Small estate cars

If you need room for buggies and bags but don't want an SUV, try a small estate car on for size

Aug 29, 2018

Estate cars have long been the mode of transport for people who have dogs, enjoy shopping, or moonlight for a furniture delivery company.

But lately the estate car seems a bit endangered, as the buying public’s thirst for SUVs and crossovers remains unquenched. The Nissan Qashqai has been a runaway sales success, and was the third-best selling car in the UK for 2017. It’s the same story for the Peugeot 3008 SUV, which won the Auto Express Driver Power survey of 2018.

And dare we say it, while the crossover and SUV market continues to grow, there will always be place for the estate because, well, in many respects an estate is far superior.

For one, although speaking generally, an estate still has a much larger boot. The Nissan Qashqai has a boot size of 430 litres, and despite the Skoda Fabia estate being an altogether smaller car, the Fabia has a massive 530 litres of capacity.

Observers of style have also waded in on the crossover/SUV/estate debate. Some crossovers like the Skoda Karoq and BMW X2 are striking, but they’re not exactly handsome. And while they look fashionable now, might they feel a bit passe in three-years time?

A good old-fashioned estate car then, seems the logical choice for practical types who don’t care much for passing trends. And best of all, small ones give you masses of space, while remaining easy to park and cheap to run.

These are the best small estate cars currently on the market.

Best small sports estate car for value for mone

Skoda Fabia Estate

Our pick Skoda Fabia Estate 1.0TSI SE
Latest Skoda Fabia Estate deals from £5,995
Finance from £103 per month

The Skoda Fabia may be a small car, but it’s one with a massive boot. With the seats up it can hold 530-litres, more than a larger Kia Cee’d estate or Ford Focus. It’ll store even more than the much larger Skoda Karoq crossover.

The little Skoda is also significantly cheaper than many other estate cars too, and while it’s not as plush on the inside as say, a VW Polo, it’s still a nice place to sit. It also comes with a good automatic gearbox if that’s your bag.

The 1.4-litre diesel engine can officially get more than 70mpg too, although in general we’d only recommend a diesel if you travel more than 15,000 miles a year.
Skoda Fabia buying guide

Best small estate car for style

Mini Clubman

Our pick Mini Clubman Cooper S
Latest Mini Clubman deals from £13,686
Finance from £194 per month

Minis are well known as fashionable cars, and the Clubman is aimed at families who need the space of an estate, but desire the character of a Mini.

The Clubman is also a relatively sporty estate, even the lowest powered cars never feel slow, and the car in general is nimble and fun.

The size of the boot isn’t the biggest here, but at 360-litres it’s on par with the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, and is big enough for bulky buggies.
Mini Clubman buying guide

Best small estate car for Spanish flair

Seat Ibiza SW

Our pick Seat Ibiza ST Estate
Latest Seat Ibiza Estate deals from £5,990
Finance from £105 per month

Both Seat and Skoda belong to the Volkswagen empire, so this Ibiza is pretty similar underneath to the Skoda Fabia already mentioned on this list.

The Seat might be slightly lacking in overall boot size, but with the rear seats down it can house a gargantuan 1,164-litres. It also has a great selection of engines, from a 1.2-litre petrol engine aimed for town driving, to 1.6-litre diesels that will be as good as swallowing up miles as the boot is luggage.

Arguably, the Seat gets a nod on this list because the front end is more attractive than that of the Skoda.
Seat Ibiza buying guide

Best small estate car for cheap and cheerful motoring

Dacia Logan

Our pick Dacia Logan 0.9
Latest Dacia Logan deals from £5,499
Finance from £100 per month

When we say the Dacia Logan is cheap, we mean, really cheap. Prices from new start from £8,495, and while base model Access cars don’t even get alloy wheels, they do have a big 573-litre boot.

The exterior design is basic and somewhat slab-side, and inside, things are pretty plain. You can tell it’s built to a price with the materials, but the fit and finish isn’t too bad.
Engine-wise, it’s worth the extra money for the newer 0.9-litre engine, as the 1.2-litre engine is too slow to haul a Logan, let alone a Logan with a boot full of wares.
Dacia Logan buying guide


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