Should You Buy A Station Wagon Before They’re All Gone?
Andrew Maness March 1, 2016

2010 Audi RS6

It’s no secret that we automotive scribes love ourselves a good longroof. Some prefer classic behemoths like a Ford Country Squire LTD, some a boxy yuppie shuttle like a Volvo 240 DL, and others an intimidating performance oriented ride like an Audi RS6 Avant. Those are three very different cars, but they all share the common bond of being able to seat 5(or even 7) comfortably, and haul a ton of stuff. Obviously the RS6 can accomplish those tasks and embarrass a number of exotics, while the 240 DL will only get you nods of approval at your local vegan bakery/restored mid century modern furniture shoppe.

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Of the many variations on the immaculate platform that is the station wagon, the sports wagon has to be the best. I can’t explain why I’d rather have an E63 AMG Estate rather than an AMG GTS, any more than I can explain why I occasionally listen to Mumford & Sons. The latter automobile is a gorgeous two door supercar, the former a hefty station wagon with an available 3rd row rear facing seat. You might think that pragmatism is a factor, but in my case, it most certainly is not.

240 Estate

I don’t care about the plentiful cargo space offered up by any wagon with gusto, it’s nice to know it’s there, but it’s not what sells me on the idea of driving one. There’s the possibility that those of us who lust after a lengthy 5 door just want to drive something different, something that makes a statement, but not in an obnoxious way.  That’s about as close to the truth of the matter as I can get without my brain starting to hurt from introspective thinking.

What I can say for sure is that while any station wagon, provided it is in decent condition or better, is a solid automotive investment, a sporty one is your best bet. The reasons being that: A.) you’ll have more fun driving it, and B.) the overall value is higher. The first reason is not up for debate, there is no chance of anyone enjoying driving a BMW 528i estate than a 540i M-Sport estate.

2002 BMW 540i Touring

You could argue the second one because driving a sportier car usually involves more risk, but with greater risk comes greater reward. Sure, the price of entry will be higher, but from what the used car market has been showing lately, not by a whole heck of a lot. If you can get into E55 AMG Estate for a few thousand more than an E350, it’s a no brainer, but what if the AMG is $10k more, is it worth it? If you have a flexible enough budget, hell yes it is.

2006 E55 AMG Estate

The latter will always be a sought after machine, especially for those enamored with V8 rumble, the former is a respectable vehicle, but is damned to depreciate quite low as the years go on. Because a love of the longroof only goes so far, at some point the practical part of our brain chimes in, and begs you to look at something newer, and  more fuel efficient.

If you’re not looking at performance variants of a wagon, I’m increasingly accepting of that silly ‘ol practical thinking stuff. Not interested in driving dynamics, and street cred? Skip the old slow poke family hauler and get yourself a crossover. Not only will this keep you from being confused with a curmudgeonly automotive enthusaist, but it leaves those vehicles on the market for those of us looking to piss away our hard earned money on transmission swaps, and exorbitant monthly fuel expenses.

Andrew Maness Head Writer

Native New Englander currently residing in Los Angeles. I like to go fast and tell stories, sometimes from behind a camera, sometimes in front of one.