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Best and worst cars for comfort

Owners' verdicts on the top and bottom five models

We’ve sifted through the 2013 Which? Car Survey results to find which cars you find the most…and the least comfortable to live with.

Who better to ask about car comfort than the people who drive their cars day in and day out. That’s why we asked owners to rate their cars for comfort in the 2013 Which? Car Survey. And more than 47,000 people rated their cars for this and eight other areas, including value for  money, styling and build quality.

You’d probably expect luxury cars to sit at the top of the comfort leaderboard, but large 4x4s actually take three of the top five spots. Perhaps unsurprisingly, small and cheap superminis make up the bottom five.

The most comfortable cars – as rated by you

Land Rover Range Rover (2002-12) – 98.6%

Even with a new model on forecourts, few can challenge the previous generation Range Rover in the large 4×4 class. It’s the epitome of comfort, off-road ability and luxury, with a very spacious and comfortable cabin. Range Rover enthusiasts told us that ‘it is eminently comfortable’, and many owners mentioned the ‘great driving position’. One Range Rover owner sums it up with: ‘the Range Rover provides the most capable, comfortable and stress free driving I’ve experienced in 40 years on the road’.

Volvo XC70 (2007-) – 97.6%

A kind of Volvo V70 on stilts, the XC70 combines comfort, luxury and practicality with added off-road ability. It is solidly built and easy to drive, and has lots of space for passengers. Owners were particularly pleased with how well it ‘handles in all conditions’, and that it’s ‘extremely comfortable in summer and winter’.

Lexus RX (2009-) – 97.5%

Lexus is obviously doing something right as this model appeared in last year’s top five most comfortable cars too. A lot of people are particularly pleased with how hushed the cabin is. ‘Excellent comfort’, ‘very quiet to drive’ were among the comments we received.

Jaguar XJ (2003-2009) – 97.5%

This Jaguar may be old fashioned on the outside, but the technology underneath and the level of comfort and luxury it provides is very up to date. No matter how long the journey, this Jaguar gets owners to their destination relaxed and unruffled. Owners praised both the XJ’s comfort and refinement. One said: ‘it is quite the best looking, fastest, most comfortable, quietest car I have owned’.

Lexus GS (2005-2012) – 96.9%

The Lexus GS is, ‘comfortable, quiet, reliable and always a joy to be in’. The second Lexus in our top five line-up, the GS shrugs off long journeys with ease. The interior is well put together and there’s enough space to unwind. Few cars can dispatch long drives as easily as this Lexus and ‘effortless luxury’ was one phrase that came to mind for a number of GS owners. 

The least comfortable cars – as rated by you

Peugeot 206 (1998-2009) – 65.5%

This bestselling supermini was bought in droves over its long lifetime, but despite plenty of space in the front, the driving position is awful and visibility is terrible too, according to owners. Suspect build quality and iffy reliability further tarnish the 206’s reputation.

Vauxhall Corsa (1993-2000) – 64.1%

Another popular supermini languishing at the bottom of our list, owners found little to like about the old Corsa’s comfort thanks to its firm ride and hard seats. Also coming in for criticism from owners was the overly harsh suspension and the lack of power steering on some models.

Ford Ka (1996-2008) – 62.6%

This generation of the Ka sold well for all of its 12 years. It drives nicely, especially for the cheap price tag, but it seems that Ford has overlooked the car’s comfort with owners rating the Ka perilously close to the bottom of our list. Many owners aren’t pleased with the ‘uncomfortable seating’ especially ‘when using the rear seats for a long time’.

Peugeot 107 (2005-) – 62.4%

The 107 is cheap to buy and run. Its size and good visibility make it a practical city car, but owners aren’t fans of the vibrations over longer journeys. Noise levels are also problematic and we saw complaints that the 107 is both noisy at higher speeds and in low gears. One owner described the 107 as, ‘cramped, with a lack of storage space, and very uncomfortable for rear seat passengers’.

Citroen Saxo (1996-2003) – 56.5%

Way down at the bottom of the pile is the Citroen Saxo, 6% below the next least comfortable car. This cramped machine is seriously outdated, with a woeful two-star NCAP safety score and bicep-building steering, should you forego the optional power steering. Owners found the Saxo noisy and mentioned its ‘uncomfortable ride on all except smooth roads’. The small, closely spaced pedals also make even the simplest manoeuvres harder than they should be.

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