We recently saw our last list of five-door forbidden fruit crop up on the Internet in a wagon enthusiast page on Facebook. To our dismay it was published in 2012 and a whole lot has changed on the international wagon scene since.
Here are our picks for 2017, featuring the long roofs you love, more performance, and updated styling.
Audi RS6 Avant Performance
The Audi RS6 Avant delivers on all of the promises a hot wagon symbolizes to car enthusiasts: high performance with no compromise. The RS6 Avant boasts a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 making 605 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.
Output is sent to all four wheels though an eight-speed automatic transmission, ripping the RS6 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, while cargo capacity is a generous 20-cubic-foot with the seats up. It starts at about $130,300 in Germany, so those who can afford one get all of that driving goodness with no trade-offs.
2017 BMW 5 Series Estate
As with any BMW, there are numerous variants of the 5 Series wagon sold in Europe that we don’t get in the U.S. At the top sits the 540i xDrive M Sport, which is equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six is good for a zippy 5.1-second run to 62 mph and every 5 Series wagon has a generous 20-cubic-foot cargo hold, so plenty of storage is on offer.
The 530d could be seen as the goldilocks model, offering better fuel economy and a massive 457 lb-ft of torque from the turbocharged six-cylinder diesel powerplant.
2017 Ford Focus ST Estate
The wagonized Focus ST is a little more subtle than the hatch but sacrifices none of the fun. It comes in three trims, the fastest being the ST3 level. It packs a serious punch with Ford’s four-cylinder 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine churning out a healthy 252-hp and 270 lb-ft.
It’s a smaller wagon with only 17 cubic feet of stowage, but time behind the wheel should still be grin-inducing. The package is completed by a six-speed manual transmission.
2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon
Korea’s offering to the forbidden-wagon segment comes in the form of the 2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon. It’s a good-looking five-door that may not be the fastest amongst its peers, but it’s available with 3-peddles for those who like to row their own.
A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available for quick gear changes. Powerplant choices include a naturally aspirated four-cylinder, a turbo-four, and a 1.7-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel making 138 hp and a robust 251 lb-ft of torque.
2017 Mazda 6 Wagon
The 2017 Mazda6 is an attractive car and the same can be said for the wagon variant. The wagon extends the sedan’s gorgeous lines while boosting cargo space to nearly 18 cubic-feet.
Two tunes of the 2.0-liter SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine are available and the more powerful 189 hp 2.5-liter engine sits at the top of the range.
European buyers can even get a 2.2-liter diesel unit. This isn’t the fastest wagon out there but if its as engaging to drive as the sedan, it’d be welcome here in the U.S.
2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Wagon
The same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 used by the AMG GT lives under the hood of the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Wagon. That means 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque get sent through just the rear wheels. No manual is available; the only transmission is a seven-speed automatic.
Even so, the hot wagon will get to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, ample stats for highway driving or canyon carving.
2017 Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI GT
This is another one where we get the sedan but not the wagon. The top-spec version is motivated by a warmed up version of Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbo-four, making 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
It’s front drive but has Volkswagen’s sharp DSG dual-clutch gearbox and, like the sedan, rides on the excellent MQB platform. It’s a dependable family hauler that we wouldn’t be averse to chucking into a corner or two.
Bonus round: Mercedes-Benz E400 All-Terrain 4×4²
Sure, this one isn’t really available anywhere, but that includes the U.S. so it still fits the parameters of the list. The E400 All-Terrain 4×4 Squared is a passion project from Jürgen Eberle, a Mercedes-Benz design engineer who set out to make an off-roading beast.
It replaces the All-Terrain’s multi-link suspension with the portal axles G500 4×4². This means it can conquer both road and rock, just like the most badass G-Wagen. If it ever does go into production around the world, you bet we’ll beg for it to come to our shores.