When it comes to space, it’s hard to beat the generous dimensions of an estate car. There are some fantastic new models on the market this year. However, you can unlock big savings by purchasing a second-hand estate car. Not sure where to start? Read on as we cover what is the best used estate car to buy. In addition, we’ll go through what to look for when browsing the second-hand market.

Getting to know estate cars

If you’re not familiar with estate cars, let us give you the lowdown. While the front of the car resembles a standard hatchback, the rear features an extended boot with a cavernous cargo area. Space is the main selling point. As such, estate cars are hugely popular among families with bucketloads of luggage, sports enthusiasts carting around bulky equipment and pet owners with a couple of four-legged friends in tow.

Fun fact – did you know estate cars, or station wagons as they’re often referred to, are named after their original purpose of ferrying passengers and luggage between railway stations and country estates?

Estate cars vs SUVs

In many ways, estate cars are comparable to SUVs as they offer far more space than the average car. Though instead of off-road styling, they champion a sleek and urban aesthetic. This means they’re just as comfortable loaded up with camping gear as they are commuting to the office on a Monday. They also feature a low-profile like their hatchback and sedan counterparts. As such, they can appeal to drivers who want extra space but don’t feel comfortable driving bulky SUVs. Fuel economy is also a factor, with estate cars generally guzzling less fuel than SUVs.

Our top 5 used estate car models

Before we get started, let’s bust some myths about the term “used”. Buying second-hand doesn’t have to mean settling for a model with more than 150,000 miles on the odometer. Though of course, if you’re on the hunt for a serious bargain this can be a good option. In many cases, buying a “used” estate car can mean getting behind the wheel of a model that’s only a year or so old. Furthermore, if you’re really looking for that new car aroma, you could even opt for a test drive model.

1. Skoda Superb Estate

Spacious and sturdy, the Skoda Superb Estate boasts one of the biggest boots in its class. Models from the last five years offer excellent fuel efficiency and are great for long-distance driving. The generously sized interior coupled with low running costs make the Skoda Superb Estate a firm favourite with families. While the Skoda Superb Estate enjoys glowing reviews from most owners, there have been reports of water leaks in the boot. With this in mind, be sure to give your used model a good once-over during the test drive. 

2. BMW 3 Series Touring

Luxury meets practicality in the BMW 3 Series Touring. Packed with high-tech features, this model treats you to all the bells and whistles you expect from BMW. It’s also easy on the eye, with the sleek design challenging perceptions of estate cars. If you’re looking for a family-friendly ride with an executive feel, the BMW 3 Series Touring will tick all your boxes. The 2020 model is available with a variety of different engines, including petrol- and diesel-powered.

3. Ford Focus Estate

What is the best used estate car to buy if you’re looking for value for money? The Ford Focus Estate builds on the success of its wildly popular predecessor. Furthermore, there are some great deals to be had when buying second-hand. Sure, it’s not the biggest or most luxurious model on the market. However, you’ll enjoy excellent handling, impressive fuel economy and some great tech features on the newer models.

4. Dacia Logan MCV

If you thought the Ford Focus Estate offered excellent value for money, wait until you meet the Dacia Logan MCV. A true bargain-basement estate car, this model is marketed as a ‘Maximum Capacity Vehicle’. Indeed, the Dacia Logan MCV offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage alike. The 2019 model boasts an impressive 573-litre boot that can handle all the golf clubs, dog kennels and flat-pack furniture you can throw at it. While the Dacia Logan MCV has now been discontinued, there are loads of used models out there and some serious deals to snap up if you know where to look.

5. Mercedes E-Class Estate

There’s plenty to love about the Mercedes E-Class Estate, including the luxurious interior and elegant styling that redefines the station wagon aesthetic. Sliding into the driver’s seat, you’ll immediately notice the intuitive cockpit features, high-quality materials and luxe leather trim. The Mercedes E-Class Estate doesn’t compromise on space. As a result, the 2016 model offers a mammoth 640-litre boot or 1820 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Choosing what is the best used estate car to buy

All factors considered, what is the best used estate car to buy? Ultimately, the best model for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget. If you’re looking for value for money, the Dacia Logan MCV is hard to beat. The Mercedes E-Class Estate promises unparalleled luxury. However, the Skoda Superb Estate is a top performer when it comes to space. When deciding what is the best used estate car to buy, we always recommend taking the time to establish your priorities, do your research and get stuck into online reviews.

When you’re ready to get behind the wheel of your dream estate car, we’re here to help. With access to one of the biggest lending panels in the UK, we have the experience and expertise to secure you the best used car finance deals. Contact us today to find out more about how to unlock the best used car finance deals in the UK.

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