Here’s all the New Wagons you can still buy in Canada in 2020
Long live the longroof
For many car shoppers, station wagons haven’t been on their personal radar since the early 1980s. Ever since Chrysler’s duo of Magic Wagons usurped the longroof (which were then overtaken by the modern SUV and crossover) as the nation’s favourite way to shuttle the brood, many manufacturers have hit the ‘Delete’ button on that body style.
Lately, however, a few have chosen to hit ‘Ctrl + Z’ instead, infusing their lineup with an alternative to the common crossover in a smart reversal of product decisions that saw wagons shunned like soiled copies of Maclean’s magazine. Cars like the ones listed here often have cargo capacity equal to (or better than) their SUV cousins, while deploying a lower centre of gravity and exhibiting better handling characteristics. What they don’t provide is that high seating position that the general public seems to need so badly.
Thinking about bucking the trend and standing apart from your neighbours? We’ve assembled a list of who’s who (and who’s left) in the station wagon segment.
The brand from Ebisu seemingly has a rack full of station wagons at first glance but, when all is parsed, most of them fall into the crossover or SUV segment. Its Outback nameplate has been around for over 20 years, first appearing as a trim level on the Legacy station wagon before morphing into its own model.
Though it has grown in size over the years, the Outback retains the most wagon-like profile one will find in a Subaru showroom, now that its brothers have donned taller boots. Power is provided by either a 182hp naturally-aspirated 2.5L boxer-four or a turbocharged 2.4L boxer making 260 horses. Guess which one we’d pick?
Volvo V60 and V60 Cross Country
There is a good argument to be made that Volvo is the OG company for wagons. After all, how many Lego-on-wheels vehicles have been parked in the staff lots of hospitals and universities over the last few decades? For a while, Volvo was as synonymous with wagons as it is with safety. As it happens, there are still plenty of wagons in the Gothenburg corporate cupboard. In fact, one of them nearly qualifies for a hot rod medallion.
The V60 is a wagon through and through, with a Scandinavian design that evokes past Volvos with flourishes like its sky high tail lights while still looking toward the future with touches like those dandy Thor’s Hammer headlamps. Its minimalist interior will have you thinking you’ve somehow ended up in a mobile IKEA. The hot Polestar version makes 415 horsepower from a hybrid powertrain, while a model-adjacent V60 Cross Country adds black wheel arches and slightly more ride height to the standard wagon (not quite enough height to classify it as a crossover through; that distinction is reserved for the XC60 model).
VW Golf Alltrack and SportWagen
This little imp gets a special mention because, even though there are none being produced for this country in the 2020 model year, dealers stocked up on the things before they vanished off the order sheet late in 2019. It provides space on par with most crossovers and is available with a manual transmission. Yet, it bears a base price of under $25,000.
Entry-level power is courtesy of a 1.4L mill making 147 horsepower, hooked to either a tasty six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. A 1.8L engine producing 170 ponies is also available. And, yes, even that engine is available with a stick. The Alltrack comes standard with all-wheel drive, while it’s optional on the Sportwagen.
This car skirts the is-it-or-isn’t-it debate, given its tip-toe styling and L.L. Bean front fascia. Still, like the Outback mentioned earlier, its visual profile definitely plants a flag in the wagon camp. Available with a six-speed manual across nearly its entire model range, save for the high-zoot Limited model, the Crosstrek is likely the closest link these days to the good bits of Subaru in the ‘90s.
Opting for an automatic transmission does bring an extra dose of safety kit, marketed under Subaru’s EyeSight banner, including a suite of driver aids like adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking. Base prices start under $24,000 but can crest thirty grand without too much trouble. All Crosstreks have the same 152hp engine so we recommend buying only what you need.
Starting under 30 grand, the Mini Clubman is 271mm longer than a bog standard Mini Cooper 5-door, yet stands only 16mm taller. This is more than good enough for wagon status in our eyes, especially when a crossover/SUV version of any vehicle generaly rises several centimetres in height.
Three- and four-cylinder engines are available, with our pick being the 301-horsepower John Cooper Works edition. Its split rear barn doors serve to scupper rear visibility provide a unique and funky look, while the general visage of any Mini can’t help but put a smile on the face of its driver. One downfall? The manual transmission has long been expunged, leaving just the eight-speed automatic.
Audi A4 and A6 Allroad
Equipped with the brand’s vaunted Quattro all-wheel drive, this two-of-a-kind is more than capable of moving a full house. Flush with style yet straight to the point, the smaller of the two bears a starting price of just over $50,000. Wheel arch flares do give off a hint of crossover vibe but its overall profile is definitely wagon-like.
The interiors of these two wagons area as plush and refined as you’d expect in any Audi, except there’s more of it thanks to their cavernous cargo areas. The A6 Allroad is an expensive proposition, topping out at more than $90,000, but it’s difficult to argue with a luxurious station wagon offering 335 turbocharged horsepower and all-wheel drive.
Audi RS6 Avant
In addition to the Allroad wagons listed above, the giant from Ingolstadt has a hot rod longroof that’s sure to give the kids vertigo on the way to soccer practice. The beautiful RS 6 Avant is sleek, low slung, and has more power than some supercars. Its interior is studded with all the latest infotainment and connectivity tools the German brand has to offer.
No fewer than 591 of the finest German horses reside under that long hood, produced by a twin-turbo 4.0L V8, whisking the driver and four friends to highway speeds in a face-flattening 3.5 seconds. Brakes the size of dinner plates will get things whoa’d down with confidence. Widened by 80mm and sporting a set of aggro air vents, the RS 6 Avant is a brute in a suit.
Porsche Panamera SportTurismo
Available in several different flavours from the $111,700 Panamera 4 SportTurismo to the $179,000 Turbo model, this stretch Porsche offers much of the space found in the brand’s crossover offerings but stays a lot closer to the ground – and arguably looks a lot better, too. Somehow, the elongated roofline nullifies the tendency of non-SportTurismo Panameras to look a bit like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Sitting atop the SportTurismo food chain is the mighty Turbo S E-Hybrid, retailing just shy of a quarter-million bucks in this country. Fitted with all-wheel drive and the optional Sport Chrono package, it can reach 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds, faster than a lot of low-slung exotics. In the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid SportTurismo, then, you can dust off a McLaren while on the way home from picking up that evening’s take-out dinner.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon
Unlike a certain blue-and-white propeller brand, the fine folks at Mercedes-Benz have chosen to keep the noble station wagon alive in not one but two size choices. The C-Class is available as either a sub-$50,000 C300 4Matic or as a speedy AMG C43 version, the latter of which has a wonderfully rorty bark on the two-three upshift.
Powered by an AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo engine, the C43 comes with all-wheel drive as standard equipment. An optional AMG Night Package murders out all the chrome and should be ordered post-haste by buyers, especially ones who opt for a dark colour or the $2500 matte grey paint.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon
As for the E-Class, one can choose from a sober looking E450 4Matic or a slightly hotter AMG E53, both of which will ferry you and the brood in fine style. Oh yeah – there’s also the swivel-eyed AMG C63 S 4Matic wagon, a nameplate that makes your author slightly weak in the knees while simply typing it on this battered MacBook.
If you have the scratch, and sales of the brand’s big SUVs suggest plenty do, the braintrust of wheels.ca strongly urges buyers to plunk down $121,000 on this sin wagon. A total of 603 horsepower and an acceleration time of just 3.3 seconds is more than enough to make anyone forget that SUV they left on the showroom floor.
This spellcheck-vexing entry from the Prancing Horse brand is a callback to shooting brakes of old, complete with a decidedly long nose and short tail. Out front is a mighty V12 engine packing 680 horsepower. Underneath is one of the most advanced all-wheel drive systems ever to come out of Italy, as it is integrated with a four-wheel steering system.
Those who would rather experience their grand touring through a turbocharged lens are encouraged to sample the GTC4Lusso T, the first four-seat Fezza to be powered by a V8 turbo. Horsepower is slightly less than the V12, rated at a hardly shabby 600 horses, but torque jumps by 45 to 560lb.-ft of twist. With its body language and visual profile, we think it meets wagon criteria for the one-percent.