Best used estate cars for less than £15,000

In need of a practical car to suit an active lifestyle? Don't rule out an estate. Check out our top 10 favourites for less than £15,000.....

Estate cars used to be thought of as the uncouth relation.

Used estates

But in recent years, thanks to their classy styling, much-improved refinement and generously appointed interiors, they have become highly desirable models in their own right, often more sought-after than their saloon counterparts. On top of that, they're usually better to drive than their trendy SUV competitors. 

Buy one used and you can save a pretty penny, too, but which one should be on your driveway? Here’s a list of our top 10 favourite used estates for less than £15,000 to help you decide...

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10: Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate 2014 - present

If you want the load-lugging capabilities of a mid-size estate car with the premium feel of the very best of executive cars, the Mercedes C-Class Estate should definitely be on your shortlist. Add to that, the three-pointed star still carries a lot of cachet. The only problem for the C-Class Estate has always been the stiff competition it faces in this class.

We found: 2017 Mercedes C-Class Estate, C200d Sport, 23,000 miles, £14,595

10: Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate 2014 - present

Pros:
Practical and large boot
Efficient engines
Well equipped

Cons:
Diesel engines are unrefined
Ride can be fidgety
Infotainment system not as good as the best in class

9: BMW 3 Series Touring

Used BMW 3 Series Touring 12- present

The previous-generation 3 Series Touring is more of a lifestyle estate than a flat-pack furniture hauler, but BMW has improved the utility of its smaller estate with each passing generation. And it still drives just as well as the 3 Series saloon, making it a very enjoyable estate to steer. If you could buy a newer model for this money, it would have finished higher up this list.

We found: 2017 BMW 318i Sport Touring, 40,000 miles, £13,995

9: BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 3 Series E90

Pros:
Precise handling
Strong and efficient engines
High quality interior

Cons:
Four-cylinder diesels can sound gruff
Some rivals offer more boot space
Offset pedals in the manual versions

8: Audi A4 Avant

Used Audi A4 Avant 15-present

Desirability is something that Audi has managed to engineer into the A4 Avant; this is an estate that doesn’t feel like some unrefined workhorse. While the A4 Avant's boot isn’t the largest in the class, it features high-quality carpet, chrome hooks and neat cubbyholes. Factor in the solidity of its beautifully finished interior and there are few estates that are quite so classy. 

We found: 2017 Audi A4 Avant 1.4 TFSI Sport, 50,000 miles, £14,990

8: Audi A4 Avant

Used Audi A4 Avant 15-present

Pros:
Refined engines
Smooth ride on Comfort suspension
Superb interior quality

Cons:
Not as much fun to drive as some rivals
More practical estates are available
Economy not outstanding

7: Ford Focus Estate

Ford Focus Estate 2019 front right tracking

The Focus Estate combines the style and driving behaviour of the hatchback with a much bigger boot. It drives well, it grips and handles nicely, its steering is pleasingly light and direct and its ride is comfortable and composed over urban ruts and potholes. And, above all, it's practical and great value. Our money buys a car with the lively 1.0 Ecoboost engine in popular Zetec trim. 

We found: 2019 Ford Focus Estate 1.0 125 Ecoboost Zetec, 18,000 miles, £13,495 

7: Ford Focus Estate

Ford Focus Estate 2019 RHD dashboard

Pros:
Eager handling
Plenty of passenger space
Large and practical boot

Cons:
Interior feels cheap
Infotainment system a little old-fashioned
Seating could be more versatile

6: Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

Used Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (16-present)

The Astra Sports Tourer is on this list because of the great value it offers. For our budget, you get a 2020 car with a good reliability record and a nicely finished interior featuring plenty of kit. Plus, it handles well, its engines are strong and refined and it rides well. Oh, and there's loads of space inside.

We found: 2020 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 1.2 SRi Nav, 7000 miles, £13,999

6: Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

Used Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (16-present)

Pros:
Cheap to buy
Smooth ride
Plenty for sale

Cons:
Plasticky interior
Diesels can be noisy
Not the most reliable

5: Volkswagen Passat Estate

Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 16-present

The Passat Estate has a broad spread of abilities. It excels at being a smart-looking executive estate car with a rather nice interior, and it's great to drive, too. It also has an air of all-round competence and solidity few cars can match, and is well equipped, economical and reliable. What's more, it comes with a really huge boot

We found: 2018 Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI BMT SE Business, 32,500 miles, £13,995

5: Volkswagen Passat Estate

Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 16-present

Pros:
Good range of engines
Spacious interior and boot
Classy interior

Cons:
Slightly unsettled ride
Base S trim misses out on some kit

4: Skoda Superb Estate

Used Skoda Superb Estate 16-present

The Superb is super-massive both inside and out, so if you're looking for a load-lugger and you're on a budget, this is the one for you. It's a great car and a really useful estate. For our budget, you get a 2018 car with a good reliability record and a nicely finished interior featuring plenty of equipment. Plus, it drives really nicely, it's refined and it's comfortable to ride in.  

We found: 2018 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI SE Tech, 23,000 miles, £14,995

4: Skoda Superb Estate

Skoda Superb Estate

Pros:
Class-leading space
High-quality interior
Excellent value used

Cons:
Diesels sound a bit gruff
Some rivals are more fun to drive
2.0-litre petrols are quick, but rather thirsty

3: Seat Leon ST

Used Seat Leon ST 13-present

The Seat Leon ST finishes high up in our list, not just because of how much car you get for your money, but also how much quality you get. True, the Volkswagen Golf Estate has a classier interior, but the Leon ST’s doesn’t feel much cheaper. Add in the Leon's sharp handling and the additional practicality of the estate's boot, plus some Seat design flair, and the whole package is very compelling.

We found: 2019 Seat Leon ST 1.5 TSI Evo, 35,000 miles, £12,000

3: Seat Leon ST

Seat Leon ST 1.5 TSI Evo SE - interior

Pros:
Outstanding value
Easy to use infotainment system
Sporty drive

Cons:
Firm ride
Diesels a bit noisy
Bland interior

2: Volkswagen Golf Estate

Used Volkswagen Golf Estate 13 - present

The Golf is a Swiss Army knife of a car: it can be a family transport, a long-distance cruiser and a classy urban car. The additional boot capacity of the Golf Estate adds 'luggage hauler' to that list, and the recently replaced Mk7 Golf is a great car to drive, too. In short, it's reliable, frugal, exceptionally classy and excellent value. 

We found: 2019 Volkswagen Golf Estate 1.5 TSI SE, 10,000 miles, £14,500

2: Volkswagen Golf Estate

Volkswagen Golf Estate

Pros:
Huge boot
Great interior design
Wide range of engines

Cons:
Expensive to buy
Some rivals are bigger still
Limited petrol choice

1: Skoda Octavia Estate

Used Skoda Octavia Estate 13-present

It might not look like it’ll set your heart on fire, but the Octavia Estate is probably, in the real world, one of the best all-round used cars you can buy. Indeed seldom will you encounter a car that offers such space and practicality, such easy-going refinement and such superb value for money. If sheer size is your only requirement, it should definitely be your number one choice. It's a fantastic all-rounder.

We found: 2020 Skoda Octavia Estate 1.5 TSI SE, 14,000 miles, £14,500

1: Skoda Octavia Estate

Skoda Octavia Estate - interior

Pros:
Huge load space
Well equipped
Some great-value options

Cons:
So-so refinement
Choppy low-speed ride
Some versions are expensive

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