A Note on Pricing: The going prices for these cars are accurate at the time of publishing but may change the longer the classified ads are live.
Wagons were once one of the most popular types of car on America’s roads. With the advent the U.S. Interstate System in the ’50s and ’60s, and the subsequent rise of road tripping culture, the grand touring qualities and massive cargo space of the wagon put it in prime position to be our nation’s car of choice. Since then, it’s lost its “cool” factor and fallen from grace — which makes it perfect budget pick-up for nostalgia seekers or simply drivers tired of the cookie-cutter crossovers parked across America’s dealerships. Here, some of the best wagons we could find for less than $10,000.
2002 BMW 540i Touring
What happens when you take a massive, Bavarian-built eight-cylinder engine and pair it with rear wheel drive, one of the best sport sedans in the business and then put a wagon hatch on it? One of the most attractive and most powerful sport wagons, well, ever. These highly functional beasts may have been designed for family-hauling on the Autobahn, but purists know wht lies beneath hood. — Kyle Snarr, Head of Marketing
Mileage: 126,000 miles
Original MSRP: $46,750+
Buy Now: $5,200
2003 Volvo XC70 AWD
Beating the utility and comfort of the Volvo wagons is difficult. Ergonomic interiors that don’t skimp on creature comforts are matched well with good ground clearance and AWD capability. I owned a 2001 S60 with the same engine in this XC70 and found that even up over 100,000 miles, regular maintenance was all that was necessary for reliable daily driving, despite the low-pressure turbo system burning up coils. The extra cargo room is an obvious bonus as is the minty leather interior and well-maintained dash and cockpit. It’s a great option for long-distance trips or people moving. — Jacob Sotak, Content Director, Commerce
Mileage: 70,612 miles
Original MSRP: $36,000 +
Buy Now: $8,950
2003 Audi Allroad 2.7T
The Audi Allroad is a certified sleeper car but not in the traditional sense; it doesn’t blow the doors off of sports cars with an insane amount of horsepower. The Allroad looks like any other mundane wagon, but underneath, you’ll find raised suspension and quattro all-wheel-drive. It’s essentially a rally car with cargo space.
One of the previous owners of this Allroad already did the job of replacing the unreliable air suspension with conventional springs and swapped in a new timing belt. And it come with a manual. Yes, please. — Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer
Mileage: 97,650 miles
Original MSRP: $39,950+
Buy Now: $8,450
2002 Volvo V70 XC
I drove one of these in college, and my dad and I spent an entire summer poring over online forums to fix and tweak a handful of little issues we found within the car. Was the car reliable? Not really. Did it handle well? Not especially. But between working on the car myself, hauling friends out to secluded trailheads and long drives around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I developed a special kind of attachment. I’d buy this car again. — Andy Frakes, Editorial Assistant
Mileage: 101,000 miles
Original MSRP: $29,450+
Buy Now: $6,500
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