By on February 7, 2017

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser (Alden Jewel/Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

At some point in the late 1980s or early 1990s, the minivan officially took the lead in the race for family-hauling supremacy. Various models, most notably the Ford Taurus, soldiered on into the 2000s, joined by a fading Volvo lineup and a few other models. But the jig was up.

With minivans already fielded by almost every mainstream automaker, the burgeoning SUV craze sealed the wagon’s fate, sending the once-hot bodystyle into the category of rare, boutique niche vehicle — usually bought by affluent Euro-centric snobs.

In their heyday, however, boxy wagons signaled to the world that the driver’s free-wheeling single life was now collecting dust in attic-bound photo albums. Sorry, no time for that anymore — too busy building a nuclear family here, pal. And hey, it’s so convenient for hauling Crisco and Velveeta and marshmallow fluff and various other Baby Boom food staples!

Studebaker Wagonaire

Jokes aside, they were useful vehicles. Good for sleeping (if need be), hauling large items, and sporting a minimum of two bench seats, wagons could do almost anything except be sexy. Still, we all have fond memories of at least one wagon from our childhoods, if not later in life. The first car I ever drove was a 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser — a gray, Alabama-sourced barge with a 307 cid V8. My dad’s first driver’s test, which took place during a snowstorm, was in a six-cylinder 1959 Ford Ranch Wagon with vacuum-operated wipers. It was, by all accounts, a hair-raising ride.

Yesterday, we got our first glimpse of the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer, the basis for the next Buick Regal’s TourX wagon variant, and it’s quite a looker. The wagons coming out of Europe lately, the Volvo V90 especially, are lithe and athletic and boast modern platforms and drivetrains that shouldn’t serve as a constant reminder of a long-lost lifestyle.

It looks like Buick will test the waters and see if the Regal wagon can stimulate some interest in a market that has passed the bodystyle by. Will customers bite? Is a mini wagon resurgence upon us? On that, the jury is definitely out.

1993-buick-roadmaster-estate (Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0))

But that brings us to the Question of the Day. Deep down, tucked away behind your lust for Mustangs, palatial SUVs, taught sports sedans and oddball exotics, there might lie a kernel of longing for one particular wagon.

Maybe it’s a pre-war Ford woodie with room for surfboards and beach blankets.

Perhaps the object of your desires is an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser and its acres of glass.

Or, maybe you’ve always pined for a Studebaker Wagonaire, the sliding-roofed predecessor to the early-2000s GMC Envoy XUV.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that the ass-hauling abilities of an LT1-equipped GM B-body from the 1990s has always tickled your fancy. That eight-passenger lineup sent the bodystyle out with a Queen Mary-sized bang over at The General.

Where does your wagon lust lie?

[Images: Alden Jewel/Flickr (CC BY 2.0); Greg Gjerdingen/Flickr (CC BY 2.0); Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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159 Comments on “QOTD: It’s Okay, You Can Tell Us – What’s Your Dream Wagon?...”


  • avatar
    energetik9

    I think I’m too young to fully appreciate all these 1970’s family haulers. The only wagon I’ve ever eyed with even an ounce of desire is an e63 AMG wagon. And I’ll gladly take the Panamera wagon if that ever comes to fruition.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Glad I didn’t have to scroll down far to find the right answer. Affluent Euro-centric snobs unite!

      If the intent is to find a more retro answer, there are plenty of 90s-era Euro wagons that did it for me, too. The Volvo 850 T-5R wagon was the only wagon I ever thought about putting a poster of on my wall in high school.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      There is just something majestic about these 1970s family haulers. The above midsize Vista Cruiser was very popular.

      The Full size Olds Custom Cruiser 455 with rear facing rear seats was our hauler of choice, but that was in a different time and a different America.

      There really is only one wagon these days, and that is the Texas Cadillac: A GM Suburban trimmed to the level you can afford.

      Love it or hate it, nothing else compares.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Some people, especially elderly people, don’t like to climb UP into a wagon when the entry is at or above knee level. Even with a running step, my mother never rode in my bone-stock Wrangler 4-door after the first time. Even then I had to put a low step stool on the ground to help her get in. She had no trouble with my Renegade but she loves her old Caddy sedan because she can sit DOWN into it with no problems at all.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          True, and often that is because they no longer have the leg strength to lift up their body to the higher seating level.

          Others have difficulty getting out of low sedans.

          Best height for oldies is butt-height seating they can slide in and out of.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            … Like a Fiat 500 which boasts “Kitchen Chair” seating height.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Ha ha! I heard that!

            Not many small cars like that in my area, the desert of the Great Southwest.

            Many old people in my area drive the cars they bought new 10, 15, 20 years ago.

            Hell, my daily driver is a 1989 Camry V6. Sure, I make funny noises getting in and out of it, but there isn’t a speck of rust on it, and it still runs beautifully, even though much of the rubber and plastic disintegrated decades ago, and the AC had to be rebuilt.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            My great aunt traded her Chrysler Town and Country for a new Impala for exactly this reason. She’s a, uh, “woman of size” and just couldn’t get herself up into the minivan anymore, but she can slide in and out of the sedan just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      While the E63 wagon is amazing, I think I’d even be happy with an E400 wagon of the new generation. Plus it has the backward facing third row which is lacking in the E63.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    On a purely realistic (non-dream) level, I see no reason why VW couldn’t do a GTI wagon. It would pretty much be a parts bin operation, wouldn’t it? I’d certainly buy one. Maybe Kyrie would too.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    C&D’s John Phillips had a trick Roadmaster wasgon in the ’90s, and I recall Popular Mechanics building a pretty sleek purple one on Cragar S/Ss. Gorgeous.

    For me, a Volvo P1800 estate. Good Lord does that hit the proportion boxes.

    Or, one of the Taurus SHO second-gen wagon design studies.

  • avatar
    swaghole

    I’d love to get my hands on a 1995-96 Camry Wagon V6 in beige. I owned a 95 like that and it was the best car ever. Quiet, comfortable, powerful, practical and so reliable. Ultimate stealth car in beige with Baby on Board sticker. It died suddenly (electrical gremlins affecting injectors and coils) after 19 years and 380,000 of service. I keep looking through Autotrader to see if I can locate a decent one in my area.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Any ’70s full-size ChryCo. A float supreme and room for stuff.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    “usually bought by affluent Euro-centric snobs”

    Seriously? Did you not notice that the one company that sold wagons by the wagonload in the ’90s and ’00s was Subaru? The Subaru crowd is anything but Euro-centric (duh!) and snobish.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    Euro Mazda 6 wagon is gorgeous and would be my next car if they sold it here. https://www.mazda.co.uk/Canvas/all-new-showroom/mazda6-IPM-tourer/l10n/master/Gallery/images/RHD/desktop/highlights/01.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      x2 on the Mazda 6 Wagon. I just bought a new car after taking an ’04 Passat Wagon to 165k, (the new car ended up being the ’17 CR-V) but it probably WOULD have been the 6 Wagon had they thought to bring it here.

      (Didn’t go for the CX-5 because to get the features I wanted (the latest safety packages), I would have had to spend a lot more than the equivalent CR-V, and get saddled with ride-killing ’19’s.)

      • 0 avatar
        mankyman

        Was your Passat wagon expensive to maintain? I have an ’04 with 93K and in the last 6 years of ownership (not including tires, brakes & batteries), the car has needed a new timing belt/water pump (acceptable), the cam chain tensioner seals and the other seals done (the infamous oil leak), a new alternator, a new fuel sender.

        My dream wagon would be a Mercedes E500 from the mid-2000s. A good large size, with a V8 and most importantly, rear facing trunk seats!

        Second place would be my friend’s 1974 Mercury Colony Park station wagon. A massive vehicle!

  • avatar
    brettc

    I grew up in a 1981 Civic wagon that my parents bought when I was 4 and kept for 10 years before the rust got too crazy. Now I drive a TDI Sportwagen. I love wagons for their functionality and their efficiency.

    So any compact wagon is fine by me. I really like the Insignia wagon and could see myself driving one assuming they don’t screw it up too badly for the US market.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    How about a factory 429 Super Cobra Jet, hideaway headlights, Coke bottle styling, and a copse’s corpses’ worth of dead trees?

    https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2010/09/The-Reverse-Mullet—1971-Ford-Torino-Squire/3689701.html

    It’s even brown.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Oooh. I was going to say early seventies Chevelle, but now?

      This thing looks ready to go along hunting evil with the Supernatural Impala. All it needs is gas and a weapons box.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    The Mazda 6 wagon (not sold in USA but exists elsewhere) or a Skoda Octavia wagon, in terms of “what could I reasonably buy today.”

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Late 60s/early 70s Dodge Coronet is pretty nice.

    Or Datsun 510 wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      Ben

      !
      i came here to post the 510, so cool.
      i shot this nice 510 wagon here on Toronto a couple of years ago. it can’t have been local its whole life tho, too much salt.
      https://goo.gl/photos/QKVAcmyvXMi9uUmV8.
      https://goo.gl/photos/KRKPobCgTRAANbJr9

    • 0 avatar
      Moparmann

      I’ll just leave this here for you:
      http://barnfinds.com/tow-or-show-1968-dodge-coronet-wagon/?utm_campaign=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Newsletter+(Daily)&utm_content=morelink

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    BMW 540i wagon. Arguably the best vehicle i have ever owned. Wife twisted my arm to sell it. Wish i had not.

  • avatar
    RobbieAZ

    I have no use for a wagon but if I had to take one it would be the E63 AMG.

    The only ones I’ve ever driven were some Passat wagons I had as rentals in Italy for work. They weren’t bad cars. I actually did some night time, too fast canyon carving in one, sick as a dog, following another guy in the same thing going from Monte Serra (Pisa area) to Sestola. There were a few close calls but it was a fun distraction, even as bad as I felt. I’ll never forget this trip because it happened to be 9/11/2001.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I wouldn’t be caught dead in a wagon, but if I had a gun to my head to choose, I’d go with an Audi RS4 Avant.

    Then again, I drive a Grand Cherokee. That’s nothing but a tall wagon. So maybe I’m a wagon driver after all.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    In pre-birth control America wagons weren’t volitional or very aspirational; they were just something that happened to you at a certain age, especially to women.

    Our cherry-picking this or that congenial attribute of theirs, particularly a modern interpretation of that attribute, is somewhat like today’s jelly baby males being all into combat games.

  • avatar
    jmo

    What’s wrong with a 2017 e-class wagon or my favorite a 2017 V90?

    https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–9sr9MhoU–/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/m76t5juplfgs7pumreap.jpg

  • avatar
    AVT

    I did love my 2006 Audi A6 Avant when I had it. It my fantasy world, I’d move to Europe and snag an Audi RS6 Avant with the twin turbo v10.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      We had an ’03 A4 Avant, which was a great car. I’d love the RS4 Avant, but I tend to prefer smaller cars than the A6. Actually, I’ve never quite gotten over my Sprite…

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    In the early 1970’s, my family had an Olds Vista Cruiser EXACTLY like the one in the image. Same color, everything. It was a beast. We replaced it with a 1979 Pontiac that was a true lemon and represented the lowly depths to which GM sank in that era.

    Dream wagon? If spending my own money, I’ll take the Focus ST wagon that’s sold in Europe. Otherwise, give me an E63 AMG.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Nedmundo, it is pretty hilarious that the Vista Cruiser was clssified as an “intermediate” sized car.

      I had an uncle who bought a new full-sized Olds 88 every couple of years. In the early ’70s, he had to move down to a Cutlass sedan because the 88 had grown in length to the point where, with the coup de grace of Federal 5-mph bumpers, it literally could no longer fit in his garage.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Aw, Man, the Olds 88 Rocket, the Olds 98, the Royale! The Cutlass Cruiser, the Vista Cruiser and the Custom Cruiser. Now there were some wonderful family haulers in their day.

        No place for them today though.

        Need a Custom Cruiser type vehicle today? GM Suburban class!

  • avatar
    AVT

    Hey, does the new 2018 dodge durango SRT technically count as a wagon? And yes it’s a thing. Look it up via google.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    My dream wagon would be an older Volvo 7 series/V90 with all amenities and a V8 conversion. I like the Insignia/Regal a lot, but reality is my budget would allow a Verano wagon if it existed. Jetta is the right size for me, but I’ve always been spooked by VW reliability. My old Mazda Protege 5 was great, but a noisy thing and a bit too firm and unrefined.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    They sad truth is that, in order for a wagon to work well, it must be big. Otherwise, the current crop of CUVs does a better job at what a wagon should be for, namely hauling things too big to fit in the trunk of a sedan.

    I speak from experience. For over four years I owned a CTS wagon. It was useful, to a point. One weekend, while it was being serviced, I had a loaner SRX (which I reviewed here on TTAC). The cargo area was far more functional, with the hatch opening being a good six or seven inches taller than that of the CTS. The CTS served its purpose. I equipped it with a trailer hitch and it served fairly well when we had only one vehicle. What changed was when I acquired a Tacoma to live at our weekend house and we traded the CTS on a sedan. The CTS was a good car, but it’s not one that I truly loved. It had too many compromises: It was low enough that 5 or 6 inches of snow on our sloped driveway defeated it. The hatch opening was too small and, while no fault of the CTS platform, ours wasn’t optioned correctly, a constant disappointment.

    I grew up in the golden age of Country Squires and Vista Cruisers. They had real carrying capacity, many could swallow a 4×8 sheet of plywood. They were long inside. Many had a rear-facing seat, a sort of kids clubhouse that made interacting with other cars a lot of fun. They were different beasts.

    Modern, smaller wagons will always be a niche market. Styling and platform constraints will keep it so. The only way to get classical wagon utility is to raise the roof giving you a CUV. The fact is that the CUV *is* the modern wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “The fact is that the CUV *is* the modern wagon.”

      Yep, for a while, until CAFE gets all their roof heights under 60″. And that’s just over the driver; the liftgates will remind people of the Magnum.

    • 0 avatar
      d4rksabre

      This is important. You’re right, modern wagons aren’t really worthy of the wagon crown. I have a ’96 Roadmaster Estate for my weekend fun car and the only other car I’ve ever owned that came close to it for utility was a ’99 Suburban. But you had to take the seats out to haul plywood in that truck. I don’t have to do that with the Roadmaster.

      I’m constantly saddened that the Magnum didn’t get its due. I loved the idea of the Magnum, but they just weren’t good by most measures. It’s too bad really.

      A real modern American full-size wagon would be a thing of beauty. And with the price Suburbans are commanding now, maybe even a cost effective option for those who want a little more style and handling than a minivan can offer. It could be done right, if one of the big three were up to the challenge again.

    • 0 avatar
      1998redwagon

      once looked at a used cts wagon. i found it to be much smaller than i expected. for example my 98 passat wagon had more usable room in the second row seats and the rear.

      i liked the looks of the cts wagon but i did not like the layout. it seemed a size smaller, like a golf (jetta) sportwagen.

  • avatar
    musicalmcs8706

    This is so easy for me to answer. I have one in my garage. I bought a 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon in November. If I didn’t get that I would’ve gotten a Volvo V60. When I have to replace the Acura in hopefully several years I will go to Volvos.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Yea I’m pretty happy with my 2014. I really liked the V60 mostly for the seats, but it was another $15,000 at least.

      • 0 avatar
        musicalmcs8706

        I wasn’t planning on getting a car until later this year, but the Acura came up, and within 24 hours of me seeing it, it was in my driveway. And I saved at least $10k over a slightly used V60 with the TSX having more options!

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I have the 2012 TSX Wagon. My wife and I are happy as it is arguably the last of great Acuras. The Subaru Outback was on our list, as was the Honda CR-V. The Mazda CX-5 didn’t exist yet, but if a modern CX-5 was available then, we might have gone that way.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I told this story about 5 years ago but its applicable here. After a pretty bad divorce in 08 that left in bankrupt I bought a 89 Volvo 760 Turbo that I loved but was a money pit. In 00 I bought a 92 Taurus wagon (brown of course). It was a good car however I could not get a date with it to save my life. Every time I would ask someone out they would see my car and laugh. Even my Xwife when she saw me in 01 to sell the house we owned together laughed at me a said you will never change.

    In 01 I met someone that when she saw it said that it was very practical and that she appreciated my forethought. We got married 2 years later and now are even happier than then. The Taurus was a decent car and so easy to work on I even changed the power steering pump, water pump by myself with those books they used to sell at Autozone.

    She knows I love wagons but ended up with a CX9 due to not getting the price I wanted on the Flex in 08 at the time. Ford loves to over charge for some reason.
    In two years after we refinance our house and she gets her new ride I get mine and it will be an end of production Flex. However my dream car is the E Class AMG wagon…If Audi would make an S8 Wagon I would dream of that as well.

  • avatar

    Volvo 940 Estate with a LS swap. Paul Newman owned something like that in the mid-90’s and once told David Letterman, “From 20 to 100 you can chew anybody’s ass.”

  • avatar
    deanst

    I’d like to buy an update of the old Honda Civic Wagovan or Toyota Tercel wagon – like driving a rectangular fishbowl!

    More realistically, I’ve always liked the current 3 series wagon – but I don’t think you can get a manual,transmission anymore.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Yes it’s not production and it’s 51 years old. However, there is no way I could resist a 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood wagon.

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/5e/7b/d5/5e7bd5df5759eb5420233fa19994fbd4.jpg

  • avatar
    Zackman

    This is an easy one – first & second generation Vista Cruiser, of course.

    Now? Although I liked the VW wagon of several years ago – don’t know years and such – but the wagon that really hit my heart is the Opel Insignia wagon featured yesterday. What a beauty!

    Would I buy a wagon now? I have no idea. With retirement looming, I’m thinking of other priorities, so who knows?

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    1961 Chrysler New Yorker Town and Country 4-door hardtop wagon for me. Who says wagons have to be boring boxes?

  • avatar
    gradall

    lead picture…
    “shop smart, shop S-mart”

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I owned or drove as a family car the following wagons: ’69 Ford Country Squire, ’76 Ford Pinto, ’78 Ford Fairmont, ’80 LTD, ’67 VW Type III, ’72 VW Type IV and ’87 Honda Realtime 4WD Wagovan.

    In all honesty the minivans won the war because they were a better design. More functional space, 3 relatively safe rows of seating (those rear facers were good only for eating exhaust fumes, easier to park than a fullsize wagon, and the extra ride height that has become the norm.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    A wagon?

    Wagons are the second most popular vehicle after the pickup in Australia and most likely the US…..currently. Wagons have not died, the have grown up.

    Adaptation of the wagon has been around for while. The SUV and CUV wagon still sell by the boatload.

    Wagons are far from dead. I have owned two wagons in my life, an XJ Cherokee Sport and a 2004 Kia Sorento.

    I suppose a dream wagon for me would be a Wrangler destroying midsize 76 Series GXL Landcruiser with a V8 diesel. That is the ultimate affordable wagon.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    Early 90’s GM A-body wagon with the 3300 V6. Huge amount of room with a bomb-proof powertrain, and FWD for Northern climes.

    Mid-60s Valiant wagon. One of the more fancifully-styled wagons, with nice range of engine choices, including Slant Six. I would avoid three-on-the-tree, though.

  • avatar
    7402

    There’s an old rumor that someone ordered two CPO 1968 Olds Vista Cruisers with the 442 engine, W30 package, and 4-speed manual. Still looking for one of those.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Could be. If you checked the right boxes on the order form, you could order a ’68 Pontiac Tempest wagon to GTO specs. The shop that is doing the bodywork on one of my Chryslers finished one of those just before starting on my car.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    CTS-V wagon.

    (Yes, I know it’s not really a wagon)

  • avatar
    Fred

    Not a traditional big-rear-facing-third-row wagon, but my 2007 A3 that was probably the best car I ever owned. Could of used more comfortable seats, a better stereo and yea it was expensive to maintain. But a more fun and practical car I have yet to find. Hauls about 90% of what I do in the Acura and if Texas calls it a station wagon, who am I to argue.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    begin.

    Stagea 260RS

    .end

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    I owned one of the last b-body wagons. I would happily own another. Just give me a new BOF Buick Roadmaster estate with the modern LT1, 6speed, and modern safety equipment and I’m a very happy person.

  • avatar
    Wagoon2.7TT

    Oh man, don’t even get me started. Growing up my grandmother had the Buick pictured above, but with metallic teal underneath that glorious wood trim. My high school car was a ’97 Taurus wagon. I have two euro wagons in my driveway now, both in a perpetual state of semi-brokenness.

    Wagons I would like to own:
    Any S6 Avant
    allroad with the 4.2 V8
    XC70 Ocean Race edition (love that blue)
    Early/mid 2000s V70 R
    Early/mid 2000s E500
    Toyota Tercel SR5
    Outback XT
    Blinged out Flex, but with regular sized wheels
    Quantum Syncro

    Wagons I appreciate that exist(ed):
    CTS-V
    Magnum SRT-8
    TSX Sport Wagon
    Prius V
    Mazda 6 wagon
    Many more than I’m forgetting

  • avatar
    threeer

    W123, Euro-spec with cloth seats, manual trans. Can go either way on engine, diesel or gas. Bundt cake wheels, anthracite grey or silver, please.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    For looks and ‘fun’ factor, I was always a fan of the Olds Cutlass VistaCruiser between ’68-’72. The teaser photo in the article is what drew me to even comment here. That raised roof also offers a slight improvement on load capacity for those with a practicality viewpoint (but how many people loaded their wagons right up to the roof?)

    On the other hand, for real utility I have to give the Studebaker Lark shown above with that sliding roof all the credit, letting you have both a wagon and a pickup in one, when necessary. I know Cadillac tried something similar a few years back but the simple fact that it was already a truck-based SUV kind of killed the advantage the sliding roof offered in the earlier wagon.

    But you know, the author does ask an interesting question:
    “It looks like Buick will test the waters and see if the Regal wagon can stimulate some interest in a market that has passed the bodystyle by. Will customers bite? Is a mini wagon resurgence upon us? On that, the jury is definitely out.”
    We’ve already discussed how the “mid-sized sedan” market is effectively dying. Heck, the sedan market in general appears to be pretty weak compared to CUVs, SUVs and pickup trucks. Maybe it’s time to really change things around and offer true fastback/liftback coupes with full wagons being the alternate, 4-door body style–flat bypassing the 4-door sedan. A 2-door coupe would certainly gain my attention while the wagon would be a nearly ideal family vehicle with its lower profile and improved aerodynamics helping to improve economy simply by reducing frontal area. A sleek design roughly based on that VistaCruiser could offer a surprisingly sporty driving experience while keeping a decent load-carrying capacity.

  • avatar

    I’ll go back to the 50’s for either a Olds 88/98 wagon or a Chevrolet 210/Bel Air/Nomad wagon.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Dear GM,

    Give me a current Impala and LaCrosse as a three row wagon. V6 standard, optional hybrid.

    Dear Ford,

    The Fusion would be sexy as a wagon, Fusion SPORT wagon.

    Thank You,
    #BringingWagonsBack

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      I would consider a Focus (no DCT though) or a Fusion wagon if they were offered. When I got my current car I tried to find a 05-07 Focus ZXW but to find one in good shape you have to be very patient.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Lucky for you, Dan, there is a Fusion wagon…but you’d have to move to Europe.

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/09/ford-fusion-wagon-winner-heres/

      Seriously nice looking car.

  • avatar
    KevinB

    My 87 Escort GL was my dream wagon. Laugh if you will, but it gave me 125,000 miles of trouble free driving (with the original clutch on its 5-speed transmission. Quiet, comfortable, and could swallow unbelievable amounts of cargo with the back seat folded down.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    About a dozen years ago I had a brown ’81 Malibu – rusty and with a knock in the 305. I always wanted to put a nice powerful small block in there but just ended putting in another 305 that I got for $200.

    It really was a ratty car but had a certain attitude that I enjoyed. Surprisingly dependable too. It was my wife’s daily driver for a year. One time we had my son’s teacher suggest that we could qualify for social security. I guess she saw that bombed out car show up too many times for school pick up time! I ended up selling the car for a few hundred dollars where it became someone else’s daily driver.

    Oddly enough it popped up again – a friend of mine bought it from the guy who had bought it from me. The friend only had it for a few weeks then sold it to a local hotrod shop, where it will hopefully get restored. It needed it when I owned it, I can’t imagine what the frame looks like now.

    Back when I used to be part of the Monte and Malibu G-Body boards, the station wagons were popular with the drag racing folk. Something about the extra weight over the wheels and the fact you can fit just about any GM engine you want under the hood.

    And let’s not forget the back passenger windows that don’t roll down *shrugs*

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Dream wagon? None.

    I actually grew up riding around in an ’85 Olds Custom Cruiser wagon with the wood paneling, etc, and don’t have any particularly fond memories of the thing.

    I hold the opinion that, unless you have certain very specific hobbies like being a drummer, wagons do almost nothing a sedan can’t do aside from take the random bulky box which most people do almost never, or they do it in their CUV/SUV which offers the additional benefit of additional back seat room relative to the vehicle upon which the CUV/SUV is based, unlike a wagon which offers no back seat benefit.

    The ONLY reason the wagon is popular amongst automotive hipsters is because it is unpopular amongst normal people, allowing the hipsters to claim some sort of odd superiority by preferring a car no one else wants.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Chris: The idea is to replace the typical CUV with something more intelligent. The wagon offers better than CUV cargo capacity while being much more stable on the road because it’s not so top-heavy (note sister article about roof-crush.)

      As for the wagon you so dislike, ’85 was malaise-era and none of them were all that good. You should try looking into a pre-’73 model. Heck, I’d go big time for a ’59 Impala wagon!

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        I don’t know how many times I can say it. People don’t care that much about cargo space. Wagonistas always yelp about cargo space. Big. Ffing. Deal. What about PEOPLE space? That’s where wagons fall apart; they offer NO* advantage over their sedan counterparts in the back seat, which is where either people or gigantic baby seats need to go. My TSX in wagon form is FIVE INCHES longer than my wife’s RDX, but has much less back seat space; a rear-facing seat is easy in the RDX and a giant PITA in the TSX. That’s something I deal with EVERY DAY; the extra cargo length (with less height) comes into play less than once a month.

        And the “more stable on the road” thing is a red herring, most people don’t even use 40% of their vehicle’s performance envelope in either wagon or SUV, it isn’t a realistic measure. It’s like saying wagons can go 150mph and CUVs can only go 130; so what?

        I have no interest in a pre-1973 anything unless it has a prancing horse (from Maranello or Stuttgart) on it. Or is a Cobra.

        *maybe a small headroom advantage, but BFD.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @Chris: Might I again suggest you read the roof test article and comments? When I said stable I wasn’t talking about performance, I was talking about safety. Low and wide means the thing ain’t goin’ ta roll over as easy.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            You’d think so, but you’d be wrong. Old article, but happy to read one if you find one that’s better.

            http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/09/autos/suv_rollover/

            Jist is that SUVs and CUVs don’t rollover more than cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Electronic stability control does help prevent the vehicle from rolling itself over but does absolutely nothing towards having the vehicle knocked over in a crash. As I pointed out, two of the three rollovers in the last two weeks just in my county were cars/CUVs hit from the side while the third, single-vehicle crash hit a median guard rail that flipped it. As such, we again run into the limitations of on-board systems when external forces are applied. And once they start rolling, they don’t necessarily want to stop until they hit something else or run out of energy.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “As I pointed out, two of the three rollovers in the last two weeks just in my county”

            And that’s fine, but you can’t extrapolate those anecdotes to the larger pool of the American highways. We simply aren’t seeing a huge increase in rollover accidents commensurate with the increase in popularity of CUVs. It isn’t as big a deal as you’re trying to make it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’ll admit I’m not able to get a full statistical analysis; I’m not in that business. But when a single US highway–divided highway at that–sees multiple rollover accidents in a 10-mile stretch over the course of a couple of weeks, SOMETHING has to be making those rollovers happen. When cars were low and wide, rollovers were relatively uncommon. Sure, cars got beat up and passengers got hurt in them but they typically stayed on their wheels. Now, a week doesn’t go by where I don’t hear of at least one rollover on that stretch of highway alone.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            An SUV on an overpass, swerved into the curb, “vaulted” over the 4 foot guard rail, and crashed below. It was a horrible freak accident, but I don’t think a wagon would have taken that trajectory:

            http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/killed-van-drove-overpass-bronx-zoo-article-1.1069488

            That said, CUVs are practical, and have addressed my pet peeves: weight, handling, and mpg. It’s still annoying to drive behind one though as they block my view.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’d be remissed if I didn’t point out sedans stopped offering back seats several years ago excluding some Toyonda models.

        • 0 avatar
          musicalmcs8706

          I bought my TSX wagon from a guy who had both an S2000 and his TSX. He got rid of it so he could keep the S2000 and he got an RDX so he didn’t need to swap vehicles with his wife all the time. He still regrets it, but he knows he did the right thing.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            Once a month or so I have to borrow my wife’s RDX to haul something that won’t fit in my TSX (sedan). This past week it was a big cabinet I hung in the laundry room, the prior few weeks it was interior doors I was installing in the basement I’m finishing. Generally though, I rarely need the extra cargo space of the RDX. In fact, all of the lumber that went into framing the basement was hauled in the TSX, with seats folded down and trunk bungee-corded shut with a foot or two of lumber hanging out the end.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I have VERY fond memories of a Custom Cruiser…but a) it was a ’75, and b) it was my first car.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “The ONLY reason the wagon is popular amongst automotive hipsters is because it is unpopular amongst normal people, allowing the hipsters to claim some sort of odd superiority by preferring a car no one else wants.”

      So-called “hipsters” have famously succeeded in deluding themselves of their superiority much like hippies did in the late 60s-early 70s. Get a real job.

      The joke was/is on them.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Make of this what you will, but when I was contemplating my first car in the early 2000s (re. pre-crossover ubiquity and pre-Jalopnik), I was equally excited by Roadmaster wagons as I was by Fox body Mustangs. I liked the Taurus wagon. I still have a well-loved Majorette 1:64 W124 300TE from when I was a kid. For that matter, even in a town that at the time bought a huge number of minivans, even as a teenager, I never disliked them. It’s just a way to maximize the space available in a given footprint without building up (crossovers have gotten a lot better, but I still don’t like sitting up higher just for the increased sensation of getting thrown around).

      Although, I guess liking wagons before it was cool makes me a hipster.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Toyota Caldina GT-Four, ideally in a few years I will own one.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Toyota Crown S130 wagon with the optional 1UZFE V8 and all the trimmings.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Did Toyota offer the wagons with the top trims? Impression I had was that the wagons were lower-spec pillared bodies.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        My understanding was that you could get just about every option including adjustable suspension, various interior options (auto climate control, “swing” HVAC vents, etc). The neat thing is that they kept the wagon in S130 guise (facelifted) in production until ’99, while offering the newer powertrain options with it.

        https://youtu.be/VWnaGeGNCQA?t=100

  • avatar
    Menloguy

    My dream wagon is the current Ford Focus wagon available only in Europe with the 3-cylinder start stop engine. I rented one from Sixt at the Frankfurt airport and it’s the best size for me, is eminently practical and has good driving dynamics. Ford just couldn’t be bothered to bring it to market in the US, where I think it would have some appeal to those who are looking for alternatives to crossovers and SUVs. In my spare time, I like to go to the konfigurator on the ford.de website to spec out my dream wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      How well did the 3-cylinder haul the Focus around? Reviews suggest that it is optimal for the lighter Fiesta but overtaxed in the Focus.

      • 0 avatar
        Menloguy

        Actually, the Focus wagon I rented in Germany had the 4-cylinder 1.5 liter Diesel engine with a 6-speed manual; it pulled really well down the A8 autobahn. I don’t know how the 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine with the 5-speed manual performs, only that it gets the best fuel economy (4.8 liters/100km) of the gas engines. It would be an interesting novelty for me to drive a car with a 3-cylinder engine.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, you can have 66% of what you’re looking for here…a Focus with the 1.0 turbo 3 cylinder (and a manual), as long as it’s not a wagon.

      And, yeah, that Focus wagon’s tasty looking.

      @30-mile
      Word is the three is a bit overmatched in the Focus, particularly if you opt for the automatic.

  • avatar
    rustyra24

    I really want a Toyota Crown Wagon. They are near impossible to find unless you live in Canada. The MS63 looks like a space ship but the MS53 kinda looks like a muscle car. All you have to do is put a 1uz from a lexus into it and it would be a pretty sweet car.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      There used to be a lot of these in the western states. When I was a kid I remember my parents going shopping in Butte, Montana and while waiting for mother (who was shopping in Hennessy’s Department Store) I would wander down the hill (past Leskovar Lincoln-Mercury) to Knievel Imports (run by Evel Knievel’s grandfather) and get copies of sales brochures. I remember there being several MS53 Toyota Crowns at the dealership in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Wagons, 4-door sedans, and even a couple of 2-door hardtop coupes at different times. I don’t recall ever seeing the later MS63 Toyota Crown, though.

      • 0 avatar
        rustyra24

        That is kind of funny. I live in Clancy, Montana which is about an hour drive away from Butte. I might need to go car searching in Butte on of these days. I would love to own a two door hardtop or a wagon. The two door coupe is one of my favorites but damn near impossible to find.

  • avatar
    B234R

    The dream wagon i already have: Saab 9-5 Aero -00
    The dream wagon i’m buying next: Saab 9-5 Aero -05
    The dream wagon i’d buy with an unlimited budget: a new Audi RS6

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    E63 wagon, I didn’t even have to think one second.

  • avatar
    la834

    When I was a kid my uncle drove a Citroen DS 23 wagon with the center-facing seats in the way-back, and it remains the smoothest riding car I’ve ever been in. I’ll take one of those, or the newer CX wagon which was built through 1991.

    My dad’s car at the time was a ’66 Dodge Polara that I was hoping would be sold to me for a pittance when I was in high school circa 1982, but a major engine malfunction led to it being junked just before that could happen. That thing was a boat and was loaded with interior space; it’s the car I always imagine the big-as-a-whale Chrysler in “Love Shack” to be. The Polara was sparsely equipped though; make mine a ’65 or ’66 Chrylser Town & Country with all the options, including the power rear window that washes itself when rolled down.

    Others I like:

    ’55 Chevy Nomad. The best-looking wagon ever made.

    ’64 Studebaker Wagonaire with sliding roof and rear-facing 3rd row seat. Must have the R2 supercharged engine and a 4 speed stick. The ’63 was more practical with the 7″ shorter front overhang, but the new longer ’64 front fits the car better.

    ’91 Taurus LX. Last year of the first and best generation and first year with all-disc antilock brakes. All options except the digital dashboard. Burgundy or dark blue velour split-bench dual power seats, insta-clear windshield, cornering lights, pushbutton keyless entry, and lots of other cool stuff.

    ’78 to ’81 GM B-body wagon, probably a Pontiac or Buick because I like their dashboards the best. The mid-’90s Buick Roadmaster also very nice and has a much better engine.

    ’00 Audi Allroad. Just a nice all-around car with AWD and height adjustable suspension, and offers a rare green interior. The interior lighting in red looks great in this car; late ’00 builds and later got white gauge lighting that spoils the effect some.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Dream wagon as in would love it but wouldn’t afford it if it were to be made?

    Alfa Romeo Giulia wagon.

    Although I wouldn’t drop that money on a wagon. Wagons are supposed to be utility vehicles, not 80k dream machines. Unless it’s an FF.

  • avatar
    brucebanner

    It would be a honda-built awd Volvo

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Golf R wagon. Europe gets one and it looks glorious. Checks every box except probable long term durability.

    I miss the Saab 9-3 wagon, it was a beauty but a half size too small.

    I had to Google search the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser and I have to say that is a fabulous greenhouse. The car it sits atop is most likely crap, but I’m biased in that I have no nostalgia for old sloppy Detroit iron.

  • avatar
    Thorshammer_gp

    I’d love to see Subaru bring the Levorg over to the US. It looks much more wagon-like than the Outback, and while it would probably suffer the same fate as the regular Legacy wagon, I’d gladly buy one to replace my Outback Sport down the road someday. Give it a new name (the new Outback Sport, maybe?) and send it over!

    For purely stylistic reasons, I’d also love to have a ’55-’57 Chevy Nomad.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I’ve got three:
    E91 – proper BMW RWD chassis, normally aspirated straight six, manual transmission. Driving perfection.

    Cadillac CTS-V – ultra high performance still available with driving pleasing RWD and a manual

    Buick Roadmaster – the last of the wagons that could truly haul and do the work of trucks without all of the truck liabilities

  • avatar
    stingray65

    1. 1957 Chevrolet Nomad – Fuel Injected.
    2. 1940 Packard 120 Woody
    3. 1995 BMW e34 M5 wagon

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Wagons make me cranky in today’s market.

    They aren’t as good with large loads as the new crop of well-packaged CUVs because the cargo area is so short (top to bottom) and narrow. But if my vehicle isn’t practical for large loads, I’d rather have a sedan. I’m separated from the smelly food or gym socks in the back. I don’t have my cargo exposed (or under a conspicuous cargo cover that says “BREAK INTO THIS CAR BECAUSE THERE IS VALUABLE CARGO”).

    These days a wagon seems like the worst of both worlds and I think car enthusiasts’ continued fondness for them is just a combination of ’90s ideas about CUVs/SUVs and ’70s nostalgia.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    You might as well ask what’s your dream minivan.

  • avatar
    grandprix

    No question about it……………1957 Chevy Nomad

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Slow, underpowered, prone to engine overheating, but I’ve always had a sweet spot for the VW type 4 station wagon.

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    My dream wagon is a modern update of my 2005 Legacy GT Limited wagon. Don’t need a manual but hell NO to the CVT.

  • avatar
    sportsuburbangt

    Dream wagon is a 1970 Plymouth Sport Suburban 9 passenger with a 440 and the trailer towing package. Dark Green with two-tone green seats.

    Had a 71 and a 70 in the past they were great cars, huge and quick.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    Alfa 159 JTDm

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    What is my Dream Wagon?

    Seriously?

    There must be some dudes out there that fantasize of Melissa Mccarthy in Sean Spicer guise.
    This question is no different.

  • avatar
    skibear99

    I always liked the `64-65 Chevelle 300 2 Door Wagons.

    Similar to a Nomad, but with it’s own style. Not to mention that you could get it with just about any engine/transmission.

    I’ll take mine with a 283 and a 4 Speed!

    http://bit.ly/2kK3rgK

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    My dream wagon is a 1940 Marmon-Herrington 4×4 woodie, as seen here:

    https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hcc/2013/11/Splinter-Group—1940-Marmon-Herrington-4×4-Ford-woodie/3731451.html

    If I had the fortune of owning one of these beautiful classics, I would go the extra step of equipping it a period correct supercharged flathead V8.

  • avatar
    phaedrus528

    1971 Chevy Kingswood Estate, family car from ’71-76. 1976 Buick Estate Wagon with Rally Wheels–wished that’s what my parents had bought that year instead of the ’76 Impala Wagon they chose. Clamshells rock!

    I owned a 1979 Olds Custom Cruiser, 6.6L from ’85-’88. Loved the floating barge!

  • avatar
    raph

    Like a few others I dig the Panamera wagon, could definitely dig that for a daily.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    See:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/02/2018-dodge-durango-srt-first-look

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The 1953 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon or Buick Super Estate Wagon (first year for the Buick V-8 and last year for the true woody bodystyle).

    1971, 1972 or 1976 Buick Estate Wagon
    1969 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate
    1972 or 1973 Chrysler Town & Country
    1973 or 1976 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser
    1971 Mercury Marquis

    1994-96 Chevrolet Caprice Classic (with the Corvette V-8)

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    …a little red one…

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I own my dream wagon. ’11 BMW 328! Touring, RWD, 6spd stick, Tasman Green on Chestnut leather, spec’d exactly the way I wanted it, because I ordered it new and did European Delivery. Spent a couple weeks driving it around Germany and Scandinavia, and I will never part with it.

    My second choice would be a car that I have also owned, but stupidly sold on – a Peugeot 505 wagon. A car that is nothing like as sporting as the BMW, but will sure haul a load of stuff! Ideally in a spec that was never sold here – turbo diesel with 5spd. I did own both a 2.2L SW8 5spd and an automatic turbodiesel.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    I had a ’79 Impala wagon for 11 years. Excellent vehicle, like a combination of limousine and pickup truck. But lack of a split folding rear seat was silly, and it was still bigger than it needed to be. Should have evolved into something like the Ford 500 wagon.

    But my Escape Hybrid does pretty well everything the wagon could, usually better, besides having awd. And it uses half as much gas.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Volvo showed a concept a couple years back which was basically a modern 1800ES – that’d be just about perfect if it made it to production (although my budget would keep me to CPO).

    Until then, I like the Golf SportWagen a lot, it’d just be nice if basically anyone else built it under license, to mitigate the VW-ness.

  • avatar
    JohnH

    I own two Second Gen Escort Wagons- a 93 and a 94. The current Ford Focus and Focus ST Wagons would be my dream replacements. Saw both in Germany last June. Awesome!

  • avatar
    rpn453

    B8 Audi S4 Avant with a manual. Not sure if such a thing was available in Europe. It wasn’t in North America. If not, a 2005 Legacy GT MT would do.

  • avatar
    gottacook

    Dream wagon in my case would be either of two wagons my parents purchased new, which I still believe were among the very prettiest wagons ever made: a 1965 Bonneville (6-passenger), white with blue interior and rear carpeting, succeeded by a 1967 Executive (9-passenger). The Bonneville was our first car with air conditioning; the Exec was a dealer demonstrator that had a rather overwrought exterior – woodgrain, aqua paint, black vinyl roof, chrome luggage rack AND rear window deflector. But the car also had nearly every option that was new for ’67: 8-track stereo, one-touch cruise control, automatic temp control, cornering lights, etc.

    Even earlier, I was exposed (twice!) to a really wild Dream Wagon: the Ford Aurora at the World’s Fair. L-shaped rear lounge and Subaru SVX-style side windows in 1964.

  • avatar
    crossx5

    Audi a4 avant

  • avatar
    amca

    ’58 Buick hardtop wagon.

    Tho I’d settle for a ’68 Vista Cruiser.

  • avatar

    Back in the day when I was junior high age I did a drawing of the then new Mustang as a wagon. Just extended the roof line with what was an appropriate adjustment to the rear and – presto – a Mustwagon. I thought it looked cool. (Did I mention I was in junior high?)

    I actually wouldn’t mind a Vista Cruiser, Taurus wagon or a Dodge Magnum – or a Mustwagon. I used to have an Escort wagon which worked well for hauling all the gear I used for live sound/recording and gave the mileage I wanted.

  • avatar
    ddrap14

    Audi RS2.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Studebaker Wagonaire FTW, but I don’t think I could bring myself to dd one. That would have to be a late-run Volvo 850 wagon with the T5.

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