What’s a compact estate car and what features should it have?

Estate cars are great for families. They provide extra storage space for toys, school bags, luggage, pet dogs and little people. However, sometimes they can be a little too big, causing obstacles with everyday driving and parking in tight spaces. A solution? Investing in a compact estate car.

Compact estate cars provide extra comfort and interior space without compromising on design. Unlike larger estate cars, they’re easy to drive and simple to park.

Whether you’re looking to buy new or wondering which second-hand compact estate car is the best, you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up the best small estate cars to make your next car search easy.

Top 10 Best Compact Estate Cars

The best compact estate car 2021 should be spacious and practical, but still smart and nimble. We’ve rounded up a list of the best compact estate cars to help you find your dream drive. They include:

  • Ford Focus Estate
  • Seat Leon
  • MINI Clubman
  • Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Volkswagen Golf Estate
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA
  • Audi A6 Avant
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake
  • Volvo V90

1. Ford Focus Estate - Length: 4669mm

With its sloped roof, raked forward tailgate and Asian-inspired headlights, the Ford Focus Estate is a sporty take on the compact estate car. Along with its attractive aesthetic, this popular drive comfortably fits five passengers and offers ample legroom and sufficient headroom.

Best Features
  • Sporty design
  • Spacious interior
  • Split-folding back seat for increased boot size
  • Fuel economy: 55.4mpg
  • Insurance group: 8-21
  • Boot space: 728 litres (1620 litres with rear seats folded)
  • Length: 4669mm

2. Seat Leon - Length: 4368mm

Available as a five-door hatchback or Estate, the Seat Leon is a strong choice for growing families. Its boot size is slightly small for its class (estate), but it makes up for this with its passenger space, Euro NCAP five-star safety rating and impressive interior technology.

Best Features
  • Good to drive
  • Ample passenger space
  • Impressive interior tech features
  • Fuel economy: Between 44.1mpg and 49.6mpg
  • Insurance group: 12-33
  • Boot space: 380 litres
  • Length: 4368mm

3. MINI Clubman - Length: 4300mm

With its classic MINI features and quality build, the MINI Clubman is a practical family car that’s good to look at and fun to drive. The boot is small for its class, but it’s reliable, comfy and reasonably efficient. Compared to other MINI models, it’s also a lot more composed on poor road surfaces.

Best Features
  • Stylish design
  • Fun to drive
  • Comfortable and reliable
  • Fuel economy: 44.1mpg
  • Insurance group: 15-40
  • Boot space: 360 litres
  • Length: 4300mm

4. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer - Length: 4370mm

With its compact design, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer isn’t the most spacious in its class, but it still offers plenty of legroom and headroom and litres of space in the boot. Its engine range is excellent, the brakes are strong and it’s reasonably economical to drive.

Best Features
  • Affordable running costs
  • Excellent engine range
  • Good to drive
  • Fuel economy: 83.1mpg
  • Insurance group: 8-23
  • Boot space: 540 litres (1630 litres with seats folded)
  • Length: 4370mm

5. Skoda Octavia - Length: 4670mm

With its huge boot and sharp exterior, the Skoda Octavia is a family-friendly drive. It’s available in a five-door hatchback or estate and offers low running costs and a comfortable and practical drive. Newer models also feature upgraded cabins and up-to-date infotainment systems.

Best Features
  • Reliable and comfortable drive
  • Ample boot space
  • Low running costs
  • Fuel economy: 54.3mpg
  • Insurance group: 13-29
  • Boot space: 590 litres (1580 litres with rear seats folded)
  • Length: 4670mm

6. Volkswagen Golf Estate - Length: 4633mm

It’s not quite as stylish as the hatchback, but the Volkswagen Golf Estate is a comfortable and compact estate car that’s great for families. Available with all the same engines as the hatchback, it’s cheap to run, good to drive and offers both a spacious rear and generous boot size.

Best Features
  • Low running costs
  • Spacious interiors
  • Comfortable drive
  • Fuel economy: 70mpg
  • Insurance group: 7-39
  • Boot space: 605 litres
  • Length: 4633mm

7. Mercedes-Benz CLA - Length: 4695mm

Comfortable and refined, the Mercedes CLA is a good-looking, compact estate car that packs a punch when it comes to tech and safety features. It’s beautifully built, agile to drive and spacious inside. It’s no surprise then that top-spec models can prove rather pricey.

Best Features
  • Beautiful interiors
  • Impressive technology
  • Comfortable and agile drive
  • Fuel economy: 33.2mpg-57.7mpg
  • Insurance group: 22-46
  • Boot space: 460 litres
  • Length: 4695mm

8. Audi A6 Avant - Length: 4933mm

With its roomy cabin and futuristic design, the Audi A6 Avant is a practical car with plenty of high-tech features. On the road, it feels relaxing to drive thanks to its light steering and large windows, and there’s ample space inside for both passengers and luggage.

Best Features
  • Relaxing to drive
  • Smart, futuristic design
  • Ample interior space
  • Fuel economy: 65.7mpg
  • Insurance group: 26-47
  • Boot space: 565 litres (1680 litres with rear seats folded)
  • Length: 4933mm

9. Jaguar XF Sportbrake - Length: 4954mm

Stylish to look at and brilliant to drive, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake is both practical and polished. Available in a wide range of engines, it offers ample safety features and its smart interiors are comfortable for both driver and passengers. However, its reliability record could be better.

Best Features
  • Stylish and refined design
  • Practical to drive
  • Ample safety features
  • Fuel economy: 61.4mpg
  • Insurance group: 25-42
  • Boot space: 565 litres
  • Length: 4954mm

10. Volvo V90 - Length: 4945mm

With its classy design and minimalist aesthetics, the Volvo V90 is an eye-catching car that’s comfortable and affordable. Designed with an array of technology to improve safety on the road, it features roomy interiors with enough space to comfortably seat four adults.

Best Features
  • Stylish design
  • Affordable to run
  • Spacious interiors
  • Fuel economy: 49.5mpg
  • Insurance group: 28-44
  • Boot space: 551 litres (1517 litres with rear seats folded)
  • Length: 4945mm

Compact estate cars are the ideal solution for families wanting a manageable drive with extra interior space. Now that you know some of the best compact estate cars available, you’ll know the features to keep an eye out for. We’ve also written a guide to our favourite small estate cars.

Whether you’re looking for a petrol engine, plug-in hybrid or electric cars, shop the best compact estate cars here. Happy driving!