For certain drivers, practicality is the only thing that matters, and it’s safe to say that there are many options to choose from depending on the style of car they want.
With SUVs and estates the most practical segments, we take a look at the very best models. The cars on this list may not necessarily be the most spacious in their classes, but they all perform superbly in their respective segments and ensure drivers can carry the most, while also being great to drive.
Dacia Logan MCV
Dacia’s budget model is available exclusively as an estate, and the base spec model of the Logan starts from just £7,295. With that you don’t get the most equipment, but what you do get is a bog standard, durable and spacious interior with 573 litres for the rear space. With the 60:40 rear seats folded flat, this mid-size model has 1,518 litres of storage behind the front seats, which is very useful indeed.
Land Rover Discovery
This seven-seat premium SUV is one of the largest cars you can buy full stop, so it’s no surprise that the Disco is very practical indeed. With six different seating layouts, the interior storage space ranges from 258 litres with all the seats in place up to 2,406 litres with all five back seats folded down. All of the layout changes can be done with a mobile application as well, so the latest Discovery is perfectly suited for lugging gear around.
Skoda Superb Estate
The hatchback version of the Superb is large enough as it is, but the additional bodywork over the back-end of the estate version has the edge here. The well-built and well-designed estate model has a 660-litre load space that still leaves plenty of passenger space in the back, but you can fold the seats down to get 1,950 litres of storage area if you need it. Getting into the Superb really is like stepping inside the TARDIS.
BMW 5 Series Touring
If you’re after a premium estate, you can choose between the next option on the list, or this, the 5 Series Touring. Fitted with great engines, plenty of tech and a body that is really quite smart, the Touring also comes with plenty of space to sling all your kit in the back. It may not be as large as the Skoda Superb, but you still get 570 litres of boot space in the standard format and 1,700 litres with the split rear seats flattened.
Mercedes E-Class Estate
Another great premium estate option is the Mercedes E-Class, which is larger than the BMW and also comes in the guise of the brutal E 63 S. The well-engineered E-Class comes with 40:20:40 split rear seats that are set in front of the 640-litre boot. If you want to fold the rear seats down, customers will find 1,820 litres of space, which is much better than its main rival.
Much like its Discovery seven-seat rival, the XC90 is another large model that proves to be excellent for hauling things. It may not be as large as the Land Rover, but with up to 1,868 litres of space in the rear, there is still more than enough stowage area for most situations. In the standard seven-seat layout, you get 314 litres behind the two rearmost positions.
With what is basically a small van, the RIfter is the latest introduction to the Peugeot line-up and is built to be incredibly practical for travelling and day-to-day activities. Depending on whether you choose the five- or seven-seat model, you can have 775 litres of boot space in the standard format and a whopping 4,000-litre area with all the seats folded down. The sliding doors and wide-opening tailgate only enhance its practicality, and you even get 186-litre fridge space.
Audi A4 Avant
As a mid-sized estate, the A4 Avant is one of the smaller models on this list, but with that you get a cavernous rear space and a supremely practical interior. As the largest A4 Avant yet, the latest version comes with 505 litres of boot space – quite a lot for a mid-sized model – which can be extended to 1,510 litres when the 40:20:40 split seats are folded flat.
Skoda’s first SUV impressed as soon as it was on the road, and with a lower price point compared to other major seven-seat SUVs, the Kodiaq could be a very smart choice. The five-seat model offerS more storage when all the seats are folded down – 2,065 litres compared to 2,005 litres for the seven-seater. The five-seat model comes with 720 litres of load space with all the seats up, while the seven-seat option has 270 litres.
Mazda 6 Tourer
The dynamic 6 Tourer is one of the best family cars in terms of driving feel and performance, while also being incredibly spacious. More around the size of the A4 Avant, the 6 has roughly the same boot size with all the seats in place, 506 litres. But the Mazda has the edge over the Audi in terms of additional space when the seats are folded down, as you get 1,648 litres on the flat loading bed.