As useful as cars get below about £20k. But as joyful? Um...
The Kia Cee'd is the car that lobs the paving slab of reality into the windscreen of preconception. It might be a straight clone of a Toyota/Ford/VW hatch, but it’s a damn good one.
Well thought out, versatile and thoroughly decent family estate. The weeniest bit boring
A thoroughly capable family car that handles far better than it really needs to
This is among the best compact estates on sale (partly because it isn’t really compact at all).
It's taken Volkswagen a surprising amount of time to get here, but finally we have a Golf Estate that's up with the best.
Another convincing effort from Hyundai and a tempting alternative to the more obvious Mondeo.
Only the interior isn't as good as the Golf. Beyond that, there's not a lot to split the Leon ST.
A refreshing niche that ain’t a crossover, but not as sporty as billed
Skoda’s kept all of what we loved about the old Superb (size, space, value) and added updated interior tech and a genuinely stylish body. Verging on genius
More grown up and all the better for it. Priced very keenly too - it's a smart shout.
Not the most rounded family estate, but the big Pug oozes desirability. Much cooler than a 3 Series
The Peugeot 508 SW is a better car than the Citroen C5 Tourer it shares its chassis with.
Much better to drive than the A-Class it’s based on, plus it’s more useful than the saloon. Buy one of these, not a crossover
For the vast majority of us, the 3 Series Touring is all the car we could use or want
A likeable Swiss Army knife. A bit bland but will shrug off anything thrown at it.
Classy, sensible and easy to live with. Not the most exciting small estate on sale, but possibly the most well-rounded
Jaguar said its SUVs made new estate cars pointless. It’s built one anyway, and it’s mostly a success.
The new 5 Series is as good to drive as the BMW image, and yet it's as refined and plush as a Mercedes E-Class.
One of the most practical, sensible and desirable large estates.
Another crushingly good effort from Audi. The new A6 Avant is a one-stop shop for family life
The Velar majors on style but it's still a useful car. It's roomy enough for a family, not so big it's awkward in cities, and capable of unusual off-road feats.