While I spend most of my early 2000s Volkswagen attention on Passats and GTIs, there was another pretty compelling package in that period. The Jetta Wagon launched in 2002 and brought with it a myriad of engines and transmission options. Finally, the United States had access to the ‘Golf Variant’ that the rest of the world had enjoyed through the 1990s. And, you could have a TDi, a VR6 or even the 1.8T hooked up to a manual. Aside from it being called a Jetta and therefore you had the same car as all of the ‘Jenna’s from ‘Jersey (‘Cause, like, it’s like almost the same like spelling as like my name is like OMG!!!), there weren’t many drawbacks to the small wagon.
Judging from the number of Mk.4 Jetta Wagons that I still see on the road, the TDi was the most successful model sold in this area. Neat – in theory – is the VR6 model with a 5-speed manual, though finding one can be a bit of a trick. And they were pricey; you’d assume the Jetta would be cheaper than the more upscale Passat, right? Not always. While my 1.8T GLS Passat went out the door around $26,000 in 2002, if you opted for a modestly equipped VR6 Jetta you’d pay over $27,000. And while the VR6 may have seemed to be the best bet, I’d argue that the 1.8T was better value.
That’s because for the 2002 model year, Volkswagen reprogrammed the 1.8T to make a bit more twist. The resulting AWW was seen in the GTI and GLI cars, but also carried over unchanged in the Jetta. Rated at 180 horsepower, it produced 10 horsepower more than the Passat and 6 more than the 2.8 liter SOHC 12V VR6. While the GLI package didn’t carry to the wagons, you could still get 17″ wheels, leather interior, a 5-speed manual and some pretty colors, too:
The company that built the fastest station wagon in the world … is back with the new fastest station wagon in the world. Mercedes-AMG took the updated W213 E-Class Estate and did their magic to the tune of 603 horsepower along with 627 lb-ft of torque. Big power numbers are impressive enough, but it’s the 7:45.19 Nürburgring time that really gets me excited. That’s the same time that the Pagani Zonda S 7.3, Audi R8 5.2 and the 997 Porsche 911 GT3RS. Just to top it all off, this is the same vehicle that has semi-automated driving, brake assist, evasive steering assist, car-to-X communication and remote parking. It’s hard find a thing that this AMG monster doesn’t do well. But of course, this all comes with a price.
I never tire of rare and unique colors. Combine that with a rare and unique vehicle? Even better. This is a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 S AMG Estate in the color Dolomite Brown Metallic. Sometimes it looks brown, sometimes it looks purple and even at the right light you might even mistake it for a burnt orange. Either way, I love the color. But I don’t exactly love it on this car. Let me explain why.
The Volkswagen Passat isn’t a particularly exciting car to drive. It’s also not particularly exciting to look at. While most people would categorize those as negative attributes for vehicle ownership, there’s a third thing that the Passat isn’t particularly exciting at which I’d wager most would consider a very good thing.
It’s not an exciting car to own.
“But isn’t that a bad thing?!?! you’re thinking to yourself? Sure, when I go out into the garage and see the M3 sitting there, my pulse rate quickens. Scratch that, I don’t even have to go into the garage – endorphins flow at the mere thought of it. And turning the key? All sorts of goodness happens. I’ll spare you the details, but sufficed to say it’s an exciting car to own, look at and drive. The Passat is not a M3.
But it is a vehicle thoroughly devoid of drama, and to me, that’s what makes the Passat a not exciting car to own. Take the contemporary Audi Allroad from the same period for example. The Passat mimics the look and the function of the A6 in nearly every way. It’s not even much slower on a continuum. But Less exciting to own? For sure, and when you’re talking breaking and repairs, that’s a very good thing.
Because let’s be honest for a second; these cars that we love, that we fawn over, that we pontificate about – they’re pieces of metal with a lot of plastic and complicated electrical and pneumatic systems. And they’re not getting any younger. Take my 2002 Passat as a case study; it’s on the verge of being 17 years old and has now covered over 140,000 miles. Yet it’s caused no sleepless nights, no emptying of wallets, not even left me stranded once. It’s just been completely reliable transportation in all weather, with my family, all our goods and a ridiculous amount of various cargo.…
Edit 10/01/2017: After fixing a few more things and covering about 10,000 more miles, the buyer of this unique 325iT has it back on the block again in a no reserve auction. – Ed
The E46 wagon has emerged as perhaps the last bastion of good, clean, simple German longroofing. Modern wagons are bulbous, overstuffed with features, and crazy expensive. The biggest options on today’s 325i Touring are color choices, while the mechanicals and general usability remain refreshingly simple: no sunroof, inline-6, 5-speed manual, manual seats. Manual, but in Tanin red leather, just the kind of curveball reader/seller Rob clearly likes. A nice, plain white exterior? Why not add discreet M-pinstriping and anything-but-discreet Creamsicle Orange lower valences? The 7-spoke Style 4s are nice but plain – leave them for the all-season tires and you get summer-rubber on blackened Style 68s! The colors may jump all over the place, but if anything they draw attention to a sweet car that represents a simplicity we have all but lost.
Last week’s “Right Hooker” week passed a bit too quickly to allow me to fully explore all of the unique options available to European customers. For example, one car I really hoped to feature was to locate an original Golf Syncro. Starting in 1986, Volkswagen partnered with Steyr-Damiler-Puch and made a unique alternative to corporate partner Audi’s quattro drivetrain utilizing a viscous center differential. Puch was also responsible for design and manufacturing of the T3 Vanagon Syncro, which used a different viscous coupling system because of the rear-drive platform and nature of the Vanagon. In addition to the transmission of power forwards, the T3 also offered a rear differential lock while both center and front were viscous.
But in 1986, there was a third option. Because the Volkswagen Quantum (née Passat) shared nearly all of its internal architecture with the B2 Audis, fitment of the quattro setup from the Quattro and 4000S/CS quattro was possible – so Volkswagen did it. As there was no Audi B2 Avant, Volkswagen offered the new Quantum quattro – also badged Syncro – in Wagon form, and only in wagon form. This meant that there was no competition crossover between the 4000 quattro and Quantum Syncro in the U.S. market. The Quantum also continued to run smaller 4x100mm hubs versus the Audi, which allowed it to utilize the same “snowflake” Avus wheels borrowed from the GTI. Pricing was on par with period 4000 quattros, though – base price was $15,645, but equip the Quantum similarly to the standard 4000 with power windows, mirrors, locks and sunroof and you’d quickly crest $17,000 – about $4,000 more dear than a standard GL5. Unlike the 4000, Quantum Syncro Wagons came standard only with power steering, brakes, cruise control and air conditioning. You had to opt-in the power package to get the other items.…
I’ve gushed over the W124 Estate before and really can’t say enough about this wonderful vehicle. It has everything you really would need out a wagon, even in 2017, all while not breaking the bank when it comes to maintaining and repairing it. But like all cars that get old, finding a really nice one can become a little bit of a tough job because these were at the end of the day still station wagons. People bought them for their utility to use. I highly doubt the majority of the buyers out there treated these as a garage queens because lets face it, they had R107s and R129s for that. So when this mint 1995 outside of Boston popped up for sale, I had to take a closer look. But fair warning, the price on this one isn’t cheap.
Model: E320 Estate
Engine: 3.2 inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 87,975 mi
Price: $16,800 Buy It Now
1995 Mercedes Benz E320S W124 chassis station wagon, S/N WDBEA92EXSF338486, 744 Brilliant Silver with grey MB Tex upholstery, 3.2 litre in-line 6 cylinder gas engine, automatic transmission, power front seats, factory power steel sunroof, climate control, factory rear facing 3rd seat with 3 point seat belts, original owner’s manuals, one of 4,607 E320S wagons imported by Mercedes Benz North America in the final year of W124 chassis manufacture. Clear CarFax title history. To see additional photos, please send us a note and we’ll send a link to the complete photo file. Nationwide and international delivery arranged from our suburban Boston showroom. We reserve the right to end the auction early. For more information about Copley Motorcars, please refer to the “About Me” button in this listing. Telephone: 781.444.4646
This final year W124 Estate is probably one of the nicer ones I’ve seen in a while.…
In my opinion, very few modern Mercedes-Benz have any kind of collectible value. You buy them, get your use from them, then move on to the next car. Of course there are exceptions to everything and today’s vehicle is one of those. The W211 AMG estates, both in E55 and E63 guise, are now reaching cult-following status from Mercedes enthusiasts yet are valued by a more general audience, too. There are groups of people who search the country for these wild wagons in order to find the perfect one for them. This of course, is keeping values much higher than their sedan counterparts. However, this 2005 for sale in Sacramento is surprisingly on par with the sedan prices and actually the cheapest E55 estate I’ve seen come up for sale. Why you ask?
Model: E55 AMG Estate
Engine: 5.5 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 175,633 mi
For sale is RARE(one of 129 imported in USA in 2005) Mercedes Benz E55 AMG WAGON with 175k miles.
This is a 2 owner Sport Wagon with Clean Carfax and Clean California Title in hand.
The original Window sticker was $96085 and is still available together with all original owners manuals.
This vehicle was well serviced at Mercedes Benz dealership and local Mercedes independent shop and comes with lots of service records. Just passed Smog inspection with Certificate available in hand.
Just to cut to the chase, this $13,900 E55 estate has just over 175,000 miles. Before you get too disappointed and write it off, hear me out for a second. I’m a full member of the “miles don’t scare me” club and this is a perfect example why. The M113K engine paired with the 722.6 gearbox has been tested through and through to prove it is a durable combination as long as you take care of them.…
Has it really been a month since our last “What We’re Watching”?!? Today I’ve lined up another group of rare and rarely seen models that all have their fans. Once again, they’re all no reserve, offering us a great glimpse at where the market is heading on some models and where deals can still be found:
Click for Details: 1984 Volkswagen Transporter Syncro Panel Van
This one ticks all the right rarity boxes in the T2 market; it’s a Syncro and very unique in that it’s a panel van, though admittedly that probably limits the appeal to those who carry passengers. The “Expedition Build” makes up for it, though, and this adventure van looks prime for traveling anywhere. Bidding is heating up on the no reserve auction, but this one is still a lot cheaper than you’d expect normally for a built Syncro at only $15,000 with a few days to go.
Click for Details: 1989 Volkswagen Fox Wagon
It takes a strong VW lover to appreciate the Fox, but the diminutive 2-door wagon has arguably the greatest appeal of the run. Built in Brazil, these models shared a lot in common with Audis of the same period with a longitudinal layout. Unlike what the seller indicates, that makes a VR6 swap not impossible, but not hugely easy. It sounds like the running condition could probably be sorted reasonably easily if the car at least starts, and the chassis is reasonably clean appearing with lower miles. Right now, a single $1,500 bid buys it, but that’s probably still strong considering it’s only a roller.
Click for Details: 2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK32 AMG
We definitely don’t give much press to the R170, but we probably should since the nutters at AMG got their hands on them and crafted a great option. The SLK32 might not have had the big V8 like the later 55s did, but you still got 349 horsepower from the 3.2 liter V6 for top-down 0-60 in 5 seconds.…
For many, the W123 remains the definitive Mercedes-Benz. With an iconic silhouette, invincible build quality and well-deserved reputation for durability, these cars can still be spotted on the road today, serving as daily drivers and usable classics. In fact, there’s a mint condition 300D in smoke silver that I see driven around my neighborhood on a regular basis. Looking like it just rolled out of a showroom, the owner is a young professional who I would guess is in his mid-thirties. Now that is a man with good taste. The estate bodyshape adds a useful amount of cargo space in the rear, making it the perfect choice for a stylish trip to the beach (or the lumber yard). To the uninitiated, they might just look like old wagons, but prices for mint examples can quickly reach into the high teens.