The Passat Estate has often been branded as being a bit dull, but you can’t fault its broad spread of abilities. It excels at being a smart looking large estate with a rather nice interior. It doesn’t offer anything in the way of an exciting drive, but then you would be getting complaints from your passengers, be it those with two legs or four. But, thanks to flexible diesel engines, you don’t have to engage in such antics in order to maintain decent progress. Plus, it’ll be quite economical, too.
The Volkswagen Golf is a Swiss army knife of a car: it can be a family transport, a long-distance cruiser and a classy urban car. And the additional boot capacity of the Golf Estate allows it to add 'luggage hauler' to that list. This Mk7 Golf is a good car to drive, with an engine range which spreads from a 1.0 three-cylinder petrol to a 306bhp Golf R performance model. For balance, it’s possibly best to stick with the economical 1.6-litre diesel or 1.4-litre petrol, both of which are good all-rounders for those who regularly drive with cargo.
The Mondeo Estate used to be the default load-lugging choice because of its black-hole-like boot, but this version traded some of that capacity for looks. It's a handsome car, and it’s still rather large. This can be intimidating in car parks, and it also means that it’s been a favourite of taxi drivers, so many Mondeos have therefore lived a hard life. You should therefore scout carefully to bag yourself a nice example, but do so and you'll have one of the very best used cars on sale today.
If sheer size was your only requirement for an estate, then the Octavia Estate would be your choice. It may not be glamorous, but it is wholesome transport for those on a budget. Its interior isn’t as classy as that of the Volkswagen Golf upon which it is based, but that’s fine; it's functional and you can wipe it clean. The Octavia Estate also benefits from some of the Volkswagen Group’s best engines, meaning there is something for everyone, and all for a reasonable price.
Page 3 of 4