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Best Estate Cars to lease in 2021

They’ll make for comfortable cruising partners during the week, leaving the commute to work little more than a vague memory as you relax into soft suspension and sumptuous interiors.

The rise of the SUV continues, but is it really necessary to lug around a lot of extra metal if all you really need is occasional extra space?

Estate cars might have fallen out of fashion a little, but they’re often a better bet than a larger, more expensive SUV. They offer all the benefits of space, load capacity and even comfort, but combine that with improved efficiency, lower running costs and more engaging handling and ride.

Manufacturers have cottoned on to the potential sales stream, adorning their models with appealing names such as Sports Touring, Avant, or Sportbrake, rather than the more mundane Estate moniker. So think carefully before you sign the lease for a new SUV, as there might just be an estate car that would suit your needs perfectly, whatever name it wears. Here are seven of the best, hand-picked by our experts…

Skoda Superb

Car lease price: from £239.33 per month*

No list of estate cars could ever be complete without mentioning the Skoda Superb. This sizable load-lugger takes all the best bits from the likes of the Volkswagen Arteon and US-market Volkswagen Atlas and distils that down to a car that’s elegant, spacious and simple. 

There are few cars more comfortable and spacious for passengers, in the front or rear seats, but the Superb combines that with an enormous load area. Skoda also includes several helpful features, which it calls ‘Simply Clever’, to make life easier, such as a rechargeable torch in the boot or umbrellas hidden in the front doors.

The range covers most needs, from uncluttered models at the entry-level to seriously luxurious trims wearing the historic Laurin and Klement name. There’s even a sporty model, should you want to keep a labrador entertained on a country lane. Of course, there are even bespoke dog guards to keep Rover (all dogs are called Rover, right?) safe and secure.

Skoda Superb need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Estate
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 4.6 out of 5
  • Boot size: 660 litres
  • Engine Options: Diesel, Petrol, Petrol Plug-In Hybrid
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars

BMW 3 Series Touring

Car lease price from £336.65 per month

It might not have the biggest boot, with just 500 litres of space below the parcel shelf, but the 3 Series makes up for that by bringing engaging driving dynamics and a quality cabin to the mix.

Available in fuel-sipping sensible diesel versions or monstrously fast turbocharged petrol models, there’s a 3 Series Touring to suit most, but all models provide handling that’s entertaining and involving, without sacrificing ride quality significantly.

Add in a decent level of standard equipment, including a class-leading infotainment system and an optional digital instrument panel, and there’s a lot of good about the BMW.

Yes, the boot isn’t quite as cavernous as its rivals, and the more powerful models can get through fuel rather quickly, but for those needing just a little extra space over a standard car, the 3 Series retains everything we like so much about the saloon while adding a soupcon of practicality.

BMW 3 Series Touring need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Estate
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 4.3 out of 5
  • Boot size: 500 litres
  • Engine Options: Diesel, Petrol, Petrol Plug-In Hybrid
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars

Volvo V60

Car lease price from: £265.15 per month

The larger V90 should really be on this list, given the extra space it provides, but the V60 is arguably the sweet spot in the Volvo range. It shares design touches with the rest of the range, so you get an elegant shape with interesting details - Thor’s Hammer headlights, anyone? - and a load area that’s almost as spacious.

But by opting for the V60 over the V90, you’re picking the more dynamic, more agile model that’s also arguably more comfortable. Ok, you won’t be grinning from ear to ear after a cross-country blast, but there’s a solidity and purpose to the V60’s chassis.

The cabin takes the same design cues as the rest of the grown-up Volvo range, too, which means a minimalist design filled with cool Scandinavian touches. There’s the option of having driftwood trim in the car, while the infotainment centre is vertically integrated and, once set up, a cinch to use.

Tiny Swedish flags remind you where the car comes from, and what that means; the seat belts have a ‘Since 1950’ stamp, for example, a reminder that Volvo’s reputation for safety isn’t something it’s just going to throw away. Solid, spacious, safe and (relatively) sporting.

Volvo V60 need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Estate
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 4.1 out of 5
  • Boot size: 529 litres
  • Engine Options: Diesel, Petrol, Petrol Plug-In Hybrid
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars

Toyota Corolla Sports Touring

Car lease price from: £208.44 per month

Sports Touring might suggest potent performance but, alas, the Corolla isn’t built to set any cross-country records. However, with the option of a 180hp petrol-electric hybrid engine, there’s enough raw power to propel the car surprisingly rapidly.

And, more surprisingly, the chassis can cope with it, offering good control and feedback. It’s so good, we’re secretly hoping for a GR Corolla to go alongside the epic GR Yaris.

Until then, its efficiency that’s the name of the game, and the Corolla fulfils the brief there. We can get north of 60mpg from the car on a sensible run, and there’s enough space in the back to fit in a significant load; fold everything down and you can squeeze a mountain bike in the back, wheels and seat still in place.

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Estate
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 3.9 out of 5
  • Boot size: 598 litres
  • Engine Options: Hybrid
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars

Mercedes E Class Estate

Car lease price: from £388.06 per month

If you want to move your loads from one end of the country to the other, there might not be a better estate car than the Mercedes E-Class. It’s the ultimate all-rounder, able to provide high levels of whatever it is you’re demanding at the time.

Frugality? No problem. There are diesel engines that can crack 50mpg. Low tax? With a plug-in hybrid option offering CO2 emissions of 38g/km or lower, company car drivers will see huge benefits. Luxury? Few cars provide the ambience of a Mercedes cabin, and every model comes loaded with equipment. Performance? The Mercedes-AMG models produce as much as 612hp, ensuring supercar-slaying speeds.

But what about load capacity? Fortunately, the E-Class has a cavernous load area, with up to 1,820 litres of capacity once you’ve folded the rear seats down (although the hybrid loses a little pace to the underfloor battery pack). Even with everything in place, you’ll still fit more in here than in a BMW 5 Series or Audi A6.

Mercedes E Class Estate need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Estate
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 4.2 out of 5
  • Boot size: 640 litres
  • Engine Options: Diesel, Petrol, Diesel Plug-In Hybrid
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars

Mini Clubman

Car lease price: from £212.80 per month

Just because you want a little more practicality, why should you sacrifice any fun? That’s Mini’s view, which explains why it's taken the Mini hatchback and bolted on a little extra metal at the back without taking away its driving appeal.

You’re not going to be offering to help a friend move house, as the boot still only squeezes 360 litres of luggage under the parcel shelf, but that’s significantly more capacious than the 211 litres you’ll find in a regular Mini.

You access the boot through twin side-hinged barn doors, which is a quirky design choice that allows for a really low load lip. However, don’t park too close to the car behind as you’ll find the doors won’t be able to swing out!

There’s room for four adults inside, and the cabin has all the style and over-designed touches you find in every Mini, so will appeal to those after something less sombre than, say, an Astra.

You’ll also find the option of a smoking-hot 306hp John Cooper Works model. With the sporty handling you find across the range, but beefed up and boosted, it’s an absolute hoot!

Mini Clubman need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Estate
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 3.4 out of 5
  • Boot Size: 360 litres
  • Engine Options: Petrol
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 4 stars

Peugeot 508 SW

Car lease price: from £319 per month

The radical estate, as Peugeot calls it. That might be overstating it a tad, but there’s no doubt that the 508 offers something different to the run-of-the-mill rivals from mainstream makers.

The 508 sits in a sliver of middle ground between the likes of the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, and more premium rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Longer and sleeker than most rivals, there’s a distinctive design that catches the eye, neatly encapsulating the traditional bonnet and bog box design of estate cars, but adding some french flair at the front as well as a distinctive silhouette.

Peugeot’s usual array of engines are slotted under the bonnet, from 180 and 225hp petrol engines to 130 to 180hp diesel options, as well as a tax-efficient plug-in hybrid. The cabin is less typical of Peugeot, with high-quality materials and stylish touches, including piano key switches and digital instrument panels in the distinctive ‘i-Cockpit’. It’s a lovely place to sit, and wonderfully comfortable, but others will be more entertaining.

Peugeot 508 SW need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Estate
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 3.3 out of 5
  • Boot size: 530 litres
  • Engine Options: Diesel, Petrol, Petrol Plug-In Hybrid
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars

*Prices include VAT. Credit is Subject to Status, Ts and Cs and Arrangement Fees apply. Excess mileage may apply. Price correct as of 26/01/2021.

**Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the scores of the UK’s top five leading independent car website reviews

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The team were great and went above and beyond to find a van during this mad time where there seems to be no stock. Did everything to find a solution that fit within our budget and they were honest, open and super helpful. Great service.
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Thursday, 30/06/2022