Growing families that need a little more room than a standard hatchback or saloon will usually turn their attention to estate and touring cars. Along with a bigger boot, estate and touring car owners still benefit from impressive styling, great refinement and plenty of equipment.
In addition, running costs are much cheaper than bigger MPVs and crossovers. Simply by adding some roof bars on top, from Tesco or other retailers, the same functionality can be enjoyed.
But what are the very best family touring and estate cars currently available? Here's a quick comparison.
BMW 5 Series Touring
Possibly the best estate car around, the BMW 5 Series Touring ticks all the right boxes. The build quality is second to none, so you won't have to deal with many surprise breakdowns. At the same time, owners are treated to a powerful yet controlled drive behind the wheel.
Self-levelling rear suspension allows you to transport heavy loads with the greatest of ease, while the ample safety and security kit means passengers will always stay free from harm.
Ford Focus Estate
If the 5 Series Touring is too expensive, consider the Ford Focus Estate instead. Not only does this option handle just as well as the BMW, it also boasts a number of powerful yet economical engines.
Space and practicality are also best in class, while all versions come with air conditioning, a digital radio, and Bluetooth.
Audi A6 Avant
Going back to the executive market, the Audi A6 Avant provides stiff competition for the BMW 5 Series. Handling isn't quite as sharp but the beautiful cabin is a thoroughly pleasant place to be.
You won't need to spend much on additional extras either, as nearly every piece of equipment you could want is included as standard. Competitive running costs and strong engine performance only add to the Audi A6 Avant's strong points.
Kia Cee'd Sportswagon
Budget-conscious buyers that don't want to break the bank with a purchase should look no further than the Kia Cee'd Sportswagon. With lots of space, a high quality cabin, and an abundance of equipment, you can't go far wrong.
It is probably a bit noisier than the Ford Focus Estate and won't deliver an equally impressive drive, but if value for money is your key concern, pick the Kia Cee'd Sportswagon.
Personal preference in terms of handling and equipment is the only way to separate top of the range estate cars like the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant. However, if your budget doesn't stretch to these options, there are some commendable alternatives available.
The Ford Focus might not be as refined, but it can't be beaten when it comes to space and practicality. And for the ultimate in cost-effective motoring, try the Kia Cee'd Sportswagon for size.