There is no reason a safe, practical favourite can’t relive its glory days
The Commodore Sportwagon survives but who knows for how long?
Yet wagons still rule in Europe, where size and enginebased taxation — not to mention twisty roads and super-tight parking spots — work against the SUV hordes that have become the firstchoice family transport in Australia and other countries.
The three customary Euro pacesetters — Audi, BMW and Benz — have a wide range of wagons and the Volkswagen Group punches out plenty of Golf, Octavia and Superb five-doors.
Volvo would not be Volvo without stations wagons, which are thankfully far more stylish than the box-on-the-back efforts of decades past.
Proving that wagons still have a global future, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz each tacked a bigger back on to two of their best sellers, the XF and CLS, during 2012.
At the other end of the action, Hyundai confirms that the i30 will continue as a station wagon for the forseeable future with an updated model — based on the car that just finished runner-up in our 2012 COTY contest — expected in March.
SUVs may be the dominant force in family motoring but wagons are the survivors. Lots of people like to ride high, like the tough look of a pseudo offroader, and love the idea that they are getting more bang for their bucks in something like a Nissan X-Trail or a Mitsubishi ASX. But it doesn’t always work out that way.
The bluff back end of an SUV might look cavernous and practical but too many of them have height and no