Where to Find Great Station Wagons for Sale

March 6, 2012

Find out the top resources for finding station wagons for sale (beyond CarsDirect), and get a checklist of what to look for in a station wagon.

Whether you're looking for new or used station wagons for sale, saving money on your purchase is important. Use this list to help you in your search for the best station wagon at the best price.

Right Here on CarsDirect
If you're reading this article, then you're already on the best site on the web to purchase a new or used station wagon. We have more than one and a half million vehicles listed for sale, and have thousands of new and used station wagons from all over the country. Regardless of the type of station wagon you want to buy, CarsDirect has one available at a price you can afford.

eBay Motors Auction Site
If you're looking for a used station wagon and have never participated in a car auction, you definitely want to consider eBay Motors for your next used station wagon purchase. eBay allows you to set your own price for a station wagon by bidding on vehicles that interest you. If your bid is the highest, and meets the reserve price set by the seller, you'll be able to purchase a used station wagon at a price you normally wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. Just keep in mind that you should always be careful when purchasing a vehicle from a stranger on the Internet.

Classic Car Sites
If you're looking for a high-powered classic station wagon, like those produced in the 1960's and 1970's, you need to find classic car sites that offer these vintage automobiles. You can find classic car sites online that have hundreds of classic station wagons by using a search engine.

Wholesale Car Buying Clubs
If you're a member of wholesale membership clubs like Costco or Sam's Club, visit the customer service desk and ask about programs designed to save money for members on the purchase of a new vehicle. Many times, the wholesale club can help you locate a new station wagon and buy it for much less than you would be able to at your local dealership. If you're not a member of one of these clubs, you may want to consider joining one. The money you can save on a new station wagon can more than make up for the cost of membership.

Your Local Classifieds
Don't forget to check out the classified ads section of your local newspaper. Sometimes, dealers have station wagons that have been sitting on the lot just a little too long, and are willing to sell them at a discount. These types of station wagons are usually offered as "loss leaders" in order to attract customers to the lot; therefore, be sure you act quickly in order to take advantage of sale prices offered on harder to sell station wagons.

Station Wagons for College Students and Teenagers

Due to the popularity of the sport utility vehicle, or SUV, station wagon cars sales dwindled in the USA, despite being more practical and fuel efficient than their SUV counterparts. But the recent economic recession has changed all that. Station wagons are slowly gaining ground, as the high price of gas continues to draw people away from the lumbering, gas guzzling sport utility vehicle. The European market still considers the station wagon as the vehicle of choice, and is perfect for students and teenagers to carry their friends and all their stuff. Here are 3 station wagons that are perfect for college students and teenagers.

Kia Rondo
Also known as the Kia Carens in other parts of the world, the Rondo is a practical car that scores high points in safety and durability. For less than $25,000 the Rondo comes well equipped and offers a smooth ride with lots of space to carry all your friends and personal belongings as well. The Rondo comes equipped with a 2.4-liter inline 4-engine, mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission maximized for torque and fuel economy. For those who want more, a 2.7-liter V6 with a 5-speed automatic transmission is available to satisfy your quench for power. Parent company Hyundai is doing a good job with Kia these days and offers the same 10 year 100,000 mile warranty found on all models available. The Rondo strikes the right balance between car like handling and minivan practicality, which is the reason why this MPV (multi purpose vehicle) is slowly gaining popularity around the world. College students will certainly agree that the Rondo is a stylish wagon worth considering when looking for a practical everyday vehicle.

Honda Accord Crosstour
Japanese automaker Honda is known to inject science and technology in their entire vehicle lineup and the Accord Crosstour is no exception. The sleek, aerodynamic shape emits a kind of attraction that older Accords could only dream of. The innovative 271 horsepower 3.5-liter i-Vtec V6 engine incorporates Honda's VCM (variable cylinder management) technology and enables the engine to run in 3-cylinder, 4-cylinder or 6 cylinder mode--depending on traffic conditions--and works in conjunction with the excellent 5 speed automatic transmission for enhanced fuel economy. The availability of Honda's real time 4WD makes the Accord Crosstour a worthy companion on slick or frozen roads, ensuring traction and control for a safer drive.

Subaru Outback
It's no wonder that the Subaru Outback is the station wagon to beat, as parent company Fuji Heavy Industries managed to inject the Outback with the same driving dynamics found on the iconic Subaru Impreza. In typical Subaru fashion, the Outback comes equipped either with a 2.5-liter or 3.6-liter horizontally opposed Boxer engine, for a lower center of gravity and Subaru's famous symmetrical all wheel drive system for unparalleled performance whatever road conditions or hazards the weather might bring. Driving comfort and control is assured with the Subaru Outback wagon, as the technology works in symphony with the driver for excellent road feel and predictable handling.

Used Station Wagons for Sale: A Buyer's Checklist

When looking for a station wagon for sale, it is important to know how to find good deals on reliable vehicles. Just because a used station wagon seems to be priced affordably does not mean that it is a good deal. Here is a list of things you can do to avoid buying a lemon.

Get a Mechanic's Inspection
Because station wagons have a lot of space and are very practical, they get used a lot for carrying large amounts of cargo or large numbers of children. Therefore, they can be driven hard and may experience an unusually high amount of wear and tear. Have a mechanic thoroughly inspect any station wagon you are thinking of buying. It will cost you a few bucks, but could save you a bundle in avoidable car repair bills.

Find the History of the Station Wagon
View a car history report on any station wagon you are considering purchasing. Make sure the station wagon has not been involved in a major accident or doesn't have a junk, rebuilt or salvage title.

Read Reviews about the Car
Unless you're buying a really old station wagon, you should be able to find ratings and reviews on any modern model of cars. Look for reviews or ratings for a make and model wagon online by entering search terms that will display relevant results.

Alternatively, you could visit sites like the Kelley Blue Book pricing guide or the Edmunds Pricing Guide. Both sites have in-depth reviews on many popular make and model station wagons. You can search for them by year, make, model or even use the station wagon section to start your search for the vehicle of your choice.

Have Classic Station Wagons Appraised
If you are thinking of purchasing an expensive classic station wagon, such as those made 40 or more years ago, you should have the vehicle appraised by a professional. These types of vehicles can be excellent investments; however, they are usually only worth the high price you pay if the vehicles are in good to excellent condition. Professional antique car appraisers are very knowledgeable about these types of cars and can help you determine if you are getting a good deal or not.

Ask a Lot of Questions
Even if the mechanic gives the car an OK, always ask the seller enough questions to feel comfortable about buying the station wagon. Ask about maintenance (request records and receipts), inquire about any major repairs that have been done, and always ask about any signs of body damage that could be an indication of a previous accident. Even though a car history report may tell you if a vehicle has been involved in accident, sometimes reports are not always updated. Put the seller on the spot and ask him or her directly.

Questions to Ask the Seller

What Is the VIN Number?
Before you even go to see the vehicle, you should contact the seller and ask him or her for the VIN number. This will allow you to do a vehicle history report and check the status of the title, as well as see if the vehicle has been in any major accidents that were reported to the insurance company.

Is the Odometer Reading Accurate?
Always ask the seller if the odometer reading, or mileage, on the vehicle is accurate. If the seller tells you that the odometer reading is different from the actual mileage of the vehicle for any reason, you may want to consider looking elsewhere.

Are You the Original Owner of the Vehicle?
You should always ask the seller if he or she is the original owner of the vehicle. It is important to know the history of the vehicle, and also who may have previously owned it. Informed buyers always know the history of their vehicle; if the seller doesn't know how many owners the vehicle has had, walk away.

Do You Have Receipts and Records for Maintenance and Repairs?
Ask sellers if they have records or receipts for maintenance and repairs that have been performed on the vehicle. A seller that has kept good records on the vehicle is a good sign that the vehicle has been well maintained. Avoid buying a station wagon from a seller that doesn't keep good records or receipts, because you have no idea how well the vehicle has been maintained.

Where Has the Vehicle Been Stored?
If you live in an area that is subject to frequent rain, storms or other types of inclement weather, ask the seller where the vehicle has been stored. Vehicles that have been kept in garages will usually have fewer problems with rust or corrosion of the frame, and will usually require fewer repairs for belts, fittings or gaskets.

Has the Vehicle Been Involved in Any Accidents?
Even if you have viewed a vehicle history report on the station wagon, you should always ask the seller if the car has been involved in any accidents. A minor accident should not disqualify a car from being considered for purchase. However, if the vehicle has been involved in a major accident, you may want to think twice about buying.

Do You Mind If My Mechanic Inspects the Car?
Ask sellers if they mind if you have the vehicle inspected. If the seller shows any sign of disagreement, politely excuse yourself and find another station wagon to buy.

What Kind of Gas Mileage Are You Getting?
Although you can find information about fuel economy and gas mileage in station wagon reviews, you should ask the seller what kind of gas mileage they're getting in the real world. If the numbers vary considerably from those you find in ratings and reviews, ask the seller about the discrepancy and make sure to inform your mechanic so that he can check for problems.

The Top Selling Woody Station Wagon Models
If you're looking for a vintage woody station wagon, be prepared to spend some serious money. Classic station wagons are more popular now than they've ever been, and collectors are paying several times the prices that were paid only 10 or 20 years ago.

Ford Model A Woody Wagon
Although the Ford Model A wagon was not the first true woody station wagon, it is perhaps the most famous. Because the original Model A (which was not a station wagon, by the way) was so wildly popular during its first few years on the market, Ford continued to brand other vehicles under the Model A moniker as well. Although many Model A woody wagons are nearly 80 years old, there are still quite a few of them around. If you're willing to do a lot of work, you can find one for less than $10,000. If you want one in pristine condition, be prepared to pay between $100,000 and $500,000.

Buick Roadmaster
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Buick Roadmaster was one of the most popular station wagons in America. It was offered in both metal and woody versions and was loved for its spacious interior and exceptional highway performance. You can find a Buick Roadmaster Woody that needs a lot of work for less than $20,000. If you want one that has been fully restored, you'll pay between $80,000 and $250,000.

Ford Country Squire Wagon
The Ford Country Squire wagon is one of the most popular station wagons ever made. In fact, it was the best-selling station wagon almost every year it was offered to the public. The Country Squire Wagon is also a favorite among those that like to customize or modify large 50s and 60s station wagons. You can find a high-performance modified version for around $30,000 to $50,000. However, if you want one in original condition, be prepared to pay four or five times more.

Chrysler Town and Country
Long before the Town and Country was a popular Chrysler minivan, it was one of the company's best-selling Woody station wagons. Offered during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Town and Country was considered to be one of the most luxurious station wagons on the road. There are many of these wagons still available in excellent condition, and you can find one for between $15,000 and $30,000.

Pontiac Tin Woody Beach Wagon
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Pontiac created a station wagon that was geared toward people that lived near the ocean. The Pontiac Tin Woody Beach Wagon actually didn't include very much wood in its design. However, the vehicle was popular because of its huge interior, which had an open-air feel because of the large amount of glass that was used. Today it's a favorite among station wagon collectors because of its classic design and relatively low price. You can find these vehicles in fair to good condition for less than $20,000.

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