Plug-in and hybrid cars are all the rage at the moment, but with the notable exception of just a handful of manufacturers, there’s one area of the market that’s not served as well as it could be by alternative drivetrains.
If you need an estate car, then your choices of hybrid or plug-in estate are limited. Here are 10 you can buy today.
10. Toyota Auris Hybrid Touring Sports
There’s nothing exciting about the Auris Hybrid Touring Sports, but if you need a compact estate car with hybrid technology, it has the market pretty much to itself. At £21,995 on-the-road, it’s good value for money, while Toyota’s long proven track record in hybrid technology should give you plenty of peace of mind.
9. Kia Niro Hybrid
The Niro is marketed as an SUV, but in terms of its body shape and limited ground clearance, it’s more of a family estate with raised ride height. Its mild hybrid system is very similar to that of the Toyota Auris, with a six-speed CVT transmission and the ability to run in electric mode at low speeds. It’s versatile, practical and efficient, and is backed by Kia’s unbeatable warranty.
8. Peugeot 508 RXH HYbrid 4
With chunky good looks and the same powertrain as the 3008 Hybrid 4, the 508 combines an electric powertrain with a diesel engine. It develops 200bhp and is a lively car to drive, while the hybrid system keeps emissions down to 107g/km of CO2, which makes it a tax efficient choice for company car drivers. However, the fuel economy isn’t any better than most diesel rivals.
7. Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 BlueTec Hybrid
The C-Class C300 BlueTec Hybrid is an ideal choice for fleet drivers, with a 2.1-litre petrol engine, 74mpg fuel economy and emissions of just 99g/km of CO2, putting it into Band A for benfit-in-kind taxation. A sub-£40,000 list price also helps it to give a good account of itself in the company car park, plus, it’s terrific to drive.
6. Volvo V90 T8 Twin Engine Hybrid
The V90 is a superb estate car, and in T8 Twin Engine Hybrid form it has even more appeal. Volvo’s Twin engine models have a Plug-In Hybrid system that allows a pure electric range, which in the case of the big V90 is only 28 miles. But even so, that’s enough for a short commute, which could make it one f the cheapest 400bhp cars ever to run – though the £60k price tag isn’t cheap!
5. Mercedes-Benz E-Class E300 BlueTec Hybrid
Like the C300, the E300 BlueTec Hybrid is an appealing choice for the fleet user. It emits 114g/km of CO2, putting it into Band C for BIK tax, so it’s not as cheap as the C300 to run. But as estate cars go, it takes a serious amount of beating, with a huge load bay, great performance and exquisite build quality, coupled to 150mph performance and 66mpg.
4. Volvo V60 Twin Engine Hybrid
The V60 is a better buy than the V90 in this company, as while the latter is every inch the perfect estate car, the V60 is a far more affordable proposition. It’s less than £37,000 if you factor in the £5,000 OLEV grant for Plug-In vehicles, it emits just 48g/km of CO2. With those statistics, it makes sense to both the fleet and the private buyer, plus it’s a great car to drive.
3. Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV
The Optima Sportswagon is a leftfield choice, but it’s also a highly competent estate car in its own right. The 202bhp Plug-In model has much to recommend it, not least a CO2 rating of only 33g/km and combined quoted fuel economy of 202mpg, along with an electric-only driving range of 38 miles. Its ultra-low emissions are matched by equally low running costs, plus, it gets a seven-year warranty.
2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350e
If you were to suggest that the C350e had been created to be the perfect company car, then chances are you’d be right. The compact executive wagon offers something that rivals BMW and Audi cannot in the form of an estate body style, along with a CO2 rating of 49g/km. The fact it has a pure electric range of just 19 miles is academic – it’s the perfect tax break shooting brake.
1. Volkswagen Passat GTE
Volkswagen’s GTE models are among the best Plug-In hybrids on the market, and the Passat GTE estate is a terrific example. Coupled to VW’s popular 1.4 TSI engine, which punches above its weight, the Passat PHEV will travel 31 miles on electricity alone, and has a quoted CO2 figure of just 40g/km. 0-60 in 7.6 seconds and a 140mph top speed mean it’s no slouch, while company car running costs are best-in-class. It’s the best hybrid estate on the market right now.