Best electric estate cars to buy in 2021

Lots of luggage space with low emissions: these are the best electric estate cars (with plug-in hybrid power)

BuyaCar team
Feb 12, 2021

There are small electric cars, electric family cars, electric SUVs and even electric vans. But for now, there are very limited options if you're looking for an electric estate car.

Estate car buyers can do their bit for the environment (and cut their fuel costs), though. Plug-in hybrid estate cars have batteries and motors for zero-emission driving. Their range on a single charge is usually 20 to 30 miles, so they also have a petrol or diesel engine to take over when the power runs out. When you need to move quickly, the motor and engine combine for a power boost.

In the real world, a plug-in hybrid's range is usually a few miles less than the official figures, but even so, most will manage the average commute without using a drop of fuel. Even if your journey is twice the 9.9 mile average, as calculated by the Department for Transport, a workplace charging station will enable you to run on battery power alone.

Bear in mind that these cars aren’t actually as efficient on long-distance journeys: once the batteries in a plug-in hybrid run out, the car is simply running on petrol and diesel power like a conventional car - but carrying around the heavy battery pack.

Best electric estate cars

1. Volvo V60 T8

Best electric estate for good looks

Used deals from £41,995
Monthly finance from £607*
Official electric range
30 miles
CO2 48g/km

The Volvo hybrid/electric revolution continues, and it's the Volvo V60 which is the latest to be enhanced with electrical power.  The T8 plug-in hybrid arrived towards the end of last year, with a realistic range of 25 miles using predominantly electric power, and we're already beginning to see used models appearing on BuyaCar.

It's spacious (with a 529-litre boot), luxurious and its looks have been well-received. It's also pretty quick; the petrol engine and electric motor can combine with a burst of power to take the V90 from 0-62mph in just under five seconds.

CO2 emissions are below the 50g/km limit, resulting in the lowest rate of company car tax - until next year - but the cost of all this isn't cheap. Prices for a brand new one are expected to start at around £45,000.


2. Mercedes E 300 de EQ Power

Best electric estate for overall fuel economy

Used deals from £33,090
Monthly finance from £447*
Official electric range
32 miles
CO2 44g/km

The Mercedes plug-in hybrid E-Class Estate leads the way when it comes to all-round fuel because its battery and motor are combined with a diesel, rather than petrol, engine. This means that you benefit from the extra efficiency of diesel when the electric range of around 30 miles is exhausted.

Emissions from the engine meet current regulations, so the car is exempt from inner-city emission charges. In addition, you can also choose to save the electric power for urban motoring, so the diesel engine only operates out of town, where air pollution is far less problematic. 

The £50,000 starting price from new isn't cheap, but this car is larger than most in this list, with plenty of rear seat space, an enormous 660-litre boot and a long list of standard equipment.


3. Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE

Best electric estate for families

Used deals from £16,850
Monthly finance from £268*
Official electric range
34 miles
CO2 39g/km

With a realistic electric range of 25 to 30 miles, the Passat GTE has enough battery power that some families will rarely hear the car’s petrol engine kick in.

Even on longer journeys, where the you're relying on the petrol engine, the car will return up to 55mpg, which isn't bad for a large petrol-powered vehicle.

Internally and externally, the car is little different to the standard Passat, but you will find a few compromises. Underfloor boot storage is reduced by 180 litres to accommodate the battery pack and it’s a little more jarring over bumpy roads because it’s heavier.

At the moment, you’re best off looking for a nearly new or used VW Passat GTE, as an updated version is not yet on sale.


4. Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV

Best electric estate for value

Used deals Limited stock
Official electric range
33 miles
CO2 33g/km

This Kia combines a reasonable list price (compared to the competition) with a lengthy electric range, making it the most likely to represent good value for money.

Even if you drive 30 miles between charges, you’ll use barely (if any fuel) and the car comes well-equipped, even if the design is more functional than stylish, as with the Mercedes and Volvo below. It’s well below the limit for the lowest company car tax band (until April 2020), so even 40% taxpayers will pay less than £2,000 a year for the entry-level car.

The Optima is heavier than the standard model but this is only really obvious in corners. It’s quiet, smooth and comfortable, with plenty of space in the back seats and boot.


5. Volvo V90 T8

Best electric estate forluxury

Used deals Limited stock
Official electric range
29 miles
CO2 46g/km

Eye-wateringly expensive it might be, but the Volvo V90 looks and feels like a high-quality product, thanks to svelte design and a luxurious interior, dominated by a large and slick touchscreen.

It’s also outrageously quick. Stamp your foot on the accelerator for maximum power and both the motor and engine will spring into life, speeding this V90 from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds, which is swifter than a standard Porsche Panamera.

Of course, maximising the performance of the V90 will substantially affect its fuel economy, which benefits from a lengthy electric-only range. The car can easily manage a 20-mile journey on battery power alone.

As with the rest of the cars listed, the V90 currently falls into the lowest company car tax bracket, although the hefty list price does mean that higher-rate taxpayers will need to fork out more than £3,000 per year.


6. Porsche Panamera 4 e-hybrid

Best electric estate for performance

Used deals from £67,999
Monthly finance from £920*
Official electric range
32 miles
CO2 64g/km

A Porsche for company directors who want to reduce their tax bills might not be the most endearing sales pitch, but the secondary benefit is that the hybrid system boosts performance: when the motor and petrol engine are both in action, the car will accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds - or 3.4 seconds if you pick the Turbo version.

With performance like that, it takes some restraint to drive with the moderation that keeps the car in electric-only mode for around 30 miles. Mind you, if you can afford the price, which starts at more than £85,000.

That does bring added practicality over the standard Panamera, with a larger 520-litre boot in the Sport Turismo estate car.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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