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Sports Wagons - The wave of the future?

jdbtensaijdbtensai Posts: 122
edited March 21 in Audi
They seem to be becoming more popular.
More useful than a sedan while only losing a little in performance. I hear they are popular in Europe, but I've never been there.
Audi has a wagon (avant) version of the S4 and S6 and the sports car beating RS4 (and an RS6?).
BMW has a wagon 330 and 540, and used to have an M5 wagon in Europe I believe.
Mercedes has a C32 wagon in Europe, not sure what else.
Does anyone else see these sort of cars coming here, and becoming popular?
Hopefully more popular than SUVs.
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Comments

  • Not popular enough for anyone else to write about apparently.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    This model has attracted a whole additional crowd the WRX allure. Besides, (hee hee) if you ask the wagon owners, we'll say we think it's more attractive than the sedan.

    Stephen
  • great little car at a great price. another example of what i'm talking about.
    also the is300 sportcross. i'm sure there are more.
    just looking for some comments on my "wave of the future" theory.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Hang in there. I think this is a worthwhile thread to begin. :-)

    Stephen
  • i thought so, starting to wonder.
    i think that there are a lot of really cool sports sedans. and i think more to come.
    i'm hoping to get some more responses.
    i have an s4, sedan. this weekend i was looking at the 2002 a4. however, i didn't really like the look too much. but the a4 avant(wagon) looked good. and it is more practical and gives up so little in performance.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    this is the same formula I ran through my head when pontificating (love that word, LOL) between buying a WRX sedan or the sportwagon.

    Stephen
  • there was a red wrx wagon at my old apartment complex. looked pretty sweet. must say i liked it better than the sedan.
    for the current s4, i like the looks of the sedan better, a little, but not of the current a4.
    plus, as i'm sure you'll agree, a wagon is more useful.
    if i had more money than i needed (is that possible?) i'd love to have an audi s6 (only a wagon here in the u.s.). and then some smaller "sports car" for the weekends. pretty cool when the family hauler wagon (not that i have a family) can haul like a sports car when you want it to.
  • even if no one else is posting, maybe the two of us can keep this thread running until someone else does finally join in.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,456
    I love the idea of sports wagons. I really don't like sedans because they never have enough headroom in the back (rear window comes in too sharply these days and I don't like to slouch) I have always like hatch backs - have an Integra hatch right now, but I have 3 kids that were not around when that car was new, and 4 doors would be nice.

    I would love an Integra (RS-X)wagon that maintains the character of my car. Too bad honda doesn't make a Civic SI wagon, or Toyota a Corolla wagon with improved handling (I know they have the matrix - but it is so ugly). I really like light tossable vehicles that handle well and get good gas mileage. Right now the Jetta is probably the closest match out there for me - I am even intrigued by the diesel engine.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    First off, Dudleyr hit one of the reasons square on and that is the extra room of the wagon (WRX)over the sedan, especially in the rear headroom department. I also wanted the extra utility of the wagon for those all too frequent trips to Lowes or Home Depot. The WRX sedan doesn't have a fold down rear seat only a small pass-thru behind the rear seat armrest.

    Probably the most convincing reason for me was that I like the looks of the wagon better than the sedan. IMHO, I feel the designers kind of left the design studio early when it came to the rear of the WRX sedan. It's too early Kia like for me (read uninspired/bland). The wagon was also $500 cheaper which easily can go to a mods budget. For example, the wagon comes w/a 17mm rear sway bar instead of the sedan's 20mm. I bought the 20mm for the sedan as it fits the wagon no problem. The cost w/tax was about $96. This is one of the biggest bang for the buck mods on the WRX wagon. I still had $400 left from the savings over the sedan. I bought the OEM body colored rocker panels (side sills) for $250 and a Whiteline 22mm front sway bar (to replace the 20mm one) for $112. Leaving about $30.

    Anyhow, the wagon's con is that it weighs 85 lbs more than the sedan resulting in a couple 10ths less in the 0-60 times/1/4 mile times. I still get below 6 secs to 60mph if I slip the clutch a bit vs 5.7 or so w/a sedan.

    To wrap this long rambling testimonial up, once I did the math I realized the wagon was the way to go for me. I see parallels w/other sportwagon vs sport sedan comparos to my scenario. Go sportwagons! :-)

    Stephen
  • vonn1vonn1 Posts: 26
    I wish sport wagons would become the next big automotive wave in the U.S.A. I currently own a 2001 Volvo V70 T5. It has 250 hp and moves quite well. I ended up with the Volvo as there were few other options to choose from.

    I have owned Utes and several sedans, but I prefer fast wagons. Utes bite! Sedans do not offer the room necessary for my family and my toys. Sport wagons are the perfect combo. I love the functionality of a wagon, but I want it to move. Why should wagons be boring? Just because your practical does not make you dead.

    I love the WRX, but it is to small to ever be considered a true family wagon. Even the Legecy is a bit on the small side when you add gear into the equation. If Acura had a TL Type-S Estate version of the sedan I would have snapped that up in a second.

    I feel that the U.S. is ready to move in the direction of sport wagons, but it will be slow to take off. Let's face it, even the WRX still has a pretty small following. This car rocks and deserves to be in every driveway in the world. It's size is the only drawback. America is still in love with large lumbering in your face Utes. It appears that we would rather plow through waves than ride them. What a shame. Surfing is way more fun than piloting an oil tanker.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Well put!! Especially the last line, LOL!

    Stephen
  • Not only is it great to see more Sports Wagons entering the market, it's nice to see the return of the practical "Hot Hatch" in general. Even with only two doors, it's hard to beat the utility and practicality of a hatch or wagon. In recent years, only VW and Saab have stayed with a practical, sporting two-door hatch format (the GTI, Saab 9-3). And now there are many other more wagon-like choices.

    I think the WRX has really turned folks on to the joy of wagoning. Europeans have had them for years. I know that some of the more expensive alternatives, like Volvo and Audi, have provided great wagons for a number of years, but more reasonable priced models like the WRX (and even the Impreza Outback Sport), as well as the Mazda Protege 5, are now in the mix. And more are on the way. I think folks are realizing that you can have the handling of a sport coupe with the practicality of a wagon, and power too, all in one good looking package.

    I've always thought the idea of a "hot rod" wagon was a great one. And now we're getting them Bring em on, I say.
  • definitely.
    volvo, left them out for some reason. plenty of nice volvo wagons.
    i think audi has the performance wagon edge right now, in the u.s. but plenty others are coming along. and this is at the higher price range.
    the lower price ranges include many hatchbacks, which i don't really know much about. and of course the wrx, a STEAL at the price they charge.
    though quite small for a family.
    but the wrx and the s4 are, as audi says, like sports cars with a fanny pack.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    In case you haven't had a chance yet, you may also be interested in checking out some of the new wagons in our Upcoming Station Wagons - Real or Concept discussion. Perhaps the Chrysler Pacifica or the Volvo V50 would fit into this category.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • how do we get people from the sedan boards to come over here and comment?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I think your best bet would be to just tell people on that board that you've started up a new discussion... and invite them to come over and check it out. That's what I do when I want people to notice something (i.e. post# 17).

    Perhaps in a discussions such as "sedans you're waiting to see" or in other similar topics, people might have an interest in this subject. You could also and copy and paste the url/link, to this discussion, in your message. Btw, here's the proper url to (copy/paste) use:

    /direct/view/.ef09472

    Hope this is helpful. Good luck. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    May be my recent experience in car buying offers a clue to the topic.
    I was doing some checking on cars about three weeks ago. I was interested in the small 330i model as a replacement. I asked the salesman to let me drive the all-wheel drive model to compare with the RWD I had just tested. He only had a wagon model with a smaller engine(325xiT)available. He thought at least it would give me the feel of the AWD. Neither of us thought the wagon would have interested me. Wow! I was so pleased with the small wagon's capability (for our practical purpose) and its beautiful look, I decided to shop for a sport wagon instead. After checking out the Audi A4 3.0 Avant and the Lexus Spotcross. I ordered the BMW 325xiT. Since the BMW wagon has the smaller engine as the only choice, I am willing to compromise on the power in exchange for the wagon's versatility, nice look and the AWD setup. Is it a trend? I don't know. I am very happy that BMW has offered this SW choice of the right size for my needs. Now the waiting begins.
  • bill_1bill_1 Posts: 97
    I am becoming greatly encouraged by the return of both the hatch back and the wagon, even if manufacturers don't want to call them that; of course in alot of the newer vehicles its hard to decide which they are; is the Protoge5 a wagon or a hatchback? The Focus ZX5 is easy, but only because they have a real wagon version. Of course mind you most of the wagons of today are Hatchbacks (i.e. their entire rear lifts up to open).

    The other thing I am happy with is that the trend seems to be in every market niche; on the lower end of the spectrum you have the Focus and Protoge all the way up to the Uber Priced machines.
  • a couple of people interested in this topic.
    i really expect to see more sports wagons and hatchbacks in the next few years. at all price levels.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    My real question is what defines a sportwagon? To me, it is a wagon version (two extra panes of glass and full area above trunk enclosed, plus roofracks) of a sports sedan, with the same wheelbase, same engine and just enough suspension differences to make up for the different weight distribution (often slightly more neutral with a wagon having extra rear mass).

    What defines a sportscar? Is it different for a sportswagon? To me, any wagon that doesn't have fake wood paneling and seating for 12 in the back seat alone is pretty much a sportwagon, even though it would be easy to say that a wagon with under 200hp is not a sportswagon.

    To me, a wagon doesn't have much of a slope on its back. A gently sloped tailgate is to me a fastback so I call the ZX5, Aerio, et al fastbacks not wagons. The P5 is more of a tiny wagon than a fastback to me as it has a near vertical rear door.

    To me, crossovers have to cross over to an SUV or minivan. Crossing over to a sports car is not a cross-over, it is just a sportswagon or sporty fastback. To me, a crossover is defined by the ground clearance, step-in height and overall vehicle height. It is a cross between a low car-like vehicle and a tall SUV or minivan-like vehicle. AWD is not necessary, IMO, for a vehicle to be a crossover.

    Are sportswagons the wave of the future or crossovers? I think crossovers will do better, at least on this side of the pond. Wagons are still a tiny portion of the market, with I think under 400000 sold last year in north america for all models while the best selling SUVs sell over a million for each model. Most people don't need an SUV but sort of want one so I think crossovers will sell well to that market. Sportswagons are still more for people who want a car that is more practical and useful, and who want the more refined ride of a car rather than the high riding pretend-offroad suspension of an SUV.
  • apparently i'm wrong. not too many people seem to care about this thread.
  • bill_1bill_1 Posts: 97
    Well I think that it is hard to really differentiate any more. I mean the Protoge5 looks like a wagon, but it is shorter than the sedan just like the Focus ZX5 and the VW Golf (The Jetta being the sedan version).

    As for power, well I don't think there is really a minimum here. The Audi A4 is definitely a sport wagon, but up until recently new ones might have had as little as 150 hp (now minimum of 170 I believe). Likewise, I think that the Protege5, if we call it a wagon, could definitely be considered a sport wagon despite only 130 HP simply because it is so much fun to drive.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Which means the old adage, any fool can go fast in a straight line, seems to apply to sport wagons as well. If it handles well then that should be enough. Old woody wagons handled like river barges; I'd say most current minivans handle that way as well, and the sportwagon craze is for people who want a people and cargo hauler than doesn't move like its floating down the Mississippi. The tall crossover vehicles coming onto the market are perhaps the 'sport-minivan' answer to the boat-like handling of the vans.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,456
    I agree about the handling vs. power. Miata(1.6 liter engine), MGB, Spitfire, TR3, and even BMW 2002 were all certainly sports cars/sedans, but none of them could beat a base model 2003 Corolla to 60 mph (miata and BMW might be close).

    I would even take it one step farther and say that handling feel is even more important than absolute grip. It is about the feeling not the numbers.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's why a Miata can spank much quicker cars in auto cross.

    -juice
  • jdbtensaijdbtensai Posts: 122
    the death of the thread would seem to answer the thread.
    and apparently the answer is...
    NO!
    or maybe it's...
    who cares?
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    I just noticed this thread. I believe that women are generally the primary picker of the style for the family hauler. When minivans came out, they all flocked to it. There was not a need for a sportswagon; a sedan became the second car. Then they all flocked to the big SUV for some unexplainable reason; it was actually quite funny to see all those mothers trying to squeeze their "Eddie Bauer" expeditions into the soccer parking lot.

    My wife always wanted wagons; our first was an old Ford ltd woody; we did move to minivans, but after the kids left, we're back to wagons. She won't have anything else. Have gone through two maxima wagons, the Volvo 850 turbowagon, and now have the Outback VDC for her and the WRX wagon for me.

    The moral of this is that (IMHO) mid size sportswagons will remain a niche market with the family haulers remaining as the minivans, the (ugh) SUV's and the crossovers. Most women want to be high, not fast. However, I think the little wagons a4,WRX's etc might catch on as a growing market.

    Sorry for the long post. Interesting question and it's too cold to play golf today.

    Mike
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I think sport wagons are very much coming back in style. To reiterate some of hpulley's thoughts above, I suppose it also depends on what we mean by "sports wagon." I think that many of the "crossovers" and "Suvs" (i.e. Matrix/Vibe/Aerio SX/Murano) are actually just station wagons or sports wagons.

    They're built on car platforms. Manufacturers are making them slightly taller and promoting them as "suvs", "crossovers", "sport tourers", "urban activity vehicle"... can you think of any other terms? Anything but what they really are: station wagons. ;-)

    Btw, in case people weren't aware, Edmunds' refers to the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix as "sport wagons" in their new Vehicle Pricing guide.

    To jdbtensai- To respond to some of your posts. We have many discussion here that will have no activity for quite some time, then all of a sudden things will pick up.... I've been hanging around message boards for quite some time, and I've yet to figure out the mystery of what makes some discussions popular or not....

    I wouldn't spend too much time worry about it though. Most of the discussions here, including this one, are set by default to automatically close/move into our Archived discussions folder if no one posts a message in 45 days (or so). Once a message is posted, the cycle starts over... at the beginning.

    And now back to the subject of Sports Wagons. Talk to everyone later. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
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