Best German cars 2022

Luxurious, well made, and with valuable street cred: German cars are some of the most desirable cars on the market

BuyaCar team
Dec 10, 2021

Looking for a new car with a solid reputation? One that's renowned for superior build quality and pristine engineering? You've basically gone and defined what it is to be a good old reliable German car. The country is home to some of the world's most famous and popular brands - BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen.

The stereotype has long been that German cars are engineered with military precision and designed with pragmatism - they are no-nonsense, fit for purpose and normally the best you can buy. But does that still ring true in 2022? Well, it's difficult to compare many other manufacturers to this quartet in terms of interior quality. Audi, in particular, has long been one of the best when it comes to interior design, while Volkswagen and BMW are also consistently producing top-quality models.

But you could argue that even the most affordable models on offer by the likes of Mercedes are simply too expensive in comparison to modestly priced rivals such as the Ford Focus, so it's almost impossible to recommend buying a brand new German car straight off the production line.

If however, you've been won over by the lure of a German car, you can save yourself some money and head over to the used market, where we currently have thousands of models available right now at vastly reduced prices, but with all of that quality still oozing from the seams. Read on for more details.

Best German cars

1. VW Golf

Used deals from £6,795
Monthly finance from £252*

The Volkswagen Golf is a sensible and hugely popular family hatchback that is now in its eighth generation. It's been on sale for decades in its various guises, and has become something of a benchmark against which all other hatchbacks of this size are measured.

It has been a huge seller for VW, and that popularity can be put down to its jack-of-all-trades approach. The most obvious aspect of the Golf is the quality that oozes from every element of the interior. Nothing rattles and everything feels solid, which makes it feel like a very upmarket and expensive car.

Regardless of which model you buy, there's plenty of space inside for passengers in the front and the back, while boot space is pretty good compared to a list of rivals including the Ford Focus.

In terms of pricing, you expect the previous-generation model that was on sale from 2013-2020 to be much cheaper than the latest model, although anyone looking for a sportier feel will be looking for GTI variants, or even the super-hot Golf R. If you have the budget to stretch to the latest version, you'll benefit from more efficient engines and a modernised interior.


2. BMW 5 Series

Used deals from £17,200
Monthly finance from £385*

If you're looking for a classy saloon with luxury in spades, the BMW 5 Series is perhaps the best option on sale, German or not. This latest version has been on sale since 2017, and it's bigger than the previous version which makes for an even more spacious interior.

Despite its large dimensions, the 5 Series is still an agile car to drive, with direct steering and well-engineered suspension to help keep the car glued to the road around corners. You'll enjoy driving this more than many smaller cars.

The interior has the latest version of BMW’s 'iDrive' media system, with a 10.3-inch touchscreen for controlling media, navigation and connectivity functions - and the fit and finish is also exemplary.

Used car prices help to make this 5 Series a realistic prospect if you're working to a sub-£30,000 budget, but if money is no object then you can fill your boots with the most powerful petrol and diesel engines, or even the 530e plug-in hybrid.


3. Audi Q5

Used deals from £19,800
Monthly finance from £361*

The Audi SUV range has become quite comprehensive over the years, from the smallest Q2 up to the most luxurious Q8, and in between there is a huge choice of spacious and practical models to choose from. The Audi Q5 sits somewhere in the middle of all that, and offers a very good platform for families to ride in comfort.

In terms of size, the Q5 hits the middle ground when it comes to SUVs, it's comparable in size to the likes of the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60, with space for a family of five and a large 550-litre boot.

It's available with a choice of two engines, a 2.0-litre diesel, or a 2.0-litre petrol. Both are powerful enough for day-to-day driving, but the diesel offers a vast improvement in efficiency if you're keen to reduce your running costs, while it's also better suited to pulling a heavy car around. That said, the petrol engine is noticeably faster if you don't mind burning the extra fuel to make the most of it. Both versions are fitted with four-wheel drive.

This latest version of the Q5 went on sale on 2016, and while the previous-generation version is a cheaper alternative, it does feel dated in comparison.


4. Mercedes C-Class

Mercedes C-Class Saloon front three quarters view

Used deals from £15,400
Monthly finance from £340*

We've already mentioned the BMW 5 Series as one of the best saloons on the market, however, if you're looking for something a bit smaller but with a similar luxury feel, the Mercedes C-Class is another high-end option.

It's a more compact saloon car along the same lines as a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4, but it's still top quality and a very comfortable car to sit inside. There is a new version of the C-Class available to order now, but the best used deals are available on the previous version.

Considering that version of the C-Class first launched in 2014, the interior remains immensely slick and stylish. Just bear in mind if you want to drive a car with plenty of modern tech on board, you'll be looking for models built after an update in 2018 which brought the C-Class more in line with current trends.

Used deals on the newest version of the C-Class are likely to remain expensive for the time being, so your best bet if you're looking for a great value deal is to shop for an older, but still relatively recent model.


5. Audi A3

Used deals from £11,000
Monthly finance from £269*

We covered the VW Golf earlier in this list, but the Audi A3 provides an interesting alternative. While it might not be as practical as the Golf - the boot is a similar size, but it doesn't feel quite as big - the A3 offers a more upmarket feel, while also being a bit more exciting to drive.

If the Golf is a sensible and mature family car, the A3 is glamorous and classy. This all stems from the interior first and foremost. This latest version of the A3 went on sale in 2020, and brought with it a host of the latest tech, even in the cheapest models. All A3s benefit from the smooth and customisable virtual cockpit media system which spreads across two screens to bring you all the info you require while on the move.

The A3 is also fitted with some top-quality engines, producing good amounts of power balanced with strong efficiency, whether you're after a cheap and cheerful 1.0-litre petrol or a hard and fast 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 200hp.

One thing to note about the Audi A3 is that it can be more expensive than the Golf, although it is possible to find a great value deal on the used market. There is of course the option of looking for a used version of the previous A3 model, which itself is a perfectly capable alternative with similar levels of tech.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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