Monday, October 6, 2008

Top Five Wagons for 2009

Forget the minivan. Forget the SUV. The newest great drive is the old-fashioned family wagon, updated with modern styling, plenty of power under the hood, plenty of room for the kids and the dog, plus excellent handling and state-of-the-art safety features.

The 2009 models are arriving in showrooms now. Here are the five top wagons, as chosen by the editors at, the vehicle pricing and information website.

1. 2009 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 GT
The top wagon pick is for its fun and sporty styling, spacious interior -- enough to haul friends, family, groceries and golf clubs in one shot -- and a racy turbocharged inline 4-cyl that generates 263 hp under the hood. The MAZDASPEED3 GT -- pictured here -- easily jumps off the line as hip and practical. And, it's a best buy at under $25K competition.

2. 2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 2.0L TDI
If you're looking for a new station wagon that will run forever and gets great gas mileage, this is the model for you. The TDI in the name indicates it's a diesel. This one gets impressive EPA estimates in the 29 City/40 Highway range). And the SportWagen name tells you this model will give you traditional German performance and handling. also was impressed with its top-notch interior, and its sub-$25K price tag, which only seals the deal.

3. 2009 Saab 9-3 Aero AWD Wagon
When they say engineered from jets, they mean it. The 2009 Saab 9-3 Aero SportCombi Wagon has a 280 hp 2.0L turbocharged V6 and optional AWD. In this category, people might opt for a BMW, Audi, or Mercedes badge, but they'd be missing out on something special, according to, which calls this a great looking wagon with a laundry list of standard equipment.

4. 2009 BMW 5-Series Sport Wagon 535xi
Handling and performance make it hard to believe this eager Beemer is a wagon, but it is and, according to the editors at, "every bit what a BMW should be." The AWD-equipped, 300 hp-enabled, twin turbo-charged inline 6-cylinder-powered luxury car offers more than 58 cubic feet of space when the back seats are folded -- larger than some mid-sized SUVs.

5. 2009 Mercedes-Benz E Class 6.3L AMG Wagon
Rounding out the top five is this wagon, priced at $86,000 plus, thanks to its AMG heritage. Steep, for sure, but what you get is thrill-a-minute driving performance with beautiful styling thrown in. A sports wagon, for sure, with a 507 hp 6.3L V8 that generates 465 lb-ft of torque, as well as a 7 paddle-shifted automatic transmission, a sport suspension for improved handling and optional seating for seven. Make sure they are all buckled in, and then floor it.

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