At one point few vehicles epitomized the American family car as the station wagon, particularly of the fullsize variety. Today, most car companies are pretty much convinced that American consumers will not buy station wagons. A few of the European luxury brands offer them here, but for the most part wagons are not welcome in the contemporary automotive scene in the U.S. According to Pete Bigelow of AOL Autos, the fault for that lies with the vehicular star of 1983’s “National Lampoon’s Vacation” — the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, a hideous pastiche of just about every bad malaise era styling trend appliqued over a Ford LTD Country Squire.
Tag: Station Wagons
The job of saving Volvo in North America will be left up to the next XC90, a nameplate which accounted for 28% of Volvo USA sales in 2004, but just 9% so far this year.
The hope was that the V60 would show loyalists that Volvo is still in the wagon business, that Volvo is still Volvo. However, the owner of a one child/two dog V50 may not yet have even noticed one of the new wagons on roadways, as only 9% of the Volvos sold in the United States so far this year have been V60 wagons. (Read More…)
Lately, in no small part due to Michael Moore, the “documentary” film has become the carborundum upon which filmmakers from a variety of perspectives have ground their own axes and then proceeded to chop down the subject of their films. It’s nice, then, to see a documentary made that exhibits some affection for the subject. Wagonmasters, a film made by Chris Zaluski and Sam Smartt as part of their work for MFAs from Wake Forest University’s Documentary Film Program, looks at the great American station wagon with affection. Wistful affection for the now disappeared suburban icon of Americana, but affection nonetheless. (Read More…)
If you haven’t been paying attention to my life story (discretely woven into my reviews), I’ll spell it out clearly: I live in what is considered to be a temperate rainforest on the California coast, the nearest asphalt or concrete surface is over a mile away, and I have a deep (some say questionable) love for station wagons. If you combine this with liberal political leanings, my DINK (Dual Income, No Kids) status and a passion for Costco runs, I am the target market for an off-road wagon. Enter the 2013 Audi allroad. (No, for some reason “allroad” doesn’t get a capital letter.) Audi invited Michael Karesh to a launch event, event a few months ago, but what’s the XC70’s only competition like to live with for a week? Let’s find out.
Close your eyes and imagine it’s 1979. A first-term Democratic president struggles with unemployment, malaise, high energy prices, and embassy trouble. The landscape of today looks like the landscape of then, but there’s one important thing missing: The compact pickup. Where did they go? The small pickup was an indelible symbol of America’s lowered expectations in the Seventies and Eighties. Now that crappy times are here again, where are the paper-thin truck beds and wheezy-but-indestructible four-cylinders to pull them?
A 4.2L V8 making 450 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. Want to know more about the 2013 Audi RS4 Avant? Hit the jump to get down to the nitty-gritty.
Ever since Mercedes lured its competitors into the “four door coupe” segment created by its 2004 CLS, we’ve been waiting for the next fad segment to mangle the definition of the word “coupe” beyond recognition. And here it is: a forthcoming “five-door coupe” that is essentially a wagon version of the CLS. This near-production mule looks remarkably like the concept version, in other words, fantastic. On the other hand, the idea of buying a more-practical version of a less-practical version of an E-Class still doesn’t compute… but then you can’t underestimate the power of fads in the luxury car game. Stand by for competing models from Audi and BMW, not to mention the inevitable six, seven, and eight-door coupes. [via AM unds S]
Prices for the Saab 9-5 SportCombi have leaked in Sweden, and according to Autobild, the wagon version actually costs €114 less than the sedan. Whether they’ll make the same offer outside of Sweden isn’t clear… but then neither is anything about Saab’s future. And instead of haranguing the poor Swedes about the questionable financial sense of this decision, let’s just agree that desperate times call for desperate measures. If nothing else, Saab’s wagon-centive sets it apart from the industry’s business-as-usual.
When shopping for a car to thrash all weekend long on a hairy road course, most of us don’t consider the Nissan Prairie. Why not? The Team Sputnik ’86 Stanza Wagon proved at last month’s Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons that you don’t need an RX-7 or E30 to do well in low-buck endurance racing. (Read More…)
Paul Penaloza writes in with a timely query:
I’ve got a question for the crew. I have a relative who loves the VW Passat wagon and the promise of the better mileage with the TDI. She was crushed when she found out it did not have a third row like a minivan. That got me thinking, are there any car wagons out there that have a third row of seating these days?
Ah, the rear-facing third row… if that doesn’t bring back childhood memories, you’ve missed out. Remember gang, that’s “car wagons.” No Swagger Wagons or Cute Utes for the former Passat owner. If I didn’t have the $56k to stump for a new E Class wagon (and I don’t), I’d be thinking used… or reminiscing about making faces at freeway traffic. Or both.