Looking for a powerful 5 Seater Sedan for under $30k

Hi I'm looking for a car that includes somewhat of the following:

-under $30k
-relatively new
-Low kms
-sedan (5 seater & 4 door)
-packs a punch with power and torque
-long term reliability
-biggish boot
-technology in car relatively modern

no Holdens or Fords


  • Mazda 3 BM SP25

    depends on your definition of 'packs a punch'


    i reckon this is very good power to dollar ratio

  • Toyota Aurion

  • Definitely Toyota Aurion is your car.

      • Depends, if powerful is defined as V6.

      • Relatively… LOL.. 200kw from one of the best motors ever put in a motor vehicle. Being coupled to their bullet proof auto transmission just makes it sweeter. You can drive this in semi manual mode. I note you want a manual but with this transmission you will not miss the manual.
        Very easy to speed in these machines so be prepared to make a few donations to the govt if you are not careful.
        (not hard to tell it is school holidays from some of the comments being posted on here)

  • Subaru WRX :)

    • Not for long term reliability though

      • My first brand new WRX 2001, kept for 12 years, never had problem with it,never miss a beat.
        My second brand new WRX 2015,turbo,AWD,Manual,love it :)
        How about you,have you ever driven or own a WRX ?

        • Oh i have not driven one but a friend of mine owned one and in 1 year he had spent approximately 5k on fixing, especially electrical part. That id the reason of my comment

  • Skoda Octavia or VW Jetta might tick most boxes except realibility or maybe not for manual. Only DSG had most issues.

    • Octavia comes in manual and is a great car.

      Under $30k for sure and you can get all the bells and whistles in a tech pack.

      Also one of the biggest boots in it's class.

    • And if the OP shop for a used Octavia RS it can be had in either manual or DSG with a powerful 16k2kw engine without going over his budget. The DSG on that model is the 6-speed wet clutch that doesn't suffer with all the issues of its dry clutch counterpart. By far the best option here IMHO.

      Read reviews and make sure to do a test drive, I doubt very much OP would disappointed.

      • The 6 speed wet clutch DSG is expensive to maintain as it need frequent servicing and oil change.

        • Skoda has capped service and even an option to buy all services + parts for 5 years (I think) for 5K but that's VERY negotiable in my experience

        • @educalifa: I own a skoda yeti (6 speed DGS) . The capped price service for 60k kms is $1100 + oil.
          Also as you said 5k for five services is still very high for me.

        • @apple2016:

          Agreed…. people hear capped priced servicing and think its cheap!

          Ford/VW have what I call costly 'capped priced services' like your example, Toyota do the true cheap ~$130 services while capped up to 70k

        • @apple2016: Wife's mazda3 cost nearly a grand a year in maintenance… and it's only its first year and a half (1st service is free, same as Skoda) 5k over 5 years really isnt that bad. And like I said, it's negoatiable. I got mine for 2.9k

        • @educalifa: 5K over 5 years… I pay 350 a year for my car and at a dealership.

        • @Level380: The capped service I mentioned is for both service AND parts, so it really is capped.

        • @Colombian: This will depend on how many k's you do in a year… she travels a fair bit for work so it's never just the one service unfortunately.

        • @educalifa: The price I quoted is for 2 services a year.

        • @educalifa: capped price maybe, but not cheap! Toyota does a service including all parts and labour for $130.

          In the 'old days' what you call capped price, this was just called a quote. You ring up for a 60k service and it was xyz price including parts/labour. Now days dealers called it 'capped price'. but still costs $600!

      • Agree with a late model Octavia RS with 162TSI engine. The issue is that you will need to stretch your budget by 2-3k.

  • Mazda 3 SP25 because you want a manual. Otherwise Toyota Aurion is your best bet.

    • I don't know why everyone is going spastic for a Toyota Aurion - it's not a BAD car but there are other options out there for under $30k

      Skoda Octavia with Tech Pack in Diesel
      Skoda Octavia with Tech Pack in Petrol Turbo
      Renault Megane GT220

      Those cars crap on the Aurion for handling and acceleration - they use a ton less fuel and are nowhere near as heavy.

      The Diesel Octavia should be great for torque too.

    • That's what my wife drive (SP25)and I have to say boot space is really not that good.

  • Enter your criteria into carsales

  • Toyota carry. The v6 model will blow your socks away. That or a holden

  • OP I think your criteria is a little tough to meet. Seems any recommendation will mean sacrificing on one or more items, can you maybe rank them in order of preference?

    • probably the top 5 would be
      - manual
      - a power to weight ratio greater than 105
      -under 30k
      -post 2014

      • So you found an extra 10k hidden somewhere, good on you..Ha ha
        You mention lots of torque and quote a ratio, do you plan on towing, as that may change the landscape of options?

        • Well I figured I could finance the car if it meant I would be able to get more of the wanted options.

          no not towing but I'm just sick of sluggish cars that have absolutely no power and just drags along

  • Bumped the price up a bit to see if that will open up a bit more options.

  • Holden or ford fits. Why discount them? Out of favour but underrated, esp the Holden which feels much more refined than the falcon in my experience

  • Skoda Octavia. I've got a 2015 wagon that we picked up for $24k new and it's amazing. Ticks all those boxes of yours, awesome fuel economy in the 1.4l turbo engine and great fun to drive in the manual :)

    • Way underpowered though

      • Underpowered, but in a golf, that 1.4T is surprisingly good. Lots of usable torque in the mid range, no turbo lag, means with the DSG, that thing moves. Until the gearbox blows up. Then it doesn't move.

      • I agree. I've actually got a vRS (GTi engine 2.0 turbo) and I think that is even a bit under powered. It's not sluggish but it's really not a particularly fast car.

        The Octavia is probably worth a look although Technically a hatchback it looks like a sedan when closed, I think they call it a lift back(?).

        • Eh - are you talking about the new RS or the old RS?

          Both are pretty quick.

          Maybe you just got used to it.

          Try driving an Aurion for a few days and you will feel the difference.

          Stick it in S mode.

        • @Michegianni:
          I've got the old one but mine has an ECU tune on it and puts out a fair chunk more than the new one now. It is now what I'd consider to be a quickish car. But I ride motorcycles as well so no car feels that quick off the line by comparison.

          Mines a manual so the only S mode is my right foot :p

        • @bod311: A Model S P100D is faster off the line.

        • @thorton82: umm what's your point it's faster than anything off the line short of a La Ferrari. But you probably have one of those eh…

        • @bod311: My point is you said no car feels as fast.

      • For the price you have quoted it's a car with good power. The turbo give it more torque at low rpm. Have you driven the Octavia and does it feel under powered for you?

        • You'll need a supercharger for low rpm. Turbo is more higher rpm.

          Not saying it's bad but this as a power/weight of 80ish kW much lower than the 105

      • Have you driven one? Sure, it's not a race car but it's really quite surprising how quick it is (and I say that even after 18 months of having it).

        Tows a trailer full of stuff no problems as well.

        • No I haven't.

          110kw in a wagon though.. Yes, quicker than a camry

        • @supnigs:

          Quicker than a camry and a bunch of commodores and falcons. Not joking.

          Try it before you bag it out.

        • @playswithfire: I know what 0-100 in 8.somthibgs secs is like. Not exactly breathtaking :)

        • @supnigs: No, it's not breathtaking - but it is fast enough to make my mrs complain that I'm acccelerating too fast!! haha

          So what can you suggest in a non-ford, non-holden model that fits the OPs requirements? Or do you just like to crap on other peoples comments from a position of "i know better"?

        • @playswithfire: there is nothing that will meet OPs requirements. Called it back then. He needs to look at Holden and ford's.

        • @supnigs: I guess we're just going to have to disagree there. OP has said elsewhere in this thread that his top 5 are manual, power/weight above 105, reliable, under $30k and post 2014 - and the Skoda ticks all those boxes.

        • @playswithfire:

          Unfortunately, Supnigs is absolutely spot on here. There is nothing that will meet OPs requirements short of an SS or XR6T.

          0-100 in ~8 seconds is an appallingly glacial pace that would lead most to question whether they have unknowingly ingested a boatload of horse tranquilizers as they question why time has seemingly grinded to a halt.

        • @soaringphoenix: You need to get out more. There's much more to life than accelerating a car that quickly… ;)

        • @soaringphoenix: 0-100 times are one indicator of a powerful car. My ute is powerful, itll tow 3 tonne, but it isn't fast.

          I wonder what the OPs definition of powerful is? Travel up and down hills fully loaded at the posted limit with ease, or be the first to the next red light in the traffic light Grand Prix. If it is the first option a diesel, or standard commodore/falcon will do the trick. If it's the second option of acceleration will need to consider something else.

  • MY15 Subaru WRX
    can pick one up privately for 30k
    with around 30k kms on the clock.
    ticks all your boxes with flying colours.

  • Sorry but anyone recommending a WRX, even an STi, is missing this point:

    technology in car relatively modern

    WRX and STi's have no features… hell, the Evo has more. Sure, WRX's are great to drive, but the cabins offer nothing compared to their asking price.

    • I accept your apology

    • As a WRX owner I am triggered.

      Joking. Agree with your comment in principal, but wondering what you think they're lacking in specifically? Yes, stock WRX certainly is missing bluetooth and Satnav, but not the premium.

      • Just anything special, it's like a base model with sport seats and a double-din GPS system :/ nothing feels premium about it.

        Evo interior > wrx/sti interior

        • Hahahah, yeah, they're indeed underwhelming in this regard. I have to say though, it's damn enjoyable to drive, but I'm very envious of the standard kit that comes with VW Golfs these days.

          Would love an EVO, but I love my spine in one piece.

        • @Wheresmyspaceship: spines aren't really one piece to begin with..
          I agree MY15 wrx though. Not that I've driven one but honestly look at your criteria and look at what the wrx is renowned for…

          Sp25 would also be tempting if you just want that manual feel with a hint of kick.

        • @picket23:
          An MY15, under $30k?!

  • XR6T would be the OP's choice. Aurion doesn't have manual version.