Skoda Superb Estate Plug-in Hybrid (2020-) review

£36,017Price from

Test scoreShow Context

77%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)

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verdict: Highly practical hybrid

The Skoda Superb Estate plug-in hybrid doesn’t compromise too much on the regular model’s huge interior, with just as much passenger space and a still-gargantuan boot. It’s also an eager performer and very comfortable, with an excellent cabin. The hybrid system opens up the potential for very low running costs, too. It’s a Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Hugely spacious
  • Comfortable
  • Potentially very low running costs
Cons
  • Some scratchy cabin plastics
  • Boot space slightly compromised by hybrid system

BMW 5 Series Touring (2017-) review

£40,038Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Estate of the art

BMW’s 5 Series Touring is one of the best luxury estate cars available. It drives as keenly as the 5 Series saloon but is more practical. The interior is luxurious and its ability to eat up miles while you drive in great comfort is almost unmatched. Yes, it’s expensive, but the sense of quality throughout is unmistakable.

Pros
  • Strong engine range
  • Safe
  • Sharp handling
  • Comfortable
  • Luxurious
  • Practical
Cons
  • Expensive to buy and run

BMW 3-series Estate (2012-2019) review

£9,704Price from

Test scoreShow Context

74%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: A sharp-suited estate for keen drivers

The BMW 3 Series Touring exhibits the driver focus for which the brand is famed. It’s the driver’s choice of premium compact estate cars, but is comfortable and practical enough to make it an extremely easy family car to live with. The interior is improved over the old model, too, but the Audi A4 just shades it in terms of outright quality.

Pros
  • Great to drive
  • Efficient diesel engines
  • Abundance of safety kit
Cons
  • Small boot for an estate
  • Unadventurous styling
  • Expensive options prices

Honda Accord Tourer (2008-2015) review

£3,797Price from

Test scoreShow Context

74%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: Talented, dependable large estate

The Accord Tourer is well equipped, well built and fairly sporty to drive. Aside from confusing dash controls, the Accord is comfortable and easy to drive. There’s plenty of room passengers and luggage, too, which is enough for this estate to qualify for Best Buy status.

Pros
  • Comprehensive equipment
  • Good safety features
  • High quality
Cons
  • Low roof restricts access
  • Confusing dashboard
  • Quite expensive to run

Audi A6 Allroad (2012-2018) review

£13,569Price from

Test scoreShow Context

73%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Practical, comfortable, capable all-rounder

This is a highly desirable, practical, luxurious car. The cabin is roomy, while the boot is big enough for the rigours of family life. The dynamic suspension set-up means that, while it’s 60mm further from the ground than the A6 Avant, it can hunker down like a sports car on the move. It’s a Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Superb ride comfort
  • Spacious cabin and boot
  • Powerful V6 diesels
Cons
  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Limited range of engines

Toyota Avensis Touring Sports (2009-2018) review

£4,982Price from

Test scoreShow Context

72%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: Worth a look

It you’re looking for quiet, safe, comfortable transport, the Avensis Touring Sports delivers. It’s a Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Fuss-free and easy to live with
  • Safe and solid to drive
Cons
  • Feeling its age now
  • Tricky to manoeuvre
  • Rear seats not particularly comfortable

Skoda Octavia Estate (2020-) review

£20,717Price from

Test scoreShow Context

72%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: Family car champion

Looking for maximum practicality without huge exterior dimensions? The Skoda Octavia Estate is a genuine star: it’s huge inside for passengers and their luggage, while offering good ride comfort and a pleasant cabin. If you can live with the awkward infotainment system, this is a fantastic all-rounder and a Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Extremely spacious
  • Decent to drive
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Touchscreen controls could be better
  • Best equipment is optional extra

Ford Mondeo Estate (2014-) review

£25,241Price from

Test scoreShow Context

71%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Big, beautiful and practical

The Mondeo Estate is a supremely practical choice. Loads of room for passengers and a huge boot make it an ideal family transporter. It’s also a relaxing and very comfortable car – the sort that could dispatch a 400-mile journey with ease – but it does lack the driver involvement of previous Mondeos.

Pros
  • Huge cabin
  • Massive boot
  • Safe
  • High build quality
  • Holds value well
Cons
  • Unwieldy turning circle
  • Airbag seatbelts mean no child seat installation

Peugeot 508 SW Plug-in hybrid (2019-) review

£31,711Price from

Test scoreShow Context

71%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)

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verdict: Stylish, upmarket plug-in estate

The option to use electric power only adds to the 508 SW’s appeal. It’s a great car to drive, once you’ve got used to the intricacies of its controls, and the design inside and out makes it feel like something special. As with any plug-in hybrid, though, you’ll need to think about your specific requirements. Long-distance drivers and those without access to private charging facilities may find a conventional petrol or diesel 508 SW a better bet overall.

Pros
  • Desirable
  • Emissions-free potential
Cons
  • Low roofline affects entry and exit
  • Poor rear visibility

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2016-) review

£41,326Price from

Test scoreShow Context

70%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: Impressive practicality and luxury

As an estate, the Mercedes E-Class adds tremendous practicality to what is a highly luxurious package. Rather than matching the driver enjoyment focus that its closest rivals pursue, its easy going civility makes it a more relaxing companion and a great luxury estate car.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Safe
  • High-quality interior
  • Hugely spacious
Cons
  • Expensive to buy
  • Best kit is optional
  • Complex infotainment system

Subaru Legacy (2009-2013) review

£5,272Price from

Test scoreShow Context

70%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: Solid four-wheel-drive estate

A great car for use in poor or wintery conditions or for towing, the Subary Legacy is worth considering as a family estate.

Pros
  • Well built
  • Well equipped
  • Easy to drive
  • Four-wheel drive
Cons
  • Restricted child seat positioning
  • Few engine/transmission combinations
  • Expensive parts

Ford Mondeo Estate (2007-2013) review

£2,326Price from

Test scoreShow Context

70%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Impressive, great value family car

Practicality is king with the Mondeo Estate. The huge boot swallows 530 litres of luggage (or 1,733 litres with the seats folded down) and passenger space is generous, too. Many Mondeos spend a lot of their lives in the hands of company car drivers, which should hopefully mean they’ve been well maintained.

Pros
  • Great long-distance cruiser
  • Safe
  • Well equipped
  • Spacious
Cons
  • A bit noisy
  • Some visibility issues
  • Loses value quickly

Skoda Octavia Estate (2013-2020) review

£8,021Price from

Test scoreShow Context

70%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Impressive, upmarket, load-lugging estate

Don’t be fooled by the barge-like size of the Octavia Estate – it drives very well and its wide range of engines offer good performance and economy. The ride is a little on the firm side, though. If you’re looking for a large family car that can transport a heap of luggage, the Octavia is a good choice.

Pros
  • Generous cabin
  • Enormous boot
  • Drives well
Cons
  • Rear seats don’t fold fully flat
  • Some sluggish engines
  • Poor visibility to rear

Volvo V90 Estate (2016-) review

£40,162Price from

Test scoreShow Context

70%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Superb mix of luxury and practicality

The V90 is large estate that’s eminently practical. But it’s so much more than that, offering superb comfort, a luxurious cabin and beautifully crafted style, as well as being crammed full of modern technology. It may not be as dynamic to drive as some rivals but it’s a lot less fussed than almost all of them.

Pros
  • Comfortable and luxurious
  • Practical and spacious
  • Safe handling
Cons
  • Complex touchscreen
  • Expensive to buy
  • Thirsty
  • Unwieldy

Volvo V90 Plug-in hybrid (2020-) review

£54,272Price from

Test scoreShow Context

70%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)

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 verdict: Power, luxury and practicality combined

The V90 plug-in hybrid offers the prospect of low running costs by large estate car standards – but only if you mostly do short journeys, since its electric-only range is low. It does a great job of mixing practicality with luxury: ride comfort, cabin feel, workmanship and technology are all high points. It’s also a very pleasing car to drive, with great performance and safe handling.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Strong acceleration
  • Practical
  • Safe
Cons
  • Complex touchscreen
  • Expensive to buy
  • Unwieldy
  • Thirsty on longer journeys

BMW 3-series Estate (2005-2012) review

£2,772Price from

Test scoreShow Context

69%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Extra practicality adds to appeal

It may not be as exclusive as it once was, but the 3 Series Touring is still one of the best family-sized cars to drive. It’s also frugal and spacious – but not quite as large inside as the most practical estate car rivals.

Pros
  • Excellent refinement
  • Great to drive
  • Functional
  • Powerful and efficient engines
Cons
  • Sloped roof is slightly impractical

Mazda 6 Tourer (2013-) review

£25,726Price from

Test scoreShow Context

69%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Great for keen drivers

The Mazda 6 is more than just a handsome face: it’s a mature-feeling large estate car with comfort in spades and enough poise to be reasonably entertaining to drive. It also returns decent fuel economy for such a large car.

Pros
  • Enjoyable to drive
  • Frugal engines
  • Good value
  • Stylish looks
Cons
  • Relatively firm suspension
  • Poor all-round visibility

Skoda Octavia VRS Estate (2013-2020) review

£10,929Price from

Test scoreShow Context

69%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: Rapid express estate

The Octavia Estate may look like any conventional large estate car, but adding the vRS badge gives it real pep and vigour. The chassis is certainly up to the task, too, even if the ride is on the firm side. If you’re looking for a large, practical family car with a bit of fun on the side, the Octavia vRS is a good choice.

Pros
  • Generous cabin space
  • Enormous boot
  • Strong engines
  • Drives well
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Rear seats don’t fold fully flat
  • Stiff ride

Subaru Outback (2015-) review

£32,409Price from

Test scoreShow Context

69%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Tough 4×4 estate car

If you’re not keen on tall 4×4 crossovers, the Subaru Outback does a great job of offering genuine off-road ability in a good-looking estate package. It’s very spacious inside and generally decent to drive but we don’t like the automatic gearbox.

Pros
  • Smooth engines
  • Spacious cabin and boot
  • Good off-road
Cons
  • Slow-witted automatic gearbox
  • Thirsty

Volkswagen Passat Estate (2015-) review

£29,067Price from

Test scoreShow Context

69%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Comfortable, practical, anodyne

A whopper of a boot is the Passat Estate’s party piece, and its spacious interior and comfortable seats make it pleasant for long distances. It’s relatively expensive, though, and can’t quite match the upmarket experience of more premium rivals – largely because of quite a noisy cabin at speed. It’s a solid family estate car, but reliability concerns mean it misses out on Best Buy status.

Pros
  • Gargantuan boot
  • Spacious for passengers
  • Smooth ride
  • Impressive safety
Cons
  • Low-powered diesels aren’t very lively
  • Poor new model reliability
  • Noisy cabin at high speeds
  • Sluggish infotainment system