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 starting at less than £13,000 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.
It may not be the most attractive or sophisticated car on the market, but the Dacia Logan MCV is quite simply the cheapest new estate money can buy.
This ‘Maximum Capacity Vehicle’ offers a good space for driver and passengers, plus a huge 573-litre boot, which expands to 1,518 litres with the rear seats flipped.
The Logan MCV doesn't claim to be anything other than basic and practical, but generally speaking, it's a comfortable, no-thrills drive.
You can choose between a 0.9-litre petrol engine and a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder Bi-Fuel 100 turbo that can run on either petrol or LPG, which Dacia claims delivers “reduced fuel costs, lower emissions and improved performance".
There's also the Logan MCV Stepway sister car (pictured) which has a more rugged look combined with a slightly raised ride height. The MCV Stepway range starts at £12,945.
If value for money, practicality and dependability are top of your list, then consider the dinky Skoda Fabia estate. This small load-lugger from the Czech brand is well built, comfortable and decently equipped.
Treated to a mild facelift in 2018, it's available with two 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines (94bhp or 109bhp) capable of up to 52.8mpg.
As ever with Skoda, there are lots of storage solutions, while the luggage capacity is 330 litres, or 1,150 litres with the seats down.
If you want peace of mind, Skoda has an excellent reputation for reliability and was named the second most dependable car brand in the 2019 JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study.
Launched in 2016, the Fiat Tipo is a bit of a hidden gem, which is a shame because it's not a bad car and it's great value.
Competitively priced, it's better looking than its hatchback sister car. It may not be the funkiest Fiat ever, but it's 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.
The Tipo is available with a choice of 1.4-litre petrol engines (94bhp or 118bhp) or a 118bhp 1.6 diesel which can deliver up to 55.5mpg.
Another winner from South Korea's Kia, the latest Ceed Sportswagon is a real rival to the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane estates.
Stylish, well-built and comfortable to drive, it offers a large 625-litre boot capacity, expanding to 1,694 litres with the rear seats down.
Available with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, there's now also an impressive plug-in hybrid option which combines an 8.9kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, a 44.5kW electric motor and a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a six-speed double-clutch transmission.
Add Kia's generous seven-year warranty and reputation for dependability, and the Ceed Sportswagon could be your perfect family estate.
The estate version of the Megane hatchback is another one of those load-luggers that’s cooler than its smaller sibling.
Looking sportier than it actually is, there's more of an emphasis on comfort and safety with this one. There's ample room for passengers, while the boot is a generous 521 litres, rising to 1,504 litres with the rear seats down (that’s an impressive 2.77-metre load area).
Engine choice is limited to either a 1.2-litre petrol turbo or a frugal 1.5-litre diesel, though an excellent new E-TECH plug-in hybrid version is coming. For now, we'd stick with the smaller engine, which despite its size, can cover the 0-62mph dash in 9.8 seconds and is a great all-rounder.
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.
Competitively priced, the Astra Sport Tourer was named Best Estate Car in the 2016 Telegraph Cars Awards, and it provides serious competition for the Ford Focus estate and Kia Ceed Sportswagon.
The Octavia estate has been a family favourite for years. The fourth generation of Skoda's best-selling car has just been launched and it's 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.
At launch, there's a choice of frugal petrol and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid to follow.
Winner of the Most Popular Estate crown at the Honest John Awards 2018, this MINI estate is as funky as ever inside.
Well built, fun to drive and boasting a real premium feel, it 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.
Another new kid on the block for 2020, the fourth-generation Seat Leon is the best yet. Sharply styled and well equipped, it promises to be just as good to drive, while there's plenty of room inside for the family, plus 617 litres of luggage space.
Initially available with a choice of two petrol engines (a 1.5-litre four-cylinder offering 128bhp or 148hp), a plug-in hybrid will follow.
Perhaps most impressive of all is the smart new minimalist infotainment system which features a 10.0in central touchscreen and a 10.25in driver's digital instrument display on higher spec models.
The estate version of the superb fourth-generation Ford Focus isn't quite as stylish as the hatchback, but it is one of the most engaging load-luggers to drive in this price range.
There's a choice of efficient three-cylinder 1.0 and 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engines, plus four-cylinder 1.5 and 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesels and it's packed with the latest infotainment and safety tech.
The Focus estate is spacious in the back for passengers, while the big boot has a 608-litre capacity, expanding to an impressive 1,650 litres with the rear seats flipped.
A great all-round option.
Just squeaking in below our £25,000 budget, 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.
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.