2016 volvo v60
  • Image Credit: Volvo

Six station wagons ideal for summer road trips

Americans have long had a love affair with station wagons, even though most of us don't drive them these days. Still, they are ideal for summer road trips. They conjure fond images of growing up with your parents (or grandparents) in the front seat, heading somewhere fun and relaxing during the warmer months. With that in mind, we offer six of our favorite stations wagons for sale today. Depending on where you're going, each one is ideal in its own way for a summer road trip.
2016 volvo v60
  • Image Credit: Volvo

2016 Volvo V60

Volvo is synonymous with station wagons, and the V60 is one of the most attractive offerings in the United States. Starting at $36,890 (including $940 destination), the V60 is a near-luxury Labrador-hauler with up to 43.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Enthusiasts can opt for the T6 all-wheel drive R-Design and its 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder pumping out 325 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. We also hear Volvo will offer a limited run of V60 Polestars, making 345 hp and fortified with a stiffer suspension and Brembo brakes. More concerned with fuel economy? A front-wheel-drive model powered by a turbo four returns up to 37 miles per gallon on the highway and 25 mpg in city driving.

Of course, the V60 wins our hearts for is sleek Scandinavian design, which is creased, slightly curvy, and a dramatic departure from the boxy Volvo wagons of old. Looking for something with more of a crossover dynamic? Consider the Volvo V60 Cross Country with 7.9 inches of ground clearance.

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2015 audi allroad
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2015 Audi Allroad

The Audi Allroad is a longtime favorite of ours. We’ll admit, this is a little more of a crossover than a traditional wagon, but it still checks enough of the boxes to make our list. Look at it. If the Allroad can’t at least be considered a wagon, what can? The Allroad name has great tradition at Audi, and this latest iteration blends traits of the sporty Audi A4 and some of the company’s capable crossovers into a well-tailored wagon. The Allroad offers 50.5 cubic feet of cargo room with the power tailgate and seven inches of ground clearance, which means you can go places and haul plenty of stuff in style. It runs an inline four-cylinder rated at 220 hp paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Audi made xenon headlights, LED taillights, and the power tailgate standard equipment for the 2015 model year, but otherwise the Allroad has been on the road for several years in its current form. That’s fine with us.

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2016 bmw 3 series wagon
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2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

Props to BMW for making a legitimate station wagon and labeling it as such. The station wagon moniker is taboo in our current automotive society, so it’s refreshing for an automaker to build a car-based people hauler and bake in some sporting attributes. (We’ll overlook the fact that BMW is guilty of calling the hatchback variant of the 5 Series a ‘GT.’) The 3 Series wagon is longtime fav, and it has been on sale in the US market since 2000. The car has evolved along with its other 3 Series siblings during the last decade and a half, and BMW revealed a refreshed line in May for 2016, which naturally includes the wagon. The changes feature updated design and retuned steering and chassis dynamics. The engine range offers gasoline mills with 180-hp to 320-hp-ratings and a diesel option. At the end of the day, if you require a station wagon in your life, why not make it a 3 Series?

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2015 toyota prius v
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2015 Toyota Prius V

Hey, we could compose this list almost entirely of Euro luxury wagons, but we’ll resist that urge. Enter the Toyota Prius V, a cute hatch/small station wagon that gets up to 44 mpg. Starting at $27,575, the Prius V is one of the most affordable options for utility-seeking drivers, and it was recently refreshed for the ’15 model year with new front styling, Toyota’s sophisticated Entune audio system, and a power driver’s seat that can be configured eight ways. The Prius V has a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase and is 5.9 inches longer overall than the regular Prius, which gives it 60 percent more cargo room than its smaller hatchback sibling. That equates to 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. Like the 3 Series Sports Wagon, the Prius V is a functional take on an important vehicle. If you lean green – but also need to haul some things – the Prius V provides ample versatility.

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2016 Subaru Outback
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2016 Subaru Outback

The Outback remains one of the best values for an off-roader, offering Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system standard for a starting price of $25,845 (including $850 destination charges). While the Outback has more lower body cladding and a greater ride height (8.7 inches of ground clearance!) than most traditional station wagons, it’s still a Legacy underneath the skin. The Outback was redesigned for the 2015 model year with a fresh design, new infotainment, and added safety features. Capability? There’s plenty here, and you get a total of 73.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Engines choices are the familiar 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder and 3.6-liter boxer six.

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2015 Ford C-Max
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2015 Ford C-Max

Okay, we’ll admit this is a bit of a stretch for a wagon. The C-Max is more of a hatchback, but we’ll count it. With the second row folded flat you do get 52.6 cubic feet of cargo volume, and 24.5 cubic feet just behind the second row itself. You can haul some stuff, if you need to. Like the Prius V, the C-Max is a fuel economy play, returning 41 mpg in the city, 37 on the highway, and 40 combined from its hybrid powertrain for a reasonable price. Looking to go even greener? Consider C-Max Energi plug-in version.

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