November 28, 2004

Are You The Guy Who Doesn't Have A Passat Wagon?

Because I've been wondering who it was. We have several friends who celebrated the expiration of their child-free status by getting a VW Passat wagon.

I really liked the clean, geometric lines and face of the redesigned Passat in 1997. There was something kind of elemental about the nose and grille, and the way the arc-like roofline of the sedan ended at the C-pillar. After 2001 or so, though, the design got smoothed, refined, upgraded to the point where tastefulness prevails above all.

The early ones might not wear well; there were some well-publicized recalls and quality complaints, and besides, the pre-2001 wagon isn't as well-resolved as the sedan. And while the current Passat is fine [and is available with a sweet TDi turbodiesel], there are just too many of them now, especially around Washington, DC (where we drive most often). Some cool people drive Passats, but so do thousands of mall clones.

If you're confident you have the willpower to drive a Passat ironically, and you don't want to wait for the new model [set to debut March 2005 in Geneva], let me know. I'll order up some Daddy Type bumper stickers to help you out.

2005 VW Passat Wagons should be on sale, don't you think?
2006 VW Passat Spy Shot [The Car Connection]


Say what you will about others buying the Passat Wagon but it rocks. It looks nice, is priced well, handles well, and packs in a ton of kid stuff. We traded up to a VW Touareg recently and while it is nicer inside it does not handle as well (it is an SUV) and it does not have as much usable cargo space as the Passat Wagon! Amazing.

If you want to be different you could get the Passat wagon with that W8 engine I guess. But don't go in for a used E-Class Merc wagon, that's what all the Fem-Bots are driving these days. ;-)

We've come close to getting a Passat Wagon ourselves, so even if I'm a little burned out on them, I'm still a fan.

I've been holding off writing about the Touareg until I found some firsthand accounts. Just found out a friend traded his Range Rover in for one, so stay tuned.

I don't know, I think they look okay... But their reliability has certainly ocme into question.

We're expecting twins in May and in preparation, we went looking for a car large enough to a) fit my 6'5" frame in the driver's seat while also being able to b) fit two infant seats in the back. The only vehicles that i have found so far are mini-vans. I live in the city (Boston) and am not quite ready to be driving a minivan. Neither the Passat or Volvo could fit us. sigh...

I think there was a guy on Car Talk with your same situation a couple months back, and they suggested he try the Honda Element.

Personally, I LOVE the Element, but the engine felt a little too small. Plus, it's really a 4-person (or 2-person, 2-carseat) car, so you'd be maxed out immediately...

Actually, my mom just got an Acura MDX, which is several $k more, but which had tons of room. And it's car-based and didn't feel gigantic, either.

I hate to be the anti-–ber-trendy voice of the lower (but hip) middle class here, but there are alternatives to Acuras, Infinitys, Tuaregs and XC90s.

Like a Trailblazer. Or a Kia Sedona Diesel.
Mazda 6 with six seats.
This one is gonna hurt but....Malibu Maxx six-seater(?) And Honda is introducing a new PILOT with heaps of room and the extra seating.

Mitsubishi Montero with the extra row in the back, so the grandparents can have a place to sit, ensure you get the shaded windows as they fry up like bacon back there otherwise.

Two kids (2.5years and 2months) but we weren't going to get sucked into the minivan thing, even though the Honda makes a nice one. We got a 7 passenger Suzuki XL-7. For very cheap you can get leather, sunroof, heated seats. The grandparents who have a Lexus RX-300 are even jealous. The 3rd row of seats folds down to make a spacious trunk and a few years from now there will still be room for carpooling with kids and friends to soccer practice.

Compared to a Passat, you get much more room and you don't get the vanilla style of Passat exterior. The XL-7 comes complete with rims and fancy headlights.

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