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Home » Blog » Top 5: The Best Used Estate Cars

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The best estate cars for sale are those which fulfil their primary purpose; unbridled practicality. Their key feature is that extended boot, offering a wealth of storage space thanks to a much higher, and in some cases longer rear.

There are many reasons for buying an estate, but it's generally for practical ones. Of course, this can be for a number of different purposes. From frequent holiday-goers to frequent golfers, luxury estate vehicles also make good cars for dog owners. 

When not being used for their haulage capability, they are often expected to perform as a standard saloon car. This means good cruising ability, with plenty of equipment and technology as standard. Looks aren't key to the appeal of an estate vehicle, but with the range of premium brands from Stratstone, you can expect a smart and refined appearance with plenty of exterior flourishes.

A range of powerful and efficient diesels top off the estate's appeal - the extra torque also making them good towing cars for caravans and trailers.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

About: A used XF Sportbrake is more capable than you might think. In fact, it's won the 1700-1899kg class at the Tow Car awards for three years running, from 2011 to 2014. The XF Sportbrake has an impressive towing weight of 1850kg - a testament to the car's pulling power.

It doesn't lack in boot capacity either, with a 550-litre boot space that can be extended to 1675 litres with the rear seats down. The athletic-looking XF is a fine car to drive, with an engaging feel to the car's handling, and excellent motorway manners.

Engines: The Sportbrake version of the XF arrived in 2012, and was the first Jaguar estate model since the X-Type in 2004. It comes with an updated range of engines, including two potent petrol engines in a V6 or V8.

However, the stalwart for the range is the 2.2 Diesel which comes in two variants, offering either 163 or 200 bhp. The more powerful engine is the pick of the range, blending an excellent ratio of performance to economy. 450Nm torque also means it has more than enough pull for heavy loads.

Features: Standard equipment is plentiful, with 17-inch alloys and stop/start technology. The XF SE also boasts a 7-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth, in addition to creature comforts such as climate control and cruise control. Further up the range, features include heated leather seats and Satellite Navigation.

BMW 5-Series Touring

About: A used BMW 5-Series is almost imperious in the executive saloon sector, and so naturally the touring equivalent will always be a good choice. It shares the muscular physique of the standard saloon car, and has plenty of different engine variants and options to suit all ends of the market. It's not short on storage space, with 560 litres of space as standard, with a full 1,670 with the rear seats down.

Plus, it comes with standard features including 60:40 split folding seats to allow a rear passenger, and self-levelling suspension for carrying awkward loads. The 5-Series has involving driving dynamics, making it just as fun to drive on the motorway as in the city.

Engines: There are a range of engines available for the 5-Series Touring, including 5 diesel engines and 3 petrol. The petrol engines match admirably with the engaging driving dynamics of the car, but the favoured powertrains in this class are the diesel variants, which offer the best mid-range pulling power and economy. Models such as the 520d and 525d provide more than enough power for transporting heavy loads or caravans, yet keep their fuel consumption at over 50mpg. They are also incredibly refined thanks to the BMW's well-insulated cockpit, making long-distance motorway driving a breeze.

Features: The 5-Series Touring adds all the luxury features you would expect, including full leather trim as standard and dual zone automatic climate control. Exterior features include both front and rear parking sensors, in addition to stylish 17-inch alloy wheels and automatic windscreen wipers. M-Sport models are available through the range, adding larger alloy wheels, M-Sport steering wheel and an enhanced bodykit.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate

About: The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is simply unbeatable when it comes to space - that's for both passengers and rear loading capacity. The luggage capacity stands at a huge 695 litres of luggage space with the rear seats up. With the seats down, this extends to 1,950 litres - making the E-Class estate the best choice for anyone consistently using their vehicle for haulage. You can even specify an additional two rear seats in the back, which emerge from the boot floor and don't compromise on room.

Naturally, the E-Class is extremely assured on the roads, with pliant suspension and a comfortable ride. The interior is also extremely classy, with ergonomic seats and a weighty, solid feel to the dashboard.

Engines: The focus of the Mercedes-Benz engine range is on economy, with the range of diesel BlueTEC engines offering good emissions figures. The choice engine in the range is the E220, which offers in excess of 56mpg and 130g/km emissions, but has enough power from the engine's torque to pull even the biggest loads along nicely. Petrol engines sit at both ends of the range, from the E250 up to the E63 AMG Estate, which can offer huge performance thanks to 585bhp from a turbocharged V8 engine. Refinement scores top marks on all models, making the E-Class a swift, safe, long distance cruising option.

Features: There are numerous trims within the used Mercedes E-Class Estate model range, but you can be assured whichever model you pick that standard equipment is plentiful. Pre-2013 variants get heated front seats, automatic climate control and an electronically operated tailgate. From 2013 onwards, the SE trim added LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, and the Mercedes COMMAND multimedia system. Not short on safety features, the SE trim also features seven airbags and collision prevention assist.

Audi A6 Avant

About: The Audi A6 is a stylish solution to the estate car. It looks neat and elegant from its exterior appearance, but also has plenty of features on the inside to keep buyers entertained. The newest version of the A6 Avant is 70kg lighter than the previous model, thanks to a new chassis which is now 20% aluminium - meaning that fuel economy is up there with the best. Interior quality is also extremely high, and a used A6 is a good choice for those wanting a blend of practicality with everyday usability.

Engines: The bulk of the A6 Avant range is made up of capable diesel engines. At the start of the range is a more understated 2.0 litre TDI, which offers great economy for a car of this size at 62.8mpg. Further up the range is a 3.0 litre TDI that accounts of a majority of the Audi A6 options - and is available in three different stages of tuning. The two top tier versions, the 272 and the 320, offer brisk performance to satisfy most drivers, whilst the 218 has the best of both worlds. It manages a 0-60 time of just over seven seconds but achieves 58.0 mpg on the combined cycle.

Features: In standard trim, the A6 Avant comes with Satellite Navigation, cruise control, Bluetooth, plus a four-spoke leather trimmed steering wheel. Outside, the A6 features light and rain sensors, 17-inch alloy wheels and Audi's full parking system. Every A6 Avant also comes with Stop/Start as standard.

MINI Clubman

About: Arguably not an estate, the MINI clubman is a downsize option for those that want added practicality from their superMINI. The Clubman has a boot capacity of 260 litres - over 100 litres more than the standard MINI hatch. This may not sound like much for an estate, but it's the ideal size for a dog or - as the name suggests - a set of golf clubs. If you need a full-size estate for constant haulage and long distance trips, then you may be better looking elsewhere, but the MINI Clubman is uniquely practical in its own right. Not to mention, it retains that classic MINI styling.

Engines: The MINI Clubman comes with a range of engines based off different trim levels. This starts off with the 1.6 litre petrol engine in the MINI One which has an available 98bhp, whilst an uprated version of this engine features in the Cooper with 122bhp.

Depending on what you are using the Clubman for, a diesel engine might be more appropriate. The diesel range starts with a 1.6 unit in the One and Cooper, producing 90 and 112bhp respectively. The MINI Cooper D is probably the pick of the range, offering impressive economy and enough power to make use of the MINI's pliable chassis.

Features: All MINI models post-2009 come with air conditioning as standard, in addition to a CD player and dynamic stability control. Move up to the cooper trim, and equipment includes partial leather seat trim and alloy wheels.