SUVs may well be all the rage, but sometimes estate cars are the most practical solution for families.
With enough space to transport five people, plus room in the boot for a dog and/or luggage, estates are generally more engaging to drive and more economical.
The lower ride height makes loading and unloading larger items easier, while the total space available is often longer too.
We've chosen 10 new estates that are under or around £25,000 to give you some idea of what's available...
And if you like the look of one, Admiral has a car finance checker which could be useful for you.
Prices quoted from November 2021
Launched in 2016 as a five-door hatchback or station wagon, the Tipo range was updated for 2021 with a refreshed design, new technology and an updated engine offering.
The line-up was also expanded with the addition of the new Tipo Cross, a rufty-tufty version (not unlike the Ford Focus Active) with a tougher look, higher ride height and roof bars.
Competitively priced, the Tipo estate is better looking than its hatchback sister car, and though it's not the funkiest Fiat ever, it is surprisingly spacious, economical, practical and well equipped.
Set up more for comfort than a dynamic drive, there’s a useful 550 litres of space in the boot and it can carry loads of up to 1.8m in length thanks to its flip-and-fold 60/40 split rear seats which deliver a flat loading base.
Another winner from South Korea's Kia, the latest Ceed Sportswagon is a real rival to the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Seat Leon estates.
Stylish, well-built and comfortable to drive and available with petrol or diesel engines, it offers a large 625-litre boot capacity, expanding to 1,694 litres with the rear seats down.
Add Kia's generous seven-year warranty and reputation for dependability, and the Ceed Sportswagon could be your perfect family estate.
Good looking, comfortable, well equipped and surprisingly entertaining to drive, the Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer is a patriotic choice because it's built in Britain.
There’s a strong range of petrol and diesel engines available and we'd recommend the 1.2-litre or 1.4-litre petrol turbos. However, if you're looking for economy, the smooth 104bhp 1.5-litre diesel can return up to 64mpg.
There's a decent amount of space for passengers, while the boot is a good 540 litres, growing to a useful 1,630 with the back seats folded.
Updated for 2021, the i30 Tourer is a bit of a hidden gem, offering great value for money, good looks and peace of mind with a decent five-year warranty.
Offering 602 litres of load space (expanding to 1,650 litres with the rear seats folded), it's generously equipped with a digital driver's display, large centre touchscreen and all the latest safety and driver assistance systems.
Set up more for comfort than dynamic driving, the i30 Tourer should definitely be on your estate car shortlist.
Launched in 2020, the fourth-generation Seat Leon is the best yet. Sharply styled and well equipped, it’s just as good to drive, while there's plenty of room inside for the family, plus 620 litres of luggage space.
Available with a choice of two petrol engines (1.0-litre or 1.5-litre) and a 2.0-litre diesel, plus an impressive plug-in hybrid version (badged E-HYBRID), but it's the wrong side of £32,000.
Perhaps most impressive of all is the smart new minimalist infotainment system which features a 10in central touchscreen and a 10.25in driver's digital instrument display on higher spec models.
The Octavia estate has been a family favourite for years. The fourth generation of Skoda's best-selling car was also launched in 2020 it too is better than ever, blending a superb amount of space, practicality, comfort and value for money, but now with cutting-edge tech and a sharper new look.
Slightly wider and taller than its predecessor, it's also more refined, while Skoda’s reputation for dependability will seal it for many buyers. The cavernous boot can hold 640 litres of luggage, expanding to 1,700 litres with the rear seats down.
Well built, fun to drive and boasting a real premium feel, the Clubman was given a mild makeover in 2019, which included 'Union Jack’ rear LED lights from the MINI Hatch.
Sporting barn-style rear doors for easy access, the generously equipped Clubman offers something a little different to traditional estates. There's decent space for passengers, while the boot can carry 360 litres of luggage or 1,250 litres if you fold the 60:40 split rear seats.
There are three petrol engines available – a 1.5-litre three-cylinder with 134bhp, a 189bhp 2.0-litre or a swift 302bhp 2.0-litre capable of 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds.
The estate version of the fourth-generation Ford Focus is one of the most engaging load-luggers to drive in this price range.
Updated for 2022, there's a choice of efficient petrol and diesel engines, and it's packed with the latest infotainment and safety tech.
Spacious in the back for passengers, the big boot has a 608-litre capacity, expanding to an impressive 1,653 litres with the rear seats flipped.
A great all-round option.
Unveiled in 2020 with the all-new eighth-generation VW Golf hatchback, the sleek estate version is 66mm longer than its predecessor, while rear legroom has been significantly enhanced and the luggage compartment volume increased (611/1,642 litres).
Available with a range of economical petrol and diesel engines (with mild-hybrid technology available on automatic versions) the smart interior has a minimalist look with a digital driver's dashboard and large centre touchscreen.
Sophisticated and practical, the Golf Estate oozes badge appeal.
The rakish Kia ProCeed arguably has more kerb appeal than any other estate in our top 10.
Not to be confused with the Ceed Sportswagon, Kia markets the ProCeed as having the “space and versatility of a tourer in a five-door shooting brake body”. Slightly lower and longer than the Sportswagon, it has a slippery profile flowing back to a very attractive derriere.
The interior is the familiar attractive and functional Kia mix of dark and soft-touch surfaces, plus the latest tech.
There's plenty of space in the back for adults (just beware that the optional sunroof eats into the headroom). The boot has a generous capacity of 594 litres, expanding to 1,545 litres with the rear seats flipped.
We'd recommend the four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol turbo which offers the best blend of performance, refinement and economy.
And finally, here’s a bonus estate car that couldn’t be more eco-friendly.
Just to show that the upfront cost of electric cars is getting more competitive by the year, this bargain EV is great value for money (the price includes the Government’s £2,500 plug-in grant).
Spacious and generously equipped, it’s the only electric estate on the market and offers a 464-litre boot that expands to 1,456 litres with the rear seats folded down.
It won’t win awards for driver engagement, but it delivers honest, practical zero emissions motoring and extra peace of mind (a superb seven-year/80,000-mile warranty is included).
The entry-level model has a smaller 52.5 kWh battery and has a range of up to 214 miles. Pay a little extra for the 61.1 kWh version and you get 250 miles. Are you ready to make the switch to electric?
I'm an experienced journalist, digital editor and copywriter, now specialising in motoring. I’m editor of Automotive Blog and have worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online for household names including the BBC, GMTV, ITV and MSN. I’ve produced digital content in the financial sector for Lloyds Bank, Nationwide and the Money Advice Service. I'm married with two children and live near Bath in Somerset.