Practical design, it doesn't have to be a boring concept, so why are they? Why is it that the large people movers have to be square and bland? As an automotive enthusiast, nothing is more depressing than buying a minivan, that is admitting defeat.
2 years ago I was defeated, I didn't buy a minivan, but a slow compact “sport utility vehicle” is not much better. Truth is I was broke, I had a 2 door BMW sports car that had already put me into debt, was going to need a new set of tires soon, needed a new valve cover gasket, and the cops told me I had two weeks to fix the daytime running lights. DRL’s in a BMW were expensive to repair. I had no money, and was desperate to get a new fun car but I was talked out of it because of the situation my then current fun car had put me in. So I bought the practical 4 cylinder SUV. Depressing.
Credit where it is due, the SUV has never gotten stuck in the snow, I have taken it camping, and the only part it has ever needed was covered under warranty. It is a fantastic vehicle by every basic definition of the word. But it lacks excitement. It is a box, it gets me to work, fits groceries, and takes me home. I have to question why people drive cars like these when it's not hard to find an exciting car that is still practical.
Station wagons, by reputation, are the boring car your mom drove you to soccer practice with, however its not difficult to find an exciting and fun to drive wagon. Volvos may have the reputation for slow and boring, but a V70 has 250 horsepower out of a turbo 5 cylinder, there is a V70R variant with 300 horsepower as well. Japanese manufacturers were creating things like the Subaru Legacy GT, Mitsubishi Legnum, and Nissan Stagea, all of which were all wheel drive and approximately 275 horsepower (adhering to Japan's gentleman's agreement not to exceed 300 horsepower).
Wagons aren't for everyone though, I get that, but I have to ask why its so difficult to find a practical car that can be fun and exciting for a decent price. The concept is there, its proven to have been done, and yet the only examples I can think of other than a Japanese wagon are either high end luxury, or super rare.