Volvo Wagons Are Leaving the States: Is This the End for Estates?
The slow death of station wagons is all too prominent in America. Recently it was the Volkswagen Passat, followed by the largely overlooked Buick Regal. They all face the chopping block, their places taken by Crossovers and SUVs. And Volvo adds insult to injury, announcing the discontinuation of the Volvo V60 here in America just days after the Volvo V90’s cancellation was announced.
The Volvo V60 will be discontinued in 2022
First revealed in 2010, the V60 shared its DNA with the S60 and the ever-so-popular V70. But by the time the V70 rolled off the production line in 2016, the looks and technology were already dated when compared to the sleeker V60. Its new design, even back in 2010, was sports-oriented, whereas the V70 was a utilitarian family hauler.
But despite Volvo’s wagon history, estates are losing traction in the states. If someone wants a relatively cheap family hauler, they’re going to go with larger SUVs, so it makes little sense to sell a smaller family wagon in this market. That said, there are still some consumers out there who long for longroofs, and Volvo is accounting for those buyers at least a little while longer.
Some V60 variants will stick around
The base model, FWD Volvo V60 with the T5 engine will be discontinued, along with all of its trims. Kelley Blue Book explains that the SUV-oriented, AWD Cross Country version will remain on sale. The same rings true for the larger and more luxurious Volvo V90. The lifted wagon look appeals to both the SUV buyer and the AWD capabilities resonate with residents of snowy areas. After all, who knows more about snowy environments than the Scandinavians?
However, the V60 fitted with Polestar’s plug-in hybrid powertrain will also remain on sale. It’s the most expensive V60 of the lineup, at $67,000, but still features AWD and a luxurious interior. A high price tag isn’t uncommon amongst station wagons sold in America, as they’ve rapidly gone from affordable family vehicles to indicators of wealth and class.
What will become of station wagons in America?
As mentioned, the average American will gravitate towards Crossovers and SUVs. But part of the reason is that there are so few affordable wagons left. The Subaru Outback is still marketed as a wagon, but after a few facelifts, it’s gained quite a bit of weight. The closest V60 and V90 equivalent would be the Audi A4 and A6 Allroad wagons. Priced similarly to the V60 and V90 (the A4 starting at $44,600 and the A6 starting at $65,900), they’re the obvious competitors to the Swedish estates, whereas other wagons are exclusively for the rich.
The Mercedes E-Class wagon starts at $67,000. The Porsche Panamera starts at $88,000. Wagons are becoming foreign commodities, despite the fact that they originated here in the USA. It’s an unfortunate transition from utilitarian family cars that handle like sedans to toys for the wealthy. But the decision to cancel the majority of V60 and V90 wagons in America is Volvo’s honest attempt to keep up with the times.