As we’ve mentioned before, we know wagons are more or less out of style with the proliferation of SUVs into the U.S. market. The last time wagons were in style, I was an infant. However, I do not care! Apparently Automobile Magazine doesn’t care either as they’ve recently compared the three best near-luxury wagons you can buy right now: The A4 Avant, 328i xDrive Touring and CTS Wagon.
The BMW has been king of this segment for a long time and it seems everyone knows it and brings it up constantly. However, in the last few years it would seem everyone is slowly catching them – gaining traction and closing the gap in this $30,000 to $40,000. Audi has been rapidly closing down on the boys from Bavaria with the A4 and A4 Avant. Interestingly, Cadillac, who was a few decades late to this party has recently released the updated CTS and now the CTS Wagon to battle it out with the Germans in a segment they’ve dominated for many, many years. However, Cadillac has finally started to up the ante with the CTS so has it toppled the European dynasties?
Well, let’s look at the cars individually. The A4 Avant comes from a strong family of wagons. Stemming from the success in the U.S. of the B5 Avant up through the last generation B7 Avant. With the new B8 A4 Avant, many feel that the this wagon may be even more attractive than the sedan. For the U.S. market, as Audi reshuffles the model line-up wit the new S4, the Avant is only available with the potent little 2.0L turbocharged engine – but that’s OK with us as it produces a good amount of torque, is fun to drive with quattro, and can carry the family and luggage to boot without the poor fuel economy of a larger, heavier SUV.
The BMW 328i xDrive Touring is the king of the hill in this segment. xDrive being the term for BMW’s all-wheel-drive system and touring being the nomenclature for their wagons. The BMW is in the same boat as Audi for the U.S. market with only releasing one engine for the Touring: the 3.0L naturally aspirated 6-cylinder. The touring, like the 328 sedan, comes with many of the same options but doesn’t seem to carry the same looks of the coupe or sedan as well.
The Cadillac seems to put styling as a first priority and then everything else comes secondary. The CTS Wagon carries the sharp, angular lines of its sedan brethren which definitely isn’t a bad thing. The CTS comes across as the biggest extrovert and it definitely shows. According to Automobile, the Wagon variant actually raises the height of the car by a full two inches and only a few extra pounds. However, with the CTS being such a new player in the wagon game, does it have what it takes to hold off the Germans?
Which car has the capacity, driving enjoyment and styling to carry the title for best wagon? Find out after this jump!