Wagon Love

It’s not unanimous, but people who write about cars for a living, invariably love the station wagon. I mean, love it. Their wagon love extends far and wide, across the decades and spanning different manufacturers.

Wagon Love - complete repairs and restoration for all wagons at Seatco

A 1973 BMW 2002 Touring – yes, they sold them in the States, but not many went across the curb.

Wagon Love - Seatco does interior repair and restoration on all wagons

1996 Ford Taurus Station Wagon

In fact, I’ll go further in my generalization and state that many people who don’t write about cars, but are automotive aficionados, and therefore know a lot about cars, also love wagons.

And, I do, too. And, folks, I am definitely not the “joiner” type. My wagon love is confined to about two dozen models, but still, that’s a lot. That’s a big number.

Station wagons are called different things in different countries; in some places the wagon is a combi, or an estate, or a familiale, or a touring, and then, of course, there are the shooting brakes of England. No matter, it’s all pretty much the same layout.

Why do automotive writers like wagons so much, when the rest of the world is not so keen on the concept, and in the United States, specifically, the station wagon is very much a niche configuration?

Well, actually, its not even big enough to be a niche anymore, it’s more like a fringe offering, probably, appealing to only a tiny sliver of the American population.

Wagons were a huge segment at one time in the U.S., and were beloved by many, and very few manufacturers now offer one, and the ones that do offer wagons hardly sell any of them.

But, that’s not the thing we want to get at it here in this article. The question is, why are wagons so well-loved by automotive journalists?

Is is just a matter of them embracing what everyone else is fleeing from, just to show others that they are so well-informed about cars that they will champion an almost-dead genre? Well, frankly, I think there is some of that at work here for some of these writers.

Mostly, however, they just like the fact that it’s a car that offers a lot of utility for carrying things. Things like skis, or bags of mulch from Lowe’s, or your two Airedales. It handles and accelerates like a car, and it does those pack mule things without it being an SUV.

Many wagons are also quite attractive. That sure doesn’t hurt in terms of wagon love.

Whoa, wait a minute, you might say. What about crossovers that are built on a car platform? Isn’t that going to handle like the car it’s based on?

Well, yes. A crossover is just a tall station wagon, basically. Don’t tell those crossover owners, but, they’re driving a station wagon, with a hatch in the rear.

This fact, which 99% of crossover owners are oblivious to, makes people with wagon love even more fierce in their ardor for wagons, since wagons are “the genuine thing, not some car that’s tarted up to look like some faux, rugged go-anywhere vehicle that appeals to people’s ego, and their desired self-image”. Yes, there is some smugness salted in there – you read the subtext correctly.

Wagon Love - make your wagon interior beautiful again at Seatco

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country AWD Wagon – has to be a special order from the factory and you wait a few months for delivery. That’s how small the wagon market is now.

Whatever your reason for loving the station wagon, if indeed you do, you are not alone.

You’re almost alone, but you’re not alone yet.

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