Not so long ago, the estate car was widely regarded as the perfect solution to most of the transport needs of business and family motorists. But buying habits are changing with an increasing number of drivers turning to the crossover to meet their requirements.
That’s a shame. Effective as it is when it comes to tackling the odd spell of snow and ice, all-round traction inevitably adds to manufacturing costs. And it also costs more to operate.
So, given that most crossovers rarely stray far from smooth road surfaces, the traditional estate model can still make a strong case for itself.
Our long-term Megane Sport Tourer is already proving to be exemplary in this respect. For a start, it has lots of room for passengers and a 1,600-litre cargo volume – the biggest in the sector – provides loads of space for business users.
Sensible features like split-folding rear seats and a fold-flat front passenger seat mean the cargo layout is practical, as I’ve found when using the car to ferry our old kitchen furniture, sink and all, to the rubbish tip. Equipment is also generous, with daytime running lights, push button start, a speed-limiter cruise control and auto headlamps and wipers all included as standard. Unfortunately, rear parking sensors linked with a camera is a £350 option on our TomTom version.
This hold-all car is also a model of operating efficiency, with latest engine developments proving it to be capable of squeezing as much as 60 miles from a gallon, an excellent return from a vehicle of this size.
By Maurice Glover