REAL station wagons?

frequentdriverAugust 19, 2006

I've spent quite a number of years in the newspaper business and I've found that the best car for the job (for me) is a station wagon, but they don't seem to make them any more. I don't want a restyled truck (SUV) with all its attendant issues--like sucky milage, usw--I want a traditional station wagon. By this, I mean a real car with a bay in the rear instead of a trunk. Also, because the rolled newspapers tend to hide in the well between the bucket seats, I would like a bench seat. This wagon should be mid-sized, about like a Taurus. It should also have front wheel drive because they get (in my experience) better milage and with studded snow tires all around, I've never been stopped unless the snow level was higher than the hood. I have a '94 Taurus which serves admirably, but after a dozen years needs replacement. Anyone have any ideas?

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earthworm

So what is wrong with the so-called "mini-van" ??
They seem to be much better than the old station wagons space-wise..
Has the "mini-van" become too huge ??
Two bucket seats up front is also much better, unless one is 18 ( and older) and prefers to have the girl of the night as close as possible...
Try out the new Saab 9-3 Combi, this seems to be close...

And maybe, just maybe, Ford will see the market for a practical-sized "station wagon"..

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 4:26PM
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jdbillp

There quite a few station wagons available. Here is a list of some.

Volkswagen Passat station wagon
Dodge Magnum
Subaru Legacy Wagon
Ford Focus Wagon
Suzuki Forenza Wagon
Chevrolet HHR

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is a link to MSN's station wagon article.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 4:57AM
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quirkyquercus

I think you can still get a volvo (ford) wagon and mercedes (chrysler) wagon. I know what you mean. I always thought wagons were neat. For some reason suv's didn't appeal the same way to me and not only that suv are still expensive.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 8:09PM
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earthworm

Check out some of the really, IMO, nice reasonably sized wagons that VW sells, in Europe, of course, we will never see them....

Detroit has never learned how to ask potential buyers what they want... nor how to listen...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 5:19PM
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steve_o

Detroit has never learned how to ask potential buyers what they want... nor how to listen...

Y'know, sometimes it doesn't pay to give customers just what they asked for. Customers never "asked for" the Mustang or the Chrysler minivans. They were brand-new creations. Yet they sold like hotcakes for the companies which created them and spawned generations of competitors.

As anyone who's read my posts can see, I'm not a huge fan of the U.S. car industry, but credit is due where credit is due. Sometimes you do best when you go outside that customer-imposed box.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:22AM
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sdello

steve_o
I agree, however to completely abandon a sgement of the buying public doesn't necessarily seem like good business sense to me.

FWIW: we just got rid of my wife's trusty '93 Caprice Classic wagon. There is no direct replacement available. Sure mini-vans and full-size SUV's have comparable room and power, but what if you don't want a van or a truck?

IMHO, none of the suggestions by jdbillp are "real" wagons. They are midsize to almost compact cars. (The HHR is pretty small compared to the Caprice). Full-size automobiles are a thing of the past. I'm surprised that Ford didn't stay with a wagon version of the crown vic. I believe that it would hold its own as far as market share.

Newer more complex cars are not necessarily better. Technology does start to level off, where benefits gained are marginal when compared to the increased cost and fabrication, not to mention maintenance.

One example might be HDTV. sure the picture is cleaner, but many people are happy with the resolution of a standard TV. It's not as significant as the change from B&W to color.

such is my rant for the day.

Lamenting the loss of a "real" station wagon.
sdello

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 12:47PM
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uncledave_ct

How about crossovers, like the Ford Freestyle or Chrysler Pacifica? Not true wagons, but not SUV's either. Both seem to offer tons of room. I tested out a Freestyle and it was quite a decent automobile, drove like a regular car and had plenty of storage.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 1:58PM
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sdello

She actually bought a Freestyle.

It is not as big as the old wagon. I preferred the minivan over the "crossover" vehicles as they have more room and are falling out of favor so prices are ggod.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 6:25PM
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scryn

I had the same problem.

jdbillp made a nice list except he forgot the Volvo station wagons.

We went with a used Subaru outback and we LOVE it.

volvo was a bit too expensive and VW actually didn't have that good a rating (for used) the outback had a high safety rating and high reliability, which is why we chose it. In addition we have ALOT of snow here and found that the all wheel drive does come in handy.

We are thinking about buying our second one, which would be the smaller wagon outback (impreza outback). it is a little shorter than the legacy outback.

Anyways, we have two dogs and we love being able to put them in the back for long trips and we still have room in the back seat for our stuff. One thing I have heard about the older outbacks is that if you are taller you may not like them. I am shorter and the outback fits me perfectly. My bestfriend's husband is almost 6 ft and he can't stand driving them. I have heard the 2006 outbacks have more legroom now.

Mileage is ok. It isn't any worse than my 10 yr old pontiac grand am V6. However we are thinking of buying the impreza to take place of the pontiac, which hardly runs anymore and we will use the impreza to commute to work. We rarely use the full sized outback to commute. We just don't need something that big for everyday use. It also has a V6 so we can tow easily however this does mean it uses more gas.

-renee

-renee

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 4:05PM
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quirkyquercus

Remember the Buick Roadmaster? Wheesh what a behemouth.
Someone told me the reason they did away with the Caprice was an attempt to sell law enforcement agencies suburbans instead. I guess that didn't go as planned.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 10:14PM
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jdbillp

I have seen quite a few 2WD Chevy Tahoe police vehicles.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 9:04AM
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sdello

"Remember the Buick Roadmaster? Wheesh what a behemouth."

yes I do. What a beauty. Caprice/roadmaster/deville/Olds custom cruiser all shared the same big rear wheel drive platform.

gone are the days.

As a aside, some law enforcement are opting for the new charger these days.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 12:14PM
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quirkyquercus

I think the problem here is GA was they didn't want to pay for suvs. Unfortunately at that time the Crown vics were under scrutiny around here for fatal gas tank explosions. As a result there are a lot of intrepids and impala police cruisers. Lately there seems to be a lot of silverado pickup cruisers too. My prediction is that the full size sedans will be back.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 12:48PM
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