Honda Accord Tourer
Winner: Honda Accord Tourer, commended Vauxhall Vectra Estate and Volvo V50
“The Honda looks sharper than an Italian suit, but it is as practical as a set of overalls. And it doesn’t matter which one you go for – there’s plenty of standard equipment, and all the engines are easily man enough for the job.” Mike Brewer
After knocking the Volvo V70 off its perch last year, the Honda Accord Tourer was always going to be hard to shift – and so it proved. Our judges continue to love its combination of looks, space, performance and price. So, it takes the prize for the second year running.
Modern estate cars seem designed to maximise either load capacity (Volvo V70) or style (Peugeot 407 SW), but the Honda proves that it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. As well as looking great, its boot has an enormous 626-litre capacity. And if you use the single-action folding rear seats, there are as many as 1,707 litres on offer.
Last year, we warned that finding a suitable car would be tricky due to limited supply and high starting prices. But 12 months on, the Tourer has never been cheaper or easier to track down.
Its facelift in 2006 was discreet so, if you go for an older model, you won’t be left looking like you’re wearing last season’s colour. Honda’s reputation for building reliable cars seals the Accord’s win, but remember that any used estate is likely to have led a much harder life than its equivalent saloon. Watch out for evidence of a tow bar, too. Extra wear on the rear suspension, engine and gearbox will have been caused if the car’s been used to haul something heavy.
All three engines are robust, but the 2.2-litre diesel is best for pulling heavy loads. Otherwise, consider the smooth 2.0 VTEC or 2.4-litre petrol. The former is £1,000 less than the 2.4, which undercuts the oil-burner by a similar amount.
Commended: Vauxhall Vectra Estate
2002 to present
When space and price are your prime concerns, the Vectra is a hard act to follow. As the oldest car here, it’s also the cheapest, and there’s a wide range of engines. Its standard load capacity of 530 litres can rise to 1,850 litres with the seats down. If that’s not enough, you don’t need an estate – you need a van!
Commended: Volvo V50
2004 to present
This category wouldn’t be the same without a Volvo, and this year the V50 has edged out the V70, which now has to sit among the also-rans for the first time in the 10-year history of Used Car Honours. With a 417-litre boot that grows to 1,307 litres, the V50 isn’t the biggest load-lugger, but it is one of the most stylish. Top-rate safety and build quality complete the package.
- 1IntroductionMore than 7.5 million!
- 2Best Small CarWinner: Fiat Panda; commended Kia Picanto and Toyota Aygo
- 3Best SuperminiWinner: Honda Jazz, commended Ford Fiesta and MINI
- 4Best Compact Family CarWinner: Ford Focus, commended Honda Civic and Vauxhall Astra
- 5Best Hot HatchWinner: Volkswagen Golf, commended Ford Focus ST and Renault Clio Renaultsport 182
- 6Best Family CarWinner: Ford Mondeo, commended Vauxhall Vectra and Mazda 6
- 7Best Compact Executive CarWinner: BMW 3-Series, commended Volvo S60 and Audi A4
- 8Best Estate Car - currently readingWinner: Honda Accord Tourer, commended Vauxhall Vectra Estate and Volvo V50
- 9Best Large Executive CarWinner: Jaguar XJ, commended Audi A8 and Mercedes CLS
- 10Best RoadsterWinner: Mazda MX-5, commended Porsche Boxster and Audi TT Roadster
- 11Best Executive CarWinner: BMW 5-Series, commended Audi A6 and Jaguar S-Type
- 12Best CabrioletWinner: Audi A4 Cabriolet, commended Saab 9-3 Convertible and MINI
- 13Best CoupeWinner: Nissan 350Z, commended Audi TT and Jaguar XK
- 14Best Compact MPVWinner: Vauxhall Zafira, commended Volkswagen Touran and Renault Grand Scenic
- 15Best Large MPVWinner: Kia Sedona, commended Citroen C8 and Renault Espace