Buying a new car is a ‘bucket list item’ for some drivers - we often hear about how good that ‘new car smell’ is, as well as other benefits like warranty programmes and the latest safety and entertainment technology. But for lots of people purchasing a brand new vehicle is a life goal, and one that they might save up a whole lifetime for.

Once you’ve saved up enough money to start searching for that sparkly new machine, you may have a dilemma on your hands. Do you choose that performance car you have always dreamed of owning like a sporty coupe, or do you go for something bigger with the practicality to stow larger items and transport family and luggage on road trips?  

Well, what if you didn’t need to compromise and could have both? Here are three performance cars which are also very practical, all available for under $70,000.

Skoda Octavia RS from $57,990 (+ORC)

octavia rs 30 resize

Skoda Octavia RS

The new Skoda Octavia RS is brand new for 2021, and is the perfect family wagon with a bit of added ‘oomph’.

18-inch alloy wheels, red brake callipers, as well as a gloss black grille, window trims and roof rails really makes this wagon stand out from the road. Electric memory seats, aluminium foot pedals and alcantara upholstery with red stitching really helps maintain this sporty aesthetic (and feel) throughout the cabin.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included as standard, and so too is wireless smartphone charging.

Powered by a 2.0-litre 180kW TSI power plant producing 180kW and 370Nm and mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission, the Octavia RS can get from zero to 100km/h in just 6.7 seconds. A combined consumption rating of 6.4L/100km and a CO2 emissions rating at 146g/km are not to be sniffed at.

Also a practical wagon with a class leading boot capacity of 640L, up 30L over the previous model. It’s not just the storage that has increased - its 22mm longer and 15mm wider than its predecessor, too.

It also comes complete with a host of safety equipment including Crew Protect Assist with proactive crash protection, Lane Assist with braking reaction to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists to name just a few.

Kia Stinger GT Line from $64,990 (+ORC)

2021 Kia Stinger Resize

Kia Stinger

Kia has refreshed their sportiest model – the Stinger - with minor tweaks for the 2021 year. These include new 19-inch alloy wheels, donning intricate geometric designs that enhance the sporty grand tourer style of the car.

The Stinger also has an upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment system that’s a vast improvement over the old one. The system includes a Harman Kardon Premium Sound System with integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Still powering the Stinger GT line is a 2.0 T-GDi engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger, which can thrust you from zero to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds, producing 182kW (244hp) at 6,200rpm. The Stinger has fuel economy of 8.8L/100km and a CO2 emissions rating of 201g/km.

The power is delivered via a traditional eight-speed automatic transmission, which drives the rear wheels, adding another level of excitement and personality.

Storage-wise, the Stinger is well equipped for a family saloon, with 406 litres with the seats up.

The Stinger was awarded a 5 Star ANCAP rating with the implementation of key ADAS systems in 2017.

Cupra Ateca from $66,900 (+ORC)

New CUPRA Ateca Resize

Cupra Ateca

The Cupra Ateca is a competent five-seated SUV. It’s handsome, but is manufactured by a brand that’s relatively new to the block. It’s the motorsport subsidiary of Seat, and is part of the Volkswagen Group.

The Ateca stands out in the looks department, flaunting daring 19-inch machined sport silver wheels, which are paired with Cupra’s sport suspension for better dynamics.

The soundtrack created from the Akrapovič exhaust system is rich, which adds to the driving experience, and if that wasn’t sweet enough then the Beats Audio System with a 340W amplifier and surround sound is sure to do the trick.

At the heart of the Cupra Ateca is a 2.0-litre TSI engine connected to a swift seven-speed DSG transmission. The turbocharged four-cylinder produces an intriguing 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque, enough to reach 100km/h in just 4.9s from a standing start. This equates to a fuel rating of 7.7L/100km and a CO2 emissions rating of 175g/km.

The Cupra’s XDS Electronic differential lock system maximises road holding and improves cornering for enhanced safety. Safety systems like Front Assist, City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Protection, Adaptive Cruise Control and Side Assist & Exit Assist (Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert) all come as standard.

The cabin has increased levels of comfort for everyone, and even with this models performance pedigree it still has all the practicality with a decent 485 litres of storage with the seats up. You can even connect a tow bar to put the power to good use – the Ateca has a 2100kg braked towing capacity.

Find out more on how the AA can help you when buying a new car:

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