Lifestyle cars

Here are eight cars that are ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle, from a massive people carrier to a extremely large estate

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Jul 26, 2022

In many ways, your car is just like you. It spends weekdays doing the boring stuff, like running the kids to school, taking you to work and visiting the supermarket, before doing lifestyle things at the weekend.

What these lifestyle activities are will vary wildly depending on your interests. You might enjoy the adrenaline rush of an extreme sport or the tranquillity of a walk in the wilderness. Maybe you like to head to the coast for some watersports or to a garden centre to load up with plants and bags of compost.

Whatever you get up to at the weekend, you need a car that fits your needs. Something with a big boot is almost essential, whether you’re carrying a bicycle, camping equipment or a musical instrument. Even with that space you may need something with a roof rack for carrying a bulky surfboard or kayak.

We’ve selected eight cars that are great for anyone with an active lifestyle - so whether you have a double bass to cart around to events, a gigantic dog that loves seaside walks or spend all your free time finding new places to go cycling, there should be something to suit.

Best cars for lifestyles

1. Citroen Berlingo XL

Best lifestyle car for kayakers

Our pick Citroen Berlingo 1.2 PureTech Flair XL
Used deals Limited stock

The Citroen Berlingo XL is one of the best lifestyle cars on the market. The XL is 35cm longer than the standard Citroen Berlingo MPV, which is enough room for a third row of seats. Great news if you have a growing family, but even better news if you own a kayak.

With the front passenger seat folded down, the Berlingo XL is long enough to carry a recreational kayak, so it’s ideal for a solo trip to the coast. Taking some friends? Because the Berlingo XL measures 4.75m in length, it’s ideal for carrying a couple of longer or wider kayaks on the roof.

When you’re not using it for carrying your kayak, the Berlingo XL offers seating for up to seven adults, up to 4,000 litres of luggage space with all passenger seats folded down, a pair of sliding doors and even an opening window in the tailgate, making it a hugely practical vehicle.

CITROEN BERLINGO BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Honda Civic Touring

Best lifestyle car for cyclists

Our pick Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC SE Plus
Used deals Limited stock

There are many reasons why estate cars are popular within the cycling community. You get a big boot that should be large enough to swallow a couple of bikes, plus the convenience and the low running costs of a family hatchback. As a bonus, estates' lower height compared with typical SUV alternatives makes it easier to load a bike onto the roof.

The Honda Civic Tourer is a surprisingly spacious and underrated family estate car, with a maximum of 1,668 litres of luggage capacity available with the rear seats folded down. There’s even 117 litres of under-floor storage for hiding your valuables when you’re out on a ride.

Honda also offered an optional in-car bicycle rack, which uses an aluminium rail, sliding brackets and a T-bar to provide the ultimate storage setup for your bike. It’s flexible enough to leave one rear seat in place if you only need to carry one bike, meaning you can transport several passengers at the same time.

HONDA CIVIC BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Volkswagen Caravelle

Best lifestyle car for surfers

Our pick Volkswagen Caravelle 2.0 TDI Executive DSG
Used deals from £39,995
Monthly finance from £703*

Can a vehicle be more lifestyley than the Volkswagen Caravelle? It’s as though every other car is a Caravelle on the roads into Cornwall in the summer, as surfers rush to the coast to catch some waves. Cheaper van-based people carriers are available, but many people are prepared to pay for the kudos of owning a ‘Vee Dub’.

Because it’s based on a van, the Caravelle is incredibly spacious, regardless of whether you choose a short or long-wheelbase version. Four-wheel-drive models are also available for accessing those hard-to-reach surfing spots on the coast.

One of the Caravelle’s party tricks is the way you can configure the rear seats, with the second row swivelling to face the third row. This face-to-face configuration means you can enjoy a coffee with your mates or pretend to be ‘working from home’ in an impromptu business meeting.

VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER KOMBI BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Dacia Logan MCV

Best lifestyle car for recyclers

Dacia Logan MCV front three quarters view

Our pick Dacia Logan MCV 0.9 TCe Laureate
Used deals from £7,700
Monthly finance from £146*

We’re not entirely sure if a ‘recycling enthusiast’ is a thing, but we know a lot of people like to fill their weekends with trips to the recycling centre. Maybe it’s to dispose of garden rubbish or the contents of a shed you’ve cleared out for the umpteeth time. Or you might be filling the house with new things and need to pick up a load of flat-pack furniture.

Whatever, you’re going to need a practical estate car that doesn’t cost the earth. The Dacia Logan MCV offers the space of a large estate car for the price of a supermini, with the boot able to swallow up to 1,518 litres of luggage with the rear seats folded down. There’s even 573 litres of space with the rear seats in place - which is particularly large for this size of car.

The no-frills cabin is ideal for making regular trips to the tip because there are no luxurious materials or neat details to worry about. If you fancy some extra style, take a look at the Logan MCV Stepway, which has had an SUV-style makeover and a few extra bits of equipment as standard.

DACIA LOGAN MCV BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Jeep Renegade

Best lifestyle car for campers

Our pick Jeep Renegade 2.0 MultiJet Trailhawk 4WD
Used deals from £9,489
Monthly finance from £170*

The Jeep Renegade isn’t like most other compact SUVs. While most of its rivals are unable to traverse anything higher than a raised kerb, four-wheel-drive versions of the Renegade are capable of tackling some serious rough stuff. This is especially true of the Trailhawk version, which features special low gears for hardcore off-roading.

The Renegade is also surprisingly practical for a compact SUV, with plenty of headroom for all passengers, plus a generous amount of luggage capacity. A wide boot opening makes it easy to load camping equipment or bikes.

You can even get a manufacturer-approved branded waterproof tent for £340. It sleeps four and can be attached to the rear of the Renegade with the tailgate open. You can also use it as a standalone tent, which is handy if you decide to trade the Jeep in for something else.

JEEP RENEGADE BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Honda HR-V

Best lifestyle car for gardeners

Our pick Honda HR-V 1.5 i-VTEC SE
Used deals from £10,900
Monthly finance from £187*

You don’t have to be a gardener to appreciate the Honda HR-V’s practicality, but the green-fingered community will love its ‘Magic Seats’. Without so much as an ‘abracadabra’, the rear seats can be folded upwards like cinema seats, enabling you to carry tall plants and small trees in the rear footwells.

The HR-V might be a compact SUV, but there’s enough interior and luggage space to rival a larger SUV like the Nissan Qashqai. A total of 448 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place is more than enough for several bags of compost, some garden tools and maybe even that gnome you’ve been promising yourself.

Even the basic S trim covers the essentials, while the range-topping EX features the likes of leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof. Because it’s a Honda, you should be able to look forward to years of reliable motoring.

HONDA HR-V BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Ford Focus Active

Best lifestyle car for adventurers

Our pick Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Active Edition
Used deals from £14,100
Monthly finance from £219*

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t require an off-roader to venture off the beaten track. For most people, a car with raised ride height and some body cladding should be enough for some light off-roading, especially if you invest in some specialist tyres.

Which is why the Ford Focus Active makes a lot of sense. Increased ride height, rough road suspension and rugged body styling combine to make this a tougher version of the standard Focus hatchback and estate. Perfect for exploring narrow country lanes or getting to remote B&Bs.

You also get more equipment as standard, plus the option of a 1.0-litre 'EcoBoost' petrol engine in a choice of outputs or a 1.5-litre diesel engine. Newer versions of the petrol engine also come with mild hybrid technology for improved fuel economy. 

FORD FOCUS ACTIVE BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Mercedes E-Class Estate

Best lifestyle car for musicians

Our pick Mercedes E220d Estate AMG Line 9G-Tronic
Used deals from £21,295
Monthly finance from £329*

Is an E-Class Estate rock ‘n’ roll enough for you? Well, Janis Joplin certainly wanted a Mercedes. Granted, most budding musicians spend their time on the road in a trusty - and often rusty - Ford Transit, but we reckon you should set your sights a little higher. Something, something, reach for the stars…

The Mercedes E-Class Estate is one of the most spacious and plush estate cars you can buy, and used versions are more affordable than you think. Indeed, you can find 2016 and 2017 examples on BuyaCar for less than the price of a new Ford Fiesta.

The E-Class is supremely comfortable, so you’ll arrive at your gig feeling relaxed and ready to perform, while the boot offers a massive 640 litres of luggage space with the rear seats in place, increasing to 1,820 litres with the seats folded down. It’s a smash hit of the lifestyle car world.

MERCEDES E-CLASS ESTATE BUYERS' GUIDE

*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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