Volvo V90 driving

Best used estate cars

The best used estate cars offer extra practicality over the hatchback or saloon models they’re based on yet don’t cost much more to buy or run. Here are our favourites.

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By Cazoo editorial team

Estate cars are a great choice if you want your next car to be a bit more spacious and versatile than your average hatchback or saloon.

But what exactly is an estate car? In essence, it’s a more practical version of a hatchback or saloon with the same comfort and tech but with a longer, taller, more squared shape at the back. Whether you’re after something sporty, luxurious, cost-effective or compact there’s an estate car out there for you.

Here are our top 10 used estate cars.

1. BMW 3 Series Touring

If you’re after something practical that’s also fun to drive, check out the BMW 3 Series Touring. ‘Touring’ is the name BMW uses for its estate cars and we’ve chosen the version that was on sale new from 2012 until 2019 because it’s great value for money. There are loads to choose from, including some with powerful petrol engines and others with very efficient diesels.

You get 495 litres of boot space, which is more than enough for the entire family’s holiday luggage, and an electric boot lid is included as standard. You can even open the rear window independently of the boot lid, which is very handy when you just want to lift a couple of bags of shopping in or out. If you want the best blend of economy, style and performance, opt for the BMW 320d M Sport.

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2. Jaguar XF Sportbrake

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake gives you the full executive car experience with an extra dose of family-friendly practicality. It’s a very satisfying car to drive, with a smooth and unflappable feel and excellent long-distance comfort.

Boot space is 565 litres, which is enough for four large suitcases, and we love the handy features that help make it easier to load and secure your stuff. These include an electrically operated boot lid, tie-down points on the floor and levers for easily folding down the back seats in an instant.

3. Ford Focus Estate

If you want a car that’s practical and affordable yet also enjoyable to drive look no further than the Ford Focus Estate. The latest model, launched in 2018, has a generous 608 litres of space in the boot for all of your shopping or sports gear. That’s roughly double what you get in a Focus hatchback and more than you’ll find in some larger and more expensive estates.

As well as giving you lots of space, the Focus Estate comes with tech features that can make your life a bit easier. These include voice control and a heated windscreen that can save you time de-icing your car on frosty mornings. You can choose from a wide range of versions, including sporty ST-Line models and Vignale versions that include lots of extra luxury features. There’s even an Active model, which has more ground clearance and SUV-style exterior upgrades.

4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate

If you’re looking for maximum practicality and luxury in your estate car it’s hard to look beyond the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. Boot space is an enormous 640 litres with all five seats in place, extending to a van-like 1,820 litres with the back seats folded down. That might mean you can make one trip to the tip instead of two, or that you don’t have to sacrifice any of the items you want to take with you on that holiday to the Lake District.

The interior of the E-Class Estate is as comfortable as it is spacious and the feeling of quality is enhanced by a high-tech, easy-to-use infotainment system. There are several models to choose from, with very efficient diesel versions at one end of the range and outrageously fast AMG high-performance models at the other.

5. Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

Believe it or not, the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is longer than even the big executive estate cars such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo V90, making it one of the longest estate cars you can buy. It’s also one of the sleekest, as befits its ‘Sports Tourer’ name, and although it’s not as spacious as some of its rivals it has a 560-litre boot that’s larger than a Ford Mondeo Estate’s. You also benefit from a wide and low boot opening that makes it easy to get your luggage – or your dog – in and out.

But where you’ll find that the Insignia Sports Tourer really shines is in value for money. It’s remarkably inexpensive for such a large car, is very well equipped and available with some powerful yet efficient engines.

6. Skoda Octavia Estate

The Skoda Octavia Estate gives you the practicality of a large executive estate or mid-size SUV for the price of a family hatchback. Its 610-litre boot is perfectly suited to family life, allowing you to throw in kids’ bikes, pushchairs and bag after bag of shopping without worrying if they’ll all fit.

The model we’ve chosen was on sale new from 2013 to 2020 (the current model is bigger but more expensive) so there are plenty of cars to choose from, including fuel-efficient diesel versions, a high-performance vRS model and a luxurious Laurin & Klement version. Whichever version you choose you’ll enjoy a smooth, comfortable drive and an interior that’s wonderfully practical, easy to use and feels built to withstand the demands of family life.

Skoda produces a range of estate cars, all of which are spacious and great value for money. We’ve put together a guide to every Skoda estate model to help you decide which one is right for you.

7. Volvo V90

Think ‘estate car’ and you probably think of a Volvo. The Swedish brand is famous for its big estate cars and the latest V90 uses all of that know-how to create one of the most desirable cars on our list. On the outside the V90 is elegant and stylish. Inside it feels relaxing and comfortable, with a very Scandinavian ambience that makes you feel like you’re in a posh Swedish furniture store.
The driving experience is serene and effortless, especially if you go for one of the plug-in hybrid models that combines powerful performance with low emissions and an electric-only range that could be enough for your daily commute. As you’d expect, the V90 has lots of legroom and a spacious 560-litre boot. Even the entry-level model offers the kind of equipment that would be optional on some rivals.

8. Audi A6 Avant

The Audi A6 Avant is an impressively stylish and upmarket estate car that’s good at just about everything. The current model, launched in 2018, has an interior that gives you a real feel-good factor every time you open the door, thanks to its excellent quality and futuristic design.

Boot space is 565 litres, which is enough to suit most needs. Its wide opening and low floor makes it easy to load and unload larger items and handles let you fold down the back seats from the boot when you need to carry a really long load. While the latest model gets our vote, don't rule out the pre-2018 model – it’s less expensive but no less desirable or classy.

9. Volkswagen Passat Estate

If you appreciate a great all-rounder as well as a great deal, you’ll love the Volkswagen Passat Estate. It offers the quality and style of a premium estate car, yet costs you much the same as a more mainstream model. The 650-litre boot is huge, making the Passat Estate ideal for growing families and anyone with a penchant for loading up at antique fairs.

Inside and out, the Passat has an elegant, modern look and a sense of quality that elevates it above most rivals. You can choose from a range of trim levels, all giving you lots of standard features. SE Business is especially popular and strikes a great balance between cost-effectiveness and luxury, with front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio and sat nav as standard.

10. Skoda Superb Estate

Yes it’s another Skoda, but no list of the best estate cars would be complete without the Superb Estate. For starters, no other modern used estate car has a bigger boot. That alone makes it worth your consideration but the great thing about the Skoda Superb Estate is that it doesn’t look or feel like a huge estate car. In fact, its character in the way it looks and drives is closer to that of a stylish, high-quality hatchback. That impression is made even stronger when you look at the interior, which is exceptionally comfortable and features upmarket materials and a bang-up-to-date infotainment system.
When it comes to space, the Superb Estate gives you a huge 660-litre boot plus a generous amount of headroom and legroom for you and your passengers. There’s as much as you’ll find in some big luxury saloons or SUVs and having space for everyone to stretch out can make all the difference when you’ve got a growing family on board.

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