Right now, SUVs and crossovers are the flavour of the month - perhaps the decade. But SUVs - aka Chelsea tractors - come with a number of drawbacks (aside from slightly derogatory nicknames). A bigger purchase price and higher fuel consumption are two of the biggest. For many people, the glamour of the SUV might be better ignored, in preference to the good old-fashioned estate car. These days, estates are practical, stylish and affordable to run. Here are our top 10 estate cars for 2018.
- Mercedes Benz E-Class Estate
When it comes to lusted-after marques, Mercedes Benz is hard to beat. The premium German auto brand's E-Class Estate delivers fine styling and superb build quality. It’s also fantastically practical. Multiple variants of the E-Class are also available, including hybrids, diesels and V8s.
- Skoda Superb
Photograph by EurovisionNim, distributed under CC BY 4.0
Despite their excellent build quality, Skodas simply aren't as desirable as, for example, Mercedes-Benzes. However, Skoda's Superb estate ticks pretty much all the same boxes as the above E-Class, with a vast amount of space, a high quality interior, attractive styling and a number of engine choices.
- Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
Photograph by Flyz1, distributed under CC BY 3.0
The Turbo model of the Panamera Sport Turismo delivers sports-car performance - which, given the price tag, should be expected. The original Panamera was far less attractive than the 2018 incarnation, delivering a refined ride on the motorway and lots of cabin space.
- Hyundai i30 Tourer
Packaged with Hyundai's famous five-year warranty, this super-reliable car is ideal for those who need a practical vehicle with few maintenance hiccups. Nowhere near as flashy (or costly) as a Merc or a Porsche, the Korean-built Hyundai i30 is nevertheless a great choice for those seeking a dependable estate.
- Peugeot 308 SW
Good looking and robustly-built, the 2018 incarnation of the Peugeot 308 SW is far more impressive than previous variants. It's also wonderfully practical.
- Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Britain's version of the high-end estate doesn't disappoint. The XF Sportbrake delivers a sumptuous interior and excellent performance.
- Dacia Logan MCV
The Dacia brand hasn't always been known for quality, but the Logan MCV goes a long way to addressing that. The biggest plus point of this estate is its astonishingly low purchase price (from £8,495), followed by its vast boot.
- Audi A4 Avant
The Audi A4 Avant is arguably the German firm's best-ever estate car, with top-end looks, optional quattro four wheel drive system and a range of efficient engines.
- Volvo V90
If you're looking for something a little different - and more than a little Scandinavian - the V90 and its sister car the S90 are great options. Delightful inside and out and built to the lofty standards we have come to expect from Sweden's most famous car maker.
- BMW 5 Series Touring
BMW has often dominated the estate car market, and the latest 5-Series Touring model will keep the competition on their toes for some time to come. Great handling, high-tech, well-built interior and a super-comfy ride make this a real contender for your hard-earned cash.