Volvo V60 Cross Country is one of the best 2020 wagons out there

7 Best 2020 Wagons

Wagons Are a Rare Sight on Roads Today, But the Good Old Wagon Still Doesn’t Give up in 2020

Updated October 11, 2018

The good old station wagon might have gone underground ever since minivans took over the passenger carrier duty in the U.S. during the mid-eighties, but they haven’t disappeared completely. Domestic manufacturers have tried marketing an old-fashioned wagon here and there, but without too much success. However, thanks to foreign car makers (mainly Germans and Swedes), we still get the opportunity to buy a modern wagon or two every once in a while. As if minivans weren’t enough of a competition, the last decade or so saw an increased rise in SUV diversity and demand, too. Large family-hauling crossovers are doing to minivans what the minivans did to station wagons once upon a time. Whatever happens in the following years, no automotive industry’s trend has ever managed to become permanent. While we patiently await for the change to happen and for one of our domestic automakers to offer a fully-fledged wagon within their portfolio, let’s take a look at the best 2020 wagons that are heading our way.

07. 2020 Subaru Outback

The Legacy-based Subaru Outback is one of the most obvious choices when it comes to modern-day station wagons. The Japanese themselves will try to sell you one under the pretense of it being a crossover SUV, but the Outback is really just a plain old-fashioned station wagon with some extra ground clearance. In spite of that, the Outback offers better off-road capabilities than most true crossovers and SUVs. The Legacy sedan upon which the Outback is based should be fully revised for MY 2020, but the Outback itself will likely have to wait another year or so. Although it begins to show its age (being introduced back in 2015 and all), the 2020 Subaru Outback will still be more than competent to carry people and their cargo around some less than ideal roads. Especially after the 2019-year model started offering standard adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist straight from the entry-level models.

Like before, the new Subaru Outback will continue to offer a duo of somewhat aged powertrains. The base 2.5L flat-four is good enough for 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque which is fine in the city, but fully loaded Outbacks will get choked quite easily on open highways. An optional 3.6L flat-six rectifies that problem by delivering 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of twist, but it does so at the cost of fuel efficiency. Despite being paired with a CVT gearbox, the six-cylinder guzzles fuel at a pace of 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The four-cylinder returns a much better 25/32 mpg. The larger of two engines might not make it into MY 2020, however, as the Japanese are working on the next generation of smaller and more efficient Boxer engines like the 2.4L turbocharged flat-four found in the all-new Ascent SUV. Maybe that’s the future Outback engine as well? Despite some obvious shortcomings, the Subaru Outback is still one of the best wagons available out there. It’s a unique vehicle in many ways and buyers have recognized that, which is evident by the Outback’s recent sales charts. More than 180,000 people have taken one home in both 2016 and 2017, making it the best-selling vehicle in the Japanese automaker’s portfolio.

Subaru Outback front 3/4 view

06. 2020 Audi A4 Allroad

While the rest of the world enjoys a full range of Audi Avant and Allroad station wagons in sizes up to A6, and performance levels up to RS6, U.S. market buyers have to remain content with the comparably smaller and less powerful A4 Allroad. Smaller and not quite as punchy it may be, but the A4 Allroad is anything but a mediocre car. It provides reliable and very capable all-weather transportation, although it’s not that great when sidetracked from the main roads as its name would suggest. Moreover, the Audi A4 wagon offers a more-than-adequate 58.5 cubic feet of cargo space and a cushioned ride, but the latter is something we’ve come to expect from the Germans anyway. By the time MY 2020 arrives, the entire A4 lineup will surely be revised since the current-generation dates back to MY 2016. Prices should remain in check, however, so expect the future A4 Allroad to start from around $44,500.

The Audi A4 Allroad, of course, offers a Quattro setup, albeit slightly different than a conventional one. This revised system can send torque to either just the front or all four wheels depending on necessity. A 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that’s delivering 252 ponies and 273 pound-feet of rotational force is just right for the 3,825 -pounder and its 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox works like a charm. The A4 Allroad also offers adaptive dampers even in the entry-level models. Although the only currently available U.S.-spec Audi wagon’s overall figures might get revised together with its body and interior by the time MY 2020 is upon us, no radical changes are expected to happen in terms of overall available tech features. If the Germans decide to also import one of the available Euro-spec A6 wagon iterations to keep it company by MY 2020, we’ll have been absolutely delighted.

Audi A4 Allroad wagon 3/4 view

05. 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country

The second-generation Volvo V60 has only recently made its debut in the U.S. and the Swedish car manufacturer has bolstered the conventional wagon’s lineup with a more rugged Cross Country model less than a year later. We won’t be able to buy one before MY 2020, however. This mid-range dynamic station wagon duo represents everything that Volvo used to stand for a decade or so ago and beyond. Although their current lineup is much less wagon-oriented, and especially much less boxy than it used to be, the V60 and V60 Cross Country will easily rank among the best 2020 wagons we can expect to see. The differences between the two are subtle, but still noticeable to a keen eye. The Cross Country V60 sports 2.9 inches of added ground clearance, together with chassis and suspension upgrades. A special Off-Road driving mode finds itself among the differences as well, but the rest of the available features are largely the same. The Cross Country is expected to cost slightly more than the conventional V60, although pricing details still haven’t been disclosed. The all-new V60 wagon, on the other hand, starts from around $40,000.

At its inauguration, the 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country will be offered exclusively in the base T5 AWD trim. More specifically, it’ll sport a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good enough for 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque as its sole offering. Later on, the T5 will be joined by the T6 and T8 variants which throw in an extra supercharger and electric motor respectively. As its name would suggest, the V60 Cross Country T5 AWD sports a mandatory all-wheel-drive system which gets fed by an 8-speed automatic gearbox. If you’re unsure whether the V60 Cross Country is a perfect fit for you, it’s always available through the Care by Volvo subscription program. This monthly ownership plan includes insurance and maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about anything if you decide you’d rather have a crossover or different make instead.

Volvo V60 Cross Country is one of the best 2020 wagons out there

04. 2020 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

The BMW 3 Series is finally entering its eighth-generation during MY 2019. Internally referred to as the G20, the initial 3 Series models should be exclusively available in a sedan body style. However, it won’t take long for the 3 Series station wagon to make it back into the lineup since the updated models have already been caught testing. The 2020 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is supposed to reap all the benefits of the new modular CLAR architecture that will underpin the next-gen models. This mostly means a drop in weight, but there are other benefits as well. Increased rigidity, lower ride height, and slightly larger dimensions overall, to name a few. Prices should remain in check, however, as the next-gen 3 Series Sports Wagon shouldn’t cost much more than $45,000 to begin with, which is its current starting sticker.

The all-new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon should retain its predecessors’ powertrain lineup which currently consists of two different turbocharged mills. The initial 330i wagons will be powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder unit that currently generates 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The next-gen models should see these figures increased by a slight amount. An 8-speed automatic transmission and a mandatory xDrive all-wheel drive will also carry over to the G20 generation. At the performance end of the lineup, the BMW 3 Series wagon will feature an M340i model that should be able to produce a healthy 375 horsepower thanks to a 3.0L straight-six engine. Whereas the Europeans rely on diesels for fuel efficiency, the U.S. market will most likely turn to hybrids in order to achieve better fuel savings. The hybrid BMW 3 Series wagons, however, won’t be available during MY 2020. They will only arrive later on.

2020 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon test mule

03. 2020 Mercedes-Benz E Class

The E Class is one of the latest redesigned Mercedes-Benz models having been reworked in 2016. While the vast majority of the Mercedes-Benz lineup got updated during MY 2019, the E Class skipped this year and carried over unchanged which is understandable considering it arrived later than most models affected by the aforementioned facelift. Internally labeled the S213 (W213’s are sedans), the fifth-generation E Class might get freshened up during MY 2020, but not necessarily so. It’s already one of the most beautiful and most practical wagons available on the market, so why change the winning combination anyway? Considering the E Class wagons come with loads of safety and tech gear and unparalleled interior luxury, they represent a perfect combination of luxury and practicality that, however, comes at a price. The conventional E 400 wagon starts from around $63,000, whereas the high-performance AMG E 63 S costs a whopping $107,000 to begin with.

The entry-level E 400 wagons are powered by a 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 engine that’s good enough for 329 ponies and 354 pound-feet of rotating force. They’re also offered with a mandatory 4Matic all-wheel drive and a contemporary 9-speed automatic transmission. The AMG E 63 S, on the other hand, sports a much more potent 4.0L twin-turbo V8 under its hood. The larger engine is capable of putting up as much as 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque which allows the 4,700-pounder to hit 60 mph from a standing start in an impressive 3.4 seconds. Atop that, the E Class Wagons offer up to 64 cubic feet of cargo storage with second and third row folded, whereas they’re still good for 35 cu ft with all seats up. All of the E Class wagon’s specs are expected to remain unchanged for MY 2020 as they surely don’t lack anything.

Mercedes-Benz E Class wagon

02. 2020 Buick Regal TourX

The TourX version of the Buick Regal is the last of the dying breed called American-made wagons, despite being introduced only recently. It’s actually the last currently available U.S.-made station wagon on the market, and one of the few remaining choices overall. Hadn’t GM decided to rebadge the Euro-spec Opel Insignia Country Tourer and import it from Germany, we wouldn’t have had even that. Despite having a few notable shortcomings like a sub-par interior build quality and less-than-inspiring driving dynamics, the Regal TourX is still a fine choice when it comes to station wagons thanks to its class-leading 73.5 cubic feet of cargo space with folded seats and a relatively affordable starting price compared to its much more expensive German counterparts. The Buick Regal TourX starts from $29,000 before the extras whereas a number of its competitors cost at least 50 percent more. Being introduced during MY 2018, the all-new sixth-generation Regal TourX won’t feature any significant changes come MY 2020 time.

One of the TourX’s most disappointing bits is a lack of diversity when it comes to powertrain options. There’s a 2.0L turbocharged LTG 4-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque under the hood, and that’s basically it. The U.S.-built four-banger was initially tied to a Japanese Aisin-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission and comes with a mandatory all-wheel-drive setup like most station wagons out there these days. The Aisin unit has been the subject of many complaints recently and GM admitted they’re only using it as a temporary measure before their own 9-speed gearbox becomes ready. The 2019-year models continue with the same setup that refuses to downshift properly, but the 2020 Buick Regal TourX should finally have that problem sorted out. By then, it might just become one of the best 2020 wagons considering all of the pros and cons it’s apparently boasting right now.

Buick Regal TourX front 3/4 view

01. 2020 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

The Sport Turismo is practically only a fancy designation for ‘station wagon’ in the Stuttgart-based automaker’s jargon. However, the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo isn’t your run-of-the-mill wagon. It’s hardly beautiful considering every Panamera is an oddball, but the wagon variant simply takes the cake. Moreover, it’s hardly as practical as most of its competitors as well, since it sports only 18 cu ft of storage space with the seats up or 49 cubes of space with the rear seats folded. These figures drop even further to 15/46 cu ft in plug-in hybrid models. Yet, the Panamera wagon delivers on other fronts. As its Porsche heritage, and certainly its name (Sport Turismo) would suggest, the Panamera station wagon delivers a striking performance and more than enjoyable driving dynamics. However, like any Panamera, the Sport Turismo, too, emphasizes comfort rather than a truly sporty ride, so don’t expect any 911-like corner-shredding capabilities.

Speaking of performance, the second-generation Porsche Panamera offers a number of different tunes for its already rich selection of available powertrains. The entry-level Panamera 4 Sport Turismo sports a 3.0L turbocharged V6 mill capable of producing 330 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque, whereas the 4S models squeeze out 440 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque out of a more potent 2.9L twin-turbo V6 mill. The Panamera Turbo powered by a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 sits atop the conventional pantheon with as much as 550 hp and 467 lb-ft of twist. That’s not all since the Turbo S E-hybrid Sport Turismo wagon makes a whopping 680 ponies and 626 lb-ft of torque thanks to a large twin-turbo V8 and an electric motor combination. There’s also a scaled down (in terms of power) version of the hybrid Panamera wagon dubbed the 4 E-Hybrid which uses a smaller twin-turbo V6 and an electric motor for a net output that amounts to 462 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. All considered, the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo might not be the most practical of 2020 wagons, but it’s definitely the most luxurious and most powerful (if fitted properly) station wagon currently available on the U.S. market.

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo front 3/4 view

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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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