The choice of a car depends on many factors that are individual for each driver: petrol or diesel engine, urban or off-road destination, color, technical stuffing, as well as body type. Even the same model may have several variations of the body, which sometimes confuses customers. For example, the station wagon and the SUV have many similarities, but also differences. How to compare them?
The main features of SUVs and station wagons
The duel wagon vs SUV has been in the attention of buyers since the market embraced the SUV as the answer to all the questions, even the unspoken ones. To stand higher, to see further, to look better. But here’s how things are in a serious, pragmatic way.
SUVs, also called crossovers, are off-road vehicles whose crossing capacity is good on rough roads. Although, today’s SUVs, if they reach truly rural areas, will be as helpless as ordinary sedans.
These cars are basically equipped with all-wheel drive, although, today’s SUVs are increasingly turning into city cars, are front-wheel drive.
Station wagons do not have cross-country ability and a combination of power with compact dimensions, although there are cases of turning a station wagon into a crossover, which happened with the Audi A6 Allroad.
A fairytale career would be a good description of how SUV sales have increased since they were launched on the market. 20 years ago, they barely reached 5% of the market, but today, they managed to reach almost 30%, surpassing even the compact segment.
A station wagon is a combination of sedan and hatchback cars. Young people usually prefer SUVs, and the station wagon is a roomy car for the family. It has a huge trunk, so you can travel with a lot of luggage or go with the children on a vacation with lots of luggage.
What qualities allow SUVs to dominate in all automotive markets? Wide seats, interior space, size of the car make the driving process very comfortable and provide greater visibility, practically eliminating dead zones.
The high steering position ensures all-around visibility, often above the roofs of sedans or traffic compacts. It can be beneficial in crowded intersections and especially in parking maneuvers. Obviously, if other SUVs do not surround you.
Studies have shown that, despite the high-reliability indicators of the sedan body and hatchbacks, they do not provide maximum safety. Even in the event of a traffic accident, SUV drivers receive much less personal injury and damage to the car.
An SUV can accommodate more passengers than any other car, except, of course, a minibus. The car market offers models with 3 rows of seats wide enough to accommodate not only children or things, but also adults. Thus, the SUV can become a family car.
Even if you still need space for an out-of-town trip, you have a large trunk. An SUV looks quite large, but it is compact, very spacious, it becomes a universal means of transport for all categories of drivers.
For active people, the ability of an SUV to carry quite heavy things will be indispensable. It can tow a trailer with a motorcycle, a motorcycle and a boat, even a light caravan. Of course, you don’t have to use the SUV as a truck.
The most significant advantage of this type of car, allowing you to operate it both in urban traffic and on dirt roads. This quality will be especially noticeable in the winter when the roads are impassable. Equipped with an all-wheel-drive system, with specific functions for off-road and plastic protections on the sides, SUVs, by their nature, are an invitation to fun, a promise of adventure.
With all of the above pluses, SUVs are also very economical cars, in some cases even surpassing small sedans in fuel consumption. Most models are equipped with small turbocharged engines, which, coupled with a low coefficient of air resistance, will significantly save the owner’s fuel budget. However, this fashion of transforming an SUV in an economical car by reducing its engine and power can limit its usefulness only in the urban areas. And hybrid SUVs are increasingly making fuel consumption insignificant.
Station wagon advantages
The popularity of these bodies has fallen significantly in recent years, but why?
As we have already learned, SUVs are quite roomy, as are stationary ones. They are comfortable and the space inside is large, but they are lighter compared to SUVs. Most have additional capacity for the installation of spare seats if it is necessary to carry a group of more than 5 people.
Compared to SUVs, station wagons have a low center of gravity. The difference will be felt during acceleration, when, with the same technical qualities and power units, the station wagon leaves the opponent far behind.
The car market offers a wide selection of powerful sports models comparable to sedans, for example, the Mercedes AMG E-Class station wagon.
Low landing contributes to fuel economy, as does the car’s low weight. If you buy a station wagon on diesel, then you will be able to see how little it consumes compared to an SUV.
Four-wheel drive or All-wheel drive
AWD or FWD SUVs are stable on the road. So are modern station wagons, they have AWD FWD. Such models are often cheaper than SUVs. Audi Allroad, for example, are station wagon cars that have some SUV features. By the way, speculation says that the controllability of a four-wheel-drive car is much higher than that of SUVs.
Every second car owner now drives SUVs, so you won’t surprise anyone with such a car. But it is impossible not to notice a station wagon on the roads. Thus, the person who opted for this type of body will not only receive a functional and reliable car, but will also surprise others.
The first and main disadvantage. Of course, the price of SUVs significantly exceeds the cost of any station wagon. This is because of the higher strength of the chassis parts and the generally large quantity of parts used in the production of the car. Initially, by setting an amount for a new car, the owner will have to continue to spend impressive funds in maintenance.
He will have to pay more for minor and major repairs, seasonal tire changes, oil changes, and other services. Even the exhaust of an SUV is estimated to be more expensive than the same station wagon, due to its weight and size.
Although I have already talked about the economy of SUVs, they consume more fuel compared to station wagons. The same engine on both cars will look completely different – why? Because the SUV is heavier, bigger by definition, which adds extra liters which is noticeable.
Not every SUV is able to venture off-road. Statistics show that 60% of SUVs sold globally are front-wheel drive, so not everyone is determined to venture on forest roads. Limited space. An SUV does not necessarily offer more space. The class of compact SUVs, the most popular among customers, offers reduced wheelbase compared to wagons dedicated to families and the trunk volume values are not more generous.
Stereotypes are too strong in the minds of car owners, and since station wagons have never shone with particular popularity, now they are completely replaced by sedans and SUVs. Even with all their merits, drivers rarely are thinking about purchasing this particular type of body, which seems inelegant and slow.
Because now all-terrain wagons are entering the market, according to general indicators, even their best representatives are still worse than any average crossover.
An elongated body will create difficulties when parking in urban areas. Where the SUV will occupy only one parking space, the station wagon will be located, sometimes, on two spots :). In traffic jams, in narrow alleys, in the car-filled courtyards of the living area, the owner of the station wagon will have to work hard to find enough space for his “ship”. 🙂
The result proves only four things, which on closer examination do not surprise. First of all: we do not always buy only with the intellect. The fresh and sometimes bold optics of SUVs often convince more than the objective advantage that station wagons are often more maneuverable.
Secondly: comfortable access is not on duty. SUVs are almost always thirsty and more expensive than comparable station wagons.
Thirdly, the good, old station wagons still offer a very practical and useful body concept for everyday use.
Fourthly, if you buy a station wagon, you will wake up with “friends” who will tell you that you bought a boat or who knows what a bad joke. Ignore them, your car is more practical than theirs!