Sunday, February 19, 2006

More Wagon talk, follow up from Yesterday.

Rerember when station wagons were all over the landscape? After the rise of the SUV, they started to dwindle, as Baby Boomers wanted to escape the "un-cool" wagons that they grew up in. Well, some of us, admittedly probably few of us, love wagons. The ride and practicality of a sedan with the extra cargo and people moving ability. SUVs and now Crossovers will fill that need very well in the midsize and larger segment. But some people don't want one of those, and the higher prices, the extra abilities like all wheel drive command.
So as a continuation of yesterday's post on the Malibu Maxx, and what competes with it. Inspired by my friends search for a utilitarian vehicle at the lower end of the price spectrum, here I am again. Talking about wagons. The Maxx is not realy a wagon, but a 5 door hatch "psuedo" wagon. And I've already discussed the Mazda6 twins, 5 door and Sport Wagon.
But somehow, I forgot to mention the Dodge Magnum as an option. Probably, because like many people, when I think of the Magnum, I think of the firebreathing Hemi version. But in reality, there are 2 V-6 models. The 190 hp Base model and the 250 hp SXT. Now, the Base prices out in the neighborhood of the others, and I'm sure the SXT isn't too far away. And they have the added novelty, some would say disadvantage, of being rear wheel drive. But with the traction and stability control, you'll get through most bad weather. Even with front wheel drive, the Maxx and Mazda6 twins are not infalable.
I've mentioned making a Mercury Milan version of the Mazda6 Sport Wagon recently.
But I've also spoken adnausium about bringing the Ford Falcon to these shores. It's rear wheel drive, fully independent suspension, and I6 & V8 powertrains would make perfect matches for the Dodge's Mercedes sourced platform. But probably could not be decontented enough to be a direct price competitor.

I know everyone is counting on Crossovers to fill the gap between the SUVs and Sedans, but isn't there room for wagons? Chrysler seems to think so. Wagons never really disapeared from the market, obviously Volvo, Mercedes, BMW and Audi still make wagons, but they've dispeared from the middle and low end of the price segment. Even small wagons are disapearing, the Mada Protoge' wagon, was not replaced, instead the Mazda3 5 door fills that slot. Chevy did not bring a Cobalt wagon over to replace the Cavalier wagon, Toyota has the Matrix and it's Pontiac Vibe twin, but Honda didn't bring a new Accord wagon over, and Nissan hasn't sold a wagon since the Maxima's early days.

I'd like to see a new Ford/Mercury wagon, with a "heritage" name like Country Squire, Ranch Sedan, or Colony Park. Maybe the Baby Boomers will get nostaligic for them?

No comments: