Do you regularly take long journeys? Here are 10 great cars to consider
Improvements in engineering and technology mean that even the humblest supermini will be able to take on any journey you want, but those who regularly travel long distances will likely crave something capable of eating the miles in ultimate comfort. , and with a fair amount of driver aids and other technical features.
But it makes no sense that a car is comfortable if it will cost you the earth to refuel. So our 10 best long-haul cars combine both refinement and efficiency to ensure you get to your destination(s) without having to spend a painful amount on petrol or diesel.
Speaking of which, while diesel cars will undoubtedly deliver greater fuel efficiency than a comparable petrol car, we understand that some people may not be thrilled with a car that needs the black pump, so we’ve included a variety of powertrains here – including an electric car. or two.
1. Skoda Superb
- Huge amounts of space, comfort and sophistication
- Economical diesel and spicy petrol engines
- Strong value for money too
The name should give you an idea of what Skoda’s flagship model has to offer: sublime levels of comfort and refinement, plus massive amounts of interior space – the Superb’s rear seats really give cars like the Mercedes S-Class a run for their money.
We’d opt for the 2.0-litre 150hp diesel engine for its 57mpg fuel economy, while opting for the SE L trim for adaptive cruise control, blind spot assist and a driver fatigue sensor, all of which help those long drives pass. to let go in a moment. Those looking for more punch can opt for the 200 hp diesel, or if you don’t mind more frequent trips to the gas station, the 190 hp or 280 hp 2.0-litre petrol engines will progress effortlessly. The Estate, meanwhile, has one of the largest boots in the industry.
2. Tesla Model 3
- Up to 374 miles on a single charge
- Leading Driver Assistance Systems
- Tesla’s Supercharger Network Is Appealing
Some drivers who travel long distances on a regular basis may not be able or willing to go for an EV, but those who do would do well to consider the Tesla Model 3, not least access to Tesla’s excellent Supercharger network, besides the chargers all other EVs can use it.
The 3 has several things to offer those looking for a travel companion, the first of which is the official range on a single charge of 374 miles (if you go for the Long Range version). And while Tesla’s Autopilot technology is far from making the car ‘driverless’, the adaptive cruise control and lane assistance systems ensure that the highway miles are really relieved.
3. Lexus RX
- Fantastic interior quality
- Bulletproof Reliability
- Quiet and refined driving experience
Lexus likes to do things differently than other automakers, and the hybrid RX is a prime example. The 3.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor work well together for smooth acceleration, and while the CVT gearbox rewards soft acceleration, the low levels of wind and road noise make the RX a fantastic traveling companion. There is also a seven-seat version if you need a little extra space.
Economy is decent rather than exceptional at around 36mpg, but the RX’s interior is so comfortable and well-built you might overlook this. In addition, all models are equipped with Lexus’ Safety System+, which combines adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistants and auto-dimming headlamps. Oh, and while the RX is due for replacement, that just means deals can be made for the model leaving the stage.
4. Mercedes CLS
- Stunning looks and sophistication
- Low-slung body aids aerodynamics
- Strong engines with high pulling power
Some might think the Mercedes S-Class would be a more obvious choice for long-haul journeys, but that car is arguably better suited to ride as a passenger than to drive itself.
Why not consider the CLS instead? The third generation CLS was first introduced in 2004 when it single-handedly created the four-door coupe segment. The CLS sneaks onto the road and moves as little air as possible – all the better for refinement.
5. Range Rover
- High driving position gives good visibility
- Few cars are so comfortable on a long journey
- The latest model is dripping with handy technology
It might take some pretty deep pockets, but it would be impossible not to include the top-of-the-line Range Rover in our list of long-haul cars. From the moment you step aboard and savor the recliner style seats and high driving position that is often imitated but never surpassed.
The 3.0-litre diesel engine is available in either 300 or 350 horsepower and officially puts out around 36 mpg, while the plug-in hybrids can cover up to 70 miles on battery power alone, officially putting in over 300 mpg (although to achieve this must be plugged in regularly). Noise-cancelling speakers contribute to a quiet driving experience, while a high-quality Meridian sound system, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistant are among the features that make long journeys even more effortless.
6. Volkswagen Golf
- Fantastic refinement for a hatchback
- Wide range of engines to suit all tastes
- Lots of driver assistance technology too
It may seem odd to have a relatively small car among this list, but the Volkswagen Golf has long been an impressively refined car for its size, and the eighth-generation version is no exception.
Choose from everything from a punchy 1.0-litre petrol engine to the performance-oriented 320hp Golf R, while long-distance travelers may prefer the 2.0-litre 150hp diesel thanks to the official figure of 62, 8 mpg. A head-up display, adaptive cruise control, fatigue assistance and a variety of lane change assist systems will also help to ease driving.
7. Volvo V90
- Comfortable, quiet cabin
- Strong range of safety technology
- One of the most stylish station wagons on the market
Some drivers who regularly take long trips will need to carry quite a bit of gear when they travel, and few cars are as adept at this task as estates. We must emphasize that you can also get the above-mentioned Skoda Superb and VW Golf in estate form, but the sheer design cohesion of the V90 warrants a special mention – there’s also the Volvo S90 sedan stable mate if you fancy a traditional ‘three-box’ ‘design.
Opt for the V90 and you’ll get a sensible 560-litre boot, while the B4 diesel model returns just under 50mpg. The V90’s standout feature, however, is undoubtedly its cabin: although its interior design language was introduced with the 2015 XC90, its subtle, tasteful, relaxed atmosphere has more than stood the test of time, making the V90 a fantastic car in which to spend long hours. to spend hours. Oh, and a special mention must also go to the seats, which are among the most comfortable ever fitted to a car.
8. Citroen C3
- Extremely comfortable seats
- Soft suspension too
- Affordable and economical
Proof that you don’t need to spend huge sums of money to get a really comfortable car: The Citroën C3 may be a relative pipsqueak compared to the Range Rover, for example, Citroën’s engineers have long plowed their own for when it comes to car design, and the C3 continues this trend.
Because while many car manufacturers use large alloy wheels and a rigid suspension as standard to give cars a ‘sporty’ feel that buyers would want, Citroën sometimes takes the opposite approach. The C3’s armchair-like seats and cushion-soft suspension are a good match for the UK’s unpaved roads, and while there’s no diesel option, the 130hp 1.0-litre petrol engine officially delivers 50mpg, and you can combine this with a six-speed automatic. to suffer even more from long journeys.
9. BMW 5 Series
- Razor-sharp driving dynamics
- Mixed with a tranquil experience
- One of the best interiors in its class
It’s hard to overestimate how good a highway companion the BMW 5 Series is. Because while the current model has been on sale since 2016, you wouldn’t recognize it from the outside, which is sleek and stylish, or from the cabin, which is impeccably well-built and packed with technology.
Admittedly, the Mercedes E-Class may be a little more comfortable over bumps, but the 5 Series remains an effortless long-haul companion, while also being a really engaging car on smaller roads. Opt for the 520d for its 55mpg fuel economy, while the £2,000 Driving Assistant Professional package offers some really well-developed driver assistance technology.
10. Toyota Supra
- Strong engines and sharp looks
- A real two-seater Grand Tourer
- Really impressive driving comfort
All of the cars we’ve featured so far assume you want or need to do long trips and carry multiple passengers and a lot of luggage, but some buyers will no doubt take regular solo trips and want something a little spicier and more stylish.
Step forward in the Toyota Supra, which is more of a grand tourer than a pure sports car, with excellent driving comfort, excellent interior technology and an attractive 3.0-litre engine. Granted, the last two aspects are down to BMW, who co-developed the Supra, but that just means you get an excellent infotainment system and driver technology, plus a great-sounding and powerful six-cylinder engine. There is also a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which returns 39.7mpg.
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