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Discussion Starter #1
Thought I'd pick the brains of other fellow enthusiasts here. I'd be really grateful for some sound advice. Wife has been requesting suv/wagon for the family.

Current ride is 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid Navi. Before that, she had Mercedes ML55, Jeep Cherokee Sport, and another Cherokee before that.

She's enjoyed my cars, including current M5, Honda Element, Mini Cooper S Convertible, BMW 540i 6sp, Lexus GS, and a lotta sportbikes.

Anyway, she loves the Civic, including the way it drives and especially the lack of car problems we've experienced in non-Japanese cars. But we could really use something bigger for the occasional large haul, and that we take several annual roadtrips camping and really miss some of the utility of previous cars.

So we went to the autoshow and she fell in love with the Porsche emblem in the Cayanne. "That emblem! It's pretty." (Imagine a guy outlining the shape of a beautiful woman... She did that with the emblem)

So I started looking around and the Cayenne is sweet... but it's such a gas hog. (I should know, I drive an M5 :)

Not really wanting two guzzlers, but willing to compromise because we don't drive that much, I asked, what do you really want? And this is her list:

) Luxury brand
) AWD
) Sunroof
) Nav
) Automatic (sigh...)
) Room for our us, two kids, and a friend or two would be great (I keep saying no extra room is better... but she's the boss)

Funny, she hates getting rid of the Civic because of the great mileage, but it just doesn't fit her needs anymore.

So I'm searching online and I think I found the car we want... it's an '05 MB e500 Wagon... Here's what I like about it... Would anyone here talk me out of it, and why?

) Pretty rare
) Looks pretty sporty (Not an AMG though :(
) Comfortable
) Has the 3rd row jumpseats (Fun! Our kids are 6 and 2)
) Loaded w/features
) AWD
) Lots of e500 upgrades out there for performance
) Price is pretty good! 05's are around $30k, '06's <40k

Here's the stuff that sucks:

) It's a Mercedes, and therefore guaranteed to have gremlins & quality problems

We're looking for alternatives with cars you don't see everyday. Any advice is definitely appreciated! THANKS!!!
 

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My picks for your criteria:
GL 320 diesel
Q7 3.0 TDi
535 Wagon

Definitely agree the E500 4-matic is a great buy. Biggest downside is the ancient motor, but for wifey transpo, you can't go wrong.

Check out 05 Range Rovers for used buys as well - last year with BMW powertrain, etc., but also has new big-screen Navi seen in the newest models. Haven't had 1 problem over 35K miles with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My picks for your criteria:
GL 320 diesel
Q7 3.0 TDi
535 Wagon

Definitely agree the E500 4-matic is a great buy. Biggest downside is the ancient motor, but for wifey transpo, you can't go wrong.

Check out 05 Range Rovers for used buys as well - last year with BMW powertrain, etc., but also has new big-screen Navi seen in the newest models. Haven't had 1 problem over 35K miles with mine.
Thanks, I really appreciate your ideas. I called a dealer that has an '07 e63 wagon(!) but it doesn't have AWD. After looking at the specs, I didn't care so much about that, but the $72k entry fee gave me pause. The other thing is that I don't want my wife having a faster car than me! (Well, yes I actually do, so I can talk her into going to the various driving schools together)

I'm going to take wifey for a test drive next week in a Q7, but there are so many of them at Chicago's north shore, makes it feel less than special... Probably not going to happen.

Saw on the web a Ferrari 456 wagon today... 5 were built... that would be _SWEET_.
 

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My wife went from a 04 Cayenne S, to a X5 4.8i. I wanted to get the Q7 for her, but she felt it was too large.

Enjoying the smooth ride, power, and overall interior design of the X5, and it works much better as a family hauler than the Cayenne S, although the Cayenne was a sporty and fast (yet overly firm for family) ride.

X5 is definitely a car that you see everyday, so I guess that would put it off your list. Same with Cayenne.

I don't see all that many Q7's and I think it's a nice distinctive design.

Sport wagon sounds like a great choice. My wife wouldn't be caught dead in a sport wagon, otherwise we'd have one. Seems most women hate the sport wagon stigma more than men. I think they're cool and make a lot more sense in terms of handling, drivability, and efficiency.

I just wish BMW NA would give us a M5 Wagon...
 

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volvo v70R has third row seets as a option as well... and 300 hp:)

as for that best luck for your search
dorsel
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again for all the great suggestions.

I'll pass em by the wife...

I like the X5 but I'm not sure I want to BMW's in the garage at the same time... Plus, my wife makes fun of the nav system in my M5, and the idea of a similar system in her car is not something she'd appreciate. I'm thinking the newer x5's have gotta be better... I'll probably check em out at the stealership...

Volvo V70 is an interesting option! We'll check that out as well.

RS6? I would LOVE that option! But as it's not sold here in the states, gotta keep wishing for Audi to sell it here.

My wife actually likes the idea of a wagon over an SUV because she's had suv's but never a wagon... I grew up with wagons and would be thrilled to give our kids a similar experience...
 

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Not a bad looking engine in the new X5. Sounds great too. But you'll definitely see them everywhere. Not something that really bothers us, one way or the other. 350hp though, and no real torque steer concern. That was the one thing that felt weird when I test drove the V70R, otherwise, seems great for the price.

Here is our engine bay:

 

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Well, more like a plastic cover than an engine, but looks decent in this day and age...Functional intakes also.

 

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RR Sport in red is the sickest. Makes the Cayenne look like an opel.

You might wait until Lexus remakes the RX - maybe 2010. By then, the X6 V8 should be out as well.

The smartest - most boring choice - is of course Lexus RX or GX. I've got the LX470 for everyday.
 
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