Why get a sedan or a crossover, when these wagons look so good? A few of them offer sports-car-rivaling performance, too.
The 2017 Geneva Motor Show demonstrated that there's still a place for awesome wagons in a world where crossovers are the preferred family haulers for many buyers. Whether you want something with huge power or just loads of style, there are plenty of longroofs to be excited about at this year's event in Switzerland.
Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo
Technically, Alpina didn't bring the wagon variant of the B5 Bi-Turbo to Geneva, but the company's press photos, along with the accompanying release, are proof enough of the model's existence. Without an M5 Estate in the current BMW lineup, and no indication of one in the future, the B5 fills the gap.
Alpina offers this more spacious B5 Bi-Turbo that uses a tuned biturbo 4.4-litre V8 engine with 608 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to an all-wheel drive system. The wagon needs just 3.6 seconds to reach 100 kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour) from a standstill, and tops out at a lightning-fast 325 km/h (202 mph).
If you prefer a BMW wagon straight from the factory, then the 5 Series Touring is the one to choose. A move to the new CLAR platform slices about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) off the scales, and with the rear seats down the cavernous cargo area can hold 1,700 litres (60 cubic feet) of your junk. A total of four engines – two diesel-fueled mills and a pair of gasoline-fed ones – are available at launch. Unfortunately BMW doesn't plan to bring this vehicle's blend of luxury and utility to the United States.
Hyundai i30 Wagon
Speaking of estates that aren't likely to arrive in the U.S. or Canada, Hyundai has its new i30 Wagon in Geneva. Unlike BMW's premium offering in the segment, this model aims more at the mass market. The longroof i30 still offers plenty of utility, though. With the rear seats down, there's an impressive 1,650 liters (58.27 cubic feet) of cargo space. Buyers can pick from a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder, and 1.6-litre turbodiesel.
If you need to haul the whole family at ludicrous speeds and in complete opulence, then the E63 S Wagon is one of the most capable vehicles around to get the job done. Its biturbo 4.0-litre V8 engine produces a monumental 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, and nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox transmits the power to both axles. A run to 96 km/h (60 mph) in 3.4 seconds means that this estate would keep up with the Alpina in a sprint, but Mercedes electronically limits the top speed to 290 km/h (180 mph).
Opel Insignia Sports Tourer
The new Opel Insignia is quite stylish, and we would argue that the sweeping roof on the Sports Tourer wagon makes the more spacious variant even better looking than the sedan. Buyers have a lot of room to fill up, too, because there’s 1,638 litres (57.85 cubic feet) inside when the rear seats are down. A wide variety of engines give European buyers plenty of options, and the more potent powerplants come with standard all-wheel drive, rather than only motivating the front axle.
At first thought, a station wagon from Porsche just doesn't seem to find the brand's sporting heritage, but the notion vanishes completely once you get a good look at the Panamera Sport Turismo. The raked rear glass maintains a coupe-like appearance for this estate, and it's hard to imagine why someone would get the sedan when this more-spacious version is every bit as attractive. There's also plenty of power at between 326 hp for the base model or 542 hp for the Turbo – plus several options in the middle.
Most people would consider these models five-door hatchbacks rather than true wagons, but these four vehicles are cool enough to at least warrant a brief mention.
Take the 400-hp 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine out of the latest RS3 Sedan and shove it into a five-door hatchback, you get a mean machine that looks like a shrunken down RS4.
The latest Civic Type R has the new-generation model's five-door hatchback body style as a starting point, so it just barely qualifies for this list. For the version coming to the U.S. and Canada, the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder produces 306 hp, and Europeans get the hot hatch with 315 hp.
Peugeot Instinct Concept
Peugeot's Instinct Concept imagines a low-slung five-door hatchback as the perfect vehicle for future autonomous driving.
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda has the updated Rapid on display in Geneva. For folks that prefer having a hatch for loading cargo, rather than a trunk, then the Spaceback offers buyers that option.