diesel engine or an A2. That might change, though. [Wink] Generally, what you find at VW/Audi dealers on the lot are not any bare-bones models. No reason to complain, really. Personally, I always order my cars to be made the way I want them. I never buy off the lot. I bet there's only a handful of A4 without moonroof in the US. [Wink] Europeans feel poorly treated by their own carmakers, too, mostly due to pricing. When I bought my A4 for 30k in '96, the exact same car with the same options would have cost me twice that in Germany.
 

97tbird

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yeah. the Volvo prices are pretty high, too. clearly out of range for MIL. I sent MIL some brochures for Escape, Mazda3 5-door, Outback, Forrseter, Tucson, Santa Fe, CRV, Rav-4. She'll get a priliminary idea with those, until she's ready to test drive one. (Compared with Hyundai/Ford standard features, Honda and Toyota offers nothing !!!)
 
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Originally posted by 97tbird: *I was just wondering: why didn't anyone suggest Volvo st. wagons? (or did somebody suggest, and I missed it?)
And nobody recommended an Audi wagon either. Nor VW (except you). With your MIL living kind of far from things, there might be an argument for her buying whatever her local favorite mechanic (or best friend or handy man) recommends. As he'll be looking after it and she doesn't know any better, it might be worth keeping them happy at the expense of anything else.
 

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Tosh, MIL is divorced, and she did have a local mechanic/handy-man before she moved, but now, having moved to a new home, I don't think she has much contact with them anymore, and me and wifey are the people she turns to for advice. But you're right: a car-brand which has a dealership close to her is an important factor, which limits things sort of. I know there are several Fords/Toyotas near her, and know there're no Subaru/Hyundai/Saturn dealers... [Frown] this sucks, really! Because she's pretty much sure she wants a new car, dealer visits for warranty-based maintenance is going to be a must... I sure wish the Freestyle was 5k bucks cheaper, and had a conventional auto trans, not the CVT; seems ideal for her needs. Might have to go with an Escape, if she doesn't find somebody to take care of dealer visits. Her son is there, but he's often busy, and I don't know if he'll do those things or not. Dang: I suddenly realize that beacuse of the dealer visit problem, Ford and Toyota are her onlt choices right now [Eek!] [ August 27, 2005, 02:02 PM: Message edited by: 97tbird ]
 
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I'm going to guess you haven't been near a Freestyle (or 500) in person. A Freestyle pulled up next to us, and I thought it was an Expedition at first: three rows of seats, gigantic slab sides. We walked past a Mercury dealership, so I walked up to the Ford 500 twin. I felt like a little boy again, it was so large. It overshadowed the Grand Cherokee sitting in front of it.
 

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I edited my last post, Tosh, you answered during the edit...if the Freestyle is too large anyway(I know it's pricey, too), she might have to go with a Focus wagon, or a Rav-4! Even the Taurus wagon is about $23k. OR...she thinks about buying a little used car.
 
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05 or 06 Escape with the 2.3l Duratec. Suv Size, 4-Cyl Mileage(well better that v-6 mileage). I like mine. Focus Wagon is another great choice. If going for a used one get a 02 and up so you are out of that Fuel Pump Problem range.
 
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And nobody recommended an Audi wagon either. Nor VW (except you).
Tosh, if you cannot find the self-control to stop this blabber, maybe the moderators can do it for you. [Thumbs Down!]
 
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Originally posted by 97tbird: (Compared with Hyundai/Ford standard features, Honda and Toyota offers nothing !!!)
One of my co-workers bought a Toyota Echo. It had no clock. Not even on the stereo. For a while I was thinking they had put the wrong stereo in, since Ford had(has?) both clock and non-clock stereos depending on whether the vehicle has a separate clock, but that wasn't the case: If you don't get the optional clock in the Echo, you get no clock at all. I wonder how hard it would've been for them to add that function to the stereo (which was a CD player, no less). EDIT: I say had because it got rear-ended and totalled, and he replaced it with a Saturn Vue.
 
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