If you're looking for the most reliable station wagon in America, there may not be the widest variety to choose from, but those that are currently available on the market provide a superb blend of practicality, style, and performance. But to serve as a family hauler, these vehicles need to be reliable and dependable, too. So before taking your favorite models out for a test drive, let’s look at what makes a reliable wagon.
What Is a Reliable Wagon?
The meaning of ‘reliable’ may be open to interpretation, but there are some boxes these cars should tick to meet the most reliable wagon criteria:
Recalls and consumer reports: If a vehicle has been recalled a number of times for various malfunctions, failures, and build quality issues, there is usually cause for some concern. The most reliable wagons have few to none, with high-quality fit and finish and all the kinks worked out over time. Always check whether the NHTSA has issued recalls and whether consumer reports indicate consistent problems that require attention. J.D. Power also publishes a quality and reliability score that is worth looking at.
Warranty: The manufacturer’s promise for the repair or replacement of faulty parts or factory defects should always set your mind at ease. Class leaders offer up to four years and 50,000 miles of coverage on new cars. Be sure to compare the basic warranty your vehicle comes with.
Roadside Assistance: Some automakers include up to four years and unlimited miles of roadside assistance, should something go wrong. This doesn’t mean you should expect a breakdown, but rest assured that if the carmaker is offering to assist you over such a long time period, they’re confident it won’t happen very often at all.
Technology: Station wagons offer great value for money as they are often packed with the latest tech that ranges from safety features and driver assists to pre-emptive warnings that will help you keep your car in tip-top shape.
What to Look Out For When Searching For the Most Reliable Station Wagon
The majority of wagons in the USA come from high-end premium brands like Volvo, Audi, and Mercedes, which implies high levels of luxury and build quality. There are some downsides to owning a wagon, though:
The wagon is a suave and classic design
They can be fun to drive due to their low center of gravity
Versatile and practical with loads of space
Typically return better fuel economy than SUVs
Excellent safety ratings
Hybrid/electric wagons are available
Performance-enhanced variants provide great performance
Elongated body style does hinder rearward visibility
Their classic designs can be polarizing for some
Wagons carry the stigma of being for old people
Are station wagons safer than SUVs?
In many ways, station wagons are safer than SUVs. Their long, sleek, and low-slung designs give them a low and evenly spread center of gravity, meaning that they’re less likely to roll over than an SUV is in the event of an accident. And, as they are designed to carry families, most have a long safety features list as standard, with advanced assists available as add-on options.
What’s the most important feature I should include in my wagon?
Because wagons are so long, it can be difficult to see out the back with rearward visibility sometimes compromised. Fortunately, rearview cameras are required in the US, and the majority of available station wagons on the market come with a standard or available surround-view camera system that makes parking a breeze.
Are there any three-row station wagons?
Yes, the Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain is offered with a third-row of optional rearward facing seats that allow you to seat a total of seven. It must be mentioned that these jumpseats are pretty small, though, and are only really suitable for children. An older model Volvo V70 also comes with a third row, if you’re shopping on the used car market.
Is a used station wagon reliable?
Buying a used car is a smart decision if done correctly. Thanks to the lower prices on older models, you may be able to find a station wagon that ticks all of your boxes and still has warranty or motor plan coverage. Buying a used car with a clear service history also means you can track that preventative maintenance has been carried out.
Why aren’t there more station wagons in the USA?
The SUV and crossover craze has led to the demise of hatchback cars and a decrease in the popularity of sedans - and the need for the station wagon has declined. SUVs are capable of ferrying up to nine passengers these days, which is better than what most station wagons offer. Station wagons have also been seen as boring, old-fashioned cars in the past. Hopefully, beautiful and exciting wagons like the Audi RS6 Avant will see wagons making a comeback.
List of the Most Reliable Station Wagons
Here is a list of the most reliable station wagons in our rankings: