The ultimate guide to understanding estate cars

The interest in estate cars have been growing within the British market in the past few years. A lot of people are starting to see the main advantages of owning this type of vehicle over hatchbacks and SUVs because they can provide a great combination of the two, offering the best of both worlds.

If you still don’t understand what an estate car is and the main differences between the other body styles, this guide will introduce you to the definition of an estate car, their main pros and cons, and the features that make them stand out.


What is an estate car?

Blue Estate Car

The word estate is used to describe a large area of land, and it’s no wonder this was the word chosen for this category of vehicles. When you think of estate, the first thoughts that come to mind are spacious, roomy, and big.

Even though there might have been some prejudice in the past regarding the looks of estate vehicles, over the past few years manufacturers put a lot of effort into creating stylish designs that are pleasing to the eye combined with some very important features - comfort, practicality, excellent drivability and fuel efficiency. So, no more cars that look like long rectangular boxes on wheel. The new designs are jaw dropping.

To help you visualise what an estate car looks like, picture a conventional hatchback with a long rear end. That’s basically what you’re going to get when purchasing an estate car.

Who are estate cars for?

Family in a Estate Car

As we have previously established, estate cars are known for being spacious inside. It was designed and planned out to fit a family of five comfortably. That’s why the boot space in most of these vehicles is remarkable. You can easily fit a large family in and still have a lot of storage space for suitcases or camping equipment.

To put the storage space a bit into perspective, the back seats are foldable, providing even more room for large items by extending the storage space up to the front seats. This is the type of vehicle perfect for moving houses or transporting long pieces of furniture.

Estates can be versatile and are an excellent option to those who are looking for a family car that can fit a battalion inside.

What to look for in an estate car?

Estate Car Packed Boot

A few things to keep in mind when looking for the best estate car for your needs is that not all models have the same pattern of interior design, and some details can be the difference between improving storage space or wasting it.

The first thing to check is if you can split the rear seats and if they fold down completely flat. Even though a vehicle that only allows you to fold down the entire rear row can be useful for people who’ll use the car solely for transporting bulky items, having the option to leave one or two seats up means you can extend boot space and are still able to have some passengers in the back seat.

You’ll also want to make sure the seats fold 100 percent flat for more storage space and to allow the items to be allocated evenly within the surface.

Some attachments such as hooks, rails, and USB power sockets can come in handy. The hooks and rails will prevent delicate items to move around the back seat or coming forward when braking, and the socket can be extremely useful on a camping trip or a visit to the beach.

The newer models have excellent technology and provide powered boot lid. This feature is fantastic because you can open the boot without using your hands, by waving your foot under the bumper, and that’ll be convenient when you're carrying heavy boxes or suitcases.

What is the difference between an estate car and a hatchback?

Parked Estate Car

Estate cars and hatchbacks can look similar and can be easily confused when you’re not a car enthusiast.

The exterior design of both categories are extremely similar, which proves the theory that gone are the days when estate cars weren’t as good-looking as the average hatchback. The main difference between the two is quite simple: size.

When looking at a side by side comparison, the estate car is longer, it features an extended rear end and the boot is a bit squarer than the hatchback to facilitate the storage of taller items.

Pros and cons of owning an estate car

Red Estate Car

If you’re unsure whether an estate car is the best option for your needs, here’s what you should consider:




    Low to the ground


    Hard to park


    Can't see through the back window when filled up

Find the perfect estate car at Evans Halshaw

Estate cars combine style and lots of storage room for those who are looking for a practical and good-looking vehicle. This can be a great solution for big families or for people who need to use their car to transport large or bulky items on a regular basis.

At Evans Halshaw we offer a variety of new and used estate vehicles that are going to be the perfect fit to your lifestyle. We also have a blog that's constantly updated with buying and maintenance advice, so you can keep your vehicle in its best shape.