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Best Cars

Best Large Cars for 2018

By Martin Pratt

Article 6 of 16

Large cars are now better than ever, with the latest technology and efficient engines. Here are the very best large hatchbacks and saloons available now

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The large-car class includes premium models – such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. There's also more reasonably priced mainstream designs, including the Ford Mondeo, Skoda Octavia and VW Passat.

With plenty of sleek coupés and 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, that is.

Below are the very best large cars we’ve tested. These are Which? Best Buys that excelled in our lab and road 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 or drinks fuel at an alarming rate.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations, below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access if you join Which?. You'll also get access to all of our online reviews, including our expert car reviews.

Best new large cars

Price from £31,208
Which? score 80%
Reviewed Jun 2013
Driving stability:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Model reliability 0-3 years:
5 out of 55 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This large, executive saloon provides the perfect riposte to more sporty rivals, with a refined hybrid drivetrain that makes for serene progress. Cabin quality is second to none and it's very reliable - it's just a shame it's let down by its high emissions in our tests, which are more stringent than the official ones.

Price from £25,357
Which? score 77%
Reviewed Mar 2016
Driving stability:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Model reliability 0-3 years:
4 out of 54 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

A real technical tour-de-force - this car is available with a huge array of convenience and safety technology, as well as a wide range of engines. It might not be the most entertaining steer, but comfort, quality and refinement are all very high.

Price from £25,718
Which? score 77%
Reviewed Feb 2018
Driving stability:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Model reliability 0-3 years:
5 out of 55 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This popular model remains the driver's choice of executive saloons, and is huge fun behind the wheel. Thankfully it doesn't sacrifice passenger space or long distance comfort in the process. A Which? Best Buy.

Price from £61,500
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Jul 2017
Driving stability:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Ride quality:
3 out of 53 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

An unorthodox choice, but an extremely good car. Could this groundbreaking large saloon represent the future of motoring?

Best used large cars

Price from £10,136
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Mar 2010
Driving stability:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Model reliability 3-8 years:
4 out of 54 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Hugely popular and with good reason. This luxury saloon exhibits the usual strengths of the brand: powerful (yet relatively frugal) engines, high quality and an entertaining driving experience. It's an easy Which? Best Buy model.

Price from £9,158
Which? score 76%
Reviewed Oct 2009
Driving stability:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Model reliability 3-8 years:
5 out of 55 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

One of the first four-door coupes in its class, this model offers the desirable styling of a svelte two-door, but with the passenger space and ease of access provided by a four-door saloon. Superb build quality and safety credentials further its appeal.

Price from £3,299
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Nov 2005
Driving stability:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 54 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 rivals.

Price from £4,724
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Jun 2008
Driving stability:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ride quality:
3 out of 53 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This large saloon offers comfort and dependability in spades, as well as a comprehensive standard equipment list. Early models are very cheap, too, making it a tempting used car purchase.

Price from £13,218
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Jul 2012
Driving stability:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Hybrid economy, boosted by a far greater battery driving range. It's not the most fun to drive, and visibility is poor to the rear, but this large hatchback is a Best Buy due to decent comfort, refinement and reliability.

Not found the car for you? Head 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.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our large cars to avoid, below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access to this and all of our online reviews - join Which?

Large cars to avoid

Price from £29,271
Which? score 58%
Reviewed Dec 2015
Driving stability:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Performance:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Seat comfort:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Seat space:
3 out of 53 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
CO2 emissions (best measured):
Member exclusive

This handsome saloon sits at the premium end of the large car market and is excellent to drive. It’s not so excellent for anyone riding in the back, though – the rear of the cabin is cramped, and the boot is too. It’s also performs poorly for reliability. This car isn’t a Don’t Buy, but it isn’t better than the cars it’s aiming to beat either.

Price from £3,461
Which? score 55%
Reviewed Jan 2009
Driving stability:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Performance:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Seat comfort:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Seat space:
3 out of 53 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
CO2 emissions (best measured):
Member exclusive

It might drive well, but owners aren't terribly impressed, and reliability is poor. It's not quite a Which? Don’t Buy, but you can do better.

Price from £1,368
Which? score 52%
Reviewed Sep 2002
Driving stability:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Performance:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Seat comfort:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ride quality:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Seat space:
3 out of 53 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
CO2 emissions (best measured):
Member exclusive

Despite this car’s refinement and good looks, we can’t recommend it. It has high running costs and finding parts to get it repaired is difficult and expensive. There’s a good chance you’ll encounter problems, too, since this brand scored poorly for reliability in our latest Which? Car Survey. That means a high proportion of owners encountered breakdowns and faults with their car.

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 500 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.

To take the guesswork out of choosing your next car, join Which? and you’ll receive access to all our expert reviews and advice.

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