Yesterday Ford revealed the new face for the 2015 Focus ahead of the Geneva Auto Show, and along with it a wagon variant that unfortunately won’t be sold in the U.S. It got Jo and I talking about what the dearth of decent station wagons in the U.S., even though some of America’s most popular cars are available as wagons in Europe.
It’s the second such conversation about station wagons I’ve had in the past week, prompting me to put together a list of cars I wish were their European wagon variants in America. The only criteria is that the car has to be a production model available in both the U.S. and Europe.
Let the lamenting begin!
6: The Mazda6 Wagon
As Jo pointed out, the all-new Mazda6 sedan is one of the sexiest front-drivers on the market right now, and the inevitable addition of a 2.2 liter turbodiesel only makes it more appealing. The Euro-only model even has an available manual transmission, checking off every dream daily driver criteria for 90% of car enthusiasts. I would sell my house to buy this car if it came to America, and that is not an exaggeration.
Alas, a wagon version of the Mazda6 isn’t planned for America, and the turbodiesel engine has been delayed for a lack of zoom-zoom. In other words, it’s too damn slow for us picky Americans, though Mazda is working on that. But the wagon thing? Don’t hold your breath.
5: The 2015 Ford Focus Wagon
The car that kicked off the conversation between Jo and I, the 2015 Focus gets a sharp new look, and in Europe only, a wagon version. It’s a great-looking design that makes the station wagon sporty rather than stodgy, and it’s doubly impressive when you consider that the EcoBoost-powered Focus ST can also be had as an “estate” model.
252 turbocharged horsepowers in a compact wagon? Sign me up! Alas, this is another case of “You can’t have it because you won’t want to pay for it.” Realistically, an estate-model Focus ST sold in America would have a price tag closing in on $30,000.
The thing is, this would be the most attainable “sportwagon” on this whole list, and among one of the most powerful too. So why can’t we get it? It’s not like there were wagon versions of the Focus before. Alas, a popular Focus wagon might step on the toes of Ford’s growing list of crossover models.
4: The Chevy Cruze Wagon
Also due for an update soon, GM’s new world-spanning compact the Chevy Cruze can be had as a wagon in the Old World as well. This is the car that most tickles Jo’s fancy, and it’s easy to see why; it’s another handsome take on a compact car that’s infinitely more useful than a sedan, or even hatchback version. America used to love station wagons. What happened?
Cruze, why u no wagon?!?
3: Honda Civic Tourer
Arguably the least attractive of the bunch with a frumpy front end and a low-sloping roof, the Honda Civic Tourer is still the wagon that makes the most sense for America. The Civic is a perennial best-seller, and even if only 10% of buyers opted for wagons, that’d still be tens of thousands of sales. I fear Honda’s pursuit of the crossover segment, and fear of sales cannibalization of profitable CR-V sales.
Honda reliability in a station wagon? I’d sign up for that all day, frumpy face or no.
2: The Audi RS4 Avant
Yesterday, this is where this list would have ended, because this is in so many ways the ultimate station wagon. The Audi RS4 Avant is a wagon-only version of the Audi A4, packing a 450 horsepower V8 under the hood with power going to all four wheels. 0 to 60 MPH takes just 4.7 seconds. In a station wagon. Hnnnghhh.
But it isn’t coming to America, because Audi doesn’t think we want it. I wish I was rich enough to prove them wrong.
1: The Jaguar XFR-S Sportsbrake
Revealed this morning, the Jaguar XFR-S takes the standard XFR and all of its 505 supercharged horsepower sexiness, and transplants it into a station wagon. It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. It plucks my heartstrings, and then smashes a guitar over my head, because like the Audi RS4 Avant, it isn’t coming to America.
I wish I knew why, but it’s not like I could afford one anyways. Still, it seems to me that Americans are ready for the station wagon to return, especially after seeing what’s available just an ocean away. It’s not like these are foriegn automakers, or cars that aren’t sold here; these all have contemporary U.S. models.
The crossover thing is played out. But wagons? They’ve never been cooler.
Did I miss anything? Probably not, but feel free to post some of your favorite wagons in the comments below.