Perhaps you’re in the market for a saloon or a hatchback, but found that a conventional five-door doesn’t provide enough space or practicality. You could turn to an SUV, a popular choice at the moment, but there’s another option – the all-purpose estate.
Offering up great on-road manners and a healthy dose of boot space, the estate car is ideal if you need the flexibility of a large and long load space. With so many on sale today, we’ve picked out some of the best.
BMW 5 Series Touring
The BMW 5 Series Touring has been around since the late ‘80s, and from that point has become a go-to option in the estate segment. This iss down to the car’s excellent driving dynamics, which deftly combine comfort and sportiness.
But as with any estate, it needs to be practical to succeed. Fortunately, it has a huge load area and an easily accessed boot. It even has a pop glass section, which allows you to get into the boot without opening the entire rear hatch.
Mercedes E-Class Estate
Much like the 5 Series, Merc’s E-Class Estate has, in various guises, been around for some time. It’s a great option for those who want out-and-out space, thanks to its cavernous boot and useful square shape which makes loading bulkier items a breeze.
It offers more than just spaciousness alone, though. The current E-Class is excellent to drive, and there’s even an all-wheel-drive ‘All Terrain’ version for those who want a little more traction when things get slippery.
Skoda Superb Estate
Want practicality, reliability and comfort all in one value-for-money package? Then look no further than the Skoda Superb Estate. Though it may lack the badge prestige of some of its rivals, the big Superb makes up for it with a great range of standard equipment and tip-top build quality.
It’s also jam-packed with inspired touches – which Skoda calls ‘Simply Clever’ features – such as umbrellas installed in the doors, and an ice scraper underneath the fuel filler cap.
Audi A6 Avant
Audi’s previous-generation A6 Avant clung on to production for a long time, which meant the German firm faced a tall order when it came to replacing it. It’s succeeded, however, with the latest A6 delivering an extremely refined drive and a level of quality that’s expected of cars wearing the 4 rings.
It also features Audi’s latest in-car technology, which sees it utilising an ultra-wide infotainment screen and a completely digital binnacle display. It’s a high-tech place to be, that’s for sure – but it’s impressively spacious too, meaning the key estate car boxes remain ticked.
Mazda 6 Tourer
Despite representing the cheaper end of the segment, the Mazda 6 Tourer is an estate car well worth considering. Why? Well it’s got one of the most involving drives in the segment, for one, while its cabin is very well appointed, with plenty of in-car equipment as standard.
Edgy styling helps it stand out from the crowd while a punchy range of petrol and diesel engines mean there’s a power option for everyone.
Volvo’s recently introduced V60 caters for those who fancy an estate on the compact side compared with Volvo’s much larger V90 offering.However, it’s not tight for space – the V60 packs load space that should be plenty for most people’s needs in the boot, and a generous area for passengers to stretch out in, too.
It’s efficient and good to drive, as well as being packed with the latest safety assistance systems.
Ford Focus Active Estate
The Ford Focus Active Estate cleverly toes the line between a crossover and a traditional estate. It still gets a better load capacity than the regular hatch, but benefits from an increased ride height and special driver modes which help it off-road.
As with all Focus models, the Active Estate is still excellent to drive and it’s efficient too. The level of standard equipment also makes it very good value for money.
Dacia Logan MCV
Need more space but don’t want to spend the earth? That’s where the Dacia Logan MCV comes in. Though it can’t quite deliver the same level of in-car tech or luxury that others on this list can, the Logan MCV counters by being exceptional value for money.
It’s a far more rounded car than its price of £8,495 would suggest, too. It’s not the best to drive, nor is the interior that well made, but it’s extremely practical and very affordable.
Kia Ceed Sportswagon
Kia’s Ceed Sportswagon lies on the more compact end of the estate car spectrum, but manages to provide more than enough space and practicality. There’s plenty of standard equipment in all specifications, too, while it’s also accompanied by Kia’s comprehensive 7-year warranty.
Inside, you’ll find a logically laid-out cabin, with plenty of buttons to keep tech-lovers happy. The Ceed is also refined and comfortable, making it ideal for long-distance drivers.
Peugeot 508 SW
Those looking to stand out from the crowd will no doubt find the new Peugeot 508 SW immensely appealing. Striking looks combine with a high-tech interior to create an estate car like little else out on the road today.
Fortunately, it’s still good to drive – and it’s got plenty of space too. The engines available for this model – whether petrol or diesel – are efficient, and well-sorted suspension means it’s just as comfortable around town as on the motorway.