If you’re after bags of space but you don’t want to commit to the van-like dimensions and styling of an MPV, there are some great estate cars on offer that should do the job.
Tricks to look out for include electrically operated tailgates or even rear hatches that will open automatically when wave your foot under the rear bumper; they’re particularly handy if you’re trying to load in a heavy, bulky item. You should also look for handles in the side of the boot itself that can drop down the rear seats; these are much more convenient than having to walk around the side of the car to do it.
There are some terrific estates at most price ranges. The humble Dacia Logan MCV offers cavernous space for not much cash at all – albeit with a fair few caveats on comfort and interior finish – but if you can stretch to the Skoda Fabia Estate then it may just be all the car you ever need.
Further up the price range, our reigning Estate Car of the Year is the Skoda Superb Estate - it’s great to drive and as practical as most people should ever need. Meanwhile, for serious mile-munching ability and a premium, well-finished cabin it’s hard to look beyond the Mercedes E-Class Estate.