Forget the latest trendy crossovers and chunky off-roaders, good old estate cars are still very popular among British business drivers.

That’s because the stationwagon style of vehicle offers the fuel economy, ease of driving, comfort and style of a normal saloon with the extra load-lugging potential of a small van.

But it’s not easy for a business choosing between estates. Be careful as some fashionable ‘life-style estates’ actually have a smaller load capacity than the saloon equivalent (for example, the Volvo V60). It pays to shop around and check cargo-carrying potential. 

We’re been researching current best buys among load-lugging estates this month. Here’s our selection (all are available with a choice of engines, trims and prices):

1) Skoda Superb Estate

The biggest Skoda is already a fleet favourite, with three-quarters of sales heading for the business sector. This is mainly down to the balance of price and quality. Skoda is the cheapest of the Volkswagen Group brands yet the Skoda is one of its most prestigious, beautifully built products. And it lives up to its name as a long-distance motorway vehicle. It may not give your business the prestige that, say, it’s sister car the Passat would, but it’s cheaper and the boot is bigger. The Superb Estate offers 660 litres of cargo space in the boot and 1950 litres with the seats folded flat.

2) Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

By way of a contrast, here’s something that most would call a people-carrier. But the latest Citroen goes some way to bridging the gap with estate cars. It’s smaller and more car-like to drive that the big old boxy ‘Espace’ type of MPV. Best of all for business buyers, it doesn’t look too much like a family mini-bus. And the C4 scores on practicality: you can adjust it to have seven seats or five seats and a huge 790-litre boot.

3) Mercedes E Class Estate

The big Merc estate does two jobs: somehow it manages to carry wardrobe size loads and at the same time make your company look more prestigious. Its 695-litre boot is the largest you’ll find in any luxury car. Put the plush rear seats down and you’ve got 1905 litres of space.

4) Peugeot 308 SW

It’s based on a small hatchback but the SW Estate version is a serious cargo-carrier with a hefty 660 litres of space behind the back seats (that’s 200 litres more than the Ford Focus Estate). The SW has clever under-floor storage compartments and boasts 1660 litres of stowage when the back seats are folded.

5) Ford Mondeo Estate

The load-lugging version of the popular fleet car is What Car’s ‘Estate of the Year’. It’s not the biggest but makes sense for cost-conscious companies because it can come with a 53mpg 1.6-litre diesel that just dips under the important 100gm/km CO2 level for tax-free motoring.

 

Research:

https://awards.whatcar.com/estate

http://www.which.co.uk/cars/choosing-a-car/buying-a-car/estate-car-buying-tips/