Station wagons have evolved from their early use as specialized vehicles to carry people and luggage to and from a train station, and have been marketed worldwide.
"Station wagon" or "wagon" are the common nomenclature in American, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand English, while estate car – or simply estate – is common in British English. An archaic term for station wagon is the Australian station sedan.
Having shared antecedents with the British shooting-brake (originally a wooden-bodied vehicle used to carry shooting parties with their equipment and game), station wagons have been marketed as breaks, using the French term (which is sometimes given fully as break de chasse, literally "hunting break." Early U.S. models often had exposed wooden bodies and were thus called woodies).
Manufacturers may designate station wagons across various model lines with a proprietary nameplate. Examples include "Estate" (Mercedes-Benz), "Avant" (Audi), "Touring" (BMW), "Break" (CitroŽn), Kombi or Variant (Volkswagen and Saab) and "Sports Tourer" (Opel).
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