- V​olvo V60 Cross Country- volvocars.com

W​hatever Happened To The Wagon?

A​nd why I believe (hope) we could see a resurgence of the station wagon/ estate...

5w ago
19.5K

I​ was one of those lucky American boys growing up who's father owned a woody wagon. Actually, we owned multiples at different times, of different brands, but they all had one thing in common: the ability to bring joy in a way that no other car did for me. Like many kids, I would love riding in what i called "the way way back" where the seat faced backward. In the summer, my cousins and I would fire our little orange cap pistols out the back when on vacation at the ocean in Maine, wave to people as we passed by, and lick ice creams with big dumb grins on our faces. The station wagon (or estate) is truly the last true family car.

S​ure, National Lampoon's Vacation immortalized the station wagon in America, but it has always been a pillar of the automotive world the whole world over. I mean look at that Volvo I put above- pure beauty. Why do the vast majority of others not feel this way is the real question though? I'll start with a few detriments of the wagon here in America. First, they are expensive- a Volvo specced like the one above is nearly $60,000, and other brands are no cheaper. Buick, Mercedes, Audi- they all cost crazy money (like almost all new cars these days) and I think that people just figure if they are spending that kind of money they will buy an SUV. Two, people like the height and diving position of an SUV. At my own apartment complex, I see soccer moms hopping out of their $70,000 (most likely leased ) Tahoes and Suburbans wearing yoga pants having just driven back the 500 feet from our on site gym. I have a lot of opinions about this but instead will bring it back to the fact that since they are already comfortable spending $1000 or more a month on a car payment, most people figure that they may as well get the status symbol and "keep up with the Joneses" if you will.

T​he most baffling aspect of the weaning of the wagon is that in an age of high gas prices, climate change alarm, and good mpg, people are still opting for the gas guzzlers. The Volvo above is rated at a combined mpg of 31- even being AWD. That is pretty good for a heavy AWD vehicle, and yet people still opt for Suburban's and Mercedes GLC's. My hope is that as gas and new car prices continue to climb (as most agree that they will continue to do,) the wagon might once again find its niche in our culture and become the favored family car. It has all of the room that an SUV does and more, and can sip gas while you make memories road tripping with your family and dog. Of course the true SUV will always and should always have its place in the world, but next time you're looking for another boring small SUV or crossover, why not try a station wagon? It might be just what you've been missing sitting in your driveway.

Join In

Comments (39)

  • It annoys me how people drive round in hideous little crossovers, when a wagon/estate is actually a similar price, and infinitely more practical. People need to buy more wagons, as they seriously are extremely competent cars! The ultimate family vehicle.

      1 month ago
    • 100% agree!

        1 month ago
    • Every fiber of my being despises the very existence of those vehicles. They are just pricier, uglier, heavier, slower, less aerodynamic, less efficient, less fun, and overall WORSE than the comparable hatchback. I have little to no...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • They’re making a resurgence but as luxury/performance offerings because those are honestly the only people who would pay money for them. Middle class normies just don’t care about wagons, and I’m not sure they ever will.

      1 month ago
    • It's too bad, but you're right. Chicks dig the ride height, and men like to pretend they'll take them off road....someday

        29 days ago
  • I prefer sedans and wagons. Agree on every aspect of wagon doing everything better.

    But, one should draw the line between SUVs and crossovers.

    SUV, bigger ones (X5 alike) have their up points, good allrounders, practical and comfortable. If one can afford it.

    But crossovers are the menace of todays consumerism - simply endulging consumeristic needs with no practical purpose whatsover over a car they are based on, yet charging a premium price aka idiot's tax.

      28 days ago
    • I generally agree here. SUVs have their merits but most small crossover things have less space on the inside than the hatchbacks they are based on without having any more interior room or capability. Not that they actually pollute that much...

      Read more
        28 days ago
  • I'm doing my part. After a long absence of wagons from my family, I convinced my sister to buy an XC70. It's a fantastic car and very spacious. Sadly it doesn't have the rear facing third row though.

      29 days ago
    • Very nice! When it’s time to upgrade my wife’s camry we are thinking of getting a v60

        29 days ago
  • Not seeing many manufacturers make EV wagons, they appear to prioritise SUVs and saloons. I suppose it makes business sense because of the popularity, but I’d still have a wagon over an SUV, no question. Still amazes how people have taken to SUVs when wagons are better in every sense, unless you need to go off road. Very few people do.

      29 days ago
    • Agreed. Porsche has the electric wagon, volvo has the recharge wagons (soon to be electric) but yeah, other than that I don’t know of any. My thoughts have always been get a good used SUV for off-roading so you’re not afraid to beat it up and get...

      Read more
        29 days ago
39