Wagons, Ho! Or No?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

The station wagon is dead. Or not. It all depends on who you ask. Citing the Dodge Magnum and Malibu Maxx (?) as examples, MSNBC proclaims the "wagon wave, alas, crashed ashore against the hard rocks of reality and is now receding." They predict CUVs will put the final nail in the Family Truckster's coffin. What about companies like Volvo and Subaru who are still making a decent living selling station wagons? Well, they sell because of the brand, not the body style: "the remaining wagon buyers tend to be those companies' customers."

On the other hand, Brandweek is predicting a station wagon renaissance. They base their assertion on wagons coming from from BMW, Volvo and VW in the next year. However, as they point out, manufacturers are going to great extremes to avoid "the 'W' word." Interestingly (and probably more accurately) they classify CUVs like the Subaru Forrester and Volvo XC70 as station wagons. Taken that way, station wagon sales are on the upswing, and probably will continue to grow in popularity.

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  • Baabthesaab Baabthesaab on Dec 04, 2007

    Station wagons are perfect. Please bring them on! I mean the things that are real cars with driving dynamics, that have a great big maw in back where you can throw in your stuff, and then drive as you would an ordinary car. Skip the tall, the blacked-out windows, the over-soft. How 'bout an Alfa 159 wagon with a 200 hp diesel, and cloth seats, and a 6 speed. Wagon, of course. What a car!!

  • Coupdetat Coupdetat on Dec 04, 2007

    Stephan: I think it definitely true that people in the northeast tend to purchase a lot more wagons than elsewhere in the nation. Audi, Subaru and Volvo wagons are hugely popular in my upper-class town in CT.

  • Willbodine Willbodine on Dec 04, 2007

    A drive around the tonier suburbs of most European cities will show that the wagon is far from dead. E Class, 3 & 5 Series, A4 & A6 are all well represented there. Note that all are available with all wheel drive and make superb alternatives to most SUVs. I know a lot of people with young kids who wouldn't be caught dead in a minivan or SUV. The station wagon is alive and well.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Dec 05, 2007

    I'm on my 2nd wagon. Love 'em! I had a 1994 Ford Laser (a re-badged Mazada 323). It got excellent mileage, ran good, and I could comfortably camp in it (I'm 6-3). I just bought a 1999 Volvo V70. Very roomy and comfy. If you get a wagon, get deep tinted rear windows. It really helps. Before I bought the Volvo a couple of months ago, I looked to see if the 2.8 domestics had any wagons that (a) I would be interested in, (b) had good deals. Nothing doing. They seem to have given that market to the Europeans and Japanese. Idiots.