Will Wagons Ever Return?

Will Wagons Ever Return?

SUVs. The most controversial vehicle type since they were spawned in 1984 with the introduction of the XJ-generation Jeep Cherokee.

Since its inception, the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) has moved from off-roading capability to style and fashion sense, although “style” is a term used loosely around these vehicles. Further, the body style has since seen the inception of the crossover (essentially a small hatch with higher ground clearance), “super” SUVs (SUVs with the specs of a supercar), and the abomination that are coupe SUVs.

BMW X6 M50i. Credit: BMW

As they have come to fruition, SUVs have reduced the sales of hatchbacks, sedans, and, most critically, wagons. Wagons, or estates, boomed in sales before SUVs cropped up. However, an influx of new wagons, suitable for all price ranges and all performance levels, shows that wagons may truly be returning.

Recently, brands such as Volkswagen, Genesis, Peugeot, BMW, Porsche, and Subaru have all launched new estate cars that are revolting against the high-riding tyranny of SUVs.

Take the Peugeot 508 SW PSE. It may be a mouthful, but with 4WD, and an awesome grey and lime paint scheme, it looks and performs brilliantly. Further, the second generation of Genesis G70 introduced a shooting brake variant, which looks incredible. It also proves that wagons truly are versatile, as the 508 is available with 4WD, whilst the G70 has a 2.0T I4 and a 3.3T I6, both with RWD. The Volkswagen Arteon also benefitted from a Shooting Brake variant when it was facelifted, and it massively boosted the model’s sales, and comes in FWD or AWD with two 4-cylinder engines.

These companies all sell SUVs, however with the high ride height and somewhat odd proportions (especially when compared to the low, sleek styling of a modern wagon), the wagon begins to make sense as a value proposition, especially as it costs less than a jacked-up wagon with plastic cladding and no off-roading credentials.

The BMW M3, for the first time, gained a Touring variant, which offsets the pig nose with a rear end that is well worth the extra price hike. Meanwhile, in Stuttgart, Porsche unveiled both the Cross and Sport Turismo variants for the Taycan, arguably improving the visual appeal of the electric car. And the Subaru Levorg, now discontinued, had an STI version, however, the new WRX has substituted it by introducing a Sportswagon variant.

Volvo and Audi continue to carry the torch of the estate, providing wagons that cover all bases, whether it be for general driving in an A4, navigating trails in a V60 Cross Country, or blasting up a tight country road in an RS 6, these two brands will forever be known as the two wagon champions.

So, do these new alternatives offer a glimpse into a future where the fad of SUVs is over?

Sadly, no. We will continue to see the absolutely photogenic gems that are wagons continue to run in discord with SUVs, but the high stance and extreme overdesign that they offer ensures that they will reign supreme. We may see that shift when the era of purely electric cars arrives, however, for now, we marvel at them for being both cool and rare.

If you are a car person, and you ever get the opportunity to buy a wagon, go through with it. They are some of the most versatile vehicles in the industry and they also look incredible.