While digging deep into the charm of the station wagon, think about why the boom ended
If you look up the definition of a station wagon, there are various interpretations. It is generally defined as “a 2-box with the driving performance of a sedan and a large luggage room”.
Let’s hide what I am a wagon user who has been riding a station wagon for the last 10 years. Station wagons have many advantages, such as utility, comfort, and driving performance, but wagon users feel that station wagons are uniquely cool.
Although it is such a station wagon, compared to the 1990s when it became a boom in Japan, the number of sales decreased sharply. To begin with, the station wagon line-up itself was greatly reduced.
The reason is clear: many of the wagon advantages I mentioned earlier are available in SUVs as well. And I think that the majority of users are attracted to minivans that emphasize the sleek look, rather than the coolness of station wagons that I feel. Compared to SUVs and minivans, it has the advantage of being able to park in a mechanical parking lot due to its low vehicle height, but it has become difficult to understand the advantages that can only be obtained with a station wagon.
And the station wagon is a sedan. It is also true that the stagnation of sedans, which has fallen in popularity to the extent that even the Crown, which had a strong presence as the male of domestic sedans for many years, has had a major impact on the decrease in the number of station wagon models. Looking at it objectively, it may be unavoidable that the lineup of station wagons has decreased from domestic manufacturers.
The Legacy and Pioneer Skylines sparked a wagon boom
In Japan, the station wagon gained citizenship in the late 80’s and 90’s, but its history is long, and in the United States, Ford and others began selling it in the 1920s.
For many years, even the difference from commercial vans was not understood in Japan, but there is no doubt that the Legacy Touring Wagon that appeared in 1989 was the catalyst for station wagons to gain citizenship.
At the time of its release, most of the wagon lineup brands were based on commercial vans. It sparked a wagon boom by making a strong impression.
The legacy station wagon was the spark of the boom, so to speak, which car is the pioneer of the station wagon among domestic cars? Depending on how you look at it, there are likely to be many candidate cars, but I strongly recommend the Skyline Wagon set for the 4th generation Skyline (commonly known as Kenmeri).
The reason why the Skyline Wagon can be said to be the pioneer (car) of domestic station wagons is that it was developed with the major theme of “breaking away from vans.”
Based on a sedan, the exterior design emphasizes the beauty of a wagon, such as the curved rear window that wraps around the side panels.
In addition, while sharing the body with a van, the interior is differentiated by equipment such as triple gauges and seats made of tricot material.
The powertrain was not equipped with an L-type in-line 6-cylinder engine, but a G18-type 1.8L in-line 4-cylinder engine, which is not included in the van, was prepared. I ran a body of less than 1t without being inferior to a sedan.
Although the Skyline Wagon was not successful in terms of sales, it not only has utility that sedans do not have, but there is no doubt that it has created the original values of a station wagon with “play” and “comfort”.
Station wagon recommended for different categories
There is no such thing as one size fits all station wagon. We have picked up recommended cars based on the themes such as “driving performance”, “optimal for outdoor use”, and “one unit with luxury” that are required for station wagons.
Station wagon best 4 to choose with emphasis on driving performance
Since the introduction of the Legacy Touring Wagon, wagons and driving performance have become inseparable. Among station wagons with excellent driving performance, we would like to introduce four that we would especially recommend.
1st place “Subaru Levorg” Will it trigger a boom again!?
● Length 4755 mm, Width 1795 mm, Height 1500 mm
Levorg appeared as a station wagon for Japan to replace the 5th generation and later Legacy, which sought the main market in North America and had a significantly expanded body size. The second generation, which appeared in October 2020, has a slightly larger body size, but like the first generation, it is a nice point that it is kept to a size that is easy to handle.
While the previous generation had two types of powertrains, the new model only has a 1.8L direct-injection turbo. One of Subaru’s next-generation downsizing turbo engines, the CB18 type horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine is the successor to the 1.6LFB16 type that was installed in its predecessor. It is a sporty power unit that runs comfortably up to high revs.
The luggage space required for a station wagon is also perfect. In order to expand the luggage compartment capacity, the space between the wheel houses has been widened and the sub-trunk has been increased. The total luggage capacity underfloor and above is 561L, about 40L more than the previous model. Of course, the latest version of Subaru’s advanced safety equipment “EyeSight” is also available, and you can also choose “EyeSight X” that enables hands-free driving under certain conditions.
The Levorg, which inherits the grand touring performance that was the theme of successive Legacy, is one that can not be complained about when choosing a station wagon that emphasizes driving.
2nd place “Toyota Corolla Touring/Toyota fielder” Station wagon with a nice body for domestic use
● Length 4495mm, Width 1745mm, Height 1460mm
The 12th generation Corolla sold in Japan has the same platform as the global model sold in Europe and other countries, but the sedan and station wagon models are tailored to a compact size for ease of use in Japan. The Corolla Touring has a wheelbase that is 60mm shorter than the global model wagon and a rear overhang that is 95mm shorter, so it might be considered a short wagon. As a station wagon, the global model with a relaxed form has a point, but on the contrary, it can be said that the sporty image is stronger for the domestic market.
The powertrain is a 1.2L straight 4 turbo gasoline engine and a 1.8L straight 4 gasoline engine. In addition, a lineup of 3 types of 1.8L direct 4 + motor hybrid.
Luggage capacity is 325L for both gasoline and hybrid (390L with deck board lowered). Even in the normal luggage state, there is space for four golf bags, but when the rear seats are folded down, it expands to a maximum of 800L.
The Corolla Touring, which is a domestic car with no direct rivals in terms of body size or segment, does not have outstanding driving performance, but it can be recommended as a wagon that can feel the fun of driving.
3rd place “BMW 3 Series Touring” boasts driving performance that is as good as a sedan
● Length 4715mm, Width 1825mm, Height 1470mm
The BMW 3 series has a strong image of sedans and coupes (currently the 4 series), but for those who value driving, station wagon specification touring is one of the recommended cars.
As with the sedan, it has a wide variety of powertrains, from 2L inline 4 to 2L inline 4 diesel and 3L inline 6. Advanced safety equipment is also substantial, and the three-lens camera for short, medium, and long distances realizes not only collision avoidance and damage mitigation braking, but also hands-off assist in high-speed traffic jams.
Like the sedan, the front-rear weight distribution is (almost) 50:50. It allows for a comfortable ride. In addition, the ride comfort expected of a touring wagon is made with a supple suspension from low speed to high speed, so long distance driving is not a problem.
Luggage capacity is 500L. This alone is spacious enough for this class (Mercedes-Benz C-class wagon is 400L), but by folding the rear seats it expands to 1510L.
If you enjoy driving like the BMW 3 series, don’t forget that you have the option of touring as well as a sedan.
Station wagon best 3 convenient for outdoor use
For station wagons, which are chosen for their high utility, there are many users who expect them to be active in the outdoors. It would be even better if it had running performance on rough roads. We will take up three station wagons that are ideal for enjoying such outdoor activities.
1st place “Subaru Legacy Outback” New appearance is awaited, but the charm does not decline
● Total length 4820mm, width 1840mm, height 1605 to 1660mm
The Outback was born as a derivative model of the Legacy Touring Wagon that sparked the station wagon boom in Japan. The new model has already been released in North America, which is the main market, but it seems that the timing of introduction in Japan is still undecided.
As you can see from the overall length of 4820mm, it is basically tailored to American tastes, and the great appeal of this car is that you can enjoy plenty of torque provided by the 2.5L horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine.
In addition, with a minimum ground clearance of 200mm and Subaru’s proud AWD, it can be said that it is a car that is perfect for outdoor use because it is resistant to rough roads.
The luggage has a large capacity of 559L. It is also worth noting that there is a 47L sub-trunk under the floor.
As mentioned earlier, it was announced that the current model was discontinued in January 2021, while the domestic introduction of the new model is undecided. Now is the last chance to get the current model.
2nd place “Audi A4 Allroad Quattro” Outstanding performance on both high speed and rough roads
● Length 4760mm, Width 1845mm, Height 1490mm
The Audi A4 Allroad Quattro has a minimum ground clearance that is 30mm higher than the wagon-spec A4 Avant, and features special wheel arches that improve off-road performance. The Allroad Quattro, which was born in 1999 based on the A6 Avant, has expanded to other models. It was added to the predecessor A4, and the current model is the second generation.
Best station wagons in kenya 2022 (Page 2 )