The Most Practical Estate Cars
We live in a beautiful country, so when the weather is fine, what better summer activity than to explore it? Whether you love a day trip or a city break, or prefer to camp out under the stars in the great British countryside, an estate car is the perfect driving companion to accommodate you, your friends and your family on all your adventures.
We’ve picked out some of the best estate cars that tick all of the boxes when it comes to practicality and design, to set you up for summer and for the rest of the year too with the input of our resident Motoring Journalist John Swift!
Audi A4 Avant
If you like to travel in comfort and style, you can’t go far wrong with the Audi A4 Avant. The spacious passenger seating and generous headroom make every journey comfortable for even the tallest of teens or adults in the rear. This luxurious car makes every journey feel as if you’re travelling first class – perfect for longer road trips.
The Audi A4 Avant Sport, S Line and Black Edition come with sat nav as standard to help guide you to some of our region’s favourite holiday spots.
The Avant is a very practical car for summer travelling as the 505-litre boot can easily store luggage or camping gear for the whole family. Or if there’s just two of you travelling, putting the the rear seats down will give you a whopping 1510 litres of space. One particularly useful aspect of the Avant is the ease of access to the boot space which has a low loading lip and powered tailgate as standard – even the kitchen sink could be packed without too much effort!
John’s Verdict 10/10
Likes: Classy, elegant, practical. Always a top contender for class honours.
Dislikes: Not much.
Honda Civic Tourer
It stands to reason that a car with the word ‘Tourer’ in the name is going to be well suited to a road trip, and the Honda Civic Tourer proves this point perfectly. It’s got it all! From low fuel consumption to a very impressive 652-litre boot complete with an additional 12v power socket (in addition to the two in the front!) which always comes in handy if you’re camping or to charge the hundred and one gadgets that children (and a fair few adults) seem to travel with these days!
The Civic Tourer comes with an impressive 1,668 litres of boot space with the seats folded down;one of the largest boot spaces in this class!
In addition, you’ll also get the bonus of ‘Magic Seats’ which fold up rather like cinema seats to give you storage space for tall objects, such as bicycles, and can also fold completely flat for larger items. Civics are known for their good looks and the Civic Tourer is no exception.
All models come with a DAB digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity as standard, so you can sing along to your favourite tunes on your way.
John’s Verdict 9/10
Likes: Build quality, engines, driving experience.
Dislikes: Styling. A little disappointed with what used to be a clean, attractive front end from Honda
SEAT Leon ST
The SEAT Leon ST is a great choice if you’re looking for both practicality and versatility. It has an ample 587 litres of boot space, and you can fold the rear seats down via a handle in the boot, so no more fumbling about with levers or buttons. Even the front passenger seat can be folded down, so if you’re a surfer or a snowboarder, you can take your board in the car with you – brilliant!
The Leon ST represents very good value. In fact, with emissions as low as 87g/km and fuel consumption of up to 80mpg (1.6 TDI Ecomotive), it’s one of the cleanest and most economical cars in its class.
Further peace of mind comes from the Seat Leon ST’s five star Euro NCAP rating thanks to 7 airbags and a multitude of extra safety features such as a lane-keeping aid and tiredness recognition.
John’s Verdict 8/10
Likes: It’s the Leon hatchback but with added practicality so ticks every single box. Rides well, good spec, some tax-friendly engines for business users.
Dislikes: With the VW Golf and Skoda Octavia, is this one car too many for the VW group in the sector and what does that do for residual values?
Whether you think of the DS 5 as a large hatchback or a small estate car, there’s no denying that it’s a super car for the summer. The stylish good looks will turn heads and the tinted rear windows will help to keep the summer heat away from your passengers.
The DS 5 comes with parking sensors as standard, so you’ll be able to navigate your way into the smallest of parking spaces with ease – this has to be an advantage for a trip to any popular seaside town.
There are plenty of entertainment options too, such as Bluetooth connectivity, and MirrorLink integration for Android phones. There’s also a DAB digital radio included to keep the troops entertained and to top it all, the DS 5 scores well on safety with a five star Euro NCAP rating. Perfect potential for any day trip or holiday!
John’s Verdict 9/10
Likes: Stop-you-in-your-tracks styling outside, spaceship cockpit inside. An exotic feel to everything.
Dislikes: Priced to go head to head with Audi/BMW etc. Is the brand strong enough for that?
Peugeot 508 SW
Love the Peugeot 508 but want the extra space offered by an estate car? Then take a look at the 508 SW. It’s a great family car with ISOFIX child-seat anchor points and plenty of entertainment on board provided by USB and AUX connectivity, Bluetooth, DAB radio and a CD player too.
You’ll never get lost with the built-in sat nav and there’s a ton of space in the automatic, motorised boot. The seats are pretty spacious and for added flexibility, the rear seats fold down at the touch of a button.
There’s also a great amount of legroom that’ll keep everyone happy even if you’re travelling with taller passengers, although with electric-powered lumbar support and a full-grain leather steering wheel, we think that the driver definitely has the best seat!
Dual zone climate control means everyone can ride in a comfortable temperature, even if you disagree on exactly what that is!
John’s Verdict 9/10
Likes: More adventurous styling, excellent interior, nice ride, good perceived quality.
Dislikes: Rightly or wrongly SUVs are obliterating this sector of the market so watch the depreciation.
Volkswagen Golf Estate
The new Volkswagen Golf Estate is another popular choice for long distance journeys or whenever you’re trying to pack in sports equipment or holiday luggage. You’ll get great build quality matched with extremely low running costs, especially if you select the Eco Mode.
The VW Golf Estate’s got a massive 605-litre boot with the floor being level with the boot lip so it’s very easy to slide heavy items in and out. Under the floor, there’s a big recess that can easily accommodate some extra luggage alongside the space saver spare wheel. It’s also a handy place to hide your valuables while out and about.
If you regularly make use of a trailer or caravan, the Golf Estate’s optional Trailer Assist feature will make manoeuvring easier so that you don’t dread the end of your journey when you have to park up.
Alongside the usual high-quality finish you’d expect from VW, there’s no lack of headroom or legroom in the Golf Estate, making the journey enjoyable for all the family, no matter how far you’re going.
John’s Verdict 9/10
Likes: Latest Golf is the best all-round hatchback in its class and the estate can argue its case in its market too.
Dislikes: Dependable – but can that mean a little dull too compared to some others?
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Want to travel in ultimate style and comfort this summer? How about the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake. You’ll certainly be the envy of other drivers in this latest edition of the luxury estate car.
This high performance estate car goes from 0-62 mph in around 6 seconds. It handles well, and if you love a good engine sound, you certainly won’t be disappointed. The Sportbrake has plenty of headroom and legroom for your passengers (in fact, more than previous versions) and there’s lots of boot space too for all of their luggage, and perhaps a dog or two.
With Jaguar’s InControl technology, you can rest assured that passengers will be entertained throughout the trip while the driver benefits from intelligent driver aids all accessed from an eight-inch touchscreen with swipe controls.
John’s Verdict 8/10
Likes: Takes the XF virtues of which there are many and adds extra family practicality.
Dislikes: The lengthened roofline does few favours to the lithe saloon’s styling.
John’s Choice: Audi A4 Avant but if I was being adventurous the DS 5.
If you’d like to find out how one of our top estate cars could fit into your summer plans, call into your nearest Swansway Group dealership to book a test drive now. You could be cruising in your perfect new estate car this summer!