VW’s Sexiest New Wagon Isn’t Coming to America

There’s a cool new Volkswagen coming, but it’s not a hulking crossover…so Americans won’t get it.


VW pulled its station wagons (which were a delightful bargain) from their U.S. lineup after 2019. But the bad news for wagon enthusiasts doesn’t stop there. The company has just announced there’s another awesome wagon coming soon that Americans will not be able to buy. This week, VW published a teaser for the upcoming 2021 Arteon that the company will unveil later this year, including what VW is calling the Arteon Shooting Brake — only to say that “[the] shooting brake will also be available in Europe.”

A shooting brake — which is technically a two-door station wagon — is the most aristocratic of car body styles. It’s often an expensive, custom-built modification to an existing car; Aston Martin shooting brakes from the 1960s can fetch prices into the seven figures, while a modern Tesla Model S version is plenty pricey as well. It would be more apt to call the Arteon a station wagon, but clearly, VW is trying to make it seem more exotic.

You may not have heard of the Arteon, since it was VW’s worst-selling car in 2019; VW moved just 2,449 of them in the U.S. (For perspective, VW sold almost six times as many Passats last year. They sold nearly twice as many e-Golfs.) What is the Arteon, you ask? Well, it’s never been clear, which is part of the reason it hasn’t sold.

The Arteon has four doors. Like the Kia Stinger, it has a sloping roofline, leaving it somewhere between a sedan, a hatchback and a wagon. Is it a luxury car? Not quite. Its price tag, starting at $35,995, splits the difference between luxury and mainstream cars. Is it sporty? Not quite. It does have 268 horsepower, though VW sells it in the U.S. with the less sporty eight-speed automatic instead of the seven-speed dual-clutch.

Will we get a VW wagon again? Maybe. The best bet may be an eventual ID electric two-box. VW debuted the concept in the U.S., which would not have made much sense if VW had no intention to bring it here. That said, you can still buy a great VW Group wagon…if you have $100,000-plus to drop on an Audi RS6 Avant.

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