Best used estate cars

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

Craig Thomas
Aug 10, 2018

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 on finance.

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

Best used estate cars

Renault Megane Sport Tourer

Best used estate car for comfort

Our pick Renault Megane 1.5 dCi 110 Dynamique Nav
Latest Renault Megane Sport Tourer deals (current model) from £11,995
Finance from £186 per month

The latest Megane Sport Tourer is a relatively new car, having only arrived in 2016, but it’s worth going for this generation (with the distinctive hook shape underneath the headlamps), as its swooping design is popular and it comes with features such as Renault’s latest touchscreen, which integrates simply with your mobile phone. It also rides well, soaking up rutted roads and broken surfaces.

Despite the Megane's appeal, it loses value quickly from new, which makes it an excellent choice of nearly-new car. Recent models with a few thousand miles are good value, with an almost £7,000 reduction on the list price for a new car and monthly finance payments of just over £230.
Renault Megane buying guide

 

BMW 3 Series Touring

Best used estate car for driving fun

Our pick BMW 320d M Sport
Latest BMW 3 Series Touring deals from £11,480
Finance from £175 per month

The current generation of the ever-popular, much-desired 3 Series is a rich seam for buyers in the market for an estate that' suited to family life and engaging to drive, with numerous examples to choose from. Three-year-old M Sport cars are a relative snip at under £17K, compared to their £40,000+ price tag at new.

If you want a practical car that is also swift and agile, the 3 Series Touring will be top of your wishlist. BMW’s superb nimbleness in corners will be revelatory for anyone who hasn’t driven one of the brand’s cars before – even in the economical 320d diesel. That engagement combined with comfort, a luxurious interior, low running costs and practicality of an estate make for a winning combination.
BMW 3 Series buying guide

 

Skoda Octavia Estate

Best used estate for reliability

Our pick Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI SE L DSG
Latest Skoda Octavia Estate deals from £8,995
Finance from £147 per month

The Skoda Octavia Estate is a reliable workhorse. The current generation has been around since 2013, but a recent update might mean a few extra cars on the market as owners trade theirs in for a newer model, which stands out with four headlights at the front.

However, the revisions are relatively mild – a few styling tweaks here, a technology update there – and the underlying reasons why the Octavia Estate is such a hit are still in evidence with the older cars. Reliability is possibly foremost among them and the Octavia has a strong reputation among owners for keeping going without problems. The 590-litre boot is also very capacious for the car’s size, which also recommends it to those buyers looking for a fuss-free, practical motor.
Skoda Octavia buying guide

 

Seat Leon ST

Best used estate car for style

Our pick Seat Leon 1.4 TSI ACT FR
Latest Seat Leon Sport Tourer deals from £7,490
Finance from £119 per month

The Leon ST went on sale in 2014, so there are quite a few used cars now on the market, including some nearly new examples that have benefited from a minor update in 2017, which introduced some technology improvements. A 2015 car powered by the flexible, economical 1.4-litre petrol engine can be picked up for less than £12,000, with monthly payments of under £190 a month.

The latest Leon has an eye-catching design and benefits from sharing its mechanical parts with the excellent Volkswagen Golf, but without the extra cost of that VW badge. Definitely worth a look.
Seat Leon buying guide

 

Volvo V90

Best used estate car for safety

Our pick Volvo V90 2.0 D5 PowerPulse Inscription
Latest Volvo V90 deals from £25,950
Finance from £330 per month

The Volvo V90 is the latest in a long line of great Volvo estates – and another sign that the Swedish company is firing on all cylinders again. Available since 2016, there are used examples that will enable buyers to save about £12,000 on a year-old car, with monthly finance repayments of around £460.

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

 

Volkswagen Golf Estate

Best used estate car for conventionality

Our pick Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI SE DSG
Latest VW Golf Estate deals from £9,450
Finance from £150 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

   

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 £7,499
Finance from £127 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

   

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Best used estate car for luxury

Our pick Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.2D Portfolio
Latest Jaguar Xf Sportbrake deals from £14,967
Finance from £229 per month

Arriving in late 2012, the XF Sportbrake took the stately design of Jaguar’s XF saloon and added an additional element 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 though, in a gentleman’s club kind of way, but with a little technology to bring things up to date. It's much more affordable than the newer model, which arrived in 2017.

       

Audi A3 Sportback

Best used estate car for compact design

Our pick Audi A3 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport S Tronic
Latest Audi A3 Sportback deals from £8,999
Finance from £141 per month

You could argue that the Audi A3 Sportback is a hatchback rather than an estate, so short is its stubby boot. The luggage area is also not a great deal larger than other family hatchbacks, such as the Volkswagen Golf or Mini Clubman. But it's included here because it offers the style of an estate car, if not the space. The current generation has been with us since 2013, so there are bargains to be had. A two-year-old car with low mileage, for example, is about £9,000 less than the comparable new car.

For that you’ll get Audi's trademark design and its renowned interior quality. There’s also a highly intuitive dashboard screen that's controlled with a rotary dial, and a nippy, fun-to-drive nature, both of which contribute to a great overall package.
Audi A3 buying guide

 

Mercedes-AMG E63 Estate

Best used estate for performance

Our pick Mercedes-AMG E63 S AMG 4Matic+ Premium
Latest Mercedes-AMG E-Class deals from £44,250
Finance from £596 per month

The Mercedes-Benz E63 S AMG Estate is probably the very pinnacle of the estate market, with only the Audi RS6 anywhere close to rivalling it. It’s also the range-topper of the E-Class Estate range, so it comes in at a pretty hefty price.

The less-expensive models still have plenty of power but may be from the E-Class range that was replaced in late 2016. The current model does an even better job of combining supercar performance with a luxurious cabin, complete with all the latest connectivity technology. Make no mistake: this is a special car and the ultimate in estates.
Mercedes E-Class Estate buying guide

 

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