Best large cars for 2021
The very best large cars are reliable, economical, practical, and far sharper to drive than an SUV.
The large car class includes premium models – such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. There are 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 is bound to be a large car to suit your needs and budget. Provided you choose carefully, that is.
In the tables 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.
If you're in the market for an upmarket large car that prioritises passenger pampering, you'll be pleased to know we've also separated luxury models, both new and used, into their own category. This will make it easier for you to find the best large car for your needs.
Plus we’ve 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.
Best new large cars
Our lab and road tests are impartial and independent, so you can trust our reviews. Only Which? members can view our expert reviews in the tables below.
Best new luxury large cars
Looking for a premium large car? We've got your covered - drive in comfort with the best-performing luxury large cars that have aced our expert tests below.
Best used large cars
Large cars don't have to stretch your budget - find the best large cars below available used for a great price.
Best used luxury large cars
Looking for a great deal on a premium large car? We reveal the best models to choose in the table below.
What to avoid when buying a large car
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 lift your family’s holiday luggage into it.
A large car should be roomy and comfortable, but ample size and space don't necessarily mean 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.
Lastly, don't forget about reliability, which can be the undoing of some otherwise decent and popular large car models. The large car models we'd suggest you avoid, below, largely fall down due to a lack of dependability.
Large cars to avoid
How to buy the best large car
From checking you have enough rear passenger headroom to what to look for when buying a premium brand, there's a large car to suit every budget.
Our tips will show you what to look for and consider before buying a large car.
Large car pros: passenger space and headroom
The main reason for choosing a large car over a medium model is that they offer a greater amount of space for passengers and luggage. However, our tests have shown that just because a car takes up a lot of room on the road, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be cavernous on the inside.
Premium handling and performance
Don’t think you need to look to a sports car or compact hot hatchback for driving thrills. Some large models are amongst the best cars to drive, with responsive handling and decent long-distance comfort.
Premium German marques such as and produce particularly driver-focused large cars, though most manufacturer model ranges have a breadth of engines to suit most tastes and budgets - just watch out for expensive running costs on the most high-performance models.
Large car alternatives: consider buying an estate
Estate cars have fallen out of fashion in recent years, as family buyers turn to SUVs and crossovers for their perceived additional practicality. However, if you don’t like the image of a 4x4, or don’t want to compromise on driving dynamics, a large estate car may prove a better bet.
Estate models are often only a few thousand pounds more expensive than the equivalent saloon they’re based, but often offer much greater boot space with little or no compromise to the car’s other facets.
We test cars more thoroughly than anyone else
Our tests go further than those carried out by other organisations and, because Which? is independent, 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.