Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback?

Americans’ taste in automobiles is becoming a little more European. The fact that Ford and GM are marketing truly global cars like the Fiesta, Focus and Chevrolet Cruze with only minor modifications to reflect local tastes supports this view. Diesel, while still a tiny portion of the US market, is increasing in share of market, propelled by the efforts of VW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW.  GM has even announced that they will offer a diesel-powered Cruze in the US.

Even the hatchback, a configuration traditionally rejected by Americans is becoming more accepted:  “Five-door hatchbacks, popular among European families but long regarded as boring by Americans are catching on.  They now make up almost half the retail sales of Ford’s small Fiesta and Focus” (Financial Times).  Hot hatches like the Focus ST and Golf GTI make this segment even more appealing.

All this change is exciting and I hope that it signals a long-term adjustment in Americans’ view of automobiles.  Selfishly, I hope it will culminate in a re-appreciation of a body style seemingly lost to the sands of time…the full-size station wagon.

Europeans have a very different view of wagons, for one thing, they don’t call them “wagons,” they’re called “estates,” “Touring” or “Avants.” Just the language around the body style is better. It also helps that they have had some of the most beautiful well-designed wagons to choose from for years. For example, look at this Audi 5000 from the eighties, over 25 years old and it still looks great and feels very modern:

images-1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 269px) 100vw, 269px" />

For many Americans the idea of a station wagon became undesirable because of its connection to the newly suburban world of the post war years.  Most of our mothers drove a domestic version like the Ford LTD Country Squire, here’s a good example complete with faux wood, driveway and lawn: 150w" sizes="(max-width: 207px) 100vw, 207px" />

In the 70s & 80s, things began to change, European models became better known and the Volvo wagon became the vehicle of choice for many families: 150w" sizes="(max-width: 207px) 100vw, 207px" />

In the 90s SUVs were the cool alternative to the very uncool station wagon and the death knell began to sound.  The perception that station wagons were for stay-at-home moms in traditional suburbs added to the clanging and finally the cross-overs of the new millennia killed the full-size wagon body style for good.  Even the high-line European brands have stopped importing their C-class wagons to the US.  Audi no longer brings in the A6 Avant and BMW leaves the 5 Series Touring (wagon) off its US product plan. Only Mercedes-Benz, with its E-Class, still imports a full size wagon. It’s really a shame, as I said earlier, the Europeans have been making beautiful and useful wagons for years. But even they have recognized that Americans are more interested in cross-overs and don’t bother to bring in their wagons.

I recognize that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but I can’t understand why someone would choose to drive a chunky cross-over rather than a sleek, beautiful, sophisticated wagon.  Look at the pictures below, wagons on the left, their corresponding cross-over on the right.

The Audi A6 Avant versus the Q7.  The Q7 is perhaps better than most cross-overs, but the A6 Avant is just stunning

Audi Q7 2013







Here’s the BMW Touring versus the X5, no contest.

BMW touring 3013BMW X5 2013


The Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon, truly makes the M-Class look bovine.

MB eclass wagon 2013MB M-Class 2013

One domestic manufacturer has the courage to offer a wagon. I happen to think the Cadillac wagon is great looking, but even if you hate the brand’s design language, you can’t tell me that the wagon isn’t better looking than the SRX!

2013_CTSW_Photo_Gallery_13_12CACT22064_960x400 150w" sizes="(max-width: 193px) 100vw, 193px" />

2013_SRX_0_13CASR22005_ext_960x400 150w" sizes="(max-width: 193px) 100vw, 193px" />





All of these wagons are available with all-wheel drive and offer the driving dynamics and comfort of their sedan counterparts.  These four manufacturers also offer high performance variants for those of us whose manhood may be compromised by the idea of driving a wagon.

The McNaughtons have always had wagons and taken our family of four on vacations, children off to college, several post college moves, not to mention schlepping all manner of household projects and we have never lacked for utility. In fact, I don’t know what we would have done without our wagons.

I know this seems counter intuitive, but these wagons are just so much cooler than cross-overs. The station wagon deserves a renaissance in the US!

Tags: , , , ,

570 Responses to “Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback?”

  1. web site says:

    bionluk backlinkc indexletme

  2. two yarns Coming

    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

  3. m88 says:


    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

  4. check here says:

    check here

    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

  5. gummy smile laser

    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

  6. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit
    and sources back to your website? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest
    as yours and my users would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you
    present here. Please let me know if this alright with you.

  7. The flowers were delivered recent and as anticipated.

  8. a says:

    Hello, this weekend is good in support of me, because
    this time i am reading this impressive informative paragraph
    here at my home.

  9. a says:

    I am truly glad to read this web site posts which carries lots of valuable data, thanks for
    providing such data.

  10. a says:

    It’s an awesome article for all the web people; they will take advantage from it I am sure.

  11. Rf connector manufacturer

    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

  12. It’s really a cool and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that
    you simply shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  13. After exploring a few of the articles on your web page, I
    really like your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark website list
    and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and
    tell me what you think.

  14. Tankini Swimwear
    As someone who pays for and uses all the services Crunchyroll Funimation HIDIVE Hulu amazon prime and Netflix this video is
    terrible quality and seams to only get at part of the issue.
    Yes season splitting of multiple season shows like Darker than Black, DBZ and Ikki Tousen is a problem but the bigger problem
    is the industries refusal to fix it. These shows are split up like this because of crappy licensing deals that
    were never followed up on.

    Sexy Bikini Swimsuit In 1968, the passes all said,
    “No women, children or dogs allowed on the field.” This was no joke.
    There were no women in the marching band; no women cheerleaders;
    no women security guards. A year later, I earned one of the coveted passes.
    Turns out she lived in the US for a while, and mentioned she has relatives
    still living there. She asked us if we had ever heard of the city
    where her relatives live, which ends up being where our college is located.
    On top of that, her relatives run the most popular pizza joint in town two blocks from
    campus.. Sexy Bikini Swimsuit

    Bathing Suits Uh, I just going to tell you not actively painful in normal day to day life (especially when your foot is going numb) means it will be VERY annoying on the mountain or at any point in the day where
    your foot has expanded. I know I wear 7 in Burton and 32, but a
    6.5 in Ride. I don remember off the top of my head about other
    brands.. Bathing Suits

    cheap bikinis 1. AlineaHow to describe the beauty of the great
    Alinea in mere words! Let’s just say, if Bobby Flay’s Bar American were a Coach bag, then the Alinea would be a one of a kind alligator Hermes
    Birkin. There is nothing, NOTHING that can touch the expertise of
    Grant Achatz and his miraculous team. cheap bikinis

    dresses sale Stop trying to make money off of dead people,
    it disgusting and crass beyond all belief. She has
    departed this life, please show some respect for the dead.

    Show some respect for the dead and please, let this never happen. Gundam SEED Destiny had its premiere broadcast in Japan on October 9, 2004, at 6:00 on the Japan News Network
    television stations Tokyo Broadcasting System and Mainichi
    Broadcasting System replacing the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime
    series and ended on October 1, 2005. In December 2005, a special
    episode called “The Chosen Future” aired in Japan. The episode is mainly a
    remake of episode 50, extending the series’ ending.
    dresses sale

    swimwear sale On their way home from the lake,
    the girls ran into the two assailants, Viggo Kristiansen and Jan Helge Andersen, who had been bicycling around the
    area looking for potential victims.[5] They were lured by Kristiansen, who pretended to be
    looking for lost kittens, up to a more secluded
    part of the terrain. At the trial, the court established
    that both girls were at this point first ordered to undress, then sexually assaulted by
    Kristiansen. Andersen contributed to this act by subduing the
    girls, as well as later sexually molesting Srstrnen. swimwear sale

    Sexy Bikini Swimsuit Looking at Nike’s financial statements, we can see a lot of very
    positive things. Revenue, gross profit, and
    net income have all increased steadily year after year.

    Their current ratio, a ratio you can use to measure if
    a company can pay off its debts, has increased in fiscal year 2017.
    Sexy Bikini Swimsuit

    Monokinis swimwear Investors should be having flashbacks to the 2010 accelerator
    issues that plagued Toyota and Lexus models. That issue, which involved the hybrid
    models inadvertently accelerating when pressure was applied to the brake on bumpy surfaces,
    cost Toyota roughly $2 billion between lost revenue and recall costs.
    The company incurred an additional $1.2 billion charge related
    to legal costs. Monokinis swimwear

    wholesale bikinis With the help of the local expertise, lithium deposits can more
    easily be found, explored, and developed. Lowest production cost per
    ton LCE. The climate in Argentina is unmatched for a brine evaporation operation, which is the
    lowest cost method to date. wholesale bikinis

    beach dresses I “quit” self injury about 8 times before I was actually
    able to put it behind me (currently 17 years clean!).
    When you use something as a coping device it almost impossible to leave it behind until you have new coping devices.
    Understanding where it came from and why
    you felt you needed it and not feeling debilitating anxiety about moving in the world without it are really key!
    Even if you have wobbles (because in times of stress it natural to fall back on your most used
    coping mechanisms without really thinking about it) you still on the path to success beach dresses.

  15. Brkfst premium e-liquids

    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

  16. hair Extensions

    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

  17. Hello, I enjoy reading your post all. I llike to compose a comment to support you. I time spent my half an hour to read the content of this internet site all the time together with a mug of coffee.

  18. service online

    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

  19. skin clinic for Acne

    Americans becoming more “European” in our automotive tastes…will wagons make a comeback? « McNaughton Automotive Perspectives

Leave a Reply