You can easily find an affordable Focus Estate, because Ford sold thousands of them. There is an engine and specification level to suit all budgets and tastes, plus the handling is entertaining enough to make up for you not being able to have a sports car anymore. Zetec offers the best kit per pound ratio, but Ghia is a little more luxurious, if you can afford it.
We found: 2006 Ford Focus Estate 2.0 Ghia, 52,926 miles, £1995
The 'Passat' is a trade wind that historic ship captains used when transporting their wares around the world; the Volkswagen Passat Estate, meanwhile, is an appropriate vehicle to transport your shopping home in. With a range of smooth petrol engines (there’s even a 4.0-litre W8) and long-lasting, economical diesels, there’s something for all. The seats are comfortable, even after hours of driving, and the interior can stand up to a hard life well. If you find a car that has been looked after, it should sail through years of service.
We found: 2003 Volkswagen Passat Estate 1.8T Sport, 77,000 miles, £1995
The Octavia is your local cabbie’s favourite because of its tough mechanicals and excellent amount of rear leg room, and the Estate version improves on the already vast boot of the hatchback further still, at 540 litres with the seats up and 1620 litres with them down. The Octavia benefits from all sorts of engines; there are two hot vRS petrol and diesel versions. No wonder the Octavia Estate is popular with the police, too, then – although of course, if you find yourself in the back of one of theirs, you’ll probably only be heading to one destination.
We found: 2006 Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0 TDI Sport, 87,000 miles, £1990
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