The estate car has never been particually 'cool' to the general public. Generally seen as unnatractive, practical boxes that go hand in hand with settling down with kids and a dog, they're generally not dream cars.
The sports cars and supercars of the world have obvious appeal - sleek lines, low slung body, the image of driving off into the sunset and all that lovely stuff. The big 4x4 gives the driver that all-conquering feel, like they can drive anywhere. That feeling of invincibility is very desirable. The luxury barge, like the Mercedes S-Class and the Audi A8 have a different sort of 'king of the road' feel, as you sit there sunk deep into the plush leather, cruising along, aware that everyone around you is likely nowhere near as comfortable. Lastly, there's that hatchback, and even if it's not a hot hatch, all little front wheel drive machines have that slighty cheeky feel to them, nipping through small gaps and, because of the general lack of power of these machines, constantly running through the gears as you pull away from the lights.
The estate doesn't seem to have something like any of those other categories of vehicle to make them desirable in the same way. However, I'm a big fan, and this is why.
Yes, maybe a boring start, but there is something massively appealling about being able to throw stuff in a car without worrying if it's going to fit. You can fill the passenger compartment up with all your friends and then still take all their stuff in the back. Perfert roadtrip material.
Above is the Skoda Superb Estate, one of the most practical load-luggers you can buy.
Estates are often overlooked on the road, and can surprise other road users depending on the one you buy. Next time a tuned Civic tries to out-drag you from the lights, you'll probably give them a shock if you're in one of the cars below.
The new Audi RS6 (although given the bumpers, wheels and box arches, people might suspect this isn't your average wagon..
They're better to drive that the alternatives
For many, interior space is an essential. If you've got a family, work a job that requires you to carry a lot of items back and forth everyday, or if you're like me, a 2 metre tall student and musician who finds hatchbacks a squeeze and the carrying capacity sub optimal for lugging a drum kit and a loads of amplifiers from gig to gig. In that case, the viable vehicle options become limited to the estate, SUV, or MPV. In the case of a family, I can see why the SUVs and MPVs are often chosen. They offer a higher roofline, large windows and bigger, taller doors, great if you're fitting child seats and have children in the back complaining that they cant see out. However, they simply aren't (in general, of course) as good to drive as estates. Most simply, the higher centre of gravity makes the handling worse, and can affect the ride, as when the car goes round any corner, the centre of gravity puts more pressure on the outside suspension more than in an equivelent estate. Unless you need those specific praticality requirements, theres really no reason not to choose a wagon first.
So, what type of car appeals to you the most?