While wagons are often overshadowed in more recent times by their SUV siblings, they remain a highly versatile package for growing families, with some impressive value-for-money offerings currently on the market.
Let’s take a closer look at 7 of the best wagons currently on the market for under $50,000, and unpack their engines, features and safety equipment to find some of the most competitive options on the market.
Mazda’s sleek and stylish Mazda 6 package proves that moving your family doesn’t need to be a boring affair.
The Mazda 6 Wagon range kicks off from an impressive $35,890, stretching out to $40,190 for the 6 Touring and up to $47,990 for the Mazda 6 GT SP, while there’s also the flagship Mazda 6 Atenza that just misses out on our list because of its $51,390 price tag.
The entry-level Mazda 6 Wagon Sport & Touring come powered by a 2.5-litre petrol producing 140kW of power and 252Nm of torque, while the GT SP gains a turbocharger that brings power to an impressive 170kW/420Nm.
The good news keeps coming when you step inside the Mazda 6, which features one of the most attractive and practical cabins you’ll find in any vehicle at a similar price point, and one of the longest features lists, too.
As standard, the base model receives 17-inch alloys, LED head & tail lights, a leather steering wheel, push-button start, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera with parking sensors and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, atop a huge amount of safety equipment.
Moving up the range adds black leather upholstery, power-adjustable seats, 19-inch alloys, adaptive headlights and heated seats for the first and second row.
While you might not see too many on the road, the iconic Volkswagen Golf is also offered in a stretched-out wagon platform that adds to an already impressive space and practicality package.
Both the Golf Wagon and step-up Golf Wagon Life fit in under our price barrier, which come powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, returning fuel economy figures of 5.9L/100km.
Don’t be fooled by the name, either, because the Golf is a heavy-hitter when it comes to family-friendly space, practicality and cargo storage thanks to its clever design that is accommodating for even adults in the rear, with a large 611L boot.
Standard equipment for the Golf Wagon includes a set of 16-inch alloys, LED head & tail lights, cloth upholstery, 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.25-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
Stepping up to the Golf Wagon Life adds 17-inch alloys, an ambient lighting package, comfort seats, a powered boot lift and an upgraded 10-inch infotainment system with wireless smartphone charging.
One of the lesser-known gems of Australia’s wagon market can be found in the form of the Skoda Octavia wagon, which actually shares most of its important parts with the Volkswagen Golf.
The Octavia 110TSI Ambition and 110TSI Style wagon are priced at $38,990 and $41,490 drive-away respectively, while the 140TSI just misses out on our list due to the $52,990 price tag.
The 110TSI Ambition & Style variants come powered by VW’s 1.4-litre turbo four-pot pushing out 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque, which powers the front wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that returns impressive fuel economy figures of 5.9L/100km.
Inside, you’ll find a sleek and stylish cabin that comes generously equipped and ready for family duties thanks to its spacious back seats and capable 640L boot.
The entry-level Octavia receives 18-inch alloys, LED head & tail lights, a powered boot lift, keyless start, digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
The Octavia Style wagon adds a set of Matrix LED headlights, semi-autonomous parking, keyless entry and a set of heated side mirrors.
For quite some time, the Subaru Outback has been one of the leading options within the wagon market that is highly versatile and perfect for family trips and adventurous holidays alike.
The Outback range kicks off from $41,490, with the Sport and flagship AWD Touring all priced below our price threshold at $45,990 and $49,790 respectively.
The range comes powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol producing 138kW of power and 245Nm of torque which is paired with a CVT automatic, powering all four wheels via Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system.
The Outback platform is a strong performer in pretty much every aspect, with impressive fuel economy figures of 7.3L/100km combined with a large boot of 522L and impressive entertainment and safety feature lists.
The base model receives 18-inch alloys, an 11.6-inch infotainment system and a heap of safety equipment while the range-topper gains Nappa leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof and a heated steering wheel.
Buyers looking for some added size over the Golf platform also have the option of upgrading to the Passat AllTrack, which features a significantly larger platform that feels absolutely lovely on the road.
The Passat Alltrack 162TSI is priced at $46,990 and comes powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that produces a healthy 162kW of power and 350Nm of torque, which is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
This is actually quite a healthy power figure that, coupled with Volkswagen’s premium suspension system, feels great on the road and makes for an undeniably premium experience.
Better still, passengers in the back are treated to a heap of legroom thanks to the Passat’s sizable platform, while boot space stands at a massive 650L that matches, if not exceeds what’s on offer in the boot of a similar-priced SUV.
As standard, the Passat Alltrack comes riding on 18-inch alloys and receives LED headlights, tri-zone climate control, a reversing camera with parking sensors, semi-autonomous parking, adaptive cruise control and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
For buyers looking to truly stand out from the crowd, the charismatic Mini Clubman is a great option that offers a heap of personality that is surprisingly fun on the road when pushed.
Under the bonnet, the Clubman receives a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol producing 141kW of power and 280Nm of torque which is paired with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The stretched-out proportions translate to a healthy amount of legroom in the second row of the cabin, making for a usable family car thanks to its 360L boot that expands to 1,250L with the rear seats folded to help accommodate large, bulky items.
As standard, the Mini Clubman comes riding on 18-inch alloys and receives LED headlights with LED daytime running lamps, leather upholstery, an automatic boot lift, adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors and an 8.8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
For drivers worried that opting for a wagon means you’re saying goodbye to thrills and excitement, you’ll be pleased to know that Subaru has updated its iconic WRX lineup with a wagon variant.
Priced at $49,990, the WRX Sportswagon comes powered by a fire-breathing 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 202kW of power and 350Nm of torque, which is paired with an automatic transmission.
The latest WRX platform is said to be nearly 30 per cent stiffer than the previous generation, with the help of a limited-slip differential and power split of 55:45 making for an extremely entertaining yet user-friendly package for drivers looking to push the limit.
The WRX Sportswagon comes riding on 18-inch alloys, and receives a set of LED headlights, keyless entry & start, ambient lighting, reclining and power-folding seats in the second row, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control and receives an 11.6-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
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