2014 Wagon Buyer's Guide

J.D. Power and Associates

The station wagon, a vehicular species whose traditional habitat was once American family driveways, is nearly extinct. This dinosaur of the post-war era hasn't been wiped out by an astronomical calamity. Instead, it has succumbed to the relentless growth in popularity of a recent breed of transportation called the crossover SUV.

Traditionally, station wagons have been defined as vehicles that are based on an established car model and equipped with an extended roofline, tailgate, and rear quarter glass to create additional cargo room. For the 2014 model year, 10 such cars remain available in the United States, most offered by luxury brands that compete in Europe, where station wagons remain relatively popular.

Note that three of the models contained in this buyer's guide meet the conventional definition of a station wagon, but in a brilliant display of automotive Darwinism, are styled and packaged to pass themselves off as crossover SUVs. And while a couple of the wagons listed below face imminent cancellation, next year Volvo gets back to its roots with a new V60 wagon model.

Detailed below are the 10 station wagons that are available for 2014, listed in alphabetical order.

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2014 Acura TSX Wagon

Based on the European version of the Honda Accord, the Acura TSX Wagon is equipped with a thrifty 4-cylinder engine and as much passenger and cargo space as many compact crossover SUVs. If you're on the fence with regard to buying a TSX Wagon, keep in mind that this model is likely living on borrowed time. Auto industry analysts expect Acura to soon replace the TSX and the TL with a new TLX model, and the slow-selling station wagon variant is unlikely to make the transition. If you want one, now is likely the best time to get one.

Key Specs:
  • 201-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine
  • 31.5 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 66.2 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • EPA-rated 25 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $32,880

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2014 Audi Allroad

Styled to look like a crossover SUV, the Audi Allroad is an Audi A4 Avant wagon at heart. Relative to the A4 Sedan, the Allroad model shares the same turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and Quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, and beyond the oversized grille, gray body cladding, and simulated skid plates, it is easy to see the A4 Avant station wagon that Audi no longer sells in the United States.

Key Specs:
  • 220-horsepower, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 27.6 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 50.5 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • EPA-rated 23 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $41,595

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2014 BMW 3 Series Wagon

Though it accounts for a sliver of 3 Series sales, BMW steadfastly continues to offer Americans a 3 Series station wagon. Redesigned for 2013, the 3 Series Wagon is the newest and most modern member of this relatively exclusive club, and is sold only with BMW's xDrive AWD system. Buyers choose between a 328i with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and a 328d with a clean diesel engine EPA-rated to get 43 mpg on the highway.

Key Specs:
  • 328i: 241-horsepower, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 328d: 180-horsepower, turbocharged clean diesel 4-cylinder engine
  • 25 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 53 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • 328i: EPA-rated 26 mpg in combined driving
  • 328d: EPA-rated 35 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $42,375

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2014 Cadillac CTS Wagon

Strikingly designed, the Cadillac CTS station wagon is a rarity on the roads despite the variety in the showroom. Choose from two different V-6 engines with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, or the high-performance CTS-V sport wagon. For 2014, the CTS Sedan is redesigned, while the CTS Wagon carries on for one more model year riding on the previous-generation platform. There's no confirmation that it will be continued, so if you like the way this car looks, get one while you can.

Key Specs:
  • CTS: 270-horsepower or 318-horsepower V-6 engine
  • CTS-V: 556-horsepower, supercharged V-8 engine
  • 25 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 58 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • CTS: EPA-rated 21 mpg in combined driving
  • CTS-V: EPA-rated 14-16 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $43,120

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

The station wagon variant of the diverse Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup is offered as the E350 4Matic with standard AWD or as the high-performance E63 AMG S 4Matic. Able to carry up to 7 people thanks to its standard reverse-facing third-row seat, the E-Class Wagon is the most accommodating model on this list when it comes to carrying passengers, but not necessarily cargo.

Key Specs:

  • E350: 302-horsepower, V-6 engine
  • E63 AMG: 577-horsepower, turbocharged V-8 engine
  • 29 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 57.4 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • E350: EPA-rated 21 mpg in combined driving
  • E63 AMG: EPA-rated 17 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $59,525

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2014 Mini Cooper Clubman

Is the Mini Cooper Clubman really a station wagon? By the traditional definition, it is. Plus, this is the only Cooper that's actually comfortable for a family of four without moving up to the Mini Countryman model. The Clubman offers rear-seat access only on the right side of the car, through a somewhat narrow access panel, and is equipped with barn-style rear cargo doors. Standard, sporty S, and performance-tuned John Cooper Works trim levels are available.

Key Specs:

  • Clubman: 121-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine
  • Clubman S: 181-horsepower, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • Clubman JCW: 208-horsepower, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 9.2 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 32.8 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • Clubman: EPA-rated 30-31 mpg in combined driving
  • Clubman S/JCW: EPA-rated 30 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $22,195

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2014 Subaru Outback

Originally, the Subaru Outback was a trim package offered for the Legacy station wagon. Then it got a raised suspension and more serious tires for light off-roading capability. Then it dropped the Legacy name and simply became the Outback. At heart, though, this utilitarian AWD vehicle remains a Legacy station wagon. Notably, it offers more cargo space than nearly all other models on this list, combined with one of the most affordable price tags.

Key Specs:
  • 2.5i: 173-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine
  • 3.6R: 256-horsepower, 6-cylinder engine
  • 34.3 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 71.3 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • 2.5i: EPA-rated 24-26 mpg in combined driving
  • 3.6R: EPA-rated 20 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $24,620

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2014 Toyota Prius V

When Toyota expanded its Prius family of gas-electric hybrids, the new Prius V version of the car traded fuel economy for extra cargo space. The result is a 5-passenger hybrid station wagon that offers the interior room of a compact crossover SUV combined with a 42-mpg overall fuel-economy rating, according to the EPA.

Key Specs:
  • 134-horsepower, gas-electric hybrid powertrain
  • 34.3 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 67.3 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • EPA-rated 42 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $27,560

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

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When it comes to value in a station wagon, it is hard to beat the 2014 VW Jetta SportWagen. Not only is this VW the most affordable wagon on this list, it is also one of the largest in terms of cargo space. Buyers can select from a standard 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine or an optional turbocharged clean diesel that gets up to 42 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.

Key Specs:
  • 2.5: 170-horsepower, 5-cylinder engine
  • TDI: 140-horsepower, turbocharged clean diesel 4-cylinder engine
  • 32.8 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 66.9 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • 2.5: EPA-rated 26 mpg in combined driving
  • TDI: EPA-rated 33-34 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $21,615

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2014 Volvo XC70

The Volvo XC70 adheres to the same rugged-themed recipe that Audi uses for the Allroad and that Subaru employs for the Outback. The XC70 is based on the previous-generation V70 station wagon, itself a version of the old S60 sedan. Today, the XC70 is offered with a choice of engines and drivetrains, while providing the largest maximum cargo volume of any wagon on the market.

Key Specs:
  • 3.2: 240-horsepower, 6-cylinder engine
  • T6: 300-horsepower, turbocharged 6-cylinder engine
  • 33.3 cu. ft. of cargo space behind rear seats
  • 72.1 cu. ft. of cargo space behind front seats
  • 3.2: EPA-rated 21 mpg in combined driving
  • T6: EPA-rated 20 mpg in combined driving
  • Base price: $35,415

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