Sedans under $50k

It’s a category that used to be one of Australia’s most popular, but the mid-budget sedan is definitely on the wane. That says more about the public’s increasing preference for SUVs, if anything, because the sedan segment is still inhabited by plenty of high-quality product with a great blend of performance, space and practicality. The $30-50K bracket is also where we start to see luxury badges appear, albeit at a size class smaller than what you’ll find from mainstream marques at the same price.

TOP PICKS

Toyota Camry SL Hybrid

Toyota Camry SL Hybrid

The Camry is a top-seller, and for good reason. It’s a sharp value buy from a metal-for-your-money point of view, but it’s also a fine-handling car with solid mechanicals. A grunty V6 option is priced below the $40K mark, but it’s the range-topping SL Hybrid that’s our pick of the range for its superb efficiency and refinement.

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Holden Commodore RS V6

Holden Commodore RS V6

Yep, the Commmodore may no longer be built within our borders, but its Euro-sourced replacement is still a quality car that provides a huge cabin and good value. In the RS V6 grade, it also totes a powerful V6 to help get you moving, and still possesses that ‘big car’ feeling that made previous generations of Commodore so great as family sedans.

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Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX

It’s no bigger on the inside than the regular Impreza, but the WRX puts a stout 197kW turbo engine and grippy all-wheel drive underpinnings into a compact sedan bodyshell. With almost every other performance car in the price bracket being a five-door hatch, the WRX’s four-door sedan bodystyle gives it a unique point of difference.

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Mazda 6 GT

Mazda 6 GT

It’s getting on in age, but the Mazda 6 is still one of the classiest cars in the medium sedan segment from a design standpoint. Best enjoyed in GT grade, which sits a few thousand dollars below the Atenza flagship but boasts most of the same standard equipment, the Mazda 6 puts you in a high-end interior for much less money than a luxury-badged equivalent.

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Subaru Liberty 3.6R

Subaru Liberty 3.6R

Big and plush, the Liberty is a quasi-limousine that delivers plenty of sprawling space. Our pick is the flat-six powered 3.6R, not because it’s powerful, but because its effortless feel on the road is the most in keeping with its relaxed nature. Oh, and all-wheel drive is standard, giving the Liberty a safe and secure grip on the road even in poor weather.

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Volkswagen Passat 132TSI Comfortline

Volkswagen Passat 132TSI

Not too dissimilar to the Liberty in its intent, but with a thick serving of European sophistication and refinement to help it feel even more limousine-like than the Subaru. It’s more expensive though, and with the range straddling the $50K mark your best option below that number is the mid-strength Passat 132TSI Comfortline.

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Mercedes-Benz A200

Mercedes-Benz A200

An all-new product for Benz, the A-Class sedan is a more practically-proportioned alternative to the company’s other small four-door, the CLA-Class. With the same equipment fit as its hatchback brother – including Mercedes-Benz’s impressive MBUX infotainment suite – and a slick turbo petrol powertrain, the A200 is affordable way to put a premium sedan in your driveway.

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Skoda Octavia RS245

Skoda Octavia RS245

Like the WRX, the Octavia RS245 wraps a fairly sedate sedan body around a mechanical package with potent performance. Stellar dynamics combined with a well-built interior and fat standard equipment list make the RS245 not just a good hot hatch alternative, but a great choice full stop.

 

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