Fickle indeed. The station wagon used to rule supreme, until it became "uncool". But now that it has grown up, and gotten a few inches taller, it is somehow desirable again. Oh, and we call it a "crossover" because it's not a station wagon. That would be uncool.
What goes around, goes around and around.
I've read that part of the reason why station wagons have gone away was due to CAFE rules (Google for station wagon cafe unintended consequence
). CAFE has had requirements for DP, IP and LT. See right side of http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy
(e.g. http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulema ... 014-v2.pdf
). DP = Domestic Passenger Cars, IP = Import PCs, and LT = "Light Truck".
IIRC, basically automakers found it difficult to meet the higher passenger car mileage requirements if they kept station wagons, since they'd be classified as PCs. So, instead, they shifted more towards "light trucks", which includes SUVs, minivans, some vans, trucks, etc. And, guess what? Most of the "crossovers" are "light trucks" which have a lower mileage standard.
Also, there have been a number of vehicles that look like cars that have been classified as "light trucks" in order to boost's an automaker's LT CAFE mileage like the Chrysler PT Cruiser. Many Subarus (except obvious cars like the BR-Z) are classified as "light trucks".
Here are 3 vehicles that per the specs tab are SUVs and thus "light trucks": http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do? ... 4&id=19036