Price shock! Smallest Skoda no longer the cheapest with 2023 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo Edition 150 price now rivalling Audi A1
Skoda’s smallest car is no longer its most affordable, as the Czech...
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The performance wagon brigade is officially on notice. BMW has finally revealed its potent M3 Touring after a lengthy teaser campaign.
The M3 Touring is offered exclusively with the Competition package, meaning the 3.0-litre flat six-cylinder turbocharged engine packs a 375kW/650Nm punch. It drives all four wheels thanks to BMW’s xDrive setup and has an Active M rear differential. It gets its power to the ground via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Zero to 100km/h is done and dusted in 3.6 seconds - just 0.1s off the pace of the Competition xDrive sedan.
Pricing and spec is yet to be announced, but expect it to carry a premium over the sedan version of the M3 Competition xDrive that starts from $166,500 before on-road costs.
That might be a lot of dollars for a go-fast family hauler, but there are even pricier alternatives among the very limited number of performance station wagons available in Australia.
Thankfully there are a handful of semi-affordable models too. So apart from the slick new M3, what other sporty wagons can you buy in Australia?
Audi RS4 Avant
Audi has been in the fast wagon game for years, dating back as far as the Audi 80 RS2 Avant from 1994.
The spiritual successor to that model is the current-gen RS4 Avant that has been around for a few years now, although it did get a reasonably significant update in mid-2020.
The previous RS4 used a potent 4.2-litre atmo V8, but the current one has a twin-turbo petrol V6 delivering 331kW/600Nm to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.
It’s at the pricier end of things at $155,400, but if it’s not big and powerful enough, Audi also has the RS6 Avant with a brutal 441kW/800Nm V8 for a cool $227,700.
The RS4 Avant can swallow 505 litres of cargo in the boot.
Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate
The big news is that AMG has ditched the 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 from the previous model - that’s also found in various other AMG and Aston Martin products - in favour of a seriously uprated version of the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol unit from the A45, CLA45 and GLA45 variants.
Stay tuned for more details on the new C63.
Volkswagen Golf R
The sleek new version uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine producing 235kW/420Nm driving all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It can cover 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds, which is only 0.1s off the hatchback.
At $68,990 before on-roads, it’s at the more affordable end of the fast wagon gang, but that price is $11,000 more than the Golf 7.5 R wagon.
It does, however, have an impressive 611-litre boot capacity.
Skoda Octavia RS
The new-gen model arrived last year, but the powertrain remains the same as the previous model - a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol unit offering 180kW/370Nm driving the front wheels only via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Even the 6.7-second 0-100km/h time is the same as the old model.
At $51,590, it’s one of the most affordable performance wagons in Australia and it has even more cargo space than the Golf, with 640 litres on offer.
And the title of Australia’s cheapest sports wagon belongs to the freshly launched new-gen Subaru WRX.
Priced from $49,990 and topping out at $57,990, the new WRX wagon is essentially a rebadged version of the second-gen Japanese-market Levorg wagon.
It comes with Subaru’s 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 202kW/350Nm, paired with a continuously variable transmission, and, given it;s a Subaru, comes with all-wheel drive as standard.
The new WRX can take 492 litres of cargo in the boot too.