Wagon guide and vehicle comparison | finder.com.au

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.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

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.

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.

Looking for a good deal on a new wagon?

CARDEALS2ME Logo

Browse the best deals available for the car you want at dealerships near you with CARDEALS2ME. Fill out this form to sign up to the platform for free.

By submitting this form, you agree to the Finder Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use

CarDeals2Me acts as a motor broker using our buying power and dealer relationships to save private buyers up to 25% off the price of new cars. Offers made over the system are for guidance only and actual binding offers are made in writing to your nominated email address for acceptance. All prices quoted include dealer delivery, stamp duty, CTP and registration as well as any other on-road costs. As a client, you pay the dealer directly the agreed price and the dealer pays us a referral fee. We have no bias towards any make or model or any particular dealer except for the one that delivers the lowest price.

By submitting this form, you agree to the CarDeals2Me terms and conditions.

CARDEALS2ME works with a range of dealerships in all states and territories to help buyers find the best driveaway deals on new cars.

  • Free to use platform.
  • Get results in just 2 hours.
  • Finance option available.

Compare wagon finance

Data updated regularly
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Monthly Repayment View Details CTA
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 2 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 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Plenti Car Loan
From
4.89%
(fixed)
5.44%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From
4.67%
(fixed)
5.22%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% 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. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% 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. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
IMB New Car Loan
4.99%
(fixed)
5.34%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% 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 4.99% 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.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From
3.85%
(fixed)
4.91%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.85% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.91% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.85% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.91% 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 - $63,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

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 - $63,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

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
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
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
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
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 10 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 10 years.
CUA Secured Fixed 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.
Latitude Personal Loan (Secured)
From
5.99%
(fixed)
7.26%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.99% p.a. and 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible. You can check your interest rate before applying with no impact to your credit score.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.99% p.a. and 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible. You can check your interest rate before applying with no impact to your credit score.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From
4.05%
(fixed)
5.63%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.05% 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 4.05% 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.
SocietyOne Car Loan
From
6.99%
(fixed)
6.99%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% 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 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% 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.
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.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From
6.49%
(fixed)
7.19%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.49% 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 6.49% 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.
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.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes

Data updated regularly
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 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost plus you will get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics, so 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.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll 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 you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Woolworths Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Woolworths catches our eye due to some unique perks like a price-beat guarantee, where it'll beat any current comparable comprehensive renewal notice if you're over 25. You'll also get 10% off your grocery shop once a month and can add roadside assistance onto your policy for just $7.35 per month.

Who it might be good for: Woolworths shoppers and those that want to take advantage of its price-beat guarantee.
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. Plus earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up by 2 May 2021, you can earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder's summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums plus you can get up to 15% off when you purchase a new car insurance policy. T&Cs apply. Additionally, their Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to their standard comprehensive cover.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs Apply.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Picture: Shutterstock

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site