The Coolest Cars Right Now Are Wagons


#81

Wagons only real benefit is far superior driving dynamics. (They also get better gas mileage but with cheap gas the cost delta is insignificant). The Germans can do whatever they want with an SUV but you just can’t hide the center of gravity being significantly higher and comparably sized SUVs weighing way more - see X5 vs 5 series estate in UK.

Of course, enthusiasts don’t buy many cars and certainly not family haulers. People want to sit up high and it’s easier for most people to get into SUVs. Almost no one (few percent maybe) care about any performance metric except 0-60 and big HP.


#82

I say those people are wrong!


#83

#84

Only off by 2 orders of magnitude . . .


#85

Never pictured myself in a wagon, especially coming from 3 top of the line GM trucks in a row. However, gaining the SUV functionality along with the driving dynamics of a 380 supercharged V6 is a wonderful combination.

I would consider being a wagon driver for life, as my primary vehicle of course, if interesting options exist that provide some thrill.


#86

I always joke with the wife that when I hit the Mega Millions, my first stop is to fetch an E63S Wagon. Forget supercars, that thing is gorgeous and fast as eff and wildly usable.


#87

I was about to say,“But the maintenance costs!” But, of course, maintenance costs aren’t a big deal, if you’ve won the lottery… :wink:

For me, an E400 would be more than enough (and probably have a more comfortable ride). I’d love to be able to afford one b/c I think it says, “I’ve made it, and I’m cool enough to know how to show it in the most subtle way.” But I can’t afford one, so I got a Golf Sportwagen instead (which is perfectly pleasant)…

While MB wagon buyers are supposed to be among the brand’s most affluent and loyal, does the article actually provide any data to support the idea that most wagon buyers are wealthier (other than most of the wagon choices being expensive)?


#88

I just love this line:

“There’s a group of consumers who are greatly interested in the versatility and capability of an SUV, but they don’t want to be seen as someone who just goes with the flow,” said Buick marketing director Sam Russell.

“They are almost violently opposed to being mainstream,” he said.

My next car was going to be a sedan (BMW 5 series), because that feels like the weird thing to buy these days, but the BMW 330i Sport Wagon is calling my name since it won’t see another generation in North America.


#89

I would probably argue that ‘richer’ people aren’t turning to wagons, rather wagons are becoming so astronomically expensive that only richer families can afford them. Golf SportWagen aside, the rest of the field is pricey!


#90

The new V60 is actually priced better than S60 for what you get.
And if someone wants to jump on the wagon bandwagon - there is $6,750 on V90 finance.


#91

That’s a 4 letter word on this forum :grin:


#92

For reach folks, of course.


#93

I’ve always found it strange… Average new car sale price is around 35k. Yet with the exception of the Golf Sportwagen/Alltrac, crosstrek, the only compelling choices for good wagons are in the high 40’s to 50’s and even higher. Why get a wagon when you can get a well equipped luxury SUV?

I feel as if manufacturers do not create incentive to buy wagons or manual transmission cars. It’s very much the Chevrolet SS paradox. Chevy made something that people actually want and that people with money are willing to buy. So what did they do with it? Gave it zero marketing and made no mention of it. Mainstream market didn’t even know it existed or the significance of it.

Why? Probably because they wanted to close the Holden plants in Australia due to unions and high labor costs, but were contractually obligated to sell a Holden in the North American market. So they split it up with the Caprice and SS, both of which no longer exist as new vehicles. Chevy never wanted it to succeed. I feel as if this philosophy is applied to engaging manual transmission cars and wagons.


#94

Niche, low production cars.


#95

But they never used to be? Subaru still managed to shift 178,000 outbacks last year and almost 190,000 the year before? I imagine those numbers are going to take a big hit now that the Ascent is on the market though.

I absolutely believe if Audi was to launch the A4 or A6 Avant in the US, with a price well below the Q5, they would sell a decent number of them. But they wouldn’t. They would price it at or above the Q5 and nobody would ever buy it. It’s infuriating.


#96

Don’t they already do that with the Allroad?


#97

Yep Allroad is more expensive than the Q5. Same thing with BMW 3 wagon and X1. Even though the wagon is a much better car than the X1, interior quality in the X1 is junk compared to the wagon.


#98

But how could they price an A4 or an A6 Avant much below an Q5? The A4 uses the same chassis, engine, has a similar level of fit/finish, etc. So it seems that pricing an A4 Avant at the same price would be more realistic. And we all know most Americans aren’t going to buy a wagon when they can get a somewhat similarly sized SUV at the same price.

And MB, BMW, Audi, and Volvo used to offers lots of wagons for sale. There used to be a C wagon (which no one bought), and 3- and 5-series wagons (very few buyers for the 5), an A4 Avant (few buyers), and an A6 Allroad (few buyers), and a multitude of Volvo wagons. There still ARE a multitude of Volvo wagons, but there’s a reason that the V90 is special order only. It’s b/c no one bought them when they were available but buy quite a few XC60s and -90s, so why bother having a wagon on the lot at all? The wagons function more as their version of a halo car than anything else. And, hell, the monstrosity of the 5-series GT outsold the 5-series wagon.

The problem isn’t the manufacturers. They’re just selling what people will buy. And since so few people were buying wagons, why not make the only ones available here very expensive for the highest possible profit margin?


#99

wagons are the best of both worlds, sedan handling with SUV practicality which I favor over high driving position.


#100

We’ve seen what happens when manufacturers restructure their lineups to reduce complication and diversity. We are about to see it again as American auto makers focus solely on electrics and SUVs.