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Packing up for the summer – the best used Estate Car choices

By raccars Published

Pasat By The Beach

With the summer holidays in full swing, Robert Diamond gives us a round-up of the best family estates for those summer road-trips….

I spend a lot of time on the motorway – and now is the time of year when I see cars packed to the roof lining with bikes, boxes, buckets & spades as families make their way off on summer trips. It therefore feels like a good time to consider family estate car choices.

One of the best options remains the Volkswagen Passat. It’s hard to believe that it’s been with us for over 40 years – continuing to offer excellent carrying capacity, a range of economical engines to choose from, topped off with VW badge status and build quality. The Passat Estate is a great used option at any budget - on RAC Cars we have almost 1200 to choose from, ranging from nearly-new (Eighth generation) cars at around £40,000 right the way down to less than £750. My choice would be 2013 1.6 TDI with Highline trim for same at RAC Approved Dealer Unbeatable Car Shop in Crawley West Sussex – great value at £13,599 with just over 16,000 miles on the clock

You can’t talk about the Passat without also mentioning the Skoda Octavia. You probably know that both cars come from the same parent company and share a lot under the bonnet – it’s also obvious inside the car that the VW is more smartly fitted out and the Octavia is a more budget-conscious buy. With prices for 2015 models starting at just £15,000 and with over 500 cars to choose, I admit that I would start looking here before moving on to the Passat.

There are plenty of other choices to consider – the trusty Ford Mondeo Estate (now on its fifth generation, but with plenty of earlier models available); the Vauxhall Insignia or the more upmarket BMW 330 Touring and Mercedes C Class estate. Much of the discussion will be about residual values and fuel economy – which is why so many of us chose the diesel versions where available. The usual rules still apply – buy from an approved dealer or visit www.rac.co.uk/buying-a-car to check the vehicle history first and maybe book an inspection before you buy.

Wishing you a week of happy, safe and economical driving

Robert Diamond

Managing Director, RAC Motoring Services

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