Skoda Superb estate

£19,840 - £35,940

If you want a big, spacious car, the Skoda Superb estate should definitely be on your list. The hatchback version of this model already has huge luggage capacity, but the estate expands that even further to a maximum of 1,950 litres with the rear seats lowered – more than the cavernous Mercedes E-Class estate from the class above. Key rivals for the Superb include the Ford Mondeo estate, Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer and Volkswagen Passat estate, but it has abigger boot than all three of these. 

But the Skoda Superb estate isn't just a one-trick pony. As well as all that boot space, it offers the luxury and technology of much more expensive and prestigious cars for a very reasonable price, with probably the best interior Skoda has ever made being one of the highlights. It looks sharp and modern outside, too.

Superb Estate buyers are spoiled for choice when it comes to engines. There's a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, available with either 123bhp or 148bhp, plus a more powerful 2.0-litre version that can produce either 217bhp or 276bhp.

Diesel has long been the more popular choice for cars in this class, however, and the new Superb Estate delivers here with an efficient entry-level 1.6 TDI that makes 118bhp and a 2.0 TDI available with either 148bhp or 187bhp.

Skoda's DSG twin-clutch automatic gearbox is offered across the range and you can get four-wheel drive on some of the higher-spec models for better grip in slippery conditions.

Trim levels are S, SE, SE Business, SE L Executive and the range-topping L&K (Laurin & Klement – the names of Skoda's founders). All Superb estates come as standard with alloy wheels, foglights, a multifunction steering wheel, electronic stability control, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio and a five-inch touchscreen, with more kit being added as you go up the range. Interestingly, the SE Business adds leather and sat-nav over SE, but at no extra cost.

As its name suggests, SE Business makes good financial sense for company-car users, and it's also our pick of the range for private buyers. It also comes with dual-zone air-conditioning, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control, yet the list price is still reasonable. Our favourite engine is the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel: it's usefully punchier and more capable of towing than the basic 1.6-litre, but still impressively economical when powering such a large car.

Although the Superb estate can't match the driving thrills of a BMW 3 Series Touring, it's one of the most entertaining cars to drive in its class, yet its also supremely comfortable to drive or be driven in, with seemingly acres of room for the driver and up to four passengers. It also comes with the very latest safety and accident-avoidance technology for reassuring peace of mind. Skoda also has a superb reputation for providing excellent customer service.