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Sports Wagons - The wave of the future?

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Comments

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    yeah yeah yeah, we know you don't like it. Looks like more than one person disagrees with you. I would consider buying a Magnum and any volvo/audi/mecedes/vw wagon. I would never own an horrendously ugly interpid/concorde;) You could always compare it to the last full-size wagon offered here in the states:

    image
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That thing just plain looked like an Elephant. It's hard to style a car that long.

    -juice
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    well, the magnums only 20" shy of of the beautiful roadmaster. Magnum even has it beat on wheelbase by 4".
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I happen to like the Magnum's styling, but they did sacrifice utility and visibility to get it.

    -juice
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    but they did sacrifice utility and visibility to get it.

    Juice, that's been my beef for a long time. Today's cars seem to have lower and lower greenhouses and it goes a long way to explaining why my Dodge Ram dually is regulalrly cut off on the interstate.

    My dad had a 1984 Pontiac 6000 wagon - talk about excellent visibility - you knew where every corner of that car was at all times. The new Magnum has such a downslope to its roof combioned with the high windowsill, it's no surprise that the rear windows are only slightly more than half the height of the front door windows.

    kcram
    Host
    Smart Shopper/Wagons Message Boards
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    have the clamshell rear door, or was that something else? Does anyone besides me think that is a bit odd on a wagon?

    It is kind of useful on a truck, but in a car I just want the whole back door to raise up.

    I love the look of the Magnum - it looks very American when compared to the really nice-looking wagons mentioned above - VWs and Audis. The domestics seem to have a knack for designing cartoon cars that would not look out of place in Batman, for instance, and making it work. To me, the whole Cadillac line is like that in the new Art&Science motif. Even the ugliest of the lot (and the only wagon), the SRX.

    Saw the preview this week of the new 5-series wagon in Autoweek. Currently only for Europe, but the real disappointment is that when it finally gets here the V-8 will not be available, only the 3L six. And I don't think the stick will make it either. But it sure looks better than the sedan.

    Obviously the top ranks of foreign carmakers still don't think there is a huge future for sport wagons in the U.S. - the production is limited to 5000 or something for America.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I think part of the roof comes up when you raise the hatch. I hope it doesn't dump rain water inside the cargo area!

    I hate the 5's hump back trunk, so yeah, the wagon is 100% better.

    -juice
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 403
    ..stepping up onto soapox...

      IMHO, there has been a trend over the past 15 years, as the world rapidly got "smaller", to embrace anything that is uniquely "American". Cars, burgers and US citizens started getting bigger and bigger. After September 11, 2001, the drivers of this trend hit warp speed.
      At a deep pychological level , we have gotten into an "us against the world" mindset, encouraged in large measure by the current administration , especially. We design, buy and drive vehicles that try to send a message, " I'm not afraid of anything!", while the rest of the world laughs at our obvious insecurity.
      Unlike Americans, folks in Japan and Korea are long-acquainted with international wars being waged in their homeland. Thus, they build relatively small( compared only to the US market...same size as the rest of the world)practical, stylish and,in many cases, true performance cars for domestic consumption and make behemoth phallic substitutes for the American market, sell them at great profit, and take those profits back home. You think anybody drives a Nissan Armada or a Toyota Sequoia in Japan????
       Our government gives businesses tremendous tax incentives to buy huge SUV's and pick-up trucks, so we end up with doctors and accountants driving "company-owned" Nissan Titans to Home Depot to load up with azealas on Saturday. The folks who need a Nissan Titan are the owners of Nissan who have lots of US dollars to haul to the docks and ship back to Japan!
       The US economy is heading for the top edge of Niagra Falls and many of us are blissfully ignorant as we float along in our land yachts...to torture the metaphor. As the world economy shakes out, gas prices will soar in the US, especially. The resulting cost of goods of all types and the costs of road construction and repair will likewise soar....maybe folks will need SUV's just to handle the potholes that will consume our roadways. The latest events in Iraq are generating even more antagonistic international focus on US culture and behaviors, and calling a purchase of a Dodge Durango, Magnum or Ram pick-up with a V8 Hemi engine to drive back and forth from home to the office, alone, a "personal choice...a simple matter of preference and personal style", is a pretty clear message to the rest of the world, one which includes two words: the second of which is the second-person singular and the first is a vularity sometimes used to describe copulation and more often used to communicate anger, disdain and frustration.
        I think full size SUV's are great for large families and groups who need to tow things like sail boats and camper trailers, as an alternative to driving multiple vehicles. Likewise, full size pickups with crew cabs and enginenes which produce large amounts of usable torque are great for businesses like construction contractors and surveyors with crews that travel out to the work site together with a full load of materials and equipment in the bed or towed behind. I just wish I would see one of those vehicles used for those purposes once in a while.
       On the other hand, I dont think I ever saw a young, single guy or a teenager with his girlfriend driving a Buick Roadmaster station wagon, or even a Chevy Mailbu wagon for that matter. I am confident that our citizens will soon get over their anxieties and seek something better. If car designers want to build something that reflects America at its best, if they really want go back to the Fifties, why dont they design and build vehicles which are targeted at American capability and economic sensibility: practical, stylish cars and station wagons, rather than vehicles which target insecurity and fear which have to be subsidized and discounted to sell and which lose resale value faster than unpasteurized milk.

    ...stepping down off soapbox...

    Mark
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    Unfortunately, I don't see the trend towards "bigger is better" reversing itself here anytime soon.

    Brian
  • norrmanndonorrmanndo Posts: 81
    Back in high school I used to drive my mothers Pinto wagon. I also had a Corolla Wagon that was great for hauling my huge guitar amp around. Now I have a PT Cruiser and it's been great for me. I think the Volvo, Audi, VW, and Subaru wagons look great, but think Saab should stick with sedans with the sloping rear end. The Taurus, Sables are too much for me to look at. I think wagons are the way to go and seriously considered a Mazdz6 wagon, but they weren't quite out yet when I made my last purchase. I'm glad that Auto makers are finally making their SUVs more car like, and experimenting with wagons again, since 99% of us don't need SUVs (I admit I have a Mazda Tribute). And like the last message, I wish that higher fees would be imposed for inefficient fuel consuming beasts, and even higher gas taxes. I wish the stigma of family wagons and vans would go away, I guess "sport wagon" is the answer. Watch and see if Honda and Toyota bring back wagons and then you'll know they have arrived again.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Toyota and Honda are becoming very conspicuous by their absence from wagons now, aren't they?

    It is a big gamble for Mazda to put out so many versions of the 6, including a wagon, and I hope it pays off for them. It is probably the best combination of sport and space available among the new non-premium wagons.

    Crumbling roads and oil wars can definitely be linked to the wide proliferation of SUVs, IMO. I hope wagons make a big comeback, but I am also depressingly aware that Americans need bigger and bigger trucks to express their egos.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    We tell our daughter (who is 4) that when she is old enough to drive she gets Mommy's Volvo wagon (13 years old NOW!).
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I think it is pathetic that so many Americans are apparently so insecure that they feel compelled to purchase vehicles that look more like weapons than like transportation. Hummer H1 and H2, Dodge Magnum, Chrysler 300C, Durango, Ram, F250, Excursion/Expedition, Escalade, Navigator, and so forth. These piggish monstrosities aren't being bought for their practicality or transportation value, they're being bought by people who feel the need to OWN the road, rather than politely share it.
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 403
    I am looking forward to my new wagon, as soon as I can decide between the THREE! Subaru turbo wagons...it will be so much fun to drive nimbly around all the behemoth vehicles on the roads.
        The Mazda 6 wagon is a beauty. Unless Honda reacts "quickly" ( a somewhat confusing term considering how it took Mazda almost 3 years to bring out the 6 wagon) Mazda will have established its offering firmly as THE affordable sport wagon for those who dont want AWD. Its a whole lot of utility and fun for under $22K.
    Mark
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A reporter is trying to gauge public opinion of the Hummer. Please send your thoughts and daytime contact info to [email protected] no later than Tuesday, May 11, 2004.
    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
    Edmunds.com
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    so what is the Malibu Maxx comparison? I know Maxx has less power, but what about interior space and handling? I would expect the Mazda to be the "sport" of the two. And I bet it is smaller too. Price-wise, I think they are pretty similar.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    I think lumping the 300C and Magnum in with the Hummer, Durango, Ram etc is rather off-base. They may be styled for a certain reason but are--at their core--family vehicles. Frankly, the Hummer is an entity onto itself. I doubt anything so clearly demonstrates what is both good and bad about our culture--such as it is--than this vehicle. Large, clumsy, inefficient, unnecessary and intensely in demand. Thankfully we enjoy the freedom which allows us to demonstrate our neuroses to our fellow Americans. (Wink)...
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Maxx is not really a wagon. It has much less space behind the rear seats. It does have more rear leg room though, and its V-6 uses much less fuel than the Mazda 6.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    lumping the 300C and Magnum in with the Hummer, Durango, Ram etc is rather off-base.

    I'm referring to the very unfortunate styling similarities (high beltlines, vertically narrow glass, too-near-vertical windshields that don't flow into the rooflines, gargantuan grilles, and suchlike. There is nothing sophisticated about these design trends. Same goes for the socially irresponsible trend to increasingly overweight vehicles.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Gee, thought for a minute I got bounced to the IDLSWDY? knuckle-draggers. Apparently the moderator thinks this blather is acceptable here....

    Turbo Subaru sounds like an excellent vehicle to commute and suck fuel at a rate greater than those overpriced, overweighted, resale slumping suv's (looking for rolls eyes smiley). Last Subaru I drove drank more fuel than my old Jeep Cherokee, but I'd imagine a turbo would improve that (still looking...).

    I think the sport-wagons should continue to be designed conservatively, as i'm tired of having my elitist ways infringed upon by the general public. Those dumdums can continue to buy their poorly styled SUV's (ask anyone that knows anything, they're ugly!!) and leave the sophisticated style of wagons to our 1% of the population. Good plan (where is that rolls eyes smiley....?)
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Same goes for the socially irresponsible trend to increasingly overweight vehicles.

    I've long had this complaint about full-size pickups. It seems each new generation of truck is larger than the one it has replaced, with no or little increase in payload. I used to have a base-level '86 F-150 4x4 with a 2000 lb payload and a 6200 lb GVW. Today, the base-level F-150 has a lower payload and a higher GVW, hardly what I'd call progress...

    BTW, raise these kinds of complaints over in any of the truck forums here, and you'll be bombarded with all sorts of insults.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    (sorry, I know this is OT) I think the upcoming generation of mid-size trucks hold a lot of promise. I saw the new Dakota at the NY auto show, and while the styling leaves a lot to be desired, it appears to be the first non-full-size pickup to handle 4'x8' paneling flat on the floor between the wheel wells. If so that's a good sign for those who want a pickup with real utility in a reasonable size package. I'm hoping that may be the case with the new Tacoma and Frontier too, but I don't know yet. Actually, I thought the old Toyota T-100 was about perfect in size, but apparently nobody in the truck crowd agreed. :( However, these new mid-sizers are just about the size of the old T-100. :)

    Frankly, I wish the old "Chicken Tax" would get repealed (there's talk of it) so that we can get some reasonably sized pickups from Europe and Asia to compete with the Detroit behemoths. Maybe then we'll see some pickups with thinking and ideas like those found in the Mercedes-engineered Freightliner/Dodge Sprinter vans.

    Bob
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Maybe then we'll see some pickups with thinking and ideas like those found in the Mercedes-engineered Freightliner/Dodge Sprinter vans.

    Now you're talking (I work for Freightliner).

    I'd love to see that 5-cyl common-rail direct-injection turbodiesel adapted for marine use.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    IDLSWDY? knuckle-draggers. Apparently the moderator thinks this blather is acceptable here....

    Why bother reading it if your contributions are no more substantive than the above?

    Take your rolleyes elsewhere.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Differing opinions are always welcome in Town Hall, but name calling and personal attacks are not. Take a deep breath before you compose that kneejerk reaction, and respond in a more civil manner... or don't respond at all.

    Thanks
    kcram
    Host
    Smart Shopper/Wagons Message Boards
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    IDLSWDY? knuckle-draggers. Apparently the moderator thinks this blather is acceptable here....

    Why bother reading it if your contributions are no more substantive than the above?

    Take your rolleyes elsewhere.


    Yes! Posts claiming insecurities, piggishness, and unsophistication of individuals that buy vehicles not styled to a certain persons liking is so much more substantive!

    On to the topic, which hasn't been touched on in quite some time=;

    To be a sport wagon in my book, it better have some style that can't be found on the toyota lot. Of the current crop of "sport wagons", the Magnum is one of very few that has any amount of "sporty" look to it. Smooth lines, low belt-lines, and lots of visibility are not common attributes of a sports car design. If that's the case, then you'd have to consider a Toyota Solara a sports car. To get those aggressive looks that attract buyers, some function and utility are regularly compromised. My daughter insisted she wanted a Celica GTS over a numerous list of other vehicles I thought were much better. It caught her eye, even if it is a poorly performing, cheaply built, uncomfortable car with terrible visibility.

    So far the most useful, marginally performing, and undersold wagons have been quite bland in terms of style IMHO. I've heard more positive comments concerning the Magnum from folks that likely would not own any other current wagon. While it definitely has an "in-your-face" design as far as it's truckish snout, there is obviously a large following who desire that look. Now if the Chrysler 300 wagon was to be built as was rumored, I think there would be two excellent choices available for different styling tastes.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Smooth lines, low belt-lines, and lots of visibility are not common attributes of a sports car design.

    Oh, really? So Jaguar E-type coupes must all have been trucks, right? Couldn't possibly be sports cars, with those smooth lines, low beltlines, great visibility, and so forth.

    Good grief.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Surely there's been something produced in the last 25 years that could have been compared to. I did say "common".

    It's not that hard to find smooth lines, but the majority of sports cars have higher beltlines and less than stellar visability. A viper is not fun to drive in traffic or park. Most wagons that could be considered "sport wagons" are fairly ho-hum in the design department. Haven't seen anything with the looks of a modern day Aston Martin, 350Z, or even the ancient E although I don't see that styling cue coming back anythime soon. I'm not a big fan these days. If memory serves they did have a model with a wagon door or something though. Have to ask my neighbor, he's an e-type collector.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    while I won't disagree with most of your assessment of the Celica, its performance is better than average - it is a lot of fun to drive. That must have been what your daughter noticed.

    So the BMW 3-series wagon is probably the quintessential sport wagon, as the industry defines it. Quite a lot of fun to drive too, if you hop in a 330. What is your take on it? I would say that styling-wise it stands out very little from "the Toyota lot", although it does have a decent look. Looks-wise, I would certainly choose a Magnum over it (but not for any other reason!).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    The current 3-series BMW wagon and the Audi A4/A6 Avants are great looking and reasonably functional. There is not one reason why I would choose a Magnum instead of either.
This discussion has been closed.