Which car for small family under $65k?

Think of changing a family car for under $65k on road in mind.
Mainly for wife to drop kid off schools - Safety is important. As you may already know, she can be a better driver.
Weekend family activities - biking, beach….
Need space to transport bigger shopping items sometimes - Like many OZB, we pick up bargains from market. Hatchback, CV, wagon no sedan.
Driving European car so think wife leans towards the same. But we know the price to pay for expensive part and service and reliability is painful.
I am considering a dealership staff used Volvo D4 luxury (MY15 less than 12 months/9000kms) for likely roughly $60k on road or D5 basic for $65k. Haven't test drive one yet.
Also to consider, a choice to get a Hyundai i35 which will be paid off in 3 years or pick a $65K car which has a balloon to pay end of lease or give back.
Open for your input and discussions. Thanks.


        • +1

          @thorton82: For starters I'm still waiting to hear what you drive, actually i don't care. Secondly its seems like you are simply here to promote your own agenda. I provided a link to carsales for you to compare, so no I didn't make any of those numbers i mentioned.

          I fail to understand what are you going to do with this 'power', in a 60 zone unless you are breaking the law you are doing 60. The difference is your car is costing more to do that. Besides how heavy does your day to day shopping get? OP is talking about ferrying kids to and fro from school, not carry rocks and boulders to skip in the middle of the mountains. OP never once mentioned anything about going off road, i don't understand how people start talking about offroading every time an SUV is brought into the mix. Its just plain stupidity. Majority of the SUV owners cars never see a dirt patch in the life.

          Interiors are a personal choice so its always going to be subjective, equipment list are hard facts those make your ride easy and comfortable. Thats plain commonsense.

          As for the gearbox, unless you are some kind of genius engineer who makes gearboxes for a living, your opinion is as useless as a bicycle peddles on a wheelchair.

          If buying a Subaru over a shittbox looking monstrosity called jeep is a "poor choice" and a "mistake", then i'm glad i'm making one.

        • -1


          I don't drive a Jeep FYI and your argument about breaking the limit a 60 zone is stupid, otherwise we might as well all drive 1.0L 3 cylinders. You are comparing a grape with an orange, you're arguing an uphill battle with your fanboy army, and I'm not pushing my own agenda, I've owned Subarus before, but I am arguing that you are giving poor advice. You mentioned carsales.com, why don't you look at actual carsales, the Grand outsells the Outback by a huge margin. There is a reason for that.

        • @thorton82:

          I'm currently driving a 2000 Subaru Liberty wagon with over 330000 kms on the clock. I haven't given it a full service in 4 or 5 years. Just topped up the oil, changed the power steering and A/C belt, did the brakes in that time. And it's still running… though the clutch is on it's way out I'm guessing most would begin to fail after 5 years plus…

        • @subywagon: congratulations on owning a bomb?

        • @subywagon: not possible. You need to change the timing belt at least.

        • @Dariush78: I've been thinking the same thing too actually, hoping the timing belt won't go. I don't want to spend any money on it as I'm upgrading soon.

      • What a (profanity) silly comment.

    • Good advice but I am not sure if Op is around retirement age yet….

  • +6

    You would be much better off with a station waggon or an SUV than a big 4wd if you have no intention of going off road. From the look of some of these suggestions you would think you were planning to cross the Simpson Desert.

    • +1

      +1 to this comment.

  • +1

    More likely school zones than desert zones.

  • +4

    Which Volvo are you looking at? V60 or XC60?

    My wife drives a XC60 and she loves it… very assuring how safe the car is.

    Personally, for a family car, I'd pick a Skoda Octavia RS 162. Good size car, big boot, lots of features, great engine/gearbox combo and is very well priced for what you get.

    I'll be looking at getting one when it comes to replace the XC60, but for now, there's very few cars of that size that is as safe as the XC60 for our 1 & 3yo. Infants/toddlers are much more susceptible to car accident injuries than older kids. Barring any major mechanical issues, we'll be keeping the car for a long time.. it been good for the past 5 years & 80,000km touch wood.

    • +1

      I like the XC60 too, we went with the xc90 though because of needing the bigger size and I love it too. I remember reading the safety report (not just the 5 star rating, but the crash test results) and it scored very well in side impact hits and it actually mentioned what you said about infants/toddlers susceptibility.

      We've had it for about 100000kms without issue (TOUCH WOOD).

      • +1

        I never considered the XC90 because it was a 7 seater, we were never planning a large family (nor do I want to drive other kids around too! Lol)

        The new XC90 looks great and apparently the safest car in the world. The test crash reports are excellent, the difference between the XC90 and Mazda CX9 was massive: http://jalopnik.com/the-2016-volvo-xc90-monstered-americas-n...

        Even your XC90 which is a much older design is much safer than the CX9. One would assume the CX9 would be safer due to the massive size of it.

        Never thought we'd own a Volvo, but the things you do for your kids.

  • XC60 D4. Any chance you know how is the resale value of Skoda like?

    • Skoda resale isn't great, but getting better, I think the new/current Octavia RS model will be better than the old Skoda's.

      Still not going to have the resale of a Corolla or Mazda 3, however total cost of ownership will be much lower than any $60k car/SUV.

      As I said my wife loves her XC60 (and so do a lot of owners), only negetive for me is fuel consumption but the D4 won't have this issue. It really is a good family car/SUV. Roomy, safe, well built and designed. Check out the built in child seats, you'll wonder why no other car maker also has this feature.

      Go test drive it and other cars before you buy any car.

    • Not sure what JB1 is talking about, but resale for a 2014 Skoda's and beyond is fine. They are great cars (the Octavia) and the Wagon version would suit your needs and save you a bundle (no need for the RS version).
      You could just buy one and resell in 3 years time and you'll be fine, if you are planning on keeping it for 10 years, you might run a few grand poorer but who knows what the popularity of the Skoda brand will be in 5 years time?

    • I Picked up a Skoda Octavia in Jan for cheap. 3 year old car drives lika a dream. really surprised with the performance. Get 700 kms from the full tank. Interior is very nice. It has got all the bells and whistles.If I were you i would pick up Skoda Octavia Scout 4x4 wagon or Skoda superb 4x4 wagon.

  • +2

    We have a Honda Odyssey, which I think is a great family car and will likely meet some of your additional needs for a much lower price tag!


    • -2

      Not bad - may need to convince wife to change - you know how school mums are like…people knows your car instead of your name,

  • +1

    The new land rover discovery…?

    • nice..my family member has discovery 2,3,4. big fan. likely over $65K on road.

    • +1

      Has not been released or even previewed yet. You are talking about the Dicovery Sport, which is the new Freelander. They only call it the Discovery sport so they can charge more money for it.

  • How about a Kluger?

    • Nice car but driven many times as company car in the past, so no more "what a feeling"!

  • +7

    "Mainly for wife to drop kid off schools". You'll definitely need an SUV, a must have accessory for school dropoffs. It seems like everyone is purchasing these monstrosities nowdays. Soon there will be more on the road than sedans.

    • Yeah, justifying the purchase of a larger than necessary car using the convenience of being able to fit the odd appliance is a bit of a stretch. With the money you'd save getting a normal car, paying for delivery of the odd appliance would be pocket change. The saving due to fuel efficiency alone would cover it.

  • Golf R wagon.

  • +3

    How about the Kia Sorrento new model (2015/16)- Platinum diesel model. 7 year unlimited KM warranty. 5 star ancap safety rating which is apparently best or second best in SUV class for Australia. probably get it on the road for 55k brand new. Kia have also made massive progress in build quality etc I read a report that said they were second to Porsche for defects per hundred cars across all manufacturers recently. Its a 7 seater that folds down with plenty of room for your Oz bargain purchases.

    We are very happy with ours.

  • +1

    XC60 for sure, Volvo reliability is awesome, parts are cheaper than the other luxury european brands. Trick is to take it to a independent Volvo mechanic after the warranty is up.

    • +1

      My mum used to have one of these years ago. Alright, but not great. Engine in the D5 was pretty rubbish when compared to the European competition, and suspension set up was not great. It was reasonably communicative at the expense of ride comfort, you could feel every little bump and crack in the road through your spine. The Swedes make decnet cars but have no idea how to set them up.

      • I've never driven a XC60, however I would have to disagree with your last remark. The XC90, both C30, S40 and S80 I've driven have been great. One of the C30s is set with aftermarket race-spec suspension and while it has a harsher ride, the seats are incredibly comfortable and at no point was I in discomfort and feeling bumps in my spine.

        • You may disagree, but I have done thousands of kilometres in one, including a trip from Mebourne to Queensland along the coast. The suspension setup in the XC60 is terrible compared to a German car. When you can feel a join line in the road through the bottom of your spine in a car that is supposed to be an SUV, you know the setup engineers go the tune wrong.

  • JUST BECAUSE your family is small DOES NOT mean it's worth less than $65,000 !!!

    Yeah I said it.

    • What did you say?

  • +3

    If you want a VW without the price tag but with newer more modern styling and packed full of features and luxuries get a Skoda

    Octavia or Superb Wagon (Golf Wagon or Passat Wagon)

    Awesome safety features event automatic park assist, city emergency brake, adaptive cruise control.

    Can easily get the top of the line Octavia Scout which is their AWD wagon in a premium version that has so many goodies at well under $50k.

    6 years capped price servicing, 3 year unlimited KM. warranty.

    They have more room than their VW and Audi counterparts and more features for less $$.

    They can be serviced at any VW group dealership.

    No brainer.

    PM me if you are interested I sell these brand new.

    • +1

      I actually recommended the Octavia RS 162 above.

      I agree with you on all counts, with the exception of 'newer more modern styling' compared to VW.

      The current models look better than the older ones which just looked 20 years old, but the current models still look nerdy and eastern European, a little oddball.

      I have no idea why they don't borrow designers from Porsche, Audi and Lambo for a week.

      I suppose VAG can't make Skoda look too good otherwise it will steal more sales from VW & Audi… and VAG don't what that.

      Look at what Kia did, hired great German designers, their cars look infinitely better than 10 years ago.

      • Kia hired A German… The guy who used to head Audi's design. Peter shreyer or something

        • Yeah I know, the guy who designed the original TT… not sure of the name.

          Great move by Kia.

          That's what I would be doing if I was Skoda or Subaru.

      • If you take a look at the lines on the Skoda they are borrowed from the Audi.

        I work at a Skoda that sits next an Audi dealership. We are in the same yard. Walking over there and looking at an Allroad simply reminds me of the scout.

        Put them next to each other and they look almost identical bar the front.

  • +5

    Suprised this hasn't been said but…

    wtf 60k on a family car?? A true ozbargainer would spend half of that

    • For 60K I would want a late model Bentley or Ferrari. That would be ozBargain.

  • +1

    Rambling off a list of suggestions:
    - Kluger AWD 7 Seater (some might say bland on the outside)
    - Mazda CX9
    - Outback 2.5/3.6 (CVT sucks)
    - Territory (Diesel fuel efficiency, bleh everything else)
    - X5 (second hand)

  • +3

    New Ford Mondeo Wagon.
    Very nice styling.
    Very roomy, more space than most SUV's.
    Diesel has 5.1L/100km fuel ecomomy, better than Camry Hybrid.
    Very nice to drive (downright sporty compared to any SUV)
    You will have 25k left over for the family holiday of a lifetime.

    • Diesel also costs more than petrol at the pump, so its not as straight cut as looking at the fuel usage.

      But yes a Diesel mondeo isn't too bad.

      Also look at the servicing costs! Big differences between brands/cars. It can add up over the years.

      • +2

        In Victoria, diesel has been cheaper than petrol for the last 6 months or so. Even if diesel is a bit more expensive per litre, it still works out way cheaper overall, because it uses around 30%-40% less than an equivalent petrol car. Eg: Mondeo diesel use 5.1 l/100km compared to Mondeo petrol uses 8.5 l/100km, a difference of 40% in this case. And Ford achieves these diesel figures without having to cheat on the test cycle like VW does!

        • While it's possible this is confined to VW, it's equally possible that other car-makers are doing the same thing with their diesel engines. Firstly, automakers (including Ford) have a long history of doing things like this (http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/23/volkswagen-scandal-test-riggi...). So VW is probably not the only ones who have done this with diesel engines. Secondly, it's not like VW's diesel engines are light years better than their competitors - most of the diesel engines on the market that meet regulatory requirements have performance levels in roughly the same band.

          It's early days but it'll be interesting to see how this shakes out and whether other car-makers who are pushing diesels are found to be doing something similar.

          I'm not sure what will happen in Australia - whether VW (and others) may be forced to recall diesel cars and fix them or ensure new cars sold meet emissions requirements which likely will result in a degradation of performance. I don't know enough about our emissions requirements vs. the US. So hard to say whether this scandal will impact Australia and resale values of diesel cars.

          Given that it's early days of how this will shape out (and whether it will have long lasting ramifications for diesel cars in Australia) - if I were considering a diesel vs. petrol right now and happened to be on the fence, I'd go with petrol.

        • @hayne: buy a VW diesel now, may get a partial refund cheque later?

        • VW won't be the only one…. thats for sure! Give it time, others will follow.

          Its not like other car makers have ever lied before, Ford/Hyundai/Kai on fuel usage


  • +2

    This may just exceed your budget slightly, but how about the new GLC250


    • +1

      nice. worth a look at this price for a Merc.Sick of topping up engine oil with Audi.

      • You've got the 2L turbo engine i suppose?

  • +5

    Hyundai Santa Fe. Picked one up earlier this year. love it

    • I'm surprised there aren't more votes for this. 7 seater, good road manners, all the options… from reviews anyway.

      Any particular negatives/positives for this car?

      I'm looking for a larger car as well - but probably in around 6 months time. Wife wants 7 seats as she often picks up and drops off other people's kids from school.

      • driving experience is great. very smooth and easy to control. we currently have 2 baby seat installed on 2nd row so accessing 3rd row is a bit hard. 3rd row's space is also limited and I wouldn't sit there for a more than 2 hours trip. But it is still better than driving 2 cars.

      • Bought mine at two years old for under $40k.
        Awesome car.
        Get the Elite or Highlander, diesel auto.
        Better fuel economy than my wife's new Mazda 3….

  • +2

    My tips would be:
    1, Buy something a year or 2 old with a plan to sell and buy another one in 3-4 years.
    2. Buy something that will do well what you need it to do every day. If you need to move stuff occasionally, buy a trailer. If you want to take surfboards to the beach, get a roof rack. If you want to drive off road every weekend, get a 4WD.

    You are on OzBargain, so this link is almost mandatory: http://barefootinvestor.com/free-cars-buying-plan/

    You can buy a towbar and a trailer for well under $2000 and the trailer will be much better for moving big things than any SUV.

  • +2

    I agree with nytrogen.
    Subaru outback 2.5 premium.

    Very safe: best presafe systems (eyesight). Better than Volvo.
    All made in Japan and very reliable. The newest incarnation has won me over with there much improved interior and external design. Now about $10K cheaper.
    Dont by a pre thrashed Volvo… My Volvo has been back to service 3 times on a truck.
    It stalled in the middle of and intersection (it got ugly)
    Another time I couldn't turn it off. ("Don't worry it fine now")

    Don't buy French cars unless your in France where they keep the spare parts. Peugeot was in shop for over 4 Months over first 3 years.

    I also have a D5 XC60. My advice is don't buy a care made in Belgium.
    XC90 is made is Sweden (Gothenberg) though and older version is safe and cheap even if really old.

    Japanese is you best bet.


  • +2

    Golf R wagons look good!!

  • +1

    We've a 09 Kia Sorento.

    Hasn't missed a beat yet.

  • +7

    LEXUS NX 200t (turbo) F Sport - AWD - $63,500
    its an obvious choice. Looks great and unique, drives great, its fast for an suv, I dont need to talk about lexus reliability its bulletproof..

    • +1 for Lexus… would prefer the RX for cool indicator lights but extra $20k may not be justified…


      • are you allowed to have animated lights on a car?

    • -2


      I never used to be a fan of Lexus, simply because they were owned by Toyota but over the years they're now producing some very nice cars which match the luxury tag.

      • +1

        Do you know that Toyota is the biggest car manufacture in the world ?
        I rather drive a Japanese cars then push a European cars :)

        • -1

          So you would drive a Japanese car to somewhere you could then push European cars? Is that what you are trying to say? I really don't think people who don't know the difference between then and than would have the ability to buy a European car.

    • +2

      European luxury with Japanese reliability

      • -2

        Lexus are luxury cars for people who don't know anything about cars. They certainly don't have European luxury.

        • -1

          People buy European cars because they have never driven Japanese cars, as simpe as that :)

        • -1


          As simpe as someone who can't spell simple?

        • @thorton82: What's wrong with you?

          I've got 4 vehicles currently, 2 euro and 2 japs.. and they live happily together. Can't you appreciate each make for what it is without knocking anything down?
          And i said this before and I'll say this again. IMHO Lexus is decent and reliable and definitely in the Luxury segment. This coming from someone who've been through all the jap brands and many euros.

          So for someone who claim to know luxury… but drives a VW, which is considered mid tier european, maybe time for you to upgrade to something more lux? So which VW do you drive?

  • +2

    Checkout the Infiniti Q50's. Amazing car for the money, it's my next one.

  • +1

    We were in the same boat for my wifey last year. We wanted a wagon/4wd for kids. But wifey didn't want a big car. We looked at Nissan XTrail, VW Tugan, Subaru Forrester, Mercedes B200 and Honda CRV.

    We ended up with the Mercedes B class, because it is smaller outside but very roomy inside. We read about the reviews said the inside is as big as S class and it is very close.

    We've been driving the B class over 1.5 years now and enjoying every bit of it. We've been to snow, beach, Queensland, school zone etc very regularly.

    The finish is awesome even the B class is a cheaper Mercedes. Comparing to my C class, it's quality is not too far off and better than all the top of the range Jap cars we inspected.

    The boot is big enough for our shopping and kids activities and kids have lots of rooms in the back while the adults sits comfortably in the front. We actually feel the fold up food tray like planes are excellent for kids. They just love using them as picnic in the car. :)

    We opted for roof rack so we can put our skis when heading to the snow.

    Fuel economy was awesome, from Sydney to Jindabyne one way cost us $45 on premium unleaded, our previous Honda Euro costed us $120 one way.

    Automatic parking was an awesome feature, wifey never cares how to park anymore, just use the computer. And it has never missed a spot, we were careful not to instruct the computer to park tight spots because once you get in via computer, you can't get out yourself easily. (Because the car only park itself, getting out you are on your own. )

    If you want 4WD, the new B250 comes with 4WD by default and still suit your price range.

    Hope this helps.

    • +2

      I googled Sydney to Jindabyne and its 461.7 km.

      I agree that $45 premium unleaded is good, but I think you're exaggerating that your Honda Euro cost you $120 on the same trip.

      Honda used 2.66 X more fuel on the same trip?

      @ $1.40 per litre of fuel, the Honda used 18.6L per 100km?

      • Did you have a Honda Euro? I have and happy it is sold and gone for good due to its common issues all seems to have happened on mine one that was purchased brand new.

        Did you say Just look up manufacturer specs and Do some calculations thinking that was it? Not knowing most manufacturers figures aren't that accurate in real life?

        And why would I need to exaggerate the figure? I am not selling cars here and I don't work for any car businesses.

        I think these are the questions you seriously need to think about before accusing someone's intentions.

        • +1

          I have a family member who has one.

          I think your negativity to the car is clouding your memory if you think that the Honda used 18.6L per 100km on a long trip.

          It's a ridiculous claim to say that your B200 uses 37.5% of the fuel that your Honda uses over the same trip. Have a think about it.

          I never accused you of any intention to mislead, but I'm certain you're exaggerating the B200 and/or Honda's fuel consumption.

        • Thank you for your suggestion. Notes taken.

        • @JB1: so you don't ever own one or driven both cars to Jindabyne and yet you are certain my experience is exaggerated.

          So you have no real experience to backup your claim so you are just all talk and provide no proof besides you have a friend who has one.

          Alright. I think this settles the argument once and for all.

          Please keep this factual and not speculate. I am sure your speculation and false accusations aren't helping the op.

        • -1

          Since you have no facts and all speculate. I have done a 5 mins research to prove your speculation is rubbish.

          Honda Accord Euro published fuel consumption = 9.2L/100km

          B200 published fuel consumption = 6.1.

          B200 is 33% more efficient than accord Euro. And again, these are published facts from manufacturers and you can google them if you can learnt to do your own research rather than straight accusing someone else lying.

        • +1


          What facts are you trying to argue??

          What spectaculation have I made?

          Based on the claimed fuel consumption the B200 is 46% more efficient (not 33%) 9.2/6.1 - 1.

          I can accept that and the claimed fuel consumption looks very reasonable.

          But you're claiming the B200 is 166% more fuel efficient on your same trip (120/45 - 1)!!!

          Based on the claimed fuel consumption, where the B200 used $45 of fuel, the Honda should use $67 over the same distance (and not $120).

          I'm not sure what you're argument is, the only thing that you're proving is that you're terrible at maths.

        • @JB1: you are a waste of time. I will leave you in your miserable argument.

        • +1


          Just admit your original claims were wrong and be done with it :)

          Have a great day.

        • @JB1: huh? You are talking rubbish and I am talking about experience. So why would I do that?

          And you are sharing nothing but comments without facts.

          Just read your posts. One start 36% and the other 120%. May be you should also work on your maths too.

        • +1

          according to what you say here, that the b200 is 33% better with fuel wouldn't that mean the honda would use around $60 of fuel not $120?

        • -1

          @PVA: you forgot the stop-start technology in B class when traffic jamming out of Sydney. And if you ever go to the snow in peak season from Sydney, there are traffic jam going there on the way depending on the time you leave Sydney.

          And when I am sharing my experience I AM SHARING. Don't ask me how why what because that's how it is. Unless you have the same experience with both cars or at least one, I don't see how you can even come and challenge anyone. Make sense or not, it is how it is and there is nothing else I can contribute besides defending the fact that I don't need lie and did not lie.

          Is it so hard to understand there is no need to exaggerate here? Geez. You guys sure a shit kicker for no reasons.

        • +1


          Trying to reason/explain to goraygo is like trying to correct my 3yo boy.

          We drove past Hungry Jacks, and he said 'McDonalds!' because he loves the fries, or 'chips' as he calls it. I treat him to 'chips' once in a while.
          I said, 'no, it's Hungry Jacks'
          'McDonalds' he yells and was getting upset.
          'It's not McDonalds, it's Hungry Jacks, they are different'.
          He was getting very angry and was thinking I was lying to him, and said 'No it's McDonalds'.

          At this point, I realised no matter how right I was, and how wrong my boy was, I wasn't going to win this argument.

          Moral of the story is you're not going to win this argument against someone who in their own mind believes they are absolutely right, and will not consider logic nor the possibility they may be in fact incorrect.

          PS. I did double check and it was Hungry Jacks.

  • +2

    My. One would be for a Skoda Octavia RS Wagon. Tonnes of room in the boot and a great family car for well under your budget. Comes with all the gizmos of your Audi or Passat.

  • +2

    What about Mercedes GLC? It just 5k over your budget and it is going to release in Australia in Dec.


  • +1

    Another vote for Volvo. We own two; C30 and V40 T4.

    Definitely would get the diesel next time around. The price difference between the D4 and T4 at the time though meant it would be 10 years before the more expensive D4 paid for itself in fuel savings though.

    Driver Support Package is a worthwhile extra too in my opinion.

    We had the C30 for five years and only recently bought the V40. Absolutely no issues.

  • +1

    Which car for small family under $6.5k?

    In America $65 K will buy you an emperor's carriage complete with 4 humans to carry and fan you with peacock feathers.

  • I rather buy a Mazda 3 for 25k, and invest 40k in somewhere else, 65k for a car is just a waste of money, unless you are pretty rich :)

    • +2

      Your logic is correct. Not all life is straightforward.

    • not if people all around you judge you by what you drive like some mums at some schools do.

      • +1

        Do you really care what other people think about you ? That's sad 😒

        • +1

          I don't but I know a lot do.
          some people think they need to present the right look at school.

        • real story. my niece was in year 3 in a private ladies school. Her classmate's mother normally picks her up. One day mum was busy and dad came instead. He came with his work cat - a bakery van. She could not stop crying and asked daddy never come and pick her up again. Sad

        • @eatwell365: (sic) car

  • +2

    For a household of 4 you just have to get a 4wd truck. No way would 4 people fit in a normal hatchback/wagon and how would you get off road like you want in a car?

    • Once I was thinking of getting a dual cab 4WD - eg Hilux, Navara, Amarok. Handy. A Nissen sales pointed that the back seat of these dual cab is straight so not very comfy from those sitting at the back for long time. Is this true!

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