The American Wagon is a classic and it’s still going strong. There will always be a die-hard wagon fans loading up their family and tossing gear into the hatchback rear cargo. But not all wagons are created equal.
According to Consumer Reports, wagons continue to be a raring segment. There are offerings from Honda to Kia to the classic Subaru. Some come highly recommended, others didn’t earn much praise at all. Here are CR’s best wagons of 2020.
Three different wagon groups
The wagon makes up three different groups for CR’s reviews. We have the the subcompact cars group, which includes models the Hyundai Venue and the Toyota Yaris hatchback. Then there’s the compact cars. This group includes hatchback versions of compact cars like the Toyota Corolla. Also on this list is the compact Kia Soul. The last group is a list of the more traditional wagons like the Volvo V60 or the Buick Regal TourX. But which hatchbacks come out on top as the best wagons?
The Honda Fit: best subcompact wagon
The 2020 Honda Fit received an overall score of 71 from CR. It dominates others in this class like the Chevrolet Spark and the Hyundai Venue. With a starting range of $16,190 – $20,620, the Honda Fit is the only car in this category to come recommended by CR. This car is not fancy, but it does have the a good history of reliability. It is not the passenger pampering type, by any means. Rather, it is a utility wagon with a roomy rear seat and fantastic fuel economy.
The Hyundai Elantra GT: best hatchback compact car
The 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT tops the list of the compact car group of CR’s reviewed wagons. This is probably the most worthwhile version of the Elantra, and it scored an 81 overall from CR. It’s priced a little higher than the Honda Fit, but it’s still in an affordable starting range of $20,650 – $24,600.
The CR review says that the “base Elantra GT has just enough spirit to feel sporty.” It also praises the hatchback versatility of the Elantra GT which puts it in the wagon category. Its fuel economy is someone lower than the Honda Fit and others like the Mazda 3 hatchback, though.
The Kia Soul: compact runner up
Another one in this group of CR’s wagons also earned an overall score of 81. Though the drive test score was a little lower than the 2020 Hyundai GT, the 2020 Kia Soul comes recommended by CR as well. This compact little city wagon is priced from $17,490 – $27,490. It received an upgraded interior and improved safety features for 2020, in addition to better fuel economy than its previous generation.
The Kia Soul is a compelling alternative to compact sedans and SUVs. It’s small on the outside but feels roomy inside. Its practical, boxy design gives it a cheerful personality.Consumer Reports
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The Subaru Outback: best all wheel drive wagon
The 2020 Subaru Outback is the best AWD wagon, according to CR. It is also the best wagon overall, which is really no surprise. The Subaru Outback is known for being capable and reliable, and the 2020 model year doesn’t compromise. Its gas mileage is bit lower than the others, which is expected for an AWD wagon. The beloved Subaru wagon once again reigns supreme, and CR says “it’s a smart alternative to more traditional SUVs.”
Best Wagons of 2020
Subaru, Honda, Hyundai, and Kia all bring something to the table with their 2020 wagons. Consumer Reports recommends all four as smart, fun, and reliable hatchbacks. The Honda Fit offers the best fuel economy while the Subaru Outback is the most capable with the highest ground clearance and standard AWD. The Honda Fit, the Hyundai Elantra GT, the Kia Soul, and the Subaru Outback all stand out against others in the segment, according to CR.