The range of electric cars is still sorely lacking in station wagons, but 2024 could change the situation with several models on the approach.
There are the essential and omnipresent SUVs, there are a few city cars, a pinch of sedans, the beginnings of minivans and a few micro-cars. All electric, obviously.
But we are still waiting for the station wagons, and if we trust the discussions on the subject across the web, we see that a number of potential electric motorists are waiting for this size of car before making a definitive decision to take the plunge.
It must be said that the station wagon seems equipped with all the virtues to attract a significant part of the automobile population, especially in its electric version. Generally no more bulky or heavier than the sedan from which it is derived, it ticks all the boxes for virtuous electromobility in its ability to remain aerodynamically streamlined while offering more space for luggage or transporting objects.
The station wagon is also an art of living, a way of traveling comfortably, without worrying about space or weight constraints. It’s the freedom to go on adventures, carry bulky items, go camping, or enjoy an impromptu picnic.
But it is also a segment that has become rarefied and gentrified over the last two decades, facing competition from SUVs, minivans, and sedans. The station wagon has become a niche product, often associated with high-end brands, such as Volvo, Audi, or Mercedes.
However, he has not said his last word. With the ecological transition, the station wagon could find a new lease of life, thanks to electrification. Manufacturers seem to want to take an interest in it again, certainly still in relative discretion, but the choice is starting to expand slowly but surely. Brief inventory of the forces present, already available or about to be available during 2024.
MG5, the discreet charm of economy
It is a pioneer in the electric station wagon market, and yet it is not very old. Released at the end of 2021, we can’t really say that it hit the headlines. However, it has serious advantages, it aims to be the first affordable 100% electric station wagon on the market. Its cargo capacity can reach 1367 liters by folding the rear seats. The MG5 is equipped with an electric motor of 156 hp (115 kW) or 177 hp (130 kW) and 280 Nm of torque, which allows it to reach a maximum speed of 185 km/h and go from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds. There are two battery versions: a 50 kWh one, which offers a range of 320 km in the WLTP cycle, and a 61 kWh one, which allows you to travel 400 km on a single charge. Charging can be done at a domestic socket, a public terminal or a fast terminal, with a time varying from 8 hours to 40 minutes depending on the case. The MG5 stands out for its attractive price-quality ratio, since it is available from €25,990, without being eligible for the ecological bonus.
Nio ET5T, the long-distance station wagon
Nio is not yet officially present in France but the Chinese brand is being deployed, with teams already in place. On the other hand, it is already installed in certain countries in northern Europe and in Germany with for the moment two models, the ET5, equivalent to the Tesla Model 3 in size, look and services (even if much more premium), and the ET7, which targets the Model S or any other large electric sedan in the E segment. But the version that interests us is the ET5T (T for Tourer or Touring, we don’t really know), already available in China but not yet in Europe, and we must admit that it is a real gem. Already by its design and its line, which observers agree to find particularly successful, but also by its services, since the best equipped version with its semi-solid battery of… 150 kWh claims an autonomy of more than 1000 kilometers! Well, let’s not get excited, this autonomy, precisely 1010 km, is measured according to the very optimistic Chinese CLTC approval cycle. Translated into WLTP language, we would rather be on 750 km, which is already very good, even if we can question the relevance of housing such a large battery to ultimately have “only” 750 km radius of action. For the rest, we are on a 450 liter trunk, which can extend to 1300 liters by folding the rear seats, and a total power is 360 kW (490 hp) and a torque of 700 Nm, which allows it to reach a maximum speed of 200 km/h and go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds. Or the performance of a Porsche 911 for a family livestock truck that will probably be found for less than 60,000 euros. Who would have imagined this before electric?
So much for the Chinese. Let’s now move on to the European models, with Germans largely in the majority in this inventory, which means that we must not lose hope of being ahead of the Middle Kingdom in certain segments of the electric car.
Peugeot E-308 SW, the French electric station wagon
Good idea from Peugeot to reconnect with a legendary past which saw the 403, 404 and other 504 station wagons roam the roads all over the world, from the Nationale 7 to the borders of Bamako, not to mention the tracks of the Paris-Dakar. An era that those under 20, sorry, under 50, cannot experience. Here we are obviously in another dimension with this E-308 SW, station wagon version or “Station Wagon” as the Americans say, of the electric 308. On the technical side, we are very close to the sedan. We find the 115 kW unit, or 156 hp, associated with a battery with a useful capacity of 51 kWh. The brand announces a range in the WLTP mixed cycle of 409 km. The 11 kW three-phase on-board charger is standard equipment. Concerning the loading volume, it is 548 l in the five-seater configuration, and 1,634 l when the bench seat is folded. For fast DC charging, the power caps at 100 kW. The price of the Allure is €43,900. The GT version costs €46,250. These are therefore the same prices as the sedan.
Opel Astra Sports Tourer Electric, the discreet one
If a car is discreet, it’s this one. Don’t look on the official opel.fr website, strangely it doesn’t appear in the Estate category or in the Electric category. It’s also difficult to find it with a Google search if you don’t know its exact name. Must go on this page to find it. If the line is classic, it probably won’t make anyone cringe. Opel announces an average consumption of 15 kWh/100km and a range of 411 kilometers. On its configurator we don’t learn much more, except its price of €42,890.00, or €37,890 bonus deducted for the GS version, which seems quite high if we consider that it plays roughly in the same league as the MG5 priced at 25,990 euros.
VW ID7 Tourer, a little scent of a new age Passat station wagon
We discovered it in its still colorful livery during testing of the new Volkswagen ID.7 electric sedan. A very faithful and expected variation of the latter, the VW ID.7 Tourer should, without any great surprise, incorporate all of its characteristics, with therefore a much larger loading volume, i.e. 532 liters in the 5-seater version. The line is very nice and should appeal to young CSP+ parents looking for eco-mobility with their tribe.
BMW i5 Touring, the converted classic
No need to present the BMW 5 Series, and therefore its recent 100% electric version, the i5, which seduces all its testers one by one, with its design, its performance, the driving pleasure it provides, and its general philosophy. All that was needed for the Bavarian firm to very quickly release the Touring version. Obviously, thanks to a tailgate and a more generous trunk volume, we increase to 570 liters of loading volume compared to 490 liters for the i5 sedan. On the design side, BMW has done things well as usual, with a dynamic and balanced line. The general appearance is rather sporty, with side glazing which reduces towards the rear, an inclined bezel and marked shoulders. We still have a battery with a net capacity of 81.2 kWh. Depending on equipment, the eDrive40 promises a combined cycle range of 489 to 560 km. For the M60, this ranges from 445 to 506 km. Regarding prices, there is no surprise in the premium, since the i5 Touring eDrive40 starts at €77,700. An M Sport version, with a more muscular body kit, costs €82,050.
Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo, the station wagon that swallowed a 911
As surprising as it may seem, Porsche does offer a station wagon in its range. Or rather two if we take into account the Panamera Sport Turismo, but it’s not an electric one. Whether you like it or not, this variation of its already famous Taycan is a station wagon, in the full sense of the term. Except that we are at Porsche. We are therefore entitled to a wide, muscular and low-ceilinged machine (well, I understand myself) whose philosophy remains above all performance and exclusivity. In its most muscular versions, the Taycan Sport Turismo is the equivalent of a 992 S, while being capable of taking a family in the greatest comfort, with room in the trunk to accommodate luggage. Boot space is 446 liters with 4 or 5 passengers and expands to 1212 liters with the rear seats folded. The brand new version promises a range of over 670 km in its most economical version. As for prices, do you really want to talk about it? Come on, let’s say it starts at 105,000 euros for the basic version without options, up to… infinity, or more than 250,000 euros for a very well equipped Turbo S. Breathe.
Audi A6 Avant e-tron, the long-awaited station wagon
With Audi, we will say that since the brand began its transition to electric, we have moved a little into the fifth dimension. So much so that it’s Arlesienne on every level. Promises and announcements of new electric models – and especially vague concepts – have been coming one after the other for several years, and then… nothing. This is the case with the electric version of the A6, which should also have its station wagon version, which in Audi language would give an A6 Avant e-tron. A beautiful car as the Ingolstadt firm knows how to make, of which we don’t know much more than the few (probably synthetic) images distilled here and there on the web, without much further explanation. Except that we know that it will be assembled in China and that it will arrive in 2025. Finally, if Audi does not change its mind again by then…
So happy ? The range of electric station wagons is expanding and being structured before our eyes, and even if it is still quite limited, its fairly broad spectrum already makes it possible to satisfy all types of customers. It remains to be seen whether the public will follow. See you at the end of 2024, but more surely at the end of 2025 for a first assessment of these new models.
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