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Estate car winner

  • 17 categories of awards
  • All the winning models featured here
  • What Car? Car of the Year 2011 revealed

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What Car? Awards 2012 website

The winner
Ford Mondeo Estate
2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec
Price 20,995
Target Price 20,318

There's something inherently honest about estate cars. You dont tend to see adverts for them suggesting a more glamorous and sexy lifestyle. No, the main and overriding criterion for choosing an estate car is the need for a large, accessible boot.

However, with all three contenders its satisfying to note that by choosing a car with a big boot you are not making big compromises elsewhere especially with our winner, the Ford Mondeo Estate.

First, things first: that boot. It offers 542 litres of space with the seats up and 1733 when they are folded flat, so most buyers will be happy with the available acreage.

The Mondeo Estate isnt just about the boot, though. Smart styling and a plush interior prove that a mass-market badge doesnt mean downmarket. Its an attractive car to look at and to sit in.

Theres substance beneath the style. Take the 2.0 TDCi engine. Simply put, its a peach and suits the estate perfectly. It puts out a walloping 250lb ft of torque, which is handy when theres a full load in the back, and its smooth and refined at all times. Combine this with excellent fuel economy and comparatively low carbon dioxide emissions, and youre on to a winner. The Mondeo Estate is good to drive, too. You can even have some fun on twistier roads, because its surprisingly agile for a big car.

The clever bit is that its comfortable on the motorway, too.

While MPVs and crossovers may be the more fashionable route to take these days for family transport, the Mondeo Estate makes a compelling argument. Stability control and seven airbags should give parents peace of mind, but comfortable seats front and back, quality soft-touch materials and a roomy cabin will appeal to all.

The reason to buy a Ford Mondeo Estate isnt because it has a big boot. Its because it has everything youd want in a family car space, comfort, economy, an enjoyable driving experience, a good amount of standard kit and it has a very big boot.

Every car has its compromises, but with the Mondeo Estate theyre negligible. Its a clear and worthy winner.