What Makes a Station Wagon a Station Wagon?: So what is the difference between a hatchback and a station wagon? Rule 1. The cargo area of an actual station wagon must have its own associated side window area, either via separate side windows, or, in the case of shooting brakes, a portion of an elongated rear side window. Rule 2. The roofline must extend past the passenger seating area and continue on, unbroken, to cover at least 50% of the area of the rear cargo floor.