Question of the Day: Where Are The Wagons?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
question of the day where are the wagons

Guess what? SUVs are dead and gone, nearly buried. Goodbye, nice knowing ya! When the future business case histories are completed, the research will show that while some people bought big boys to compensate for small johnsons or to venture off pavement, others purchased SUVs because they were a lot like station wagons. Sure we have CUVs (crossovers) to (kinda) plug the gap. But here's the thing, putting a sedan up on stilts adds weight — a lot of weight. Turning a 4-door into a 5-door? Not so much. A top spec Nissan Murano weighs in at 4,130 pounds whereas a fully optioned Altima sedan is just 3,292 lbs. 838 pounds of flabola. Of course, there's no Altima wagon, but we can look at Subaru. A Legacy 2.5 GT Limited (with auto) weighs 3,490 lbs. Compare that to the essentially identical Outback 2.5 XT Limited's 3,605 lbs. That's just 115 pounds, the weight of a healthy teenage girl. For fun, a Tribeca weighs 4,129 pounds. A slushbox Impreza 4-door weighs 3,131 pounds. The 5-door? The exact same (though… Subaru's website may be mistaken). Long story short, wagons offer the same amount of practical utility as CUV/SUVs and are inherently better on gas. Yet I don't see a single Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Chevy Malibu, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion or Mazda 6 wagon. Not anywhere. Any thoughts?

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4 of 72 comments
  • Trike Trike on Jul 09, 2008

    Very interesting discussion. I've had conversations recently with many friends on the same topic. I've driven and owned many wagons, and the crossovers (Matrix XRS) and SUVs (Jimmy, 4Runner) I've owned were treated as wagons, too. I now enjoy my E46 3-Series wagon more than any other car I've owned. I purchased 3 years old for nearly half what it sold for new. Depreciation on wagons is very favorable to used buyers. Like a previous comment, I see my wagons as enclosed pickups and often drive with rear seats folded, for dogs, large loads or because I don't often have rear passengers.

  • Serpico Serpico on Jul 10, 2008

    When I think of wagon, I think Volvo. But we have plenty of pseudo-wagons around under $30 like the Toyota Matrix and all these hatchbacks. Very similar. So who needs a Altima or Malibu wagon?

  • Accs Accs on Aug 16, 2008

    Hmmmm This CUV / SUV problem is a disease on the market place. Wagons should rule the world! Ive seen the Mazda 6 hatch and wagon on the market.. but it got canned. Ya ask the dingus over at Mazda why.. and he will point to the Escape badged Tribute in the corner, or the CX7, or the CX9... Funny, ya got 3 Suvs / jacked up wagons sitting over there with 1 fullsize regular wagon.. and ya can it cause its got competition against itself. All I know is when my 00 Accord is ready to go.. Im pickin up a Mazda 3 5dr hatch. Better than a Civic, cause Civic has no hatch and more interior design. Better than the Accord, cause SOMEONE BEEN FEEDIN IT too many damn doughnuts! But thats alright... Imma trade in the Mazda 3 5dr hatch when the Civic 5dr for the US comes.. My fiance and I had a multi fasceted discussion... She was looking at the Escape for a larger vehicle But the discussion broke down to the point that its just not worth buying. 1.We checked out 5 different car sites that each gave a different GVWR / Curb weight for a 1st and 2nd gen Escapes. 2. It doesnt make any sense to have a 2wd unit of the current generation. Its just too damn big. 3. The Current Escape is as big as the last Exploder and sticking a hybrid system in there, or a 4cycl unit it just pointless. The vehicle is just too damn big, with a motor thats trying to be efficient. So in the end, the current escape is too damn big, doesnt make good use of a hybrid battery unit (3-5g) hurts fuel economy rather than help it. And we'd never use it as designed. I mean honestly.. how many people have actually used it in the snow as designed. I keep telling her... go for the Focus 5dr Hatch in 2010. Its better looking, has the 2wd unit, is less weight than an Escape, and doesnt have any of the inefficiencies of that overblown obese POS! My future... driveway... Her a 2010 Focus 5dr Me.. 08, 09, 10 Mazda 5dr hatch.. Hatches just do the job better and with out the wweight and bs.

  • Nmpbk Nmpbk on Aug 26, 2008

    Where are we finding a Legacy wagon? Not in the states sadly. I make a point of announcing to all I know, when I find an LGT (manual especially) for sale.