BMW 7-series (2008-2015) review

£6,985Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: Limousine with driver appeal

The 7 Series is the daddy of the BMW range, combining potent engines with a luxurious limousine cabin. The 7 Series has traditionally appealed to those who like to drive (rather than to be driven) and this model boasts all the technology to continue this tradition.

Pros
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent ride and handling
  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • High depreciation
  • Thirsty petrol engines
  • Poor rearward visibility
  • Impractical boot

BMW Z4 (2019-) review

£37,290Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Sports
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: A superb premium convertible sports car

In its latest iteration, the Z4 is a mature-feeling sports car with high levels of comfort, refinement and technology. It’s an entertaining drive, whichever model you go for, although it isn’t quite as exciting as its more overtly sporting rivals. However, that’s a minor criticism in the face of the Z4’s all-round appeal. It’s hugely impressive and a worthy Best Buy.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Well built
  • Powerful and fun to drive
  • Spacious for two
Cons
  • Folding roof now fabric
  • Poor all-round visibility
  • Lot of kit costs extra

BMW X5 (2007-2013) review

£8,119Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Medium/Large SUV
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Gigantic 4×4 for keen drivers

The X5 is a Which? Best Buy and one of the best on-road 4x4s, with very sure-footed handling, although the ride can get a bit jittery on bad road surfaces. The diesel engines are sweet, refined and powerful, and the six-speed automatic gearbox shifts smoothly. However, even diesel versions are still expensive to run.

Pros
  • Surprisingly good fun to drive
  • Smooth transmission
  • Excellent comfort
Cons
  • High fuel consumption
  • Very high carbon dioxide emissions

Toyota Mirai (2021-) review

£49,995Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Large
  • Available new
  • Hydrogen (Fuel Cell)

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verdict: Proof that hydrogen works

The Mirai has a significant advantage over pure battery electric rivals: it’s like a conventional car in terms of range and refuelling times, yet it still has the benefit of zero tailpipe emissions. There are downsides, though: finding a refuelling station is a challenge, and most hydrogen is currently sourced from fossil fuels. Despite this, Toyota has convincingly proved that hydrogen-fuelled cars can and do work.

Pros
  • Zero tailpipe emissions
  • Better range than battery EVs
  • Refined
  • Luxurious
Cons
  • Small boot
  • Limited rear seat space
  • Dearth of hydrogen fueling stations

BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo (2017-2020) review

£37,110Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Hits all the high notes

The 6 Series GT is an odd animal – part luxury limousine, part practical hatchback – and it offers tremendous comfort for five people and plenty of space for their luggage. It’s very expensive, but justifies it with a superb passenger and driver experience, and some of the best technology in BMW’s arsenal. It’s a deserved Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Excellent to drive
  • Very comfortable
  • Highly practical
Cons
  • Expensive to buy
  • Lots of pricey options

Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011-2016) review

£12,142Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Sports
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Desirable, comfortable fun cruiser

The SLK is comfortable and good to cruise around in, but unlike some two-seat roadsters, it’s not a hardcore sports car. The seats are very comfortable and the heating system is impressive – you can happily drive around with the roof off in winter. One drawback is that the boot is very small and hard to access.

Pros
  • Impeccably built
  • Easy to drive
  • Cracking engines
Cons
  • Tricky to get into
  • Small boot
  • Less fun than a Porsche Boxster

Audi Q7 e-tron (2016-2019) review

£36,529Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Medium/Large SUV
  • Used only
  • Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)

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verdict: Mighty all-round performer

This is a tremendously refined and high-performing luxury SUV. Whether the e-tron hybrid version of the Q7 suits you depends on the use the car will get. The extra expense of the electric motor system is only worth it if you do a lot of short-distance journeys, when the plug-in rechargeable batteries pay dividends; otherwise the diesel version makes more sense.

Pros
  • Strong performance
  • Refined
  • Spacious interior
  • Very well equipped
Cons
  • Limited visibility
  • Bulk makes it difficult to park
  • Expensive

Lexus IS (2013-) review

£31,018Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Full hybrid

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 verdict: Emissions concerns spoil the party

Best Buy award removed. It’s a very good car, but we found the Lexus IS emits so much CO (carbon monoxide) in our tests, that it would fail to meet any EU emissions limits set this century. As such, we cannot possibly recommend it.

Pros
  • Refined and comfortable
  • Hybrid is very economical around town
Cons
  • No diesel option
  • Hybrid motorway economy poor
  • Controls not intuitive

Mercedes-Benz S-class Hybrid (2014-2018) review

£23,470Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Full hybrid

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verdict: Performance, luxury and economy combined.

The Plug-In Hybrid version of the S-class performs with effortless ease and is one of the most refined cars on the planet. It’s also extremely comfortable and spacious for passengers. Real-world fuel economy is disappointing, and the compromised boot space is a letdown.

Pros
  • Economical/zero tailpipe emissions around town
  • Fast
  • Supremely refined
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Tiny boot
  • Poor visibility

Alpina D3 (2006-2012) review

£4,336Price from

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Impressive – performance and style combined

The D3 offers an impressive mix of style and exhilarating performance. The upgrades deliver a superb driving experience, yet the refinements and quality of the underlying BMW 3 Series are never lost. It’s a Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Fast and fun to drive
  • Relatively economical
  • Rare and exclusive
Cons
  • Firm ride
  • Only two-year warranty
  • Potentially expensive to repair

BMW X6 (2008-2014) review

£13,277Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Medium/Large SUV
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Gigantic 4×4 for keen drivers

The X6 is a big but typically good-to-drive BMW. It’s got plenty of power and a comfortable ride, yet it’s also quite sporty. The X6’s coupé-like rear end detracts from both comfort and practicality, although generally the car is good on both fronts. There’s a wealth of clever technology, too.

Pros
  • Surprisingly good fun to drive
  • Smooth transmission
  • Excellent comfort
Cons
  • High fuel consumption
  • Very high carbon dioxide emissions

BMW iX3 (2021-) review

£60,970Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Medium/Large SUV
  • Available new
  • Electric

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 verdict: Deeply impressive electric SUV

The iX3 feels a lot like the X3 on which it’s based – and that’s no bad thing. It’s impressively comfortable and spacious, loaded with kit and satisfying to drive. It offers a decent driving range, largely thanks to being relatively energy efficient, while not compromising on performance. It’s a great SUV and a Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Comprehensive standard equipment
  • Very comfortable
  • Moderate energy consumption
Cons
  • Low maximum towing capability
  • Only average braking performance

BMW 6-series (2012-2018) review

£15,442Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: More practical than a regular coupé

Impressively quick, sharp yet safe handling and refined, too: the Gran Coupé gets it right on almost every level. It’s really only a four-seater, but it’s spacious for four adults and has very well designed seats. Unfortunately, a lack of Euro NCAP rating stops us recommending it.

Pros
  • Outstanding performance
  • Reasonable fuel efficiency (640d)
  • Comfortable
  • Great seats
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Poor visibility
  • Can feel cumbersome around town

BMW 5 Series Touring (2017-) review

£40,038Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Large estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Estate of the art

BMW’s 5 Series Touring is one of the best luxury estate cars available. It drives as keenly as the 5 Series saloon but is more practical. The interior is luxurious and its ability to eat up miles while you drive in great comfort is almost unmatched. Yes, it’s expensive, but the sense of quality throughout is unmistakable.

Pros
  • Strong engine range
  • Safe
  • Sharp handling
  • Comfortable
  • Luxurious
  • Practical
Cons
  • Expensive to buy and run

Volkswagen Golf Estate (2021-) review

£24,030Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Medium estate
  • Available new
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Firm family favourite

We think the Golf Estate is a great choice as family transport. There’s certainly no lack of space inside, either for people or luggage, and it’s a comfortable, safe car for long-distance travel. While the all-digital cabin isn’t very intuitive and the quality of some of the materials disappoints, these are minor gripes and it’s still a Best Buy.

Pros
  • Generous space for people and luggage
  • Great to drive
  • Safe
  • Well equipped
Cons
  • Digital controls are distracting and not very intuitive
  • Average cabin quality

Suzuki Swace (2021-) review

£24,444Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Medium estate
  • Available new
  • Full hybrid

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verdict: Well-equipped hybrid estate

The Swace is a great all-rounder for families. It might not have the same engine range or body style options as the Corolla on which it’s based, but what it offers is a well-considered combination of frugality, practicality, and ease of use, making it a Best Buy.

Pros
  • Spacious
  • Safe
  • Low fuel consumption
Cons
  • Lacklustre performance
  • Dull handling
  • Restricted rear visibility

Toyota Mirai (2015-2021) review

£0Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Hydrogen (Fuel Cell)

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 verdict: A commendable alternative to battery EVs

If you want to run a car that minimises your environmental impact, the Mirai makes a pretty good case for itself. Its only emission when it’s being used is water – yet it’s much more feasible to run every day than most electric cars because its range is good and it can be refuelled quickly rather than plugged in for hours. It may be a long time before fuel cell technology reaches the mainstream, but the Mirai is in the vanguard.

Pros
  • Zero tailpipe emissions
  • Refined
  • Comfortable
  • Well built
  • Good range
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Lack of hydrogen fuelling stations
  • Compromised boot space

Toyota Camry Hybrid (2019-2021) review

£32,127Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Full hybrid

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 verdict: Relaxing, high-quality hybrid

The Camry is back with a bang. Toyota’s latest large saloon is very easy to drive and live with, has efficiency and refinement boosting hybrid tech, and is backed by a five-year warranty and the brand’s bullet-proof reputation for reliability. Unless you’re looking for driver thrills – or need to tow something – we’ve no hesitation in recommending the Camry as a Best Buy model.

Pros
  • Good fuel efficiency
  • Roomy and comfortable cabin
  • Well specified as standard
Cons
  • No towing capacity
  • Mediocre braking performance
  • Currently no Apple Carplay/Android Auto

Lexus RC (2015-) review

£63,892Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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verdict: Striking coupé with some practicality issues

Well built, good to drive and luxurious, the RC is a credible alternative to the German-made two-door coupés that dominate the market. It’s rather ostentatious in style but has more of a cruising role than an overtly sporty one.

Pros
  • Very well made
  • Safe handling
  • Comfortable
  • Well equipped
Cons
  • Can be thirsty
  • Tiny rear seats

Mercedes-Benz S-class (2013-2021) review

£78,775Price from

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Large
  • Used only
  • Petrol/Diesel/Mild hybrid

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 verdict: Supreme comfort, safety and technology

Even the least powerful engine in the range provides plenty enough power to shift the S-class with ease. It’s not overly dynamic in the corners, but it’s safe and extremely comfortable. And, as you would expect from the S-class, it’s rammed full of technological goodies and there’s loads of interior space.

Pros
  • Ground-breaking safety technology
  • Supreme ride comfort
  • Fabulous engines
Cons
  • Expensive running costs
  • Limited boot practicality
  • Poor visibility