The best estate cars aren’t just incredibly practical – they also offer great value for money, lots of equipment and sporty handling. Here, we list our favourite estate cars.
Estate cars have been a popular part of British family life for generations. Combining the comfort of a saloon or hatchback with the luggage capacity of a small van, the family estate was the favoured method of transport for many households until MPVs and SUVs began to surge in popularity in the nineties.
Anyone who makes regular trips to IKEA or has to haul bags of grass clippings and garden rubbish to the tip will find the extra convenience of an estate’s big boot a boon. And not everyone wants a bulky large SUV, while many households aren’t sufficiently populated to need five spare seats – so even the best seven-seaters are unnecessary.
An estate is often a more accomplished load-lugger than either of those two, anyway. They typically sit lower than an SUV, which means the boot floor is closer to the road. This means you don’t have to lift heavy items very far to get them in. It also means that dogs or other creatures you’d rather carry in the boot than the back seat don’t have to exert themselves to get on board.
The boot of an estate car can be more practical than that of an MPV, too. In an estate, the rear seats will usually fold flat in one simple movement, leaving a long, flat load bay for carrying outsized items instead of passengers. In many seven-seat MPVs, the load area is only marginal with the third row of seats in place and you may need to remove two heavy, bulky rows of seats to match the total carrying capacity of an estate.
Another big advantage an estate car has over a cumbersome SUV or MPV is the way it drives. Driving an estate is typically indistinguishable to driving the saloon version of the same model. And even if you’re not someone who relishes the prospect of driving, you’re sure to be pleased by the biggest benefit an estate brings – that it’s unlikely to cost much more to run than a saloon or hatchback.
If the reasons above have sold you on the idea of an estate for your next car, here’s a list of the best estate cars on sale in the UK today.