Best estate cars 2022

The best estate cars are spacious, great to drive and packed with tech. Here are the models we recommend – and the ones to steer clear of...


Author Avatar
by
What Car? team

Best estate cars 2021

The best estate cars offer more than just a big boot; the load area has to be a practical shape and allow easy access, and the rear seats must be simple to fold flat.

These cars are often used for business as well as family motoring, so they need to combine a spacious, comfortable and well-equipped interior with low running costs and an enjoyable drive. And they need to do all that for an affordable price.

Here we count down our top 10 choices and reveal the models to avoid. If any take your fancy, simply click on the relevant links to find out more or see how much of a discount you could get by using our free New Car Buying service.

10

Audi A4 Avant

While you can buy bigger estates for considerably less money, the A4 Avant is far from pokey, and it's comfort and refinement are superb. Go for our recommended 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine (badged 35 TDI) and you'll also enjoy gutsy performance and good fuel economy.

New car deals
Save up to £2,892
Target Price from £33,128
Save up to £2,892
or from £351pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £321pm

Pros

  • Refined engines
  • Comfortable ride
  • Superbly made interior

Cons

  • Not as fun to drive as the BMW 3 Series
  • More practical estates are available
  • You can’t add many options
9

BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW's latest 3 Series is its best-steering car of recent times and matches this with stellar body control and plenty of grip, yet it still manages to serve up good ride comfort and relaxing refinement. Add to all that a spacious interior and the tax-efficient plug-in hybrid tech of the 330e model, and there's an awful lot to like. True, plenty of other estates have bigger boots, but the 40/20/40 split rear seats and separately opening tailgate window are nifty practical touches.

 

 

New car deals
Save up to £1,502
Target Price from £38,756
Save up to £1,502
or from £453pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £494pm

Pros

  • Agile around corners
  • Accurate steering
  • Brilliant infotainment system

Cons

  • Not as well finished inside as the Audi A4
  • Boot isn't the biggest
  • Firm ride on M Sport versions
8

Volkswagen Passat Estate

Next to some of the other cars on this list, the Passat Estate looks like a bit of a bargain. It gives you a spacious interior, an economical range of engines and a huge boot – and all for a tempting price. The closely related Skoda Superb Estate is bigger and cheaper still, though.

New car deals
Save up to £5,856
Target Price from £26,728
Save up to £5,856
or from £318pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £374pm

Pros

  • Broad engine choice
  • Spacious interior and boot
  • Stable and easygoing dynamics

Cons

  • More expensive than some rivals
  • Rivals have cheaper running costs
  • Slightly unsettled ride in town
7

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

The Corolla's rear seats are cramped for six-footers, but this hybrid estate offers super-low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions that make it an excellent choice for both private and company car drivers. In addition, the Corolla's ride is cosseting and its standard spec generous, while even the cheaper, 1.8-litre version offers all the performance you need.

New car deals
Save up to £1,269
Target Price from £29,895
Save up to £1,269
or from £339pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £373pm

Pros

  • Impressively low CO2 emissions on hybrids
  • Comfortable ride
  • Lots of standard kit

Cons

  • Relatively small boot by estate car standards
  • So-so infotainment system
  • 12.3in digital instrument cluster could be easier to use
6

Mercedes E-Class Estate

Mercedes has a long history of building large family wagons, and the latest E-Class Estate is its best yet. It offers more luggage space than all its rivals, while passengers also get plenty of room to stretch out, and the interior is both sophisticated and plush. Just make sure you specify air suspension; it’s an expensive option, but delivers a dramatic improvement in ride comfort.

New car deals
Save up to £2,161
Target Price from £49,171
Save up to £2,161
or from £680pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals

Pros

  • Massive boot
  • Well equipped
  • E300de plug-in hybrid fuel economy

Cons

  • Not as fun to drive as some rivals
  • Expensive to buy
  • Unsettled low-speed ride
5

Volvo V60

The Volvo V90 may be the biggest estate in the Swedish brand's modern range, but it's the V60 that's the company's best. It's still a very roomy choice and feels every bit as classy, yet it's cheaper to buy and run and both more comfortable and more enjoyable to drive.

New car deals
Save up to £3,013
Target Price from £39,111
Save up to £3,013
or from £469pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £525pm

Pros

  • Well-struck ride and handling balance
  • Smart and airy interior
  • T6 PHEV is a fantastic choice for company car drivers

Cons

  • Distracting infotainment system
  • Not as fun as a BMW 3 Series Touring
  • Hesitant automatic gearbox
4

Seat Leon Estate

Based on our reigning Family Car of the Year, the Leon Estate handles tidily, offers loads of space for both passengers and luggage, and is well equipped too. Add in attractive pricing and running costs, and it's an excellent choice that only just misses out on a podium place.

New car deals
Save up to £1,631
Target Price from £22,244
Save up to £1,631
or from £265pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £274pm

Pros

  • Surprisingly good fun – especially in FR form
  • Big boot and roomy rear seats
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Not quite as capacious as Skoda Octavia Estate
  • FR models have a fairly firm ride
  • TSI 130 engine could be smoother
3

BMW 5 Series Touring

The latest 5 Series Touring shows BMW at the top of its game. This is a hugely appealing luxury estate car because it's comfortable, quiet and enjoyable to drive, with an interior that's as classy as it is practical. It even has standard self-levelling rear suspension to help it cope with the heftiest of loads.

New car deals
Save up to £7,414
Target Price from £42,487
Save up to £7,414
or from £478pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £549pm

Pros

  • Frugal 520d and company-car-tax-beating 530e plug-in hybrid
  • Excellent infotainment system
  • Beautifully made, high-quality interior

Cons

  • Volvo V90 has more rear-seat space
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate has an even bigger boot
  • Unsettled ride with M Sport suspension and bigger alloy wheels
2

Skoda Octavia Estate

All Octavias give you loads of standard equipment and masses of interior space, but the estate version adds a boot in which you could build a barn. We're particularly keen on the plug-in hybrid iV model, which has an official electric range of 41 miles.

New car deals
Save up to £1,959
Target Price from £23,142
Save up to £1,959
or from £283pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £290pm

Pros

  • Supple ride most of the time
  • Huge boot
  • Low tax rates for plug-in 1.4 TSI iV 204

Cons

  • Rivals are more fun to drive
  • A bit floaty over big undulations
  • Heating controls are in the touchscreen
1

Skoda Superb Estate

As good as the Octavia is, it has to settle for second place on this list, because the even bigger Skoda Superb Estate strikes the sweet spot of practicality, comfort, low running costs and value. In fact, with masses of load space for flat-pack furniture or suitcases and palatial comfort for passengers it's one of the most impressive family holdalls in any class of car.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

New car deals
Save up to £2,372
Target Price from £28,079
Save up to £2,372
or from £336pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £352pm

Pros

  • Great value and well equipped
  • Limo-like passenger space
  • Huge boot with lots of additional practical touches

Cons

  • Other rivals are more fun to drive
  • Some premium rivals have better resale values
  • The driving position isn't perfect

And the estate car to avoid...

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake

While it comes well equipped, most of the the G70 Shooting Brake's key rivals are more practical, quieter, better to drive and cheaper to run. Read our review

Subaru Levorg

The Subaru Levorg makes some sense if you regularly venture off road or need all-weather traction, but otherwise its high price and fuel-thirsty engine make it impossible to recommend. Read our review