Sometime in the past century, wagons fell out of favor with the average American car buyer. What essentially amounted to a larger, more practical and mature hatchback seemed to carry a stigma around like it was the oppressive flagship for the previous generation. Or SUVs just made them look lame. Either way, now, a generation removed from a tarnished reputation, the wagon is making a slow and steady comeback.
And why shouldn’t it? Wagons have better design proportions and cargo space than any crossover, and they tend to get better gas mileage than SUVs. Which is why they were always the golden standard for the classic family road trip. So just before you set off on your holiday vacation, take a look at these modern family-haulers.
2001 Audi S4 Avant
What we like: If you want the styling and perfromance of one of Audi’s sportier sedans, but the cargo space of a Q5, the S4 Avant will put any crossover to shame.
From the seller: This 2001 Audi S4 Avant is finished in Brilliant Black with Onyx/Blue interior and just one of 25 delivered in this color combination as confirmed by Audi.
Location: Higganum, Connecticut
1982 Jeep Wagoneer Limited
What we like:The Wagoneer needs no justification. It’s the grandaddy of SUVs but isn’t the lifted, school bus rivaling SUV we’ve become accustomed to. It’s moderately sized with plenty of room for the whole family, and the 5.9-liter V8 is more than enough to haul them too.
From the seller: This 1982 Jeep Wagoneer Limited has 115k miles from new and is a three-owner example that received a $20k cosmetic and mechanical refresh in 2015 from The Motor Masters in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Wagon
What we like: Performance wagons are the ultimate sleeper cars, especially stately-looking Mercs with 5.4-liter supercharged V8s.
From the seller: This example is one of 193 E55 wagons brought to the US and one of only 64 imported in 2006. It has been mildly modified with CLS55 mufflers, resonator delete, and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Location: Austin, Texas
1973 Volvo P 1800 ES
What we like:The Volvo P 1800 is arguable one of the best-looking cars ever made. Add the practicality of a wagon, and you’ve got a car worth every penny of the asking price.
From the seller: There are less than half of the originally produced P 1800s still in existence, as many delivered to the eastern US lost their battle with rust long ago. Solid ones like this are difficult to come by.
Location: Anaheim, California
2012 Cadillac CTS CTS-V
What we like: When they launched the CTS-V Wagon, Cadillac actually didn’t expect to sell any at all. So if you actually see a V-Series wagon on the road, they’re actually more rare than some Ferraris. They make an obvious choice for a future collector car and seeing as their price tags have held up well only solidifies that argument.
From the seller: This car is in fantastic condition, I detail the car regularly using Zaino products. The car came with 4-year/50,000 miles of free oil changes so all maintenance has been performed by my local Cadillac dealer. The car also came with a 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico