2014 Wagon Buyer's Guide
2014 Wagon Buyer's Guide
The station wagon, a vehicular species whose traditional habitat was once American family driveways, is nearly extinct. This dinosaur of the post-war era hasn't been wiped out by an astronomical calamity. Instead, it has succumbed to the relentless growth in popularity of a recent breed of transportation called the crossover SUV.
Traditionally, station wagons have been defined as vehicles that are based on an established car model and equipped with an extended roofline, tailgate, and rear quarter glass to create additional cargo room. For the 2014 model year, 10 such cars remain available in the United States, most offered by luxury brands that compete in Europe, where station wagons remain relatively popular.
Note that three of the models contained in this buyer's guide meet the conventional definition of a station wagon, but in a brilliant display of automotive Darwinism, are styled and packaged to pass themselves off as crossover SUVs. And while a couple of the wagons listed below face imminent cancellation, next year Volvo gets back to its roots with a new V60 wagon model.
Detailed below are the 10 station wagons that are available for 2014, listed in alphabetical order.
Based on the European version of the Honda Accord, the Acura TSX Wagon is equipped with a thrifty 4-cylinder engine and as much passenger and cargo space as many compact crossover SUVs. If you're on the fence with regard to buying a TSX Wagon, keep in mind that this model is likely living on borrowed time. Auto industry analysts expect Acura to soon replace the TSX and the TL with a new TLX model, and the slow-selling station wagon variant is unlikely to make the transition. If you want one, now is likely the best time to get one.Key Specs:
- 201-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine
- 31.5 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
- 66.2 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
- EPA-rated 25 mpg in combined driving
- Base price: $32,880
Styled to look like a crossover SUV, the Audi Allroad is an Audi A4 Avant wagon at heart. Relative to the A4 Sedan, the Allroad model shares the same turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and Quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, and beyond the oversized grille, gray body cladding, and simulated skid plates, it is easy to see the A4 Avant station wagon that Audi no longer sells in the United States.Key Specs:
- 220-horsepower, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
- 27.6 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
- 50.5 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
- EPA-rated 23 mpg in combined driving
- Base price: $41,595
Though it accounts for a sliver of 3 Series sales, BMW steadfastly continues to offer Americans a 3 Series station wagon. Redesigned for 2013, the 3 Series Wagon is the newest and most modern member of this relatively exclusive club, and is sold only with BMW's xDrive AWD system. Buyers choose between a 328i with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and a 328d with a clean diesel engine EPA-rated to get 43 mpg on the highway.Key Specs:
- 328i: 241-horsepower, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
- 328d: 180-horsepower, turbocharged clean diesel 4-cylinder engine
- 25 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
- 53 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
- 328i: EPA-rated 26 mpg in combined driving
- 328d: EPA-rated 35 mpg in combined driving
- Base price: $42,375