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: , , , ,

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

  1. thank you for sharing. Come back our website.

  2. Yangın Kapısı Fiyatları, Yangın çıkış kapısı fiyatını belirleyen en önemli unsur. Yangın kapısının sertifika durumu ve üzeirnde bulunan aksesuar durumudur. Yangın Kapısı En Kısa sürede çıkış yapmanızı sağlayan nitelikli kapıdır. Yangın Kapısı Fiyatları en ucuz fiyatta hizmet, Yangın Kapı fiyatı istanbulun en ucuz yangın kapısı.

  3. Garth brooks trisha yearwood divorce date of Separation

    Americans becoming more

  4. KadıKöY says:

    Great blo here! Also your site loads upp very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate
    lijnk to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as
    yourrs lol

    My weblog KadıKöY

  5. Lace Wigs says:

    wigs for women

    Americans becoming more

  6. Best Press Release Services

    Americans becoming more

  7. order cbd oral spray Sleep

    Americans becoming more


    Americans becoming more

  9. my website says:

    Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your site is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  10. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a
    paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused ..
    Any suggestions? Many thanks!

  11. Socialbots instagram likes

    Americans becoming more

  12. Qiu qiu

    Americans becoming more

  13. free Video intro maker Android

    Americans becoming more

  14. you’re truly a excellent webmaster. The web site loading velocity іs amazing.
    Ӏt seems that yoᥙ are dօing any distinctive trick.
    Also, The contents are masterwork. үou’ve done а magnificent activity іn thіs subject!

  15. paint Garage floor Epoxy

    Americans becoming more

  16. vps Gsa Search engine ranker

    Americans becoming more

  17. Best VPS for GSA Search Engine Ranker

    Americans becoming more

  18. vacant properties buyer

    Americans becoming more

  19. play Lottery says:

    Hi there, ɑlways i ᥙsed to check blog posts һere eɑrly in the break of
    day, because i enjoy to gain knowledge of mߋге ɑnd

  20. Davidson Residential Wall Paper Installers

    Americans becoming more

  21. Can you tell us more anout this? I’d want tto
    find out more details.

  22. what is website seo services

    Americans becoming more

  23. seo Meaning in marketing

    Americans becoming more

  24. Amazon seo consultant

    Americans becoming more

  25. 115471209.ys.nb35.Net

    Americans becoming more

  26. PokerAce99 says:


    Americans becoming more

  27. Software engineering

    Americans becoming more

  28. Schoolman says:

    Thanks a lot! It is definitely an fantastic web-site.

  29. The diverse qualities of honey have been mentioned within the literature
    in addition to by many eminent workers. It also
    protects your skin layer in the damage caused by the UV
    rays with the sun – the largest take into account age spot formation.
    This wonderful natural your meals are derived through
    the flowers of New Zealand native Manuka plant (Leptospermum scoparium), plus some
    on this natural ingredient may have even more powerful qualities than regular honey, as a result of presence in the
    Unique Manuka Factor (UMFA)If you’re curious to know much
    more about the benefits with this natural ingredient, keep reading to discover
    the top five.

  30. find jobs online

    Americans becoming more

  31. Very good blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for
    a paid option? There are so many choices out
    there that I’m totally confused .. Any tips? Thanks
    a lot!

  32. Bank Marketing Ideas

    Americans becoming more


    Americans becoming more

  34. Seo Consultant

    Americans becoming more

  35. You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I in finding this matter to
    be actually something which I feel I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely huge for me.
    I’m having a look ahead to your subsequent put up, I’ll try to get
    the hang of it!

  36. catchy blog title

    Americans becoming more

  37. I got this website from my buddy who shared with me about
    this web page and now this time I am browsing this website
    and reading very informative articles or reviews at this time.

  38. johan andruejol forum

    Americans becoming more

  39. What’s up to all, for the reason that I am
    actually eager of reading this weblog’s post to be updated on a regular basis.
    It consists of pleasant material.

  40. It is actually a great and helpful piece of info.
    I’m happy that you just shared this useful info with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.wholesale nfl jerseys

  41. What’s up, I wish for to subscribe for this website to get hottest updates, thus where can i do it
    please nfl jerseys

  42. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet the
    simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked
    while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also
    defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thankscheap nfl jerseys

  43. Braindumps says:

    Remarkable things here. I am very glad to peer your post.
    Thank you so much and I’m having a look ahead to touch you.

    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  44. Click Here to Buy Now

    Loved it amazing product…

  45. exam dumps says:

    exam dumps

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

  46. This article will assist the internet visitors for creating
    new webpage or even a blog from start to end.

  47. Simply desire to say your article is as amazing. The clearness on your submit is simply spectacular
    and that i can think you are knowledgeable on this subject.
    Fine together with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with drawing close post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  48. Estaba buscando esa informacion hace ciclo, te lo agradezco, estoy de concierto con tu punto de vista y heno igual.

    Despues de buscar mucho por Internet encontre lo que buscaba.
    Genial!!! muchas gracias

  49. Cheap website design

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

  50. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site.
    Reading this info So i’m happy to exhibit that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed.
    I most indubitably will make certain to don?t
    forget this web site and give it a look on a relentless basis.

Leave a Reply