Best used estate cars

Craig Thomas
Dec 13, 2017

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.

For the widest choice, you can search all used estate car deals or scroll down for ten of the best.


Best used estate cars

Renault Megane Sport Tourer

Best used estate car for comfort

Our pick Renault Mégane 1.5 dCi 110 Dynamique Nav (2017, 3,500 miles)
Typical price £14,990  Representative finance £233 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.
Read the Renault Megane buying guide

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BMW 3 Series Touring

Best used estate car for driving fun

Our pick BMW 320d M Sport (2014, 50,000 miles)
Typical price £16,700  Representative finance £247 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.
Read the BMW 3 Series buying guide

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Skoda Octavia Estate

Best used estate for reliability

Our pick Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI SE L DSG (2015, 40,000 miles)
Typical price £11,490  Representative finance £161 per month

The Skoda Octavia Estate is a reliable workhorse that will serve buyers well. 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.
Read the Skoda Octavia buying guide

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Seat Leon ST

Best used estate car for style

Our pick Seat Leon 1.4 TSI ACT FR (2015, 45,000 miles)
Typical price £11,990  Representative finance £189 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.
Read the Seat Leon buying guide

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Volvo V90

Best used estate car for safety

Our pick Volvo V90 2.0 D5 PowerPulse Inscription (2016, 7,000 miles)
Typical price £33,980  Representative finance £464 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.
Read the Volvo V90 buying guide

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Volkswagen Golf Estate

Best used estate car for conventionality

Our pick Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI SE DSG (2016, 21,000 miles)
Typical price £12,989  Representative finance £192 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.
Read the VW Golf buying guide

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Kia Cee'd SW

Best used estate car for warranty

Our pick Kia Cee’d SW 1.6 CRDi 3 (2014, 45,000 miles)
Typical price £8,995  Representative finance £115 per month

The latest version of the Kia Cee'd has been pushed further upmarket, so you can count on practicality, economy and good quality for a relatively low price: some three-year-old cars cost less than £9,000 or £115 a month.

These cars are the well-equipped 3 grade (although that said, 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.
Read the Kia Cee'd buying guide

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Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Best used estate car for luxury

Our pick Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.2D Portfolio (2014, 35,000 miles)
Typical price £20,995  Representative finance £309 per month

Arriving in late 2012, the XF Sportbrake took the elegant design of Jaguar’s executive 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.
Read the Jaguar XF buying guide

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Audi A3 Sportback

Best used estate car for compact design

Our pick Audi A3 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport S Tronic (2015, 12,000 miles)
Typical price £15,500  Representative finance £215 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.
Read the Audi A3 buying guide

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Mercedes-AMG E63 Estate

Best used estate for performance

Our pick Mercedes-AMG E63 S AMG 4Matic+ Premium (2017, 2,000 miles)
Typical price £79,920  Representative finance £1,186 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 nearly new examples we found did shave over £10,000 off the price of a new car, though, which isn’t to be sneezed at.

What you’ll get for that is supercar performance combined with a luxurious cabin, complete with all the latest connectivity technology. Make no mistake: this is a special car and the ultimate in estates.
Read the Mercedes E-Class buying guide

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