Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?

You will not be short of anything in a compact station wagon. You could read that in part 1 of this comparison test between the spacious stations of the Ford Focus, the Hyundai i30, the Seat Leon and the Skoda Octavia. But a lot of space in the back and a large trunk is not everything. You are also very demanding when it comes to the chassis of a car. Which combination has the most to offer when looking at comfort and driving characteristics?

SPACE? COMFORT? DRIVING PLEASURE? OR ALL THREE?

Major shifts have taken place in the popular C segment in recent years. Did you want a reliable, spacious and competitively priced station wagon in the past? Then the Skoda Octavia Combi was automatically the first choice. But the latest generations of the Ford Focus Wagon and the Seat Leon Sportstourer have made a huge growth spurt, while Skoda has well understood that comfort and driving pleasure are also important purchase arguments for (business) customers in the compact middle class.

FORD FOCUS WAGON CHALLENGES YOU

17-inch light alloy, a dual exhaust, lack of chrome – the good listener has long seen that the tested version of the Ford Focus Wagon is keen on sportiness. As the ST Line, the car has a lowered and solidly tuned sports suspension as standard. As a driver you sit in a nice, but fairly narrow bucket seat. Although Ford knows how to incorporate a successful mix of comfort and dynamics into its chassis like no other brand, the suspension comfort clearly had to make room for the steering characteristics of this ST Line.

If you love to send a game, that’s great news. The Focus steers sharply and with a lot of feeling, it twists lightly from corner to corner and dares you to play with the accelerator so that he can take a measured step to the side of the rear. And the Focus brakes the best: with a braking distance of less than 33 meters with an emergency stop from 100 km / h, it puts many sports cars in its shirt.

Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?
Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?

Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?

HYUNDAI i30 WAGON IS A SURPRISE

Don’t be fooled by the cool sports outfit that the Hyundai i30 Wagon N Line wears. The comfort package does not get any more complete than in this version. With a sporty twist: the lovely bucket seats, the sports steering wheel and the aluminum pedals are included in the price. Despite the (also standard) 18-inch wheels, the i30 manages to surprise on a bad road with a high level of suspension comfort.

Even though the Hyundai beckons with its sporty gear, it is not an above-average sporty driving car. On a winding road there is certainly some driving pleasure with him, but the caliber Ford Focus is just a level too high for the i30. The Hyundai also scores well on the brake test, but no more than that.

Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?
Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?

Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?

SEAT LEON SPORTSTOURER: THE HIGHWAY IS ITS DOMAIN

Seat was once the sports arm of the Volkswagen group, a bit like Alfa Romeo is for Fiat. The latest generation of Seat Leon pampers you with wide bucket seats (standard on the FR version) and more than adequate sound insulation. It is a wonderful mileage eater for the highway. The FR emblem on the tailgate refers to the sports suspension and 17-inch wheels (18-inch on the test car). Due to the slightly stiffer tuning of the chassis, you compromise on the suspension comfort in nuance.

The Seat Leon Sportstourer FR does not lose an inch of distance to the Ford Focus Wagon ST Line on a winding road. The steering provides good feedback and the XDS electronic differential provides great traction. The Seat’s brakes are a little less bite-like than the Ford’s; with an emergency stop you come to a stop just a little later.

Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?
Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?
Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?

SKODA OCTAVIA COMBI SHINES IN OTHER TERRAINS

The Skoda is not as fully equipped as, for example, the Hyundai i30 Wagon N Line. In order not to compromise on the comfort experience, the standard Skoda chassis is smoothly tuned and there is a thick insulation mat against the bulkhead. At an additional cost, the Octavia can be supplied with climate control that is even divided into three temperature zones.

If there is an exciting combination of curves, the Skoda driver waves his pursuers in the Focus, i30 and Leon friendly. Safety is number 1, driving pleasure has not been taken into account when tuning the chassis. The ESP will release a life preserver early if the cornering speed is too high. The strengths of the Skoda lie in completely different areas than on the track.

Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?
Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?

Conclusion

Comfort and driving pleasure depend on many factors. The nicest steering car is without a doubt the Ford Focus Wagon in ST Line version. If you drive a lot on the highway, then the Seat Leon Sportstourer FR is the best choice: it is quieter and is just a bit quieter on the road. The Hyundai i30 Wagon N Line knows how to positively surprise us with its very complete equipment and very nice seats. And the Skoda? It has to rely on its safe driving characteristics and good soundproofing. A safe choice, that spacious Octavia Combi.

Curious about the full test from Auto Review 2/2021? But your bookshop is still not allowed to open? Order Auto Review 2 than in our webshop.

Compact wagons tested: which car drives the best?

Source: Autowereld.com by www.autowereld.com.

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