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Discussion Starter #1
I hit a deer a couple days ago. I just got the estimate. Over $6000!!

I like my car. I enjoy driving it and it does pretty much everything I need (even if I have to put a little extra effort in when using it as a truck). I don't know if I want to try and keep this car though. Even aside from the deer damage, there are plenty of little things that are beginning to nickle and dime me. It's a MY07 Aero Combi. I don't want to give in and get a crossover. I'm looking at possibly replacing my car with another wagon around a MY14 to MY16 wagon.
I'm thinking:
Mercedes E350 Wagon - More room but probably not as sporty
BMW 328 Touring - Sporty driving dynamic but reliability?
Volvo V60 - Looks good, efficient, but maybe still on the smaller side
Acura TSX Sportwagon - Old chassis and underpowered
VW Golf Sportwagen - Maybe just a bit meh all around (change my mind)
Audi A4 Alltrac - Not as sporty, reliability?
Cadillac CST Wagon - Aging looks and GM parts

What have others done/considered?
 

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You've covered a lot of cars here... big, small, luxury, near-luxury, FWD, AWD, RWD. That's a lot of ground.

The Volvo and Acura will be the most similar to the Saab in terms of fit & finish, handling, etc. FWD, near-luxury, and probably similar maintenance costs. BMW, Audi and Mercedes are going to be nicer, better-driving cars (from a purist standpoint) but have heavier maintenance costs. The Golf is a mainstream car, far more appliance-y than anything else you've named. The CTS occupied a weird spot in that it has unpredictable maintenance costs (parts sharing) and divisive handling characteristics. Size-wize, the Mercedes and CTS are both full-size cars, everything else is a mid-size car, closer to the 9-3.

I've spent time in virtually all of these cars … the Mercedes an E350 sedan and an E63 wagon... but otherwise everything on that list in one way, shape or form. Without a question my favorite drive was a 328i Touring xDrive M Sport. Fantastic car all around IMO, checks all the boxes. Well, I should qualify that because the E63 wagon and CTS-V wagon are incredible fun, but I feel probably fall outside your spec list. For me, if it wasn't the 3er, it'd probably be a Golf Sportwagen TDI. Not the greatest drive, per se, but 40mpg is nothing to sneeze at.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Right. I know it's pretty broad.

I'm trying to retain what I have in my Saab. The only things I'd like to improve on are MPG and/or more room. I don't want to give up too much in power/acceleration, I like the sharp-ish handling, I like the luxury-ish feel, and I like that my car has been mostly reliable considering it's age and mileage.

The leaders for me so far are the E350 for it's size, luxury and utility and the V60 for it's probably similar personality to my Saab and the 2.0 having WAY better mpg.

I don't think I'll mind having higher miles and somewhat older since I don't drive that much and It'll be garage kept.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I should say what I don't want is dull appliance feel or a vehicle with major faults. I think this might rule out the VW and the BMW.

I did talk to a guy at some point that mentioned the early teens BMW 535 is way more reliable than the early teens 530. That might be a relative statement though.
 

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A friend of mine is a Mercedes mechanic (dealer), and he swears by the W212, for what it's worth. Says it's the best E-class since the W124. The fuel economy is about the same as the W124, so there's that. But, you know, not far off from a 9-3 Aero, so maybe it wouldn't bug you. For me the nail in the coffin is the drive. It's comfy and quiet, but not high on thrills. I think I just max out at 9-3-sized cars. That's my limit.
 
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