Hagerty.com

Station wagons aren’t going down without a fight


#1

Looks like station wagons aren’t dead after all. In fact, they’re niche for the rich.

While SUVs are crushing sedans and compacts, U.S. buyers purchased 212,000 new station wagons last year, a 29-percent jump in five years, according to Edmunds. And since most of those new wagons are made by luxury brands (think Jaguar XF S, Volvo V90, Volvo V60, , and Buick Regal TourX), their buyers are more affluent and better educated than SUV buyers.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/01/07/station-wagon-wealthy-buyers

#2

I’ve got a 55 Chevy wagon . I hope the value goes way up . I’ve been working and improving on it for about 3 years . It is just about sorted .


#3

Since the 1970s I suspected that accepting the job of program manager for a new station wagon derivative is the kissss of death in Detroit. Then I spent a lot of time in Germany and some neighbors. On the Autobahn muscular wagons rule the left lane. It’s because they take driving, handling and aerodynamics much more seriously there. Then recently Cadillac really surprised and impressed me with their CTS-V. Now that sports wagon is dead. But Buick is trying to now sell a wagon that looks like they copied my Volvo V60. It seems to me American consumers don’t put enough effort into analyzing the choices and their needs. It always amazes me how few pick up trucks look like they are working. BTW, our other daily driver is a Mini Cooper S. And my collection recently went from seven to a more rational four, an E-type Coupe, a Corvair Corsa Coupe, and two versions of 1958 Alfa Romeo Giuliettas. Parting thought - adopting the British name “estate” could help Detroit sell wagons.


#4

I’ve always likes wagons, and when in the Sixties (and I was in my twenties) I discovered small English ones I was hooked, and got a nice Hillman Husky. This was in Alaska, where I’d returned after serving there in the Air Force. A few years after that, several months before heading to California, I bought a beaten-up (though only four years old!) Austin Mini Countryman for $275. We barged this to Seattle, drove down to the Bay area, and in the course of not quite five years drove it up and down the coast, then down to SoCal and out to Nashville. In '82 it went to some people in Kentucky as a family resto project.

A '60 Falcon and two Alfa sedans later we were here in Pasadena CA, where our Milano began showing the wear of being THE car, and we got a 2001 Subaru Forester. You might agree with the factory in calling it an SUV, but you’re both wrong: It is a small station wagon. The newer ones have gotten too big for our taste – they ARE SUVs, and Consumer Reports said of them, “The Forester is not an agile vehicle …” – but ours is agile enough to very nearly rival its Milanese stable-mate when it comes to backroad shenanigans. Which is saying a lot.

Next on the agenda … I am waiting for a nice early-'60s Hillman Husky to show up on one of the auction lists. I’m not holding my breath, knowing most of their shortcomings (like very fragile differentials, which I remember too well) and the cheapness for which they sold for too long. But I also know how to fiddle with them now, and remember how sweet mine was to drive.


#5

I own a lil’ wagon, nothing fancy, really not. In 2009, I needed an economical commercial vehicle for my my new pre-retirement occupation : building maintenance and repairs, handyman really. Quite many tools to haul. I asked my friend,a pro mechanics, what about a cheap but solid Caravan, 4 to 6 years od base model. “Don’t touch that. Big problems, rust buckets. Have look for a nice Ford Focus Wagon, he said !” Herrr, you’re kidding right ?
He was not. Test drove a couple before finding a very well maintained, still on Ford’s optionnal long term full warranty. No big risks. Bought it for 5k$.
This little beast is unkillable, tow my small material getting trailer, strong roof rack (plywood sheets). Huge cargo capacity for it’s size, really cheap on gas. I LOVE IT !
Now that I’m fully retired, I dont really need it but I can’t decide to sell it. Market value is low but, hey, it’s 100% rust free, apart from a new battery and brake pads, 0 repairs ! The utility of this thing is awesome.
I love wagons now. If Mazda was building it’s Mazda6 Wagon, I’d buy one on the spot.
PS I hate SUVs too. Big, clumsy, guzzlers.