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Best used estate cars for less than £15,000

In need of a practical car to suit an active lifestyle? Don't rule out an estate. Check out our top 10 favourites for less than £15,000...


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by
Mark Pearson

Used estates

We all know someone who aces everything, no matter what activity you throw at them. Estate cars can often prove the automotive equivalents of these people. From family holidays to morning commutes, the class leaders take it all in their stride. 

Versatility tends to be an expensive commodity, mind you. To avoid some of this cost and get yourself a great deal, the used market is an excellent avenue. But which model should you buy? Here’s a list of our top 10 favourite used estates for less than £15,000 to help you decide...

10

Mercedes C-Class Estate

Mercedes has built its reputation on luxury, and that's reflected in the attractive, plush interior of the C-Class Estate. Add decent load-lugging abilities and you have yourself a compelling package – one you can pick up for less money than you might think. The main reason it ranks 10th is stiff competition from more practical rivals, as well as questionable reliability as seen in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey

We found: 2015 Mercedes C-Class Estate C220 Bluetec SE Executive, 55,000 miles, £14,495 

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Practical and large boot
  • Efficient engines
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Diesel engines are unrefined
  • Ride can be fidgety
  • Infotainment system not as good as the best in class
  • Reliability can be an issue
9

BMW 3 Series Touring

Like the C-Class Estate, this previous-generation 3 Series Touring doesn't have the biggest boot going, but it's a decent size nonetheless. Its most notable strengths lie in its smart interior and precise handling, as well as a wide range of gutsy yet economical engines. Those who value a car's driving experience will adore this sophisticated yet fine-handling estate, although you'll have to splash out (above budget) if you fancy a truly quick one. 

We found: 2017 BMW 318i Sport Touring, 68,000 miles, £14,500

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Precise handling
  • Strong and efficient engines
  • High quality interior

Cons

  • Four-cylinder diesels can sound gruff
  • Some rivals offer more boot space
  • Offset pedals in the manual versions
8

Audi A4 Avant

The A4 Avant is about as refined as estate cars come for our budget. And that term spreads across essentially every aspect of the car, from its efficient engines to its classy interior. If you're after a functional workhorse, there are other estates more suited to you. However, if you desire a premium load-lugger that can cater for your modest family, the A4 Avant is right up your street. 

We found: 2016 Audi A4 Avant 1.4 TFSI Sport, 41,000 miles, £14,490

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Refined engines
  • Smooth ride on Comfort suspension
  • Superb interior quality

Cons

  • Not as much fun to drive as some rivals
  • More practical estates are available
  • Economy not outstanding
7

Ford Focus Estate

The Focus Estate combines the style and driving behaviour of its family car counterpart with a much bigger boot. It drives impressively, gripping and handling nicely. Its steering is pleasingly light and direct and its ride is comfortable and composed over urban ruts and potholes. And above all, it's practical and great value. Our money buys a car with the lively 1.0 Ecoboost engine in mid-range Titanium trim. 

We found: 2019 Ford Focus Estate 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Titanium, 29,800 miles, £14,779

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Eager handling
  • Plenty of passenger space
  • Large and practical boot

Cons

  • Interior feels cheap
  • Infotainment system a little old-fashioned
  • Seating could be more versatile
6

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

The previous generation of the Astra Sports Tourer does really well in the space per pound department. For our budget, you're getting plenty of interior room, not to mention a relatively new 2020 car with modest mileage and plenty of kit. This makes the Sports Tourer fantastic value and means that, with £15,000 to spend, there are plenty of examples to choose from. 

We found: 2020 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 1.4 Turbo SRi, 11,375 miles, £14,100

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Cheap to buy
  • Smooth ride
  • Plenty for sale

Cons

  • Plasticky interior
  • Diesels can be noisy
  • Not the most reliable
5

Volkswagen Passat Estate

You know an estate car is doing its job well when it makes life a doddle, and the Passat Estate has that effect. Its huge boot will save you the question of whether items will fit (unless you're transporting an elephant), while its engines are smooth and economical, keeping running costs low. Its interior is suitably smart, too, and its used prices are temptingly affordable. 

We found: 2018 Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI SE Business, 49,000 miles, £14,725

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Good range of engines
  • Spacious interior and boot
  • Classy interior

Cons

  • Slightly unsettled ride
  • Base S trim misses out on some kit
4

Skoda Superb Estate

The Superb is massive both inside and out, so if you're looking for maximum passenger and load space and you're on a budget, this is the one for you. It should be reliable, too. Its saloon counterpart placed first out of 18 competitors in the executive car category of the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey. Our budget will get you a 2017 car with plenty of equipment. 

We found: 2017 Skoda Superb Estate 1.6 TDI SE Business, 44,900 miles, £14,900

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Class-leading space
  • High-quality interior
  • Excellent value used

Cons

  • Diesels sound a bit gruff
  • Some rivals are more fun to drive
  • 2.0-litre petrols are quick, but rather thirsty
3

Seat Leon ST

The previous generation Seat Leon ST finishes high up in our list, not just because of how much car you get for your money, but also how much quality you get. It barely feels any less classy than the related Mk7 Volkswagen Golf Estate yet will generally cost you less to buy. Add in sharp handling and a good-sized boot and the Leon Estate is very compelling. A new model appeared in 2020, but as yet prices haven't quite dropped low enough to feature in this top 10. 

We found: 2020 Seat Leon ST 1.5 TSI Evo SE Dynamic, 30,000 miles, £13,895

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Outstanding value
  • Easy to use infotainment system
  • Sporty drive

Cons

  • Firm ride
  • Diesels a bit noisy
  • Bland interior
2

Volkswagen Golf Estate

The VW Golf is a Swiss Army knife of a car: it can be a family transport, a long-distance cruiser and a classy urban car. The additional boot capacity of the Golf Estate adds 'luggage hauler' to that list, and the now-replaced Mk7 model is a great car to drive, too. In short, you could call it a jack of all trades. It may even have topped our list if it weren't for its used prices being a little higher than some, on account of its desirability. 

We found: 2018 Volkswagen Golf Estate 1.4 TSI BlueMotion Tech SE Nav, 42,000 miles, £14,495

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Huge boot
  • Great interior design
  • Wide range of engines

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Some rivals are bigger still
  • Limited petrol choice
1

Skoda Octavia Estate

It may not be the most exciting of things to look at, but the Octavia Estate is one of the best all-round used cars you can buy. Few can match its space and practicality on our budget, and its blend of refinement, performance and economy is incredible. An all-new version was launched in 2020 (and is currently still just out of our budget), so this previous generation remains our favourite used estate for less than £15,000. 

We found: 2019 Skoda Octavia Estate 1.0 TSI SE Technology, 55,000 miles, £14,495

Find a used one for sale here

Pros

  • Huge load space
  • Well equipped
  • Some great-value options

Cons

  • So-so refinement
  • Choppy low-speed ride
  • Some versions are expensive