What alternatives should I consider to a used Volkswagen Passat estate?
The Honda Accord Tourer is a well-built car with a reputation for reliability. Check the service history of any car carefully, but find a good one and what you'll get is a huge loadbay annexed on to a desirable car with a range of lively petrol engines and one that is surprisingly good fun to drive.
The Ford Mondeo Estate was for many years the king of this class, able to juggle the business demands of the hard-working executive while doubling up as the ideal family load-lugger at the weekends, thanks to its capacious interior and boot space. It's a great car to drive, too. Prices for used models of this vintage are as low as the Passat's, and there are many good bargains to be had. Watch out for rust and check the service history carefully.