Order of Magnitude: Top 5 estate cars
The definitive guide to our top five 155mph + estate(-ish) cars.
The inexorable rise of the SUV means that we are seeing fewer and fewer estate cars on the road. You might typically identify the humble estate as a family car – they certainly were 20 years ago – with enough room to get the dog in and hopefully the kitchen sink. However, having a practical car doesn’t mean that they can’t be exciting to drive, and that is where hot estates win over performance SUVs – they’re more fun to drive in the twisties.
Here’s our list of the top 5 estate cars.
5. BMW Alpina B3 Touring
It has been around 10 years since BMW last built an M5 Touring, and more’s the pity. A rear-wheel drive V10 autobahn muncher, only around 220 were sold in the UK. The M3 has never been produced in Touring specification, so tuners Alpina stepped into the breach with the B3 Touring in 2013 and revealed the new 2020 B3 at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
The B3’s looks are subtle (even with the classic 20″ Alpina wheels) which is part of its charm, but there is nothing subtle about its performance. As standard, it has a claimed top speed of over 186mph, powered by BMW’s straight-six 3.0 litre engine with the wick turned up to produce 455bhp. It is the slowest of our top 5 to 60 mph, but it will undoubtedly be one of the fastest cars you’ll see on your daily commute and supremely nimble cross-country. It’s spacious too with a boot nearly the same size at the Audi RS6 and the interior is meticulously designed to give that luxury feel. What really lets the B3 Touring down in present company is it just doesn’t look very unique, despite its rarity.
Power – 455 bhp
0-62mph – 3.8 mph
Dry Weight – TBA
Loadspace – 500/ 1,510 litres
Engine – Straight-six 3.0 litre
Top Speed – 188 mph
Price – expected £60,000 upwards – TBA
4. Mercedes AMG E63 S Estate
Mercedes certainly wasn’t pulling any punches when they launched the E63 S Estate.
There’s nothing quite like an AMG V8 – with or without turbos. Like Conor McGregor, this is a relatively civilised-looking fellow that packs one hell of a punch and always leaves you feeling like you might just get ambushed. It’s practical, with easily the biggest boot here, comfort throughout and the best cockpit of the lot. Under the bonnet is a twin-turbo V8 producing a faintly ridiculous 604 bhp & it can do 0–62mph in just 3.5 seconds meaning you can get to the tip in record time. However, it does cost £97,939.00 – you certainly get a lot for your money, but is any estate car really worth that?
Power – 604 bhp
0-62mph – 3.5 seconds
Dry Weight – 1,995kg
Loadspace – 640/ 1,820 litres
Engine – Twin-turbo V8
Top Speed – 180mph
Price – £97,939.00
3. Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo
So wrong, but so right.
Looking like the spawn of a 911 and a Macan, Porsche first presented us with the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo in 2017 – Porsche’s very own take on the humble estate. And it works.
The Sport Turismo has the same wheelbase as the Panamera, but with the addition of larger rear doors and boot opening. What lurks beneath the bonnet is a 4.0-litre, turbo-charged V8 producing 542bhp. This will see you accelerating to 62mph in just 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 193mph. The Sport Turismo adds a little extra passenger room to the standard Panamera’s package but the extra 25 litres of loadspace isn’t going to impress anyone. What do you get for the £4,000 premium over the liftback? Simple – looks. This is a great looking estate with the all-important Porsche badge and driver/ ownership experience. Even at £120,000, surely that’s enough.
Power – 542 bhp
0-62mph – 3.4 seconds
Dry Weight – 2,110kg
Loadspace – 520/ 1,400 litres
Engine – 4.0-litre V8
Top Speed – 193mph
Price – £120,000.00
2. Ferrari GTC4Lusso V12
Is it really an estate? Close enough…
You’re probably thinking we were pushing it by having the Panamera Sport on our list and the Ferrari GTCLusso treads an even closer line – but an estate is what it was billed as, so an estate it is.
The Lusso is the successor to the AWD Ferrari FF and comes with both a V12 and a turbo-charged V8. The 6.9 litre V12 is the natural choice for those who aren’t worried about cost, and it produces 651 bhp with an AWD setup. That makes it the most powerful, fastest and (remarkably) lightest car here as well as the most evocative. It seats four comfortably (believe us), but don’t expect to get luggage for four in as well.
Power – 680 bhp
0-62mph – 3.4 seconds
Dry weight – 1,790kg
Loadspace – 450/ 800 litres
Engine – 6.3L V12
Top Speed – 208 mph
Price – £230,000
1. Audi RS6
The perfect blend of performance and affordability. The undisputed king of estate cars.
On the number of estate car finance calculations made on our website alone, the RS6 tops our list. This a true icon of an estate car – even people who don’t need an estate want to buy it. The existing RS6 is a beast – the new 2020 car (revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September) ups the ante.
The twin-turbo 4.0 V8 now has a mild-hybrid system that boosts power by 40 bhp. Top speed (de-limited) is 190 mph. Now 40mm wider at each wheel arch, it looks as aggressive as the performance stats would suggest.
The RS6 is a proper estate car. With 565-litres of boot space and great looks, it’s all the excuse you need to go on a family holiday somewhere far away – and drive. It’s reasonably priced too – £80,000+ looks like great value compared to an E63. They hold their value well, too.
Power – 591 bhp
0-62 – 3.6 seconds
Dry Weight – 2,025kg
Loadspace – 595/ 1,680 litres
Engine – 4 litre V8
Top Speed – 190mph
Price – Starting from £80,000
Additional images courtesy of Porsche AG and Audi UK