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stasisLAX
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The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:28 am

After the death of the Dodge Magnum in the American market, there has not been a "traditional" station wagon offered by a domestic automaker as numerous cross-over-vehicles (known as CUVs) have flooded the market with vehicles that are smaller than traditional SUVs, taller than the traditional stations, and offering all-wheel drive. Seemingly, the CUV is now suffering from "image problems" similiar to the image held by mini-vans (soccer mom-mobiles, suburban mommie-mobiles, there are numerous unflattering names). Some of these CUVs are huge (the Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia) - as large as a full-sized traditional SUV like the Yukon or Tahoe, but being on a unit body instead of a rugged body-on-frame construction, the CUVs are usually lighter weight than their truck-based counterparts.

2014 Opel Insignia / Buick Regal Wagon


Ford Mondeo/Fusion Wagon


Well, in an effort to capture younger, more "hip", more urban, upwardly mobile buyers that have been buying the VW Sportwagen or the Volvo XC-series tall wagons - GM is going to market a Buick Regal station wagon for the 2014 model year according to the automotive press, and the press has now definitely captured test mules of this new Buick (and definitely NOT a Opel Insignia!!) being hot weather tested in the Mojave Desert. In response, it is now believed that Ford will market the European market Mondeo station wagon (official photos above) as a Fusion in the USA, to battle the upcoming Regal station wagon. Word is that Chevrolet could also "easily" market a station wagon version of its Cruze sedan here - GM had previously said that it has absolutely no plans to sell the European/Asian market Cruze wagon in America, but GM also stated that they had no absolutely no plans to sell the diesel-engined Cruze here, which they have now announced that Chevy will now sell in North America in 2013. These wagon models are all fuel-efficient (helps with the federal government's CAFE standards) and the engineering and tooling is already "baked in" so there are minimal costs for these variants.

I don't know about the rest of the motorheads, but I think the idea of 21st century Buick and Ford station wagons is uber-cool!!

Source and more photos: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1...-buick-regal-sport-wagon-spy-shots
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seb146
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:14 am

meh...

I am one guy who likes road trips with my partner. I am going for a VW Golf. Good gas mileage and reliability. Around here, I am seeing more and more small cars and not so many road warriors. These ones don't impress me much.
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flymia
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:20 am

If I ever drove an American Station Wagon it would not doubt be this one:
http://image.automobilemag.com/f/30508682+w750+st0/2011-cadillac-CTS-V-wagon-black-diamond-edition-front-three-quarter.jpg

I do like the style of both of those two also though.
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Superfly
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:25 am

Any effort to bring back the station wagon is a noble effort I fully support, even if it's these little compacts shown above.
The current Ford Flex is a decent tell station wagon and I the discontinued Chrysler Pacifica was a great wagon alternative.
The best thing about the Ford Flex is that it's boxy and has available woodgrain side panels.  
Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
After the death of the Dodge Magnum in the American market, there has not been a "traditional" station wagon offered


Daimler/Chrysler did a terrible job marketing that vehicle. It's first model year, it was shown in the back of the brochure it's debut model year.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 1):
I am seeing more and more small cars and not so many road warriors. These ones don't impress me much.



The above cars are small cars.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Max Q
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:29 am

Great idea, the station wagon died a premature death over here with the endless procession of SUV's



Bring them back and I'd like to buy one, especially a RWD or AWD version.
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af773atmsp
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:30 am

I've been hoping station wagons would catch back on in the American market. I wonder if there would be a way to have a third row seating configuration in these wagons? Similar to the third row bench seats in the older Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable wagons.
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QFA380
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:47 am

I actually quite like our local wagon, the Commodore Sportwagon. Packing a 6.0L V8, they look good on the road too. Good alternative to getting a SUV. I think a fair few people 'need' the space but don't really want a massive car, these are a good compromise although they're fairly long for your typical SWPL suburbanites.

 
Superfly
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:48 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
If I ever drove an American Station Wagon it would not doubt be this one:

I'm partial to the Mercury Colony Park.

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/1974MercuryColonyPark.jpg

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 5):
I wonder if there would be a way to have a third row seating configuration in these wagons? Similar to the third row bench seats in the older Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable wagons.

The older Ford Country Squire and Mercury Colony Park offered that along with all the other full-size GM and Chrysler wagons.


[Edited 2012-09-26 22:50:15]
Bring back the Concorde
 
srbmod
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:35 am

The Dodge Magnum is supposedly coming back in 2014 so that it can be sold in Europe as a Lancia/Chrysler. They sold the Magnum in Europe (and a few other places) as the Chrysler 300 Touring (Built in Austria by Magna Steyr.) and presumably in the European countries in which the Chrysler brand was retained over Lancia, it would be sold as that. By 2014, there is supposed to be a new Chrysler 300/Lancia Thema that shares a platform with the Alfa Romeo 169 and Maserati Quattroporte.

One of the issues with the Magnum was bad timing. One of the knocks on it was the fuel economy but also it started to lose sales after the first few years and was one of four models discontinued when Chrysler was restructuring. Dodge essentially replaced it (as well as the short wheelbase Caravan) with the Journey.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):
Great idea, the station wagon died a premature death over here with the endless procession of SUV's

I think the minivan is what killed the station wagon and the SUV/CUV has killed the minivan.
 
Superfly
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:28 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 8):
By 2014, there is supposed to be a new Chrysler 300/Lancia Thema that shares a platform with the Alfa Romeo 169 and Maserati Quattroporte.



Sounds like good news. I hope the American versions will have the Maserati interior or bring back Corinthian leather.
Would be even better if Chrysler makes their version of the Dodge Challenger as a convertible with Maserati interior and call it the Lebaron or TC....
Bring back the Concorde
 
comorin
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:29 am

Greetings, Motorheads : Is the Merc 'R' class considered a station wagon? Anybody ridden in one?

Thanks!

 
PHLBOS
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:33 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
After the death of the Dodge Magnum in the American market, there has not been a "traditional" station wagon offered

Daimler/Chrysler did a terrible job marketing that vehicle. It's first model year, it was shown in the back of the brochure it's debut model year.

   Sadly, Ford has been giving its Flex similar attention (or lack there of) even despite the 2013 facelift it received.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 8):
One of the issues with the Magnum was bad timing. One of the knocks on it was the fuel economy but also it started to lose sales after the first few years and was one of four models discontinued when Chrysler was restructuring.

That plus the fact that it was poorly marketed (per Superfly's earlier comment) and poorly conceived spacewise.

Sure it was RWD-based, had an available V8 and sat on a long 120" wheelbase; but it lacked the one thing full-size station wagons were known for... space. Due to the vehicle being too short and too narrow; its cargo capacity wasn't that much more than a compact Focus wagon. Epic Fail/Deal-breaker IMHO.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
The best thing about the Ford Flex is that it's boxy and has available woodgrain side panels.

Available Aftermarket woodgrain side panels. 
Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
In response, it is now believed that Ford will market the European market Mondeo station wagon (official photos above) as a Fusion in the USA

I'm surprised that, for starters, that Ford hasn't started offering its new Focus wagon to the U.S. market. IIRC, the Focus wagon is available in the Canadian market.
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JJJ
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:34 am

I'm currently driving a SW Mondeo.

Still too big for my taste (try parking one on some of the older parkings in some cities) with an awful turning circle but you can't deny it has tons of space to spare while still handling like a proper car and not a van.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:36 am

Subaru Legacy has sold more as a station wagon in most markets than as a sedan.
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Superfly
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:47 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 11):
Available Aftermarket woodgrain side panels.



True but sanctioned by Ford.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 11):
Due to the vehicle being too short and too narrow; its cargo capacity wasn't that much more than a compact Focus wagon. Epic Fail/Deal-breaker IMHO.


They need to lower the belt-line and raise the roof a bit over the cargo bay. I didn't like the chop-shop roof-line appearance. I wish the Imperial had went in to production because it was the only car in this series that didn't have the low roof-line.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Kiwirob
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:03 pm

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
GM is going to market a Buick Regal station wagon for the 2014 model year according to the automotive press, and the press has now definitely captured test mules of this new Buick (and definitely NOT a Opel Insignia!!) being hot weather tested in the Mojave Desert.

How can they say definitely NOT a Opel Insignia, because that's what a Buick Regalm is a badge engineered Insignia.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 6):
I actually quite like our local wagon, the Commodore Sportwagon.

Holden lost a lot of fleet sales with the VE Sportwagon, it's a lot smaller than the VZ Wagon.

Here in Norway wagon sales would be 50/50 with sedans for most models and in some cases like the A4, 3 Series wagons might even make the majority of sales, Volvo V70's massivley outnumber sales of the S80 sedan, as do V60 to the S60. The same would also be try in Sweden and Denmark from my observations.
 
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mad99
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
Ford Country Squire

I wonder if that would pass the pedestrian crash test.

I guess it depends on if your driving or not...if you are then just wash the blood off so yes a pass.
 
rfields5421
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:07 pm

We passed a old Buick station wagon the other day - my 10 year old grandson said "That looks like a cool kind of car to have"

I told him that his mother's mini-van was just a grown up version of a station wagon.
 
Stealthz
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:25 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
Holden lost a lot of fleet sales with the VE Sportwagon,

Not sure though where they lost them to.. there is precious little else in the Aus/NZ domestic wagon market, although it seems there are more RAV4/Xtrail/CRV type vehicles in company fleets,especcially with companys that use the branding of fleet vehicles as a marketing exercise.
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flymia
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:17 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 10):
Greetings, Motorheads : Is the Merc 'R' class considered a station wagon? Anybody ridden in one?


My family had one when it first came out got a crazy good lease deal because they wanted them on the road. Its a big car and not the best looking thing in the road but it was extremely comfortable and drove fairly well for such a large odd shaped thing.
Check out its handling in this high speed chase from Miami: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_gnlotGYvI&feature=related

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
I'm partial to the Mercury Colony Park.


Well I do remember being driven to school in my friend's father wagon: One of these. And it was probably around 8-10 years old even then.
http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/kj/110828/787r1/06046kd_20.jpeg
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Newark727
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:26 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):

Holy moly, those things are big enough to live in.

Anyway it's interesting. It seems that wagons are slowly clawing their way back, but not the way they used to be, as square-rigged but extremely functional and capacious sedan derivatives, but as style statements of their own, as the car-based utility now does a lot of the former job. Just look at the Cadillac CTS wagon- it's rockin' for sure, but the trunk looks only marginally bigger than that of the sedan because of the rakish sweep of the rear glass.
 
qf002
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:53 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 18):
Not sure though where they lost them to..

SUV's -- specifically the Ford Territory...
 
mham001
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:55 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
The above cars are small cars.

The Fusion is a in the Midsize class.
 
comorin
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:00 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 19):
Check out its handling in this high speed chase from Miam

Amazing! thanks for posting. Now the R class now has Gansta cred...I want me one!
 
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Kaphias
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 13):
Subaru Legacy has sold more as a station wagon in most markets than as a sedan.

One of the best wagons ever made, I believe... proud to own one. AWD, supreme reliability, and you can sleep comfortably in the back. Couldn't ask for much more, except for power. One day I'd like to take a 1997/2005 version and put a WRX STI engine in.
I'm also a fan of the Magnum, I know they did an SRT-8 model but I'd like to see if one could cram a Viper engine in. Would be a good competitor to that sweet Hennessy machine!
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Revelation
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:35 pm

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Seemingly, the CUV is now suffering from "image problems" similiar to the image held by mini-vans (soccer mom-mobiles, suburban mommie-mobiles, there are numerous unflattering names). Some of these CUVs are huge (the Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia) - as large as a full-sized traditional SUV like the Yukon or Tahoe, but being on a unit body instead of a rugged body-on-frame construction, the CUVs are usually lighter weight than their truck-based counterparts.

IMHO totally predictable cycle. Minivans are dull people haulers with unibodies. Pre-00s vintage SUVs are body-on-frame trucks with truck features such as 4WD, yet driveable enough so that mommie and daddie can both enjoy them. Sales shift to SUVs. Vendors want to find a way to make more money, and EPA rules are such that selling a lot of heavier vehicles is a drag on the bottom line. It's easier to have common parts between cars and trucks, thus the CUV, which isn't really a cross-over, it's a car with a taller body, some done better, some done worse. CUVs lose their uniqueness, fall into the minivan role of dull people haulers with unibodies, customers are bored.

Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
If I ever drove an American Station Wagon it would not doubt be this one:

It looks like a hearse to me, so the obvious rejoinder is "I *would* be caught dead in one!".

Say, we haven't had a hearse thread in a while... What vehicles are being used for the "last ride" these days?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Any effort to bring back the station wagon is a noble effort I fully support

All is right with the world: Someone starts a station wagon thread, 'Fly pulls out the wonderful photos of 70s station wagons, heaven on earth!
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Flighty
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:54 pm

Quoting mad99 (Reply 16):
I guess it depends on if your driving or not...if you are then just wash the blood off so yes a pass.

Excellent pedestrian viscosity on those old behemoths!

I favor wagons over SUVs any day. Give me the lowest fuel burn and the best vehicle. Something like 328i gas wagon would work well.
 
srbmod
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:58 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 11):
That plus the fact that it was poorly marketed (per Superfly's earlier comment) and poorly conceived spacewise.

The third row seating left a lot to be desired if you were over 5'9". I remember a coworker at my last job rented one when they first came out and I sat in that last row and there was maybe an inch at best between the top of my head and the headliner. That angled roof is a design trend that followed into the crossover market and even the new Jeep Liberkee (Some sites are referring to the next generation Cherokee/Liberty as Liberkee as Jeep is rumored to be settling on one name for the vehicle worldwide.) is being moved in that direction.

The more I think about it, if they do revive the Magnum design, they ought to sell it here in North America as the Chrysler 300 Touring as I think the 300 styling just looks better as a wagon than something similar to the Charger (which would be the likely vehicle styling used on a Dodge Magnum.). The conceptual renderings of a possible new version would look more stylish as a Chrysler and maybe also have an SRT version. A thought I had was to pull out the third row seating, move the second row back 6-8 inches and offer it up as a livery vehicle. Chrysler is supposedly dropping the Town & Country as a minivan (Leaving the minivan segment to Dodge.) and relaunching it as a crossover and early leaked renderings look a lot like the old Pacifica.
 
Newark727
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:21 pm

Quoting Kaphias (Reply 24):
One day I'd like to take a 1997/2005 version and put a WRX STI engine in.

There used to be some Japan-only super-Legacies with weird appellations on their names that did indeed throw in much more sporty engines than the ones offered in most markets. I don't know the specifics though.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 11):
That plus the fact that it was poorly marketed (per Superfly's earlier comment) and poorly conceived spacewise.

Sure it was RWD-based, had an available V8 and sat on a long 120" wheelbase; but it lacked the one thing full-size station wagons were known for... space. Due to the vehicle being too short and too narrow; its cargo capacity wasn't that much more than a compact Focus wagon. Epic Fail/Deal-breaker IMHO.

Back when the Magnum was new/newish (around 2005) my family was in the market for a good all-around road trip wagon and we sat in one at a Dodge dealer. The cut-and-shut roof, gun-slit window look is acceptable for a sedan like its Chrysler 300 stablemate, but for a wagon it creates a lot of problems for visibility (you have more metal to have to see around but the windows are just as tiny) and utility (it's harder to carry a tall object or person.) The Magnum specifically also had the problem of the fairly raked rear glass which adds style points but changes the dimensions of the tailgate opening and does weird things to the shape of the cargo area as a whole. Yes, people laugh at the unapologetically squared-off tails of the early-90s Camry and Accord wagons as well as the typical Volvo theme (we ended up with a V70R which my father put 100,000+ miles on) but they're made that way for a reason. Although in absolute fairness I seem to remember 2005's Focus wagon having a pretty big load space for something its size at least in cubic feet, though I don't remember what it was like in the metal.
 
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Aesma
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:53 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
Here in Norway wagon sales would be 50/50 with sedans for most models and in some cases like the A4, 3 Series wagons might even make the majority of sales, Volvo V70's massivley outnumber sales of the S80 sedan, as do V60 to the S60. The same would also be try in Sweden and Denmark from my observations.

Here any car will have a wagon version and sell, even small hatchbacks like the Peugeot 207 and Renault Clio.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 21):
SUV's -- specifically the Ford Territory...

It's a CUV rather.
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B777LRF
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:53 pm

I've been driving a BMW 530d Touring for a couple of years now. Wife wanted for an X5 or ML, I put foot down. She whinged, she pleaded, she damn near almost cried, but somehow I managed to keep the foot down.

When she drives the 5 around and comments on someone driving an X5/ML/Cayenne, where it used to be "I want one" it's now "tosser". For she too has seen the light of far, far, better handling qualities, a much lower and convenient loading height, all the space you need and more, orders of magnitude easier to park (hasn't stopped her from scratching the front corners, of course), more speed and, not least, a far lower fuel bill.

I've always maintained SUVs are for tossers, unless you absolutely must tow something the size of a house, and live on an unpaved and uncleared road with a 15% gradient in an area prone to year-round white winters. Wagons are really, really, big in Western Europe. Move towards the east, however, and the attraction fades the further you go. Strangely enough a SUV is socially acceptable and purveys the correct image in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, whereas a wagon is seen more or less as a delivery van which no self-respecting person will buy as a private vehicle.
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zippyjet
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:46 pm

I can't believe I'm saying this but that Ford Mondeo wagon isn't half bad looking. Now, if they could put wood or imitation wood panneling on it's side and revive the Country Squire!
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
Flighty
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:09 am

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 30):
trangely enough a SUV is socially acceptable and purveys the correct image in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, whereas a wagon is seen more or less as a delivery van which no self-respecting person will buy as a private vehicle.

It all depends on duty cycle. SUV and pickup trucks make sense for those very, very few people who (as you say) do heavy off-roading and towing of essential, heavy equipment.

We have an XC70 around that can tow a fairly large boat (3000 lbs). It's no gas-saving vehicle (4300 lbs unloaded, 5000 loaded). The rig overall weighs 8,000 lbs. The XC70 can also handle more off-roading than all but 0.01% of SUVs _ever_ encounter in their service lives.

This leads us to a suggestion that 99.99% of SUVs are purchased not for any capability of any kind, but for the same reason sheep say "baaah" with a glassy, idiotic look in their eyes. And who knows why that is.
 
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Aesma
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:03 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 31):
I can't believe I'm saying this but that Ford Mondeo wagon isn't half bad looking. Now, if they could put wood or imitation wood panneling on it's side and revive the Country Squire!

Can someone explain the attraction of imitation wood panels to me ?
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:23 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 19):
Well I do remember being driven to school in my friend's father wagon: One of these. And it was probably around 8-10 years old even then.

We had something like that. Two of them, in fact. Oldsmobiles, IIRC. We had a brown one that was gasoline-powered and one that took diesel. Made that classic diesel clatter, too.
-Doc Lightning-

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BMI727
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:48 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Well, in an effort to capture younger, more "hip", more urban, upwardly mobile buyers that have been buying the VW Sportwagen or the Volvo XC-series tall wagons - GM is going to market a Buick Regal station wagon for the 2014 model year according to the automotive press, and the press has now definitely captured test mules of this new Buick (and definitely NOT a Opel Insignia!!) being hot weather tested in the Mojave Desert. In response, it is now believed that Ford will market the European market Mondeo station wagon (official photos above) as a Fusion in the USA, to battle the upcoming Regal station wagon.

It makes sense. The increase of "world car" type designs makes it easier to simply import wagons from other markets that can survive with fewer sales.

Quoting comorin (Reply 10):
Greetings, Motorheads : Is the Merc 'R' class considered a station wagon?

Basically. I see far more GLs, MLs, and even E-Class wagons on the road than those though. The R class is popular with fleet type operators though.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 30):
Strangely enough a SUV is socially acceptable and purveys the correct image in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, whereas a wagon is seen more or less as a delivery van which no self-respecting person will buy as a private vehicle.

Eastern European roads probably have a lot to do with that. And in the Middle East, why the hell not have an SUV?

Quoting Flighty (Reply 32):
It all depends on duty cycle. SUV and pickup trucks make sense for those very, very few people who (as you say) do heavy off-roading and towing of essential, heavy equipment.

That's exactly what SUVs were for the most part before the government started helping.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 33):
Can someone explain the attraction of imitation wood panels to me ?

There is none.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
and one that took diesel. Made that classic diesel clatter, too.

That was one of the worst cars of all time.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Newark727
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:17 am

I will say though that when my family regularly visited rural Maine and we had an '03 Jeep Liberty to navigate around the dirt roads and unmaintained driveways and so forth, it worked really well. It also had a pretty silly option on it that gave us these four huge spotlights above the windshield, which weren't altogether practical on the road owing to illegality, but were a nice thing to have in the middle of the woods with no streetlamps within a fifty mile radius. Decreasing time and frequency in our visits meant it wasn't practical to hold onto, but it's a situation where an off-road-focused SUV wasn't a conceit. Such situations do exist, they're just rare. Ride quality was a disaster, engine was a 3.7L boat anchor (that much displacement and only ~200ish HP is a bit shameful in a "modern" car,) and when I drove it at non-rock-crawling speeds the steering had this spooky quality to it where turning it a bit for a slight corner did affect the car's trajectory, but in a sort of delayed and difficult to measure way. But it never let us down in an awkward road quality situation, unlike the aforementioned Volvo V70R which somehow got its frame bent on a rough road in Joshua Tree National Park one time. Although I suspect that was the low ride height- I think an XC70 on the same platform would've managed, and besides, it was pretty dumb to drive that road in that car anyhow.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:08 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 35):
It makes sense. The increase of "world car" type designs makes it easier to simply import wagons from other markets that can survive with fewer sales.

Which is a load of garbage, it's really just a nice way of saying we are going to sell the better cars built by our overseas subisiaries rather than designing and developing North American only vehicles which the rest of the world doesn't want. The Europeans and Japanese have been building "world cars" since pretty much the inception of the Automobile it's only the US makers with their domestic product which fliew in the face of reality.
 
Flighty
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:40 am

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 36):
'03 Jeep Liberty

Rented one of those. Didn't like it compared to a ZJ Grand Cherokee, but it worked okay.

The Chrysler Pacifica from the same time period I liked a lot when I rented one.

Also rented a Chrysler Aspen in that period... huge 5.7l Hemi boat! It floated and heaved, just a ridiculous piece of shit, really.

Chrysler really has come a long way since then.
 
BMI727
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:42 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 37):
The Europeans and Japanese have been building "world cars" since pretty much the inception of the Automobile it's only the US makers with their domestic product which fliew in the face of reality.

American car manufacturers have been really slow with the whole "world car" idea even though it seems like common sense because of how they were set up dating back to the 1920s or earlier. Ford started importing cars, but fairly quickly established local factories and over time the overseas divisions became more or less autonomous. GM simply bought up Opel, Vauxhall, and Holden (and later Isuzu and Daewoo) which again were effectively separate from their American operations. It probably didn't help that the crossovers from the foreign divisions to the US met with mixed success. Really it just took serious problems to shock the American car companies into selling the same models worldwide.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:48 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 35):
That was one of the worst cars of all time.

You know what model it was? I was little (grade school). I remember feeling different because most of the other kids' parents drove sedans.

Why was it one of the worst cars of all time? I'm not disputing, just curious.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
Newark727
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:54 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):

Why was it one of the worst cars of all time? I'm not disputing, just curious.

I believe the diesel engine in particular had a very poor reputation for blowing itself up, like the cylinder liners were really weak or something. At any rate critics cite it as one reason diesel took so long to become popular in the United States.
 
BMI727
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:00 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Why was it one of the worst cars of all time? I'm not disputing, just curious.

It was the engine more than the car. (Although giant land yachts of that period were no bargain no matter what powered them) Oldsmobile developed three diesel engines to cope with the oil crises, which were used in various GM models so I'd have a hard time pinning down which model it would have been, but it's likely better that you forgot.

It may have been a Custom Cruiser, which was available with the diesel from the late seventies through the mid eighties. Often on "worst cars" lists they are listed as a group, sandwiched somewhere among the Pinto, Gremlin, Cimarron, and the various Communist entries. (Yugo, Trabant, anything made by British Leyland, et. al.)

Just digging around a bit, even the Wikipedia page details the engines' failings, which is what they are probably best known for. Even today, I would argue that some of Americans' general aversion to diesel stems from their experience with GM diesels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Diesel_V6_engine

[Edited 2012-09-27 22:05:00]
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:14 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
It may have been a Custom Cruiser, which was available with the diesel from the late seventies through the mid eighties.

That sounds right! It looks exactly like this except one was chocolate brown and one was black (both with faux wood; Sfly would be proud).



I don't remember any problems with the diesel engine (but then, I was little), but I do seem to recall that the brown (gasoline) car stayed around a lot longer than the black.

BTW, lest anyone accuse us a.nutters of being strange nerds, check out the URL of the pic above...
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
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zckls04
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:16 am

I LOVE STATION WAGONS!

My wife and I just bought a VW Passat Wagon and it is fantastic! So much room, so easy to drive, much cooler than some crappy SUV. Far better visibility too, plus you don't need a stepladder to get in and out of them. You can also get longer stuff in them than an SUV. We can cart around all sorts of junk from Home Depot.

I really hope they make a comeback. In an ideal world ours would have wood paneling too, but I must reluctantly concede that gas mileage might be an issue if we added 2 tons of cladding.
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Superfly
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:30 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 17):
We passed a old Buick station wagon the other day - my 10 year old grandson said "That looks like a cool kind of car to have"

I told him that his mother's mini-van was just a grown up version of a station wagon.

How is one more "grown up" than the other when they suit the same purpose and cater to the same target buyer?


Quoting Revelation (Reply 25):
All is right with the world: Someone starts a station wagon thread, 'Fly pulls out the wonderful photos of 70s station wagons, heaven on earth!

Just have to remind the young kids around here what a proper station wagon really looks like.

Quoting comorin (Reply 23):
Now the R class now has Gansta cred...

Huh?
The only Mercedes with Gangster cred would be a black Mercedes S-class sedan.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 43):
That sounds right! It looks exactly like this except one was chocolate brown and one was black (both with faux wood; Sfly would be proud).

Your folks had great taste in vehicles. How come that wasn't passed down?  
Bring back the Concorde
 
SmithAir747
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:31 am

I would be so happy to see the American station wagons return!

I grew up with station wagons:

1) A green 1978 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country (M-body) woody wagon--the first station wagon I remember in my family. It is my dream (still) to have one of my own. One time, one of my siblings (no one ever fessed up) spilled a can of lavender paint in the back seat (shortly after we bought it in 1978); for years, there was residual lavender paint stain down in the space under the seat and on the seatbelts.

2) A brown 1976 Buick Century Luxus station wagon--it was huge. It was able to tow our family camping trailer.

3) A blue 1986 Chevrolet Cavalier station wagon. It was the first car I drove, from when I got my licence in 1995 to when I bought my own car in 1996. Dad taught me to drive in this one. I took him on some very wild drives in it, but he never had to take me out to eat at Penguin Point (the family tradition was, that whenever one of the boys nearly killed Dad whilst learning to drive, he would take him out to eat at the local Penguin Point franchise to thank him for not killing him).

4) My mom now drives a dark blue 1998 Volvo XC-70 station wagon (since she bought it in 2005). Whenever I get home to Fort Wayne, IN, at Christmas time to visit her, I drive it a lot, since I love station wagons. I was with her the night she bought it at the local Volvo franchise.

Myself, I have had to haul my carcass and my stuff on two major moves--once in 2007, moving from Fort Wayne, IN, to San Francisco, and again, this year (September 2012) from San Francisco to Calgary, AB. A big station wagon would have been a big help in moving my stuff each time. These are times when I really wish I had a big wagon to haul my stuff around in.

SmithAir747
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:20 am

Quoting Kaphias (Reply 24):
Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 13):
Subaru Legacy has sold more as a station wagon in most markets than as a sedan.

One of the best wagons ever made, I believe... proud to own one. AWD, supreme reliability, and you can sleep comfortably in the back. Couldn't ask for much more, except for power. One day I'd like to take a 1997/2005 version and put a WRX STI engine in.

They do make a GT version (2.5l 265hp 0-60mph 5.4s) that not enough for a wagon? For sure an STi version would be great... I would expect an STi version to make at least 300hp and do sub-5s 0-60mph times.
Speaking of, it is easy enough to fit a larger turbo charger (may require replacing the fuel pump also) and a better exhaust system which will give you about 20% more power combined.
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comorin
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:03 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 45):
Quoting comorin (Reply 23):
Now the R class now has Gansta cred...

Huh?
The only Mercedes with Gangster cred would be a black Mercedes S-class sedan.

Please view all of the video that Mr. Flymia has kindly provided for us:

Quoting flymia (Reply 19):
Check out its handling in this high speed chase from Miami: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_gnlotGYvI&feature=related
 
flymia
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RE: The Return Of The "American" Station Wagon?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:53 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 45):
Huh?The only Mercedes with Gangster cred would be a black Mercedes S-class sedan.

Don't forget the G-Wagon also. As to the R-Class, it can be used as a pretty good get away car with room for the kids too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_gnlotGYvI&feature=related
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