FORD EVEREST - December 2015
The 2016 Everest wagon is based on the Ranger ute platform.
Ford has released the Australian designed and developed Everest SUV range that's being manufactured in Thailand. It's very good, but it's not cheap!
HAVAL H9 LUX
Forget Chinese-vehicle prejudice - this wagon is a class act - June 2016
We knew the Chinese vehicle invasion would gain momentum and the new Haval H9 is an example of much better quality machinery.
This seven-seat wagon version of the Colorado ute is a second-generation model.
Holden's successor to the Jackaroo wagon range was a Colorado ute derivative, the Colorado 7. It was replaced by the Trailblazer in late 2016.
ISUZU MU-X - includes video
The wagon derivative of the D-Max ute range - February 2014
Isuzu Ute Australia released the anticipated seven-seat wagon version of its D-Max ute range in late 2013. The MU-X shares the D-Max powertrain and adds third-row seating and coil-spring rear suspension, plus rear axle disc brakes.
The new model looks soft, but has surprising off road ability.
The Cherokee has been with us in several forms since 1994. The 2014 model is available with and without low-range gearing, so is also listed in our soft-roader section.
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE
Jeep's wagon is well specified with a choice of petrol and diesel engines - updated November 2016
Jeep gave the Grand Cherokee a facelift and equipment upgrades for 2014. Highlights were a new eight-speed automatic transmission and more grunt and flexibility. A Trailhawk version will arrive in mid-2017.
LAND ROVER DEFENDER 90
The old box is no more.
After an absence of five years the Defender 90 was reintroduced in 2010, with powertrain and interior improvements. It was discontinued three years later and in January 2016 all Defender models ceased production.
Class 4WD and with class-leading economy - sadly too soft since 2014.
The M-Class, fitted with the optional off-road package that included height-adjustable air suspension, low-range gearing and a proper spare wheel, was the last 'Benz wagon that was useful on and off road.
Still competitive for 2015, but showing its age - update September 2014
The current-shape Mitsubishi Pajero carries over into 2014, but this monocoque, all-independent-suspension wagon is still reasonably competitive. Mitsubishi has kept the Pajero in step with the Japanese medium wagon competition, but the diesel is showing its age when lined up against the latest technology engines from Europe.
MITSUBISHI PAJERO SPORT - July 2016
The Challenger replacement is a giant performance leap forward.
Like its predecessor the 2016 Challenger replacement uses the new Triton ute powertrain and chassis, with a coil-sprung live rear axle. With Super Select 4WD drivetrain and stability and traction control as standard, the Pajero Sport is one of the best specified and keenly-priced medium wagons..
The last 'real 4WD' Nissan Pathfinder was released in June 2010, with increased performance from its 2.5-litre diesel engine. In 2014 the Pathie became a softroader, with almost no off-road ability.
The Porsche Cayenne shares the VW Touareg’s central body and door sections, and adds unique bonnet, front and rear panels, plus a different interior. The powertrains, suspensions, wheels and tyres are also different.
RANGE ROVER SPORT
The mini Range Rover has it all - except bush-friendly tyres - August 2016
The post-2014 Range Rover Sport has all-aluminium monocoque body structure in which the joints in the shell are rivetted and bonded together using aerospace techniques. Significant upgrades were announced in late-2016.
TOYOTA FJ CRUISER
This quirky retro-Cruiser can be a good used-wagon buy - updated May 2016.
The FJ Cruiser was described by its designers as a modern interpretation of a Toyota classic; the FJ40 two-door wagon that was produced from 1960 until 1984. Sadly, the FJ production ended in August 2016.
TOYOTA FORTUNER - December 2015
A capable but expensive medium wagon offering from the 4WD market leader.
Toyota has released a new seven-seat Fortuner that's based on the 2016 HiLux platform. Part-time-4WD is the only driveline available.
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 76 SERIES
A pocket-sized wagon with a big heart and superb off-road capability.
The LandCruiser 76 Series is essentially a shrunken Troop Carrier with class-leading performance and good towing ability.
TOYOTA PRADO - Updated November 2015
The Prado received a much need powetrain upgrade for 2016.
The post-2010 Prado range has 14 variants, with the choice of three and five door body styles, petrol and diesel engines, six-speed manual and five-speed auto transmissions and six model grades. Upgraded diesel and petrol engines were installed in September 2015, with a six-speed automatic option.
VOLKSWAGEN TOUAREG - Updated March 2015
The latest generation Volkswagen Touareg was released in mid-2011 and was updated in 2013 and 2015. The new model received a much-needed boost in interior space.