Why aren’t station wagons more popular in America?

Crossovers have been fully accepted by the masses and it can be argued they’re just tall wagons.  A friend of mine owns a 3 Series BMW wagon and says people practically sneer when they ask  “… but why’d you go with a wagon?”  He replies that he can’t get his mountain bike into a sedan or coupe, something that would appeal to younger buyers.  You would think…

Marketing folks don’t even want to call them by name.  Saab calls them SportCombi.  Audi?  Avant.  So share your thoughts, add your insight.  With the Acura TSX Sport Wagon about to get unveiled at the New York Auto Show, would you consider a more practical version of the well loved sedan?  Discuss!


  1. aneram says:

    I think many people are overlooking a very simple fact about the decision of SUV vs wagons. If you don’t need the three rows of seats, then the wagon should be a compelling choice. My belief is that since most women are short, they really enjoy sitting up higher in an SUV and that is the main reason they do not prefer wagons.

  2. autobot85 says:

    I drive a wagon and I love it! I used to drive a SUV. All the NYC greenies would give me dirty looks and shout at me. Now I drive a wagon that gets the same exact gas mileage and no one looks twice at it. Most wagons have all wheel drive (great for North East winters) they can fit all your stuff (vacations, mountain bikes, seats 7, etc.) I’ll never go back to a sedan.

    If I could’d buy the new Cadillac wagon today. But unfortunately I can’t see: QUESTION OF THE DAY #3
    Friday, March 12th, 2010! :(

  3. bozaman says:

    this is question i have asked myself for a very long time and i have to admit, i’m still stumped for a logical answer. simply stated, i don’t understand why someone would choose an suv (including a so-called crossover) over a hatchback or wagon.

    there’s just as much if not more functionality and practicality in a hatch or wagon, with significant benefits in overall performance, efficiency and generally cost. the one aspect i can point to is that most (not all) hatch or wagon offerings have tended to be more “economy” focused in recent years (cheap materials, cheap price – relatively speaking) and by boosting the materials and features of the suv style vehicles the manufacturer’s can charge a premium.

    i think as socio-economic factors continue to play out over the next several years, the quality of the hatch and wagon offerings will improve and once manufacturer’s recognize that they can profitably sell a premium hatch/wagon they will continue to improve the products and drive customers in that direction.

    there’s still a stigma associated with a hatch or wagon in the american market to be sure but once both manufacturers and consumers recognize you don’t have to drive a 2+ ton vehicle to have a premium experience they will drive a renaissance in this segment.

    me? i’ve always been a fan of the hatch and wagon segment, and am targeting my next purchase in that area.

  4. Esragoria says:

    Personally, I don’t know why someone wouldn’t buy a wagon or a hatchback. More practical, generally have better weight distribution (i think…just guessing from WRC cars), they usually have more room for passengers, people sneer at them less in terms of eco-ness vs crossovers/suvs. The only thing I can think of as a possible point against them is that they’re thought of much the same as minivans, they are mom-mobiles. By buying a minivan or a station wagon, you are telling the world that you don’t care about looks, so long as things are practical. It’s much the same as fashion, there is an entire industry designed around the premise of making and selling things which are uncomfortable.

  5. filipe92 says:

    i don’t know why people don’t buy station wagons more often, maybe they like the taller driving position? but what about the drive, now i know that crossovers are built on a car frame but there’s still going to be body roll. most people never even take their suvs or crossovers over anything but pavement so whats the point just get a station wagon that will have the same amount of space and seats.