QOTD: Fly or Flop? New Wagons Brave Rough North American Shores
Two new models are entering the [s]not[/s] hot wagon market in North America. While one wagon entry is aimed squarely at the near-luxury market, the other aims higher and challenges established luxury wagons.
Our question today is this: Will either of the models work?
The Buick Regal loses its sedan body next year, and instead offers up the Regal Sportback (a liftback sedan like the old Mazda 626), or the TourX wagon you see above. Still based on the Opel Insignia, the TourX will start at just under $30,000, with all trims having standard all-wheel drive. While this puts the TourX at a price advantage over European competitors like the Volvo V60 CC ($42,695) and the Audi A4 Allroad ($45,475), it’s in the same ballpark as the perennially popular Subaru Outback.
But who is the customer for a TourX? Is it an older person who declines one of the CUVs already offered by Buick? Is it a potential Outback customer who finds the Subaru Love too trite? Perhaps it’s the Volvo customer intending to save some money. Also in question (to my mind) is the future longevity of any Opel-Buick vehicle, after GM’s Opel sale earlier this year. Formulate some opinions down in the comments, but for now, it’s time to move on to the second competitor.
Jaguar thinks North Americans need more choice in the luxury wagon segment, and is launching a new XF Sportbrake for 2018. While the XF has existed in wagon format for Euro markets previously, this will be the first wagon XF on our shores. Worth noting, this will be the very first wagon in Jaguar’s roster since the wildly unpopular (and now rare) X-Type wagon, which was available from 2005 to 2008. That model sold a massive 1,602 units.
Pricing has been set at $70,000 for launch versions in S trim level, featuring standard all-wheel drive. That luxury price tag puts the XF Sportbrake up against two brands which have long provided expensive wagons. The new Volvo V90 CC is larger than the Jaguar and a bit less expensive, starting at $55,300. The Mercedes E-Class wagon has spent decades transporting conservatively upscale, well-heeled owners, and the current E400 4MATIC estate rings in at $62,300.
Looking at the competition leaves me with some questions about XF’s customer. Are there people who desire to forego the safe, stylish Scandinavian, or give up the three-pointed star and upscale image of the Mercedes? Does Jaguar have adequate prestige or desirability to steal sales from luxury wagon stalwarts, when their last wagon was a leather-coated Ford Mondeo?
Will either of these new wagons make a dent against competitors, or stick around in North America for more than a couple of years? Surely some of you can provide some wago-pinions.
[Images: General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Daimler AG, The Truth About Cars]
Maui_zaui on Nov 01, 2017
I hope these new wagons do succeed since more options are always welcomed, but I'm pessimistic based on current shopper preferences for CUVs. I know it's anecdotal, but I can count the number of wagons I see on one hand during my daily commute, while the majority of vehicles seem to be CUVs, trucks, and sedans. The latter of which are still plentiful despite monthly reports of decreasing sales. I've never been that interested in Buicks prior to the Regal, mainly due to bland design and geriatric stigmas, but the Regals are actually attractive to me this time around. Hmmm...must be getting old.
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