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 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 – if not hugely distinctive.

Superb estate buyers are spoiled for choice when it comes to engines. There's a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, available with either 123 or 148bhp, plus a more powerful 2.0-litre version that can produce either 217 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-litre TDI that makes 118bhp and a 2.0-litre TDI available with either 148 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.

As its name suggests, SE Business makes good financial sense for company-car users, but our pick of the range for private buyers would be the SE, which adds dual-zone air-conditioning, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control to the basic kit, while keeping the list price reasonable. Our favourite engine is the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel: it's usefully punchier 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 (or even the Ford Mondeo estate), it's 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.