Looking for the best cars to buy? You’ve come to the right place. Cars come in all shapes and sizes, and what we know is that most now achieve a very high standard across the board. But what are the absolute best ones out there?
To help you, we’ve gathered up the latest winners in the Parkers New Car Awards and a number of our editor’s choices from across the site, and present them here for you. We have SUVs, hatchbacks, saloons and sports cars – what a great selection for you to choose from, and tell you why we think they’re all winners.
If you’re looking for what the next best thing is, check out our page detailing the best new cars to look forward to.
Scroll down to discover our list of the best cars in the UK
Not only the best small family car, but also the Parkers Car of The Year
Pros:✅ Long range✅ Good to drive✅ Undercuts all rivals on price
Cons:❌ Touchscreen is fiddly❌ Some cheap-feeling interior materials
With family hatchbacks getting ever more expensive before you’ve even considered electric power, the MG4 EV makes a refreshing change. Here’s a practical all-electric five-door hatch with peppy performance, a decent range and impressive equipment levels for less than £30k. And that’s one main reason why we’ve picked it as our Best Small Family Car.
Initially launched in SE spec with a 218-mile range or Long Range capable of up to 281 miles in official tests, the number of versions offered has now been doubled. If 281 miles isn’t quite enough, there’s the Extended Range that’s capable of a claimed 323 miles on a single charge while also being usefully quicker.
Read our full MG4 EV review
A brilliantly thought-out family-size SUV
Pros:✅ Super comfortable✅ Rugged, no-nonsense interior✅ Great visibility
Cons❌ 1.0-litre engine sluggish on motorways❌ No plug-in versions available
The Karoq earns its place here by being a comfortable, practical car that’s completely hassle-free to own. It may be a less obvious choice than a Nissan Qashqai but it truly is one of the great all-rounders. The Karoq is hugely spacious for a mid-size SUV with class-leading boot space. Spec the Varioflex back seats and the layout’s as flexible as an MPV’s.
The dashboard is a masterclass in ergonomics and there are lots of Skoda’s Simply Clever features including some ingenious storage compartments. The ride’s very comfortable, it handles neatly and the 150hp engines combine useful performance with strong fuel economy. Four-wheel-drive diesels have an impressively high towing capacity of 2,100kg.
Read our full Skoda Karoq review
Divisive looks maybe, but an awesome technical masterclass
Pros:✅ Impressive interior design and quality✅ Innovative technology sets it apart✅ PHEVs capable of 50 miles on battery power
Cons:❌ Design is very divisive❌ No standard petrol or diesel engine choices
The 7 Series is available with plug-in hybrid or full electric power in the i7, the latter gives the full waft while the former is astonishingly agile for something the size of an oil tanker. Yes, you could argue the 31.0-inch, 8k screen for rear seat passengers is a bit gimmicky, but it adds to the private jet experience best delivered with the Executive Lounge package.
Compared to the S-Class and Range Rover, it feels better screwed together inside with plusher materials than both. The 7 is also better to drive than both and capable of impressive efficiency in PHEV guise. Even with a flat battery, over 35mpg isn’t too hard to achieve.
Read our full BMW 7-Series review
Proof that a small SUV can be fun to drive
Pros:✅ Great to drive and boot is spacious✅ Cheap to run, easy to service✅ Economical mild-hybrid engines
Cons:❌ Dashboard is uninspiring❌ Infotainment not especially intuitive
It was our Small Family Car award winner three times in a row, and is still highly commended with very good reason. The Puma fends off potential rivals that have since been launched by being better to drive than all of them. Consequently, this Ford is still the small SUV to beat, offering a range of economical petrol engines, excellent efficiency and a large dose of practicality for family life.
Read our full Ford Puma review
Practical, fun-to-drive family hybrid
Pros:✅ Great to drive✅ Practical✅ Economical and efficient
Cons:❌ Just one engine option❌ Tight rear headroom
The Honda Civic achieved top honours in the Parkers New Car Awards 2023 – and has bagged Best Medium Family Car in 2024 – and in doing so proves that SUVs haven’t completely stolen the show. The Civic is a traditionally-shaped family hatchback with just one drivertrain available, a 2.0-litre hybrid petrol.But what a drivetrain it is! With 184hp, it’s quick but also economical, with careful drivers being able to crack 60mpg. But beyond that, it’s a great steer with agile handling, fluid steering, and a responsive engine. Sadly, due to its popularity combined with supply chain issues, Honda has closed the order book on new Civics until the end of 2023.Read our full Honda Civic review
Perfect small car, especially for those trading down
Pros:✅ Roomy boot and interior✅ Excellent petrol engines✅ Cheap to run and economical
Cons:❌ No plug-in or diesel versions❌ A little too sensible?
The Skoda Fabia is run extremely close by the Renault Clio as our favourite small car in the Parkers awards – so it’s definitely something special. It might not charm or blow your socks off like its pretty French rival, but the Fabia steamrollers you into submission with its all-round excellence, with very little to criticise it for. In short, it’s brilliant, but we just wish it were a little sexier!
Read our full Skoda Fabia review
Superb to drive, efficient and surprisingly practical
Pros:✅ Good to drive✅ Rock-solid image✅ Efficient engines
Cons:❌ Boot isn’t as big as some rivals❌ Low-power diesel unexciting
It’s hard to think of a more complete package than the BMW 3 Series Touring. It’s a family estate car that ticks every box – it’s great to drive, looks good, feels upmarket and best of all is immensely practical.
The 3 Series’ boot is packed with clever touches, with a split tailgate and rubberised anti-slip rails. Even in its most practical Touring form the 3 Series retains BMW’s reputation for producing vehicles that are great to drive. It’s comfortable on a cruise yet handles well, and all the engines are impressively fuel efficient.
Read our full BMW 3 Series Touring review
Wallet and purse-friendly off-road brilliance
Pros:✅ Great value for money✅ Can really off-road✅ Lots of space
Cons:❌ Poor Euro NCAP score❌ Not very refined
The Dacia Duster 4×4 is a real all-round winner. It costs peanuts, offers loads of space inside for its size and has properly off-road ability. The driving position’s a little odd and the interior is more hardwearing than plush, but for the money you pay it’s by far the best value of anything on this list.
Not every version is four-wheel-drive, and inevitably those that are come at the highest price. It’s also a little noisier and more uncomfortable than pricier options. But as a no-nonsense piece of kit it’s a clear winner.
Read our full Dacia Duster review
Proving that being different can also be awarding
Pros:✅ Great value, generous equipment✅ Roomy interior✅ Supremely comfortable
Cons:❌ Less-than sparkling engine range❌ No electric version
One thing you could never accuse the Citroen C5 X for is being boring. This segment-busting estate-hatch-SUV leads on comfort, refinement and efficiency. It’s good value, too, with the entry-level 1.2-litre version costing barely more than a top-of-the range supermini. Overall, a very likeable family car, available as a plug-in hybrid.Read our full Citroen C5 X review
Our favourite large electric car ticks all the boxes
Pros:✅ Long real-world range✅ Eye-opening performance✅ Great to drive
Cons:❌ Firm suspension❌ Some ergonomic issues
The Kia EV6 is a great family car with generous space for four and a big boot, there’s loads of technology in the swooping dashboard and it’s very well made. Perhaps more pertinently, the core models are capable of delivering around 300 miles of WLTP range in the real world and you can trust the indicated range shown on the dashboard.
Kia calls the EV6 a crossover because it has quite a stance, though it’s actually about the same height as the average big estate. That contributes to the car’s great driving experience. All EV6s have a 77.4kWh battery, rear-wheel-drive models have 229hp, all-wheel-drive models have 325hp and the high-performance GT has a whopping 585hp.
Read our full Kia EV6 review
The premium SUV that truly does it all
Pros:✅ Great engine line-up✅ Optional third-row seating✅ Fantastic to drive
Cons:❌ Not a full-time seven-seater❌ Expensive – cash or finance
The BMW X5 is one of the highest-rated cars of any description on Parkers and it’s easy to see why. Getting the price out of the way early on – yes, it’s expensive – there really isn’t any box that the X5 doesn’t tick.
First, the practical duties. The X5 has space for four big adults to sit in comfort, in sumptuously plush surroundings. With five seats, there’s a massive boot – but if you need more, there’s an optional third row of seats turning the X5 into an occasional seven seater.
Read our full BMW X5 review
If you have a large family, this is nigh-on unbeatable
Pros:✅ Huge and adaptable interior✅ Smart and not too van like✅ Available as a plug-in hybrid
Cons:❌ Expensive to buy❌ Petrol models thirsty
The Volkswagen Multivan represents a huge shift for its maker’s presence in the seven-seater MPV market. No longer is it based on a van, like the Caravelle, but instead it shares its underpinnings with the Golf and Audi A3. Not that you’d know by looking it. Inside, it has the same seating layout as the van-based predecessor, but is a whole lot more car-like to drive these days.
Read our full Volkswagen Multivan review
Great range and performance for long-distance drivers
Pros:✅ Good real-world range✅ Plenty of space inside✅ Tesla Supercharger network
Cons:❌ Inconsistent build quality❌ Uncomfortable suspension
The Tesla Model Y is the middle-ground between the Tesla Model 3 and the Model X. It’s perfect for those that need a little more space for their families but are put off by sheer size of the Model X. The technology is very impressive, too. Everything is controlled by a huge 15.4-inch infotainment screen which looks slick and works quickly. Although we’ll admit that it can be a bit daunting for technophobes.
We think it’s a more polished product than the Tesla Model X, as it’s built on the same platform as the far fresher Model 3. Regardless, as with all Teslas, the Model Y offers extremely rapid performance from its electric motors and a generous driving range of up to 319 miles per charge from its battery packs. But it isn’t the most comfortable car in its class, especially when specified with the larger 20-inch alloy wheels. The Enyaq and the EV6 are more rounded products.
Read our full Tesla Model Y review
Great on back roads, efficient on trips
Pros:✅ Long battery range✅ Eye-opening acceleration✅ Superb to drive
Cons:❌ Expensive compared with Tesla Model 3❌ Cramped in the rear
The BMW i4 is a consummate all-rounder. It’s fantastic to drive, offers one of the longest electric ranges available in a vehicle this size and feels both futuristic yet reassuringly conventional where it counts. All that you could mark it down for is its high list prices.Read our full BMW i4 review
Still achingly desirable after all these years
Pros:✅ Fizzing with feedback✅ Surprisingly comfortable✅ Brilliant handling
Cons:❌ Unimpressive infotainment❌ Some cheap switchgear
The Alpine A110 is an astonishingly good car. The A110 has clearly been designed, developed and fine tuned by people who are really passionate about driving. Although it’s fast and exciting, but it’s also comfortable (for two) and relatively economical.
Read our full Alpine A110 review
Small, posh off-roaders come no better than this
Pros:✅ Amazing off-road✅ Also good on it✅ Stylish and trendy
Cons:❌ No longer a simple tool❌ Usual Land Rover reliability worries
Much like its original namesake, the latest Land Rover Defender comes in a variety of body lengths – and the shortest three-door model slots wonderfully into our best small off-roaders criteria. And again, as with the original Defender, this latest model is immensely capable when the going gets muddy.
Where it differs dramatically from Defenders of old is in the on-road driving experience and the luxury. The modern Defender drives almost as well as a Land Rover Discovery, while the beautifully executed exterior design is matched by a wonderfully chunky yet premium interior. The available tech is incredibly clever, too.
Read our full Land Rover Defender review
* These deals are indicative examples of some packages available as of 14 November 2023, but are subject to change without prior notice. Everyone’s financial circumstances are different and the availability of credit is subject to status. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically.