Eagle Medallion also badged as the Renault Medallion in 1988, this car was essentially identical to the Renault 21. Eagle Medallion was a rebadged version of the Renault 21 that was sold in North America. The Medallion was originally built by American Motors (AMC) and was briefly badged as a Renault until the Chrysler Corporation bought out American Motors in 1987. Afterwards, the Medallion was sold under the then-new Eagle brand until 1989. The Medallion used a 2.2 L I4 engine coupled to either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 3-speed automatic. The Medallion was available as a 4-door sedan or a 4-door station wagon.
In many suburban communities, owning a current year woody station wagon was a sign of affluence and good taste. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the idea of "fake wood" became archaic and manufacturers dropped the option. With the introduction of the retro-styled Chrysler PT Cruiser, aftermarket firms began selling faux woodie kits designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia.
Station wagons enjoyed their greatest popularity and highest production levels in the United States during from the 1950s through the 1970s. The late 1950s through the mid 1960s was also the period of greatest variation in bodystyles, with pillared two and four-door models marketed alongside hardtop (no B-pillar) four door models. AMC's Rambler was the first to enter into this body style in 1956, followed by Mercury, Oldsmobile, Buick in 1957; Chrysler entered the market in 1960. Expensive to produce and buy, the hardtop wagon sold in limited numbers. GM was the first to eliminate the hardtop wagon from its lineup in 1959, and AMC and Ford exited the field beginning with their 1960 and 1961 vehicles, leaving Chrysler and Dodge with the body style through the 1964 model year.
Sales of station wagons in the United States and Canada remained strong until 1984, when the Chrysler Corporation introduced the first minivans, derived from the K platform, which, ironically, also was the platform for the Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries station wagon models which the minivan would soon eclipse.
In the early 1950s, tailgates with hand-cranked roll-down rear windows began to appear. Chrysler is generally credited with the first of these in 1950. Later in the decade, electric power was applied to the tailgate window - it could be operated from the driver's seat, as well as by the keyhole in the rear door. By the early 1960s, this arrangement was becoming common on both full-size and compact wagons.
A fastback sedan is a two-box sedan, where the passenger volume blends seamlessly with the trunk volume of the vehicle, but excludes the hatchback feature.
Marketing terminology is often misleading in this area - for example DaimlerChrysler calls the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class fastback sedan a four-door coupe, because the rear passenger compartment is small - but it is still usable by adults.
Certain sedans are edging close to being one-box vehicles, where both the hood and trunk rake into the passenger compartment - the 2006 4-door Honda Civic is an example of this.
Typically this design is chosen for its aerodynamic advantages. Automakers can no longer afford the penalty in fuel consumption produced by the traditional notchback three box form - most sedans in 2006 have the very steeply raked rear windows and short trunk lids that characterize the fastback sedan.
The wagon was notable in that it offered a front-facing 3rd row seat, such as in the Vista Cruiser and Ford Freestyle.