Prior to the compact MPV market, the mid-sized estate was one of the strongest sectors in the car market, attractive to both family and fleet buyers. Significantly cheaper than Volvos and Mercedes cars, some of the models equalled the load capacity and the quality but were more in tune with value rather than the image. Today families will prefer the purpose-built family-friendly MPVs, but an estate car will always retain a certain elegance and therefore will always find buyers.
A rundown of a small selection of late ‘80s sub 10K estate cars includes the spacious Ford Sierra which was always a safe choice, benefiting from a new range of engines.
The French and Japanese tended to excel in the estate car market, not only as new car purchases but also as shrewd secondhand buys. The Citroen BX estate used self-levelling suspension which was was a useful novelty in this sector.
The newly introduced Peugeot 405 offered outstanding driving manners.
The Renault 21 savanna used a longer wheelbase than the saloon and another car with an excellent ride.
The Toyota Carina was available as an estate for the first time, offering superb build quality and durability.
Nissan’s Bluebird was a long-running name in the estate car market, with the Bluebird offering exceptional value for money and actually being a far better car than you might expect.
The British option came via the recently much improved Austin Rover Montego, some versions also offered 3 rows of seats and a hardy diesel option.
If space wasn’t too much of an issue and you fancied a sporty drive, then the Alfa Romeo 33 could be ideal for those skiing or golf trips.