What alternatives should I consider to a used BMW 3 Series estate?
The Volvo V60 is a far more practical estate car that has loads of automatic safety tech as standard. The interior is also really plush in the places that count, and there's plenty of equipment to keep you amused. It won't drive nearly as nicely, nor does it have the same extensive range of engines as a 3 Series.
The Audi A4 Avant has a similar mission statement in providing a classy estate car experience, and it does so with an even smarter interior finished in finer materials. It's far nicer to drive than the V60, and the A4 is even more refined over a long journey than the BMW.