We should not forget the humble Citroen ZX, which gives all the benefits of the saloon (cheap, comfy, frugal, park anywhere, easy to maintain) with useful extra capacity for farm work etc:
04-Apr-17 - ZX estate with branches.jpg
My ZX 1.9 estate is my chariot of choice for long distance commuting:
10-Apr-17 - ZX by Brynmadog.JPG10-Apr-17 - ZX on mountain in Wales.JPG
and the AS choice for polishing at the Field of Dreams...
09-Sep-17 - Beko has polished the ZX.JPG09-Sep-17 - a polished panel on the ZX.JPG
Agreed; the ZX/405 is high up in the stakes. I think the Volvo 145/245 just edges into first place, the 7/9 series Volvos tie with the Granada in second and the W124 comes in third. ZX/405 fourth.
BX/CX coming in at fifth.
The Volvos cheat a bit as technically they aren't the best but in British (Swedish) fashion they have occupied the top spot through keen advertising and an ability to enter the social lexicon. After all the word Volvo is synonymous with a practical estate car, in the same way that Land Rover is with practical off road vehicle.