I'll have a look into the V50 so, if i go down the estates route
And i actually agree with you, they've gotten a lot better looking in recent years so not a bad option. I still want to be able to say, these are the saloons that could do the job, and then compare that then against our other options of estates / jeeps...
Most 5door/liftback/hatchback* saloons would suit I spose - the octavia and the mondeo are obvious choices. Avensis? Mazda 6? Both of these are/were available as 5 door but most are 4door I'd say. 5 door saloons have a higher than average chance of being UK imports, so check the history.
*be warned, searching for these on carzone or donedeal is a nightmare, half the ads are wrong. Complete imbeciles will swear blind to you that it is a 5 door or a 4 door, and you will go to look at it and realise that no, it's not what you wanted at all.
By searching carzone for 5dr saloon only, you will exclude many liftback saloons advertised as 4 door saloons or 4 door hatchbacks or 5door hatchbacks. You'll have to trawl through them all, and look for windscreen wipers on the back window. Happy hunting...