Sunday, December 3

Used Cars – Cheap Station Wagons under R75 000

Volvo V50

0 to 100 km/h: 9,78 seconds


Top speed: 215 km/h

Power: 125 kW

Torque: 230 N.m


Fuel consumption: 9,99 L/100 km


Volvo dispenses with the need to decide on titles like a station wagon or estate. In typical Scandinavian simplicity, the S of sedan is replaced by V for wagon. Those who enjoyed watching the British Touring car races in 1994 will remember the 850 Estates (before the V was introduced) of Rickard Rydell and Jan Lammers. This ended the staid and boring image of the Volvo station wagons. The T5 had 162 kW from a slightly larger capacity, but the most popular was the 2,4i with a fully sufficient 125 kW. We pitted the V50 against four others in our road test, and the Volvo came first.


In addition to the interior length, the front passenger seat folds flat to allow for longer items, and the roof rails are also available. Five-speed manual or five-speed auto gearboxes are fitted. The only caution for those who need the vehicle for loading or towing is the front-wheel drive which may struggle on gravel uphill.

BMW 320i/325i Touring

0 to 100 km/h: 8,63 seconds

Top speed: 243 km/h

Power: 160 kW

Torque: 250 N.m

Fuel consumption: 10,58 L/100 km

If you enjoy the dulcet tones of a straight-six, the 325i is the one for you. You will also receive one of the best engines in recent history. If not, or if the fuel consumption is a little too high, the 320i is a good choice as a reasonable compromise. The numbers can be perplexing because this is a 2,0-litre, four-cylinder engine, similar to the 318i, but with power increased from 105 kW to 110 kW.

Only the next step up to 325i unlocks the straight-six with 160 kW. Both manual and automatic transmissions with six speeds are available. Petrol engines require less maintenance than diesel engines, though diesel engines have improved significantly over the years. Pricing is comparable to the Volvo V50, with expectedly more to choose from than its Scandanavian counterpart. Maintenance should not be excessive, and allowing for some spending should ensure many years of luxury travel on a limited budget.

SUVs replaced Estates after the turn of the millennium, and there are very few on the market when compared to BMW sedans and SUVs. This could aid in price negotiations. The all-important utility space beats most competitors, but surprisingly, the Astra (listed below) wins the space race among these four.

VW Golf Estate 1,6i

0 to 100 km/h: 9,78 seconds

Top speed: 215 km/h

Power: 125 kW

Torque: 230 N.m

Fuel consumption: 9,99 L/100 km

VW, like many others, has a long history with station wagons. Back in the air-cooled days, the preferred name was Variant, but the Estate name has since replaced this. In 2001, our road test title was “Hole-in-one,” which summed it up nicely. It looks the part, drives like a Golf, and has plenty of space. With 448 litres of luggage space under the retractable shelf to 1 088 litres with the rears folded, comfort and family-friendly features are prioritised.

Cupholders, tie-down hooks, rubber strips to prevent goods from sliding, a 12V socket at the back, reading lamps, and a full-sized spare wheel all impress. The driver has a number of controls, including the ability to adjust the headlamps’ angle for heavy loads.

VW’s acid-blue backlighting adds a touch of class to the instrumentation. The 74 kW engine is a VW family favourite, with simple maintenance that should be affordable. The renowned Bosch Motronic management is excellent, as are ABS, a pair of airbags, and decent wagon styling. In conclusion, this is a popular choice if you need packing space on a budget due to its high quality, ample space, and simple mechanicals.

Opel Astra Caravan

0 to 100 km/h: 10,82 seconds

Top speed: 215 km/h

Power: 92 kW

Torque: 170 N.m

Fuel consumption: 10,3 L/100 km

Opel changed the name of its wagons from Estate to Caravan. While this may appear strange because it has nothing to do with a caravan, it originates in the 1960s when Kadettes and Rekords were known as Car-a-van. So, where Volkswagen rejected its Variant roots, Opel returned to its own. Another telling sign of the times was converting the VW’s radio cassette audio system (2001) to a radio/CD system. This became the norm over the next 15 years or so.

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Article written by:

Muhammad Salaahuddin
Marketing Manager at Radio Al Ansaar | Owner of Hayatım Cosmetic Brand
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