Space, flexibility and a relaxing drive. It sounds simple enough, but our estates need to make family life easy, and that involves attention to detail. So somewhere to store the boot cover when removed would be useful, together with a way to drop the rear seats one-handed, bag hooks and storage solutions to keep your shopping in place, and a substantial, flat load bay for those Ikea moments. The best possible safety standards and value for money are priorities, as ever.
VW Golf EstateBest buy £18,000-£25,000
The Golf is one of the most affordable cars in the class to run over three years.
Kia Ceed SportswagonBest buy Less than £18,000
A keen price and good fuel efficiency aren't the Ceed Sportswagon's only star qualities.
BMW 5 Series TouringBest buy More than £25,000
A broad, uninterruped load bay, seats that drop flat easily and enough room in the back mean the 520d is still the most complete premium estate.