Parkers overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 4.8
  • Other McLaren cars feature more modern interiors
  • Something very likeable about this car’s analogue dials
  • High-quality materials and construction throughout

The driving position is absolutely spot on – from the moment you slide into the supportive bucket seat it should be obvious that this car has been laid out by people who care about the driving experience.

Setting the McLaren 650S Spider apart from its newer Sports Series stablemates like the 570S is a massive analogue rev counter – manna from heaven for supercar traditionalists. It is flanked by smaller information screens, though.

You also only get one central air vent, curiously, and the air-con is controlled by a bank of switches on each door. Other than that it’s the traditional looks-stripped-out-but-isn’t charm we’ve come to enjoy in McLaren cars.

There aren’t many switches to fiddle around with but that doesn’t point towards a lack of kit – you can control most functions with the touchscreen or the buttons below it. Prod a bit deeper and you’ll find a high-quality stereo and even higher quality materials making up the cabin’s construction.

What you’re left with is an extremely focused view which helps the driver concentrate on the best bit about the 650S – the way it drives.

  • McLaren promises supreme comfort
  • Clever ProActive Chassis Control impresses
  • No need for a chiropractor thanks to supple ride

We were pretty sceptical of McLaren’s claims of “executive saloon” ride quality but the 650S is remarkably comfortable, especially considering its cornering ability.

It achieves this partly because of the stiff the carbonfibre tub means the suspension can be engineered with a little give, but it’s mainly down to its ingenious hydraulically interconnected dampers.

These do away with conventional anti-roll bars normally used in supercars, which are great for reducing body movement in a corner but are also responsible for reducing comfort levels in normal driving conditions.

We were slightly baffled by the experience at first – the wheels feel like they move completely independently of the body – feeling at the same time squat and tied down yet lithe and floaty.

McLaren says the ride has been firmed up compared with the 650S Spider’s predecessor, the 12C, but it’s still one of the best supercars to drive over bumpy UK roads.

Getting in and out is a bit more of a faff than in the newer Sports Series cars like the 570S. Those feature a different carbonfibre tub with a lower sill, whereas the 650S Spider feels a bit more like getting into a bath, combined with having to duck past the dihedral door. Still, you can put the roof down to aid ingress and egress, vaulting over the door Dukes of Hazzard-style if you wished.