What alternatives should I consider to a used Subaru Outback estate?
There are now many alternatives to the Outback, depending on how much you want to pay.
The Audi A6 Allroad is essentially a raised version of the popular but ageing A6 Avant. It’s a quick and well-made car that feels a little bulky to drive, with its high new and used prices perhaps the only real deterrent to buying one.
The Skoda Octavia Scout is a positive bargain in this class, especially as it’s been on sale for a few years now and there are plenty on the used car market. It is, as you’ve guessed, a jacked-up version of the regular Octavia Estate, an all-rounder of supreme ability and an excellent car for families. If it loses a little in on-road driving behaviour as a result of its increase in height it does at least make up for that with some extra go-anywhere ability.
Also look at the VW Golf Alltrack and the VW Passat Alltrack, two beefed-up cars that, despite being pricey, are worth serious consideration for their classy build and practicality alone. If you have more to spend you might consider two more: the competent Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain is great, but too new to be freely available on the used car market at the time of writing, as is the impressive Volvo V90 Cross Country, and both are pricey options when stacked up against the Outback.