Volkswagen Golf Estate
Best estate car 2014: VW Golf Estate 1.6 TDI SE Bluemotion Tech
You might be wondering why the Skoda Octavia Estate, which is bigger and cheaper than the Golf, does not hog the limelight here. It's all down to fitness for purpose, and the Golf, with its higher resale values, smoother ride and better standard equipment and boot practicality, is the better car.
The 605-litre boot is square and has a low load lip, a variable-height boot floor with cubbies beneath and a place to store the load bay cover.
A lever in the boot as well as on the rear seats makes folding the 60/40 split rear seats a doddle, even if you've got only one hand free at the time. Otherwise, you get a classy-looking cabin, loads of passenger space and great visibility.
The 1.6 diesel engine returns impressive economy and low emissions, helping to make the Golf one of the most affordable cars in its class to run over three years. You won't need to tick any options boxes, either; the SE model gets seven airbags, Bluetooth, a touch-screen and a DAB radio.