Wagon comparison guide

How do different wagons compare, and what differentiates a wagon from an SUV and a hatchback? Find out in our wagon comparison guide.

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A wagon or estate can also go by its longer names, station wagon or estate wagon. In recent years, car manufacturers have come up with terms like sportback and avant to describe what is essentially the same body type. The three traditional words used interchangeably for this type of vehicle – station, wagon and estate – come from a specialised wagon solely used to transport people and their luggage between country estates and train stations. Yes, station wagons/estate wagons were originally wagons used as transport between country estates and train stations.

What is a wagon?

Wagons are large passenger cars that share many common features with SUVs, sedans and hatchbacks, making them difficult to distinguish at times. The main distinguishing feature of a wagon is that the roofline continues past the vehicle's rear doors. This extended roofline provides for a generous, full-sized storage compartment that is fully integrated into the passenger area, rather than being a separate compartment like in a hatchback or sedan. Accessible via the passenger cabin or via a full-sized rear door, you can easily expand this storage area by lowering or removing one or more of the rear seats.

The features of wagon models

While wagon models offer different specifications and accessories depending on the car manufacturer, most wagons share the following common features:

  • Extended roofline. This is the primary characteristic that differentiates a wagon from sedans, SUVs and hatchbacks. The roofline of a wagon extends past the rear passenger doors, with windows in the furthermost rear cabin.
  • Full-height storage area. Despite the similarities between hatchbacks and wagons, a hatchback's roof tends to slope downwards at the rear creating a tapered storage area, while a wagon's roof maintains a relatively constant height, creating a full-height storage area.
  • Shared passenger cargo cabin. Wagons feature a shared rear space for passenger seats and the cargo cabin, which you can access via an additional door rather than a boot lid.
  • Folding or removable seats. A key feature of a wagon is that you can either collape or remove the rear seats to customise or expand the rear storage space.

The advantages and disadvantages of wagons

Wagons are just one type of vehicle and have their share of advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages of a wagon include the following:

  • Storage space. Wagons may be based on a typical sedan model, but they far surpass sedans when it comes to cargo space. The dedicated cargo area and extended roofline of a wagon make for a large storage space, which you can extend by collapsing or removing the rear seats. The storage area also tends to be full height, unlike hatchbacks which usually feature a downward sloping roof.
  • Flexibility. With a shared passenger and cargo cabin area, you can reconfigure the interior of a wagon to prioritise passenger room, storage space or a mixture of both.
  • Passenger room. Wagons always have at least two rows of seats, with some models featuring a third full row which can be either forward-facing or rear-facing. As a passenger car, there is no need for wagons to skimp on legroom, ensuring your rear passengers are just as comfortable as those in the front seats.

The disadvantages of the wagon include the following:

  • Road noise. One of the clear advantages of a sedan is that its cargo area is walled off, creating a quieter ride than other vehicle types. Since one of the defining features of a wagon is that its cargo space forms part of the main passenger cabin, road noise can be significantly more noticeable. If there is a sedan version of the wagon you're considering, take both for a test drive and compare the features to satisfy yourself that you've made the right choice.
  • Headroom. Compared with SUVs, wagons are not as tall and don't have the same upright body structure, which can impact headroom to a small extent. For drivers and passengers of regular height, the difference could be negligible, but if you are specifically looking for increased headroom to accommodate taller passengers or cargo, a wagon could fall short when compared with an SUV.
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How to compare wagons

Once you've decided that a wagon could be the right choice for you, it's time to compare the different makes and models available in Australia.

When comparing wagons, consider the following:

  • Storage and passenger space. Having room for multiple passengers and having an extended storage space, it makes sense to choose a wagon that will provide the right mix of passenger and storage room. All wagons include collapsible or removable rear seats, so take the time to compare the seating options of different wagons in your price range to make sure that you'll be able to customise your car exactly the way you want.
  • Performance versus load capacity. If you're planning on regularly carrying heavy loads, a wagon with independent rear suspension can increase your load capacity but can come at the expense of straight-line performance. Understanding your needs before you choose a car can help you prioritise performance against load capacity.

Are wagons worth it?

Is a wagon the right vehicle choice for you? The answer will come down to the specific features you're looking for in your new car and how you plan to use it. Wagons are ideally suited for people with big transport needs – whether that means passengers, cargo or both. The flexibility of a wagon means that you can choose whether to increase the number of passengers or maximise storage space on a day-to-day basis, achieved by collapsing or removing rear seats as necessary.

Perhaps the most defining feature of a wagon is its full-sized storage area, with none of the roof tapering or floor contours found in hatchbacks or sedans. If you're looking for a larger car with plenty of room for passengers, the flexibility to change the way you use the car depending on your needs, and a full-sized storage area to maximise the amount of cargo you carry, a wagon could be an excellent choice.

Compare wagon finance

$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Monthly Repayment View Details CTA
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From
3.69%
(fixed)
4.23%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.69% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.23% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.69% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.23% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.
Wisr Secured Car Loan
From
4.74%
(fixed)
5.01%
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 4.74% p.a. to 16.01% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $64,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

⭐Special Offer: Wisr's standard establishment fee $605 will be reduced to $195 for applications submitted through Finder. T&Cs apply.
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 4.74% p.a. to 16.01% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $64,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

⭐Special Offer: Wisr's standard establishment fee $605 will be reduced to $195 for applications submitted through Finder. T&Cs apply.
IMB New Car Loan
4.88%
(fixed)
5.23%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.88% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.88% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
Driva Car Loan
From
3.99%
(fixed)
4.79%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.99% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.

⭐Exclusive Offer: Apply and settle with Driva by February 7, 2022 to earn a $250 fuel voucher.

You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.99% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.

⭐Exclusive Offer: Apply and settle with Driva by February 7, 2022 to earn a $250 fuel voucher.

loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
3.99%
(fixed)
4.53%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment.

⭐Special Offer: Settle the loan before 30 June 2022 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment.

⭐Special Offer: Settle the loan before 30 June 2022 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
RACV New Car Loans
From
4.99%
(fixed)
5.69%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From
3.69%
(fixed)
5.27%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.69% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.69% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
NRMA New Car Loan
From
4.99%
(fixed)
5.69%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 3 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 3 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Great Southern Bank Fixed Rate Car Loan
6.79%
(fixed)
7.16%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From
6.99%
(fixed)
7.91%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 7.91% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
Borrow from $5,000 to $55,000, with 1 to 7 year loan terms available. This loan comes with no fees for extra repayments and no early exit fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 7.91% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
Borrow from $5,000 to $55,000, with 1 to 7 year loan terms available. This loan comes with no fees for extra repayments and no early exit fees.
Symple Loans Personal Loan
From
5.75%
(variable)
6.47%
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
SocietyOne Car Loan
From
5.45%
(fixed)
5.45%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.45% p.a. and 21.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.45% p.a. and 21.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
OurMoneyMarket Car Loan
From
5.35%
(fixed)
5.65%
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.35% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 7 years.
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.35% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 7 years.
Latitude New and Used Car Loan
From
5.99%
(fixed)
7.24%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.99% p.a.
Apply for a loan from $5,000 to finance a new or used car. Flexible repayments and options to finance a classic car.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.99% p.a.
Apply for a loan from $5,000 to finance a new or used car. Flexible repayments and options to finance a classic car.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From
6.24%
(fixed)
6.94%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.24% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.24% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
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Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2021 Finder Award for Car Insurance - Value in QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and Car Insurance - Features in NSW, VIC, WA, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If your car is damaged, you could benefit from a one-week turnaround on repairs.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. You don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder’s summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Sign up for ahm car insurance and you'll enjoy a $50 Visa e-gift card*. Offer ends 30 Jan.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
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