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Executive Estates: The Perfect Car?

Executive Estates: The Perfect Car? Executive estate cars offer an excellent combination of luxury with practicality. They can swallow up motorway miles in comfort while carrying large amounts of sporting equipment, shopping and the family dogs. Some even come with the option of adding a couple of removable third-row seats into what is usually the boot, making the car a seven-seater - while space is a bit cramped, this can be useful if you occasionally have lots of kids to drive around. If you choose from one of the new executive estate car deals, you no longer have to face sacrificing high performance and luxury for space and practicality.

BMW 5 Series Touring

The 5 Series is a stalwart member of the executive class, but the Touring estate version adds serious practicality to its famous premium German build quality. Engaging driving dynamics and clever handling are complemented by a generous 560-litre cargo space and impressive fuel economy. Just in case it's all sounding a little too staid and sensible, 0-62mph arrives in a brisk 8.3 seconds, so there's plenty of entertainment on offer too.

Audi A6 Avant

There's very little to choose between the big three German brands in terms of performance and build quality, but the A6 Avant may have the edge in style terms. It's a very handsome car with a sumptuous cabin and huge road presence which belies its agile handling. In practical terms the A6 Avant offers unexpectedly frugal fuel consumption - from 70.6mpg - and a useful 565 litres of boot space. The diesel engine range is particularly smooth and even entry-level models come generously equipped.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate

Another obvious choice in the executive estate class, the E-Class offers a very composed ride and a larger boot than its rivals. The price range is massive, so choose your options carefully - basic equipment levels are good, but it's easy to push the price up by over-specifying from the huge list of extras. The E-Class Estate is also one of the safest choices, packed with driver-assistance features. While the spacious cabin oozes class, the E-Class also works as a very sensible and practical everyday runner.

Volvo V60 Estate

Volvo is currently making a stunning range of cars, challenging the premium brands for fit and finish and boasting its usual world-leading safety standards. The V60 Estate is a smart-looking choice offering great value for money. The boot is slightly smaller at 430 litres, but clever design means it's still practical, and passenger space is generous. This is one of the most comfortable choices in the executive estate market, offering relaxed driving.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

The Jag is the sportiest choice for those prioritising performance. It's a very stylish car too, but arguably less practical than some others in its class. However, the amount of clever technology in the cabin should make up for that - it almost feels like you're piloting a spaceship. There's lots of standard equipment on all models, but the XF seats only four adults in comfort, and the roofline is a little too low for large cargo. However, if your load-lugging needs come behind driving dynamics on your list of requirements, then the Jag could be perfect.

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