Best estate cars

Last updated: Jan 7, 2016

Estate cars are an ideal choice for many families thanks to their large boots and low running costs. They can accommodate large amounts of luggage or a dog, while their rear seats can be folded down for when van-like space is required. While SUVs are in fashion at the moment, many families would do better with an estate car – something many buyers seem to overlook.

Estates tend to be based on saloon or hatchback models. Some are so similar that they're mechanically identical, while others are noticeably different to the saloon or hatchback that they're based on. Either way, you can expect a good saloon or hatch to make a good estate.

This list is far from extensive, but it covers what are in our opinion the 10 best estate cars on the UK market at the moment. We've prioritised cars that are comfortable, quiet and practical, as well as fun to drive and efficient.

So keep reading for the Carbuyer list of the top 10 estate cars on sale in the UK today.

Skoda Superb Estate

The Skoda Superb lives up to its name. It drives well, is reliable and looks good - in fact, it's quietly brilliant at pretty much everything. But what makes it our favourite estate is the sheer amount of space you get. If you want a roomier car than this, you need to buy an SUV (and make all the compromises that come with that choice). We'd recommend the Skoda Superb in its own right, but it's a clear winner of our Best Estate Car award. Read more.

Key points

4.6 / 5
Price 
£20,260 - £36,365

BMW 3 Series Touring estate

The BMW 3 Series Touring is another excellent car – one that builds on the enjoyable driving experience of its saloon sister model. It's a comfortable car to sit in and has the badge appeal that many owners crave. Its boot is just shy of 500 litres with the seats up, which is a bit less than you get in some of the other cars here, but a strong Euro NCAP crash-safety rating, conventionally attractive styling and 1,500 litres of luggage space with the seats folded down make the BMW a cracking buy for many families. Read more.

Key points

4.8 / 5
Price 
£26,590 - £42,355

Peugeot 308 SW estate

Peugeot isn't necessarily a name you'd associate with estate cars, but the 308 SW changes this. It's a brilliantly efficient, wonderfully comfortable and surprisingly attractive alternative to some of the more 'mainstream' choices. The only downsides are that it's not as good to drive as some of the others and that the very best safety equipment is only available on high-spec models. But if you're after a comfortable, good-looking family car, then this is a great choice. Read more.

Key points

4.2 / 5
Price 
£17,865 - £27,365

Skoda Octavia Estate

Like the Skoda Superb, the Skoda Octavia is a quiet hero in this class. Available with a tax-exempt diesel engine, the Octavia is one of those 'one-size-fits-most' cars – it should suit most families. It has an enormous boot, some of the best engines on the market and is renowned for its reliability. It's a pleasing, no-nonsense machine - only its 'ordinariness' might put off some buyers. Read more.

Key points

4.9 / 5
Price 
£17,880 - £29,410

BMW 5 Series Touring estate

The BMW 5 Series is a fairly upmarket car. Built with the German autobahn in mind, it's comfortable at speed over long distances, making it a favourite with people who use motorways a lot. But in estate form, it comes into its own - 560 litres of boot space with the back seats up transforms into a van-like 1,670 litres with them down. The (admittedly rather expensive) options list includes in-car TV and an internet connection. A great car, if you can afford it! Read more.

Key points

4.7 / 5
Price 
£33,315 - £51,270

Mazda6 Tourer estate

The Mazda 6 Tourer doesn't immediately spring to mind when you think of estate cars, but thanks to some real improvements to Mazda's line-up in the past decade, this good-value model gives the more 'premium' brands a run for their money. Its boot capacity is just over 500 litres, which isn't the best on this page, but it feels nice to drive and has a good interior. Definitely worth considering. Read more.

Key points

4.7 / 5
Price 
£21,725 - £28,795

Kia Cee'd Sportswagon estate

Look past the unusual name: the Kia Cee'd Sportswagon is a brilliant estate with the brand's excellent seven-year warranty. Because it's mechanically similar to the Hyundai i30 Tourer, it's tricky to decide between the two (so test drive both if you're considering either). The Kia Cee'd Sportswagon is a good-looking car that offers the practicality of an estate for the price tag of something a little smaller. Read more.

Key points

4.7 / 5
Price 
£16,750 - £25,495

Hyundai i30 Tourer estate

We give Hyundai's offering 4.6 out of 5 stars, just like the Cee'd, so there isn't much between these two models. The i30's handling is biased towards comfort rather than a thrilling driving experience, but there isn't much in it and few estates are going to drive like a racing car anyway. The diesel engine in this car is refreshingly quiet. Read more.

Key points

4.7 / 5
Price 
£16,995 - £24,795

SEAT Leon ST estate

The SEAT Leon ST is a truly excellent car - one of our favourites, and certainly something that the whole Carbuyer team would consider owning. Its brilliant range of engines make it a versatile choice to suit all budgets and driving styles, while its build quality and good looks make it a very pleasing car to own. There are 587 litres of boot space available with all seats in place, growing to 1,471 with the rears folded down. Five stars from Euro NCAP round off this great family choice. Read more.

Key points

4.5 / 5
Price 
£18,695 - £25,690

Audi A6 Avant estate

The Audi A6 Avant is a desirable machine. It isn't cheap, but what it lacks in affordability it more than makes up for in luxury. It comes with some very efficient engines (as well as some less efficient ones) and is finished with traditional Audi care and attention. A tasteful car, the A6 Avant does its family duty in an understated, efficient way. You can't throw it around like you can a BMW, but its 565-litre boot (1,680 litres with the back seats folded) and serious driveway appeal make this one of our favourite estates. Our 10th favourite, in fact! Read more.

Key points

4.4 / 5
Price 
£35,095 - £59,315