Do you feel you deserve some luxury in your life, but don’t want to stretch to a “prestige” motoring marque? You should check out our list.
If you want to spend too much money on a premium brand, what kind of car should you opt for instead?
Well, there are many makes and models on the market that offer spoonfuls of sophistication, but they aren’t always perceived as having the cachet of, for example, BMWs, Mercedes and Audis.
So, if you’re not a badge snob, check out the cars below.
The latest Skoda Superb offers a lot of motor for your money. It has rear seat legroom and frugal running costs which many executive motors can’t match. It’s a massive machine with a 625-litre boot in the hatchback, which expands further when the rear seats are folded flat.
That means you’ll be able to transport, say, your new washing machine home without hiring a man with a van.
Under acceleration there’s barely any diesel rattle, and the car has ladles of liveliness on the motorway.
The Superb is just as talented at low speed, floating over scarred tarmac in town or along country lanes.
The Skoda badge shouldn’t put anyone off in this day and age, although die-hard BMW enthusiasts won’t be drawn. This handsome new Superb is a top car and looks like it’ll hold its value well.
Peugeot 508 Saloon
This executive-cum-family saloon from Peugeot is impressive. On the looks side, the 508 is stylish and the interior marries hi-tech with quality materials. The simple yet smart design of the fascia, the fabrics, the sturdiness and the technologies deployed – like four-zone air conditioning – add to the ambiance of the cabin.
Admirable leg and head room, large boot, and splendid standard specification across all models, provide comfort and convenience for at least four adults.
Behind the wheel, the steering is accurate, and if you go for the 2.0 litre diesel, the 0-62 mph time of 9.8 seconds feels pleasingly powerful.
The four door car is a real alternative to premium motoring brands. Indeed, the Peugeot 508 saloon not only looks credible for business, it’ll also serve as a first-rate family car.
With its high build quality, good design and punchy performance, the Peugeot 508 saloon will be prized by all who drive it.
Volvo has never had the same appeal as its German executive cousins. It has at no time looked as assertive as Audi, nor as beast-like as BMW or as modish as Mercedes-Benz.
But that’s not a bad thing. The S60 is very much a premium car.
Step inside, and the Volvo offers some of the most soothing, supportive and sumptuous seats on the market.
The easy-to-use controls provide an “in-command” driving experience. The general effect is warm and serene. On the move, if you go for the sporty S60 D5 R-Design, you won’t be short of power. It really is a fast car that has lots of traction.
The VW Passat is a good example of what comprises a prudent yet upscale motor, spanning the gap between the upper medium and premium class cars. Recently it’s been given a new look and now houses the latest technologies to make it one of the most advanced and economical vehicles in its sector.
Smooth, solid and classy are words that come to mind for the Passat in 1.6 litre TDI SE Business semblance. The cabin is nicely arranged, with lots of soft touch materials, but very little in the way of bargain-basement plastics.
The seats are comfortable, and leg and headroom are very good, while the boot is colossal. Behind the wheel, the Passat feels alert enough, but it’s quite a heavy car, so don’t expect it to always be first off the lights.
The VW is good value for anyone wanting a polished, efficient, commuting machine that also serves as an outstanding family car.
The C5 is a staggeringly comfortable Euro-barge. The seats are a delight to sit in and the Citroën’s electronically controlled suspension gives a ride similar to a hovercraft.
The cost-conscious diesel HDi 200 engine, mated to a refined six-speed automatic transmission is the one to choose. Maximum speed is 143mph, and idle to 62mph comes in 8.3 seconds.
The C5 is contented at 60-65mph on the motorway – it never bothers you for more.
All the same, power is there if you need it - and when you do, it kicks in gracefully. The French motor is a quiet and genial place to see the world flick by.
Also, the official average fuel consumption of 47.9mpg is good for an automatic.
To weigh up, the Citroën C5 is a high-quality vehicle in many ways. And if you get a secondhand one, you really will be getting a large lump of car for your cash.