Stations wagons struggle for a comeback in the US as European automakers add luxury touches

The wagon is a piece of automotive Americana, but these days it has almost entirely vanished from U.S. roads.

Some European automakers, however, still roll the dice on U.S. buyers with high-end wagons wrapped in leather and, in some cases, boasting big engines with more than 400 horsepower.

The only wagon that really sells any meaningful volume is the Subaru Outback, which many people say has really become more of an SUV during its more than 20 year lifespan.

But in terms of choice, most U.S. wagons are from European automakers, such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. Wagons sell far better in Europe than they do in the U.S., where buyers value the combination of sedan-like driving dynamics and the added space.

The wagons these companies do sell in the U.S. make up a fraction of a percent of U.S. new car sales. But the high prices they command make it worth shipping them from Europe. A significant portion of Volvo’s U.S. lineup is still in wagons, and Audi said in 2019 it will be bringing two wagon models back to the US: the high-performance Audi RS6 Avant, and the A6 Allroad.

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