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Sporty estate cars: which is the best?

Want a sporty estate that has the looks and the performance? Here are 10 of the best you should consider

a grey audi rs6 avant driving on a road

If speed, power, and practicality are at the top of your priority list, then the standard go-to would be a fast SUV.

From the high driving position to the comfort – it’s easy to see why they’re so popular, but what’s the alternative?

Sporty estate cars have been popular for a long time, but very rarely get the adoration they deserve.

Just like sports SUVs, they’re practical, fast and comfortable – but they’re often cheaper and more fun to drive too.

Here are 10 of the best fast estate cars you should consider buying instead of a sporty SUV.

BMW M3 Touring

a grey bmw m3 touring driving on a country road

Ever since it was teased in the 2000 E46 generation of M3, BMW fans have been eagerly awaiting the day a sporty 3 Series estate was born – 22 years later, it arrived.

Based on the G80-generation M3 Competition, this four-door rocket is one of the most talked-about car releases in a long time – and it’s not surprising.

Powered by a meaty twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine that produces more than 500hp, it’s no wonder orders have been flying out the door.

It’s great for families too because you still get 500 litres of boot space like the standard 3 Series, but in a car that will eat up the miles on a longer motorway journey, and surprise you around a racetrack.

Plus, you can find used BMW models at lower price points.

Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo

a red porsche taycan sport turismo parked on sand in the hills

Electric SUVs have been all the rage in recent years, but so have quick electric estates – especially once Porsche got involved.

The Taycan Sport Turismo is one of the fastest estate cars on the market, with a 0-62mph time of just 5.4 seconds (and that’s in its slowest form). Opt for the Turbo S and you’ll be driving well above 62mph in 2.8 seconds, all thanks to its 751hp electric motor.

But power and speed are just one side of the story – you also get a roomy 446-litre boot and an all-electric range of up to 310 miles on a single charge, including rapid charging capabilities.

Ford Focus ST Estate

a yellow ford focus st estate

Taking it down a notch and re-entering reality is the Ford Focus ST Estate – a fast and cheap estate known for its handling.

It was a genius idea to marry the practicality of the Ford Focus Estate with the raw performance and capability of the Focus ST powertrain, because now we have the best of both worlds.

Sitting under the bonnet is a reliable yet potent 2.3-litre inline-four EcoBoost engine that produces 280hp. This may be considerably less than the Taycan Turbo S, but you don’t need much more than this to have fun on a good old British B-road.

Plus, you can do all that while carrying the family and all the luggage in the massive 575-litre boot. Used Ford models are available at affordable prices, too.

BMW M340i Touring

A grey BMW 3 Series Touring

If the new BMW M3 Touring is a little too hardcore for you or is out of your price range, then there’s still a way you can enjoy a fast and practical Beemer.

The M340i Touring is the hottest 3 Series estate that sits below the M3, and it’s probably the pick of the bunch. It’s cheaper to run, easier to get hold of, and drives almost the same.

It also features BMW’s four-wheel xDrive system, which means you’re safer and can feel more confident when pushing on.

With 370hp and an excellent six-cylinder engine note, this is one mean machine. Plus, you get 500 litres of boot space – it’s a real win-win.

Volkswagen Golf R Estate

a blue vw golf r estate

If you’ve driven or experienced a performance Volkswagen Golf model, then you’ll be aware of what they’re capable of.

The GTI is the warmer hatch version, but if you’re after serious power and increased practicality then you’ll opt for the Golf R Estate.

It’s powered by a very efficient and hard-wearing 320hp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that’s only mated to an automatic DSG gearbox – something worth noting if you’re a three-pedal enthusiast.

The boot measures 611 litres, which is a vast amount of storage space – this could be the best estate car for families who have a keen driver in them.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate

a white Mercedes-AMG E63 S estate

Sitting somewhere in the middle of the Mercedes model range is the E-Class. A perfectly usable everyday car, but it’s been turned up to 11 by the brainiacs at AMG – the same team responsible for making one of the best Formula One cars of all time.

The E63 S estate combines luxury, performance and practicality all in a well-sized package that suits everyone – and it has a 612hp V8 engine at the front.

This used Mercedes finds its closest rivals in the Audi RS6 Avant and BMW M5, but if you’re after that luxurious Mercedes interior look, this is the one to have. Plus, you get a whopping 640 litres of boot space with the estate variant.

Audi RS6 Avant

a grey audi rs6 avant driving on a desert road

If the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid estate is a vegan sausage, then the Audi RS6 Avant is the thickest slab of beef you can order.

It’s not exactly the first car that springs to mind when you think of green driving, but it’s one of the best and quickest estate cars on the market today and has been since it launched in 2002.

With a whopping 600hp V8 under the bonnet and Audi’s excellent all-wheel-drive quattro system, this is one excellent all-rounder.

Whether you’re needing to do a big weekly food shop or go on a long road trip, this used Audi is the car for you thanks to its 565-litre boot.

Cupra Leon Estate

a red cupra leon estate driving on a country road in britain

Following a recent rebrand from a SEAT to a Cupra, the Leon Estate is one of the more sought-after family estate cars because of its affordability, practicality and driving capabilities.

It’s available with plenty of different engines, but the pick of the bunch is the 300hp 2.0-litre inline-four-cylinder engine because of its added performance and poke.

It comes with all-wheel drive as standard, meaning it can be enjoyed anywhere you drive it.

In many ways, it’s the same as a Golf R Estate – just packaged slightly differently with a few interior and exterior changes. The boot is, however, slightly larger at 620 litres.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake P300

A grey Jaguar Xf Sportbrake estate

If you want something a little bit different to the usual estates, then the XF Sportbrake from Jaguar is a unique find.

It’s no secret that Jags are suave, sporty cars, and this swanky estate is no different.

There are a few different engine options including a mild-hybrid diesel engine, but the P300 with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is the sweet spot, offering great fuel economy and decent power at 300hp.

Its boot measures 565 litres, giving it plenty of added storage options and space for all your bags and shopping.

Skoda Octavia vRS Estate

a red Skoda Octavia vRS estate driving on a road

The Golf R Estate and Leon Estate are fabulous cars to drive, but if you need something a little more sensible then the Skoda Octavia vRS estate is the one to have.

This Skoda is fun to drive but it feels more grown-up, with a clean interior and less shouty colour options and driving modes.

Under the bonnet, you’ll find the same 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder engine that produces 250hp and the option of a manual gearbox – something you can’t get in the Golf equivalent.

But to top it all off, it’s got the biggest boot of them all, weighing in at 660 litres –more than you’d find in a Kia Sorrento SUV or Volkswagen Tiguan.

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