Top 5 Hottest station wagonsBy Hanleigh Daniels 5 November 2012 | Categories: feature articles
Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4L GLS MIVEC AWD
Although the Outlander boasts more SUV than station wagon DNA, we included it within our comparison due to its similar pricing, station wagon design and performance levels. The Outlander sports a 2.4-litre DOHC MIVEC powerplant that churns out 125 kW at 6 000 RPM as well as 226 Nm of torque at 4 100 RPM, whilst not delivering the most economic fuel usage at ten litres per 100 km. Thanks to its SUV ability this car (unlike the rest of the estate troupe) is able to venture further off road than the mall parking lot or school rugby grounds. It features a four-wheel drive system that enables the driver to switch between a more economical front wheel drive only, and all wheel drive lock mode when you go off the beaten track.
Pricing for the GLS version starts at just under R400 000, which nets you a plethora of extras such as an electric Glass Sunroof, Hill Start Assist and a nine speaker Rockford Fosgate Sound System.
Honda Accord Tourer 2.4 i-VTEC Exclusive
The silhouette of this wagon comes across as surprisingly sporty and it possesses the performance grunt to back up its athletic design bark. This is due to its 2354 cc DOHC i-VTEC 16-valve in-line four cylinder engine that delivers 148 kW at 7 000 RPM and 234 Nm at 4 300 RPM, propelling the vehicle from standstill to 100 km/h in a mere 8.5 seconds on to a terminal velocity of 222 km/h. Despite the capable levels of performance, sensible drivers should be able to return fuel usage figures of around nine litres per 100 km.
Unfortunately, you do pay a premium for this level of performance and extra bit of elbow room that an estate car delivers, as this version of the Accord Tourer goes for R435 600 for the manual and R450 300 for the automatic, which is around R30 000 more than the sedan. For that money, buyers do get a bucket load of features including automatic bi-Xenon headlights, as well as front and rear parking sensors.
Volvo V60 T5 Elite
Besides supermodels, Sweden also exports some gorgeous looking cars, one of which is the V60 station wagon. It boasts a 1 999 cc four-cylinder direct injection turbo petrol engine that churns out 177 kW at 5 500 RPM as well as a maximum amount of torque (320 Nm) between 1 800 and 5 000 RPM. The Swedish looker reaches 100 km/h in a hurried 7.7 seconds, whilst its 67.5 litre fuel tank will not be emptying in a similarly quick fashion seeing that the T5 utilises just over eight liters per 100 km.
Renowned for its safety, Volvo included an exhaustive list of safety features, including some innovative ones such as its Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS). This system helps drivers avoid distractions during dangerous driving situations by switching off non-essential systems the likes of multimedia infotainment when it detects intense steering, braking or acceleration. As soon as things calm down, these systems will be reactivated. The V60 T5 Elite sports a very elitist price tag of R426 300 for the manual, R442 700 for the automatic.
Audi A4 Avant 1.8T FSI Multitronic
The base price of R366 000 seems like a bargain compared to the other vehicles in this comparison, but once you tick off the optional extras that the other cars come equipped with, the Avant quickly becomes a less desirable value prospect. Opting for Xenon Plus headlights for instance adds another R10 860 to the price.
Lack of spec bang for your buck aside, this is simply the best looking car within this comparison. It is powered by a new 1.8 litre four cylinder engine that pushes out 125 kW between 3 800 and 6 200 RPM, coupled with 320 Nm of torque between 1 400 and 3 700 RPM. This is enough go-juice to rocket the car from 0-100 km/h in 8.4 seconds on to an illegal top end of 215 km/h, whilst averaging fuel consumption figures of just six litres per 100 km.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate C200 BlueEfficiency
Despite packing a much more practical luggage-engulfing derriere, the Estate features the same head-turning design as its sedan counterpart. Its 1 796 cc four cylinder powerplant churns out 135 kW at 5 250 RPM as well as 270 Nm of torque between 1 800 and 4 600 RPM. This allows the Stuttgart stallion to gallop to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds on to a top end of 228 km/h, whilst fuel usage is down to an efficient sub-7.6 litres per 100 km level.
A number of advanced safety features assist drivers in preventing collisions, such as an adaptive braking system and adaptive brake light functionality. The latter flashes 5.5 times per second if the driver makes an emergency stop from a speed that exceeds 50 km/h, which warns the cars following you and provides drivers with more time to react. The price for all this sportiness and safety tech comes to R392 500, which sees the driver enveloped within a cocoon of luxury that incorporates ARTICO man-made leather and Eucalyptus wood.
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