Top 10 cars for long commutes and journeys
Longer journeys are what expose the best and worst of a vehicle, with any faults or irritants really making themselves known after several hours at the wheel.
That’s why, if you have a longer commute or regularly do extended journeys, you want to make sure you’ve got the right vehicle for the job. Here we pick out the 10 best used cars for the job, for a range of price ranges.
BMW 5 Series
BMW’s mid-size 5 Series is widely considered one of the best executive cars around, and if you do a lot of miles, there are few more pleasant cars to be behind the wheel of. There have been several generations of 5 Series, but if your budget will stretch, we’d recommend the latest version, which arrived on sale in 2017.
Offering a high-quality and upmarket interior, we’d avoid the more performance-focused M Sport version in favour of an ‘SE’ trim, which gets smaller alloys and a more comfort-specific ride setup. Choose a 520d or 530d diesel and it will prove very economical on fuel. Prices for a 2017 5 Series start from £14,500 for a high-mileage car and around £17,000 for one with under 100,000 miles on the clock.Search for BMW 5 Series models on AA Cars
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso is an impressive option for families, owing to its standard-fit seven seats and a host of features designed to make life that bit easier for parents and grandparents. Thanks to its very comfort-focused suspension setup, it’s ideal on longer trips, such as family holidays for example.
A second-generation Grand C4 Picasso, introduced in 2014, is the model to get our vote, as it features a more modern design inside and out, as well as an improved reputation for reliability. With prices starting from £5,000, it’s great value too, but around £7,500 will get you a low-miles example.Search for Citroen Grand C4 Picasso models on AA Cars
The Skoda Superb is a car that most certainly lives up to its name, and as this firm’s flagship model, it really delivers when it comes to comfort. Choose it with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine and not only does it offer strong performance but also excellent fuel consumption – you should see around 60mpg if driven carefully.
The Superb also offers a vast amount of interior space that makes it ideal for taller passengers, and a huge boot, regardless of whether you choose it as a hatchback or estate. We recommend the latest generation Superb, introduced in 2015. Used prices start from £7,500, and around £10,000 for a lower mileage example.Search for Skoda Superbs on AA Cars
Historically it’s been hard to beat a large Volvo for comfort, and we’re pleased to report that remains the case today, with the Swedish firm getting all the fundamentals right when it comes to relaxing long-distance driving.
Pretty much any of its models could be selected, but we reckon the S90 saloon, introduced in 2016, is the best choice. Having a high-quality interior with plenty of equipment – especially safety kit – the S90 is definitely worth a look. Used prices start from £15,000.Search for used Volvo S90s on AA Cars
Tesla Model 3
Electric cars get a lot of bad press for not being much use on longer trips, but that doesn’t have to be the case. American EV giant Tesla is a great example of this, as the firm has its own dedicated network of ‘Superchargers’ that offer quick, reliable and cost-effective chargers.
Prices for used Teslas dropped recently, making them a very enticing used car choice. Take the BMW 3 Series-sized Model 3, which offers a real-world 300 miles between charges on Long Range versions, making them great for longer trips. They’re also quick and brimming with technology. Used Model 3 prices currently start from around £27,000.Search for used Tesla Model 3s on AA Cars
Another model that’s proven especially popular with those doing lots of miles over the years is the Volkswagen Passat. Available as either a saloon or more practical estate, it’s particularly capable with a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine under the bonnet, whereby you could see around 60mpg with careful driving on longer journeys.
We’d recommend the latest generation of Passat, which was introduced in 2015, and brings a higher-quality interior combined with plenty of standard equipment. Used prices start from around £6,000 for a high-mileage car and £8,000 for a vehicle with less than 100,000 miles.Search for Volkswagen Passats on AA Cars
It’s hard to beat a luxury car when it comes to long-distance comfort and ease, and one of the top choices is the Range Rover. Famed for its high-end, aspirational image, with standard-fit air suspension, there are few more comfortable cars to cover big distances in. You will need to factor in the expensive fuel and running costs, however.
We’d advise going for a fourth-generation Range Rover (codename L405) that was on sale for 10 years from 2012. Used prices now start from around £21,000 for a high-mileage car, though as we’ve mentioned, you’ll want to factor in a decent chunk for maintenance, or consider having a used car warranty.Search for used Range Rovers on AA Cars
Any car that’s widely used by the chauffeur market is always going to be a great choice for long-distance driving, so if you regularly do longer trips or have a big commute and want to arrive at the other end more relaxed than when you set off, you should take a long at the Mercedes S-Class.
Widely regarded as one of the best luxury cars ever made, it remains a force to be reckoned with. The best value on the used market comes from the sixth-generation S-Class, sold between 2014 and 2020. Its interior still looks modern today, while getting technology that can still compete with new cars today. Used prices start from £17,500 and you get a lot of car for your money. Just given the high-end status of this Mercedes, you might want to have it independently inspected before buying.Search for used Mercedes-Benz S-Class models on AA Cars
If you’re looking for a more affordable car to do longer trips in, a fantastic choice is the Ford Mondeo. This large family car was once one of the UK’s most popular cars, and a big hit with those doing lots of motorway miles up and down the country. Today, you can pick up a third-generation Mondeo (introduced in 2007) for less than £2,000.
You’ll want to choose one of the diesel models for the best fuel economy, with these being well-suited to motorway miles. The Mondeo also offers a very roomy interior, whether you choose it as a saloon, hatchback or estate.Search for used Ford Mondeos on AA Cars
Lexus is a premium brand that does things a little differently from others, by putting the emphasis on quality, comfort and reliability. It’s why this Japanese firm’s models are a great option for those doing longer journeys, particularly the RX – Lexus’ flagship SUV.
With a quiet and smooth hybrid powertrain, it’s a very refined and comfortable place to spend time, while the interior feels especially upmarket. High-end versions are worth choosing with their incredible Mark Levinson sound system too. A fourth-generation model gets our vote. Introduced in 2016, used prices start from around £22,000.Search for Lexus RXs on AA Cars
Prices correct at time of publication [03/2023].