9.09.2008

Volkswagen Passat Station Wagon Review



Forget who killed the electric car. Who killed the American station wagon (my vote is the movie National Lampoon's Vacation and its four-wheeled co-star, an early-80s Ford Country Squire that looked like the J.C. Whitney Parts warehouse exploded around it)?

Whoever it was, it drove us into the arms of the minivan and the SUV. And now with the minivan considered as uncool as wagons ever were and gasoline credit card bills prompting re-evaluations of the wisdom of SUV ownership, a lot of smart drivers are saying "What we need is a....station wagon".

Fortunately, the Europeans (who also didn't abandon the utilitarian hatchback the way we did here in the States) never stopped making them...which means you get all the goodness of the basic station wagon concept...and about 25 years additional research and development in the Volkswagen Passat wagon.

Part with a sum this side of 30-thousand dollars and you get an efficient, well-built, refined vehicle just like the Passat sedan...but with room to carry stuff...lots of stuff...in the back. Better looking than a minivan, better handling too. And way better gas mileage than most SUVs, including crossovers.

Truth be told, a station wagon is a much better choice for a majority of minivan and SUV buyers...and the Passat is at or near the top of the class.

(test vehicle provided by Camelback Volkswagen)

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