Wagon or SUV? If it were up to the buying public there is no contest, with SUV sales growing year on year at an incredible rate.
But the buying public also meant the Minions movie grossed $1.16 billion US in 2015, so they have a proven record of poor decisions.
For me, if there is an equivalently sized and priced wagon, I don’t see any good reason to opt for the SUV.
Don’t get me wrong, there are good SUVs, the Wheels Car of the Year Volvo XC60 is just about the pinnacle for the genre, but I’d personally rather a V60 in the garage any day of the week.
Importantly, not everyone in the Wheels office agrees with me – namely Andy Enright. Before I explain why he is wrong, I’ll give Andy a chance to defend the honour of the SUV.
Some might argue that the people-carrying ability of an SUV makes it the logical choice, particularly for those that might need to carry seven people. But those that are regularly moving seven people on a regular basis have only a small number of high-riders to seriously consider, and they don’t hold a candle to a proper people mover.
So then we move into the realms of moving inanimate objects, and our four-legged friends.
To make my point I’ll compare the Mercedes-Benz GLC and C-Class. While the SUV has a larger official capacity of 550 litres, in the real world the estate’s 510-litres is more useable, with less height, but more floor space. How often do you really fill a car above the rear seat line? The lip of the boot is also lower, which makes life easier when loading the space.
A higher hip point to make entry and egress easier is of no great desire, as what I sacrifice there I make up with the often smaller physical dimensions of a wagon which make parking and urban driving easier.
I’m not going to fall into clichés and say all SUVs drive like they are riding on stilts made of jelly, often quite the opposite. But they still can’t match a wagon for driving enjoyment, even when well within the legal limits
Then there is performance and fuel efficiency. A wagon is lighter, and will often have the same power levels as a SUV sibling, giving it a livelier character. Less weight and a smaller frontal area will also improve real-world fuel economy.
Plus, a wagon’s silhouette is a more refined and handsome thing than those of a SUV or crossover. And with SUV sales booming, picking a wagon means you’ll stand out from the crowd instead of being another member of the Toorak Tractor club.
So a wagon offers a better driving experience, is more fuel efficient, better looking (to me), and stands out from the crowd compared to an SUV. Why would I want to compromise?
Who are you backing on this one, Kirby or Enright? Hit up the comments and let’s get this settled once and for all!
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