Feature

Used test: Audi A6 Avant vs BMW 5 Series Touring vs Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Any of these luxurious used estates will cost you less than the cheapest new Ford Focus, yet all offer handsome looks, opulent interiors and space to spare

Words ByAlex Robbins

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Audi A6 interior

What are they like inside?

The Jaguar XF’s pulsating starter button, rising rotary gear selector and powered air vents give it a definite wow factor. However, its thinly padded seats undermine the overall effect, while the boot contains some pretty lightweight plastics. If you’re planning a tough life for your estate, you may want to look elsewhere.

The materials used in the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series are light years ahead, while the more up-to-date controls for their central display systems make the Jaguar’s touch-screen system feel very clunky.

Official figures give the Audi the largest boot. Unfortunately, it’s the only car in the test without self-levelling rear suspension to handle heavy loads, and its steeply angled rear screen can prevent you from carrying bulkier items.

The Jaguar’s boot could be more practical, too. It’s fine for flat-pack furniture, but swoopy styling makes the space distinctly shallow. What the Jag does get is a powered tailgate that can be opened remotely, a useful attribute if you’re laden with bags and kids.

Like its rivals, the Jaguar features lashing hooks in the boot walls and sliding tie-down points set in rails in the floor. All three cars have boot-mounted levers to release the rear seat backs and create a near-flat extended load bay.

With the seats folded, there’s almost nothing between them on load capacity. The Audi is biggest and the BMW smallest, but the latter is ultimately the most practical because its boot is a better shape and it comes with handy features such as a split tailgate, a self-closing load cover and a seat back that split into three sections, rather than just the usual two.

Put the seats up and all three offer plenty enough room for four six-footers, although space is a little tight for five.

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