Every 2023 Wagon Ranked from Best to Worst

a white 2019 mercedes-benz e-class wagon

Station wagons were the original SUVs. But when you say “wagon” today, it conjures up unfortunate imagery of wood paneling bench seating. That’s too bad because today’s modern wagons often receive praise from critics for combining the cargo versatility usually found in SUVs with the driving and handling performance of cars.

Car buyers today, however, have much preferred the higher seating height found in SUVs to the more car-like wagon. As such, there are few left in the American market, and all are made by foreign car manufacturers. (This body style is much more common overseas in more compact, congested cities and in countries with stricter emissions standards.) If you’re one of the few Americans actually in the market for a modern wagon, there are still some stellar options!

We rank 8 wagons from worst to best by combining their ratings on driving performance, standard features, design, and value.

8. 2023 Mini Clubman

2019 mini clubman

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The Mini Clubman has boxy styling that allows for an open, spacious cabin and cargo hold. There’s plenty of room for passengers and anything they want to bring along. But after a few years, maintenance and general ownership costs tend to be higher than average. It also has lower fuel economy ratings than other vehicles in this class. And, surprisingly, there’s no Android Auto offered but Apple CarPlay comes standard.

7. 2023 Volvo V60

2019 volvo v60

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The Volvo V60 really shines once you sit inside the cabin and take in the elegantly designed interior. Materials match the luxury price point, and there is helpful tech without being too confusing to understand. Volvo makes some of the best interior layouts on the market these days. The shorter length does have less cargo space than some rivals (size up to the V90 sibling to solve this). Driving dynamics are a little humdrum, but maybe we wanted to make the V60 sportier than it really is. There is a plug-in hybrid model now in the offering for the more fuel conscientious buyers.

6. 2023 Audi A4 Allroad

2019 audi a4 allroad

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The Audi A4 Allroad might be in the luxury class, but it’s actually affordably priced when compared to other family vehicles on the market. Plus, it does things few SUVs can do. It has plenty of space for passengers and cargo while giving drivers a smooth ride, zippy acceleration, and precision steering. It also has top safety scores and a trim level for nearly every budget.

5. 2022 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

2019 porsche panamera sport turismo

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The infotainment of the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo is an example of why we preferred the Volvo’s interior. The lack of physical knobs and buttons, while “modern” can, in practice, be somewhat cumbersome. But otherwise, this is another solidly built and performing Porsche machine. Even with the longer length (than the Panamera sedan it is based on) the Sport Turismo is nimble, sure-footed, and sporty. What really drug it down the list is the exceptionally expensive price tag (upwards of $103K just for the base trim). Porsche also offers a plug-in hybrid model.

4. 2023 Subaru Outback

2019 subaru outback

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The Subaru Outback is the reigning king of the station wagon as the sales leader on this list.  If you ask most Subaru owners, though, they’d tell you they own an SUV. They wouldn’t be entirely wrong, seeing as how Subaru styles and markets the Outback. It truly excels when it comes to safety. Subaru’s EyeSight active safety features are standard across all models beginning this model year. It also has great safety scores and standard all-wheel-drive. The only thing missing is a more spirited engine.

3. 2023 Audi A6 Allroad

a 2020 audi a6 allroad

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The Audi A6 Allroad improves on the major drawback of the A4 Allroad: there’s more space for passengers and cargo. It does so without giving up the ride quality and precise steering and driving dynamics. Really, about the only thing we can somewhat critique it on is that there can indeed be too many screens inside of a cabin. The Audi is coming up on the limit.

2. 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country

2019 volvo v90

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The Volvo V90 Cross Country is essentially the same as its V60 sibling just with a longer wheelbase. That fixes the cargo space drawbacks of the smaller model. But the V90 goes further by adding a laundry list of standard high-tech and safety features. Granted, it does cost more, too. The one knock is that the V90 has a somewhat below-average predictability rating for its luxury class laurels.

1. 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

2019 mercedes-benz e-class wagon

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The only reason the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon beats out the Audi is that the luxury on this vehicle is truly unmatched. Is it attainable for the masses? No. But that doesn’t mean that it’s no less well designed. The interior is elegant, upscale, comfortable, and roomy. The cushiony ride and sound-deadening create an almost eerily quiet cabin…that is, before you turn on the luscious sound system. Not only does the E-Class Wagon come loaded with tech and safety features, but it also features muscular engine choices. It’s not just one of the peak wagons but a top-notch option across-the-board.