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BMW 330i Touring, Skoda Octavia RS Combi, Subaru WRX Wagon: Haulin' Good

We're blessed with some of the coolest sporty wagons in the sub-$400k price range. Here are the best of them!
James Wong
James Wong
05 Oct 2023
So we’ve rounded them up here, sporty wagons in the sub-$400k range that we ought to cherish and celebrate...

Of the 13,224 cars registered in Singapore in the first half of this year, only 171 were stationwagons. That’s a 1.3% market share, so small that even up till 2021, LTA just categorised stationwagons together with MPVs in their statistics.

But for enthusiasts, this somehow is a very desirable body style. For European car lovers in particular, stationwagons are in fact the most popular shape for four door cars, if sales figures in Europe are anything to go by. In the European psyche, sedans are simply impractical to carry loads of various sizes, MPVs are unfashionable and SUVs typically do not handle as well because of their higher centre of gravity. So they choose a wagon: the tradies, the outdoorsy people, the pet lovers and of course, the families.

A sub-class of stationwagons are sporty wagons. Now this is where it starts to get a lot more interesting. There seems to be an increasing desire for practical cars that drive like sports cars, so much so that BMW M decided to build the M3 as a Touring for the first time in history. The idea is so silly that it becomes a rather salivating prospect - imagine hauling five people and their baggage at some 280 km/h in relative comfort across the Autobahn.

In Singapore, this year in particular we have witnessed a bumper crop of sporty wagons - and on the slightly more affordable end of the scale. However, they are by no means cheap. Typically, wagons are always pricier than their saloon counterparts in Singapore because of their rarity and associated costs in importing in low volumes. So distributors end up selling them mostly to enthusiasts instead, who will be more willing to pay the premium.

So we’ve rounded them up here, sporty wagons in the sub-$400k range that we ought to cherish and celebrate just because we can have them on our wagon-scarce island. A big thank you to the car brands too, that have stuck their necks out in making a business case and bringing these in at risk to their bottom line. Now, here’s why we think you should consider these three sporty wagons if you’re in the market for one…

Ronald’s pick: BMW 330i Touring

One for the Executive that is looking for a unique blend of rear-wheel drive, brand pedigree (or face-value in local lingo) and build quality. The 330i Touring is also subtle and understated which also makes it an enthusiast’s sleeper wagon.

The 330i Touring has excellent high speed comfort and damping which also makes it a practical vehicle of choice for family trips up North. Perhaps throw in a couple of B-road jaunts along the way for a quick Bak Kut Teh breakfast stop.

For good order, it looks very sleek as well.

Joel’s pick: Skoda Octavia RS Combi

What does RS mean on the Skoda Octavia? ‘Rally Sport’ conjures images of fast, sweet handling and track-ready sports cars. But when donned by an Octavia, and what more the ‘Combi’, it brings about emotions of excitement and thrill that arises from punching above one’s weight.

It might have been over a year since our trip to Kuantan where we first sampled the range of Skoda’s RS offerings on Malaysia’s winding B-Roads, but those sensations remain fresh in our mind.

No matter the number of times one steps into the Skoda Octavia Combi RS, this same buzz never seems to wane. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged EA888 engine feels sprightly from the get-go, and delivers power in an almost-linear fashion.

In combination with a quick shifting 7-speed DSG gearbox, it results in a responsive and potent everyday runabout that puts a smile on any driver’s face. I won’t be surprised if some  of you wonder if this block is capable of even more.

With all that extra space in the trunk for a schedule-packed weekend out with the kids, the Skoda Octavia Combi RS has undoubtedly made daddy cool again.

James’ pick: Subaru WRX Wagon

If you want all-weather GT capabilities, the WRX Wagon is truly hard to beat. It’s the only one here with all-wheel drive, giving the car superb confidence through the monsoon season.

It’s also the one with the largest displacement here, allowing progress to be made in an effortless and unstressed way. With the unique Boxer configuration, the engine is also superbly smooth and beautiful to rev all the way to its redline.

The WRX Wagon is surprisingly comfortable, and is probably the one most agreeable for passenger comfort.

Lastly, Japanese reliability does count for something, right?

Photos by New Gen Marketing


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BMW 330i Touring
Skoda Octavia RS Combi
Subaru WRX Wagon
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