11 Excellent Station Wagons in 2014 Showrooms
Station wagons seem to be a dying breed. Among the throngs of crossovers and SUVs, wagons seem to have lost their appeal – in America, at least — as other vehicles can offer more space with comparable or better fuel economy, and at a better price.
However, there is still a demand for the low-slung, cargo-carrying sedan variants, and as long as there’s demand, manufacturers are only too happy to oblige. Here are 11 awesome wagons that are still on the docket for 2014.
Since we here at Wall St. Cheat Sheet haven’t driven the vehicles in question ourselves, we turned to the automotive expertise of Edmunds.com, Car and Driver, and others for some insight as to the pros and cons of each vehicle. The following are ranked alphabetically.
1. Acura TSX Sport Wagon
Base price: $31,985
Fuel economy: 22 miles per gallon city, 30 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds lauded the “impressive number of standard and technology features” on the Acura (NYSE:HMC) TSX Wagon, as well as its “spacious interior” and the sporty handling,” and the excellent build and materials quality. On the downside, Edmunds didn’t appreciate the “button-happy” center console, the “unimpressive” braking performance, and the slightly underpowered four-cylinder.
Power and drivetrain: For 2014, the V6 engine is no longer an option, leaving the wagon solely available with Honda’s 2.4-liter in-line four, which produces a decidedly anemic yet somewhat efficient 201 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque for its class.
2. Audi allroad
Base price: $40,700
Fuel economy: 20 miles per gallon city, 27 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds enjoyed the Audi (VLKAY.PK) allroad’s ”high-quality” cabin, its light-duty off-road ability and sporty handling, and its “excellent” crash-test scores; however, it wasn’t so keen on the ”unintuitive” standard control layout and noted that it did “not [have] as much cargo space as a typical crossover SUV,” likely because it’s more of a wagon.
Power and drivetrain: The Audi uses a 2-liter turbocharged four, which puts out 220 horsepower to all four wheels via Audi’s famed Quattro AWD system.
3. BMW 3 Series xDrive Sports Wagon
Base price: $41,450
Fuel economy: 22 miles per gallon city, 33 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: The BMW 3 Series Wagon offers a substantial cargo increase over the sedan and a fuel-efficient diesel model, as well. Car and Driver says the wagon feels “poised and balanced” and is a lot like driving the sedan; it also commended the strong turbocharged four-cylinder engine. However, it comes at a nearly $10,000 premium to the base-level sedan, making the extra cargo space come at a cost.
Power and drivetrain: Buyers can choose from the 240-horsepower, 2-liter turbo four or the 180-horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque but with considerably better fuel economy. The base wagon is rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is a $2,000 or so option.
4. Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
Base price: $42,195
Fuel economy: 18 miles per gallon city, 26 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds enjoyed the ”elegant” cabin, the Cadillac’s (NYSE:GM) bold styling and nifty gadgets, its ”capable and secure” handling, “generous” cargo space, and its excellent safety scores. However, the sport suspensions may be too firm for some, while the CTS suffers from poor rear visibility and awkward driving positions, and it isn’t as nimble as some similarly priced rivals.
Power and drivetrain: The CTS Wagon is rear-wheel drive, with an all-wheel drive option. Power — 270 or 318 horsepower — comes from a 3-liter or 3.6-liter V6 unit, respectively; buyers looking for more can splurge on the CTS-V Wagon ($64,900), which generates 556 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8.
5. Lexus CT 200h
Base price: $32,050
Fuel economy: 43 miles per gallon city, 40 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds notes that the Lexus (NYSE:TM) CT 200h has the “best fuel economy in its segment” at an attractive price, offers engaging handling for a hybrid, and boasts a driver-friendly cabin with superb ergonomics. However, the pokey acceleration and lack of a lot of in-cabin storage space lost points, while some of the controls look dated and “less than premium.”
Power and drivetrain: The CT 200h is powered by Toyota’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder hybrid drivetrain, which offers a less-than-mind blowing 134 horsepower, but that’s a small price for some of the best mileage in the luxury category.
6. Mercedes-Benz E Class Wagon
Base price: $58,600
Fuel economy: 19 miles per gallon city, 27 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Autoblog was excited about the Mercedes’ updated appearance, noted the “pretty well done Start-Stop” system, the enormous amount of safety tech that the company packed into this car, and more than enough cargo space. However, the publication found the transmission’s manual mode to be somewhat clunky and reluctant, and that as much space as the E Class offers, its less than many compact crossovers. Also, it’s quite expensive, especially with options involved.
Power and drivetrain: The base E350 Wagon sports a 3.5-liter V6 that’s good for 302 horsepower (though a BlueTec diesel is rumored to join later this year), but for a premium ($102,370), buyers can splurge on the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8-powered 577-horsepower E63 AMG, which offers the same family friendly practicality in an absolutely mental performance trim. Both are equipped with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive.
7. Subaru Outback
Base price: $23,495
Fuel economy: 24 miles per gallon city, 30 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds was impressed by the Subaru Outback’s “spacious” interior, the comfortable ride and stellar visibility, its “clever” roof rails, and above average off-road capability, though it had a “weak” base stereo setup and some fussy controls on the upper trims.
Power and drivetrain: The Outback will wither with Subaru’s perfected 2.5-liter boxer engine with 173 horsepower or the upgraded 3.6-liter boxer with 256 horses.
8. Toyota Prius v
Base price: $26,750
Fuel economy: 44 miles per gallon city, 40 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds commended the Toyota Prius v’s outstanding fuel economy, its roomy interior with lots of storage and generous cargo capacity, and its “quiet and comfy” ride. However, it felt that the seating position for tall drivers was “awkward” and that the vehicle featured ”disappointing” interior materials. Additionally, the Toyota Entune system has a cumbersome setup process.
Power and drivetrain: The Prius v features Toyota’s ubiquitous 1.8-liter four-cylinder hybrid drivetrain, the same found in the Lexus. It dispenses 134 horsepower to the front wheels.
9. Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen
Base price: $20,995
Fuel economy: 23 miles per gallon city, 30 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds noted the Volkswagen’s ”cavernous” cargo space, the very good fuel economy with the TDI model (rated 30 miles in the city, 42 on the highway), the upscale cabin, and the comfortable seats and refined ride. However, the TDI comes at a premium price, and Edmunds noticed some sluggish acceleration response at low speeds on the automatic-equipped 2.5-liter models.
Power and drivetrain: The VW comes in two flavors: the 2.5-liter, 170-horsepower five-cylinder engine or the 2-liter, 140-horsepower TDI diesel. Both models are front-wheel drive.
10. Volvo V60
Base price: $35,300
Fuel economy: 25 miles per gallon city, 37 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds was immediately impressed by the Volvo base model’s new, more efficient engine and transmission, and Volvo’s “traditional balance of ride and handling”; the publication is expecting the V60 to “deliver superb crash test scores.” However, it pointed to the “generous, but not exceptional” cargo space and noted that one must opt for all-wheel drive to get the full menu of engines.
Power and drivetrain: Buyers will be able to pick Volvo’s new 2-liter four-cylinder turbo with 240 horsepower, the 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo with 250 horsepower, or the range-topping 3-liter turbocharged six with 325 horses.
11. Volvo XC70
Base price: $34,500
Fuel economy: 18 miles per gallon city, 26 miles per gallon highway
Pros and cons: Edmunds lauded the XC70′s exceptional seat and ride comfort, its numerous safety features, the optional integrated booster seats, ample cargo capacity, and the “potent” turbocharged engine. However the XC70′s fuel economy was described as “so-so” and the braking distances were “disappointing,” as well as “some dated controls.”
Power and drivetrain: The XC70 comes with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder option that’s good for 240 horsepower or Volvo’s silky 3-liter turbo that produces 300 horsepower. All XC70s are all-wheel drive.