The best cheap used estate cars in 2021

  • We pick our Top 10 cheap used estate cars for 2021
  • Massive practicality for less than £10,000
  • Our choices balance economy, performance and value

Need lots of space without breaking the bank? Our Top 10 used cheap estate cars should give you some great ideas...

Panel vans excluded, few vehicles offer the flexible load space of an estate car. Plus, as most are based on existing hatchback or saloon cars, you can expect the same level of comfort and equipment. The good news is there are plenty of used estate cars for sale to choose from that offer a serious amount of metal without breaking the bank. We’ve picked out our favourite load-luggers.

For our best used estate cars list, we've chosen a selection of nearly-new, cheap-to-run models, sporty estate cars, and older, more prestigious models, all for less than £10,000.

Best used estate cars under £10,000

1. Dacia Logan MCV
2. Skoda Fabia Estate
3. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
4. Peugeot 308 SW
5. Skoda Octavia Estate
6. Ford Focus Estate
7. Volkswagen Golf Estate
8. BMW 3 Series Touring
9. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
10. Volkswagen Passat Estate

1. Dacia Logan MCV

Dacia Logan MCV

Pros:
✅ Lots of room for the money
✅ Hugely economical in diesel form

Cons:
A bit dull looking
Lacks badge kudos

Kicking off the list is the extraordinarily reasonable Dacia Logan MCV (or Maximum Capacity Vehicle), which is the cheapest estate car currently on sale in the UK. Despite its bargain price, the standard Logan offers up to 1,518-litres of lugging ability. It is spartan though, with power steering and front airbags and not much else.

Still, with that price tag you could buy it as a second car to fill with scuba equipment on the weekend. If you want to use it day-to-day, the on-board kit improves with mid-level Ambiance trim, while top of the range Laureate models get luxuries like cruise control and electric rear windows.

There are three engine choices but the most popular is the 1.5-litre dCi 90, with 90hp on offer. It’ll do 0-62mph in 12.1 seconds, but more importantly it offers CO2 emissions of 99g/km, and a claimed fuel economy of 74.3mpg. We’ve combined this engine with the most mid-spec Ambience trim because it has everything you need (a stereo, for example) and you can grab a relatively recent used one from £3,000.

Used price: £1,870-£9,675
Fuel economy: 48-80mpg
Road tax cost: £0-£140
Insurance group: 2-12
Boot space (seats up/down): 573/1,518 litres

Search Dacia Logan MCV cars for sale

2. Skoda Fabia Estate

Skoda Fabia Estate (2020) rear view

Pros:
✅ Cheap to run, cheap to insure
✅ Compact but with huge boot

Cons:
Not much cheaper used than an Octavia
A bit stodgy to drive

The Fabia is a small car with a big boot, which unsurprisingly means it's cheap to buy used and run. It's well established as a great choice for reliability as well as being cheap to insure. Sportiness isn't a priority but the way it drives is fun and refined. There's a choice of four engines plus three trim levels, with even the base level featuring DAB radio, air-conditioning, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The interior is simple and clear with easy to operate controls, although the plastics aren’t of the highest quality, but that's no shock given the remarkably low asking price. It's also very comfortable. Best thing of course is how large the boot is for a small car, plus the ability to take three adults on the back row, thanks to more headroom than the hatchback.

Used price: £3,585-£14,875
Fuel economy: 57-78mpg
Road tax cost: £0-£140
Insurance group: 2-13
Boot space (seats up/down): 530/1,395 litres

Search Skoda Fabia Estate cars for sale

3. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer

Pros:
✅ Good to drive, excellent steering
✅ Lots of models to choose from, low prices

Cons:
A bit anonymous looking
Higher than average depreciation

The Astra has given its Sports Tourer a tapered profile and falling roofline in order to move away from the boxy wagons of old. It has worked because it's a stylish-looking used estate car that's still in production, and yet can be had for not a lot of money these days.

There are seven engines to choose from, which means you can have efficiency, performance, or a mixture of both. Choose between two petrol engines sized 1.4 or 1.6 litres, and the very economical and cheap to insure 1.3-, 1.7- and 2.0-litre diesels. This estate also handles much like the hatchback and is a big step forward over the previous generation.

The boot is 500-litres with all the seats up, and 1,000 with them down. This is boosted further by the FlexFold feature (standard or optional depending on trim level) which means you can remove the rear seat cushions and gain a total of 1,550-litres, with a completely flat load floor.

Reliability and low running costs are an attraction with the Astra Sports Tourer, and despite a rather utilitarian image, the turbocharged petrol models are actually quite sporty to drive. Out of all of our nearly-new choices, the mid-sized Astra is easily the best value.

 Used price: £3,865-£15,535
Fuel economy: 44-83mpg
Road tax cost: £0-£155
Insurance group: 6-23
Boot space (seats up/down): 500/1,550 litres (with FlexFold)

Search Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer cars for sale

4. Peugeot 308 SW

Peugeot 308 SW

Pros:
✅ Nice to drive
✅ Nice to look at

Cons:
Marmite driving position
Not a massive selection on the used car market

If you want an unconventional interior and massive loadspace, the Peugeot 308 SW should definitely be on your list. Inside you get a small steering wheel, raised instrument cluster, and large touchscreen to replace most of the conventional controls.

An extended wheelbase means more room for rear passengers as well as a boot of 660 litres with the rear seats up. Fold them completely flat and you get 1,775 of space. Filling that space is easy thanks to a low lip and rails along the boot floor to aid sliding.

Our favourite engine is a slightly oddball choice too, the 130hp, 1.2-litre e-THP 130 petrol. With either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, it’s an impressive unit. Despite having only three cylinders, it is quiet and offers smooth in-gear acceleration, which combined with the 308's sporty handling, make this a good car for people who enjoy driving.

And despite a lingering reputation to the contrary, Peugeot reliability has improved immeasurably since 2015 and you can buy one of these stylish load luggers used with good confidence that it won't let you down.

Used price: £2,970-£19,720
Fuel economy: 47-88mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £140
Insurance group: 12-29
Boot space (seats up/down): 660/1,775 litres

Read our full Peugeot 308 SW review

5. Skoda Octavia Estate

Skoda Octavia Estate

Pros:
✅ Talented all-rounder and a great bargain
✅ Luggage space particularly impressive

Cons:
Doesn't feel particularly special
Difficult finding a low-mileage one

If you're looking for one of the most reliable estate cars, look no further. More practical than exciting, the Octavia has huge space for both people and luggage, as well as low running costs, great reliability and very competitive pricing.

There is a deeper, wider and lower loading area than the previous model and a two-level variable floor. A fully folding passenger seat enables objects as long as three metres to be carried.

There is a choice two petrol and two diesel engines, plus ultra-frugal GreenLine versions of the diesels, which can return a claimed Combined fuel consumption figure of 83mpg – although in reality, its 60mpg plus is nothing to be sneezed at. It's green, too, with a CO2 emissions figure that dips to 87g/km, meaning certain models are free to tax.

Later Octavia estates are generously equipped, with a multimedia touchscreen system as standard, alloy wheels and seven airbags. As a used car, consider these as a bargain-basement Volkswagen without the badge.

 Used price: £3,350-£20,410  
Fuel economy: 40-80mpg
Road tax cost: £0-£155
Insurance group: 12-29
Boot space (seats up/down): 610/1,740 litres 

Search Skoda Octavia cars for sale

6. Ford Focus Estate (2011-2018) 

Ford Focus Estate front view

Pros:
✅ Excellent handling and steering
✅ Huge choice of models to choose from

Cons:
Some EcoBoost reliability issues
Dashboard and controls are unattractive

The Focus is a solid, well-built, attractive, comfortable and functional estate, that's been around for ages and is well regarded in the trade. They're solid and reliable on the whole, aside from a few early EcoBoost petrol issues – you can find out more common faults and problems, by reading the Ford Focus hatchback review. 

Load space with the seats folded is 1,650 litres which is excellent for a car of this size, and you have the added bonus that with the seats down, you get a nice, flat loadbay. 

Engines are the same as in its hatchback sister – EcoBoost petrol and TDCi diesel engines are turbocharged for both performance and efficiency. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol is efficient and nice to drive, with quiet cruising and plenty of responsiveness when you want to go quickly. The 1.6-litre diesel isn't bad either, with the added bonus of 60mpg-plus and £20 per year road tax.

 Used price: £1,995-£13,815
Fuel economy: 44-83mpg
Road tax cost: £0-£155
Insurance group: 6-26
Boot space (seats up/down): 476/1,516 litres 
 

Search Ford Focus Estate cars for sale

7. Volkswagen Golf Estate (2013-2020)

Volkswagen Golf Estate (2020)

Pros:
✅ Good luggage space
✅ Economical engines, good resale value

Cons:
More expensive to buy in the first place
Not as roomy as a Skoda Octavia

The Golf estate shares the hatchback’s high quality, premium feel, and has a less awkward rear end design than its predecessors. It’s 307mm longer than the hatchback, and 28mm longer than the car it replaced, making it a usefully-sized and reliable family estate car.

As a used car buy, it's dependable and well-understood by a huge number of dealers and specialists, although the ultimate reliability lags behind some of its lower-priced rivals, such as the Ford Focus – so bear that in mind.

The Golf estate is generously equipped in SE and GT guises, less so in the cheaper S grade. All have a colour touchscreen, roof rails, DAB radio, USB, Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming preparation, trip computer and an electronic parking brake.

The ultra-economical BlueMotion version claims to deliver 85.6mpg and produces just 87g/km of CO2, and in real-world driving it wasn't that far off if you drove it gently. If you prefer petrol, there's also a BlueMotion 1.5 TSI which claims diesel economy and 110g/km potential.

 Used price: £4,025-£29,015
Fuel economy: 39-80mpg
Road tax cost: £0-£195
Insurance group: 7-39
Boot space (seats up/down): 605/1,620 litres

Search Volkswagen Golf Estate cars for sale

8. BMW 3-Series Touring (2012-2019)

BMW 3 Series Touring

Pros:
✅ Great to drive, brilliant engines
✅ Petrol and diesel engines are all excellent

Cons:
Boot isn't massive
Servicing and maintenance are costly

Is this the best of all secondhand estate cars? The BMW 3 Series Touring is a deservedly popular lifestyle estate that has enough room for most families but offers all the driving pleasure you'd expect from a company that used to market its products as 'the utimate driving machine'.

For those looking to eke out the most mpg, the 318d and 320d models deliver fantastic fuel consumption if not the most excitement. The most economical is the 187hp 320d, which averages 61.4mpg (Combined) and puts out 122g/km, meaning low road tax. The cheapest 3 Series to tax is the 318d, which costs just £20 per year at 2021 rates.

If you want the biggest estate car for your money, look elsewhere. Load space is beaten by the smaller cars above, with 495 litres when the rear seats are in place. With them folded flat the load space expands to 1,500 litres.

Having said that, it's bigger than its two main premium rivals: the Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate and Audi A4 Avant. The loadbay has some nice features, though, with luggage securing lugs, a pair of coat hooks, a luggage net and strap and a deep storage compartment.

 Used price: £4,810-£28,510
Fuel economy: 31-53mpg
Road tax cost: £20-£475
Insurance group: 18-43
Boot space (seats up/down): 495/1,500 litres

Search BMW 3 Series Touring cars for sale

9. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2010-2016)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2010)

Pros:
✅ Nice styling and image
✅ Enormous boot

Cons:
Four-cylinder diesels are rough
Lower-powered models lacklustre to drive

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class easily slips into our sub-£10,000 budget if you go back a generation to the 2010-2016 model. Don't think that just because you're looking at an older car you're going to be missing out on technology or safety features, as this model was packed with features that still stand up today.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate emissions are fairly competitive. The basic Mercedes E 220 diesel returns a Combined fuel economy figure of 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km for road tax of £30 a year. The more powerful E350 BlueTEC diesel still gives you 54.3mpg.

This car's crowning glory has to be its luggage space, which is frankly enormous. The rear seats fold almost flat and that extends potential luggage volume to 1,950 litres to roof height, which easily makes it the largest of this group. There is also the option of rear-facing child seats in the luggage compartment. They fold flat and have no impact on luggage space.

 Used price: £3,500-£20,190
Fuel economy: 25-65mpg
Road tax cost: £20-£580
Insurance group: 32-44
Boot space (seats up/down): 695/1,950 litres

Search Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate cars for sale

10. Volkswagen Passat Estate

Volkswagen Passat estate

Pros:
✅ A great long-distance cruiser
✅ Big, well-shaped boot

Cons:
Expensive compared with rivals
Dull to drive

The Volkswagen Passat is a consistently excellent estate car that impresses with its mix of classy, well-made interior and superb all-round practicality. Although we love it's no-nonsense approach, some drivers might find it a little dull compared with a similarly-sized Ford Mondeo or Mazda 6.

But there's no denying the Passat's image or its sheer practicality – the boot isn't just large but it's really well shaped, and in terms of reliability, the manual diesel models are very dependable, and that makes them easy to sell when the time comes. It's the 2.0TDI we'd recommend – it delivers a claimed 51.4-57.6mpg (Combined), with a real-world 50mpg-plus easily achievable.

But which ever Passat Estate you choose you can't really go wrong. If you’re in the market for a large, slightly premium-feeling family estate car, no car in the class does it better. It’s still the most comfortable and the huge boot roundly eclipses the competition. It’s cheap enough to run - with economical petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options.

 Used price: £5,640-£33,335
Fuel economy: 32-60mpg
Road tax cost: £0-£475
Insurance group: 12-33
Boot space (seats up/down): 650/1,780 litres

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*Prices correct at the time of publication and are all subject to change.