A station wagon is a type of car body. They are a classic sedan with increased luggage space. Instead of the standard tailgate, an additional door is installed on the rear wall of the body. Such machines combine a model for transporting passengers and oversized cargo.
For the first time, full-fledged station wagons began to be produced in the late 1940s. The first companies to use this type of body in their products were Plymouth and Wyllis. It gained particular popularity in the period from the 1950s to the early 1980s in America. People needed cars, but at the same time quite roomy cars.
Depending on the technical characteristics of the engine, transmission and suspension, such vehicles can carry 5 people (including the driver) and loads with a total weight of up to 1500 kilograms.
What a station wagon looks like
Most automakers, creating a new model range, use one wheelbase (the distance between the wheel axles), on which different body types are installed: station wagon, coupe, hatchback, liftback and sedan. The station wagon is most often the longest version on this list.
The car can be easily distinguished by its long roof, which always ends with a large door that opens upwards. On the sides, most models have two doors on each side. Sometimes there are three-door options (two on the sides and one for the trunk). It is rare to see models whose trunk lid is divided into two parts, opening not upwards, but to the side.
Some American station wagons have a split tailgate, one of which opens up and the other opens down. This modification allows you to carry long loads without the need to secure the luggage compartment. In such machines, the sash is not glazed.
The back door can be vertical. In this version, the car has great practicality, because it will be possible to transport bulky goods with right angles in it. This can be a washing machine, refrigerator, things packed in cardboard boxes. Sometimes drivers use such a car to transport things that are larger than the trunk volume. In this case, while driving, a large amount of dust and exhaust gases gets into the passenger compartment.
There are modifications with a tilted rear skid. Manufacturers create such cars not only for the presentable appearance. The aerodynamic properties of such cars are higher than classic station wagons with a rectangular trunk.
What is the difference between the station wagon body
Station wagons belong to the category of practical vehicles. They are most often chosen by representatives of small businesses who prefer to save on the delivery of goods. Also, this type of body is ideal for large families going on a long trip.
Station wagons are very similar to hatchbacks. Therefore, sometimes the purchaser may confuse these modifications. Here's how they differ from each other:
|Roof||Sloping, often flat||Smoothly slopes down to the bumper at rear seat back level|
|Trunk||The largest in the model range (you can transport a refrigerator up to 2 m high.)||Compact option for small luggage|
|Body shape||More often has clear contours||Elegant, streamlined look|
|Length||Longest body type in the range||Can be identical or shorter than a sedan|
The station wagon differs from the sedan, liftback and coupe in that the interior and trunk are combined in it. In the folded state of the rear seats, such a car is used to transport passengers. Depending on the brand of the car, the volume of the trunk in it can reach 600 liters. It almost doubles when the back row is unfolded.
For safety reasons, in modern models, a hard or soft mesh is installed between the passenger compartment and the trunk. It allows you to use the entire trunk space without the risk of injury to rear passengers.
Advantages and disadvantages
Determining advantages and disadvantages is a relative procedure. It all depends on the needs and preferences of the motorist. If we consider this type of body from the point of view of an ordinary user of road transport, then the advantages include:
- Large luggage compartment. It can be significantly increased at the expense of the cabin if the rear row of seats is folded down. Often there are station wagons that are not inferior in roominess to medium-sized minivans. Although many modern sedans can also increase the volume of the trunk due to the rear seats, only long items can be transported in them, and as for bulky items, for example, a washing machine or refrigerator, a station wagon is ideal for this;
- Often there are models with increased or adjustable ground clearance. Some members of the family are equipped with all-wheel drive;
- In some cases, station wagons are difficult to distinguish from a crossover, if the second did not have a sloping roof with a smooth transition to the rear (like a coupe body). Although there are also crossovers in the station wagon;
- Great for family weekends.
The disadvantages of station wagons include:
- Great price compared to a similar model, only in a sedan body;
- Some models have an incorrect design - a significant part of the trunk is located outside the rear axle, which is why the body is under heavy load when transporting heavy loads (sometimes there were situations when the body was simply torn in half);
- The rectangular body shape is less dynamic compared to liftbacks and sedans;
- Anyone who is used to driving a sedan will have to get used to the increased dimensions of a car, which can complicate traffic in traffic jams and in narrow parking lots;
- Aerodynamic features play against this type of car - the rear window is constantly dirty, and the windshield washer or rear view camera does not always help.
In addition, you can learn about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of body from the following video: