Looking at this Accord Aerodeck made me ponder: when was the last mid-sized station wagon sold in the North American market with a manual transmission? Hell, I had to stop and think when the last mid-sized station wagon was sold there. Suffice it to say, if you own one of these manual Accord Aerodecks and you’re looking to replace it, you don’t have many options today.
The answer to the first question was – correct me if I’m wrong – the 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon. If we’re talking mainstream brands, the answer is the 2014 Subaru Outback. If you don’t count that as a station wagon on account of its slightly higher ground clearance – jeez, you’re fussy! – then the answer is probably the 2008 Volkswagen Passat.
If you are happy to buy a compact, then the good news is manual transmissions are still available in cars like the VW Golf SportWagen and the, uhh… Well, that’s pretty much it.
As desirable as something like a manual Accord Aerodeck may be to many of us Curbivores, it’s likely this style of vehicle died out in North America because of flagging consumer demand. Even in its time, the Accord Aerodeck was an anomaly—there was no manual version of the 1992-96 Camry, nor was there a manual Taurus wagon. There weren’t even wagon versions, automatic or manual, of rivals like the Nissan Altima, Mitsubishi Galant and Mazda 626.
The compact crossovers that effectively supplanted these wagons offered manual transmissions at first but even those have died out: the last manual Hyundai Tucson was in 2013, for example, and the last Honda CR-V well before that in 2006.
Of course, if you live in Europe the stick shift, D-segment station wagons never went away, although the Accord wagon eventually became a casualty. North Americans, you’ll just have to take solace in the fact automatic transmissions have gotten better and better over the years, and that today’s crossovers are much closer to station wagons than yesterday’s SUVs ever were.
Curbside Classic: 1996 Honda Accord Wagon – You Might Think It Was the Last of the Breed