Some of us love wagons, others believe they’re the most practical car ever built, but there is that little group of people that think they’re simply uncool. And then there are the fellows at Automobile Magazine who believe that wagons might return in style. To sustain their case, they remind us of an important segment of people that simply love to haul lots of things.
Now to convince us……. it will take far more than that and they’re not ready to give up, so they decided to compare some of the most luxurious wagons available in the U.S. automobile market: BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon, Audi A4 Avant and the American contender, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon.
Ever since July we’ve been hearing rumors about BMW’s plans to phase out the Sport Wagons in the U.S., of course, in favor of the new “kid on the block”, the ultra-luxurious and spacious 5 Series GT. Up to that date, the 5 Series Wagon sales totaled 395 units for the year, a comparable difference between now and four years ago when the 5 Wagon sales peaked at 2,351 units sold. Unfortunately we don’t have the 3 Series Wagon numbers, but we can suspect they’re not doing much better.
Despite these rumors and even though the wagon market doesn’t seem to be booming, Cadillac decided to bring out their CTS Sport Wagon, a vehicle that is hoping to be an important player in the European market as well. The Audi A4 Avant needs no introduction, the car has been around for a while and Audi fans seem to enjoy it.
But if we were to really eager to buy a Sport Wagon, which one would we choose? Let’s see what Automobile Magazine says about the three contestants.
2009 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon
The 3 Series wagon does an excellent job juggling the duties of both sporty and comfortable driving. Over most roads, the 328i handled bumps and potholes with ease. Still, a few large, sharp breaks in the pavement encountered at high speed did slam the suspension against its bump stops.
There’s good reason that a BMW 3 Series is the safe bet when it comes to buying a car. It provides the comfort and luxury that drivers want every day with the capabilities to perform for the occasional heavy-footed spin. The 328i xDrive Sports Wagon is no exception, offering the same great formula with an extra dose of wagon practicality.
Interesting…we drove the car ourselves in the beautiful, crowded New York City and despite our less of a love for wagons, we liked it.
2009 Audi A4 Avant
From afar, the A4 might be best described as an extremely scaled down Q7. Stand a little closer, however, and there’s no mistaking it for anything but a station wagon, with a large, perfectly rectangular storage area that can easily carry a weekend’s worth of luggage.
Unlike Cadillac or BMW, Audi doesn’t offer wagon buyers six-cylinder power. The familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder can’t quite match the output or refinement of its larger-displacement competitors, but it’s nonetheless smooth and potent and offers the fuel economy benefits one would expect of a smaller engine (better than the BMW by a combined 3 mpg, and better than the Cadillac by 2 mpg).
What they see as a disadvantage -no six cylinder engine- some of us look it as an advantage, especially in times where fuel efficiency plays an important role in the car buying decision process.
Last one in the game….
2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
Although some wagons are dedicated to cargo and/or family transport, the CTS is all about style. With a roof 1.25-inches higher and 200 lbs. added to the curb weight but no increase in overall length, this wagon is the fashion equivalent of wearing a baseball cap with the bill swung rakishly back.
To read the entire review and to see some photos of these wagons, head over to Automobile Magazine, but don’t forget to come back and tell us if:
1. You would consider a Sports Wagon?
2. Which one would you choose?