CLASSY estate models are still popular and their owners have resisted the urge to change to an SUV because they prefer the looks handling and ride quality.
And for those who want more ruggedness and some off-road ability a few manufacturers offer estates that sit higher and have four-wheel-drive.
One of the best is the Audi A4 Allroad which boasts a comfortable ride and a clever electric all-wheel-drive system that provides all-weather ability with a degree of mud-plugging talent.
The A4 Allroad even manages to look robust thanks to its raised ground height and plastic cladding around the wheel arches.
The Allroad also has a different grille and slight changes at the rear to give it a stronger look but few will be able to tell the difference between it and the normal quattro Avant model.
It is very accomplished and feels exactly the same to drive as the standard car. On regular surfaces and under normal conditions you won't notice any difference but if you push really hard you might detect a tiny bit more body roll and a touch of understeer.
The Audi offers a refined and upmarket feel and that is reflected in the way it drives. It provides a supple and comfortable ride and is good around towns and on the motorway.
I did not take it off-road but during some recent poor weather it showed that it had stacks of grip.
A number of engines are offered and I sampled the most popular - the 187bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel combined with an S tronic automatic seven-speed gearbox.
It provides bags of punch combined with decent fuel economy. It can tackle the sprint to 62mph in 7.9 seconds before going on smoothly to a top speed of 137mph.
The latest WLTP economy figures say that owners should get between 43 to 44.1mpg and I matched that without trying.
Steering is sharp and accurate and the suspension deals easily with uneven and badly surfaced roads. The ride is comfortable and composed rather than sporty and that is no bad thing in this type of car.
The quality cabin is taken from the rest of the A4 range and features high quality materials, clear dials and instruments and excellent build quality. Rear legroom is a bit tight if the front seats are pushed back too much but otherwise there are few faults. The only surprise was that with all the luxury touches, the seats had to be adjusted manually.
The electric tailgate allows you to access 495 litres of luggage space and this rises to 1,495 litres when the rear seats are collapsed.