Station wagons have always occupied a special place in the Russian car market, but recently the attractiveness of fashionable and not at all cheap cars has been mixed with the image of dull family trucks.
Reliable all-rounder — what should it be? Cars with this type of body in Russia are exclusive: there are few offers both in car dealerships and in the secondary market, the configuration is usually rich and expensive. But if earlier these machines were either taken deliberately and operated for their intended purpose for many years, or were disparagingly called «grandfather’s suitcases» and were not considered in principle to purchase, now the attitude towards them is changing. New items have formed in recent years a new attitude towards the segment as stylish and not at all cheap, and this perception is beginning to be reflected in the mass class.
In this article I will try to make a kind of squeeze out of the popular (or once popular) station wagons in our market — outside the time frame of their release or class. If the word «popular» in our country is generally applicable to this body, due to the scarcity of the automotive market as a whole. There are several good models in the secondary market for reasonable money.
Of course. Permanent transport of all courier services, deliveries and other transport and logistics entities. Many consider the Largus the best all-rounder for their money, and for good reason. Of course, the main trump card here is the price, moreover, this is the most affordable seven-seater station wagon on the Russian market. Therefore, in addition to couriers, Largus is also bought by poor families.
The capacity of Largus has long become a household name, and with convenience, in general, everything is in order. It is not surprising: this car is not another, one hundredth in a row, «revision» of the VAZ platform half a century ago (like the Niva, for example). And none other than the Romanian Dacia Logan MPV of the 2006 model with a domestic engine. By the standards of Russian automakers, at the time of release, almost innovative design and ergonomic solutions were applied in the car. This, spiced with a low price tag thanks to its badge engineering, has made Largus the undisputed leader in the small business segment since 2012.
Luggage compartment volume Lada Largus: 560 liters (135 in a seven-seater version).
Today we are talking about the most common generation of the Passat station wagon at the moment — the B5 body. An inexpensive «barn» from third, fifth, and maybe seventh hands is still the subject of hunting for various construction crews, mobile assembly teams and other professional teams of 2-4 people.
Cars of those years did not yet have complex capricious TSI engines under the hood, but, like any Passat, they impressed with their internal volumes with excellent driving characteristics. Putting a team of 4 workers in the car, and throwing in a few coils of cable, a couple of boxes with tools, several boxes of materials, and a folding assembly ladder in the appendage — no question! At the same time, well-worn cars, for years not knowing high-quality and regular maintenance, still somehow miraculously manage to drive along our wonderful roads and not crumble.
Trunk volume VW Passat B5 Variant: up to
If we talk about at least some prevalence of this version in our area, then in the light of the first generation. In general, the story is the same as with the Passat: private commercial use. Although it was the first Ford Focus station wagon at the peak of its popularity in the early 2000s that was often ordered in the family garage, and not for delivery. And such a machine has been carefully operated for many years, playing the role of a lifesaver for all occasions.
Unfortunately, almost the main problem of the first Focuses was the rather low corrosion resistance. In the arrangement for the active use of deadly anti-icing reagents in the same two thousandth, through holes in the metal of the body could well appear even on relatively fresh 8-10-year-old specimens. Until today, only a few cars have survived, which are living out their difficult days under the same mobile teams.
The volume of the luggage compartment of the Ford Focus station wagon:
Appeared in about the same years as the Focus, but gained much more popularity. In general, Skodas have historically occupied the first places in the rating of «people’s love», and deservedly so. For example, the same Octavia is a well-known Golf, only much more spacious in the cabin and trunk. At the same time, the car is practically not inferior in driving performance, and the absence of «fancy» options, which the Skoda brand is not supposed to have in terms of status, is often recorded as an asset: after all, this reduces the total cost of the car.
And even the unpopular station wagon in the performance of Octavia was popular, forgive the tautology: in the mid-2000s, Octavia Combi of the first generation often flashed on the roads of both the capital and other large cities. By the way, the second generation of the station wagon is not such a curiosity. But starting with the third generation (2013), the price difference between the basic liftback and the station wagon has become quite astronomical. And today, to meet such a car is really a rarity.
Luggage compartment volume Octavia Combi:
Perhaps, if there is a certain reference formula for a car for all occasions, it is the XC70. Not only that, this model became one of the pioneers of the wave of frenzied popularity of crossovers (the first generation of 1997 was called the V70 XC Cross Country). She almost ideally joined this wave, becoming one of the examples to follow: a roomy interior with the highest level of comfort and quality, the maximum passive and active safety for its time, enhanced capabilities on bad roads and in difficult weather conditions. Nevertheless, in our country, the V70 XC was a rather rare guest.
But the second generation, produced from 2000 to 2008 (it is often listed in catalogs as the first generation of the XC70), became in fact a bestseller in our very poor generalist genre. The advantages of the car were all the same, but the price, as usual, prevented it from becoming the absolute champion in sales. In the last decade and a half, Volvo has finally ranked itself among the competitors of the Big German Three, and it has become absolutely impossible for an ordinary Russian citizen to approach its models (we do not take the secondary market).
Trunk volume Volvo XC70 (2000-2007):
Skoda Superb on the Russian market is a generally underestimated model. It would seem, what could be more profitable than buying a car for the amount of a Passat platform? noticeably larger in all internal dimensions, while in no way inferior to the complete set, and even superior in comfort? Perhaps only our traditional «values» and beliefs can interfere: «Skoda cannot be better than Volkswagen» … Although the last decade has stubbornly proved almost the opposite.
Nevertheless, it is not so rare to find a Superb-liftback on Russian streets, which cannot be said about the Combi version. There are, as always, two reasons: firstly, the huge difference with the base body in price, and secondly, the same mentality. And in vain — the car is gorgeous.
Trunk volume Skoda Superb Combi II:
Of course, today we are talking about the first generation, since the second is no less a rarity than the Superb station wagon, and maybe even b
Nevertheless, in the West this car is perceived by the owners and the public in a completely different way: foppish body kits, sports suspension kits, often modified engines, and so on. In general, as with most station wagons, the perception of this type of body «there» and ours is strikingly different.
Trunk volume Mazda 6 station wagon 1st generation:
According to the good old tradition of almost all station wagons, it is not officially sold in Russia. Nevertheless, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, individual copies of the first generation (2013-2016) are occasionally found. If we discard the pure emotions from the fact that the car looks really great, its practical use as a station wagon is in great doubt. For transporting luggage of vegetables or building materials, this is a premium city car, and skis and snowboards are easier to transport in a hatchback than in the not-too-roomy CLA.
Trunk volume Mercedes CLA Wagon:
One of the rare exceptions among generalists. It’s hard to say what made it so popular among our motorists. Most likely, Outback saved, first of all, positioning as a separate model, and not body variations. This means that our cars have been sold and are being sold officially, in contrast to the vast majority of their own kind. Of course, the big name with the well-known regalia for a long time also plays a significant role: traditional four-wheel drive, low center of gravity, loud sports pedigree, and that’s all.
True, these merits are combined with boring saloons, mediocre characteristics of the basic versions and a fabulous price tag. But people, as they say, know better — and «Outs» are quite successfully (for their niche) sold here to this day.
For example, the trunk volume of the Subaru Outback V restyling (2017-present) is
For a resident of Central Russia, this name says little. But in the Far East, the Corolla station wagon has taken root quite firmly, like a huge number of other Japanese cars for the domestic market. It is difficult to objectively assess their number and breakdown by generation — there are many similar machines, but almost all of them were imported «in the gray».
Nevertheless, at least two generations — E120 and E140 — are unambiguously in demand among a significant part of motorists in the Far Eastern part of Russia. The success is quite natural: the car does not at all pretend to be any premium (and therefore inexpensive), but at the same time it has the Japanese assembly so highly valued in our country and the capacity indicators worthy of its class.
For example, the trunk volume of the Corolla Fielder E140 is
Today we mean execution on the basis of the A6 model, with which everything once began. The car is roughly in the same league as the Volvo XC70. Despite the fact that today it stands like an average Moscow apartment (or two), in the top-end version it offers a level of equipment and comfort of an almost representative class: air suspension, massages, projections, powerful engines, and so on. And of course, the proprietary Quattro all-wheel drive.
To its credit, following the path of the previous three generations, the current one has not lost a certain practicality: the body shape still allows you to call the car a station wagon, and not a hybrid transitional form like the same CLA. As for the popularity, then, as in the distant 1997, few can afford such a car. And as for those who want to stand out from the general mass, there are only a few.
Trunk volume of the Audi Allroad Quattro II (2006-2011) is
To argue about the popularity of certain generalists in Russia is a thankless job. The niche is so narrow and unpopular, and the requirements of those unique ones that take such a car to order are so different that it is almost impossible to deduce any general trend or collect statistics. And yet, unfortunately, in our society the slogan “to seem, not to be” still prevails in the minds of many buyers. We can only hope that something will change in the foreseeable future, and manufacturers will receive an incentive to bring various options to our market for a variety of niches and requests.
Photos are taken from open sources.