Wagon Concepts set for Resurgence in Geneva

The Geneva motor show is just a little more than two weeks away and manufacturers have already begun to tease, trickle and unveil vehicles that will take pride of place on the show stands of the Palexpo halls. And, to our surprise, it seems that wagons are poised to make a resurgence at the annual Swiss show.

So far we’ve seen the Audi Prologue Avant concept sketches and an all-new wagon concept from Kia, the SportSpace, which is said to preview the new Optima sedan. Whilst the Audi literally builds the design language initiated by the Prologue concept shown at the Los Angeles auto show last year — by adding two rear doors and a hatch to the rear — the Kia is the Korean automaker’s take on a spacious vehicle that is equally luxurious.

It is interesting to note that, whilst the trend for the crossover vehicle typology shows no sign of slowing and the seven-seat SUV is equally gaining in popularity in Europe in particular, the wagon format is still an appealing proposition. The Prologue Avant and Kia SportSpace concepts will be joined by production cars in the form of the new seven-passenger BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and compact crossovers such as Hyundai’s new Tucson and Renault’s new Qashqai-based SUV, the Kadjar.

You can bet that Audi and Kia (probably to a greater extent given the Optima’s sedan-only history), have tested the appeal of a wagon through customer clinics. The vehicles were inevitably driven by market research. It seems strange that the wagon has never been a successful product for carmakers in the US yet remains a staple even amidst the influx of new vehicle typologies in Europe.

Either way, the wagon (or estate) typology still appears to have life left in it, especially in Europe. And for drivers, that’s certainly a good thing.


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