Are Station Wagons Making a Comeback in the United States? Small Cars Certainly Aren’t
This is the answer to your dilemma of choosing between a hatch or an SUVby Sidd Dhimaan, on
Sedans are driving towards extinction and SUVs are the supposed heirs to the throne; but, what about wagons? These long, not-so-pretty vehicles actually make for a perfect family car and are quite practical as a daily commuter as well. In Europe, wagons sell in huge numbers, but that’s not the case here in the U.S. Even though all sizes of SUVs are dominating the market and killing competition, wagons are in a league of their own and seem to be on a come up.
Wagon Sales Are Expected To Rise In The Future
It’s time these slaves, who expect nothing from the owner, get some prominence. And, statistically speaking, people have started recognizing them as worthy, reliable commuters. According to Edmunds, 212,000 brand-new station wagons were sold in the U.S.; it was actually a down year.
In 2017, station wagon sales were at a five-year high of 237,600 units, and in 2016, that number was at 219,000
However, it is 29-percent more than what they did five years earlier. Still, they constitute just two-percent of the market share. Even though the numbers don’t reflect it, the wagon segment is one of the fastest-growing segments lately.
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To think of it, wagons are the perfect blend of SUVs and hatches. Previously, wagons were considered to be luggage haulers and a vehicle chosen out of need; not want.
But with wagons like the BMW 3 Series Wagon and the Audi A4 Allroad entering the fray, the whole wagon segment has upped its game.
They are now strong, powerful, and all the more practical. Since they’re ‘down to earth,’ they even handle better. Karl Brauer, the executive publisher for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, said, “The winner in the death of the car is the station wagon. You’ve got the car on one end of the spectrum and the SUV on the other; the wagon sits right in between those two.”
They Will Be Back Again
For some reason, most of the automakers don’t see the States as a wagon-loving nation. Volvo, for instance, sells them only on a special-order basis. BMW is ditching wagons here altogether. But Buick thinks differently. Sam Russel, Buick’s Marketing Director, told Bloomberg, "There’s a group of consumers who are greatly interested in the versatility and capability of an SUV."
To give where credit is due, automakers did try to tap into this niche segment to cater to the occasional buyer who would want nothing but a wagon. It was not just the three Germans who rolled out wagons form their stables; Volvo brought in the successor of its claim-to-fame back in the 80s – the V90 – in 2016, Buick experimented with the Regal TourX the same year, Volkswagen introduced the Golf SportWagen a year before that. In 2017, Jaguar and Porsche tried to take a share of the small pie with the XF Sportback and Panamera respectively.
Blessing In Disguise For Buick
Although BMW is pulling the plug on its 3 Series wagon here in the U.S., Porsche, Volvo, and Jaguar are still trying to find their feet in this shallow pool. Apparently, Buick has already benefited from BMW’s walk-out as the company is already conquesting some BMW buyers.
Half of Regal customers opt for TourX, and its popularity has been growing steadily in the last year.
On a different note, Buick introduced this to change its image of serving to aged people with sober cars - it worked well for them.
Indeed, TourX sales have increased steadily in the 12 months it’s been in dealerships.
Who Said Wagons Are Lousy?
There are some wagons that have changed the way people look at this segment. One of them is the Ferrari GTC4Lusso.
This is the most powerful wagon you can find on the planet, and it is everything you ever wanted in a Ferrari.
It comes packed with a 6.3-liter, V-12 engine that churns out 680 ponies. Unlike other Ferraris, this one actually has oodles of space – 28 cubic-feet inside the cabin, to be specific.
Our second pick would be the ultimate all-rounder from the three-star point’s stable – the E-Class Wagon. If you want luxury with practicality, this should be your choice. Other than being a comfortable urban commuter, you can fulfill your adrenalin rush desires as well. This long vehicle can sprint to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Not enough?
Then go for the AMG version that produces 603 horses, and it will cover the same distance in 3.4 seconds – same as the Ferrari GTC4Lusso.
Drop the seats down, and you will have 64 cubic feet of cargo space available at your disposal. Should we sell this to you anymore?
Do you think wagon sales will pick up pace if they are launched in fully electric form? Let us know you thoughts in the comments section below.
Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon.
Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari GTC4Lusso.
Read our full review on the 2018 Buick Regal TourX.
Read our full review on the 2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro.