- Published 7 April 2020
- 5 minute read
- By John Redfern
If you have loads of stuff to move, but aren’t keen on joining the SUV herd, an estate car may be perfect for you. And don't worry - you can forget any ideas of boxy, beige and boring; modern estates can be both practical and fun.
All our choices offer decent storage space inside, along with enough style and pizazz to make journeys interesting. Even if that journey is taking the dog to the park, or making that dreaded trip to the recycling centre.
Skoda Fabia Estate
Available to lease from £182 per month Lease Now
This is the smallest car here, but the latest Skoda Fabia Estate still manages to pack in an impressive amount of load capacity. In fact, fold the rear seats down and you’ll discover more space than many estate cars from class above.
All Fabia Estates come with DAB digital radio and a 6.5-inch touchscreen media system as standard. Moving up through the model ranges adds features like satellite-navigation and parking sensors. Go for the sporty Monte Carlo version, with black alloy wheels and an upgraded interior, if you want some extra flair.
Skoda only offers the Fabia with 1.0-litre petrol engines, albeit in a choice of two power outputs. Both are more than capable of adding some smiles to your commute.
Ford Focus Estate
Available to lease from £315 per month Lease Now
Moving up a sector unlocks estate cars like the Ford Focus. The latest version adds some extra visual flair to the popular family car, and the estate is quite a looker. It also boasts a larger boot than its Mondeo big brother.
Fold down the rear seats and you will be able to store 1,650 litres of luggage in the back of the Focus Estate. Ford promises a dog crate will fit with ease, making it ideal for transporting your pampered pooch. A hands-free boot-opening option also means you can access the tailgate with a wave of your foot. No, really.
A range of petrol and diesel engines can be had, but all are fun to drive. Ford even sells a hot ST performance model for those who want to move things quickly.
Available to lease from £227 per month Lease Now
If style matters more than outright practicality, say hello to the Kia Proceed. Squint and it almost looks like a Porsche Panamera, but at a much cheaper price. The swooping roof looks cool, although it can limit headroom for those in the back seats.
The boot itself is slightly shallower than other estates, but features clever multiple storage sections beneath the floor. Kia fits reversing sensors and a rear-view camera to all Proceeds. This helps offset the slightly restricted view through the rear window.
In fact, equipment and technology is high on the Proceed’s list of virtues. Sat-nav, heated seats, and cruise control are all included.
BMW 3 Series Touring
Available to lease from £390 per month Lease Now
BMW has built its reputation on making cars that are fun to drive, and the latest 3 Series Touring is an outstanding example of what this means. It also benefits from that upmarket BMW badge on the bonnet, even if the cost of leasing it is higher than others here.
The 3 Series Touring isn't the most generously sized estate, but it still offers more than enough boot space for family life. You can even open the tailgate window separately, allowing you to quickly drop bags of shopping inside, while a clever set of rising rails help hold things in place while you're making the most of its abilities in the corners.
BMW has not scrimped on other features, either. The Touring comes loaded with sat-nav, heated seats, a sunroof and a large multimedia touchscreen. There's plenty room for passengers in the back, too.
Available to lease from £301 per month Lease Now
If your memories of estate cars are centered on square Volvos, let the new V60 show you how much things have changed. The Swedish brand no longer designs cars with just a ruler, and the V60 offers a sharp and classy look outside and in.
With 529 litres of boot space with the rear seats up, the V60 is competitive in the load-lugging stakes. The tailgate is powered for added convenience, and there is more than enough space for five people inside.
LED headlights, cruise control, sat-nav, and a huge touchscreen are all included on the V60. Multiple engine choices include petrol, diesel and even a powerful plug-in hybrid version. What's more Volvo offers competitive leasing deals, meaning this Swedish estate could be something of a bargain.
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Available to lease from £379 per month Lease Now
That ‘Sport’ in the name suggests the XF Sportbrake should be good to drive. Fortunately, this big estate lives up to its billing, mixing fun and an accommodating interior in one package.
Proof that Jaguar hasn't forgotten the most important thing about an estate is the boot, however, comes with the clever air suspension, which helps keep the XF Sportbrake level no matter what you fill it with. There’s up to 1,700 litres of space with the rear seats folded down, too.
Almost all models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, plus there is also a choice of grippy all-wheel drive on some Sportbrakes – great if you live off the beaten track. A wide range of petrol and diesel engine choices are available, and all make the XF pleasurable to drive.
Skoda Superb Estate
Available to lease from £281 per month Lease Now
Making a strong bid for the ultimate estate car crown is the Skoda Superb. It's old fashioned to turn your nose up at the Skoda brand now, and the firm’s range-topping model is genuinely huge in estate form, offering space to carry everything you could ever need and more.
Fold the rear seats down and the Superb Estate offers an amazing 1,950 litres of cargo capacity. That’s the biggest in its class, and one of the roomiest boots of any new car. Skoda also includes handy nets and the option of a power-closing tailgate, adding useful extra practicality to the Superb.
Some of the models at the bottom of the Superb range are a little light on equipment, but all come with air-conditioning and alloy wheels. Given the size of the Superb, upgrading to at least SE trim to get free parking sensors might be a wise choice.
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