Group 5: Compact family estates
Get a load of five of the most practical carriers on the market. One of these luggage-swallowing big hitters could go all the way!
EntrantsWINNER: Volkswagen Golf Estate (£17,200-£23,580) BEST SPACE: Skoda Octavia Estate (£14,350-£23,455) BEST STYLING: Renault Mégane Sport Tourer (£15,255-£23,065)Peugeot 308 SW (£17,045-£23,395)Ford Focus Estate (£18,841-£24,716)
Not all sporting contests are glamorous, but that doesn’t make them any less competitive. Take this group. Compact family estates don’t sell anywhere near as well as their hatchback stablemates, and they’re not as fashionable as MPVs or SUVs. Yet the leading models are as desirable and good to drive as they are spacious.
Competition is cut-throat, with only one car going though to the next round – and first to fall is the Ford Focus. While it’s great to drive, it’s expensive and has to make do with the smallest boot in this group.
Joining it for an early bath is the 308 SW. With an optional third row of seats, it’s the only car that can carry seven people. Plus, all five rear chairs can be folded or removed – but this flexibility isn’t enough to win. Some lacklustre cabin materials, dubious styling and a less than engaging driving experience halt the SW’s progress.
Beneath the smart-looking body of the Renault Mégane Sport Tourer is a generous boot, plus there’s a strong range of engines. Yet it can’t match our top two, which battle for a place in the quarter final. The Skoda Octavia has a huge boot, is excellent value and scores on quality, too. Adding another string to its bow is the four-wheel drive and raised suspension of the Scout model in our pictures.
If only the VW Group’s latest common-rail 2.0-litre TDI diesel hadn’t been left on the bench. This unit isn’t available in the Octavia yet, and it costs the Skoda victory.
This means the VW Golf Estate goes through. It blends the hatch’s classy image, dynamic polish and modern engines with a 505-litre boot – and will take some beating.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe name best family car on sale in 2010’s biggest road test.
- 2Final: Skoda Superb vs Renault ScenicMPV champ meets our top hatch in epic battle. Will it go to penalties?
- 3Semi final 2VW Group duo have put in polished performances so far in our showdown. Now, they come together for a chance to take overall glory
- 4Semi final 1We’re only one round away from the final, and the nerves are jangling as French people carriers come face-to-face. So, which one gets the nod?
- 5Quarter final 4Skoda Superb vs Skoda Yeti
- 6Quarter final 3Kia Cee'd vs Volkswagen Golf
- 7Quarter final 2Renault Scenic vs Volkswagen Golf Estate
- 8Quarter final 1Citroen C3 Picasso vs Renault Clio Sport Tourer
- 9Group 8: Family hatchbacksPracticality, affordability, styling and driving fun... Buyers demand a lot from modern family cars. So which large five-door scores across the board?
- 10Group 7: Compact MPVsEuropean models dominate this sector of the market. Now, we reveal which flexible five-seater takes the glory on the global stage
- 11Group 6: Compact SUVsPractical, stylish and fun to drive, the latest small, road-biased 4x4s are ideal if you don’t plan to venture far off the tarmac. But which will qualify?
- 12Group 5: Compact family estates - currently readingGet a load of five of the most practical carriers on the market. One of these luggage-swallowing big hitters could go all the way!
- 13Group 4: Compact familyTo get through to the quarter finals from this keenly contested sector, our class winner needs to be an all-round star.
- 14Group 3: Budget family carsWhich models make the most financial sense? We bring together four of the best value buys in UK showrooms to name our winner
- 15Group 2: Supermini-MPVsThese cars combine the driving dynamics of a supermini with the versatility of a people carrier – and competition to reach the quarter finals is fierce.