Estates make great family cars if you’re looking for something spacious and stylish but don’t want a boxy MPV or a high-riding SUV. Plenty come with a very wide range of engines, including frugal hybrids and rip-roaring performance models, too. If this sounds like the kind of car for you but you don’t know where to start choosing one, we’ve come up with a list of the 10 best estate cars currently on sale to help you pick the perfect new model.
If, however, you’ve already chosen your ideal new car, click ‘login’ in the top-right-hand corner to sign up and configure a brand new model, or browse our extensive selection of pre-reg, ex-demo, new, nearly new and used cars. If you’re not sure what to buy, read our list of the 10 best family cars and our rundown of the cars with the biggest boots for a range of practical alternatives.
[2018 update: The Skoda Superb Estate clings on to top spot in our list, just ahead of the more luxurious (but also more expensive) Mercedes E-Class Estate. More compact models are represented by the Skoda Octavia, Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf estates, while the very affordable Dacia Logan MCV sneaks into tenth place.]
Here are the 10 best estate cars on sale:
- Skoda Superb Estate
- Mercedes E-Class Estate
- Audi A4 Avant
- BMW 5 Series Touring
- Skoda Octavia Estate
- Volvo V90
- BMW 3 Series Touring
- VW Golf Estate
- Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
- Dacia Logan MCV
1. Skoda Superb Estate
The Skoda Superb is a fantastic estate car that’s enormously practical, cheap to run and very well built. There’s room in both the front and back seats for tall adults to get comfortable and the 660-litre boot is bigger than almost any other estate car on sale. It comes with a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, and you get plenty of equipment fitted as standard – even in entry-level models.
The Superb Estate’s interior doesn’t look particularly exciting, however, and although its infotainment system is easy to use, it doesn’t come with a flashy digital driver’s display like more expensive alternatives. Its subtle looks also might mean you have trouble finding it parked in a crowded car park, too, but despite this, the Superb is one of the very best estate cars on sale.
2. Mercedes E-Class Estate
If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, the Mercedes E-Class Estate makes an excellent choice. It comes with a super-stylish interior that’s packed with plush materials and loads of high-tech features. It’s also impressively roomy – there’s even enough space in the 640-litre boot for an antique sideboard, or two. Passenger space is equally generous and the standard rear air suspension makes it very comfortable to drive.
Unfortunately, the E-Class Estate is quite expensive, and the infotainment touchscreen isn’t as intuitive as the systems you get in alternatives from BMW and Audi. It’s not particularly fun to drive, either, but you can get it with a wide range of engines, including everything from a 55mpg diesel to a 400hp turbo-petrol in high-performance E43 versions.
3. Audi A4 Avant
The Audi A4 Avant has an awful lot going for it. It’s very practical, very easy to drive and comes with a superbly well-built interior that’s dead easy to use. There’s loads of space in the front and rear seats for adults to get comfy and the 505-litre boot is more than big enough for a family week away or a trip to the tip. It’s easy to load, too, and you can get the A4 with four-wheel drive that will be handy if you plan to regularly tow a trailer or live somewhere that’s prone to icy winter weather.
Sadly, it’s not all good news – the infotainment system isn’t quite as easy to use as BMW’s iDrive system and you have to pay extra for lots of the A4’s most desirable features, including the eye-catching digital driver’s display. If you’re happy to hand over a little extra cash, however, the A4 Avant makes an excellent estate car.
4. BMW 5 Series Touring
The BMW 5 Series is a large estate with a high-tech cabin, lots of passenger space and a big boot. Everything in its smart cabin looks and feels suitably posh and there aren’t any cheap plastics letting the side down. There’s enough space for three adults to sit side-by-side in the back seats, too, and its 570-litre boot is roomy enough to carry all the luggage you’ll need for a fortnight away.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as practical as the likes of the Mercedes E-Class Estate, and you’ll have to pay extra if you want smartphone-mirroring features – which seems a bit mean in a luxurious estate car. That said, the 5 Series Touring’s a good choice if you want a big, practical car that’s easy to live with and still feels sporty to drive.
5. Skoda Octavia Estate
The Skoda Octavia Estate isn’t the biggest estate car on sale, but it’s certainly one of the most practical. It’ll happily carry five adults, as well as an impressive amount of luggage in its spacious 610-litre boot. The cabin is well built and comes with lots of practical storage compartments and even entry-level models get plenty of kit as standard, including an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone-mirroring.
Alternatives are more comfortable on rough inner-city roads, however, and the Octavia’s styling won’t appeal to everyone. You can’t get it with any particularly posh-looking interior trims like the VW Golf Estate, either, but the Octavia’s more affordable and equally cheap to run thanks to its range of efficient petrol and diesel engines.
6. Volvo V90
If you’re looking for a spacious, stylish and safe large estate car, the Volvo V90 could be right up your street. Inside, you get a smart, minimalist interior with a cool portrait touchscreen infotainment system, loads of plush leather trims and enough head and leg room for tall passengers to stretch out in the back. The 560-litre boot is easy to load and spacious enough for plenty of flat-pack furniture, too.
Unlike alternatives from Mercedes, Audi and BMW, the V90 isn’t available with a smooth six-cylinder engine. As a result, the four-cylinder-only Volvo doesn’t feel quite as relaxing to drive on the motorway. That being said, the V90’s impressive range of standard safety kit should help put your mind at rest as you cruise along.
7. BMW 3 Series Touring
The BMW 3 Series Touring is a spacious mid-size estate car with a well-built cabin, a generous boot and a range of sporty engines that make it fairly good fun to drive. It’ll certainly put a bigger smile on your face on a twisty country road than the Audi A4 Avant or Mercedes C-Class Estate. Thankfully, it’s just as easy to live with thanks to its relatively generous 480-litre boot.
Unfortunately, the BMW’s back seats aren’t quite as roomy as those in some alternatives, and its sporty suspension doesn’t do a particularly good job of ironing out bumps and potholes round town. The car does, however, come with one of the best infotainment systems in the business.
8. VW Golf Estate
The VW Golf Estate is a more practical version of the hugely popular Golf hatchback. It comes with the same well-built interior, roomy back seats and upmarket materials as the standard car but adds a much bigger boot that’s easier to load. Its 605-litre capacity is greater than some much larger cars and the wide, square opening makes it a doddle to load.
It’s not particularly exciting to look at, however, and if you want a smooth automatic gearbox instead of the standard manual you’ll have to pay an extra £1,400. Despite that, the Golf estate makes a good choice if you’re looking for a plush, yet reasonably affordable, family car that’s very practical and cheap to run.
9. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is almost as practical as the Golf Estate, but comes with a more affordable price tag. Its reasonably roomy cabin is spacious enough for three adults to sit in the back at once and all its controls are sensibly laid out and easy to use. Even entry-level models come with lots of standard equipment, too, and a range of frugal petrol and diesel engines means the Vauxhall’s cheap to run, too.
It doesn’t feel quite as posh inside as the Golf, however, and its 540-litre boot isn’t quite as easy to pack full of bulky boxes. The infotainment system isn’t quite as intuitive to use as in some alternatives, either, but the Vauxhall’s still reasonably relaxing to drive and quite quiet at motorway speeds.
10. Dacia Logan MCV
The Dacia Logan MCV represents great value for money – it’s impressively spacious for such a small car and it’s one of the cheapest new models on sale. It costs from less than half the price of the Astra Sports Tourer yet comes with a bigger 573-litre boot. Its back seats are almost as roomy too, and its large windows make the cabin feel reasonably light and airy.
None of the Dacia’s three engines feels particularly perky, however, and its firm suspension struggles to iron out bumps and potholes at slow speeds. It doesn’t come with much high-tech safety kit, either, but if it’s an affordable, back-to-basics estate you’re looking for, it makes a fine choice.
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