I want a diesel, manual estate or hatchback. Could you suggest some models?

My 2010 Saab 9-3 Sportwagon has died and we have parted company. I’m struggling to decide what I should buy to replace it. I need a hatch or estate to easily carry family stuff and don’t really want anything bigger than the Saab. In normal times, my trip to work is about 25 miles each way (all dual carriageway), so I prefer a diesel. Since parting company with the Saab, I’ve tried a few cars and concluded a manual is essential. I enjoy driving and an automatic just makes driving a process, not the experience I love. I’d like to catch up on the tech that new cars have now, though. I’d prefer a conventional car rather than something raised like an SUV. It feels like there is no perfect solution and something will have to give but manual is essential.

Asked on 12 January 2021 by Steve

Answered by Andrew Brady
As you're no doubt finding, manual gearboxes are becoming less popular and being dropped entirely from some models – especially the kind of premium diesel estates you're probably looking at. A Volvo V60 sounds like it'd fit your bill – it's a stylish Swede, much like your Saab, but it's now only available with an automatic gearbox. This is a fairly recent move so, if you're keen, you'll be able to find an as-new pre-registered model with a manual transmission (and save cash at the same time). Otherwise, how about a Mazda 6? It's a stylish estate car that's great to drive and still offered with a diesel engine and manual gearbox.
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