The 148bhp diesel is the least powerful on offer, but delivers more than enough performance to suit most people’s needs. Also, bearing in mind that the 6 is a big car, it backs up its impressive economy with low CO2 emissions of just 118g/km. Its size means it is also extremely practical, too, with up to 1664 litres of boot space and generous accommodation for four adults. Only a hard ride and some suspect cabin materials spoil the party.
12. Ford Mondeo Estate 1.6 TDCi - official 67.3mpg; True MPG 53.3mpg
The Mondeo Estate is one of the best handling estate cars on the market. The only one that beats it is the BMW 3 Series which is considerably smaller and more expensive. The Ford has a spacious cabin with plenty of room for passengers and their luggage. The boot is huge but does without some of the neat touches of its rivals like a height-adjustable floor. The 1.6-litre diesel engine is our pick of the range and returned a decent 53.3mpg in our real-world fuel economy tests.
13. Mercedes CLA 200 CDI Shooting Brake - official 68.9mpg; True MPG 53.0mpg
The CLA Shooting Brake is one of the most stylish estate cars on the market. All models get a generous specification and a 495-litre boot. There are more practical rivals but none will turn heads like the Mercedes.
14. Peugeot 508 SW 2.0 BlueHDi - official 65.7mpg; True MPG 53.0mpg
Four tall adults will fit comfortably in the Peugeot 508 SW. Rivals are more comfortable and quieter but the Peugeot is still decent to drive. This 2.0-litre diesel model returned 53.0mpg in our real-world fuel tests.
15. Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 150 – official 68.9mpg; True MPG 52.9mpg
The Passat might not be right at the top of this list of real-world economy, but it is right up the top of its class in many other ways. It has a huge boot, a plush and spacious cabin and it is wonderfully refined on the move. It's one of the best estate cars you can buy.
3 of 4