Skip to main content

The last two affordable station wagons in America are about to retire

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen and Golf Alltrack (pictured) will soon have more in common with the born-again Beetle than the emblem on their nose. The German automaker confirmed both nameplates will retire at the end of 2019, and it’s not currently planning on replacing them on the American market.

The Sportwagen (formerly a Jetta, now a Golf) was once one of Volkswagen’s hippest and most popular models, but sales dipped as buyers pivoted toward crossovers and SUVs. Volkswagen explained crossovers and SUVs defend a 47-percent share of the American market so far in 2019, and they represent over 50 percent of its sales. The ongoing shift has dented the popularity of every body style, including the traditional sedan, but wagons took the biggest hit.

We knew the two wagons would retire soon, because the seventh-generation Golf they’re based on is at the end of its life cycle. SUV dominance isn’t limited to the United States, and Volkswagen might not even develop a station wagon variant of the eighth-generation Golf for Europe, the body style’s last bastion. British magazine Autocar learned the long-roof could be dropped as the firm moves to simplify the Golf lineup. Volkswagen hasn’t commented on the report, so we need to wait until the eighth-generation Golf makes its debut later in 2019 to find out more.

While the Sportwagen and the Alltrack didn’t represent a huge chunk of Volkswagen’s American sales, they’ll leave a gap that the company plans to fill by releasing — you guessed it — additional crossovers and SUVs over the coming years. It will introduce a shorter, five-seater variant of the Atlas by the end of 2019, an electric model previewed by the ID Crozz concept in 2020, and a sub-Tiguan soft-roader in 2021.

In the meantime, American motorists determined to resist the siren song of the crossover and hunting for a great station wagon still have a handful of options to choose from, though all of them are more expensive than the outgoing Volkswagens. The Subaru Outback is entering the 2020 model year after receiving a full redesign that adds a sharper look, a new platform, and more tech. The Buick Regal TourX stands out as the only American station wagon sold in the United States. Both are relatively rugged models with a crossover-esque design. Buyers who want a regular wagon will need to stretch their budget to reach the Volvo V60.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
Cadillac aims to balance its lineup with a small electric SUV
Exterior of the Cadillac Optiq compact electric SUV.

Cadillac will add an entry-level electric SUV to its lineup in 2024.

The Cadillac Optiq is a "luxury compact SUV" slotting below the Lyriq in the brand's EV hierarchy. Photos released with the brief announcement show styling features that tie the Optiq to the larger Lyriq, such as split taillights, but other details won't be released until closer to the Optiq's launch.

Read more
Why your EV’s voltage matters, and what it means for your car’s charging speed
Front three-quarters view of a 2023 Kia EV6 GT in a desert setting.

Electric cars are slowly, but surely becoming commonplace, and they introduce a whole new generation of specifications that are worth caring about. Range is an obvious one -- but there's another metric that has a major impact on the overall experience of owning an electric car: voltage.

You'll often see the voltage of an electric car's battery pack touted in advertising. Hyundai, for instance, is proud of the 800 -volt battery in cars like the EV6 -- that's double the voltage of the 400V battery in the Tesla Model Y.

Read more
This Milwaukee tire inflator is 59% off in Amazon’s Black Friday Sale
Milwaukee M18 Inflator connected to a van tire.

One of the most rewarding parts of covering Black Friday deals is finding an essential tool at a truly low price that can help our readers get out of a jam. Such is the way with this Milwaukee M18 Inflator, which will inflate your tires to a precise PSI at the touch of a button. This device is perfect for people that already own one of Milwaukee's M18 tool batteries, which is what it uses, but (we'll soon see) it is also a fantastic entry point into using Milwaukee cordless power tools. Normally the Milwaukee M18 Inflator is $310, but you can get one now for $128. That's a savings of $182. Tap the button below to grab one quickly, while they're still in stock, or keep reading for why we like it.

Why you should buy the Milwaukee M18 Inflator
First and foremost, the Milwaukee M18 Inflator provides an easy way for you to inflate your tires in a pinch or awkward situation. It is particularly great for the tires of riding lawnmowers. They tend to be awkward to get to the gas station or other place where you traditionally inflate tires and would be a pain to hand inflate. Usage of the machine is simple. Insert an M18 Milwaukee battery, set the desired PSI for the deflated tire, connect to the tire and wait until it is done inflating. The Milwaukee M18 Inflator will stop pumping air automatically once the ideal PSI is achieved. When you're done, the Milwaukee M18 Inflator is small and easy to tuck away, being about the size of a lunchbox.

Read more