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  #1  
Old 05-01-2008, 09:59 PM
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Passat or 9-3?

My wife is 'stepping down' from the minivan and we looked at a few cars recently. She wants something with some style and still some carrying space. The ones she liked are the Passat and the Saab 9-3 sedans. I like them both too (tho I liked the CLK350 nearby even better). We are looking at used 05-07 models. The Saabs are great deals because the depreciation on them is huge. I have heard most of the horror stories - are there any opinions one way or the other from this automotively savvy crowd?

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  #2  
Old 05-01-2008, 10:01 PM
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If she wants carrying space why dont you show her some hatchbacks.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2008, 10:05 PM
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I like the 9-3's
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2008, 10:11 PM
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Both are unreliable junk, but I'd take a 9-3 because they are cooler. I know a lot of people with late model Saab's, get a good CPO example with a warranty!

Since you can get them amazingly cheap 2-3 years old I know people who buy them 3 years old CPO, keep them until the warranty goes up usualy in 2-3 years and dump them. Its actauly not a very expensive way to stay in a newer nice car.
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2008, 10:23 PM
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Passat TDI, if you can find one.
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09 Jetta TDI
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2008, 10:33 PM
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Which car has a dealer closer to where you live or work? We have VW stores all over metro STL, but only 2 SAAB stores, and even my import mechanic won't touch SAAB's. My gut feeling is that neither car will be especially reliable, but my experience with both brands is that the problems you'll have will be electrical, and annoying, but won't keep the car from getting you where you're going. My evil X had a VW Beetle Turbo, bought it new in 2000, had a seat motor, window regulator, instrument clusters(2) all go bad within 90 days of purchase. The little spoiler at the top of the back glass never really did work as designed, I just gave up on it...BUT it never failed to run and start.
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ara T. View Post
If she wants carrying space why dont you show her some hatchbacks.
We looked at hatches, and wifey said she would have liked one 20 years ago, but not now.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2008, 10:46 PM
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My only personal experience with SAAB's is with a "classic" 900, when a SAAB was still a SAAB, not a rebadged Opel. The newer GM-based cars can be problematic, just look at the Cadillac Catera, another GM-of-Germany import...nobody likes those.

Shame on me for saying it, but I've had great luck with Korean cars, Kia and Hyundai, as have several members of my family...they are appliances, but like good appliances, they just hum along doing what they are designed to do. There's no emotional involvement but you know they'll start in the AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-01-2008, 10:55 PM
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Our Mexican-made Jetta has been 100% trouble-free since we got it with 40 miles on the clock. Almost 30K later, and zero defects. Frankly, I am amazed.

I drove a handful of SAAB 99's back in the day. Manual windows, very few electronic parts, and very well built. Those were amazing cars. The 900 added a lot of human comfort features, at the expense of a much higher price and much more problems. I did do a lot of mechanical work to some of them, but that was due to getting cars very cheap and in need of major work. One needed a transmission, another had broken a valve spring which completely trashed the head.
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  #10  
Old 05-01-2008, 11:05 PM
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Way back in the 80's my dad got disgusted with the crappy 82 Olds Cutlass Supreme he bought new, and started buying VW's. Had a German-built 86 Jetta, an 87 Golf, not sure which plant it came out of, but both were bullet-proof and trouble free. Then he bought a 1990 or 91 Jetta, don't remember which, Mexican production. It was the world's biggest POS. It kept breaking windshields, and the dealer told him the body wasn't square so they had to grind down the windshield opening so it wouldn't put tension on the glass every time the body flexed. That was the last VW he bought...

I think newer VW and SAAB both are cool looking cars. I would have a hard time parting with my hard-earned money because I just wouldn't trust either one to not be an annoying money pit.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2008, 11:35 PM
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How about a used Acura TL, or Lexus ES?

If you must have a newer "European" car, why not a Benz? Certified Pre-owned has 1.9% financing right now, and a warranty.

2005 ish e350 gasser, or CLK.
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2008, 12:00 AM
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them new fangled benz cars blow


jk
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2008, 12:03 AM
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A family friend has a 9-3. It looks cool, but has had its share of issues...


Whenever we see that person at parties, I get an earful about her Saab, and how she has to drive their extra Mercedes E500...
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2008, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymr View Post
My wife is 'stepping down' from the minivan and we looked at a few cars recently. She wants something with some style and still some carrying space. The ones she liked are the Passat and the Saab 9-3 sedans. I like them both too (tho I liked the CLK350 nearby even better). We are looking at used 05-07 models. The Saabs are great deals because the depreciation on them is huge. I have heard most of the horror stories - are there any opinions one way or the other from this automotively savvy crowd?
Most cars that depreciate quickly do so for good reason. Also, the rapid depreciation doesn't stop once you buy it. Dig down a little deeper and look at a Toyota Avalon.
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2008, 12:31 AM
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I think we're going to sell the Jetta TDI either before or shortly after the warranty runs out. I haven't checked the used prices lately, but just before we bought it the used ones were running very close to new. I may be able to sell the car for a mere $7K less than I bought it, which will make it pretty cheap per mile. That's .04 for depreciation, plus the fuel it literally sips.

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