SUVs vs Estate: Which Costs the Most to Maintain?

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 3 months ago

5 min read

  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Car ownership
  • Review
A Mercedes GLE

WhoCanFixMyCar discusses whether SUVs or estate cars are cheaper to maintain.

SUVs are an increasingly popular choice for motorists, but with a bigger car often comes higher repair and maintenance prices. With this in mind, it's worth considering whether estate cars, which are similarly spacious and stylish, might be cheaper to maintain, making them a better option if you want to save money.



BMW X5 vs 3 Series

Skoda Karoq vs Superb

Mercedes GLE vs E Class

Volkswagen Tiguan vs Passat

SUV vs estate


All prices in this guide are averages based on quotes from the WhoCanFixMyCar platform in 2023.

To determine whether SUVs or estate cars are cheaper to maintain, we focused on models from four popular car manufacturers: BMW, Skoda, Mercedes and Volkswagen. Each car's annual cost of maintenance is calculated using average prices from the following categories:

BMW X5 vs 3 Series

The BMW X5 is regarded as one of the best SUVs on the market, with a shining five-star review from WhatCar?, and the 3 Series Touring is a similarly impressive estate car. Let's see how they compare for maintenance prices.

  • X5 - £490.27

  • 3 Series - £455.99

A difference of £34.28 sits between the X5 and the 3 Series, making the estate car option significantly cheaper. This is the case in all categories except for an aircon regas, where the X5 is 91 pence cheaper, with an average price of £65.53.

Skoda Karoq vs Superb

A grey Skoda Karoq

The Skoda Karoq is a top-notch SUV that majors in comfort and practicality, and the Superb estate car is equally impressive thanks to its reasonable pricing, classy styling and cavernous interior.

  • Karoq - £473.44

  • Superb - £466.42

Once again, the estate car comes out on top - although, crucially, it's more expensive than the Karoq for servicing. The category where the Karoq falls down is the price of an aircon regas: £110.45 compared to the Superb's £88.69.

Mercedes GLE vs E Class

The GLE's air suspension makes it feel like you're driving on clouds, and with a stunning interior, there's a lot to like about this SUV. It's a similar story when you consider the E Class estate car, which is as refined and classy as you'd expect from a Mercedes.

  • GLE - £488.37

  • E Class - £442.75

A £45.62 price difference separates the GLE and the E Class; the only category in which the latter is more expensive is for an aircon regas.

Volkswagen Tiguan vs Passat

VW Tiguan (Fabian Canela)

If you're looking for a family car, the Tiguan is a solid choice, although it's more pricey than some rival SUVs. But it's also worth considering the VW Passat estate car, which has a range of competent engine options and plenty of high-tech equipment.

  • Tiguan - £467.96

  • Passat - £452.32

The difference in price between these models is slim - just over £15 - but the Passat is cheaper across the board, securing another win for estate cars.

SUV vs estate

The average annual maintenance cost for the SUV models included in this guide is £480.01 - £25.64 more than the average for the estate cars, which is £454.37. So, if you want to save money on car maintenance, choosing an estate model might be the best option.

Whether you're researching maintenance prices for a new car or looking to repair an existing one, WhoCanFixMyCar can help you find the right garage at the right price.

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Written by Ellie

Ellie Author Pic

Ellie is WhoCanFixMyCar’s Content Writer. She has a BA in English literature from Durham University, a master’s degree in creative writing, and three years of experience writing in the automotive industry. She currently drives a Suzuki Swift.

Find Ellie on LinkedIn.