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New station wagons until 2015: station wagon innovations in the middle class

Christian Schulte
New station wagons until 2016
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T he duel between Volkswagen and Skoda has become considerably more explosive , since the Czech subsidiary launched such a good car with the Octavia that the gap to the Golf is noticeably shrinking. When the new Passat goes on sale this year and the next Superb in 2015, another duel is about to begin. Unlike the Golf VII, the Passat will differ significantly on the road from the previous generation.

Mid-range station wagons with new design concepts

Based on the modular transverse matrix, it does not grow in length , but is wider and has increased the wheelbase by almost nine centimeters. The changed proportions give the Variant a much more elegant look. Optionally, there are LED headlights and area monitoring by four cameras. The trunk increases again (previously 603, then around 650 liters) and offers many options for securing luggage. The rear seat bench can probably be moved lengthways and thus increases the variability.

Sounds good, but the successful German model has its Czech brother on the back of the neck. From 2015, the Superb will also be based on the cross-modular construction kit, which will make it even more spacious and remain larger than the Passat. It is already seven centimeters longer today. The trunk volume should increase from 633 to around 660 liters.

New Skoda Superb available with adaptive chassis

For the first time, the big Skoda will also be available with adaptive chassis, and the tailgate has the ability to open the window separately. As with the Passat, the current multimedia generation with a touchscreen surface and internet connection is also used here. It is not yet entirely clear whether the Superb will also have options such as pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking like the Passat. Skoda wants to orient itself here to the needs of the individual markets. Basically, as with the Octavia, almost everything that VW offers for the corresponding model is adopted. Only the plug-in hybrid, which is technically feasible like in the Passat, is still a long time coming.

The next generation of the Opel Insignia (end of 2015) remains loyal to the current Epsilon platform of the GM Group, but should have a better use of space. 540 liters of luggage space are too little compared to the Superb and Passat, in future it should be almost 600Be liters. A three-cylinder like the future in the Astra is not to be expected here. The focus is on the new 1.6-liter four-cylinder, which boosts it to 170 and 200 hp. Among them is the 1.4-liter engine with 140 hp. The diesels with 1.7 and two liter cubic capacity were obsolete by then. They will be replaced by a new 1.6-liter generation that starts with 136 hp in a first stage and then goes up to 200 hp. A new generation of transmissions is also used in the Insignia, which is also designed for plug-in hybrids. It is not yet clear whether there will really be such a variant. The use of the new eight-speed automatic transmission is certain.

Ford Mondeo is coming in late 2014

At the end of 2014, the Time will be ripe for the Ford Mondeo, which has long been in the US as a merger, but had to be postponed here because production in Genk /Belgium will be closed and relocated to Valencia, Spain. With the equipment variant Vignale, Ford gave an outlook at the IAA of how noble its mid-range model could look in the future - with quilted seat seams, a headliner lined with Alcantara, panoramic sliding glass roof and a range of unusual services: If you choose the top Vignale version, you get a lifelong free car wash from Ford and a free pick-up and delivery service from the workshop during inspections. Incidentally, the Mondeo is also getting bigger with the model change. The station wagon grows in length by six centimeters to 4.89 meters, the trunk volume is to increase from 549 liters to almost 600.

In this regard, the new Mercedes C-Class (station wagon new from the second Quarter of 2014) cannot keep up. There are currently 485 liters of luggage volume, and around 500 in the future. But the W 205 series has different qualities: The Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control has a stop-and-go function that can orient itself to the car in front at speeds below 60 km /h and thus enables swimming in the column. A head-up display, an active parking assistant and a glass bottle for scenting the interior are also on board.

New mid-range station wagons: Audi A4 will be more economical

The Audi A4 Avant will have a hard time countering from 2015. There is a head-up display, but a stereo camera is not yet in sight. A touchpad with a touch-sensitive surface is used as the control center. Practical: the rear seats can be folded down in a 40:20:40 ratio. The engine range is supplemented by the 1.4-liter TFSI with cylinder deactivation and a plug-in hybrid to make the A4 more economical.

Half a floor higher, competitor Volvo has similar plans: The V70 successor V90, which will come to us from 2016, should be thanks to the new platform and the one that has just startedVEA engine family will also be considerably more economical. A hybrid variant with all-wheel drive in the style of the current V60 is also in the specifications.

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