Buying a Car: Pro’s and Con’s of a Station Wagon


Here at My Auto Shop, we love station wagons. Why should you buy a station wagon? We’ll tell you, so stick around.

Station wagons offer fantastic practicality, they can offer luxury, they can offer efficiency, and they can offer quality drivability. Although not for everyone, and certainly in the last few decades they have fallen by the wayside much like sedans. This is chiefly due to the rising popularity of SUVs. However, a station wagon still has a lot to offer, and still has an important place in our hearts. 

Top 5 Advantages of a Station Wagon

  1. The Practicality: Station wagons are basically a long rectangle, this means that they can hold a whole bunch of stuff. The rear seats usually fold down and effectively double the boot space. They can also be fitted with roof racks to hold stuff up top as well as inside. A station wagon has more space than a hatchback but isn’t as bulky as a SUV. They’re perfect if you’ve got a small family or just need the extra space sometimes without wanting an SUV.
  2. The Comfort: Station wagons are based on the same chassis as their Sedan counterparts. This means that you get the same leg room, same trim options, same gizmos and the same seats. So you can have all the practicality that the Station Wagon offers, but you don’t have to compromise on comfort or luxury, if anything you get more comfort and luxury than what is available to the same manufacturers hatchback range.
  3. Price: Although these will typically lose out to Hatchbacks and Sedans, due to their relatively smaller production numbers and increased materials required, they will beat SUVs in pricing. They offer the same drivability as the Sedan, more practicality than a Hatchback, and more convenient than a SUV. We think they’re worth the price and more.
  4. Drivability: Around town, they match the Sedan range, and when it comes to parking, they’re easier to park than a Sedan due to the increased range of vision that the extra glass offers. The greater level of spacial awareness is ideal for tight streets and parking. They also sit low to the ground with good weight distribution, unlike SUVs. This makes cornering more comfortable and the car’s overall feel to be more sporty.
  5. Fuel Economy: Station Wagons, much like Sedans, aren’t as heavy as SUVs or Utes. This means that comparative fuel economy for a Station Wagon is better than that which is offered by their larger competitors. They won’t beat many Hatchbacks in the fuel economy department but their trade-off is much greater.

Top 5 Disadvantages of a Station Wagon

  1. Visibility: Although you get all the glass you can see through with a Station Wagon, this doesn’t mean that you can easily see ‘over’ traffic. Although not a big deal to some, when compared to an SUV the Station Wagon loses out.
  2. Bigger than a Hatch: Yes, Station Wagons are smaller than Utes and SUVs, but many of their benefits overlap with Hatchbacks. This means that if a certain criteria appeals to you, a Station Wagon is less maneuverable and less usable when compared to a Hatch.
  3. Off-Road and Towing: SUVs and Utes are always winners in this department. A Station Wagon can tow as much as a Sedan and has many of the same off-road capabilities, unless they’re something like the ALLROAD or Subaru Outback models. They can’t really compete against the bigger cars in this department.
  4. Price: Station Wagons will usually be cheaper than the larger models such as SUVs and Utes, however they don’t see the same production numbers as Sedans and Hatchbacks. When compared to these models it will struggle to compete in the price department.
  5. Noise: Because Sedans have the rear seats, parcel tray and boot divider, noise from the rear of the car such as exhaust and wheels is relatively muted. In a Station Wagon, due to the open air between the boot and the cabin, it can be quite noisy.

Our 5 Favourite Station Wagons:

  1. Subaru Legacy/Outback: Our CEO drives one and I want to keep my job.
  2. Audi A4: All-Wheel drive, has such a wide range you can have just about any kind of wagon with any kind of engine. They are one of the most comfortable cars to drive on the market. Safe as houses too.
  3. Volvo V6: Looks great, safe as safe can be, drives well with 2 solid engine options. Really comfortable with the layout and drive. Another thing you see, unlike some others in the market, it really leans into being a station wagon.
  4. Ford Mondeo: With great petrol and diesel options, as well as all the latest tech, the Mondeo is probably our favourite front-wheel drive station wagon out there.
  5. Mazda 6: Mazda offers a really versatile range of 6’s and plenty of variation on luxuries too. They are a great car to drive and we love the adaptive cruise control a whole lot.

If you want to browse through what station wagons are on offer, have a look at TradeMe motors right here.

So, why should you buy a station wagon? We love Station Wagons, they are so handy when you need them, but totally tame when you don’t. You rarely have to compromise on parking and the style and driving characteristics will put a smile on your dial. If you fit the bill for a Station Wagon you won’t be disappointed.