|Annual road tax||£140|
|Service intervals||1 year/20,000|
|Euro NCAP rating||5-star|
The winner of the estate category needed to have more than simply impressive boot space on its side. The best estate cars also offer a spacious interior, and are affordable to buy and own.
The Mazda 6 ticks all those boxes and more. First, it has a large 519-litre boot with a wide opening and usefully square shape. Should you need more luggage space, the rear seats can easily be folded down using levers on both sides of the boot. There's a huge amount of space in the cabin as well, allowing a family of four to get comfortable on a long journey.
Mazda introduced this 2.2-litre diesel in 2010, and it's great. It develops 160bhp and 266lb ft of torque, which is perfect for when all that boot and cabin space has been filled. Best of all, it'll do 52.3mpg.
Choose TS2 trim and there's plenty of equipment, too, including cruise control, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, Bluetooth and a CD multichanger as standard. Safety is no less impressive, with the 6 scoring a five-star NCAP rating.
The Mazda's fantastic reliability record was the decider for our judges. Of all the 6s in our 2013 survey only 11% failed, the most common problems concerning the engine. Thankfully, the bills are pretty reasonable too; the average repair should set you back around £330.