Friday, January 27, 2023
News Opinion: What’s old is new again; wagons to return

Opinion: What’s old is new again; wagons to return

You’ve all heard this saying. It’s more than a saying in fact as it proves to be true over and over again. Think fashion, colours, architecture, hairstyles, furniture and on and on.

The same is true in the automotive world. The best example to support my point is the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Roadsters were prominent in the late 50s, 60s and early 70s only to then die out. By the late 80s, Mazda rekindled a love affair with the automobile which ignited a new-old segment. The major difference between now and the late 80s is that the automotive landscape was dreadfully dull at the time.

Today, and for the last decade, crossovers have slowly flooded our roads and I admit that they’re very useful. I enjoyed a Ford Escape and a VW Atlas in the recent past and had nothing but praise for their utilitarian abilities. My thing, and probably your thing, is that I love driving. Spending time at the wheel of a crossover, no matter how good, will never reward a driver the way a car does.

But then, how is one supposed to benefit from the spaciousness and utility inherent to a CUV and enjoy good driving dynamics? My friends, the answer is blowing over the long-roof.

Station wagons all but died in the last 15-20 years. In that period, nearly all OEMs poked around for fans but for the most part, too many potential buyers were wrapped in the idea of a “truck”. For example, there was the Dodge Magnum (hold on to it if you own one, especially a 2008), the Caddy CTS, Mazda6, Elantra Touring, and thankfully, a large number of offerings from the Europeans. All of the aforementioned are dead and buried but Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Volkswagen still have one to many of them for sale.

In fact, I think that station wagons will make a comeback. Mark my words: They will become cool again. And two carmakers, in my opinion, will help make this happen and they are VW and Porsche.

Volkswagen’s Sportwagen is handsome, spacious, affordable and most importantly, brilliant to drive. Want to be different from your neighbours that drive CR-Vs, RAV4s, Equinox, and other utes? The Golf Sportwagen’s the answer.

At the other end of the spectrum is Porsche. The launch of their Panamera Sport Turismo (don’t call it a wagon, but we all know that’s what it is) has elevated the body style’s standing. And now, they’re planning on a Mission E Cross Turismo that is 100% electric, fast, sexy and badass. A wagon’s become an aspirational halo car.

Don’t get me wrong, consumers will not be trading in their CUVs and SUVs anytime soon to pick up a wagon but be mindful of the increasing number of 5-door hatchbacks trickling into the market. I believe that many will slowly transform into wagons for the extra luggage room and utility.

And if you were wondering why all of this, well, I own three station wagons. There are six of them total in the immediate family fleet. The first car I ever drove was a station wagon and I spent my entire youth as a passenger in one of many long-roofs. And, I’m obviously a cool guy…

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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