The best estate cars offer more than just a big boot. The load bay has to be a practical shape and allow easy access, while the rear seats must be easy to fold flat. Furthermore, because these are cars that are used for business as well as family duties, they need to be efficient to run.
Our favourite estates also give you a spacious, comfortable and well-equipped interior and an enjoyable drive. And they do all this for an affordable price. Here we countdown our top 10, and reveal the model to avoid.
The best estate cars
The A4 saloon is our 2016 Car of the Year, and the Avant estate shares many of its good points while adding a bigger, more practical boot. Its plush interior features Audi's excellent MMI infotainment system. Plus, the A4 Avant delivers best-in-class refinement and a comfortable ride in our favoured spec.
Our pick: 3.0 TDI Sport S tronic
Don't want to buy new? Click here to read our used Audi A4 Avant review
A bargain – that's what the Cee'd Sportswagon is. Our favoured 1.4 CRDi 90 engine is available only in base-level 1 spec, but this still comes with air conditioning, Bluetooth, six airbags, and a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. True, there's too much wind noise and the steering is vague, but these things are easier to forgive given the highly competitive price, and the ride is impressively comfortable.
Our pick: 1.4 CRDi 89 1 ISG
8. Seat Leon ST
The Seat Leon ST does everything you need an estate to do very well. It comes with a big boot and a generous equipment list, and it's good to drive. Every version of the car is competitively priced against its key rivals, and those with a keen eye for a deal will be able to find some tempting finance deals. It has a slightly jarring ride, and its interior quality falls a bit short compared with some of its rivals, but it's still a very capable all-rounder.
Our pick: 1.6 TDI SE
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