Large cars should be spacious on the inside, look sharp on the outside and be affordable to run. We round up the top models you’ve been searching for on the Which? website.
When it comes to buying a large car, space and comfort are two key considerations. From affordable brands such as Ford and Vauxhall to premium marques such as Mercedes and BMW, prices can vary widely. Running costs differ hugely, too, with everything from frugal diesels to powerful petrol models available.
These are the top five cars you’ve been searching for on the Which? website.
Ford Mondeo – Eagerly awaited 2014 model
Topping the most searched-for list is the forthcoming new Ford Mondeo. This car isn’t even on sale yet, but sleek styling and new engines should make it popular with both company drivers and private buyers.
The 2014 Mondeo is set for launch at the end of this year and will feature Ford’s impressive 1.0-litre engine. Despite being so small, this unit packs a punch thanks to a turbocharger that boosts power. Emissions should also be low, with a correspondingly positive effect on car tax and company car tax.
Other additions to the Mondeo range should include a four-wheel-drive diesel and a petrol/electric hybrid. We expect prices to start from around £19,000.
See what the new Ford Mondeo will look like when it arrives at the end of the year
Skoda Octavia – Well-equipped and affordable
The Skoda Octavia is one of Skoda’s bestselling models and it’s not hard to see why. It offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage, a range of strong engines and a long list of standard equipment.
Throw in prices that undercut many rivals and the Octavia is a sensible purchase. Engines vary from a compact but surprisingly punchy 1.2-litre petrol to 2.0-litre petrol and diesel models that accelerate with real gusto.
Buyers also have a large choice of specification levels, from basic but affordable entry-level models to plush range-toppers.
Skoda Superb – Enormous cabin and boot
While the Octavia offers decent space for people and luggage, the Superb is positively huge on the inside. Even the tallest of passengers have room to stretch out. And it will take a lengthy visit to the garden centre to even slightly challenge the gargantuan boot.
As with the Octavia, buyers can choose from petrol and diesel models with manual or automatic gearboxes. Four-wheel-drive Superbs are also available.
BMW 3 Series – Sporty and efficient
The BMW 3 Series may cost more than some rivals – especially if you get carried away with pricey optional extras – but it handles corners extremely well, while remaining comfortable for passengers. Engines are powerful but economical, so the 3 Series won’t cost you a fortune at the pumps.
Space is a little tighter than some large cars, though. And if you hope to carry large loads, you may be better served elsewhere; even the Touring estate version isn’t especially roomy.
Volkswagen Passat – Plain but competent
A good large car should be able to devour motorway miles with ease. The Volkswagen Passat does this and only really trips up if you’re looking for excitement – it isn’t a particularly memorable car to drive or look at.
If you want a sturdy, comfortable machine with a strong line-up of engines and a smart, well-equipped interior, the Passat fits the bill.