Most comfortable cars in the UK 2024
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Actually, you're probably here because you're finding it hard to get comfortable in your current car, so you're looking for something to ease the pain of a long journey.
You've come to the right place, because we've created a list of some of the most comfortable cars in the UK. You'll note the absence of cars with a Rolls-Royce or Bentley badge, because while their opulence isn't in doubt, we've tried to keep things realistic. Well, as realistic as things can be when at least two of the cars on our list boast a six-figure starting price.
But fear not, because it's possible to get comfy in a car for significantly less, especially if you choose a modern Citroen. Soft suspension and cushion-soft seats are the order of the day.
Dim the lights, stick on some ambient music and maybe light a scented candle, because things are about to get comfortable.
Most comfortable cars
You'll have to pay at least £95,000 for the privilege of owning an S-Class, but few cars are as comfortable and opulent as Mercedes' luxury saloon. It's best enjoyed in the back, where even the ‘entry-level’ model boasts three-stage seat heating and ventilation, dual-zone climate control separate from the front, and as much legroom as you could wish for. Some models even boast electric sun blinds for the rear windows, electric rear seats and adaptive rear lighting.
The Range Rover is the SUV to choose if you want to venture off-road in supreme comfort. Not that many owners venture off the beaten track, but it's useful to know that if your commute includes a mountain trail or rocky path, the ride will feel no less cosseting. Granted, prices reflect this, with the most affordable version costing £104,000, but this will be forgotten once you've settled into the plush, high-quality cabin. For the first time, the Range Rover is available as a seven-seater, but take a look at the four-seat setup for the ultimate extravagance.
From a six-figure luxury SUV to a family hatchback costing around £20,000. We don't own a chauffeur's cap, but if we did we'd tip it to Citroen for daring to do something different. Rather than trying to rival cars like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, the French company has focused on comfort, with the C4 boasting so-called ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats and clever Progressive Hydraulic Cushion Suspension. They combine to make this a genuinely comfortable hatchback, which is also available as an electric e-C4.
Comfort is about more than just a wafty suspension set up, and Volvo knows that. The XC90 is also superbly quiet, which is a standout feature among numerous other elements that make it one of the most comfortable large SUVs. Lots of space and a beautiful and very well-made interior also help, and yes, the wafty suspension is very much present and correct. All versions are very pliable and soak up poor surfaces. The air suspension (optional or standard on top-spec cars) is better still, although it’s a good chunk more money that may not be worth it.
BMW 7 Series
If you can look beyond the challenging styling – which won't be a problem if you're enjoying the opulence of the rear seats – the BMW 7 Series is a seriously comfortable way of crossing a continent or two. Thanks to a huge amount of interior space, an incredibly comfortable ride and technology that won't filter down to ‘normal’ cars for a few years, the flagship BMW saloon is an impressive alternative to a Rolls-Royce or Bentley. Unlike some rival luxury saloons, it's also a car that feels just as good behind the wheel. Your chauffeur will thank you for it.
It may have been launched in 2017, but the Audi A8 remains one of the most comfortable new cars you can buy. Small wonder it's still used to ferry A-listers to red carpet events and CEOs to their private jets. With prices starting from £78,000, it's cheaper than an S-Class, and it costs just £4000 to upgrade to a long wheelbase version. Both are available as a TFSI e plug-in hybrid, which can travel up to 38 miles in electric mode for some near-silent wafting.
If you're struggling to choose between the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series and Audi A6, we have one word for you: comfort. Of the three German saloons, the E-Class is the most comfortable, with superb seats, a plush interior and unrivalled ride quality. Even the entry-level E 220d in AMG Line trim feels like an S-Class, which makes the £49,000 seem like a bargain. The new model (pictured) promises to be even better, with more space for rear-seat passengers, the latest technology and a superbly finished cabin.
Skoda Superb Estate
The Skoda Superb Estate lives up to its name when it comes to ride quality with the suspension dealing effortlessly with potholes and poor quality roads. Passenger space is excellent, even for those over six-foot, and the boot is one of the largest of any family estate car. It's good enough to rival an Audi A6 or Mercedes E-Class, so why not splash out on the luxurious L&K model? Highlights include a digital instrument panel, ventilated front seats, three-zone climate control and perforated leather upholstery.
Citroen C5 X
There's a reason why we chose the Citroen C5 X as the main image: it's one of the most comfortable new cars this side of £100,000. It's all thanks to the ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats and Progressive Hydraulic Cushion Suspension, which are good in the C4, but even better in the C5 X, thanks to its longer wheelbase and extra cabin space. While we'll stop short of calling using ‘magic carpet’ to describe the ride quality, it feels sooooo smooth on a motorway or A-road. Not bad for a car with a starting price of around £30,000.
Meet the most luxurious and upmarket Lexus to date. Available as a ‘self-charging’ hybrid and plug-in hybrid, the RX is a genuine rival to SUVs like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-GLE, with the hybrid powertrains only adding to the sense of serenity. It all starts with the door handles, which open electrically, instead of mechanically, and because it's a Lexus you know they'll be working for years to come! Even the entry-level version feels upmarket, while the flagship Takumi trim feels even more special. Prices start from around £62,000, which is a bargain for this level of opulence.
Are smaller wheels better for ride comfort?
Many people choose larger alloy wheels to improve the look of their cars. Enhanced kerb appeal is delivered by wheels that fill the arches – and they could make the car easier to sell. Smaller alloys (and steel wheels) tend to be associated with lowly trim levels, which is why many people are keen to upgrade. Don’t be in a rush to splash the cash, though, because choosing a slightly smaller wheel can deliver better ride comfort, due to the higher side profile of the tyre, which contains more cushioning air. You’ll often get improved fuel economy, too.
Which manufacturer builds the most comfortable small cars?
In the past, French manufacturers prioritised ride comfort over sharp handling to build cars that could cope with France’s notoriously poor rural roads. Cars like the Citroen 2CV and Renault 4 were built with tracks and fields in mind. Today, Citroen is the company most associated with ride comfort, with many of its cars boasting soft-focus suspension and sofa-like seats. Take a look at the C4 and C5 X for the best examples of this.
Are comfortable cars less enjoyable to drive?
It all depends on how you define ‘enjoyable’. In general, a car with lowered and firmer suspension will be ‘better’ to drive, especially when cornering. The body will lean less and the car will feel more secure through the bends. That said, a car with soft suspension can be hugely satisfying to drive and your passengers will thank you for the more comfortable experience. Comfort can indeed deliver plenty of joy.