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!

Do you currently drive a 2019 Ford Ranger and live in Michigan?
A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] for more details.

Sports Wagons - The wave of the future?

2456716

Comments

  • jdbtensaijdbtensai Posts: 122
    nah. i'm not worried. i just thought that this would be a little more active. but there are SO many discussions here that it's hard to fit in another one maybe.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dagnabit, Mike, you have my dream fleet. Well, I'd add my Miata as a 3rd vehicle for those sunny days, but otherwise you are one lucky guy!

    We may get a turbo Forester when that comes out.

    -juice
  • altsuvaltsuv Posts: 53
    jdbtensai:
    Thanks for starting this board. I love wagons and hatchbacks, and I HATE SUV'S!! I was car shopping last year, looking for something used in the $5,000 range. I was very discouraged to find that there were very few small wagons and hatchbacks out there. The car companies abandoned the wagons at some point, I suppose due to poor sales. And I blame it all on minivans and suv's. Most people use suv's as stationwagons anyway, so why not drive a wagon? I guess they don't look cool enough. I'm hoping that the new trend in sportwagons will change all that.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You mean $25,000, right? :-)

    Toyota dropped the Camry wagon, but you can't blame them when they're selling Highlanders at much higher prices. Honda ought to bring back a wagon, though. The CR-V isn't really sporty, and the Pilot won't be either. Europe gets a nice Accord wagon with some interesting variations.

    -juice
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    This is not a great mystery. Wagons are almost a boutique type of car here in the US. They will come out with a few and people will buy a few but they aren't big sellers just now. I am seriously looking at wagons right now. But people are correct when they say sales are why we don't see more wagons. We have not seen many cars designed specifically as a wagon. There hasn't been one to capture the hearts of many drivers since the 1800 ES by Volvo. People that buy wagons today haven't discovered a hidden treasure that everyone over looked. They have decided to buy what most people didn't want. You can't blame SUVs and Mini-vans for replacing Wagons. After all the cars themselves didn't twist anyone's arm. It is just a much smaller segment of the market is interested. What sells good in Europe doesn't mean a hill of beans in the US. The [non-permissible content removed] like Octopus, the French Like escargot and the Brits like kidney Pie but that doesn't make them taste better than a good Porterhouse steak. If you want something different you should be happy that they don't sell enough Wagons to post as their own segment of the market. Other cars didn't take anything away from wagons, people just passed them by on their way to something else. While wagon lovers may think SUV owners are fools,they out number wagon lovers 16 to 1. Most companies would be foolish to fight those odds.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Has moved up on my list. The local dealer seems a bit more willing to deal than he was last month. The PT Cruiser looks cool but doesn't have AWD. The Vibe and Matrix look modern but are down on power in AWD. I may have to learn to live without a transfer case if I can't beat these prices. I could always borrow my sons 4X4 for those back country off road weekends.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Subaru thought the WRX sedan would handily outsell the wagon and made their production quota split accordingly. The wagons are selling at a higher rate than Subaru thought, so much so that they had to adjust their split.

    Stephen
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wagons were hugely popular but fell victim to their own success. Kids didn't want to drive what their parents drove. The same thing is happening to minivans now. It's cyclical. I bet in 10 years (maybe less) SUVs will carry the soccer mom stigma.

    What most people don't even realize is that wagons have evolved. Station wagons used to have full frames, big guzzling engines, and live axles. Kind of like many of today's SUVs. ;-)

    But now they are unibody in design, with high tech efficient engines, and independent suspensions. They are sportier than some coupes were back when the older wagons were popular.

    -juice
  • and I LOVE IT!!! I needed a car that could carry small loads (mostly ski equipment) and handle mountainous terrain. I got a 2002 Subaru Outback Sport. I thought about the WRX, and if I had bought one, I definitely would have gotten the wagon. I think the WRX wagon looks better than the sedan.

    The trend is definitely toward sportswagons. Look at all the new vehicles that are coming out now. Most of them are wagons, and expect more to come out in the next few years. I think wagons are the most versatile vehicle you can buy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I also prefer the wagon. The rear end is sorted out a little better. You also get a little more rear leg room and more head room, plus much more cargo room, all for less than the equivalent sedan.

    You probably mean PT Cruiser, Matrix, Vibe, Aerio, and Protoge5. Lots of nice choices. I'd like to see more mid-size choices, too.

    -juice
  • altsuvaltsuv Posts: 53
    boaz47 wrote:"You can't blame SUVs and Mini-vans for replacing Wagons"
    OK, then I blame the SUV buying public, and the car companies. Most SUV drivers have bought into this "SUV's are safer" ruse. And the car companies just love the larger profits they make off of SUV's.
    I just want people to buy more wagons. Higher wagon sales this year will mean even more wagon choices next year. Sportwagons are a step in the right direction.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    I can understand wanting more choices. As the wagon field dried up more and more people left the market and the field dried up even more. When the top Japanese manufacturers stopped selling wagons here it made it hard for someone who didn't need a SUV but wanted something they could at least haul plants home from the nursery. I can remember when I was a kid and people bought wagons to use like an SUV today. They were big enough to tow with and yet rode like a car during the week. My day had an old Olds Vista Cruiser. If any remember that car, it had a small window on the roof that looked a bit like a Vista Cruiser Bus that gives the upper deck passengers a view forward. He could take us on vacations with it and haul his fishing boat to the lake when we wanted to go fishing.

    When they started downsizing cars the wagon lost that multipurpose ability and a person was "Forced" to look for another vehicle. You had to have a Truck to haul anything of any size and a Car for every day use. Today you will still need two vehicles if you own a boat or jet skis or even a camping trailer. Because of that wagons cannot expect to ever regain their place as a substitute for an SUV or Truck. Their biggest inroads would most likely come from Sedans. Here is where the new breed of wagons will have a problem becoming the next wave. If you buy a "sport" wagon and you have a boat you will still need a Truck. If you have a truck anyway what does the extra space in the wagon get you? I have a truck for hauling so a wagon is a reasonable option for me. I have a hard time putting "sport" next to a heavier version of most people's sedan. I would get a wagon because I want a bit more room. However if I could only afford one Vehicle a wagon just wouldn't do. Not for me and not for many of the 4.5 million SUV drivers today. I think I once read that wagons once were about 20 percent of the total car market in the US, today they are supposed to represent about 2 percent. If they get back to that point we would have plenty of choices. I am sure they will make a comeback, I just don't know if I would call it a wave?
  • altsuvaltsuv Posts: 53
    ...how many people actually tow anything? My sister and brother-in-law have TWO suv's - and they've never towed anything. They use them like cars. When they told me they were buying a second suv, I tried to steer them towards a wagon, like a Legacy or something. But they wouldn't hear it. They wrongly beleived that another suv would be the safest vehicle for their newborn child.

    Then there's this guy I work with who commutes in a Chevy Suburban. Seating for 8, but it's just him commuting. I asked him why, he said he goes camping once or twice a year. And he doesn't tow anything. I'm in Queens NYC, and parking is at a premium. He takes up the space of 1 and 1/2 cars, which means two.

    I've asked several suv owners why they chose suv's. I usually get an answer like "they're safer" or "I like being able to see over everyone". I really love that one.

    My point is this: of the 4.5 million SUV drivers today, most of them don't tow, don't offroad, and just don't need suv's. Wagons would suit them fine. I realize that you and many others need trucks, but come on! Wagons are ideal vehicles for most situations.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    The seating positions of many new wagons, like the Matrix/Vibe and Aerio (Focus too? others I'm sure) are higher than normal cars so they may give people some of that "see over everything else" feature they want. In a way, aside from the 3rd row of seats, they are now approaching the small minivan crossover segment but that seems to be where things are going.

    The silly thing is, if there weren't so many darned SUVs and minivans out there (mostly with one person in them 90% of the time) we wouldn't NEED to see over them. There is always going to be a taller vehicle out there unless you drive a real truck -- sometimes you just have to wait until you can see around a vehicle to make your left turn. I know it's annoying but it isn't the end of the world. Perhaps what we really need is an optional periscope???
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Lol, you should submit that idea in our Design Your Ultimate Wagon discussion. hehe ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • Several of my colleagues and friends own SUV's and trucks and NONE of them tow and have no desire/interest to tow. Automakers know that most people buy these humongous vehicles for their perceived "safety" and better visibility, and that's why they've produced SUV's designed for urban travel only (think RAV4, CRV, etc.). I'm pretty sure my Outback Sport could tow more than a RAV4!
  • jsminjsmin Posts: 11
    Interesting...my brother is considering replacing his Suburban with a Matrix wagon. That suburban is like a freaking school bus. 10-15 mpg and sloooowwwww. Plus, his baby seat will not even fit in the back seat. How is that for safety? Man, the auto industry is playing people for chumps. They have to be getting a huuuuge markup on these trucks and suvs that they are selling. I mean really, if you can find some sucker to buy a truck for $25-35K how can you lose? That truck only has 2 doors, barely 2 seats, no trunk or anything. It is like selling half of a car for twice the price. Just don't hit anything with it. Your truck frame is not going to give too much. Think about dropping an egg in a metal box vs. a cardboard box. The metal box is not going to give too much is it? That egg is a goner. The cardboard box will absorb the impact and that egg is better protected. Now imagine a egg in a cardboard box attached to a heavy metal box. There is your typcial truck/suv.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I tired of the truck-like ride after several years, and decided to sell my Jeep and buy an Audi allroad. I wanted a sportier, more car-like ride while still needing towing capability (18 foot fishing rig) and occasional medium duty offroad use. The adjustable suspension (to 8.2 inches) comes in handy on very rough roads and when backing the boat up into the water. So I find that the Audi fits the bill perfectly, and couldn't be happier. Very well built, fun to drive and so far after one year very reliable. With performance snow tires the traction is every bit as good as the Jeep was, even more so around corners with the ESP. Also there's more room in the back seats, and the cargo carrying capacity is about the same. Heated steering wheel and heated seats front and rear are very nice touches to have here in Minnesota. I think it would now be hard to go back to driving a truck.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think you're a trend-setter. Seriously, we're going to see a lot more of that.

    -juice
  • altsuvaltsuv Posts: 53
    You are my hero! I love it when SUV owners replace them with wagons. The Audi Allroad is a nice car - expensive - but I'm sure well worth it.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Funny about people thinking SUV's are safer. Look at the Consumer Reports auto issue (april) and you will see that they consider the Passat to be the safest vehicle available. They take handling, braking, comfort, ergonomics, crash test results, visibility etc into account. Most SUV's did not do so well in this report.

    Also (this may have changed now - not sure) SUV's and trucks (including minivans) do not have to meet passenger car safety requirements. Which means they aren't (maybe weren't) required to have airbags, side impact protection, rear center stop lamp etc. Many of these vehicles did adopt these things, but they are (were) not required.
  • automan227automan227 Posts: 118
    I also currently own a 2001 V70 T5 which my wife drives. My Wife wanted something that got better gas mileage then the toyota land cruiser that she was driving with a gas fill-up costing upwards of $40. Anyway, she didn't really care which version of the V70 that we got, but I did because there is a fairly good chance that I will end up driving it. So I ordered it with the T5 engine and automatic (wife can't drive a stick) tranny. The car is extremely fast, extremely safe and there is just enough room to fit all the kids in the second seat (got 3 of them).

    We will probably end up getting a Yukon XL or something in about a year when gas prices drop. Someone mentioned earlier about kids not wanting to drive what their parents drive. My Son absolutely loves this car. He recently became a volunteer firefighter and when he finally gets his junior license and will drive to respond to calls, this will be the car he drives.

    Just my 2 cents. Thought I might try to revive this discussion.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    We can all find reports that give evidence to our perceptions. Ralph Nadars Consumers group rated the L series Saturn as the safest mid sized car on the road. Believe me every Saturn dealer has that report on the wall. The safety issue is as much a perception as anything else. The NTHSA report on size and vehicle accidents in 1997 pretty much comes to the same conclusion as many SUV owners had. When a big car hits a little car the big car wins. When a SUV on a truck base frame hits a Car that is not the SUV is a battering ram and the car is an egg. Eggs do a good job of protecting their contents unless hit with said battering ram. This is also re-enforced when insurance companies insure trucks for less money because they receive less damage and injury in rear end accidents? What difference does that make one might ask? Well it seems as if they have decided that most accidents are rear end accidents and a ladder frame protects better in that particular instance.

    Automan

    It seems as if it has moved a bit. I think we can assume that compared to their Sedan siblings they are more Wagon than sport, and compared to their SUV big brothers they are more sport than wagon...I have no idea what they are compared to the crossovers.
  • automan227automan227 Posts: 118
    I agree with that. No matter how much safety gear is in a small car, a small car is still a small car. The laws of physics still and will always apply to that. Sure having the extra safety equipment is to your advantage, the smaller the car the better the chance of something bad happening in a severe accident.

    Anyway, I love my T5. Kids are starting to get a little cramped in it, but with gas prices approaching 1.70 for premium, they'll survive with a station wagon.
  • mstsscmstssc Posts: 89
    Is it really this simple? If so, can someone tell me how F1 drivers can catapult over other cars, hit barriers and other obstacles at 200-300 kph and walk away? It is because they weren't rear ended by an Excursion or is it safety design of the cockpit?

    I don't want to compare F1 safety design with the normal road car but the design intent is similar in some of todays road cars. Therefore, I wouldn't necessarily equate bigger is safer in todays designs.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    I agree. A car built with a full roll cage and seats molded to the driver with a safety helmet, neck brace and a price tag of between $500,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 should protect you from a rear end accident from an Excursion. I wonder if it has ever been tried? The NTHSA has tried the tests in 1997 and came up with the conclusion that the driver in the Excursion has a better chance than to one in a sub compact. But we drift off subject again.

    I am sure there will be more sports wagons in the future. I just don't know if it will be a wave.
  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    My opinion kind of plays off of what boaz mentioned. I think people are looking for vehicles that are more sport than a minivan or a SUV. They are also looking at a vehicles that are more wagon than a truck or sedan. Marketing is the next big hurdle and that's because calling something a wagon is the "kiss of death" for sales. You see auto manufacturers going to great lengths to call a wagon anything but a wagon. The marketing knife has two edges though. One edge is how the vehicles are presented to the general public and the other is to the government and its' CAFE standards. The PT Cruiser is a prime example of how it's presented to the public as one thing and then to the government as another. If we are willing to see the crossover/sport tourers for what they really are (station wagons), and write off the auto industries tags to symantecs, we can call it a victory for the station wagon.

    You also are seeing the palette of wagons expanding just like those of sedans. As more and more people come back to the wagon, manufacturers are realizing that this platform can run the spectrum of sporty fun (Subaru WRX) to almost "truck" like (Acura MDX). A wider palette can only mean more markets for them to enter. More markets means more sales.

    I choose to look at it optimistically as a great opportunity to drive more wagons. So buck up camper, more wagons means more sport wagons to drive. See you in the dealers showroom. Vroom, vroom! ;^)
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    If you want to try and change the radio station or wipe your childs' nose strapped in a five point harness with 1" diameter metal pipe surrounding you good luck. F1 technology helps auto manufacturers in some regards but it's unreasonable to compare the safety of a F1 car to a typical passenger vehicle.

    Unfortunately safety of passengers is often a victim of cost cutting measures just like anything else. I've seen pictures of a MB E-class wagon in which the rear passengers were involved in a rear end collision. The roll cage and crumple zones transferred the energy around the passengers. MB is beyond the price point of most people but that price does buy a very safe vehicle. To MB's credit they do not often patent these techniques and many manufacturers have benefited from this. Regrettably, there are still some that do not.
    Porknbeans

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • If you want sport and zoom, check out the 2002 version of the Aero Wagon--250 hp, 238? torque, stiffer suspension, and better tires. It goes zoom. Now, if I could only afford it, as it goes around $37K. The linear goes for $31K. Reliability is also up with Consumer Reports for the 9-5 models since 1999. I don't know why Saab still sells for a discount. The car, while not AWD, gets great gas mileage--EPA 22 C, 30 H. When you look at the competition, particularly Audi and VW, it has much better reliability and also includes free maintenance for the first 30K.

    Anybody know where I can get an Aero Wagon cheap?

    (By the way, Boxerlover is about the dog, not the sport.)
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Actually the overall safety I was referring to above was mostly about avoiding an accident in the first place. This is where a sportwagon would be much better than an SUV.
This discussion has been closed.