Station wagons were at one point a fixture on North American highways. Who doesn’t remember sitting in the back of the wagon – most likely unbuckled – with the rear glass lowered so you could breath in the exhaust?
Wagons are making a comeback and with good reason. They often offer just as much or more usable room as an SUV and provide a car-like ride and decent fuel economy. Here are the top ten modern wagons.
10. Mazda6 Wagon
The Mazda6 Wagon only stuck around in Canada for about three years from 2005 to 2007 and was available with a five-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The added weight took away a little bit of pep from the Mazda6’s power but it had lots of room in the back and had a handsome stance with the feel of much more expensive vehicles.
9. Hyundai Elantra Touring
Pitted against smaller crossover vehicles like the Toyota Matrix, the Hyundai Elantra Touring was more wagon that crossover thanks to its generous boot compared that allowed you to pack it with lots of gear. Because Hyundai classifies it as a compact it had a lower starting price than other wagons in this group making for good value.
8. Volvo XC60
Built on a reputation for being the safest vehicles on the road, the Volvo XC60 might be the right fit for those looking for a better sense of security behind the wheel. Introduced to North America in 2009 as a 2010 model, Volvo has sold between 15,000 and 20,000 of them each year of production here leading to decent inventory in the used market.
7. Acura ZDX
Is it a premium crossover? Is it an expensive wagon? Either way in this category it has one of the most unique designs. The design leads to ample storage in the wagon area but also means access to the rear seats is a touch difficult.
6. Subaru Outback
There may not be a better wagon in the bunch for trips to the cottage every weekend. The Outback has always been a wagon since its introduction in 1994 and combined with Subaru’s symmetrical all wheel drive and rugged interior there really isn’t a better option for throwing gear into the back and just going.
5. Mercedes E-Class Wagon
There are a handful of luxury automakers who offer wagons but none match the Mercedes E-Class Wagon for refinement and luxury. From the stitched dashboard available on later models through the finishes used throughout the cabin there isn’t much more to ask for if you are looking for a premium vehicle with room for a couple of hockey bags and a dog crate in the back.
4. Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
Cadillac did itself a huge favour when it introduced the CTS. It helped put the brand back on the map. The CTS Sport Wagon fills the void for drivers who wanted the sporty and nimble driving experience of the CTS but needed more room for stuff. There is 720 litres of room in the wagon and an available and easy to use roof rail system makes loading the CTS Sport Wagon up a breeze.
3. BMW 328i xDrive
As daily drivers go in the luxe category, the BMW 328i xDrive makes a strong case for being the top pick. If you’ve opted for a wagon there’s a strong chance you will want to use the wagon part frequently and late model 328i’s have a feature that allows you to swipe your foot under the trunk area and the rear lift gate opens. Convenient for times your hands are full of groceries or kids.
2. Dodge Magnum
The realities of the 2000s for Chrysler meant a few spectacular but low volume vehicles met their demise too early. The Dodge Magnum was a kick-butt wagon with attitude, power and room to spare. It’s the only wagon of the bunch you could actually imagine packing full with the materials for your weekend DIY project.
1. Audi A6 Avant Quattro Wagon
The Audi A6 Avant Quattro Wagon combines the perfect balance of ride, handling, options and one the used market, price. The back seat is a touch snug but that will be the least of your surprises when you look in the rear view mirror and are reminded you’re driving a wagon. The A6 Avant feels like a two door sports coupe. Driving it empty is to have the wagon do exactly what your hands tell the wheel to do. Load it up and take it skiing and the all wheel drive never lets you down.