The Coolest Cars Right Now Are Wagons


#101

Self-fulfilling prophecy. So long as Manufacturers offered wagons, people actually bought more of them. It’s a well known issue. If they aren’t available on the lot to be bought, then of course they won’t sell any.

The problem with this and the story of “these cars don’t sell, so we don’t offer them” business from manufacturers is that they are beholden to share holders. If they don’t show that a product is not only profitable, but also GROWING year after year, quarter after quarter, then they are seen as a failure regardless of profit. This is not specific to the auto industry and you can see this in other industries.

The cars were always profitable, they just didn’t see the unsustainable growth that SUVs/Crossovers/Pickups are enjoying right now. So what should manufacturers do? Why, limit their portfolio to trucks only, of course!


#102

It is not as simple as “wagons handle better than SUVs.” The Stelvio outhandles a Regal or V90, for example. The engineers have to actually make the wagon handle well.

You want a BMW wagon? Get an X2. It is only 3 inches taller than the 330 xdrive and 2 inches over an E63 wagon. Cargo space is actually OK (not great) when you remove the rear compartment cover. I’d really love it if they’d offer a sportier model X2. I actually think the interior is nicer than my 330.


#103

This definitely goes without saying, but yes; a vehicle must be engineered for performance if we expect it to be sporty. With that said, I think with similar equipment and tuning, a wagon has more room to be sportier than crossover that shares its underpinnings. All things being equal, physics will win out.


#104

Is there just more profit in SUVs? That’s why manufacturers push them so aggressively? - I just can’t imagine there is more profit in engineering a new completely new vehicle vs just changing some body panels switching a sedan to a wagon (It’s admittedly a bit more complicated but not much more?)

I guess the real answer is that most modern ‘suv’s’ are indeed actually just wagons but a bit raised up. So they mostly share all the components with their car brethren and so it’s perfectly acceptable to charge at least $6k more for a Q5 over an A4 and for Audi to sit back and count their money.


#105

It’s all supply and demand. SUV’s are what people want. Car sales are dwindling. I personally am going to need a 7-passenger vehicle and have no interest in an SUV. I’m contemplating getting a used Tesla Model S with jumper seats in the back.


#106

I seriously question the practicality of the jump seats. I always thought they were just “cool” to use every now and then.

Regardless, I understand that there’s more market demand for SUVs and Crossovers right now, but the real reason they’re being pushed I fear has more to do with individual mark up and profit margins over sedans and coupes. The market is changing and to sit here and say “people will ONLY ever want SUVs and Crossovers, so let’s switch exclusively to their development” I think is a fallacy.

The market swings in several directions and I think there will always be a market for diversity and variation in the lineup, just some of the lineup will usually be more profitable then others. Right now, it’s SUVs and Crossovers.

I also don’t understand this concept of “commanding view of the road.” Then again, I’m 6’5".


#107

I don’t think I agree. I don’t think SUV’s are being “pushed”. I think they are being “pulled” by the consumer. If there is a large markup and the SUV’s are being pushed because of it, then consumers would move towards more affordable vehicles. It’s all demand.

This isn’t just a temporary thing either. GM and Ford are shuttering their car divisions almost completely. Honda sold 180,000 fewer Accords and Civic’s in 2018 than they did in 2017. People just don’t want cars. Gas prices can affect this somewhat as we saw when prices peaked, but SUV’s are here to stay (in the US). I’m sure there will always be a market for cars, but options will continue to thin.


#108

You don’t think marketing focusing on SUVs/Crossovers and GM and Ford shuttering their car divisions isn’t a push for SUVs/Crossovers?

I understand consumers are paying premiums for their commanding seating position of the road, but completely shuttering car divisions tells me there’s definitely a push for SUVs and Crossovers.

It’s an ouroboros of of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A portion of the market still wants sedans/wagons/coupes and not just stupid rich people willing to drop six figures on a car, either. Us plebes down here at the bottom of the totem pole would like a 250+ hp wagon in manual as well. As a matter of a fact, Subaru WRX wagons go for premiums on the used car market. “You should have bought them when they were sold new.” I’ll hear you rebuttling, but when they were new I didn’t have the money for them and now that I do, they aren’t offered.

So I buy used. Because that’s the only place I can find what I want. I still go online every now and then to see how much S4/S5s with manual go for. Dreaming that one day, maybe, there may be a manual S5 Sportback (there never will be).

The point is, there is definitely a market there, but when you’re as large as Ford and GM; it costs money just to have the assembly line open and it’s not enough just to see a profit. These are publicly traded companies and investors care more about growth. They want to know their investment will make more money in the future even though they can’t know the future.


#109

The bit that I don’t really understand….we know consumers have a big preference for SUV and crossovers right now. Most people are saying space and the improved driving position. Fair enough. I’ve got a Highlander. I’d probably agree.

Sedan sales are way down. So manufacturers respond to this by….making sedans EVEN LOWER than before. The new Camry and Accord are both quite a bit lower than the previous gens and it seems to be the way. So manufacturers are listening to what consumers want and basically providing them with no alternative but to get into a Rav 4 or CRV which just happens to have better profit margins. How convenient.


#110

This is what I’m trying to say… yes, SUVs and Crossovers have higher sales and more growth, I get that. They also have higher profit margins.

So they use the sliding sedan sales as justification for completely voiding the market of sedans? “Man, there’s just no growth in this sector; we should just stop providing an alternative to a product.” The whole point of consumerism is to have alternatives and options, not limit those options.


#111

It’s coming. X2 M35i: 302hp, 332tq should be a nice start.


#112

cool. hopefully they make it handle better, too. I’ll be holding my breath. :wink:


#113

That used to not be the case with the old E84 X1, but the new one (based off the Mini) is still not completely terrible, but leagues behind the 3 series wagon.


#114

Car companies don’t give a crap about anything but making money (like most companies). If they can make money on cars they will continue to sell them. GM and Ford have deemed the profits on cars are not worth the investment and have stopped making all, but a few cars. Sure, if the market changes the car companies will change to meet demands. Look at the midsize pickup market. There were 4 or 5 trucks in the 90’s and then they all went away except for the Tacoma and Frontier (as far as I know). Now everyone is making a small pickup, Chevy, GMC, Toyota, Nissan, Ford, and now a new Jeep. They are selling extremely well now.

To be honest, I don’t think the car market will ever get back. Sure, the mainstream ones will probably stick around even with lower sales and a few niche ones if there is enough money to be made, but variety in general will continue to dwindle. I love cars and hate driving around a hulking SUV, but unfortunately this is where the market is heading.


#115

Yup. I would like to keep buying manual transmission wagons. Too bad manufacturers don’t offer new ones.


#116

They don’t offer it because there are only 500 people who wants them, the same people who post in every forum about how they want a manual wagon.


#117

I saw a Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo in the car detailing portion of our carwash. It was ehh.

But I do like the 3-series wagon and Jag XF Sportbrake. The British term for SportBrake is ShootingBrake, which I was like come on jag…name it ShootingBrake!


#118

Good so they will go up in value or continue to plummet like they have in the past?


#119

Yup, those same 500 people would continue to buy them.

Variation is not a bad thing. It’s just not a money making thing.


#120

Take Volvo, for example, why are S90 lease deals so much better than V90/V90CC? Supposedly, both are slow sellers compared to CUV/SUV’s. Actually both V90 wagons are probably selling in lower numbers, because of the lack of offers. I haven’t seen any V90s at S90 precise.