Best used estate cars

More space for luggage, but without the bulk of an SUV. These are the best used estate cars, with prices starting from £150 per month

Craig Thomas Matt Rigby
Mar 8, 2019

If your car's boot is bursting with luggage stacked up to the top of the back window, then an estate car could be the solution. With a boot that's longer and higher than the average saloon or hatchback, it can spell an end to squashed shopping and the need for military-standard packing.

Despite the growing appeal of tall crossovers and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), estate cars remain popular, as they often look more stylish than an off-road-style vehicle. As they are lower to the ground, they are often nimbler and more stable in corners too.

Their strong sales mean that there are plenty of examples on the used market, from nearly-new cars to bargains that are three-or-four years old, with prices for relatively recent models starting at less than £150 per month on finance.

Scroll down for ten of the best or click below for all current deals.

Best used estate cars

1. Skoda Superb Estate

Best used estate car for space

Our pick Skoda Superb SE Technology 2.0 TDI 150PS
Latest Skoda Superb Estate deals (current model) from £9,999
Finance from £154 per month

The Skoda Superb is simply vast. You'll struggle to find any estate car that comes close to matching the 1,950 litres of space that's available when you put the seats down. With the front passenger seat folded forwards, there's enough room for items that are up to 3.3m long, making this the car you want to be in when buying that flat-pack bookcase or Christmas tree.

With seats in place, it's a comfortable and well-equipped family car. It’s been on sale since 2015, too, so the earlier versions of the current generation of Superb are starting to look like great value.
Skoda Superb buying guide


2. BMW 3 Series Touring

Best used estate car for driving fun

Our pick BMW 320d M Sport
Latest BMW 3 Series Touring deals from £11,599
Finance from £156 per month

A throughbred with the build of a shire horse, BMW's 3 Series provides plenty of space for your family, along with a sporty driving experience - even in the least powerful diesel versions - that'll make you forget that the boxy space behind the driving seat.

The 495-litre boot is fractionally bigger than you'll find in a Mercedes C-Class Estate or Audi A4 Avant of a similar age and the 1,500 litres at your disposal when you fold the rear seats down should be enough for most tasks. A four-wheel-drive version, badged xDrive, offers improved traction in slippery conditions and when accelerating.
BMW 3 Series buying guide


3. Volvo V60

Best used estate car for style

Our pick Volvo V60 D4 Momentum Pro
Latest Volvo V60 deals from £21,900
Finance from £302 per month

Volvo might have built its reputation on safe and sensible cars, but its offerings have added a serious dose of tasteful Scandinavian style to that mix for a good few years now.

The simple, well-proportioned lines of the V60 are complemented by a good-looking and luxurious-feeling interior, too, although some people might find the entertainment system a little fiddly. There is plenty of space, though, with 529 litres of luggage capacity when the rear seats are up – better than its direct rivals from Mercedes, Audi and BMW.
Volvo V60 buying guide

4. Skoda Octavia Estate

Best used estate for reliability

Our pick Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI SE L DSG
Latest Skoda Octavia Estate deals from £8,698
Finance from £152 per month

The Skoda Octavia Estate is a reliable workhorse. The current generation has been around since 2013, but a significant update in 2017 might mean a few extra older cars on the market as owners trade theirs in for a newer model. The four-headlight layout is the biggest visual identifier for this newer version.

However, apart from the headlights the revisions are relatively mild – a few styling tweaks here, a technology update there – and the robust, practical appeal of the Octavia Estate is there however old the model you choose. Reliability is at the core of the Octavia, which has a strong reputation among owners for keeping going without problems. The 590-litre boot is also very capacious for the car’s size. If you’re looking for a fuss-free, practical motor, there are few better bets.
Skoda Octavia buying guide


5. Audi S4 Avant

Best used estate for performance

Our pick Audi S4 Avant 3.0 TFSI Quattro
Latest Audi S4 Avant deals from £29,495
Finance from £379 per month

Few cars balance a classy feel with true workhorse ability like a good Audi estate. And with the S4 Avant, Audi adds potent performance and a sparkling ability to put a smile on a driver’s face through the corners to this compelling mix.

It’s not as dramatic-looking or as outrageously fast as its bigger brother, the muscular RS4 Avant, but away from the test track – out in the real world – you’re not going to feel shortchanged in terms of pace by the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6. Performance cars are about more than going fast in a straight line, though – and this is where the S4 Avant plays its trump card: it is genuinely brilliant when the roads turn twisty.
Audi A4 Avant buying guide

6. Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Best used estate car for luxury

Our pick Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.2D Portfolio
Latest Jaguar Xf Sportbrake deals from £20,064
Finance from £288 per month

Arriving in late 2012, the XF Sportbrake took the elegant Jaguar’s XF saloon and added a generous helping of load-lugging ability, thanks to a 565-litre boot (that expands to 1,700 litres with the rear seats down). There are 3.0-litre V6 diesels (which are excellent), but the 2.2-litre is the better option for keeping running costs low.

Inside, the car is conservatively designed, but it will appeal to buyers who like a bit of wood inlay and leather seating. It’s a pleasant place to be but with a little technology to bring things up to date. It's much more affordable than the newer model, which arrived in 2017.
Jaguar XF buying guide


7. Kia Cee'd SW

Best used estate car for warranty

Our pick Kia Cee’d SW 1.6 CRDi 3
Latest Kia Cee'd Sportswagon deals from £6,190
Finance from £121 per month

A new version of the Kia Cee'd may have just been launched but the outgoing car has still got plenty going for it, with practicality, economy and excellent build quality for a relatively low price. 

All Cee’ds are well specified and diesel-powered models should return more than 50mpg in real-world driving, helping to cut running costs. Plus, you'll have the remainder of Kia’s seven-year warranty for additional peace of mind.
Kia Cee'd buying guide


8. Peugeot 308

Best used estate car for comfort

Our pick Peugeot 308 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Allure
Latest Peugeot 308 SW deals from £11,710
Finance from £186 per month

If you’re looking for a comfortable ride, the Peugeot 308 SW delivers one of the smoothest, quietest experiences around. In fact, it is significantly more comfortable on the road than considerably more expensive estates. This makes it a refreshing and easygoing companion on long journeys.

It supplements this serene comfort with an impressive amount of equipment – even the most basic models feature climate control, digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, sat-nav and rear parking sensors. Add in 660 litres of bootspace (significantly more than you’ll get in the much larger Audi A6 Avant) and the overall recipe is a tempting one. Especially if comfort is at the top of your shopping list.
Peugeot 308 buying guide

9. Volvo V90

Best used estate car for safety

Our pick Volvo V90 2.0 D5 PowerPulse Inscription
Latest Volvo V90 deals from £16,899
Finance from £238 per month

The Volvo V90 is the latest in a long line of great Volvo estates, and it's also one of the safest. Volvo takes safety seriously, supplementing the usual suite of airbags and crash structures with sophisticated options like the City Safety self-braking system and blind-spot warning alerts.

Stylish, minimalist Scandi-design elements, some of the most comfortable seats anywhere in the car market and a hi-tech, large dashboard touchscreen ensure a highly comfortable estate car. A 560-litre boot (expandable to 1,526 litres) adds that all-important practicality, plus there’s a host of safety equipment, including a semi-autonomous piloted driving feature that can accelerate, brake and steer on motorways to add a glimpse into the future.
Volvo V90 buying guide


10. Volkswagen Golf Estate

Best used estate car for conventionality

Our pick Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI SE DSG
Latest VW Golf Estate deals from £8,199
Finance from £126 per month

Consistent quality, an inoffensive design and a focus on comfort has maintained the success of the Volkswagen Golf over seven generations of car. The current version has been around since 2013, so it should be simple to pick one up. A series of updates made earlier this year means that nearly-new models will have small improvements to the dashboard screen, as well as some styling tweaks. But go for a car that's a year-old and you could have a 1.6-litre diesel for almost half of the price of a new car.

What you get for that is a conservative but dependably Golf-like estate, which rides and corners well and comes with decent levels of usable equipment. And it’s well, a Golf, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
VW Golf buying guide


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