Station wagons are cool. They combine all the practicality, space and storage of an SUV, crossover or truck with the driving dynamics, handling and performance of a car. Not just reserved for boring dads, wagons have found their place in automotive culture as the cooler alternative to bland crossovers and dreary SUVs.
They've also become the focus of manufacturer's performance divisions and even maintain a healthy following from tuners and custom car builders. If you're ready to break the mold, ditch the dreary and embrace the wagon lifestyle, you're in luck! Here are 45 of the most stylish, coolest and fastest station wagons on the planet.
1962 Chevrolet Impala Wagon
The 1962 to 1964 Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon oozes '60s cool. It's a classic design that looks just as good today as when it debuted almost 60 years ago.
The coupe, sedan and convertible versions of this car are highly sought after by collectors and customizers but the wagon has largely flown under the radar. Most came equipped with the 235 cubic-inch straight six-cylinder engine, but it was possible to option the car with a pair of V8s. The first was the 327 Turbo-Fire with 300-horsepower, but true speed demons could get the 409 Turbo-Fire V8 with 409-horsepower and a 4-speed manual transmission. That was good enough for a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 S
The big dog of station wagons is the Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 S Wagon. Don't let the wagon body fool you, this beast is a supercar-killer. Under the hood lies a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 603-horsepower, all-wheel drive, and enough torque to reverse the rotation of the Earth!
Mercedes claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds, but testers and reviewers have recorded times at 3-seconds flat. Not much comes close to that type of acceleration, and nothing can do that while hauling kids, dogs and a trunk full of groceries.
BMW E61 M5 Touring
Unavailable in the U.S., but sold in the rest of the world, the E61 BMW M5 Touring was a station wagon that was equally at home on the race track as it was in a school zone.
A naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V10 with 500-horsepower drove the rear wheels and could propel the Bavarian Bruiser to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.8 seconds. The car was electronically limited to 155 mph but was able to hit 200 mph when the limiter was disengaged.
Audi RS6 Avant
Another piece of forbidden fruit in the U.S., although that is rumored to change in 2020, the Audi RS6 Avant is known as one of the greatest super-wagons in the rest of the world. The current car is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 591-horsepower. All that power is sent through Audi's legendary Quattro all-wheel-drive system via an 8-speed transmission with Launch Control.
The Dynamic Plus package allows for a 0-60 mph run of 3.6 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 190 mph. The RS6 Avant has power to run with supercars, all-wheel drive to keep you on the tarmac and enough space to carry you, your friends and all of their luggage.
Volvo V70 R
Volvo, well-known for safe and sensible family haulers, has a history of strong performance station wagons. It may not have started with the V70R, but it's arguably the best performance wagon made by the company.
The conservative looking wagon hides a secret in the form of a 300-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine. You can also have the V70R with an optional 6-speed manual transmission and a sophisticated Haldex all-wheel-drive system as standard. Suspension is taken care of through a high-tech multi-mode electronically controlled system developed by suspension gurus Ohlins.
Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT
Subaru's Legacy station wagon tends to be easily forgotten, as it blends seamlessly into the background of a world full of conservative people movers. Maybe that's the brilliance of the hot 2.5 GT version; it's the ultimate sleeper. It is a car no one looks at twice, but maybe they should, as it has the turbocharged heart of the WRX and the capability to go anywhere with Subaru's incredible all-wheel-drive system.
The Legacy has 250-horsepower on tap from the 2.5-liter turbo flat four-cylinder engine. A 5-speed manual transmission is available, and definitely the way to go as the car is far more satisfying to drive when you row your own gears. Best of all, aftermarket performance parts are plentiful and you can turn the Legacy 2.5 GT Wagon into a real screamer.
Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon
Sometimes in life, a situation calls for good ol' fashioned American V8 muscle. When the circumstances demand it, you need to call on the CST-V Sport Wagon and its 6.2-liter supercharged V8.
That mill produces 556-horsepower and enables the 4,300-pound Caddy to crush a 0-60 mph run in 3.9 seconds. Find one with a 6-speed manual transmission and you'll have a fun-to-drive, excellent handling car that's essentially a 4-door Corvette station wagon. Despite the fact that the CTS-V Wagon comes from a time when Cadillac was making some pretty mediocre vehicles, the mighty wagon still holds its own against more modern rivals.
Saab 9-3 Turbo X SportCombi
Quirky, funky Saab, the now-defunct Swedish car manufacturer was capable of building some brilliant and unique cars. Their turbocharged engines could surprise quite a few sports cars and their focus on safety made them a favorite among growing families.
One of the jewels in Saab's crown has to have been the 9-3 Turbo X SportCombi. A turbocharged V6 engine makes 280-horsepower and thanks to a Haldex all-wheel-drive system, it can send up to 90% of that power to the rear wheels. If your goal is to stand out from the crowd, the Saab is the way to go. It's one of the rarest cars on the road with only 122 wagons being brought to the U.S. and only 39 of those had the 6-speed manual transmission.
Holden VE Commodore Sportwagon SS
In Australia, General Motors is represented by Holden Automobile Company. They're responsible for giving the U.S. the last version of the Pontiac GTO and the SS sedan. If you're in Australia and need to move a family and their stuff in a hurry then you need to pick-up the Holden VE Commodore Sportwagon SS.
The Sportwagon SS makes fantastic use of Chevrolet's 6.0-liter V8 with 362-horsepower and a Tremec T-56 6-speed manual transmission. That's good enough for a 0-60 mph time of 5.2-seconds. Australians sure know how to have a good time, and in a V8 Holden wagon, it doesn't get much better.
Volvo 850 R
Volvo's iconic 850R wagon is the car that changed the game for Volvo and helped them shed the overly-conservative, slightly boring image of a car company that only makes slow and safe vehicles. The 1995 Volvo 850R was completely insane and absolutely marvelous! Powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, it had ECU tuning done by Porsche to create a 243-horsepower front-wheel-drive super-wagon.
Volvo even took the 850R racing and had the legendary Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) campaign a pair of station wagons in the British Touring Car Championship! How many station wagons can claim a legitimate and successful racing history?
In 1994 and 1995, Audi teamed with Porsche to build a limited edition, high-performance station wagon known as the RS2. A specially modified version of Audi's 2.2-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine put 311-horsepower to the pavement via a 6-speed manual transmission and the famous Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Porsche spent a lot of time designing the suspension and braking systems of the car with the aim being to get the handling to match the phenomenal acceleration. The RS2 was capable of hitting 60 mph from a dead stop in 4.8 seconds and could blast all the way up to an electronically limited top speed of 163 mph.
Audi S4 Avant
Unfortunately for U.S. customers, the current Audi S4 Avant remains just out of reach. Available for the rest of the world, but not for America, the S4 Avant pairs practicality with performance and aggressively handsome good looks.
Power comes from a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine. Yes, you read that right, it's a diesel performance car. The TDI engine produces a very respectable 342-horsepower, but a massive 516 pound-feet of torque! That's a lot of shove for a mid-size car. The tsunami of torque enables the S4 Avant to sprint to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.
Dodge Magnum SRT8
Before the Charger and Challenger, Dodge's muscle was handled by the Magnum SRT8. SRT stands for Street and Racing Technology and when you consider that the Magnum is a station wagon, the badge seems a bit out of place. One turn of the key and a quick stab of the throttle reveals that is car deserves the SRT badge, and then some.
Under the hood is a 6.1-liter HEMI V8 with 425-horsepower. 0-60 mph is reached in 5.1 seconds and the wagon tops out at 170 mph. This is how you do "practical muscle." Drop the kids off at school, a quick stop by the drag strip and then a load of groceries, all without breaking a sweat.
Volvo 122 Wagon
Volvo's 122 station wagon, also known as the "Amazon" was first introduced in 1962. Production ran through 1969 and in total over 73,000 were built. It was this series of cars, the Amazon, that cemented Volvo's reputation for being stone-dead reliable and capable of hauling the entire family anywhere in the world.
Examples routinely exceed 200,000 miles without major mechanical faults and it is not uncommon to see 122 sedans and wagons reach 300,000 + miles. The 122 Wagon is powered by Volvo's B18 Series 4-cylinder engine with around 100-horsepower. Not a lot of power, but when you've got style, class, and a sweet 1960's European vibe, you don't have to be the fastest on the road.
Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
The second-generation Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser (1968-1972) was made famous by TV character Eric Foreman in That '70s Show. The big land yacht was the cruising star of the show and one of the featured vehicles along with a Corvette, Trans-Am and El Camino.
If the 1970s was your era and you want to relive your cruising days in the boat-like Vista Cruiser, keep an eye out for the 400 cubic inch and 455 cubic inch models. The 455 V8 with 390-horsepower and an axle-twisting 500 pound-feet of torque was the same engine used in the 4-4-2 muscle car.
Ford Woody Wagon
If any car says California surfer cool, it's the 1949 Ford Woody Wagon. The bullet-nose wagon is a work of art, and at the time was the most expensive car that Ford made. Available in 2-door or 4-door wagon, the Woody is one of the most iconic designs in the history of the automobile.
Power comes from either a straight six-cylinder engine or the 239 cubic inch Flathead V8 with 100-horsepower on tap. The wagon was no tire scorcher, but it did have a ton and a half of cool and real wood cladding. This is the car to throw a surfboard on the roof and head to the beach in.
Volvo V60 Polestar
Volvo's legacy of fast and furious station wagons is well known and their newest, hottest wagon is the V60 Polestar. Polestar is the performance division of Volvo and also handles the design, build and tuning of the company's racing cars. Think of it as Volvo's version of AMG or M-Division.
The V60 Polestar gets a trick 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is both supercharged AND turbocharged. The net result is 362-horsepower mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Some cars never seem to go out of style, and that's never been truer than with the W123 chassis Mercedes-Benz 300TD. It's restrained German coolness is matched with a legendary reputation for unimpeachable reliability and toughness. These cars were built in an era when Mercedes was routinely over-engineering their vehicles.
They'll never be mistaken for fast, in fact, the non-turbo diesel variants are tragically slow, but you won't care because Das Auto ist cool. Known to keep driving for a day past forever, the W123 chassis wagons might just outlast you. These wagons are now becoming popular with custom car builders and it's not uncommon to see them slammed and hot rodded.
Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake
It's a bit hard to describe exactly what the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake is. It's what carmakers call a "4-door coupe" with the sloping rear hatch of the shooting brake style. Somehow not as practical as a full station wagon but more practical than the 4-door coupe body style.
Maybe because it doesn't fit in any mold that makes it cool. It's not a car that was built to fulfill market demand, it's a car built just because they could and because they thought it looked good. The CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake got the stellar twin-turbo 5.5-liter AMG V8 with 550-horsepower. Adding fast to unique certainly doesn't hurt.
Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback
What car do you get when you've outgrown your Volkswagen Beetle? A Type 3 Squareback, of course! Based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Beetle and Karmann Ghia, the Type 3 was meant to be the practical, sensible choice for families and business people.
And while it was viewed as being conservative and plain back in 1961 when it debuted, today it has all the charm and 1960s style that everyone craves. Power comes from the Beetle's air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine and has roughly 55-horsepower. You might not be winning any drag races in the Type 3, but you will have all the '60s cool you can handle.
Buick Regal TourX
The Buick Regal TourX is quite possibly the single most underrated car on the planet right now. It looks better than an SUV, is faster, more spacious, has all-wheel drive, can handle ALL of your family and their gear and is a comfortable cruiser that just eats the miles up on a road trip. It's shocking that more people aren't buying these.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 250-horsepower. It's no sports car, but quick enough to have some fun with and the all-wheel-drive means you can tackle any type of driving condition short of a Polar expedition.
1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
From 1955 to 1957 Chevrolet built the now iconic, Tri-Five Bel Air Nomad wagons. Each year was styled differently but 1956 stands out as one of the best redesigns of the series and is a clean and classic shape that looks tremendous in 2-door wagon form.
There was a choice of V8s, but the one to have was the 283 cubic inch "Super Power Pack" V8 with 195-horsepower. Despite its 2-door body, the Bel Air Nomad could hold 6 passengers and all of their luggage, making it extremely practical. Styling in on point, as you'd expect from this era in car design, and any Nomad will surely turn heads wherever you take it.
Volvo V50 T5 AWD Wagon
Volvo knows wagons, and they know how to do understated cool. When you combine the two you get the V50 T5 AWD wagon. A 2.5-liter turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine cranks out 217-horsepower that is fed through a 6-speed manual transmission to a Haldex all-wheel-drive system.
It tics all the necessary boxes for coolness. Turbo, check. Manual transmission, check. Rare, check. All of those features in a wagon, check. It's a unique bit of automotive engineering wrapped in sedate mid-2000s Volvo styling. It's not as hot or feisty as the V70R or 850R, but it's got that Swedish subtlety that Volvo is so good at.
AMC Rambler Wagon
The AMC Rambler Station Wagon doesn't have a fire-breathing monster engine, it doesn't have flamboyant styling and it's not bathed in luxurious trimmings. It's a simple, clean, classic car that's both honest and cool.
It doesn't pretend to be anything other than a solid people moving machine, and you have to like that about the Rambler. Most came with a 232 cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine, which was perfectly adequate to move the wagon around town and on the freeway. The AMC Rambler Wagon may not have the glitz and glam of Chevrolet's Bel Air or Impala, but it has classic American styling that's aged exceptionally well.
Callaway Corvette AeroWagon
Callaway Cars is a custom vehicle manufacturer, tuner and engineering company founded by Reeves Callaway. The company has a long history of tuning and modifying Corvettes, among many other vehicles, and the Callaway Corvette AeroWagen is a custom shooting brake body for the C7 generation of Corvette.
The shooting brake design adds a functional hatchback storage area to the Corvette which can be fitted to any model from the base Stingray to the mighty Z06. If bespoke design and custom coachwork is your thing, then you'll definitely want to check out the AeroWagen. It's a fantastic vehicle that combines a world-class sports car with the 2-door shooting brake wagon styling.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
Cars don't get much more iconic and significant than the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. And when they come in the 2-door Nomad wagon body it ratchets up the special flair. The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air is one of the prettiest and most recognizable cars ever produced. It hails from an era of chrome, tail fins, and gorgeous body lines and has become a "must-have" car for any serious collector.
The Nomad wagon body adds extra space and practicality and can accommodate up to 6 people. Fitted with a choice of V8s, discerning collectors will want to be on the look-out for the rare and coveted "fuelie" cars with the optional 283 cubic-inch "Super Turbo Fire" V8 producing 283-horsepower.
Ford Country Squire Wagon
Ford's big family cruiser, the Country Squire Wagon waded into battle against cars like the Dodge Monaco, Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser and Chevrolet Caprice Estate. These were upscale models meant to appeal to upscale buyers and all had a common feature... fake wood trim.
The simulated wood-grain is now kitschy-cool, but the real attraction is what's under the hood. A savvy buyer will be on the look-out for a Country Squire with Ford's 428 V8. That's a 7.0-liter V8 that lays down a tarmac twisting 345-horsepower. Fake wood trim with real horsepower, a magical combination.
Jaguar XF Sportbrake S
One of the best looking station wagons on the market today comes from a company not normally associated with the wagon body style, Jaguar. The XF Sportbrake S makes use of the company's 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that packs 380-horsepower and can make the 0-60 mph run in 5.3 seconds.
The Jag comes equipped with all-wheel drive and the suspension is tuned for spirited driving making it a satisfying and eager partner on twisty back roads. The cargo area is cavernous and it's hard to imagine running out of space in the back. As you would expect from Jaguar, the interior is luxurious and refined, making the XF Sportbrake S a premium wagon for people who love to drive.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
This car is the state-of-the-art in performance family haulers. The Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is a mouthful for a car name but it's the performance of this beast that is truly jaw-dropping.
A twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 is pared with an electric motor to produce a staggering 677 combined horsepower. That means that the Panamera can rocket to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and onward to a top speed of 192 mph. Those are stats that will make most sports cars blush and when you consider that the Porsche weighs 5,100 pounds and is a 4-door station wagon, it's all the more impressive.
1959 Pontiac Bonneville Safari
It doesn't get much cooler than the classic 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Safari station wagon. Chrome, creases and flowing lines abound and it's instantly recognizable as a classic of American styling. In 1959, Pontiac was marketing their "wide track" cars; a better handling, more upscale class of vehicles that brought the company into the modern age of design, performance, and handling.
All of the Bonneville Safari wagons were fitted with the 389 cubic-inch V8, but owners had the option of several power ratings from 215 to 315-horsepower. A 3-speed manual transmission was standard and as well as copious amounts of space on the inside.
Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Estate
The C-Class is the middle child of the Mercedes-Benz model lineup. Below the E-Class and above the A-class. The C-Class comes in a variety of configurations from coupe to sedan and convertible, but it's the Estate version, specifically the AMG 63 S model, that ups the ante of performance and fun.
The C63 S gets AMG's incredible 4.0-liter twin turbocharged V8 with a monstrous 503-horsepower. That will shoot the wagon to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Power delivery from the Merc is best described as savage, and because the C63 S is rear-wheel drive, there's no problem pulling off spectacular drifts and burnouts.
Buick Roadmaster Wagon
If you grew up in the 1990s, there is a very good chance that you spent some amount of time in the back of a fake-wood paneled Buick Roadmaster Wagon. It was the ultimate '90s "Dad-mobile" and an extraordinarily good road trip car.
Based on the Chevrolet Caprice platform, the bulgy Buick came equipped with a V8 and a 4-speed automatic transmission. If you're feeling sporty, look for a later 1994 to 1996 model with the 300-horsepower LT1 V8, the same engine used in the Corvette. This bad-boy could tow a massive 7,000 pounds of stuff, and while it may not have shed its dad-mobile image, it is old-school cool for that very reason, and because your dad drove it.
Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 S AMG Shooting Brake
The Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 S AMG Shooting Brake is a baby CLS. It shares a similar 4-door coupe shooting brake styling that makes it unique and stand out on the roads. It's swooping lines and aggressive stance belie the fact that this baby-Benz is a practical performance compact that looks as good as a well-tailored suit.
Tragically unavailable in the U.S., the CLA's AMG engine is the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever put in a production vehicle. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes an eye-watering 416-horsepower and can carry the CLA to 60 mph in 4-seconds flat. Just because it's a compact station wagon doesn't mean it is small on performance.
Volvo V90 R-Design T6
Volvo's full-size station wagon, the V90 is a symphony of style, luxury, modern design, and performance. In markets outside of the U.S., customers can option their V90 with the innovative T8 twin-engine hybrid system with 390-horsepower, but here in America, we have to make do with the R-Design T6 trim with 330-horsepower.
That power comes from a supercharged and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that sends that grunt to all four wheels via an automatic transmission. Zero to sixty miles per hour is dispensed within 5.6 seconds which is quick but not blistering.
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is the car you buy when you don't need a boring crossover and you don't want a Subaru. It's a great compact station wagon that is perfect at being itself - a small, all-wheel-drive spacious wagon with a peppy turbocharged engine and a manual transmission.
Sometimes all we want is a competent vehicle that can take us anywhere, is fun to drive and isn't overly flashy. That's where the Alltrack shines. Its 170-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine is quick enough to be fun and the all-wheel-drive system is capable enough to handle just about anything you can throw at it. If you option up, you can get the Alltrack with some trick off-road electronics.
The Nissan Stagea is a Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) station wagon that is a favorite among tuners and custom car builders. The reason for the popularity is the shared platform with the Nissan Skyline, which JDM enthusiasts will know, is the basis for the epic GT-R series of cars.
The Stagea is available with a vast array of engines and in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive. Those wanting to build, tune and modify the wagon into a road-going missile will be seeking out the mega 260RS variant. It shares many components with the R33 and R34 Nissan GT-Rs including the 276-horsepower 2.6-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine.
BMW 3-Series Touring
BMW has offered the benchmark 3-Series in station wagon form here in the U.S. since 1999. Each generation has focused on driving pleasure and sporty chassis dynamics without sacrificing comfort, space and cargo capacity. Engines range in size but inline six-cylinder mills are the most common. You can find the 3-Series Touring in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive and with a manual, automatic or SMG dual-clutch transmission.
The E46 and E90 generations tend to be favorites among tuners and custom builders for the chassis balance, handsome good looks and overall fun-to-drive factor. Whichever one you choose, you'll be sure to have a car that's comfortable, capable and can transform into an accomplished canyon-carver in the blink of an eye.
Volvo 240 GLT Wagon
The plain, boxy and basic Volvo 240 wagon is the go-to vehicle for trendy hipsters and people who embrace unassuming cool. The 240 is basic, solid engineering that is designed to last for eons before requiring major overhauls. It's quite common to see these boxy beauties with over 300,000 miles and still going strong.
They're not fast, they're not luxurious but they will survive a nuclear strike and keep on driving. That in itself is cool, but it's really the basic simpleness of the Volvo 240 that makes it so endearing to fans and owners.
Ferrari GTC4Lusso T
Ferrari and station wagon are two words that should not go together, but that's exactly what the GTC4Lusso T is. Technically it's a 2-door shooting brake, but for all intents and purposes, its a Ferrari station wagon. This isn't the first road-going shooting brake Ferrari has made, the all-wheel-drive V12 FF that preceded the GTC4 started the shooting brake style for the prancing horse company.
But as we all know, Ferrari doesn't do conservative or understated, they embrace flamboyance and prioritize performance over everything else. A 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 602-horsepower properly motivates the Fezza. It's fast, it seats 4 people, you can legitimately carry stuff with the shooting brake body, and it's clear that even Ferrari loves a good wagon.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Wagon
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Wagon is just a rally car for the road with enough space for kids, groceries and spare parts to run the Monte-Carlo Rally. The EVO wagon was only available in Japan, and it came with all the goodies that the sedan received including the 286-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission and the bullet-proof all-wheel-drive system with active and adjustable differentials.
On the inside, the Lancer EVO Wagon came with grippy Recaro seats and a MOMO steering wheel. Underneath the car lives big Brembo brakes and Bilstein dampers to keep everything under control. If your morning commute or school run consists of gravel, snow and dirt rally stages, then you have to have a Lancer Evolution Wagon.
Volvo P1800ES Shooting Brake
Mechanically similar to Volvo's 122 Amazon series of cars, the P1800 ES Shooting Brake ditched the conservative bodywork in favor of a styling Italian designed body with flowing lines and wonderful proportions.
Made famous by Roger Moore's character on the TV show The Saint, the Volvo P1800 ES Shooting Brake was more stylish luxury GT car than canyon carving sports car. The ES made due with 125-horsepower from a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine. A 4-speed manual transmission could be had along with a less exciting 3-speed automatic.
BMW E34 M5 Touring
Before the bonkers V10 powered E61 M5, there was the E34 M5 Touring. The E34 M5 Touring is perhaps the rarest and most special of the M5 wagons with just 891 being built. Of those 891, a scant 209 featured the monumental 3.8-liter engine and a 6-speed manual transmission.
The 3.8-liter inline six-cylinder engine is naturally aspirated and has six individual throttle bodies to produce 340-horsepower. This is the same engine used in the BMW M1 supercar. When fitted to the M5, it's enough to propel the car to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Well-engineered suspension and brakes along with electronically controlled dampers ensured that the M5 was more than a match for any sports car on a twisty road.
MINI Clubman JCW
The Clubman is MINI's station wagon version of the Cooper sub-compact car and the JCW, which stands for John Cooper Works, is the hottest performance variant in the MINI lineup. All-new for 2020, the MINI Clubman JCW gets a turbocharged 302-horsepower engine which is good enough to get the wagon to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
But those in the know will recognize that MINIs aren't about straight-line speed, the joy of MINI driving lies in the handling and go-kart like nature of the chassis. Despite the extra doors and larger cargo area, the Clubman loses none of the characteristic handling and fun that made MINI famous. It's a perfect example of more performance from less size.
Datsun 510 Wagon
Once referred to as "the poor man's BMW," the Datsun 510 Wagon was simple, reliable and had performance that punched above its weight class. Powered by a modest 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 96-horsepower, the 510 wagon was no quarter-mile hero. What it did have was world-class handling and surprisingly handsome styling despite its very basic nature.
The 510 coupe and sedan were popular in sports and touring car racing and the wagon variant has remained popular among enthusiasts and customizers. The 510 wagon is not only a practical hauler but a great sporty driver with unlimited possibilities for customization.
Honorable Mention - Griswold Family Truckster
Oh yeah! We couldn't talk about wagons without at least mentioning the Griswold Family Truckster from National Lampoon's Vacation. So terrible is this car that we think it actually comes back around becomes cool just based on its performance in the film.
Officially named The Wagon Queen Family Truckster, it's actually based on a 1979 Ford Country Squire station wagon. Customized by legendary builder George Barris for the film, the idea was to create something ugly and terrible to poke fun of the miserable family vehicles of the late 1970s. Mission accomplished, the wagon is not easy on the eyes, but we love it anyway as it's a brilliant character in the hands of Chevy Chase during the movie.