The humble estate car might have been falling out of fashion since the SUV's arrival, but it still represents the most pragmatic approach to family motoring writes Geraldine Herbert
1 SKODA OCTAVIA COMBI
It is a testament to just how good the current Octavia is, that it remains among the best selling cars despite a new model on the way. Essentially the Combi is a Golf with a bigger boot and there is class-leading amount of space inside. With a good range of petrol and diesel choices there also is a scout version with a raised ride height.
Prices start from: €25,340
2 BMW 3 SERIES TOURING
A pricey contender, but the new 3-Series Touring will tick many boxes as a sophisticated estate fusing practicality with rural ruggedness. The new generation is a little larger than the one it replaces but its still the most engaging to drive in its class with excellent handling. For those who want a diesel alternative, a plug-in hybrid will join the Touring line-up in summer 2020.
Prices start from: €45,340
3 VW PASSAT ESTATE
The Volkswagen Passat has been the default saloon choice for years and more than 30m have found homes since it first launched in 1973. While the saloon may be the more popular option estate is well worth considering if you need a capacious load lugger. It is also a frugal family estate thanks to the addition of a 1.4-litre petrol plug-in hybrid GTE with an all-electric range of 56km.
Prices start from: €33,750
4 DACIA LOGAN MCV
If keeping costs down is your top priority, look no further than the very functional Dacia Logan. This load-lugging bodystyle might not be the last word in comfort or sophistication but you do get 480-litres of boot space with the rear seats in place and 1,485-litres of total capacity when they're folded down. Compared to rivals the Logan is an inexpensive option for a spacious estate.
Prices start from: €13,140
5 VOLVO V60
Mixing Scandinavian styling with practicality in a compact package, the V60 is a very classy estate. The interior is beautifully and elegantly finished and it is crammed with safety technology. It is also a highly practical car with 529 litres of space available with the rear seat in place and 1,441 litres with them folded down. Under the bonnet diesel engines offer impressive economy and emissions or you could opt for the plug-in hybrid.
Prices start from: €43,490