Ford Focus ST Estate, 2020, 32k, £24,999
Here we are bemoaning the demise of the estate and the first car served up covers a trio of soon-to-be-extinct motoring staples. While Ford hasn’t swung the axe on the Focus just yet, it has said that it’ll meet the same fate as the Fiesta in the not-too-distant future. There’s a question mark looming over the ST brand as well, with RS models already given the boot as part of the Blue Oval’s shift towards electric power. And, of course, it’s an estate. It’s a crying shame to see do-everything performance cars such as the Focus ST Estate fall by the wayside, especially when they tick all the boxes: fast, manual, can fit two large dogs in the back. Plus, you can pick up a Focus ST Estate for the same price as a hot Fiesta – or even cheaper in the case of this 2020 model. What more do you need?
Alpina D3 S Touring, 2023, 494 miles, £66,500
Providing you don’t live in London (or inside the M25 for that matter), it’s still worth giving diesel a look. Particularly when it comes wrapped up in green-over-cream and hasn’t been muddied by a gigantic set of teeth. Alpina and lusty oil burners were made for each other, with the former in its element when devouring motorway miles and the latter ideal for keeping fuel stops to a minimum. Of course, a diesel isn’t nearly as sonorous or evocative as the equivalent petrol, but buying a Alpina for the way sounds is a bit like pining over a McLaren for its front boot space. Besides, there is a decent burble to the D3 S to go along with its 355hp and sub-five-second 0-62mph performance. And with this near-new 2023 model coming in at £66,500, it’s a chunk cheaper than its petrol counterpart, too...
Porsche Taycan 4S Sport Turismo, 2023, 6k, £89,995
If you’re tempted to make the electric switch - or you’re looking for an EV to replace your daily workhorse - then this is the way to do it. No one has managed to pull off an electric car that gives you the coveted ‘fizz’ that a car running on dino juice provides, but the Taycan gets mighty close. Sublime steering with plenty of feedback, an ability to disguise two tonnes of heft and blistering pace throughout the range. Turbo and Turbo S models will obviously melt your face, but this 4S Sport Turismo has plenty of pace with a far greater range – particularly if it’s been fitted with the larger Performance Plus battery, bringing up to 289 miles of silent running and a slight uptick in performance. And there should be enough room for a pair of border collies. This 2023 car has covered 6,000 miles and is up for £89,995, a hefty discount over a new one.
Volkswagen Golf R Estate (Mk7), 2019, 20k, £28,795
A brand-new VW Golf R Estate Mk8 will set you back the best part of £50,000 once you’ve chosen a colour that isn’t white and bolted on the obligatory Performance Pack. Thankfully, you can get a 300hp super estate with actual buttons for the air con instead of pointless sliders at a £20,000 discount. That does of course mean going for the Mk7 version, but some would argue that has the edge on the Mk8 in the first place, especially when it comes to the quality of the materials used and interior tech that won’t have you battering the car with a tree branch. Of course, the newer R benefits from torque vectoring and has a touch more grunt, but you’ll only notice that when you’re on the absolute limit, which is quite hard to achieve with children and/or animals onboard. Save the change by grabbing this Mk7.5 Golf R Estate for £28,795, Pretoria wheels and all.
Mercedes-AMG C63 S, 2018, 20k, £47,995
The estate is very much alive and kicking in Mercedes’ book. What isn’t, however, is V8 power for the humble C. The four-cylinder hybrid in the new C63 S E Performance is highly effective at hurtling you towards the horizon, but has the emotional range of Hayden Christensen in the Star Wars prequels. It just goes to show there’s no replacement for displacement, particularly when said displacement is a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 with 510hp sent exclusively to the rear axle. Lively? You bet. But it also means the C63 S keeps you entertained from the moment the engine rumbles into life to pottering down a sleepy high street, striking fear into onlookers while thunder along in your family estate – especially if it's black with black wheels like this example here. It’s up for £47,995, or about half that of the expected cost of the new one. I know which one I’d rather have.
Aston Martin Vanquish S Zagato Shooting Brake, 2019, 3k, £549,990
Zagato designs can be a bit marmite, but there’s no denying the Vanquish S Zagato set a high-water mark for the Italian design house. Not least because part of its four body-style production plan included 99 Shooting Brakes, which instantly became the pick of the bunch. Yes, there’s a novelty to a grand tourer with a longer roof and enough space for an assortment of Fortnum and Mason picnic hampers, but there’s a level of drama that the Shooting Brake brings above the others. Perhaps it’s the way the double bubble roof becomes more prominent as it moves towards the rear wing, or simply the effect of seeing an unfamiliar silhouette on a familiar body. Whatever it is, I hope Zagato has more estates up its sleeve for future special editions. For now, we’ll take this gorgeous orange example and a bank loan for £549,990. Interest rates can’t go any higher, can they?
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