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Wagon

Wagons at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show

All the rage in Europe, wagons lost their luster in the U.S. about the time Chevy Chase was starring in National Lampoon’s "Vacation." With faux-wood paneling and ponderous road manners, America’s wagons of the Seventies and Eighties killed demand for the useful bodystyle for generations to come.

Today’s wagons are nothing like the meandering road kings of the past. Vehicles like the small Audi A3, compact Mazda 3 wagon, midsize Subaru Outback and large Ford Flex are practical and comfortable vehicles that drive like similar-sized sedans.

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Most wagons are powered by four-cylinder or V6 engines. A couple have turbo V6s or V8 engines. Front-wheel drive is the norm, as the layout helps increase cargo area, but a few offer all-wheel drive as well.

Some people might confuse a wagon with a crossover-utility vehicle. The main difference is a crossover has a higher ride height than a sedan. So a vehicle like a Subaru Outback, which is basically a Legacy sedan with an expanded cargo area, should be considered a wagon. The Subaru Forester, on the other hand, has a taller build, more ground clearance and a more upright stance, so it’s a crossover. Though in most cases it’s not the difference between apples and oranges, it’s the difference between McIntosh and Granny Smith.

Wagons come in all sizes and prices. Some of the small ones are direct imports from Europe, while the larger ones are built exclusively for the American market. Either way, whatever your need there’s a wagon for you. You can find the following wagons on display at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show or at the Vehicles on Display section of the auto show Web site.

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2/14/2016 10:00:21 AM

Thanks to Cars.com com for keeping #CAS16 fans connected! Check out the free show WiFi

2/14/2016 9:22:07 AM

The first day of The Chicago Auto Show was fabulous! Thanks to all of you who stopped by to visit us and see our awesome "stuff" - and a great big welcome to all of our New Facebook Friends - welcome! Be sure to enter our contest for a Garage Makeover and grab our super savings..... https://secure.pagemodo.com/m/YWMCW4 #cas16

2/14/2016 9:00:23 AM

Crowds are already forming for Day 2 of opening weekend! Comment below & tag a friend you want to bring; we'll pick one winner today to get free tickets! #CAS16

2/14/2016 8:33:08 AM

See the dramatically-styled Acura Precision and more at the nation's largest auto show: https://youtu.be/KQXMlITTmyw

2/14/2016 8:15:52 AM

Toyota USA donated 220 pairs of winter boots and thick socks to families in need yesterday as part of its community outreach project alongside the Chicago Auto Show. Toyota additionally donated $15,000 to the Salvation Army’s Chicago division to help support homeless families during times of crisis: trib.in/1U0Q4mu #CAS16

2/14/2016 7:12:05 AM

Planning a visit to #CAS16 opening weekend, Feb. 13-14? Stop into Fifth Third Bank to receive the only discount coupon or click here: bit.ly/1PASdn7 CODE: 53Weekend

2/13/2016 10:08:50 PM

Had a lot of fun today at #CAS16 once we got inside. We ended up parking in lot B. The people working just walked around not directing traffic to spots. Also the one Lady driving the shuttle bus wasn't polite. Overall had a great night. See you next year

2/13/2016 9:37:07 PM

What was your favorite at #CAS16 today

2/13/2016 7:27:18 PM

Stay tuned to our Twitter Page! 360's from the 2016 Chicago Auto Show will be posted each day as the show progresses!

2/13/2016 6:47:25 PM

Any information about the 2017 GMC Terrain

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2/14/2016 10:45:05 AM

Going to the @ChiAutoShow this weekend? Let @southshoreline provide the stress free travel! https://t.co/ArW7Y5Urm9 https://t.co/idEXASV3F3

2/14/2016 10:39:34 AM

Toyota is my uncle's nickname for me| in @lanebryant https://t.co/bc2YnxNecH @ToyotaUSA @Cubs car @ChiAutoShow#CAS16 https://t.co/pcTWVnzNce

2/14/2016 10:35:29 AM

RT @ChiAutoShow: Toyota TRD Pro: https://t.co/ZPhoXQ4bkG via @YouTube

2/14/2016 10:34:20 AM

RT @ChiAutoShow: Ram Power Wagon: https://t.co/zSWZdGPVsM via @YouTube

2/14/2016 10:34:20 AM

RT @ChiAutoShow: Toyota TRD Pro: https://t.co/ZPhoXQ4bkG via @YouTube

2/14/2016 10:34:07 AM

RT @ChiAutoShow: Acura Precision: https://t.co/Ibl412YH8b via @YouTube

2/14/2016 10:30:21 AM

MT @ChiAutoShow: @ABC7Chicago has the hottest #tech trends at #CAS16: https://t.co/LiIgJ6KFfm Stop by for some @Counter_Culture #coffee

2/14/2016 10:24:24 AM

RT @ChiAutoShow: Toyota TRD Pro: https://t.co/ZPhoXQ4bkG via @YouTube

2/14/2016 10:20:25 AM

I told everyone I was going to the @ChiAutoShow 4 the cars; it was REALLY to stop by @GarrettPopcorn #magmile for the #loversmix #chocspicy

2/14/2016 10:20:13 AM

RT @wodrex: Coming to the @ChiAutoShow? 2/16! Here’s why! https://t.co/kelcNXVYIm #CAS16 #NissanCAS #ChicagonistaLIVE