There was a time when station wagons were considered the kings of practicality and usefulness. Usually based on a popular sedan, the wagon gives you the freedom to go for elaborate road trips, move furniture and equipment or even hunt for antiques at the side of the road – with the rear seats folded down the possibilities are nearly endless.
Since the advent of the SUV, wagons have faded into the background somewhat, but still have their place. There is something about the style of a low-slung and sporty wagon that is just not matched by anything else. Here are ten of the most stylish and technologically advanced wagons for people who appreciate the traditional aesthetic. All cars here benefit from a 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
Skoda Fabia 66TSI Wagon - from $17,140
Australia's most affordable wagon also happens to be a very stylish European number. Condensing the style often seen in Audi or VW wagons into a smaller package, the Fabia wagon has excellent proportions that are difficult to achieve in a smaller-bodied car. With 505L of space with the rear seats up or 1370L with them folded down, it is deceptively practical and also features plenty of 'Simply Clever' load securing items. There's even a plastic rubbish bin up front. Economy is 4.8L/100km and a Skoda Care Package can take the hassle out of servicing.
VW Golf Wagon - from $25,250
The ubiquitous German hatch with world-beating style and quality also has a sexy wagon sibling that boasts a handy 605L of boot space with the seats up, or 1620L with them folded. The Golf is available with an efficient turbocharged 1.4-litre engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which helps it get 5.4L/100km fuel economy. A diesel engine is also available for the frugal-minded.
Peugeot 308 Allure Touring - from $37,990
This sleek French number is a left-field choice, with its minimalist interior and chic styling. The 308 wagon can be had with a turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine that sips only 4.2L/100km.The latest 308 marks a return to form for the French when it comes to ride and handling thanks to an all-new EMP2 platform. Boot space is 625L with the rear bench upright, or 1740L when they are bowed.
Subaru Levorg - from $43,240
Think of this as the WRX for wagon lovers. The Levorg uses that car's 2.0-litre turbo flat four with 197kW and 350Nm to catapult the wagon to 100km/h in around 6.0 seconds, while returning 8.7L/100km on the average cycle. There are two grades available, so creature comforts are plentiful, including Subaru's EyeSight technology that recognises hazards and alerts the driver. There is also the assurance of all-wheel drive handling, so snowboarding/ski trips are doable in this one. In the back you will find 522L of space or 1446L with the rear seats down.
Ford Mondeo Wagon - from $35,040
Ford's medium-sized wagon is a real looker, with graceful and elegant European styling that has just the right dash of aggression. Beneath that suave exterior there is some serious depth, with 730L of boot space that extends to a gargantuan 1605L when you fold down the rear seats. A 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine produces either 149kW or 177kW depending on spec, with panoramic sunroof and a veritable dictionary of driver assistance aids available to make you feel like a secret agent.
Mazda 6 Wagon - from $33,790
Engineered with sporting flair from the outset, the Mazda6 wagon is designed with user-friendliness and sporty handling in mind, but in terms of practicality it will swallow between 506L and 1648L of whatever you care to carry. A 2.5L 'SkyActiv' 138kW engine teams up with a six-speed automatic to deliver 6.6L/100km economy, with the latest model adopting a more refined interior as well as 'G-Vectoring' for smoother cornering. It's for those who want their medium wagon with athletic flair.
Holden Commodore Sportswagon - from $37,490
For the first time in 40 years, Australians will soon be getting their Commodore direct from Germany, with an all-new Sportswagon part of the equation. Engine lineup will include 2.0-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines, as well as a flagship 3.6-litre V6 all-wheel drive model with 230kW and 370Nm. Being up to 200kg lighter, expect significantly improved handling and economy. If a V8-engined wagon is more your thing, best to check current dealer stocks for VFII SS and Calais Sportswagons for that unbeatable V8 rumble, because as of October 20, 2017, they will cease to be manufactured.
Audi A4 Avant - from $63,900
The wagon version of Audi's all-new A4 sets new standards for interior layout, thanks to Audi's Virtual cockpit, and a level of materials craftsmanship you generally only get in cars with six-figure price tags. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system is available and there is even a diesel Allroad with extra ground clearance. Lovers of fast cargo haulers should opt for the 260kW, 500Nm turbo S4 Avant. Not only can it hit 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds, but it can still carry between 505-1510L of luggage.
BMW 5 Series Touring - from $93,255
BMW's wagons have always had a real sexy sense of style about them, with the elegant Bavarian lines lending themselves extremely well to a wagon shape, no matter which variant. That trend looks set to continue with the latest 5 Series Touring on sale mid-2017. Up to 100kg lighter and with semi-autonomous driving tech never seen before, it also has more boot space, at 570L with the rear seats up and 1700L with them folded downwards. On certain variants it can also be summoned remotely after parking. With a range of efficient turbo petrol and diesel inline four- and six-cylinder engines, BMW is determined to remain the driver's choice in the executive station wagon segment.
Mercedes-Benz E Class All-Terrain Estate - from $109,900
The latest E-Class, isn’t your typical Mercedes-Benz estate car, that model has been replaced with a higher riding ‘All-Terrain’ model, designed to combine the best of a station wagon with the higher riding position of an SUV. As always, the E-Class All-terrain sets a high standard for refinement, interior craftsmanship, and luggage space; at a whopping 640L seats up, or 1820L when they are down. Whether you want to cruise down the freeway using semi-autonomous cruise control or need to get up a farmer’s driveway, the E-Class All-Terrain has a range of suspension and driving modes to suit your style. An extremely efficient four cylinder diesel engine is on offer, with 400Nm of torque and a 5.7L/100k combined cycle, the All-Terrain is a great choice for those that need a little extra off-road ability but don’t want to join the SUV trend.
If you’re in the market for a new wagon its worth speaking to our Car Buying team, they can do the hard work for you to arrange a great drive away deal. As always, our finance brokers are ready to assist with market leading interest rates on new car loans. Speak to us today on 1300 889 669.