Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Station Wagon vs SUV

beachfishbeachfish Posts: 97
I considered an SUV, but couldn't afford one in 1986. I did buy a 1986 Subaru GL 4wd wagon and used it successfully for 14 years to surf fish on North Carolina's Outer Banks. It would drag a little in deep, soft sand, but went anywhere with the tire pressure lowered to 13-15 pounds.

This was the model with the 4-wheel independent suspension, carb., crank windows, white spoke wheels, dual-range 5-speed, steel skid plate, armored exhaust system and 3-way manually adjustable rear shocks.

The front sub-frame members rusted through last year, so I sold it.

I enjoyed this wagon. It went on the beach, it floated briefly in seawater a few times (couldn't be helped!), it went in the snow and ice and hauled a lot of stuff, and people, over the years including 11-foot-long surf rods and the lumber I used to build a sun room off of the back bedroom upstairs.

All in all, a very practical vehicle.

Now I'm out looking for another go-almost-anywhere wagon.

I've been looking at Foresters, among some others, but let me use the Subaru as an example of what I'm finding -- automatically dimming rearview mirrors, compasses, thermometers, 6-cd in-dash changers, no front skid plates, entry- and exit-angles that are suspect, ground clearance that is suspect and they even stopped putting doors on the little storage compartments in the back.

SUBARU!!!!!(and the rest) Put the useful equipment back on the wagons and dump the tack-on junk like the auto-dimming mirrors and the heated seats.

And finally, all of the Subarus I've seen here are loaded with junk. No wonder they have to discount them 3 or 4k from the sticker.

Is anyone else looking for a useful wagon that doesn't have to double as a luxury sedan?

John
Tagged:
«13456728

Comments

  • overtime1overtime1 Posts: 134
    two advantages of wagons are better handling with the same cargo space,

    So should I go and find all the exceptions to this all-encompassing rule now as well? Or maybe you'll want to admit upfront that not all "wagons" handle better than all "SUVs".

    Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that "wagons generally handle better than SUVs but you should investigate the specific models that are of interest to you"?

    OT
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I guess it depends how well a line sells or soemthing. I bought a 2001 Saturn LW200 in late May when they were clearing them out and I still found one without ANY options installed, which is how I wanted it. The base car includes everything I wanted and really nothing I didn't want or haven't found useful.

    As far as the original post goes, my wife and I did originally consider some SUVs as they looked like fun but we found them to be too big, making it hard to get us and our stuff inside, hard to park them, bad on gas and top heavy for handling. For similar reasons we didn't want a minivan.

    We thought about the Subarus and AWD would be nice but the price point for a good sized Su wagon was just too high.
  • fjw2fjw2 Posts: 15
    I was a former owner of a Nissan Pathfinder, for one year. It's hard for my aging parents to get in or out, it's too much baggage to be hauling around just for commuting to/for. I can't move as fast from lane to lane, compared to a lighter vehicle. I used to drive a F250, but then again, there was really no need for such a big vehicle, if all you need is to go shopping for groceries.

    My next car is Subaru Impreza WRX. It runs so well, like an SUV, and go real fast like a sports car. I got everything I needed but better. It's also a AWD, excellent commuter vehicle, and as for my parents THEY LOVE IT SO MUCH, they helped me pay it all off this month! When we got rid of the SUV, they didn't even whine one bit when we showed up with my new car. The SUV is an image thing. You have to drive a big car to let the whole world you are well off, and others they think THEY OWN THE ROAD.

    Station wagon is making a comeback. Those SUV owners are really polluting the world. It's like smoking a cigarette. The smokers know it's not good for their body, but they smoke anyway. The SUV owners are stuck because they bought it but they can't back away from it. But, people still buy them, because they know they CAN.
  • tatu1tatu1 Posts: 50
    I agree that Wagons are going to make a big comeback, we'll see more and more "sport wagons" in the next couple of years. Right now though, I think the selection is a little thin, you can either get a really expensive wagon (Audi, BMW, Mercedes) or a cheap one (Suzuki, Ford) not much in between aside from the Subarus. I'm waiting for Mazda, Honda and Toyota to bring their wagons back (every try to find a used Toyota Camry wagon ?). In the meantime, you'll the SUV's evolve a little, see the 2002 CRV, not exactly the gas guzzling, environmental nightmare described above....
  • For me these were the two finalists... The itty-bitty Impreza Sport Wagon vs. the Xterra 4wd SUV (One of the cheaper SUVs on the market). We compared the specs side by side... Imagine our suprise when the tiny sport wagon had more passenger space (headroom, legroom, etc) than the much larger Xterra. Granted the cargo space on the Xterra is bigger. But it seemed to be a no-brainer when you figure in the gas guzzling and the $24k vs $19k... We own a Subaru Outback Sport... still on it's first tank of gas
  • I had a change of heart.

    I bought a 2002 Silver Forester S Premium with leather and nearly everything except the hitch, rear skid plate and speaker upgrade. It came with the tweeter upgrade, but not the speaker upgrade(and it needs it, I think.) FWIW, all of the options were factory-installed.

    So far, it's great. If there's any road or wind noise it's on a frequency I can't hear anymore. Getting 24 mpg with half of it on the Interstate and half in town and I'm always the first one away from the light, too.

    Where do I buy a sturdy front skid plate? I've searched some, but need some user input.

    Inconsiderate salesman/salesmanager story :)

    I had the invoice price written on a piece of paper in my pocket and everything else in the car. I'd been looking all over the state and saved the local "We Sell For Less" place for last. Went in at 4:00 p.m. on 8/31, saw the one I wanted and asked for a cash price. I had an equity line check and a pen in my shirt pocket.

    Mr. Almost-knew-his-product-line wanted to look at the sticker. He wanted to talk to the manager. He wanted me to drive it before he asked the manager for a price. He wanted me to drive it before he told me the price. He wanted to discuss Subaru's strong points. You know the routine.

    He was a nice guy, just too predictable. I was ready for almost anything, but mostly wanted an answer to my questions "You're selling cars, right? How much is it?"

    So he gave up and went to get a price. For those nodding off, I'll summarize. I still hadn't made an offer at this point, only commented that the sticker was a fantasy.

    Five minutes later he's back with some story about them needing to sell one more to make 50 or more for the fifth month in a row. His first offer was invoice plus $100. Okay, that was rude. I'm ready to butt heads and whine and cry, and they pull that low-first-offer-take-it-or-leave-it nonsense. What kind of dealer is this?

    I opened at $200 below invoice, but only got them down another $80. Then I went to dinner, but still couldn't get them to go any lower later. Oh, well.

    The salesman promised to mail me a free tube of touch-up paint, but I haven't seen it. It was his idea!!!

    What a guy! And I sent him a referral. Boy do I feel stupid.

    John

    P.S. My 79-year-old father wasn't too sure about the Forester - he likes large cars and at least a V-6. Then he drove it. He was very impressed with the handling, the ride and the pickup. Oh, and the headroom. He still likes wearing his hat when he drives. I claim it's a habit he picked up as a State Trooper. He denies it and claims to have witnesses to prove it's a much older habit. Who knows?
  • The co-worker I referred to my Subaru salesman bought an Outback yesterday.

    Not only did he drive up in his new wagon this morning, he also brought me the long-promised touch-up paint!!!!! They had to order it.

    John
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Glad you got the paint. :-)

    Now, take it easy for the 1st 1k miles, keeping it below 4000rpm and vary speeds. I'm at 42k miles and she stills runs great.

    Hop over to the Subaru Crew topics under Owners Clubs. There you will find several active topics. Hop into Meet the Members and introduce yourself, then hop over to Modifications and ask about the skid plates. I know Lucien will have some useful info, maybe Colin too. There were links to skid plate vendors earlier, but I'm sure they'd be glad to re-post them for you.

    Congrats.

    -juice

    PS Oh, and we hold a weekly chat every Thursday night, join in
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    to both the Suv and Station Wagons message boards. That means you can now access this discussion from either one of these message board. Hope you enjoy discussing this subject with participants from both of these boards. Happy motoring!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Just deleted one of my previous posts, because I noticed the article I was trying to link people to was no longer there. Sorry for the error. So to get things rolling here, let's try this again with an article from Edmunds' News Section: The Station Wagon as a Viable Alternative to the SUV, by Miles Cook. What do you think?

    Also, did anyone here consider a Station Wagon before purchasing a SUV... or vice versa. What were the deciding factors that weighed in on your final choice? Thanks for your comments. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I am excited about the "merger" of the SUV and Station Wagon discussion and looking forward to hearing from all of you!

    tidester
    Host
    SUVs
  • vonn1vonn1 Posts: 26
    Once upon a time SUV's (This was before anyone called them SUV's) were cool. Back in those days people actually drove these vehicles off road. They were simply trucks that moved more people. They brought us to old mining towns and out of the way picnic spots. I spent a lot of time Jeeping in old 1970's Broncos and Jeep CJ's as a kid. I hold a strong love for such trucks in my heart.

    That was then, this is now. Let's face it, it's cool to look like you are an outdoor enthusiast. It's fun to sit up high in a truck and look down on the road, but it bites to drive these trucks. In truth, there aren't many pure SUV's left on the road. Not many of the SUV's being built today can be driven on anything short of a gravel road.

    Today's SUV's are simply mini vans or wagons with AWD and a tough looking exterior. Car makers realize that Image is what sells. If we make buyers feel like a back country guide with our car, we will sell units. My point is that wagons and SUV's are really close to the same thing.

    In a way this makes sense. Only 2% of the SUV population will ever leave paved roads. Very few people need off road capability. I have owned SUV's and I have used them as off road vehicles. It is fun to take these off road, but as often as people do, one can rent a Jeep for a day when needed.

    Let's face it. Wagons make more sense, but they are not cool. I own a wagon and it gives me the handling, power, comfort and room I need. I do not have a family of ten and have no need for an Excursion of Suburban. There may be a few people out there who need this kind of room. I doubt there are many.

    Bottom line, SUV's sell on image. We as humans have a need to feel important and if driving an SUV gives you that feeling, bully for you. Is a wagon better than an SUV? No not really. Is it more practical in the real world? You bet. Go ahead and drive your SUV. Enjoy it. Fill it up with you outdoor gear and your friends. Take it to the mountains and please for your sake and the truck's, drive it up a jeep road (please be responsible if you do). Enjoy our image maker. You can smile down at me on the road as I pass you in my wagon.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Boy, you sure took a 180—going from wanting a bare-bones Subie, to a loaded Forester!

    I too have a Forester S Premium. It's an white '01 model with about 22K on it. We love it, and my daughter's friends have named it the "Toaster"...

    BTW, we also love the bun warmers and auto-dimming mirror.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, I'm jealous, I'll admit it. Congrats.

    -juice
  • I've got 2 kids and they both ride in car seats. We have 2 vehicles and 2 sets of carseats so we never have to move them from vehicle to vehicle. Whenever we go somewhere with just our family we take my wifes car, however my son is 5 and rarely do we go somewhere without a friend. We also like to go places with friends and family and the hassle to take car seats out and then reinstall them to make accomodatations isn't worth it to me. To make the story short we need seating for 6 or 7 people.

    Our options then become an SUV, mini-van, full size van, or 2 or 3 wagons. Mini-vans and full size vans are not an option for us so they get ruled out right away. Most full size SUV's also get ruled out because they scare my wife and I find them foolish.

    To further complicate things we live in Wisconsin and want 4WD or AWD and at least a V6 for an engine. The choices (as far as I know) of wagons that offer these qualifications are either an Audi A6 Avant and the MB E-class. There are several SUV's that offer these options. Including the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, GMC/Chevy/Olds extended versions coming out soon, Mercedes Benz M-class, Acura MDX and maybe something else I'm forgetting. Not only are there more options in the SUV vs Wagon market but the price difference between the options is considerable.

    My point is that the choice of an SUV is not always image. I agree that most of the time it is but there are a good number of people who have legitimate reasons for them to choose an SUV. I would love to own a wagon and I'm really excited about the new tall wagon/crossovers that are coming out. I'll be in the market for a new vehicle within the next year and can't wait for what the future holds.

    Thanks for your patience on this post.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can seat 6 in some sedans, like the Avalon and Crown Vic with bench seats. Just a thought.

    I think the Volvo V70 has an optional 3rd row seat for kids, and the Ford Taurus wagon may still offer one, too.

    As for SUVs, the Honda Pilot looks promising, and will seat 8. There will be wait lists, though.

    You can get an aftermarket 3rd row seat for the Isuzu Trooper, too, and those are priced much lower than in the past ($22-25k).

    I will respectfully disagree with one point you made, though. You say SUVs are not always about image, but earlier in the same post you mention minvans are not an option and get ruled out right away. That's because of the image, right?

    -juice
  • I'm not attracted to the Avalon aesthetically nor do I want to have a car that our illustrious State Patrol uses (to many bad memories.) You are correct WRT the V70, a wonderful choice I'll look into. My dad had a Taurus wagon....I've driven it.....don't want it. Honda Pilot is another wonderful suggestion and I'm not that offended by it's styling as some. Waiting list or it I again agree will be long. Finally, point taken with my discounting mini-vans, the Avalon, the Crown Vic and full size SUV's. However, the beauty and sometimes detriment of living where we do is that we can do that for good reasons or bad. I'll step down off of my soapbox now.

    The Chrysler Pacifica is a vehicle that really makes me anxious to see what the future holds. For my needs and parameters it fills them all very well. I would also like to see the new MB GST, however I think it will be priced more than I care to think about.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I took my Saturn LW wagon in for an oil change yesterday and the courtesy vehicle was one of their new VUE SUVs. It isn't bad but I much prefer my wagon. It is easier to get into the lower wagon, the cargo space is more useful (VUE's cargo area is taller but not as deep), the ride of the FWD car is more refined than the higher AWD vehicle, etc.

    I don't see how anyone could cross-shop wagons and SUVs. To me they are completely different classes of vehicle, even if you compare cars to SUVs based upon them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Pacifica will arrive next summer as a 2004 model. Subaru will have a bigger sport utility wagon for 2005, along the same lines, with 3 rows of seats.

    I forgot one other, the Suzuki XL7. It just got a bigger engine, too. The 3rd seat is cramped, but at least it's there.

    I didn't find the Vue comfortable when I sampled one at the DC Auto Show. The seats in the LS are much better, front and rear.

    -juice
  • Will the Subaru use some of that space to make the second row seat bigger? I got into the Outback wagon at the Chicago Auto Show and a local dealer and both times had to crawl out in a near fetal position. And yes, I did have the seats moved forward at the dealer. I would have to guess the back of the Suzuki would be much the same. The back of my Durango isn't much better but it's manageable for short trips and folds flat into the floor. All of these rear seats would be/are fine for my 5 year old son and his friends but not for adults.

    I've owned a Saturn and will never do it again. I also would never recommend to anybody to own one.

    It's getting easier and easier to cross shop the two types of vehicles because of the mixing of what makes each one an individual. What it's creating is a "new" type of vehicle referenced as either a crossover/luxury sport wagon/sport wagon/tall wagon. I personally don't think it's a fad as mentioned in Automobile magazine. I also think it's an incredibly viable alternative to SUV's because of the added fuel efficiency and driving perfomance that they typically offer. Sure, you're always going to have the individual that associates bigger with safer or desires that "commanding view of the road" but, there's also the individual that will only take public transportation or buy alternative fuel vehicles. To each his/her own. I'll get off my soapbox again.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Good point. And on the subject of cross shopping, here's an article from Edmunds that some of you may find interesting: The Next Big Thing. What do you think?

    Tidester- Perhaps we should change the title of this discussion to "The Next Big Thing." Or at least add the word "crossover" to the end of the title. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    The choices (as far as I know) of wagons that offer these qualifications are either an Audi A6 Avant...

    I'm a little confused...you mentioned seating for 6 or 7 yet isn't the Audi limited to 5?..as does the Outback.

    I'm asking since the minimum 6 seating limits the choices so much.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    I don't see how anyone could cross-shop wagons and SUVs. To me they are completely different classes of vehicle, even if you compare cars to SUVs based upon them.

    It's getting easier and easier to cross shop the two types of vehicles...


    Interesting comments.

    I think they are completely different classes...designed for fundamentally different primary functions. One is a family-oriented people + cargo vehicle that tries to stay within the "car" parameters and the other is basically a truck that is designed for heavy-duty "sports" activity such as towing, off-roading and heavy hauling.

    Of course, the functions are converging in various vehicles...the wagon, which get 4WD/AWD and sometimes more clearance...the mini-ute that gets closer to car parameters...and even some sedans that get more utility-oriented.

    But...I think one reason they get cross-shopped in a way that doesn't line up with the functions is when folks whose requirements line up pretty well with a wagon (or MV) go for the SUV...not because it's such a good fit...but because of the 'image' thing...and perceived safety (even though the statistics show that wagons and MVs are safer than SUVs).
  • The Audi Avant is the wagon version of the A6 and has a third row of seating which brings the capacity up to 7.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Ah...I see now, there's an optional "Rear Facing Removable Bench Seat for Two Children". Got it. Thanks.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    revka,

    Or at least add the word "crossover" to the end of the title.

    "Crossing over" kind of reminds me of that John Edwards character ... not sure we want to associate with that! :-)

    tidester
    Host
    SUVs
  • I'm not sure where your coming from with that comment but, it actually folds flat into the floor when not in use. But, yes I do believe that it does face the back.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    I'm not sure where your coming from with that comment but...

    I was just quoting directly from the Edmunds options list for the Avant.

    I thought specific info would be helpful. Was it incorrect?
  • I apoligize, the rear seat in the Audi IS a removable bench. It does not fold flat into the floor like I thought, that is the MB. It is also only recommended for individuals 4'-9" or shorter. Almost useless for most adults teenagers and useful for only smaller children like you stated.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • artdechoartdecho Posts: 337
    juice, do you remember the Subaru Exiga concept from a few years back......seems Chrysler's next-big-segment-buster Pacifica is just their take on Subaru's original idea! I don't know if it's Subaru's small size or what, but it seems to take them eons to get some of their ideas to market. They could've owned this "sports tourer" segment if they'd got their act together sooner. Is this what's finally coming in 2005?
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I think the Forrester is a really nice package. Just wish they Subaru put frames around the window glass instead of having you slam the window every time you close the door.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Correction to that article - AMC Eagle was not the first crossover. Look here:

    http://www.fhi.co.jp/subaru/tope00.htm

    Look at the 1972 tab in the time line. Subaru came out with a Leone 4WD wagon, which even had a lifted suspension and low range gearing, about half a decade before AMC. It was the 1st 4WD drivetrain in a car, hence the first true crossover.

    I do recall the Exiga concept. Quirky (typical Subaru) styling, but the interior is just like the Pacifica. A crossover before it's time.

    The 2005 may use a new GM platform, but Subaru will take the lead in development, and it'll likely use a boxer engine and AWD, true to Subie's heritage. Exiga is an older concept, so I do not think it'll be even loosely based on that.

    Gil: it's true, the frameless windows are double-sealed so you do have to slam them a bit. At least the design did very well in side-impace tests (Legacy, Forester hasn't been tested). Lots of other cars use them, like the Integra, ES300, and high-end Benz and Bimmer coupes.

    -juice
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The 3rd row seats found in the back of the wagons (Volvo, Audi, Mercedes) are, in my opinion, useless. From what I have seen, except for the presence of restraints, they are virtually the same as sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out. They are not a viable option for somewhat routine use.

    I think the crossovers are the best vehicles for someone needing room for 6+, AWD, and versatile cargo capability. Vehicles such as the Pilot, Rendezvous, and MDX are more carlike in their ride and handling, while the Durango and Explorer are more trucklike.

    Other 3-row options, which are better than the wagons, are the ML320 and Discovery. Their 3rd row seats hang from the sides of the rear cargo area and fold down when needed. Unfortunately, they take up a lot of space when stowed, and seem rather crude when compared to the vanishing 3rd row seats found in the aforementioned SUV's.

    The Pacifica looks really good to me, although I am hesitant to trust Chrysler reliability.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think they're intended for routine use. In a pinch, you can carry an extra 10 year old or two. That's good enough for many.

    The Rendezvous has almost no cargo space behind the 3rd seat, so it's also not ideal for routine use. The Pilot looks better in this regard.

    -juice
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    You'd be surprised just how much room there is behind the 3rd row of the Rendezvous. No hard sided luggage mind you, but grocery bags, soft luggage, etc. fit just fine.

    The ideal setup, of course, is a split folding 3rd row like the MDX or Pilot.
  • I can't believe that 3rdrow seats are legal..in case of rearend collision whatever is back there it toast...i would love to see the govt do rearend crash tests on wagons to see how cargo area survives..just a thought.,,,
  • The Buick has about as much "usable" area behind the 3rd row as most in this size do. With this vehicle there are two things that I just can't get past. The first is the exterior proportions. The height seems to much for the horizontal two box approach. The second is the way the rear pillar slashes down to form the brake light assembly. IMO a week attempt at "style".

    I agree with ateixeira in that the 3rd row isn't for routine use. If you needed that you'd buy a Suburban, van or mini-van. I do think though that all vehicles that come with a third row should take into consideration the safety of those passengers. I do remember seeing a picture of a MB that had been in a rear end collision. The passenger compartment had been protected and the force of the crash had been transferred around them. MB does take into consideration rear passenger safety on their vehicles (but, you would expect them to). Unfortunately, you pay for this kind of safety and engineering.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess a row of groceries would fit. But at the dealership, the salesman went as far as to point out how small it was with the hatch closed. Guess he'd rather sell a Pontiac Montana, which shared floor space with the Buick.

    If you are hit from behind, either you are moving at speed, or the car that hits you isn't going that fast. There is much less energy to absorb.

    -juice
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    summer and got rear ended by a Blazer doing 45 mph. Ouch.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    to a few new crossover (part suv part car) discussions on the Station Wagons board that you may find interesting:

    - Ford Fusion - What do you think?


    - 2002 Suzuki Aerio SX

    - Upcoming Infiniti FX45

    Come check them out and let us know what you think. Thanks for your participation.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    But the new 02 ES300 went to frames around the glass I believe. Heck, even Neon did a year or two ago!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True, but the previous ES was quieter than the Camry, which were not frameless. The Integra also was frameless while the Civic wasn't. It's interesting that the more expensive platform-mates had them in both those cases.

    Some high-end german touring coupes still use frameless doors. I'm used to mine and I like them. The doors are much lighter and no less safe.

    Neon: I guess Dodge could not figure out a good design. Subaru has. No surprise there.

    -juice
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    I don't believe it is a Station wagon verses SUV thing at all. Everyone has predicted the fall of the SUV for years now. The resurrection of the hatchback would be any day now and all the SUV drivers would be cast into the pit where they belonged for eating all that gas. Well this year Light trucks and SUV passed the 50 percent market share mark in US car sales. They are evolving not dying. I can now look at a wagon but still there is no great gas savings for most of them. The Vue doesn't eat gas at such a astounding rate compared to the Forrester. The Difference between what a Forrester gets and what my FWD drive coupe is far greater. I have an SC-1 that gets 33 to 40 MPG. That is an average. I have seen very few wagons that can claim to be the savior of fossil fuel. Face it with the 1.8 turbo the VW wagon will suck fuel when your foot is in it. What people on the coasts think about that many are forgetting is a word not mentioned at the Subaru dealerships I have been to. Look at Edmunds new car prices and tell how much the Forrester can tow? That is what makes people cross shop. Activities other than driving to work or school. The guy that used his Subaru to go fishing had a good point and his car met his needs. What if he wanted to go out in his boat rather than floating his Subaru now and then? Most SUVs will tow more than most wagons made today. True, some of the mini SUV's would be hard pressed but at least they have a tow rating. If you camp, hunt, or fish and wish to tow a trailer, Boat, jet skis or whatever you will be tempted to cross shop. And the SUV will look better to you. Last year alone SUVs accounted for close to 25 percent of all cars sales in the US all by themselves. That does not count the increase in 4 door trucks and Vans. Do the big guys use more gas? Yes they do. Do they make a wagon that can haul your 26 foot Bayliner to the beach or Lake? Not anymore. It isn't us against them it's our lifestyle. Get what fits it the best.
  • No offense, but this is not most of America's lifestyle. Most people who own SUV's don't tow, take them off road, or anything like that.

    The trend shows that people like the high seating and styling of SUV's but nothing else. That's why car-based SUV's are selling so well. Notice how true SUV's don't sell well anymore, i.e. Grand Vitara?

    People who buy the Forrester don't care about towing! Geez.

    I think your towing and fishing and L.L. Bean catalog image is completely overdone and the exception, and not the rule.

    People have not been predicting hatchbacks and wagons to come back until maybe the last year or two. And every new incarnation of a unibox design has done very well so far. No sales duds as far as I can see.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    I agree that most folks that own SUVs don't tow. Look at the ones on the road...most do not even have a receiver.

    They are evolving not dying.

    You're right about sales...LTVs (which include MVs & PUs) were over 50% of sales and SUVs about 25% last year. But...over 60% of SUV sales are still truck based SUVs and that's a bit skewed by mini-utes.

    I can now look at a wagon but still there is no great gas savings for most of them.

    Wagons are generally in the mid 20s mpg while larger SUVs avg about 15 and mid ones 19.
  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    I agree with the previous two posts. The lines between wagons, SUV's and minivans is being blurred. If you only look at the black and white of it you could easily cross shop a MB E320 AWD wagon with a Chrysler Town and Country AWD and a Ford Explorer AWD. They all have the same basic features including a tow rating (albeit varied). Things are only going to get more blurred with the influx of crossovers and tallwagons hitting the market over the next couple of years. Personally, I look at it as an opportunity instead of segregation of vehicle types. I can't wait to dump my SUV for something a little sportier with better gas mileage. Bring 'em on.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    An SC1 doesn't match the power or even come close to matching the space offered by the Forester. That's not even apples to oranges, that's grapes to oranges.

    My 25mpg average is about the same as an SW2 would get. And I have AWD and a bit more cargo space and payload.

    And it can meet the light duty needs of most owners, like mine. I use it for bike racks and utility trailers, for hauling mulch and wood chips.

    Subaru owners don't own Bayliners, they own canoes and kayaks. And the LL Bean image is accurate - you don't need a huge boat to go fly fishing.

    While "trucks" have taken over more than 50% of sales, the one you mentioned, the Vue, is really car-based. So are the Escape, CR-V, RAV4, Santa Fe, and Tribute.

    So, the reality is that many trucks are no longer trucks in the traditional sense. The only reason they are classified as trucks is the more lax CAFE standard, 20.7 instead of 27.5 mpg.

    -juice
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    It isn't that they do tow, it is that they can tow. The utility part is something people think they might do. Why do people buy more Sedans than Coupes? Because they can carry more people. But five days a week I see people driving to work with one person in the car. On the weekends it isn't much better. If you can afford toys like a boat or camping trailer there was a time when the old wagons were still an option, not today. I am in the market for a new car as we speak. I have looked at wagons and they seem like a pretty good replacement for my sedan. However if I have to choose between something that is in the same price range why not get something that I could tow with if I ever wanted to? I have looked at the WRX but it is too small. The Forrester is still in the running even if you couldn't tow with it. However from looking on Edmunds new car site I have discovered many small to Mid sized SUVs that can do all the Forrester does and tow. The price is about the same and gas milage is within five MPG. Yes, many people don't tow but it would be nice if you could if you wanted to. Most people don't drive in conditions where they need AWD and it uses more gas, but I haven't heard anyone say people shouldn't be offered AWD. Image is important to many people but so is the ability to do something they may never do.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    But people actually use the rear seat, in fact lots of time I'm sure. Towing is comparatively rare.

    The Forester can tow 2000 lbs, I've hauled about 1500 lbs and it did fine, BTW. I have photos if anyone would like to see it in action.

    But would you really sacrifice 5mpg for more towing capacity when you might not ever tow? You're talking about higher operating costs and less range between fillups, just for that small possibility?

    You can always rent a truck from UHaul for $19.99 a day. That's probably less than the gas would cost you over the life of the car.

    Remember, you're going to pay $200-400 or so just for the hitch package. That could pay for several rentals.

    I can understand if you own a boat, that you would want something that can comfortably tow a large load. That's different, and that's why there are lots of choices out there.

    -juice
Sign In or Register to comment.