Top 5 Best Estate Cars 2024

In a rational world free of automotive prejudice and immune to the magic of marketing, the estate car would be king. Delivering all of the versatility (and often more) of an SUV, but with the dynamic sharpness and greater efficiency of a saloon, these load luggers really are ‘all the car you’ll ever need’.

What’s more, despite the inexorable rise of off-road-themed alternatives, which has come at the cost of other genres of machine, the estate car class retains a healthy diversity. Not only are there plenty of options when it comes to size, but the elastic definition of these machines also means our kitchen-sink-carrying cohort includes everything from sleek shooting brakes through to more square-rigged options that value maximum volume and value above all else.

There’s also a wide choice when it comes to how you want your load delivered. Whether you want cosseting comfort, fuel-sipping efficiency or supercar-chasing performance and handling, there should be an estate car to suit every taste and budget. Some even manage to make a fine fist of combining all these traits.

As has often been said across the Atlantic, there ain’t no substitute for cubic inches. So with that in mind, here’s our pick of great estates.

1. BMW 5 Series Touring

Pros: Excellent engine line-up, all the power you’d ever need, plush interior

Cons: Brittle ride comfort, lacks BMW’s stand-out handling, Mercedes offers bigger boot

It’s not the biggest estate car money can buy, but as a machine that covers all bases, the BMW 5 Series Touring is hard to beat. Elegantly styled, engaging to drive, just about large enough for most needs and packed with enough neat features to suggest the brand has thought hard about how it will be used, the multi-talented German wins this space race.

If you want one, you’ll have to be quick about it. The new 5 Series saloon is out, and although the estate hasn’t been revealed yet, it’s sure not to be far off. And if the saloon is anything to go by, the new 5 Series Touring will be bigger and more unwieldy, and fussier to use. There will be an i5 Touring electric version, though, which is something to look forward to as electric estates are still a rarity.

At 560 litres, boot capacity on the current 5 Series Touring is about average (it shrinks to 430 litres in the plug-in hybrids), but the load area is well shaped and the brand’s trademark opening rear glass makes it easier to load smaller items in a tight spot. Fold the handy 40/20/40-split rear bench and there’s up to 1700 litres to play with. What’s more, air suspension is standard for the rear axle, helping deliver both self-levelling for heavy loads and, combined with optional adaptive dampers, enhanced comfort.

Yet BMW’s ‘ultimate driving machine’ shtick doesn’t come unstuck in the estate transformation, the 5 Series hiding its bulk and mass well with meaty steering, impressive agility and the option of expressive handling if you’re in the mood. The engine line-up has been pared back in recent years, with just four-cylinder diesel and petrol options, plus the lusty six-cylinder 540i. There’s also a 530e plug-in hybrid for business users looking for a tax break. And while there’s no M5 option, semi-official tuning arm Alpina does offer a subtle yet superheated conversion in the form of the Alpina B5 Touring, provided you’ve enough cash to fill a 5 Series Touring’s boot.

2. Dacia Jogger

Pros: Class-leading value for money, useable third row of seats, frugal engines

Cons: Lacks some safety systems, passenger space isn’t as generous for adults

Is it an estate? Is it an MPV? Is it an SUV? It does have seven seats and a mildly raised ride height, but we reckon it’s an estate. And it’s a really good one too.

Given the rampant rise in the cost of living that we’ve experienced in the past few years, the Jogger is particularly welcome. It offers all the space and utility you need, including a genuinely usable third row of seats, for significantly less money than most standard hatchbacks.

And it’s not as if Jogger drivers have to give up a lot of creature comforts. Yes, the plastics are hard and there is no expensive-feeling leather on the seats, but Dacia has grown very adept at brightening up its interiors with a strip of fabric here, and a bit of faux knurled aluminium there, without breaking the bank.

Go for one of the still very reasonably priced higher trims and you get heated seats, cruise control and navigation, as well as an infotainment system that works more logically than a lot of fancier systems.

3. Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Jaguar did much for the rational appeal of its slightly long-in-the-tooth larger executive option, the XF, early in 2021 when it widely overhauled the interior, cut the engine range and slashed a four-figure sum off the list price.

A rear-driven, diesel-powered D200 XF Sportbrake can now be had for a biscuit over £40,000, which makes it cracking value, especially when the Mercedes E-Class is pushing into the £60ks. We’ll just let that sink in a bit.

WLTP emissions tests have robbed Jaguar’s only estate of its multi-cylinder engines, sadly: Jaguar never got around to dropping any of its straight-six Ingenium motors into the car, and it isn’t likely to in the future.

But whichever engine sits in the Sportbrake’s nose, you’re getting arguably the best-handling chassis in this class here, and one that changes direction beautifully thanks to the weight and response of Jaguar’s trademark steering.

The top-billing XF P300 model pairs the same 296bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine from the Jaguar F-Type with all-wheel drive and is a superbly competent all-weather family car, now finally with a cabin and infotainment system worthy of a premium executive operator.

If you’re looking for those traditional Jaguar values of space, pace and grace, then the Sportbrake has them by the bootful.

4. BMW 3 Series Touring

The smaller sibling of the 5 Series, the 3 Series Touring, packs many of its larger stablemate’s strengths into a more compact package. Moreover, its status as one of the greatest all-rounders ever has been gilded by the arrival of the long-awaited M3 Touring version.

However, even if you can’t stretch to the fast and furious flagship, you’ll be pleased to discover that plenty of its magic is sprinkled over the rest of the range. Few estate cars at any price are as good to drive, the 3 Series wagon’s mix of agility, driver engagement and right-sized exterior making it feel at home on any twisting stretch of Tarmac.

And while it rides a little firmer than some, the sense of solidity and excellent refinement mean it’s also relaxing when you just want to mooch. The 3 Series also features a lavishly appointed and finished interior, while the boot will swallow 500 litres (410 litres for the 330e plug-in hybrid) with the rear bench in place.

There’s also that handy lifting glass tailgate, numerous storage cubbies and shopping bag hooks.

A facelift in 2022 mostly concerned the interior, where the 3 Series gained a massive curved screen, but lost a lot of its physical controls. We’re no great fans of BMW’s latest iDrive operating system, but at least the presence of the signature rotary controller makes up for a lot

The 3 Series also had its engine line-up slashed in the UK. The regular range now consists of a 2.0-litre petrol, a 2.0-litre diesel and a 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid. However, you can still have a straigh six with either petrol or diesel power in the form of the M340i and M340d.

These are now joined by the magnificent 503bhp BMW M3 Touring, which has all the saloon’s incredible pace and poise but with an extra dose of practicality as well.

5. Citroën C5 X

Citroën has rediscovered its knack for doing things differently, and the C5 X is arguably the most tangible proof of this.

Combining the style of a coupé with the stance of an SUV and the versatility of an estate (according to Citroën), the flamboyant French machine forges its own path to practicality. It’s an estate car, Jim, but not as we know it.

What’s clear from the outside is that comfort is the order of the day with the Citroën, even if it’s not quite as accomplished in this area as some of its double-chevron ancestors.

The soft suspension can get unsettled but otherwise it delivers a supple and easy-going gait, while the squidgy seats are surprisingly supportive. Light steering and a fair amount of body movement mean it’s best at a gentle canter, but consistent grip and accurate steering ensure it’s hardly a chore to drive.

Despite its rakish exterior, the C5 X features a spacious interior that looks good and is well-built. There’s a large boot as well, which will swallow a very useful 540 litres of luggage with the rear seats in use, although this drops to 485 litres in the C5 X hybrid.

Author Section :- 

I am a passionate blogger. I love to share my thoughts and ideas through blog posting. I have five years of experience in Tech, Business, & Health. I am associated with,,,,,,,,,

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *