RAC Cars News


Family Cars For Petrol Heads

By raccars Published

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If you like to drive a sports car but have a family, big dogs or sporting equipment to carry around, a compromise has to be made somewhere. A speedy estate is usually the best way to do that, offering the requisite performance with the cargo carrying capacity of an SUV.

The premium German brands have always done fast estates well. BMW's M5 Touring may no longer be available but there are plenty of premium and other, more affordable options to choose instead.

Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake

This V8 is a brutal entry from the usually sleek and sophisticated British luxury car maker - not that the XFR-S Sportbrake lacks for premium comfort and convenience features. It simply combines them with howling, supercharged five litre performance. At 550 litres, the boot is practical enough for sports enthusiasts or a pair of Labradors and its aggressive styling is strangely appealing, tempered by the sort of refinement you would expect from a Jag. A truly excellent choice if you can afford it.

Vauxhall Insignia

If not, the Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersport Sports Tourer 2.8 appears to be anything but staid and sensible. Its V6 churns out 325bhp for speeds that leave it looking pretty respectable, even next to the likes of the Jag, and it's very handsome to boot. However, you can load up to 540 litres of gear in the boot so it fits the family car requirements list very well. Four wheel drive is a useful little addition but beware that the taxman will penalise you for that V6...

Skoda Octavia

The Octavia estate in standard format is already well known for its comfort and practicality, but go for the vRS version and things get hotter. The styling is sporty but restrained, the ride smooth and comfortable and 220bhp from a two litre turbocharged engine gives it interesting if not rollercoaster-ride-exciting performance. As a budget option it's hard to beat, with great build quality, a useful 510 litre boot and a very attractive purchase price.

Audi RS6 Avant

This has been the one to beat for a while now, an accomplished performer in the fast estate world. It's monstrously powerful, thanks to a 553bhp bi-turbo powertrain, but comes with an enormous 565 litre cargo space. Add to that Audi's Quattro four wheel drive arrangement and you get peerless handling and driving dynamics. It's the most expensive car on the list but is a five star quality entry in its class.

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