When the average consumer went looking for a larger vehicle,
the Suburban was about all there was unless you went to an SUV or pick-up truck.
When the effort was on to get rid of the big full sized cars, they managed
to do that, but the buyers simply moved into trucks.
SUV's are beginning to look more and more like stationwagons, and that
goes for the mini van (are they really mini?) when it started coming with four
and a rear hatch it began to look like a stationwagon that's been shortened and
Now that we see the newest Impalas starting to look like those big old Buicks
in size, will it be long before we get our full sized stationwagon back?
I hope so, my '85 GM wagon is still going, and I hope it will hang on till that
I just hope they don't continue with those stupid plastic wrap around bumpers.
"Perhaps the ultimate quirk is that regulations meant to save gasoline
led the auto industry to dump the station wagon, because it qualifies as a
car, and create new classes of family haulers, like sport utilities, that
qualify as light trucks. As a result, the fuel economy of the average new
passenger vehicle is at its lowest point in 22 years."
Exactly Bill. The mini van has ceased to be 'mini'.
They had a good thing with the big wagons, great design.
What they should have focused on was refining the mechanics
of that design. It was a people hauler, trailer hauler, 4' x8' plywood hauler
from the building center, and had real bumpers that could take a pounding
i.e..: a Jetta backed out of a parking spot into me as I was driving by and hit
the side of my front bumper. He was pissed off at the eight hundred dollars
damage to his vehicle and I tried to find a scratch on mine. Chew on that
Bill Freeman wrote:
It's the political "flaw" in the CAFE gas mileage economy standards.
Consider, "The largest sport utilities and pickups, those with a weight
greater than three tons, are not even part of the regulatory system. That
means automakers do not have to count many Hummers, Toyota Land Cruisers or
Lincoln Navigators, to name a few." Stationwagons handle better, conform to
auto safety guidelines, are more stable than SUVs and have to live within
fuel economy guidelines. They were/are socially responsible. How many
people know, for example, that the "PT Cruiser" is actually a truck .. .
conforming to truck non-safety and non-economy standards? The auto industry
found a regulatory "leak" and Congress made no effort to plug it .. . I
suspect, as with most product cycles, the "stationwagon" will be
rediscovered as new models compete against the "crossover" wagons (e.g.
Not quite correct 'light trucks' witch includes 98% of SUV's
including the PT must meet the SAME crash safety and emission
standards as those for cars, only the CAFE average is slightly
less. The Navigator is NOT built on the F250 HD chassis like the
Excursion and is therefore included in those same standards. The
Navigator and the Aviator, like most Ford Motor company SUV's are
LEV rated, as well, for low emissions. Bash SUV's if that is
your intent but try doing it factually if you expect to influence
others to believe as you.
Bill Freeman wrote:
You may have missed it but wagon are back, in a subtle way, they
just don't call them wagon. Look at the Vibe, Matrix, Volvo,
Forrester and Chryslers Pacifica as examples 'new' station wagons
with a raised belt line, built on a car chassis.
Stationwagons? They're called "crossovers" .. . see my post. I'll
stick by the safety standards for trucks/SUVs vs automobiles. CAFE
standards for "ultimate" SUVs and trucks are NOT counted towards the
corporate average. The recent IIHS tests on SUVs dismissed all but 2 in
side crashes is another example of how flawed the process is. What are the
side crash standards for light trucks?!? The American auto industry found a
flaw in regulatory law and exploited it .. .
Well I looked at the Pacifica and it looks like somebody squashed
an SUV to me. My station wagon can hold six people comfortably,
with a suitcase for each, and a cooler and my tool box in the back,
pulling a good sized camper trailer or boat down the highway.
I saw an SUV the other day trying to do it and what you might call
a rear bumper was mighty close to the pavement.
I wouldn't consider a VW Golf to be a stationwagon any more than
Vibe, Matrix, Volvo, etc. To do that job you have to move into a truck.
If they decide to make the newest Impala into a stationwagon there
might be hope, but they better put the frame back into the car it
had when it was originally designed.
I don't see why a V6, turbo with an extra gear in the tranny couldn't
do the job in it.
I can't say my 5 litre V8 is a valid power plant for my safari wagon
in today's agenda for pollution standards, but then, I replaced the
catalytic converter to a better one and reduced my driving distance
each week by half, so that should help. I need that room.
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