None of our wagon recommendations have available wood paneling on the side. Disappointing, right? Well, once you've gotten over that, you'll start to see just how far wagons have come these days. They've given up a lot of real estate on dealer lots to crossovers and SUVs, but for something that's nearly as utilitarian, with city-friendly carlike dimensions, wagons are an alternative worth considering. We've divided the current crop of wagons into two main categories: wagons and luxury wagons. What all of them have in common, though, is an extra helping of utility without sacrificing the virtues that make them good cars in the first place.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Kia Soul: Though it's not a traditional-looking wagon, the 2017 Kia Soul is one of our top picks for wagons this year. A compact wagon with plenty of style, the Kia Soul represents one of the best values in its class. The interior is upscale for the price, there's lots of standard equipment even on the base level, and even though it's compact, there's plenty of room for adults in the back seat. When you fold the rear seats flat, the Soul has 61 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than you'll find in several compact SUVs.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Subaru Outback: Standard all-wheel drive and impressive cargo space are two of the 2017 Subaru Outback's defining characteristics. The Outback's all-wheel drive helps make it one of the better all-weather vehicles in this class, especially when combined with its higher-than-average ride height. Sounds a bit more like an SUV than a wagon right? Well, not really. The Outback has a low load height for the trunk and a low enough roof that getting a surfboard or cargo carrier on top is easy. When you fold down the rear seats, the Outback has a downright impressive 73.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which makes it seriously utilitarian. As if that weren't enough, the Outback is even rated to tow as much as 3,000 pounds — serious weight for any car.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: If you're looking for a wagon that drives like a Volkswagen Golf, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is the answer. It has many of the same virtues as the standard Golf, such as a well-built interior, impressive fuel economy and responsive steering, along with an expansive cargo space that gives it added appeal. The back seat is a bit smaller than we'd like, and the Golf isn't as flashy as some competitors, but those shortcomings are easy to overlook given its overall competency.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 BMW 3 Series: For anyone familiar with the standard BMW 3 Series, our recommendation of the 3 Series sports wagon should come as no surprise. The 2017 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon has excellent ride quality, sharp handling and an interior worthy of the BMW badge on the nose. On top of its 53 cubic feet of cargo space, the 3 Series sports wagon comes standard with items such as dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a split-folding rear seat and BMW's easy-to-use iDrive infotainment interface. Performance from the standard four-cylinder engine should be more than adequate for most drivers, and the available diesel engine is rated by the EPA at 34 mpg combined.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Audi A4 Allroad: Just like its sedan sibling, the Audi A4 Allroad is completely redesigned for 2017. Previously known just as the Audi Allroad, the A4 Allroad gets all sorts of new features that keep it at the top of our list. It features Audi's revised infotainment system and a more sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. The A4 Allroad also has more ground clearance than the standard A4, but it retains all the class and charm of the sedan thanks to one of the best interiors in the class. Regardless of trim level, the A4 Allroad feels upscale and user-friendly and is chock full of high-tech features. Forward collision warning and mitigation are standard, while available options include tri-zone climate control and a 19-speaker stereo system.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: For quite some time now, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been a vehicle you could rely on to have the latest and greatest in safety and high-tech equipment — and the 2017 E-Class wagon is no exception. Redesigned this year, the E-Class wagon gets Mercedes' excellent 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine and all-wheel drive as standard. On the options list, you'll find items such as a surround-view camera, evasive steering assist, rear-impact preparation, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Combine all this equipment with 64.2 cubic feet of cargo space and you've got a vehicle ready for almost any family adventure.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Volvo V60: The 2017 Volvo V60 is one of the most well-rounded luxury wagons on the market today. Based on the S60 sedan, the V60 feels sporty and nimble without sacrificing ride quality or comfort, and it adds 20 cubic feet of cargo space (up to 43.8 cubes total). The cushy seats help bolster the V60's comfort level, and the stylish interior meets or exceeds rivals' luxury standards. What's more, Volvo offers an optional engine for the V60: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that gets both a turbocharger and a supercharger, which take it all the way up to 302 horsepower.
Why Edmunds Recommends the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country: Filled with plush materials and adorned with eye-catching design elements around every corner, the 2017 Volvo V90 is among the most attractive family haulers on the road. This luxury wagon can tow up to 3,500 pounds, and it has one of the sleekest interiors available, so there's no sacrificing style for substance. Offered in just one trim level (known as the T6), the V90 comes with all-wheel drive as standard and is available with all sorts of luxury equipment such as ventilated leather seats and four-zone automatic climate control. With the seats in place, the V90 has nearly 34 cubic feet of cargo space, which is 20 cubes more than offered by its sedan brethren, the S90.