Small estate cars blend the practicality of a boxy wagon with the city-friendly manoeuvrability of a family hatchback. We’ve drawn up a list of the 10 best cars available that offer an attractive blend of compact dimensions and a hugely practical boot.
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- Skoda Fabia Estate
- Dacia Logan MCV
- Mini Clubman
- SEAT Ibiza ST
- Honda Civic Tourer
- Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
- VW Golf Estate
- Renault Megane Tourer
- Peugeot 308 SW
- SEAT Leon ST
1. Skoda Fabia Estate
The Skoda Fabia Estate takes all the standard car’s features, including its roomy interior and solid build quality, and adds a generous helping of extra luggage space in the back. This smart-looking estate boasts a 530-litre boot with all five seats in place that grows to 1,395 litres with the rear row folded.
Not only is the Fabia Estate well-equipped, comfortable and spacious but it comes with a whole host of useful cubby holes and storage spaces. There’s also a wide range of frugal engines available and, with entry-level models costing just £13,000, it represents good value for money.
2. Dacia Logan MCV
The Dacia Logan MCV is surprisingly spacious for such a compact estate car – its roomy load bay can swallow 573 litres of luggage with five seats in place. Fold the rear seats down, however, and its practical boot can carry an impressive 1,518 litres.
Entry-level versions come with little standard equipment and many cheap-feeling plastic interior parts – not surprising from a car that costs less than £7,000. The Logan MCV is also let down by a selection of sluggish and noisy engines but it leads the field in terms of value for money.
3. Mini Clubman
The Mini Clubman is a quirky-looking small estate car that’s more practical than the old model thanks to its full-sized rear doors. It’s more expensive than many rivals on our list – even the cheapest versions will set you back more than £20,000 – but its retro design and high-quality interior make it one of the most stylish offerings here.
The Clubman isn’t the most spacious car available – its low roofline and curvy rear end cut into boot space considerably – but fold the rear seats down and the load bay grows from 360 to a decent 1,250 litres. As an added bonus, the Clubman is also great fun to drive and comes with a range of punchy engines.
4. SEAT Ibiza ST
The SEAT Ibiza ST isn’t a class-leader when it comes to interior space, but this small estate car offers sharp styling and a well-built interior with bags of equipment fitted as standard. It offers up generous passenger head and legroom and a 430-litre boot that can be expanded to 1,164 litres by folding the rear seats away.
Under the bonnet, you’ll find a range of frugal engines, from a 55mpg-capable 1.2-litre petrol to a more powerful 1.6-litre diesel, that help make it a compelling rival to the likes of the Skoda Fabia Estate.
5. Honda Civic Tourer
The Honda Civic Tourer is a striking family car with plenty of passenger space and a roomy 624-litre boot. Fold the rear seats away and you’ll have access to a huge 1,668-litre load bay, too. The Civic also comes with Honda’s ‘Magic Seat’ system that allows you to flip the rear seat bases up to safely load tall items.
The Civic Tourer comes with a wide range of standard equipment and benefits from a good selection of efficient engines. Our pick would be the excellent 1.6-litre diesel – it’s equally at home on motorways and country roads yet can return an impressive 73mpg.
6. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer features all the standard car’s strengths – including its refined ride and fun handling – but brings more luggage space and improved practicality to the table. It offers up a 540-litre boot – just shy of the class leaders – that can be expanded to a healthy 1,630 litres with the rear seats down.
Unsurprisingly, it retains the standard Astra’s spacious, well-built interior and its generous list of standard equipment. The Sports Tourer also inherits the hatchback’s refined ride, frugal engines and smart styling that help make it an excellent all-rounder.
7. VW Golf Estate
Speaking of good all rounders, the VW Golf Estate is just that. Stylish both inside and out, it’s impressively practical and well equipped. With five seats in place, its 605-litre boot is one of the biggest in its class and can be extended to a capacious 1,620 litres by folding the back seats.
Inside, the Golf Estate’s interior is a pleasant place to be thanks to its excellent build quality and good range of standard equipment. Once on the move, you’ll find the Golf Estate is just as comfortable as its hatchback sibling and its extra weight hasn’t dulled its handling significantly, either. If it’s excitement you’re after, the tasty Golf R Estate version serves up a promising 296hp and can sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds.
8. Renault Megane Tourer
The Renault Megane Tourer is a smartly designed estate car with a reasonably spacious interior. Its 524-litre boot isn’t the biggest in class but its square shape makes it easy to load bulky items. If you don’t regularly carry passengers, you can fold the back seats down to gain access to an impressive 1,600-litre load bay.
The Megane Tourer’s interior continues the upmarket feel. Its cabin features a modern, minimalist design and high-spec models receive a Tesla-style portrait touchscreen infotainment system. As an added bonus, it’s pretty fun to drive too.
9. Peugeot 308 SW
The Peugeot 308 SW represents a great value small estate car with a roomy cabin and a practical boot that’s perfect for a growing family. With all five seats in place, the boot capacity is an impressive 660-litres – fold the back row down and the completely flat load bay can accommodate an impressive 1,660 litres of luggage.
It’s not quite as stylish as some rivals but the 308 SW undercuts both the Megane Tourer and Golf Estate in terms of price – entry-level cars cost from £18,315 while top-spec versions will set you back less than £28,000. It’s reasonably good fun to drive, too, and boasts a range of frugal engines that help make it one of the most efficient cars in its class.
10. SEAT Leon ST
The SEAT Leon ST is the bigger brother of the Ibiza ST and is larger in all respects. It features a more generous 587-litre boot that can grow to 1,470 litres when the rear row of seats is folded down. Cabin space is impressive too – passengers should be treated to better head and legroom than in the Ibiza ST.
The Leon ST isn’t quite as refined to drive as its closely related Golf Estate rival but it does share a wide range of engines with the German hatchback including a 1.6-litre diesel unit that can return 85.6mpg.
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