Car reviews

Parkers publishes definitive car reviews of new and used models for sale in the UK. Read our expert tests to find the right vehicle for your needs at the right budget for your finances. Our reviews are packed with independent car advice, specs, photo galleries, hints and tips you can trust.

Scroll down to read why you can trust Parkers reviews and star ratings

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Why you can trust Parkers' car reviews

We have a highly-experienced team of car reviewers who attend all new car launches, then test the cars in real-world situations with a view to how they will work for you.

All car reviews are designed to test the cars in the following areas:

Practicality

The most important areas covered include how much room there is for the driver, passengers and their oddments. Also, we test how big the boot and internal storage areas are, the car’s dimensions so it fits in the garage, and how many seats it has.

We also review the safety of the car, so show crash test results (where applicable). We also give an evaluation of the safety and driver-assistance systems on offer, information on Isofix child seat mounting points, and point out any other worthy systems which may affect the car's ability to avoid accidents as well as how they handle crashes.

Interior

We check the car's comfort levels in terms of ride quality, noise, seat bolstering and adjustability of driving position, and then test them on a variety of long journeys. The car is thoroughly reviewed from the driver's perspective, so we look at its driving position, visibility and how the equipment works. The equipment on each trim level is assessed, plus a guide to the optional extras on offer and whether they offer value for money. Also, we take a close look at cabin finishing and materials, availability and performance of multimedia tech such as infotainment touchscreens.

Running costs

We analyse the fuel economy and miles per pound that each major model delivers, private and company car tax, resale values, warranty and servicing packages. In addition, we look at the car's emissions (if it's not electric or fuel cell), and report how they fare for CO2 output, NOx and particulates.

If there are any known reliability issues or recalls or prevalent tales of woe from our contacts in the trade, we'll share them here, as well as report on owners’ reviews from our extensive library.

Engine

It's here we talk about a car's performance. It's not just about how fast they are, but how we rate the engines and gearboxes available in the range and whether they are all fit for purpose. Points are scored not only for outright excitement, but for smoothness, ease-of-use and the breadth of the line-up.

Handling is also important, and fully explored here - not just how fast a car will go around corners, but whether it delivers a blend of cornering performance, low-speed manoeuvrability, braking and towing capacity where relevant.

Verdict: where we ask whether should you buy this car

This is a short summary telling you what’s hot or not about any given car, in context with its rivals and most importantly, whether we recommend it or not. It’s something we apply to all reviewing, be it an all-new supercar, a family SUV, a new city car, or an update to a review that’s been live for years.

We test cars where you’re likely to drive them. In the main it’s on public highways in the UK, but often we go further afield to attend international launch events to provide you with reviews that are timely as well as content-rich.

On top of that if it’s a car you may like to drive on a racetrack, or one that’s likely to be taken off-roading, we’ll do that too. We want Parkers to be your one-stop shop for anything you need to know about a new or used car. This is a verdict that you can trust.

The Parkers 10-point star rating explained   

Parkers star rating explained

We realise that cars have talents in areas that are more difficult for our team to measure or quantify, so quite often you’ll find a ‘Parkers Factor’ built into our ratings. These account for things such as a pleasing design or another feel-good factor that you can't necessarily put a points value to. This will always be justified in the summary that sits alongside the main star rating.

Our team of expert reviewers has more than 100 years of car reviewing experience across many publications to call upon, and we make a concerted effort to ensure ratings we award are verdicts the entire team can get behind. We hold regular meetings to discuss the pros and cons of each car we rate to produce the most comprehensive, reliable car review available – and one that you can trust when entering the car buying process.

Each and every car review you read goes through the same rigorous editing process, not only in search of errors but also to fact check, hone, update and improve where necessary.