Owners' Review Champions: Saloons

  • Which booted four-doors do our readers rate?
  • Many available but premium brands rule here
  • BMW’s 5 Series is our most popular choice

Parkers Owners’ Reviews are a great way to find out what people think of the cars they have bought. After all, they’ve parted with their hard-earned cash to buy something that they really want to own and it’s important to know what they think of it.

As the reviews have flooded in so far in 2014, we have decided to take a closer look at cars that frequently appear as our Owners’ Review Champions.

Here the focus was on booted four-door saloons - the kind of car people tend to choose over a hatchback equivalent as they are often perceived as being a little more luxurious.

Subsequently there was little surprise upon discovering that the top three saloons were all premium models.

BMW 5 Series – Owners’ Review Saloon Champion

For over 25 years, BMW’s 5 Series Saloon has been the benchmark car in the executive saloon class. Imperious build quality, engaging to drive and powered by a range of efficient petrol, diesel and latterly, hybrid drivetrains, the 5 Series takes some beating.

Despite the breadth of the range on offer, the bulk of the 5 Series owners’ reviews were for the frugal 520d version, predominantly in M Sport specification.

The 520d is no poor relation - even with a healthy dose of 187bhp and 400Nm of torque, it’s still capable of returning a claimed average of 68.9mpg in automatic form, emitting just 109g/km of CO2.

Owners have raved about the 5 Series too, frequently telling us what a great drive it is and how other people are impressed when they get to experience the car. Richard Major summed it up in his review saying how 5 Series BMWs are “great cars.”

To see lease deals for the BMW 5 Series Saloon, click here.

Jaguar XF - Owners' Review Saloon Runner-Up

Occupying a similar market territory to the 5 Series is the Jaguar XF, and like the BMW while most owners’ reviews are for the diesel models, the majority favour the larger 3.0-litre V6 over the smaller 2.2-litre version.

Many are captivated by the XF’s graceful, couple-like appearance and the coolness of the interior with its rising cylindrical automatic gear selector and rotating air vents that revolve as the car starts.

Interior space is cosy compared to its BMW rival but many Jaguar customers seem to be prepared to compromise on spaciousness for the Jaguar, but John Howard speaks for many when he said he’d buy another XF because they are “attractive, sporty, quick, handle superbly, comfortable, practical and reliable.”

To see lease deals for the Jaguar XF Saloon, click here.

BMW 3 Series - Owners' Review Saloon Highly Commended

Smaller sibling to the 5 Series, BMW’s 3 Series has been a favourite for those aspiring to drive something a cut above mainstream competition for over three decades.

The latest model, launched in 2012, continues that theme building upon the excellence of its predecessors and representing a very complete and desirable package.

Virtues of fine, balanced handling and that prestige allure of the BMW roundel are summed up in Jonathan Warburton’s review in which he succinctly states that his friends and family are “envious” of his 320d.

It’s the 320d that represents the bulk of owners’ reviews for the model too, again combining the pace and efficiency that today’s buyers crave, but the petrol-powered 318i is a close second, particularly with drivers covering lower annual mileages.

To see lease deals for the BMW 3 Series Saloon, click here.

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