How The AMC Eagle Wagon Set The Stage For Today’s Crossovers

The classic wagon also appears to answer the question of why so many people love and own crossovers in America today.

Blue Eagle Wagon
YouTube channel RegularCars

The RegularCars YouTube channel has a video review of a classic car: the 1986 AMC Eagle Wagon. In it, they explain how and why the 1986 AMC Eagle Wagon paved the way for today’s SUVs.

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AMC Eagle Wagon Gave Birth To A New Segment Of Automobiles

American Motors Corporation made the Eagle Wagon during the 1980 to 1987 model years. AMC was then acquired by Chrysler who continued to build and sell the Eagle Wagon for the 1988 model year.

The most notable thing about the AMC Eagle Wagon was that it was the first mass-produced American car with a four-wheel-drive system. AMC designed the Eagle Wagon to be a vehicle for those people who sought to combine the comforts of a car with the ride height and foul-weather capabilities of a four-wheel drive truck. Subaru was the only other car manufacturer at the time that offered similar vehicles.

The number of tall wagons with all-wheel drive has grown exponentially since then. In fact, this segment of vehicles has its own name now. It is now known as crossovers. Almost every automotive company makes a crossover today, and they are among the best-selling vehicles in America. Yet, the AMC Eagle Wagon is no longer around, despite the fact that it essentially gave birth to this entire segment.

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Roman Drove An AMC Eagle Wagon As A Teenager

RegularCars via YouTube

The video’s host, Roman, admits that the AMC Eagle Wagon has a special place in his heart because his family owned one when he was a teenager. It was the first car he drove.

Roman then spends the rest of the video driving someone else’s 1986 Eagle Wagon and offering his reflections on the vehicle. One of his first thoughts is that the Eagle Wagon can go off-road, but it really isn’t ideal for going off-road. It wasn’t really meant to go off-road. But what matters is that the ride height and four-wheel drive system give people the feeling that the Eagle Wagon can handle all types of driving conditions. That seems to explain why so many people buy crossovers today. The vast majority will never go off-road. But they enjoy the confidence of knowing that their crossover can handle any type of weather or terrain.

Roman believes the AMC Eagle Wagon did not sell well because it was ahead of its time. Minivans were all the rage in the 1980s. The crossover craze did not come until later. The Eagle Wagon may have experienced success if AMC (and later Chrysler) continued to build it and refine it.

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