The best plug-in hybrid and electric estates 2021

  • 2021's top plug-in electric estates in the UK rated
  • PHEVs and fully electric load-luggers covered
  • Combining low running costs and practicality

Electrification in estate cars has taken a while to be embraced by new car buyers, so much so that although there is now a broad range of plug-in hybrid wagons, there are only two fully electric load-luggers currently on sale.

Many car buyers prefer estates to more fashionable SUVs, not simply because they can usually carry more cargo in their boots, but also because they tend to handle better and often cost less to run, further eking out the electricity stored in the batteries. 

Plug-in hybrid or fully electric?

Combining a conventional combustion engine with a small battery pack allows plug-in hybrids (PHEVs for short) to mix between fully electric running in city centres, using the engine when more performance is needed - or when the battery is empty. This gives many buyers peace of mind, reducing the (negligible) risk of getting stranded without power further still.

Plug-in hybrid estate on charge

Fully electric (or BEV for battery electric vehicles) estates have no engine at all, just a more compact electric motor or two, mated to a larger battery pack. Typically, BEVs have a smaller overall range than PHEVs, but being purely electric means they are far cheaper to run overall. Plus, depending on your residential circumstances, you could conveniently recharge your car at home so that it's 'full' every time you want to use it.

Scroll down to read our top electrified estate car choices. You can click on the links below to jump to your favourite, or click further down to read the comprehensive Parkers reviews.

Best plug-in hybrid and electric estates for 2021


MG 5 EV 

Grey MG 5 EV estate front three-quarter

MG's Chinese-built models focus on the value-focused end of the market, with the 5 EV being no exception. Cheap it may be, but that doesn't equate to nasty, with good build quality and a generous level of standard equipment.

Beauty's in the eye of the beholder, but we feel it's fair to say all of the other estates on this list look more pleasing than the MG, but what can't be argued with is that most also have more space inside for people and their luggage. Counterpunches from the MG's corner are that it's very easy and refined to drive, while also being decent fun, too. It's also noteworthy as being the first fully electric estate on sale in the UK.

Key statistics: with the rear seats in place there's 464 litres of space available in the boot, plus the official range claim is 214 miles of driving in mixed conditions between recharges. It's an honest car and is all the more appealing because of that.

Price new: from £25,095
Lease this car: from £330 per month
Search for a used MG 5 EV on Parkers: price range £15,685-£19,800

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 

Green Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo front three-quarter

Don't be fooled by the Cross Turismo name - this is an estate and not an SUV, being the load-lugging version of Porsche's very well-regarded Taycan four-door saloon. Yes, it has standard four-wheel drive, some plastic body cladding and the ride height has been increased by 20mm, but this is for aesthetics rather than cross-country athletics.

Sleek and slinky, with a focus on performance, this is a practical fully electric sports car above anything else - boot space with the rear seats in place of 446 litres is testament to that, but it is more flexible than its saloon counterpart.

Range? That depends on how fast and powerful you want your Taycan Cross Turismo to be: the 4S (up to 571hp) and Turbo (680hp) both have a claimed range of 281 miles. Choose the flagship Turbo S, which can scorch from 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds, and the range drops to 241 miles.

If you want one, be prepared to wait - demand for the Taycan Cross Turismo is already strong.

Price new: from £79,340

Volvo V60 

Blue Volvo V60 Recharge front three-quarter

Volvo's V60 has been one of our favourite estates since this generation went on sale, blending space, comfort, agility and Scandi style into one very appealing package.

While all V60s now have hybrid power in one form or another, it's only the Recharge T6 and T8 models that we're mentioning here - these are plug-in hybrid models with 340hp and 405hp, respectively.

Go for the Recharge T6 in sporty R-Design or luxurious Inscription trims for a claimed electric-driving range of 34 miles, but it's the faster Recharge T8 in flagship Polestar Engineered guise that can go further, with a claim of 37 miles.

Inside, the Recharge models have all the same hallmarks as their non-plug-in siblings, including a handy boot capacity of 529 litres. A superb and safe PHEV.

Price new: from £45,825
Lease this car: from £355 per month
Search for a used Volvo V60 on Parkers: price range £13,415-£47,235

BMW 3 Series Touring 

Black BMW 3 Series Touring front three-quarter

Still the benchmark estate car in terms of driver engagement, this latest generation of 3 Series Touring also sees the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology that had previously only been available with the 3 Series Saloon.

Badged 330e Touring, it has rear-wheel drive as standard, but it's also optionally available with xDrive all-wheel drive. Additionally, the full gambit of trim levels from SE to M Sport are also present and correct.

Which version of the 330e you go for will determine how far it will travel under electric power alone, with distances ranging between 32.3 and 37.3 miles, yet all complete the 0-62mph acceleration benchmark in just 5.9 seconds.

One area of compromise in choosing a 330e over other 3 Series Tourings is in the boot. With the rear seats in place it's not enormous at 410 litres, but that's 90 litres short of its non-plug-in siblings.

Price new: from £41,530
Lease this car: from £308 per month
Search for a used BMW 3 Series Touring on Parkers: price range £19,340-£44,575

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate 

Silver Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate front three-quarter

Unlike the Mercedes E-Class Saloon, which also has an option of a petrol-engined plug-in hybrid, badged E 300 e, the E-Class Estate only comes in the guise of the more unusual diesel-powered E 300 de. 

Mercedes' model numbers rarely match the engine size these days, so forget any notions of this being propelled by a brawny 3.0-litre - instead a 2.0-litre diesel is paired with an electric motor to produce a rather satisfying 306hp, ensuring it's no slouch.

It's very economical, though, with an electric-only driving range of 21 miles and fuel consumption figure of 201.8mpg - that's providing you're driving with optimum efficiency, something that's nigh-on impossible to replicate outside of lab conditions.

Luxury and comfort haven't been sacrificed in this E-Class - it remains one of the plushest wagons to drive and be a passenger in. However, boot capacity is significantly smaller than other E-Class Estates, with the battery pack reducing its volume from 640 litres to 480 with all of the rear seats in use.

Price new: from £49,480
Lease this car: from £515 per month
Search for a used Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate on Parkers: price range £13,595-£74,920

Audi A6 Avant 

Black Audi A6 Avant TFSI e side elevation

Audi used to employ the E-Tron name for its plug-in hybrid models, but now that it's used exclusively for fully electric cars, PHEVs are now known as TFSI e. Doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

However, the four rings of the Audi logo are a hallmark of the A6 Avant's overall qualities, with a really high-grade interior, lots of useful on-board technology, masses of interior space and excellent load-swallowing capabilities.

Choose one of these stylish estates and you could potentially drive up to 41 miles on electric power alone, without the engine needing to kick in.

A6 Avants without the plug-in system can carry an impressive 565 litres of luggage with the rear seats in place, but - you've guessed it - the TFSI e's batteries eat into that figure, reducing it to just 405 litres. That's quite a compromise compared with the others in this list. 

Price new: from £56,425
Lease this car: from £380 per month
Search for a used Audi A6 Avant on Parkers: price range £18,395-£94,820

Kia Ceed Sportswagon 

White Kia Ceed Sportswagon front three-quarter

Kia's built a sound reputation over recent years with its self-charging and plug-in hybrids, as well as fully electric models, but the PHEV version of its compact Ceed Sportswagon is one of its lesser-known models.

It follows Kia's usual themes of offering good value, masses of equipment and a seven-year warranty for peace of mind, but the latest generation of Ceed models handle well, too.

Unusually in this company, the PHEV Ceed Sportswagon isn't quite an under-the-radar performance wagon. For a start it only produces 141hp and takes over 10 seconds to complete the 0-62mph acceleration benchmark, but that's fine - Ceed customers aren't known for feeling the need for speed.

Instead, they'll be satisfied knowing that 29-35 miles of electric driving range is available before the 1.6-litre non-turbocharged petrol engine bursts into life.

By this point in the list you won't be surprised to learn that the Ceed Sportswagon Plug-in's battery pack lies under the boot floor, making it 188 litres smaller than the petrol- and diesel-only equivalents at 437 litres.

Price new: from £30,540
Lease this car: from £207 per month
Search for a used Kia Ceed Sportswagon on Parkers: price range £8,875-£23,090

Peugeot 508 SW 

Grey Peugeot 508 SW front three-quarter

One of the most striking cars on sale, Peugeot's 508 SW proves beyond doubt that load luggers don't have to look loathsome, although we'll be the first to acknowledge that those rakish lines do impinge on boot space, but it remains quite generous at 530 litres with the rear seats in use. Also note, that's the same volume as non-PHEV models, so bravo Peugeot.

Peugeot offers its plug-in hybrid 508 SWs in two states of performance. The majority of the range has 225hp from its petrol-electric combination, delivering 33-39 miles of purely electric driving. These 508s are available in a multitude of trim levels from Allure through to GT Premium.

Topping the range is a PHEV where performance is very much at the heart of things: called (are you ready for this?) the Peugeot 508 SW Peugeot Sport Engineered, this 360hp rapid wagon can still cover 26 miles of driving without the engine kicking in.

It also has a very distinctive look with lime green styling accents inside and out, which will serve as a visual link to Peugeot's forthcoming motorsport endeavours. See, hybrids don't have to be boring.

Price new: from £37,760
Lease this car: from £345 per month
Search for a used Peugeot 508 SW on Parkers: price range £13,455-£34,630 

Volkswagen Passat Estate 

White Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE front three-quarter

A big car needs a big engine, right? Wrong - although having a chunk of the power produced by an electric motor helps. That's Volkswagen's solution for its plug-in hybrid Passat GTE Estate, marrying a 1.4-litre petrol engine to an electrical system that together produces 218hp.

There are sporty overtones to the look of the Passat GTE inside and out, with a flurry of bright blue accents, but while it's swift as a 7.6-second 0-62mph time confirms, it's not a performance wagon in the strictest sense.

Instead, it's a pragmatic and sensible choice, with lots of room for people and their luggage. Boot space? 650 litres with the rear seats in use, identical to its combustion engine-only rangemates.

Additionally, when the Passat range was facelifted in 2019, the electric driving range of the GTE increased to 33-39 miles, making it even more cost-effective to run. No wonder the GTE accounts for 20% of all Passat sales in the UK - it's packed with qualities that became all the more apparent when we ran one as a long-term test. 

Price new: from £39,440
Lease this car: from £327 per month
Search for a used Volkswagen Passat Estate on Parkers: price range £5,585-£32,655

Further reading:

>> Best hybrid cars 2021

>> Best electric SUVs 2021

>> What is a hybrid?