AA Buyer's Guide: The best fast wagons you can buy
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Wagons are great. They look good and they’re practical, but sadly they’re a lot less common on our roads than they were a decade ago. With the market dominated by SUVs, new wagons are like a breath of fresh air and the perfect way to stand out from the crowd.
BMW M340i xDrive Touring (from $125,900)
BMW has made some fantastic wagons over the years, and the M340i xDrive Touring is no different.
The 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine produces 285kW/500Nm, which propels you from 0-100km/h in just four and a half seconds. Combined fuel efficiency sits at 8.0l/100km, with a CO2 emissions rating of 183g/km.
Combine this with the Adaptive M suspension, Variable Sport Steering, M Sport differential and M Sport brake system, and you’ve got yourself a very capable high-performance wagon.
The interior is high quality and full of cutting edge technology. The head-up display is crisp in colour and full of information, making it one of the best we’ve tested. Wireless Apple CarPlay is included, as is Gesture Control, which allows you to do things like accept a call with just a flick of your wrist.
Audi S4 Avant (from $122,500)
Say the words “performance wagon” to a car lover, and there’s a good chance that the first manufacturer they think of is Audi. Its wagons are desirable, with three based upon the popular A4 – the A4 Avant, S4 Avant and the top-end RS 4 Avant.
At the heart of the mid-spec S4 Avant is a 3.0-litre six-cylinder TFSI engine, producing 260kW/500Nm. Just like its BMW and Mercedes-AMG rivals, the S4 Avant has an AWD system. It’s slightly more efficient than the other two German wagons on our list at 7.5l/100km, with a CO2 rating of 179g/km.
Audi’s virtual cockpit, which replaces the standard dash, uses an interactive 12.3-inch display and displays lots of driving information, including the sat nav map (if you want).
The wagon is perfect to take the family away in, with 495 litres of boot space. On top of this, there are safety features like Side Assist, Active Lane Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Mercedes-AMG C 43 estate (from $131,800)
Mercedes-AMG is renowned for its powerful, luxurious wagons. The C 43 estate boasts a 3.0-litre direct-injection bi-turbo V6 engine, which yields 287kW/520Nm. This translates to a fuel efficiency rating of 9.6l/100km and a CO2 rating of 219g/km.
Both the Vision and Comand packages come as standard, which include features like the Burmester 13-speaker surround sound system, Traffic Sign Assist and a Driving Assistance Package with Active Lane Change Assist.
There are lots of AMG-specific extras, too, like the Nappa leather steering wheel, a sports exhaust system and 19-inch five twin-spoke bi-colour alloy wheels.
The 4Matic all-wheel-drive system helps keep it planted, and allows a 0-100km/h time of just 4.8 seconds.
Skoda Octavia RS (from $57,990)
By far the most affordable wagon on our list, the latest version of the Skoda Octavia RS has just arrived in NZ. The 2.0-litre TSI engine powers the front wheels, with 180kW/370Nm. Unsurprisingly, it has the best fuel efficiency rating on our list, at 6.6l/100km and a CO2 rating of 151g/km.
A large luggage capacity of 610 litres is perfect for families, as are the back-friendly Ergo seats.
Travel assist takes some of the stress out of driving, allowing you to let the car take over in busy stop/go traffic. On top of this, safety features like Crew Protect Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist with Auto Light Assist are all included.