2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Vans are trendy. But according to experts, the future belongs to so-called sport utility vehicles. They are characterized by their high fun factor.
Von Heiko Haupt
Success doesn't always last. After years in which they were considered successful models for family transport, station wagons and vans are currently facing competition primarily from sporty off-road suits with the SUV class designation. The fading careers of many station wagons and van models are now to be revived with modern successors.
New edition of the Galaxy
Especially Ford in Cologne is bringing a breath of fresh air to the van segment: The new edition of the van classic Galaxy is in the range there. There is also the S-Max sister model, which is somewhere between a large van and a station wagon - and which should also give the family outing a sporty note.
Skoda has tried a few vehicle classes deeper to add new ideas to the van principle. The result is the Roomster, which forms a bridge between panel vans and affordable van. At Citroën, the new edition of the Picasso is due in autumn.
"Overall, however, one can say that the vans have reached the top," says automotive researcher Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the B&D Forecast forecasting institute in Bochum. "In the coming years, the vans are more likely to lose, while the winners will be the SUVs." Because according to Dudenhöffer, the van is practical, but an SUV offers similar advantages - and is also fun.
Station wagons still in trend
According to Dudenhöffer, interest in station wagons will not wane - rather, a large number of new models will appear, which in turn adopt a few ideas from other areas. One could speak of a new category called sports tourers - that is, sporty station wagons with a lifestyle focus. A typical example of this is the mini station wagon already confirmed by BMW in Munich. The refreshed next generation of the normal Mini should appear at the end of 2006. In the coming year, in addition to the convertible, the station wagon with the name Traveler will follow.
The expected Volkswagen Golf Variant will certainly be one of the successful station wagons in 2007. According to the developers' wishes, it will also be further removed from the image of a packhorse. This is already clear in the design: Among other things, the model is to have a more elegant hatchback instead of a steep tailgate.
The same route is used in the larger vehicle categories. The new T-model of the Mercedes C-Class expected for autumn 2007 will also have a more sporty than practical design. Ford, in turn, wants to free the Mondeo from the must of the good middle-class van. Both limousine and station wagon should appeal to customers emotionally with new forms.
Between van and station wagon
There is still a question mark behind what BMW has announced as a “space-functional concept”. Experts expect you to move between a van and a station wagon. In terms of size, the car should be on par with the 5 Series - which is also supported by the model name that is rumored to be making the rounds: V5.
In 2007 Renault's low-cost sister Dacia will also bring the Logan to dealers as a station wagon. It looks similar with the next Skoda Fabia and the Toyota Corolla. A new Jaguar S-Type station wagon is expected as well as a station wagon version of Fiat's next Stilo. In 2008 you will be able to see the next Audi A4 Avant and the 308 station wagon from Peugeot. And in 2009 a Volkswagen Polo station wagon will also be launched.
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