Yesterday’s unveiling of the new 2013 Ford Mondeo (aka Fusion) wagon reminded us there’s a world of sexy, desirable station wagons sold in other corners of the world – but not in North America. Sadly, since wagons sell about as well as investment guides published by Lehman Brothers, automakers don’t see much point in spending money to certify and import a vehicle – especially if a return on the investment is quite unlikely.
Yes, that wagon-phobic reality certainly bites – especially when we’ve witnessed some incredibly stylish, sporty, and sophisticated wagons come to market in the past few years. Barring the Fusion/Mondeo wagon, which we profiled earlier today, here are a few of the wagons we wish we could buy here in North America.
Remember the RS4, that sweet, eight-cylinder A4 variant with a seemingly never-ending supply of power and grip? The sedan may have disappeared from North America in 2008, but the model is still on sale in Europe. And as a wagon, to boot. We’d sign up for one of the 450-hp haulers, but there’s one problem: it ain’t coming here.
In America, Chevy’s compact Cruze is offered only in sedan – but buyers in Europe can choose from three bodystyles, including a handsome wagon. GM’s working on bringing a diesel engine option to the U.S.-spec Cruze, but both the wagon and the even more shapely five-door hatch will likely remain forbidden fruit for the foreseeable future.
Yes, the present 2012 Focus is truly a global car, but there’s one variant that doesn’t quite fit into the company’s “One Ford” mantra: the Focus Wagon, which will not be sold in the United States. Not only does the Focus Wagon look grand and offer a little more cargo volume than the five-door hatchback that is sold here, it’s also available in a 250-hp, Focus ST form. Need we say more?
We don’t know what’s worse: that Australia can indulge in a station wagon version of what we briefly knew as the rear-wheel-drive Pontiac G8, or that Pontiac was this close to selling it here in North America. As a further twist of the knife, Holden built a small batch for its home market with leftover G8 fascias. We’d say that’s called twisting the knife, but Hollywood tells us Aussies may insist that’s not a knife.
We didn’t think there was any way Jaguar designers could improve upon the long, slender forms of the XF. Lo and behold, they did – the wagon offers much more cargo space, but still looks remarkably sporty. The XF Sportbrake looks good enough for us to forgive Jag’s last stab at a wagon – the dowdy X-Type – but as it won’t be sold in our market, we’re not quite ready to forget.
The first example of the new midsize Mazda6 wasn’t a sedan – it was a wagon. We thought it was a neat twist and perhaps a sign of the bodystyle’s importance, but Mazda officials quickly dashed our hopes: the 6 wagon will once again not be sold in North America.
Yes, shooting brakes traditionally have two doors, but we’ll excuse that break (get it?) from tradition largely because the CLS “four-door coupe” makes for a smashing wagon. No form of the CLS Shooting Brake – including the hairy CLS 63 AMG – are presently scheduled to make their way stateside.
The Insignia – known here as the Buick Regal has always been a shapely sedan, but it’s equally as curvaceous and sensual in wagon guise. It looks even more menacing in OPC (think Regal GS) guise, with flared fenders, large wheels, and gigantic air intakes and exhaust tips. We’ve seen several testing in the U.S., but Buick insists there are no plans on selling a Regal Sportwagon in North America. Drat.
The chances of the 508 arriving in our market are slim, but that’s not because it’s a wagon: it’s because it’s a Peugeot, a brand that hasn’t officially sold its vehicular wares here since 1991 (Peugeot-branded pepper mills, however, are another story). Quel dommage: we think the 508 is incredibly handsome, especially as a break, as the French call it.
A number of our commenters frequently pine for Volkswagen’s Alltrack, which is essentially an all-wheel-drive Passat wagon on stilts. We can’t say we blame them, especially when other cars that abide by this formula (we’re looking at you, Subaru Outback) sell fairly well here, even without the fuel economy bonus offered by VW’s TDI diesel powertrain. Thankfully, there’s something close to some silver lining: VW’s interested in bringing something similar to the Alltrack – albeit possibly slightly more crossover-ish — to North America in the near future.
Wagons were once Volvo’s bread-and-butter here in the U.S., but the company dropped the last of its conventional wagons from its North American portfolio last year — and just before it launched a pair of sexy people/cargo haulers. We’re most taken with the new V40 — it may be more hatchback than wagon this time around, but it has more visual attitude than any other modern Volvo design, save for perhaps the S60. At this point, it may not make the jump over, despite the fact we think it’d make for a killer (and practical) C30 replacement.