The best cars for fishermen

  • Loadspace, four-wheel drive, utilitarianism
  • Mixture of traditional SUVs, estates, MPVs and van-derived cars
  • Ideal cars for fishing, catering for all budgets

If your favourite hobby is fishing, then your ideal car will have a strong set of criteria.

We’ve done your homework for you, to ensure the perfect car for your weekend pursuit doesn’t slip through the net.

Fold-down rear seats, masses of interior space, a certain sense of utilitarianism, and – in some cases – the ability to deal with a rough-and-ready dirt track or two, are all-important to keen anglers.

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery  - The best cars for fishermen

If you need to travel through the wildest wilderness to reach that perfect fishing spot, there’s no more capable vehicle (short of the firm’s Defender model) than the Land Rover Discovery. 

Alongside that excellent Terrain Response four-wheel drive system, the Discovery packs in seven seats – so you can go group angling – and with the rearmost pair stowed a whopping 1,260 litres of load space is available. At nearly five metres long there’s plenty of room for your rods, and should you decide a swap of bank is required, the Discovery’s 700mm wading depth will mean you can do so without donning waders.

The latest Land Rover Discovery SE Tech comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, heated (front) leather seats, parking sensors, xenon headlamps and sat-nav. The 3-litre V6 diesel has a generous 600Nm of torque and a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox, so it’s pleasant to drive on the road as well as near your favourite fishing spot.

Star Rating: 4.5
Used price: £4,215 – £52,340
Our pick: SE Tech
Economy: 37mpg
Boot space: 1,260 litres
Performance: 0-60mph in 8.8 seconds, 112mph top speed
Braked towing capacity: 3,500kg

View the latest Land Rover Discovery cars for sale

Skoda Octavia Scout

Skoda Octavia Scout - The best cars for fishermen

Skoda has never been one to harp on about its abilities but the firm’s Octavia Scout is the Swiss army knife of the automotive world. Part estate, part family car, and part 4×4 – it’s perfectly suited for the keen fisherman.

With the seats in place the Scout can carry up to 610 litres of gear, while folding the rear seats down extends this to 1,740 litres. The front passenger seat collapses flat too, so if you want to extend your rods inside the car the 2.92-metre length will likely suffice.

It’s available with a pair of diesel engines – both two litres in capacity but with either 147bhp or 181bhp – and both come with an on-demand four-wheel drive system and a ride height 31mm taller than the standard car. Just like the standard Octavia, the Scout comes well equipped as standard, with Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, leather and Alcantara seats complimenting the rugged body mouldings and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Star Rating: 4
Used price: £13,135 – £21,535
Our pick: Scout 2-litre TDI manual (148bhp)
Economy: 58mpg
Boot space: 610 litres
Performance: 0-60mph 8.8 seconds, 129mph top speed
Braked towing capacity: 2,000kg

View the latest Skoda Octavia Scout cars for sale

Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback - The best cars for fishermen

Long before Impreza STis were careered around supermarket car parks, Subaru sold its cars to farmers requiring no-nonsense vehicles capable of coping with remote conditions reliably. Hot Imprezas have since fallen out of favour, but the firm is back to doing what it did best.

The Subaru Outback is certainly a return to form, treading a fine line between 4×4 SUV and stylish estate car. Now in its fifth generation, all are four-wheel drive with a practical ride height and use boxer four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. It’s the latter that makes the most sense, though we’d steer clear of the CVT automatic gearbox as it dulls down the driving experience.

However, the Outback only provides up to 510 litres of load space when all five seats are in use. Fold the backrest and this climbs to a whopping 1,848 litres, though, and SE Premium models get a useful powered tailgate as standard.

Star Rating: 4.5
Used price: £16,755 – £25,810
Our pick: 2.0 SE Premium
Economy: 50mpg
Boot space: 510 litres
Performance: 0-60mph in 9.4 seconds, 119mph top speed
Braked towing capacity: 1,800kg

View the latest Subaru Outback cars for sale

Peugeot 308 SW

Peugeot 308SW - The best cars for fishermen

The Peugeot might look like a minnow compared with the competition, but despite its diminutive stance, it boasts a boot large enough for 660 litres of fishing kit.

Drop the rear seat and you’ll notice they fold completely flat, and the capacity increases to 1,775 litres. The load-through hatch means you can slide your rods into the car while four-up too.

Unlike some of the others on this list, the 308 SW can prove particularly cheap to own, leaving you with spare cash for extra bait. Choose the 1.2 e-THP three-cylinder petrol engine and you’re promised 56mpg, despite the 128bhp on offer, though there’s no four-wheel drive option.

At least Allure specification comes with plenty of kit, including the firm’s i-cockpit with tiny wheel and a 9.7-inch touchscreen – you can even use the latter to review digital images from a memory stick. Allure models also benefit from DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, reversing camera and front parking sensors.  

Star Rating: 4.5
Used price: £6,100 – £17,275
Our pick: 1.2 e-THP Allure
Economy: 56mpg
Boot space: 660 litres
Performance: 0-60mph in 10.3 seconds, 124mph top speed
Braked towing capacity: 1,200kg

View the latest Peugeot 308 SW cars for sale

Dacia Duster

Dacia Duster - The best cars for fishermen

If you’d rather spend money on the latest carbonfibre fishing reel than mode of transport, then Dacia’s ‘Shockingly affordable’ slogan will likely sound like the catch of the day.

Choose one of the entry-level Access models and you can delight in the Duster’s utilitarian vibe, with grey plastic bumpers and steel wheels. It’s equally sparse inside, so there’s no need to worry if you bring some of the great outdoors in, and is simply equipped with electric front windows, four airbags, and a height-adjustable steering wheel. There isn’t, however, a radio and if you want the 1.5 dCi diesel you’ll need to fork out for the mid-trim Ambiance instead.

Star Rating: 3.5
Used price: £4,165 – £15,005
Our pick: 1.5 dCi Ambiance 4×4
Economy: 60mpg
Boot space: 408 litres
Performance: 0-60mph 12 seconds, 104mph
Braked towing capacity: 1,500Kg

View the latest Dacia Duster cars for sale

Ford Grand Tourneo Connect

Ford Grand Tourneo Connect - The best cars for fishermen

There’s no car more practical than one derived from a van. Problem is, they usually drive like one.

Not so the Ford Grand Tourneo Connect, which feels less all-at-sea and more tied-down than you’d expect – thanks to parts borrowed from the excellent Ford Focus. It also looks less van-like than the standard Tourneo Connect, thanks to lengthened sliding rear doors (perfect for access with awkward fishing kit) and a longer wheelbase. The tall roofline makes it ideal for changing into your waders in the dry too.

There are seven seats and the cabin is loaded with little storage solutions, though if you fold all the seats forward the loadspace is capable of carrying 2,620 litres of luggage. The front passenger seat tips forward too, so rods over three metres in length can be carried in the cabin, and the dashboard borrows plenty of high-quality components from the car range.

Star Rating: 4.5
Used price: £8,330 – £17,380
Our pick: 1.5 TDCi (120bhp) Zetec
Economy: 64mpg
Boot space: 1,287 litres
Performance: 0-60mph 12.2 seconds, 106mph
Braked towing capacity: 845kg

View the latest Ford Grand Tourneo Connect cars for sale

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - The best cars for fishermen

Looking like something that has descended from outer space rather than from the deep, this seven-seat Citroen people-carrier is deceptively practical.

For a start those seven seats are genuinely usable and when you fold them down boot space rises from 790 litres (in five-seat mode) to 2,181 litres. Cubby holes abound and higher spec models come with an electrically operated tailgate too.

There’s no four-wheel drive model though, so rough tracks may prove the Picasso’s undoing, and though the automatic model’s column-shift is convenient, manual models are more economical. Opt for the excellent 1.6 BlueHDi diesel and you can enjoy over 70 mpg and free road tax. Meanwhile VTR+ models come with a panoramic windscreen, dual-zone air conditioning, seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system and rear parking sensors.

Star Rating: 4
Used price: £7,805 – £19,785
Our pick: 1.6 BlueHDi VTR+
Economy: 74mpg
Boot space: 165 litres (seven-seat mode)
Performance: 0-60mph 12.7 seconds, 109mph top speed

Braked towing capacity: 1,300kg

View the latest Citroen Grand C4 Picasso cars for sale

Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 - The best cars for fishermen

For those who want the ability of a Land Rover Discovery, but prefer their seven-seat SUVs a little more wieldy and less utilitarian, Volvo has the answer with its XC90. Dripping with Scandi-cool detailing, including blonde wood inlays and “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlight graphics, the XC90 also guarantees safety, dependability and reasonable running costs.

There’s a hybrid T8 model available for those hoping to save the environment, along with a T6 petrol that does the opposite, but it’s the punchy D5 diesel that strikes the best compromise. Only available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, the XC90 D5 manages nearly 50mpg and emits just 149g/km.

Should the weather take a turn for the worse, you can console yourself with the excellent interior – the seats are some of the best around. And the £3,000 Bang & Olufsen stereo upgrade will be music to your ears. 

High-spec Inscription models are available, but the smart money is on the well-equipped entry-level Momentum trim.

Star Rating: 4.5
Used price: £34,690 – £60,370
Our pick: D5 Momentum
Economy: 49mpg
Boot space: 451 litres
Performance: 0-60mph in 7.6 seconds, 137mph top speed
Braked towing capacity: 2,700kg

View the latest Volvo XC90 cars for sale

Honda Civic Tourer

Honda Civic Tourer - The best cars for fishermen

Like the 308 the Honda Civic is in danger of being eaten by the killer whales in this group, such is its small stature – but it also has a massive boot perfect for the amateur angler.

It’s so big in fact, it betters the Subaru Outback with its 624-litre load area with the seats in place. Drop the rear bench and this expands to 1,668 litres, while the underfloor storage is perfect for hiding smaller items. And it has Magic Seats, which allow the base of the rear seats to flip up – leaving the backrests in place – so you can stow taller items (such as nets) inside the cabin rather than in the boot.

There’s a range of engines on offer, but while the line-up is dominated by the petrol models we’d suggest the excellent 1.6 i-DTEC diesel instead. The 0-60mph sprint takes just 10 seconds, but it promises 74mpg and sub 100g/km CO2 emissions.

Star Rating: 4
Used price: £7,210 – £18,985
Our pick: S 1.6i-DTEC S
Economy: 74mpg
Boot space: 624 litres
Performance: 0-60mph 10 seconds, 121mph top speed
Towing capacity: 1,400kg

View the latest Honda Civic Tourer cars for sale

Skoda Superb Estate

Skoda Superb Estate - The best cars for fishermen

Simply, estate cars don’t come any cleverer than the new Skoda Superb. Whether you need to carry kit or passengers, slide under the radar on the road or stand out from the crowd the Skoda is the automotive equivalent of the perfect cast.

It looks great and has one of the largest boots available in any sector: with the seats in place the Superb will hold 660 litres of kit, and folded it’ll take up to 1,760 litres. It’s a square, well-shaped and suitably trimmed load area too, complete with cubbies, storage stays, hooks and even a detachable torch.

The rear bench has limo-like room for its passengers, while up front the Superb is loaded with kit. Opt for the SE spec which includes Bluetooth, DAB radio, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system and 17-inch alloy wheels. There’s even a pair of umbrellas hidden in the doors should you forget yours and a four-wheel drive diesel with 147bhp is available.

Star Rating: 4.5
Used price: £13,190 – £28,325
Our pick: SE 2.0 TDI 4×4
Economy: 61mpg
Boot space: 660 litres
Performance: 0-60mph 8.8 seconds, 132mph top speed
Braked towing capacity: 2,200kg

View the latest Skoda Superb Estate cars for sale

The best vans for fishermen 

Car not big enough? Then how about a proper van? We reckon a mid-size model from the medium van sector offers the best blend of practicality and usability. Here’s our pick of the best.

Ford Transit Custom

Ford Transit Custom - best vans for fishermen

The UK’s best-selling van – and for good reason. Available from late 2016 with a range of smooth and urgent 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines, if you haven’t driven a van in a while the Transit Custom will surprise you: it not only looks super modern, it’s also great fun to from behind the wheel, with sharp steering and lots of grip making up for the slightly bouncy ride.

It also comes in a wide choice of body sizes and trim levels – culminating in the Sport, with its attention-seeking bonnet stripes, bespoke bumpers, lowered suspension and 170hp engine. There’s now a six-speed automatic option, too.

Need to carry people as well as lots of gear? Then go for the Double-Cab-in-Van (DCiV) variant, which offers two rows of seating (for up to six) and still has an enormous load area for all your gear. Better yet, the Transit Custom is always in good supply, so there are lots of deals to be had.

Star rating: 4.5
Click here for the latest used Ford Transit Custom vans for sale 
Our pick: Sport DCiV automatic
Economy: 39.2mpg
Boot space: 4.4 cubic metres (long-wheelbase DCiV)
Braked towing capacity: 1,550kg

Mercedes-Benz Vito

Mercedes-Benz Vito - best vans for fishermen

As with cars, Mercedes is the choice of aspirational van buyers, with an image that properly befits the three-pointed star. Merc vans are built tough, look good and are comfortable to drive. The interiors are a bit boring, but they’re practical and should prove hardwearing.

Unusually for a mid-size van, the latest Vito is available with a choice of either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. The former is cheaper and better for fuel economy, the latter gets greater traction, comes with more powerful engines (up to 190hp) and an optional seven-speed automatic.

The Vito comes in three different bodylengths, you get easy-clean flooring as standard in the back, and there are a wide range of load lashing options available – from simple eyelets to highly adaptable rails mounted on the floor and the sides. The crew van variant seats up to six, and you get 30 years’ roadside assistance should the worst happen.

Star rating: 4.5
Click here for the latest used Mercedes-Benz Vito vans for sale 
Our pick: 119 BlueTEC automatic
Economy: 47.1mpg
Boot space: 4.1 cubic metres (Extra-long Crew van)
Braked towing capacity: 2,500kg (with accessory)

Volkswagen Transporter T6

VW Transporter - best vans for fishermen

The sixth-gen Transporter ably demonstrates how VW vans have built up such a cult following. From the crisply styled exterior to the mega-practical cab, it’s both functional and desirable, with a choice of two lengths, three roof heights and a vast array of paint colours. Trim levels include the aggressive Sportline, while the kombi seats up to six (but doesn’t include a standard bulkhead to isolate the load area).

There are so many cubby holes and storage solutions in the cab that finding space for something is less of an issue than remembering where you put it. Technology transfer from VW’s car range means familiar, user-friendly infotainment systems and the latest safety tech, too – including autonomous emergency braking as standard.

What’s more, not only can get you a Transporter with 204hp, 4Motion four-wheel drive is optional on some models. So you can be confident of reaching even remote fishing spots, without getting stuck.

Star rating: 4.5
Click here for the latest used VW Transporter vans for sale 
Our pick: 4Motion DSG Highline kombi
Economy: 41.4mpg
Boot space: 6.7 cubic metres (long-wheelbase, low roof, including seating area)
Braked towing capacity: 2,500kg

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