When dealing with property, 'estates' are vast, difficult to manage, come with huge running costs and the tax office wants to take a slice of your earnings for the privilege of having one.
When talking about cars, 'estates' provide huge boots, excellent handling dynamics, efficient engines and low road tax. In short, the estate car is the complete antithesis of the country pile it shares a name with.
Even for as little as £2000 you can find a really nice estate car that can be your everyday work car, your practical holiday transport and your classy, long-distance cruiser. You may have to go for something from the early 2000s and accept that it will have done a few more miles, but owing to the quality of these cars, this shouldn’t be an issue.
So read on as we go through this top ten list of the best used estate cars you can currently buy for less than £2000, along with a couple to avoid.
Best used estates for less than £2000
10. Honda Accord Tourer
You might think the Honda Accord is old folks’ wheels, but it's actually a very good, well-rounded car. It's also the star of one of the greatest car ads ever made; just stick ‘Honda The Cog’ into YouTube to see what we mean. The Accord Tourer is a massive load-lugger with precision engineering behind it. Need an example? The rear seats not only fold flat, but can also be made to do so with the flick of just one lever. The tailgate can be opened by pressing a button on the key fob, saving you from having to get your hands dirty as you fumble for the external boot release. And if you bag an Executive model like the one we found, you’ll get leather seats, cruise control and sat-nav, too.
Once you’ve got past its repmobile image and seen its voluminous load area, you’ll understand just what great value the Vauxhall Vectra is. There are lots of engine choices to suit all driving requirements and budgets. SRi comes with plenty of kit and some smart alloy wheels that help to add some visual appeal to what is, a box on wheels. But it is a box that can carry a lot of stuff, which is the whole point of an estate, really.
We found: 2008 Vauxhall Vectra Estate 1.9 CDTi SRi, 113,000 miles, £1995
If you need to transport a Harrods hamper in a premium vehicle, few estates are quite as suited to the job as the Audi A4 Avant. For a start, it isn’t called an estate. No, that’s far too common. It’s Avant thank you, and the carpet used in the boot is of a higher thread-count than the stuff used in most three-bed semi-detached houses. SE cars have just about enough kit, including climate control, front electric windows and a trip computer. And all models are furnished with a high-quality dashboard, which should still look as good as new when you clean it up.
We found: 2003 Audi A4 Avant 1.9 TDI SE, 118,000 miles, £1890
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