Is the Wagon Making a Comeback? The Sales Figures Might Surprise You

We love wagons, and it seems some of you do too

The new year is upon us. The sales data from 2018 is in, and we have had a week to digest the numbers and look for any fun nuggets of information. Amidst our digging, we found one statistic that gets our gearhead gobs going like no other. It appears wagons are actually picking up in sales, at least the trends look that way.

The fine folks at Bloomberg compiled a chart showing the 5-year growth of different market segments here in the US. Bloomberg provided a lot of good information in this graph, but the one part we want to focus on is wagons. Over a 5-year period, wagons are the fourth-quickest growing segment in the US, growing 29% since 2013. Last year, Americans bought an impressive 212,000 station wagons. It seemed for a while that the wagon was dead in the US, so why are they still selling here?

Cause they’re great!

Wagons offer a lot of convenience, much like crossovers and SUVs. Though, they do so in a much more stylish and fun to drive way. The storage areas are pretty close in size to that of an SUV. However, wagons drive and look a lot more like cars. Often, they are lighter than their SUV counterparts, making for a more spirited driving experience and better gas mileage overall.

2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: How fast can it go on the Autobahn?
Volkswagen Golf SportWagen. [Photo: VW]

The Unpopular Becomes Popular

Consumers form trends. Often, there are also consumers that like to buy what is not trending. You can call them hipsters or whatever you want, but there is clearly a portion of the US auto consumer that wants a practical car that isn’t a crossover or SUV. Take a look at that graph once again and you’ll find that compact crossovers grew the most of any segment. The wagon is a less-popular, equally practical option.

More options in recent years

Perhaps just having more wagons to choose from is helping sway buyers’ decisions. In recent years, a number of manufacturers have revealed new wagons for the US market. The Buick Regal TourX, Volvo V60 and V90, VW Golf Sportwagen, and Jaguar XF Sportbrake all made fresh appearances within the last 5 years.

Not all positive news for wagon-lovers

While the long-term trend has been positive, 2018 was technically a down year for wagons. In 2017, Americans bought just over 236,000 wagons, slightly more than they did in 2018. Furthermore, some manufacturers are pulling wagons from the market, despite the positive trend. BMW announced recently that they will no longer offer the 3 Series wagon here in the U.S. We hope to see wagons continue selling well, because we love to drive them. Though we are not certain what the future holds for one of its most under-appreciated niches.

Wagon reviews coming soon!

Speaking of wagons, we’re testing a 2019 Volvo V60 to review very soon. Stay tuned to and TFLcar on YouTube for the latest news, views, real-world reviews and videos about the 2019 Volvo V60 in the coming weeks!

While you wait, why not see how one wagon is both practical and off-road worthy, the Volvo V90 Cross Country: