The A6 Avant is a really smart-looking estate that is just as dashing on the inside. It handles tidily, too, and has huge grip levels when equipped with quattro four-wheel drive – provided you have matching tyres fitted all round. SE models have plenty of kit, while S line cars look a bit more sporty. We reckon it’s best to stick with manual versions and tiptronic automatics only; we’ve heard of a few problems with CVT cars and those transmissions also need an oil change every 40,000 miles, which only adds to ownership costs.
We found 2005 2.7 TDI S line manual, 79,500 miles, £4495
Apart from the dicky electronic handbrake, this Passat estate was and still is a very fine car. It even drives well, feeling much more alert than we’d normally expect from such a big car. Front occupants are treated to very comfortable seats with a wide range of adjustment, plus there’s plenty of room in the rear too. Even though most Passats sold were propelled by diesel power units, you can still find some interesting petrol options, including some V6s. Equipment levels are high, with even the standard S-spec cars getting air conditioning, alloy wheels and a CD player.
5. Kia Cee’d SW
Unusual name aside, there isn’t really anything odd about the Kia Cee’d SW. It may not have the interior quality to beat the class best, but there are some neat details that show this car’s upmarket push – for example, the neat tailgate mounting that means the door opens up nice and high so you don’t clout your head on the boot lock. Add in the five-star NCAP safety rating and the Kia Cee’d makes for a great used estate.
We found 2011 1.6 CRDi 3, 57,000 miles, £4812
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