Fancy building an Estate project. Here are some wagons to consider…
When I was kid Estate cars were for farmers and boring folk like antique dealers, that was right up until Audi decided to bring out the RS2 in 1994, with over 300bhp and a top speed of 160mph this was a game changer! A year later Volvo decided they wanted a piece of the pie and brought out the 850 T5-R… they even raced it in the BTCC!
Nowadays? Well, pretty much all the manufacturer have a performance wagon in their line up. Audi still lead the way with their 189mph RS6 but Mercedes aren’t far behind with their insane 6.2-litre C63 AMG!
But don’t worry if haven’t got 30k to splash out, here’s some cheaper options…
1. S4 B5 Avant, from £3000
The 2.7-litre Quattro can be bought cheap these days (unlike the RS4) and you get a lot of bang for your buck with 265bhp and a sub 6-second 0-60 time in its arsenal. On the downside there’s not many good ones left, so you’ll have to invest your time in finding one.
The newer B6 4.2-litre S4s are a lot more readily available and as I type these words there’s a classified ad for one on eBay for £3,950! The only problem is, it’s covered 250,000-miles! If you want a B6, make sure you’ve at least 6k tucked away!
2. 330D E46 Touring, from £1500
So you want performance, economy and shit load of torque? You’ll be after BMW’s 330D then! The 3.0-litre turbo diesel is an awesome engine, it’s not as efficient as the 2.0-litre but what you lose in economy you more than gain in grunt!
You’ll pay top money for a low mileage version, if you can find one, but if you don’t mind a car with 150k plus on the clock you won’t go far wrong with one of these and a remap will make it almost as torquey as its M3 sibling! Just stay clear of 2003 cars with auto boxes, they tend to go wrong and are an expensive fix (we know, as our Jules had one!).
3. Scooby WRX Wagon, from £1500
Because they aren’t as desirable as their Saloon equivalents you can pick up WRX Wagons for extremely sensible money! A decent Classic can be bought for as little as £1500, Bug Eyes start at a few hundred quid more and Hawkeyes are starting to hover around the 4k region. Obviously non-hot versions can be bought for a lot less and might be a sensible alternative if you don’t want shares in the local petrol station!
An oddball alternative to the Impreza is the Forester STi! Funny looking things that don’t know whether they are a SUV or an estate but they still pack that flat-four turbo power.
4. Volvo 850 T5-R, from £3000
These are fast becoming legends, in fact if you can find a genuine example with sensible miles we’d suggest snapping it up as an investment, because this is going to be one of those cars that in 5-years from now you’ll be wishing you had bought for just a few grand – a couple of years ago you could pick them up for less than 2k!
If you can’t get the R, you’ll definitely find the odd T5 going for less than a bag of sand, it might not have the R spec or charisma but it’s still a cracking car with 225bhp on tap!
5. Passat W8, from £2500
This is a rare beast, that can be had for not a lot of cash! It’s hard to put an exact valuation on these, as there are currently (as I write this) no estate versions for sale in the whole of the UK!
Being the flagship model of the time, you’ll get an interior fit for the Royals, a W8 burble and the smugness that you’ll never park next to another one. Exclusivity has never been so cheap!
6. A6 Allroad Quattro (C5), from £1500
We love these things, and it’s easy to see why when you look at the spec you get for the money, including air suspension, great interior and nice big arches that can house some good width wheels.
We’d recommend the 2.7 Bi Turbo engine as the 2.5 diesel is sluggish and isn’t exactly that economical for a diesel either!
7. Mitsubishi Legnum VR-4, from £1700
These Jap sleepers come with a 2.5-litre Twin Turbo and the essence of surprise. There aren’t many of them about as they are all grey imports.
You might find the odd Galant Ralliart VR-4 pop up if you are really lucky, but you’ll pay at least double for one of those and that’s if you can find one!
8. Vauxhall Signum 2.8 V6 Turbo, from £2000
Now this is one of the best kept secrets in the performance Vauxhall world! What you’re getting here is basically a slightly de-tuned version of the 2.8-litre turbocharged engine you’ll find in the Vextra VXR! But because it has swapped the VXR badge for an Elite one you’ll save thousands on the car and hundreds on your insurance!
As I write this there’s a 65,000-mile, FSH example on Auto Trader for £2500, what a 230-bhp-bargain that is. That’s not all, the Z28NET engine is capable of 300bhp with a few bolt on mods and a remap! I want one and for that money I might buy one.
9. Volvo 240, from £1500
For some reason (that reason is mainly drifting) in the last couple of years old skool Volvos have become uber cool. Not so long ago people would have paid you to take them off their hands.
However, now you’ll be paying strong money for poverty spec 240 that’s been to the moon and back via Mars, but when you can make them look this fappin’ cool it’s still a cheap price to pay!
10. E30 Touring, from £1000 (if you’re lucky)
The prices of E30s are going through the roof at the moment but you can still get a 316 for sensible-ish money.
Retro coolness is just a set of wheels and some lows away! But if you want be quick, very quick as prices are on the rise!