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Guide to estate carsBack

SkodaSuperbEstateDespite the influx of stylish SUVs, MPVs and crossovers stealing the limelight in recent years, the estate remains a highly popular car with strong sales records to prove it.

Below, Trusted Dealers provides a comprehensive guide to  the things to look out for if you’re considering purchasing a new or used estate car.

Why buy an estate car?

The big boot – primarily, the best estate cars will offer a lot more than a large boot. The load bays are a practical shape for easier access and rear seats can be folded to allow even more room in the back. Furthermore, the boot will often contain neat storage solutions such as under-floor cubby holes, luggage nets and load dividers.

Behind the wheel – estate cars often feel identical to their saloon or hatchback counterparts, and with all the same engines and components present, they can often match performance and economy figures too.

Low running costs – you’ll pay slightly more for an estate car but they won’t cost much more to run – insurance groups, tax bills, servicing and fuel consumption are all largely comparable to matching saloons and hatchbacks.

Fuel efficiency – due to the nature of estate cars, which are often used for family duties and small businesses,  the cars are designed to be highly fuel efficient, so you’ll find you can achieve more miles to the gallon in an estate car than many SUVs.

Well equipped cabin – The best estate cars will sport a spacious, comfortable and well-equipped cabin  and many models offer a long list of luxuries on their standard models.

DoginEstateAffordability – if you’re looking for a practical car capable of housing up to five adults at a time, even on long journeys, an estate car is an excellent choice at an affordable price.

Choice – there’s plenty of choice for buyers, from small highly economical hatchback-based estate models to larger saloon based cars and even high performance luxury and premium models.

Dog owners – estate cars make the perfect vehicle for dog owners. Not only is there a large flat boot space but estates are typically lower to the ground than SUVs and crossovers, so you’ll have less difficulty getting your pooch in and out.

Which model should I buy?

The best way to choose your perfect estate car is to spend time looking at reviews, to ascertain which type of car is best suited to your lifestyle. You may be looking for a large boot, or the car’s performance may be high on your list of priorities. There’s also the fuel economy and CO2 emissions to think about, and will it house three children comfortably in the back? Click here for more information on the best estate cars currently on the market.

Tips for buying an estate car

Once you’ve decided that an estate car is the right choice, follow our top tips below to ensure that you get the best deal possible on your new or used estate car.

CitroenXsaraPicassoEstate, SUV, 4×4 or MPV?

Estate cars used to be the sole choice of transport for larger families, but now with so many different styles of car available, it’s hard to know which is the best type of car to suit your needs. If you are a large family, you might find that an MPV is the better choice for you. Many MPVs, or people carriers as they are better known, are capable of seating up to seven people. They also offer greater seating flexibility and sliding doors for ease of access. SUVs and 4×4 cars can offer as much practicality as estate cars, with the added bonus of off-road capability if required, but they tend to be much more expensive to buy and run.

Estate or Saloon?

Be aware that some estate cars have smaller boots than saloon cars, so if you’re looking for a trusty workhorse, make sure you measure the boot’s dimensions and load capacity first. Consider that you actually need to use the boot for – if you do not need to load the boot up high and it is unlikely you’ll ever split fold the rear seats, you may be better off purchasing a saloon car. Click here for a list of some of the best family saloons currently on the market.

241012 Cluttered bootBoot space

If the boot space of your next estate car is of the utmost importance to you, it pays to do some research on the estate cars with the largest boots. There are only a handful of estate cars with more than 500 litres of space with the rear seats up and luggage cover on. Below, we’ve listed the luggage capacity of some of the largest estates on the market:

  • Mercedes-Benz E-class estate: 515 litres
  • Ford Mondeo estate (2007-2014): 530 litres
  • Skoda Superb estate: 475 litres
  • Hyundai i40: 470 litres

Compact estate cars

If you are looking for a smaller scaled down version of an estate car, there are some models still in existence, although small MPVs have taken over this market in recent years. The Skoda Fabia Estate is an excellent small estate car thanks to its roomy cabin and ease of driving. Or, the MINI Clubman (2015-) brings the fun factor into estate car driving along with practicality too. If you’re happy to purchase a second-hand estate car, there are a few more options open to you.


Estate cars usually hold their value better than saloons, although as other classes of car such as SUVs and 4x4s become more popular, they may not hold their value as well as they have. If you’re looking to get the best money back you can when it comes to selling your estate car on, it’s well worth taking into consideration to specification of the car – the better the spec of the car, the more money it will be worth in the future, particularly if you have added features such as integrated sat nav or a sun roof.

VWPassatGTEGo green

Electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars are getting more and more popular and sales have increased rapidly in the past 2 years as buyers seek alternative methods of transport that are kinder on the environment and cheaper to own and run. There is a comprehensive range of electric and plug-in hybrid cars currently on the market to include the new Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class hybrid estate.

Posted by Leana Kell on 14/03/2016