Estates: Where did we go wrong?

Most Americans have rather bad memories of being shoved in an enormous station wagon and driven halfway across the country to visit relatives they didn’t want to see. New wagons may just change that.

I am actually in love with the idea of a classic American wagon and would love to own one of those land yachts with their woodgrain siding, lazy V8, and enough space to haul a small, underdeveloped country. Sadly, thanks to the 1973 oil embargo, the rise in popularity of  SUVs and minivans in the 80’s, not to mention ever-increasing fuel prices, meant that the full-size SUV was killed in 1996 leaving the closest thing available – the Volvo estate – to reign the market of traditional station wagons. Lately, the American auto industry has considered a return to the station wagon market. Dodge didn’t do a half bad job with the Magnum, but it was cancelled in 2008 due to poor sales. Now that the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon has been confirmed to start production later in the year, maybe people can finally see that the station wagon is all the car they may want.

Speaking of the CTS-V Sport Wagon, I’d just like to say a few things about it. Firstly, I think it’s a bit too short to be called a proper station wagon in my book. But it compensates massively in my book with the availability of a six-speed manual connected to the excellent 561 Hp 6.2 Liter V8 to complete the driving experience. The CTS-V sedan and coupe are already good cars. But nothing can beat a ludicrously powerful wagon. Speaking of which…

The people at Kids Heart in Japan have decided that Nissan’s wagon offering – the Stagea – is a little bland for their tastes. So they did what every sane man would’ve and tuned the suspension and brakes to make it more capable. To finish it off, they glued a GT-R front end to it. I love it, now if only there was a market for such things in America.

Buick Electra Estate photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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