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Best cars

Best Large Cars for 2017

By Martin Pratt

Article 6 of 14

These latest large cars are better than ever, with the latest technology and efficient engines. These are the very best large hatchbacks and saloons.

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The large-car class includes premium models – such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class – plus more modest mainstream designs, including the Ford Mondeo, Skoda Octavia and VW Passat.

With plenty of sleek saloons available, plus slightly more practical hatchback models, there’s bound to be a large car to suit your needs and budget, provided you choose carefully.

Below are the very best large cars we’ve tested. These are Best Buys that excelled in our tests, offering decent fuel economy and good reliability.

We’ve also picked out the worst large cars we’ve tested, to make sure you don’t waste your money on a car that’s short on space, is uncomfortable to drive and churns through fuel at an alarming rate.

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Best new large cars

BMW 4 Series Coupe (2013-)
Typical price £29,474
Brand score 80%
Reviewed Oct 2013
Best Buy
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
Model reliability 0-3 years:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

A well-proven engine line-up, sharp steering and solid roadholding make this a very competent car, if not an overly sporty one. The high refinement, smooth ride and good level of comfort make it more of a tourer than anything else.

Toyota Avensis (2009-)
Typical price £17,621
Brand score 77%
Reviewed Jan 2009
Best Buy
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

If you're looking for quiet, safe, comfortable transport, this car delivers.

BMW 3 Series (2012-)
Typical price £24,298
Brand score 76%
Reviewed Feb 2012
Best Buy
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
Model reliability 0-3 years:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Plying a conservative path in styling terms, but offers premium large car buyers a broad spread of qualities. Its ride quality is also much better than other cars of the same badge, and there's a strong range of engines to choose from.

Best used large cars

Alpina D3 (2006-2012)
Typical price £8,485
Brand score 76%
Reviewed Mar 2006
Best Buy
Driving stability:
3 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

An impressive mix of style and exhilarating performance. This is a car that has benefited from upgrades to the engine, suspension, brakes and styling.

Toyota Prius (2004-2009)
Typical price £2,502
Brand score 76%
Reviewed Jan 2004
Best Buy
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
3 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This hybrid isn’t short on space, even with the on-board batteries. As you might expect, it's cheap to run too.

Suzuki Kizashi (2011-2013)
Typical price £7,324
Brand score 74%
Reviewed Jan 2012
Best Buy
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This four-wheel drive family saloon didn’t last long on the market, which is a shame - it's a well-equipped, attractive car that deserved better.

Lexus IS (2005-2012)
Typical price £3,811
Brand score 73%
Reviewed Nov 2005
Best Buy
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This leftfield alternative in the executive saloon market is a solid premium car. It's not without its foibles, but it's a worthy alternative to the obvious German alternatives.

BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006-2013)
Typical price £6,773
Brand score 73%
Reviewed Sep 2006
Best Buy
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This two-door model shares the rear-wheel-drive layout and rewarding handling of its saloon counterpart, and comes with a range of powerful engines. It's easy to drive and reasonably practical and civilised.

Honda Accord (2008-2015)
Typical price £6,977
Brand score 72%
Reviewed Jun 2008
Best Buy
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
3 out of 5
Model reliability 3-8 years:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This saloon is well equipped, well built and fairly sporty to drive. Aside from confusing dash controls, it's comfortable and easy to use, and there's plenty of room for passengers and luggage.

Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (2012-2015)
Typical price £11,680
Brand score 72%
Reviewed Jul 2012
Best Buy
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Plug-in capability adds extra versatility to this well-rounded hybrid. It works well as an everyday car, and you'll struggle to find a more fuel-efficient vehicle around town.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011-2015)
Typical price £14,175
Brand score 71%
Reviewed Jun 2011
Best Buy
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Launched in 2011, this car cuts a classy, upmarket figure. Even the entry-level model is an eager performer and blends a comfortable ride with sharp handling. It's a refined car with a great cabin and a decent-sized boot.

Honda Insight (2009-2014)
Typical price £5,813
Brand score 71%
Reviewed Apr 2009
Best Buy
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
Model reliability 3-8 years:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

It may not be the most exciting car out there, but this large saloon is economical and comfy over long distances.

Mercedes-Benz C-class (2007-2014)
Typical price £6,619
Brand score 70%
Reviewed Jun 2007
Best Buy
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
Model reliability 3-8 years:
3 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This large car has a smaller cabin and boot than its rivals, but it compensates with luxury and class.

Not found the car for you? Click to jump straight to all our large car reviews

And here are three large cars to avoid

If there’s one thing a large car should get right, it’s space. Whether driving or sitting in the passenger seats, no one should be short of room in a large car. 

The same goes for the boot. It should be big enough to fit a family food shop, a pushchair and an extra tyre, with room to spare.

It’s easy to assume that a large car will meet these requirements with ease, but that’s not always the case. A big boot doesn’t mean it’s well designed. We don’t just measure size: we also consider how easy a boot is to load. A high load lip may not seem like a huge problem – until you’re trying to heft your family’s holiday luggage into it.

A large car should absolutely be roomy and comfortable, but ample size and space doesn’t guarantee that a large car will be a gas guzzler. Our unique testing has found large cars that manage well over 60mpg, while others fail to get over 30, despite the sometimes outlandishly high figures claimed by some manufacturers.

Table coming soon

We are currently updating our test scores and recommendations based on our latest research. Please check back soon.

We test cars more thoroughly than anyone else

Our tests go further than those carried out by other organisations and, because Which? is independent and doesn’t accept advertising or freebies, you can trust our reviews to give you the full, honest and impartial truth about every car we test.

Every car we review is subjected to more than 100 individual tests in a lab, on a test track and on real roads – and we really clock up the distance, driving around 900 miles in every car we test.

Testing in controlled lab conditions means the results we collect are directly comparable between different cars, helping us to determine exactly which models are better and why, and helping you find the perfect car for your needs.

And so you know which cars are likely to prove reliable for years to come, we also gather feedback from thousands of UK car owners through the Which? Car Survey, using it to generate detailed reliability ratings for the cars we test.

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