Mid-sized wagon warfare

Launch of the all-new Hyundai i40 Tourer, the addition of cheaper, fuel-frugal Volvo V60 variants, and a hefty $3370 pricecut to Mazda 6 Touring signals mid-sized wagon warfare.

Wagons sell in limited numbers within the already small mid-sized segment here in Oz, but the new additions to the segment, and tempting value improvements to existing models, are good news for buyers who want practicality without SUV bulk.

The i40 lobs as one of the cheapest wagons in the class, starting at $32,490 for the base Active. Powered by a 130kW 2.0-litre direct-injected engine, tied to a six-speed manual, it’s equipped with 16inch alloys, cruise control and manual air-conditioning.

Add $2K for the six-speed auto, however, and it’s thick in Mazda 6 Touring territory. The price-slashed variant now costs $34,790 and includes climate control, leather trim, parking sensors and rain sensing wipers over its newer Hyundai rival. The 6 also gets a bigger 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 125kW, and a standard five-speed auto.

Choose diesel, and the manual-only, 136kW 2.2-litre 6 Diesel wagon costs $35,790, or $1300 more than an i40 Active with a smaller 100kW 1.7-litre turbo-diesel mill.

To get the Mazda’s level of standard equipment in the Hyundai, buyers will need to choose the i40 Elite (from $39,490) or Premium ($44,490) variants.

Meanwhile Volvo has lowered the entry point to its V60 wagon (and S60 sedan) with a new T4 variant priced from $51,990 ($3K over S60). It utilises a 132kW 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine and six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Similar to the cheaper Mazda and Hyundai, buyers can upgrade to a diesel engine for a further $3000, in this case a 120kW 2.0-litre turbo-oiler badged ‘T3’.

Between $30-60K there are, of course, other wagon options, including the staple Commodore Sportwagon, revised Passat 118TSI/125TDI wagon, and Peugeot’s new and much-improved 508.

We’ll have a first drive of the new Volvo and Hyundai, and find out where they sit in the expanding mid-sized wagon class, in an upcoming issue of Wheels.

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