Buy/Drive/Burn: European Luxury Wagons in 2020

buy drive burn european luxury wagons in 2020

Checking through the Buy/Drive/Burn archives, we’ve considered three sets of wagons previously: American wagons of the Seventies, Japanese wagons of the Nineties, and European wagons of 2004.

But Americans have more European luxury wagon choices in this, the Awesome Year of 2020 than in the decade and a half prior. So let’s revisit the discussion.

Audi A6 allroad

New to North America for the 2020 model year, the A6 allroad returned after a 15-year absence. Formerly called allroad Quattro, that cladded wagon departed after 2005 in North America. In basic Premium Plus trim, the new allroad starts at $65,900 (today’s choice), and can quickly escalate to over $80,000 if option boxes are checked. Power is always the same: A 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, which routes 335 horses and 369 torques through the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is found on all examples. To make it look more wagony, certain colors allow the customer to match the allroad’s cladding to the paint color.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

The Sportbrake version of Jaguar’s XF has been available in the US since 2018. Not a quick seller, I saw one for the first time two weeks ago (in white). Prices for the base Prestige trim start at $65,150, and the more powerful and sports-oriented S begins at $71,800. In base trim, the P300 version of the XF uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four from the Ingenium engine line. It produces 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, for a o-60 time of 5.7 seconds. An upgrade to the S trim is required for supercharged V6 power, but that’s out of budget today. All models are automatic and use an eight-speed ZF unit.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon All-Terrain

The last of today’s trio is the most well-known and is the perennial choice for well-heeled American wagon customers. New for 2016, the E-Class Wagon is available in two trims for North America: An E450 4MATIC for $66,100, or the ridiculous AMG E63 for $111,750. Sticking with the roughly $65,000 price point, the E450 includes a 3.0-liter inline-six engine with turbocharging and “EQ Boost” technology for additional electric torque. 362 horsepower is on offer, shifted through a nine-speed automatic. For the first time, the E-Class Wagon takes a page from Audi’s book and becomes the All-Terrain. Cladding is required, giving the wagon a sort of Buick Regal TourX look. It cannot be matched to the paint, no matter how many options you select.

Three exclusive wagons, two cladded, and one of which your author has actually seen in real life. Which is worth your dollars?

[Images: Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Jaguar]

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  • Tstag Tstag on Oct 09, 2020

    In the UK this would have been simple a week ago: -Buy the Mercedes -Drive the Mercedes - Burn the Jaguar and Audi This week it’s more complicated. The Jaguar has had a massive interior overhaul and comes with JLR new Privilege Pro infotainment system. So now I’d - Buy the Mercedes (probably) - Drive the Jaguar - Burn the Audi But it’s a close run thing between the Jaguar and the Mercedes. The Jaguar has always been the drivers car of the three but the interior was a massive let down. But not anymore. Interestingly Jaguar Land Rovers warranty claims have dropped significantly (in percentage terms) over the last 12 months. A large part of that is down to their new Privi Pro system. So now maybe the time to buy one

  • Fendertweed Fendertweed on Oct 13, 2020

    That is one Fugly gaping maw on the A6 ... unfortunately. Miss my old one, sort of.

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.