Used Sporty Wagon Roundup

My beloved 1988 Volvo 740 Turbo!

Periodically I conjecture whether I should replace my venerable 1988 Volvo 740 Turbo, which I have driven for almost 20 years now! It is reasonably fast, easy to work on, and at this point a fairly unique sight on the road. Being a wagon it also holds a lot in the trunk. On the other hand it is very old, loud and not very comfortable which usually rules it out for family transport.

I’m a big wagon fan, which is tough since wagons go in and out of style in the US. I also hate FWD and automatic transmissions. So here are my requirements:

  • Wagon chassis
  • RWD or AWD
  • Manual Transmission
  • High Performance (0-60 in under 7 secs)

Without further ado, here is the data:

Car ModelYear RangeCargo Seats UpMax CargoWeightHPManual Trans (in US)0-60MileageHP/lb
Volvo 740 Turbo1986-199239.374.93100190Y7220.06
VW Golf A42000-20041841.8270090Y150.03
Audi C4 S6 Avant1994-199722463814227Y0.06
Audi C5 S6 Avant1999-200336734004335N0.08
Audi C6 S6 Avant2006-201134594343429N0.10
Audi B5 S4 Avant1994-200117313704250Y6.20.07
Audi B6 S4 Avant2001-200627.860.63936340Y5.40.09
Audi B7 S4 Avant2006-200827.8593861340Y5.40.09
BMW E34 540iT1987-19953725286Y6.2160.08
BMW E39 540iT1996-20043839286N6.518.70.07
BMW E61 545iT2005-20103958333N200.08
BMW E61 550iT2005-20104024368N200.09
Volvo V70R P11998-200037.2673700296Y210.08
Volvo V70R P22004-200737.4583750300Y5.6190.08
Mercedes 300TE/E3201989-19963600220N0.06
Cadillac CTS-V Wagon2011-201325584400556Y3.9140.13
Subaru Legacy GT2003-200933.566.23289250Y5.8260.076

My data is still a bit incomplete, but the trends are clear. There aren’t many manual transmission fast wagons available, but Audi has the most. The 740 is a big winner on internal space, and is significantly lighter weight than any “modern” offerings. A manual swapped E39 540iT could be an interesting option, but wasn’t available in the US so requires a slight science fair. It also isn’t particularly fast, although is good in the cargo capacity category. The S4 Avant’s are a slick package, but significantly smaller than the old 740. No decisions made yet!

Some good roundup links (all with questionable data):

Edit 1/21/2015: Added Subaru Legacy GT

Leave a Reply