Welcome to the old school family wagon, which hasn't lost its appeal in generations! A smart way to avoid the minivan and to stay away from the SUV craze, a used station wagon can get you passenger and cargo space with a retro flair.
Used Station Wagon Buying Guide
Station wagons are like a full-sized hatchback or an SUV that's closer to the ground. Typically, station wagons have four doors, two to three rows of seats, and an extra door in the back, in a lift gate or a tailgate style, to give you access to the cargo area. In older station wagons, you might even be able to find a rear-facing third row.
Station wagons that have two rows aren't any shorter than the three row options, so they translate that space into extra cargo room. Most of the bigger American car companies aren't making wagons any more, but European companies are. Station wagons, once one of the most popular styles in America, are now a challenge to find.
You're most likely to find wagons from Volkswagen or Mercedes, including the Golf SportWagen, Golf Alltrack, or the Mercedes E-class. Fun fact: the E-class still offers a rear facing third row too! You might also look at the Ford Flex, which is kind of hybrid wagon SUV and brings back the retro feel of old-time family station wagons but in the best possible way.
Station Wagons are great for those who don't necessarily need more passenger space than a hatchback or sedan, but have a lot of cargo to carry. The wagon's design and lower center of gravity give you more comfortable handling than that of an SUV and, because of their smaller size, get better gas mileage as well. They have, over the years, gotten more rare to find.