There is such a range of family cars on offer these days that you can be bamboozled by the choice. Although the SUVs and MPVs of the nineties and noughties were really popular, the estate car has always remained popular with families who value practicality, comfort and space in a vehicle. And today’s estate cars (or family wagons) allow for plenty of room to transport children, dogs and luggage without compromising on comfort.
As well for their practicality, wagons also appeal to those drivers who find the SUV or crossover a bit of a cliché – who really needs a car with off-road capabilities if you only drive on the highway after all?
Although they don’t get quite as good mileage as the new eco cars like hybrids and electric vehicles, their fuel efficiency is far better than it used to be. And gradually, there are more estate cars that are also hybrids – Peugeot has brought out its 508 RXH this year, and Volvo’s V70 range will also include a plug-in hybrid in the near future.
Estate cars make perfect family wagons, but they’re also great for those longer road trips you might have to do for business. For a travelling salesman, if they’re prepared to rough it a little, there’s plenty of space to sleep in the back for a night or two. The trunk space can also be used as effectively as a small van for transporting goods and cargo.
There’s flexibility too, as the rear seats in most modern estates split and fold down flat, so you can use one half of the trunk for bulky items while still leaving room for a passenger or two on the rear seat.
In short, there’s far more versatility in an estate car than in an SUV – it may not be quite as sexy, but who really cares about the sex appeal of their car these days?
Estate car (Station wagon) – A car for a family