Alright, here’s one for those of you on the late-end of the spectrum for Generation X, but not too late in the Millenials generation. Thirty-something years ago, station wagons were the go-to vehicle for seating several passengers and adopting some of the power of a truck. Before the era of minivans, SUVs, and technically before crossovers, people drove the station wagon when taking long trips or visiting relatives over the holidays. Remember these unsightly machines?
Today, there is no such thing as a station wagon, at least not in the U.S. If there is a vehicle that looks like a station wagon, it’s likely that it is actually considered a crossover. If born before the 60s, you may remember the popular feature of the third row seat that faced the rear of the car versus the front. Some say it was to give children a sense of freedom and their own area; other says it’s for parents who rather not deal with their kids while in the car. Who’s to say what was the real reason? (It was the latter *wink*)
Some designs like the Ford Country Squire even had a tabletop setup for playing boardgames on long drives, and such station wagons also came with side-facing seats so the kids would be facing each other versus facing forward. Good memories for those of you who still remember. Other improvements that started popping up were dual-opening tailgates that could fold down flat like a pickup truck or swing open to the side and a rear window that could be rolled down into the tailgate. Odd how that last one has disappeared, replaced with the option of a rear sliding window in truck cabs today and vanished from all other vehicle classes. Probably to stop people from bombing drivers that got a little too close.
Some station wagons still surface today, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon, 2017 VW Golf SportWagen, and 2018 MINI Clubman. Still, they can call it what they want. That’s a coupe-like crossover hatchback if we ever saw one. What do you think about the station wagon? Good riddance, or would the automarket benefit from reintroducing these for families? Let us know on the NowCar Facebook page.