Everyone wants a speed machine in their life, but the reality is that many also want practically for day to day tasks. Step forward the fast estate car. Effortlessly blending acres of boot spaces and hot hatch humiliating power.
For years Germany has been seen to dominate this corner of the market, with Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Volkswagen all selling successful fast estate cars. But recently, the rise of the performance SUV has threatened to overshadow this corner of the market, just as conventional SUVs have to mainstream estates. What SUVs can’t do is match the blend of sleek looks, sharp handling and performance that make a fast estate so special.
So read on and enjoy our list of the best fast estate cars on sale now…
- 1. Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate
- 2. Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate
- 3. Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
- 4. Ford Focus ST Estate
- 5. Volkswagen Golf R Estate
- 6. Skoda Octavia vRS Estate
- 7. SEAT Leon Cupra R ST ABT
- 8. Audi RS 4 Avant
- 9. Alpina B5 Touring
- 10. Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
There is no arguing that the Mercedes-AMG C63 is a full-blown muscle car and nothing changes when you turn it into an estate. In S guise, its 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine produces a staggering 503bhp and 700Nm, meaning that whatever you happen to be carrying, it is unlikely you will even notice any extra weight.
Despite its thunderous power, the C63 S is still a great car to drive everyday, provided you can live with its slightly firm ride. This car was designed for blasting up and down the Autobahn on a daily basis so your commute up the M1 will be a breeze.
2. Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate
If you are wanting even more space in the back than you get in the C63 S then you could move to the class above, where the Mercedes-AMG E63 S will be waiting. Putting out even more bhp than the ordinary E63 Estate, the S squeezes 604bhp from AMG’s 4.0-litre eight-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine, making it the most powerful estate car in the Mercedes range.
Four-wheel drive helps keep all that power under control and make the E63 S good fun to drive around country roads. With 640-litres of boot space in the back, there is more than enough space for everything from dogs to furniture. While the E 63 S Estate may be powerful, and quick (with a top speed limited to 186mph), it is also quite expensive with prices starting only a little shy of £100,000 and wallet-smashing fuel economy.
3. Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo
Two words that you might think shouldn’t even be seen together are ‘Porsche’ and ‘estate’. They are at almost complete opposite ends of the automotive spectrum but following the surprising success of the Panamera, Porsche decided to enter the estate market for the very first time – in its own special way.
The Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo does not look like your typical estate car as there’s no extra glass housing beyond the passenger doors. What it does get is a squarer roofline meaning an extra 20 litres of boot space is achieved without changing the wheelbase of the car. While this isn’t a huge improvement in practicality, you will soon forget about the boot space when you put your foot down. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces 542bhp and can hit 60mph in just 3.6 seconds, not bad for a car weighing over two tonnes.
4. Ford Focus ST Estate
The Ford Focus ST has always been a popular car with its affordability and driving talent making it one of the most enjoyable hot hatches on sale. The estate version does little to dent this reputation with the new Focus ST Estate matching the dynamic qualities of its hatchback relative.
While it may not be the prettiest car ever built, you soon forget about the styling when you hear the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo engine burble into life. With 276bhp and 420Nm of torque at your disposal, you hardly even notice the extra 35kg of weight over the ST hatch. However, there is a price to pay for all this speed and that’s the ST’s major downside – prices start at a rather steep £33,000.
5. Volkswagen Golf R Estate
The Volkswagen Golf R is often seen as the perfect all-rounder. It’s relatively inexpensive, massively practical and has enough power to out sprint many sports cars at the lights. For the £36k price tag, you get a spacious 605-litre boot (or 1,260 litres with the rear seats down) and a 296bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. You even get the additional bonuses of four-wheel drive and VW’s slick seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox as well as a nice deep burble coming out of the quad exhaust pipes.
6. Skoda Octavia vRS Estate
Skoda is positioned as the sensible member of the Volkswagen group stable. So you would expect that any fast estate car from the brand might be a rather timid affair. However, that is not the case at all with the Octavia vRS Estate.
Available in both petrol and diesel variants, the vRS may not be able to match the Golf R for flat-out performance but it does beat it in terms of price by starting a whisker under £30k. Fuel economy is another bonus with the diesel returning over 40mpg.
7. SEAT Leon Cupra R ST ABT
Now that Cupra has spun off from SEAT to become its own performance brand, it is left to tuning firm ABT to keep the hot SEAT Cupra estate alive. The slightly confusingly named SEAT Leon Cupra R ST ABT gives the old Cupra ST even more power, upping the ante to 345bhp from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine while 0-62mph is cracked in 4.7 seconds.
Tuning firm ABT has also put its name to a package of extras for the Leon ST with subtle upgrades throughout on this top-spec model including bronze accents outside and Alcantara inside to give a more unique feel. While the boot may be slightly smaller than the Golf R’s, with only 587-litres of space, it is still more than practical enough for everyday use.
8. Audi RS 4 Avant
The Audi RS 4 Avant has earned a place as one of Audi’s best-known performance models. Up front is a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 444bhp and 600Nm of torque. That means this family estate can launch from a standstill to 60mph in 4.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 174mph.
Couple the outrageous performance with the subtly aggressive bodywork and you have a car that you wouldn’t want to see in your rearview mirror. It’s not cheap at over £60,000 but it’s not easy to find a car that can merge practicality, comfort and speed together so successfully.
9. Alpina B5 Touring
With the lack of a BMW M5 Touring on the market, and one not likely to appear any time soon, Alpina has stepped in to give the world the next best thing. The B5 Touring is based on the current BMW 5 Series and Alpina uses a tuned version of the BMW 4.4-litre bi-turbo V8 to power it, making sure it’s extremely quick.
So quick that this big estate car will out perform virtually every sports car you meet on the road thanks to the 600bhp and 800Nm of torque it produces. The B5 Touring can hit 62mph in 3.6 seconds and surge onwards to a top speed of 202mph. All of this speed and power coupled with a 570-litre boot seems like the perfect recipe for a family car. There is a downside though, Alpinas are an exclusive breed in the UK and even if you could get one, it will set you back £91,000.
10. Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
Bringing up the rear is possibly the most controversial car on the list. Is the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso really an estate car? If it is, should Ferrari even be making an estate? Regardless of your view on those questions, there is no arguing with the fact that this is the most powerful estate here.
With 681bhp on offer from the 6.3-litre V12, the GTC4 Lusso certainly packs a punch when driving. The top speed is 208mph and 60mph is tackled in just 3.4 seconds thanks to the four-wheel drive and launch control system. If you want to be a bit more eco-friendly then Ferrari also offers the GTC4 Lusso with a 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8. 450 litres of boot space is rather good for a Ferrari but quite disappointing for an estate. Let’s face it, though, you aren’t going to be paying the £230k price tag solely for the practicality on offer.
These estates are fast, but they aren’t a patch on the fastest road cars in the world…