Station wagons have a charm that is a little hard to explain. They evoke earlier, wholesome times and, potentially, good memories of family road trips of long ago. In short, they’re nostalgic. But the top 10 wagons on the market today bear little resemblance to the bland station wagons of the 1980s that were essentially stretched-out sedans with a swinging rear door instead of a trunk. Or perhaps you’re thinking of the lumbering, wood paneled behemoths of an even earlier era. If you’re getting ready to shop around for a new station wagon, you aren’t likely to find anything like that. Check out the list of the top 10 station wagons to see how auto manufacturers have resurrected the wagon category.

The top wagons today have evolved to a style that is an overall reflection of how automotive design has grown and changed. In other words, not all manufacturers offer station wagons, but those that do have taken pains to ensure their wagon models won’t be pegged as an ugly duckling of the brand’s lineup. In some cases, yes, they might still look vaguely like a stretched-out version of the brand’s signature sedan, which is for a good reason. The top station wagons usually share a platform and other design and engineering resources with the manufacturers’ top selling or most recognizable midsize car. But there’s more attention to detail now. These wagons’ lines flow gracefully around the extended passenger seating and cargo areas for thoughtful and comprehensive designs. And many of the best new station wagons have features intended to help these vehicles compete with other family oriented vehicles such as crossovers, making wagons especially appealing for a driver who might prefer the lower seating position of a car platform instead of the top-down view of an SUV. These wagons feel like a nice car; they just carry more.