Top 3 used petrol estate cars for under £15,000
Dear Carbuyer, I need a petrol estate car with a good infotainment system. What can I get for £12,000?
The estate car is a more practical alternative to a traditional saloon or hatchback and offers a near-unrivalled level of versatility. Not only are they comfortable family cars but they’re easily transformed into load-lugging workhorses too.
Despite this all-round ability, estate cars have begun to fall out of favour. Preferences have switched to the SUV, which offers a higher driving position and a more fashionable image.
Technology is forever advancing and buying a used car can sometimes mean that the infotainment system may feel a little dated. However, some in-car tech does stand the test of time and, thanks to great features such as smartphone integration and over-the-air updates, many older cars can still feel modern.
We now demand more from a car than ever, especially when it comes to technology. A car’s infotainment system is one of its selling points and it must be full of features, quick to respond and easy to use, so we’ve compiled a list of used estate cars that not only fit the bill in terms of practicality but also feel modern in terms of tech. Read on for our best used petrol estate cars under £12,000 and our top pick.
The stylish choice: Mazda 6 Tourer
For: Sleek, good handling, simple, effective infotainment
Against: Not that many about, small engine range
An uncommon sight on UK roads, but a Mazda 6 Tourer brings many benefits. The infotainment system, for example, is controlled by an intuitive rotary dial you may find simpler to use than a touchscreen. It’s practical too, with a generous 522 litres of boot space. The Mazda’s handling is set up to appeal to keen drivers, with sharp steering, a precise manual gearbox (or a smooth auto) and well judged ride quality. Your £15,000 nets a 143bhp 2017 manual with 30,000 miles in SE-L trim, which includes dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and reversing sensors.
The do-it-all choice: SEAT Leon ST
For: Best infotainment system here, largest boot
Against: Cabin design is on the sombre side
The letters ‘ST’ are often associated with fast Fords, but at SEAT it stands for ‘sports tourer’, denoting the estate version of the Leon hatchback. The previous-generation Leon ST shown here is an impressively well rounded car, with sharp handling, strong practicality and plenty of kit. As well as having the largest boot here; with 587 litres at its disposal, the Leon ST also has the best infotainment system. Its only real downside is its rather conservative dashboard design. Go for FR Technology trim and you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 18-inch alloy wheels and parking sensors. A 2018 123bhp 1.4 TSI in this specification with 30,000 miles on the clock is within budget.
The luxury choice: Mercedes C-Class Estate
For: Premium appeal, refined, comfortable
Against: Petrols scarce, car will be old in this company
You’ll be looking at an older or higher-mileage C-Class compared with the Mazda or SEAT, but you’ll be getting a more luxurious car. The Mercedes C-Class Estate is a refined motorway cruiser with comfortable seats. The cabin design and materials are also best out of these three cars, creating a sense of occasion. The infotainment screen perches on the top of the dash but it’s easy to operate and has plenty of features. A £15,000 budget stretches to a rare 2016 C 200 SE Executive manual with 70,000 miles, complete with sat-nav, cruise and climate control, plus a rear-view camera.
Carbuyer’s choice as picked by content editor Tom Jervis
The SEAT Leon ST is our first choice because it’s good to drive, decent value and has plenty of interior tech. While the Leon ST’s interior isn’t remarkably stylish or plush, it’s still logically laid out and has that Volkswagen Group signature sturdiness. Where the SEAT truly shines, however, is when it comes to the infotainment system. Thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, you can make use of your own phone’s software, creating a seamless experience between your car and smartphone.
Looking for a new family car? Check out our list of the top 10 family cars 2021