Kia Cee'd Sportswagon estate

£16,200 - £24,995

Don't be fooled by car manufacturers adding the word ‘sport’ to ‘wagon’ or ‘tourer’ – they’re really talking about bigger, roomier estate versions of family cars.

So it is with the Kia Cee’d Sportswagon – not really sporty at all. Instead its large, comfortable dimensions are an alternative to the Ford Focus estate, Volkswagen Golf estate and the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer. In fact, it actually offers marginally more room than its rivals, plus some generally impressive build quality, a decent level of comfort and Kia's class-leading seven-year warranty – everything we’ve now come to expect from the much-improved Kia range.

The Sportswagon would have been better off being called the Comfortwagon, which would be closer to the mark thanks to the laid-back nature of its two diesel engines (there's no real performance or acceleration from either of them) and its very smooth ride. Plus, you’ll get pampered by the high equipment levels, even in the entry-level model – which also means that Kias are no longer the budget brand they used to be. The Sportswagon is now priced at almost the same level as its Ford, Vauxhall and VW rivals, but definitely has the edge of all of them in terms of stylish looks.

The Sportswagon comes in five specifications, following Kia's standard numbering system – the base model is the ‘1’, then all the way up to ‘4’ before breaking form with the top-of-the-range ‘4 Tech’.