Best Of

Top 5 best long-distance cars

From family hatchbacks to estate cars, and luxury cars to grand tourers, there’s something here for everyone.

Words by: First published: 9th May 2017
For many of us, long car journeys are part and parcel of everyday life, so you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of cars perfect for covering long distances.

As you can see from the five cars below, if you want a good long-distance car, you don’t have to buy something with a big body, a large engine and a high price. Instead, comfort and refinement should be top of your wishlist when you’re shopping around. A car with a smooth ride and a quiet cabin will deliver its driver to the end of the journey as calm as relaxed as when they set out.

Happily, pretty much any car you want, and no matter how much money you have to spend, you can find something to fit the bill. From family hatchbacks to estate cars, and luxury cars to grand tourers, there’s something here for everyone.

Our selection includes:
  • Volkswagen Golf – the affordable one
  • Skoda Superb Estate – the practical one
  • Range Rover – the off-roader one
  • Mercedes S-Class – the limousine one
  • Bentley Continental – the GT one
Volkswagen Golf – the affordable one
Comfort and refinement are what separate the great from the good when it comes to making a fine long-distance car, and the Golf is definitely one of the greats. Even the cheapest model in the range – which comes with a less sophisticated suspension – gives a superbly quiet and comfortable ride that belies the Golf’s relatively modest price. The engines, too, go about their business in a typically quiet and unflustered way, while the spacious cabin, supportive seats and easy-to-use infotainment system all combine to make sure each mile passes by as easily as the last, whether it’s the fifth or 105th.
  • Our pick of the range: 1.5 TSI EVO Bluemotion SE Nav 5dr
  • List price: £TBC
  • CO2 emissions: 116g/km
  • Fuel economy: 55.4mpg
  • Boot space: 380/1270 litres
Skoda Superb Estate – the practical one
There comes a time in life when you must admit size is important, and if you want to go a long way with a lot of stuff, there’s no better car for the job than a Superb Estate. At the most basic level, it’s just big, gargantuan in fact. But, we also love the way it performs the most important job any car has to do: getting from A to B. Its suspension is set up quite rightly – and very effectively – to focus on comfort, the smooth engines have easily accessible performance, and the refinement is more limousine-like than you’ll find in many so-called luxury cars.
  • Our pick of the range: 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology
  • List price: £24,800
  • CO2 emissions: 109g/km
  • Fuel economy: 68.9mpg
  • Boot space: 660/1950 litres
Range Rover – the off-roader one
Land Rover may baulk at the term, but for us, there’s no more multi-purpose vehicle than its flagship model. On- or off-road, on A- road, B-road or motorway, the Range Rover is supremely capable, and it makes a remarkably good long-distance cruiser. Like all the cars on this list, it combines effortless performance with supreme refinement and comfort, but the sumptuously appointed Rangie also sits you literally and metaphorically in a class above, looking down on the lesser cars. Little wonder that, almost every time you see the Queen at the wheel of a car, it’ll be a Range Rover she’s driving.
  • Our pick of the range: 3.0 TDV6 Vogue SE
  • List price: £84,195
  • CO2 emissions: 182g/km
  • Fuel economy: 40.9mpg
  • Boot space: 550/2030 litres
Mercedes S-Class – the limousine one
All over the country, pub bores will argue about what is the best car in the world, but you can be sure everyone will mention the Mercedes S-Class, and rightly so. Like its predecessors, this latest model is a wonderfully classy way to get from A to B. If there’s one thing that sets the S apart, it’s refinement: inside, there’s so little noise you can barely tell you’re moving; the multi-adjustable seats cosset and support you perfectly; the air suspension irons out even our awful British roads; and every engine has enough power to whisk you past slower-moving traffic with little more than a gentle flex of the right ankle.
  • Our pick of the range: S 350d SE L
  • List price: £70,425
  • CO2 emissions: 141g/km
  • Fuel economy: 50.4mpg
  • Boot space: 510 litres
Bentley Continental – the GT one
Grand Tourers don’t come much grander than the Bentley Continental. That’s because it concentrates on providing the ultimate GT experience, rather than trying to be a sportscar, and it’s all the better for it. Few cars can munch through the miles as quickly and as easily as the Bentley, but it’s also thoroughly engaging to drive, hugely pleasurable to sit in, and more practical than most of its rivals. Of course, it’s a very expensive car, but one look at all the craftsmanship on show in the cabin will convince you it’s worth every penny.
  • Our pick of the range: V8 S
  • List price: £149,800
  • CO2 emissions: 246g/km
  • Fuel economy: 26.4mpg
  • Boot space: 358 litres
(All figures correct at the time of publication)

Interested in buying a Volkswagen Golf?