Americans have purchased and leased 4% more wagons in the first eight months of 2015 than during the same period one year ago, an increase of more than 5,000 sales, year-over-year.
Adopting a fairly loose definition of what a station wagon is – we’ve included the Subaru Outback, not the Toyota Venza; the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, but no true minivans – results in wagon market share of 1.2%.
The Outback, of course, is the significant player in the wagon arena, and it manages to be so significant largely because it walks a line between cars and SUVs. Some would argue that it’s walking on the SUV side of that line, thanks to ground clearance of 8.7 inches and photos of Wes Siler’s new Outback.
Nevertheless, the Outback produces 66% of U.S. wagon sales in 2015. Outback volume has grown by 7,342 units to 93,293 sales through the first eight months of 2015 for a Subaru brand which now generates more than seven out of every ten sales with high-riding vehicles: Outback, XV Crosstrek, and Forester.
8 Months 2015
8 Months 2014
Toyota Prius V
Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Volvo V60 Cross Country
Audi A4 Allroad
BMW 3-Series Sports Wagon *
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon *
Acura TSX Sport Wagon
* 3-Series and E-Class figures are estimates, as Mercedes-Benz and BMW do not release a bodystyle or powertrain breakdown for the 3-Series and E-Class. We added the Audi A4 Allroad, despite it being a crossover version of the former Audi A4 Avant, after originally publishing the article and made adjustments to the totals as a result. The Allroad’s inclusion dragged the YOY YTD improvement down from 4%, as the headline suggests, to 3%.
Toyota, thanks to the Prius V, is America’s second-biggest-selling wagon brand. The Prius V produced more than 40,000 U.S. sales in its first full year of availability, 2012, but sales slid 14% in 2013, 12% in 2014, and are down 4% in 2015. The conventional Prius liftback is currently four times more popular. The Prius C outsells the V, as well.
As Volkswagen dealers extinguish the last remnants of the Jetta SportWagen era and launch the Golf SportWagen, total Volkswagen of America wagon sales are down 13% in 2015. More recently, in August for example, total Volkswagen wagon sales were up 32% to 2,588, including 110 remaining Jettas. By way of the conventional Golf, the Golf GTI, Golf R, and e-Golf, Volkswagen sold 4,597 Golf hatchbacks in August along with 2,478 Golf SportWagens.
Volvo is the only other real contender in America’s wagon category. The aging XC70, the smaller V60, and the V60 Cross Country have provided Volvo with 8,420 sales year-to-date, a 24% year-over-year improvement. 8,420 wagons account for one in five Volvo sales and about half the total achieved by the XC60.
Along with estimates for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon, which is terribly rare in terms of inventory, and the slightly more common BMW 3-Series Sports Wagon, the 140,535-unit total produced by eleven wagons is 89,039 sales shy of the Honda CR-V’s year-to-date U.S. sales total. The CR-V is America’s top-selling utility vehicle and, in reality, basically the best example of a modern wagon.
You can use GCBC’s complete vehicle sales ranking page to calculate a different wagon total if you prefer to include vehicles like the Toyota Venza, the BMW X1, and the Mazda 5, or if you prefer to exclude nameplates such as the Outback, XC70, and V60 CC.