Sedan vs wagon. What are the differences?

We think very seriously when it comes to choosing the car. Quite rightly, because between a sedan and a station wagon, there are major differences, especially when it comes to the type of body that best suits our needs.

Besides the pleasure of the eye, when choosing between a sedan and a wagon we must take into account the purchase price, the interior space intended for passengers and luggage, the road behavior of the two types, consumption, but also safety and, of course, the compartmentalization mode.

When thinking of buying a new car, we always ask ourselves:

Wagon or sedan? Which is best to choose?

In the rows below, we will discuss the differences between a sedan and a station wagon car body, referring to the most important aspects to consider. You can also check the SUV vs wagon article.

Buying price

If we refer to a certain model, produced with these two body types, such as Toyota Avensis for example, which is produced and sold in both variants, the prices of new cars are quite similar, the price differences being small. The same thing happens on the used market, where the prices do not differ much depending on the body.

So, if we want to buy a new car, we cannot say that price is an important factor in choosing the car. Because we will not look at a few hundred dollars that is the difference, the station wagon car is the most expensive from this point of view.

The interior space

For passengers, the most likely space is identical in these two types of body. This is certainly the case in the compact segment, where the Ford Focus for example, available in both types, has identical space for the legs and head of passengers.

It all comes down to the trunk capacity. For example, some models of Ford sedan have 490 liters (17.9 cubic feet), and 540 liters (19.06 cubic feet) for some station wagon types. So, the wagon variant is expected to be the most spacious, followed by the sedan. But in terms of space, not everything is about capacity.

Mode of compartmentalization

A wagon is better than a sedan at this point and has been for carrying various things. For the simple reason that the trunk cover can be removed and space becomes taller, in which several large objects can be placed, while at a sedan the height is limited.

The same thing happens when we lower the rear seats, making a large and wide space, both in length and height. For this reason, the wagon is better for transporting bulky items than a sedan. And, of course, the station wagon car is the best option here.

Maneuverability on the road

In crowded areas, at low speeds, on narrow streets, the smaller the car, the better. In tight spaces, you need a car that has a small turning radius, low wheelbase, which is easy to park, and which has a parking space almost anywhere. So, in the urban environment, all these tricks go to the sedan car, which is slightly shorter than a wagon.

But on the long drives, things are different. The station wagon car body behaves the best, is the most stable at high speeds due to the large surface of the ceiling which produces a greater pressing force.

Fuel Consumption

Lightweight matters most for low consumption. And here the winner is the sedan car body, being followed by the station wagon. But the differences are not very big, you can see them when driving exclusively in the city.

In fact, the fuel consumption in the crowded cities concerns the drivers the most, because on long roads the consumption between the two types of bodies is constant and even close, at a higher speed on the highway, you will see another consumption, so things are different.

For the best fuel consumption in crowded places, you must have a sedan to consume as little as possible. From this point of view, the sedan car wins. The less pleasant part for the winner is that these differences in fuel consumption are not very big, the value at about 100 kilometers (63 miles) traveled by a sedan and a station wagon being 1-2 liters (0.26 – 0.52 gallons) of extra fuel.


In general, similar cars or the same model but with different body types have identical behavior in safety tests. After all, only the backside differs. So, serious differences are seen in the case of a rear impact. Both types of car bodies behave well here, a slight advantage goes tot he station wagon car because its back is larger.

In other words, theoretically, a station wagon car is safer, followed by a sedan. But regarding the safety equipment, passive or active, all cars are identical.

Station wagon body, for whom?

who needs a station wagon car body

A station wagon car is for those who have children or who often have something to transport. If you have a newborn child, you definitely need a station wagon car. In the trunk, you can put the trolley, but also all the luggage for a holiday. Half of the rear seat is occupied by the dedicated chair for the baby, and in the trunk, you have to have a stroller, small dining table, maybe a crib, plus 2 diapers, and so on. Things that will have trouble to fit in a sedan car.

What type of drivers want a sedan?

what driver wants a sedan

First of all, the sedan car is for those drivers who like this car body. It has no advantage over the wagon body types, it does not offer that much space and is not easier to park or it does not consume less.

The sedans are mainly for drivers who do not need much space, but who are not satisfied with a hatchback. In a sedan you get to put a baby chair, and, that’s about it. The sedan was and remains the favorite car of most drivers because it is good for all things, but it does not excel at anything, except the fact that it looks good\


In conclusion, as I said, the destination of the car is the most important criterion, after which the ones listed above. It is clear that if we have a baby or even two we have no choice but a station wagon car.

On the other side, if we are alone, we can very easily opt for a sedan (with a bit more performance), a sport one for those who want a performance car with less fuel consumption

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