Best cars for sleeping in

Whether you need a car to sleep in at festivals or find yourself kicked out of bed for snoring, these cars are ideal for a good night sleep

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Apr 27, 2020

You’ve probably nodded off in the back of a car on a long journey, but engaging full sleep mode is another matter. Unless you have the flexibility of a contortionist - or access to a campervan - sleeping in a car is likely to be an uncomfortable experience. A restful night is far from guaranteed. That needn't be the case, though, if you choose the right car.

Depending how often you end up in the back of the car, you may be better off buying a cheap tent or booking a room at a budget motel, but if you insist on going full Roxette by sleeping in your car (ask your parents), here are eight options to consider. Provided you're not six-foot eight tall, they could be comfier than you think.

We can’t promise sweet dreams, but stick with BuyaCar and you shouldn’t have nightmares, whichever of these cars you choose. Slip into your nightwear and turn out the lights – we’re about to read you a bedtime story.

And in the meantime, if the prospect of car finance sends you to sleep, click on the link for everything you need to know about car finance. OK, we're only kidding - there's a video crammed with pizza, that should keep you awake.

Best cars for sleeping in

1. Honda Jazz - ‘Refresh Mode’

Our pick Honda Jazz 1.3 i-VTEC SE
Used deals from £7,569
Monthly finance from £127

Once upon a time Honda introduced 'Magic Seats'… OK, enough of the dodgy sleep-related puns - although Magic Seats really are a thing - it’s time to get serious. We’ll resist the urge to crack a joke about falling asleep behind a slow-moving Jazz, because few small cars are as flexible and versatile as the Honda.

Thanks to its cavernous cabin, there’s as much room in the back of a Honda Jazz as you’d find in a large family saloon, yet it’s no longer than a Ford Fiesta. But that’s not the only reason why it makes our super-slumber shortlist.

In ‘Refresh Mode’, the front seat back can be folded flat to meet the rear seat, creating a kind of automotive chaise longue. If you find it easy to fall asleep on your sofa, you’ll have little trouble nodding off in a Honda Jazz.

It’s a reliable car, so you’re unlikely to be kept awake by the thought of unexpected repair bills, either.

HONDA JAZZ BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Honda Civic Tourer - flat floor

Our pick Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC SE Plus
Used deals from £8,250
Monthly finance from £157

A flat floor can turn a good estate car into a great estate car. It’s why we slot the Honda Civic Tourer into the latter category, as not only does it feature one of the largest boots in its class, the rear seat base drops down, allowing it to offer an entirely flat load area. Are you sleeping comfortably? There’s a better chance you will be in the Civic Tourer.

Using a single lever, the backrests flop forward and the seat bases drop into the floor, creating a surface that’s level enough for a game of car skittles. When you’re done playing there are loads of storage areas and pockets for your skittles and balls.

The excellent 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine offers an impressive blend of performance and efficiency, with a claimed 78.5mpg possible on long journeys. Once again, Honda’s reliability record is unlikely to result in any sleepless nights.

The Civic Tourer is rarer than the hatchback, but 2014 examples are available from £150 per month - that's a lot of space for the money.

HONDA CIVIC BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Ford Grand Tourneo Connect – flat floor

Our pick Ford Grand Tourneo Connect 1.5 TDCi Titanium
Used deals from £11,990
Monthly finance from £172

Buy a Ford Grand Tourneo Connect and you’ll discover friends you didn’t know you had. As the styling suggests, it’s based on a van, but this means you have access to a commodious boot that’s large enough for a living room sofa. Scrap that, you can practically fit the whole lounge in there.

When you think about it, this creates the perfect scenario. You arrive at a music festival, use the sofa for a comfortable view of the stage, and then use the load space for a good night’s sleep, sheltered from the inevitable rain. Because it has a wipe-clean interior, it’ll be easy to remove the post-festival mud and grime, too. Perfect.

Best of all, the seats fold to create a perfectly flat floor, which makes the Grand Tourneo Connect one of the best vehicles for sleeping in. Prices start from £10,000 for a 15-plate model in desirable Titanium spec.

4. Mini Clubman – ‘barn doors’

Our pick Mini Clubman Cooper D
Used deals from £10,000
Monthly finance from £152

The Mini Clubman isn’t the most practical small estate car you can buy. With our practical hats on (note: we don’t own practical hats), we’d recommend a Skoda Fabia Estate or a Dacia Logan MCV over the Mini wagon.

But the Clubman offers something unique in the estate car market: a pair of ‘barn doors’ at the back. It means that when you wake up from your night in the car, you can throw open the doors like you’re opening a pair of shutters at a French chateau or an Alpine ski lodge.

What’s more, because the doors open independently, taller owners can open one side to allow their feet to dangle outside the car while their partner’s tootsies remain cocooned inside the other. How romantic.

A 66-plate Clubman with between 40,000 and 50,000 miles on the clock should cost from around £10,500, or £160 per month on a four-year PCP deal.

MINI CLUBMAN BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Skoda Superb Estate – fold-flat front passenger seat

Our pick Skoda Superb Estate SE L
Used deals from £21,695
Monthly finance from £315

The Skoda Superb Estate is one of the most practical and spacious cars you can buy. There’s so much legroom in the back, even the tallest passengers should be able to sit in comfort - not to mention drift off into a deep sleep.

Some models are available with a variable boot floor and a fold-flat front passenger seat, so at least one of you will be able to stretch out when the sun goes down. They’re options on S, SE and SE L models, so it’s worth taking this into account when searching for a Superb on the BuyaCar website.

Even without these options, the Superb Estate offers a van-like luggage area, which will be perfect if you’re kipping in the car at a music festival or when the weather makes camping as appealing as a night in with a cash flow statement. You’ll also be more comfortable travelling to and from the campsite.

SKODA SUPERB ESTATE BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Citroen Berlingo – sliding doors and load space

Our pick Citroen Berlingo XL BlueHDi 130 Flair
Used deals from £13,995
Monthly finance from £213

Forget sleeping in a car at a music festival, because the Citroen Berlingo XL is so vast, you could almost host the event from inside the car. It’s based on a van, which gives it cathedral-like levels of interior space, to the extent that your voice almost echoes, echoes, echoes…

The XL is the larger of the two Berlingo models you can buy, offering seats for up to seven people and a massive boot when the third row isn’t in use. By folding the passenger seat down, you have up to 4,000 litres of room, with a load length of more than three metres. What’s more, the parcel shelf can be fixed at two different points to support up to 25kg of weight. Perfect for storing your clothes overnight.

Smaller people can sleep on the middle row of seats, or you can open one of the two sliding doors to create a little more room for your feet. Throw into the mix a long list of storage boxes and pockets, and you’ve got yourself a great car for sleeping in.

CITROEN BERLINGO BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Seat Ateca – coffee machine

Our pick Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI Xcellence
Used deals from £13,500
Monthly finance from £191

The Seat Ateca is one of a number of family crossovers vying for your attention in a crowded market. There’s enough room for five adults, a boot that’s larger than most rivals, plus a driving experience that has plenty in common with the Leon hatchback.

But that’s not the reason why we’ve selected it for sleeping in. Last year, Seat added an in-car coffee machine to the list of options. It comes with two glasses and is powered by the car's 12v socket. Once powered up, it will dispense 50ml of fresh espresso in three minutes. Imagine the time and money you’ll save by not queuing for an expensive takeaway coffee.

We’re not saying that the Ateca will be any more comfortable to sleep in than its rivals, but waking up to the smell of fresh coffee clinches the deal for us. Finding these on the used market is difficult, but it's worth the effort if you strike gold.

SEAT ATECA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Audi Q5 – panoramic sunroof

Our pick Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Vorsprung
Used deals from £43,000
Monthly finance from £605

At BuyaCar, we understand that many drivers simply want an Audi. It’s the badge you covet. The car you know will look impressive when parked outside the gym in or in the queue for the drive-thru coffee. Which is why we’re finishing this sleepover with the Audi Q5.

There’s method in our madness. You see, the panoramic glass sunroof on the Audi Q5 comprises two sections, with the front section raising and opening electrically. It’s one of the longest sunroofs in the business, making the Q5 the next best thing to sleeping under the stars.

It’s standard equipment on the Vorsprung trim, or a pricey £1,400 option on the other models. Still, that’s likely to be cheaper than a new divan – and you can’t drive a bed to the Costa drive-thru.

BuyaCar deals start from £250 per month for a 2014-plate Audi Q5 with the fancy Bang & Olufsen premium sound system. Perfect for your bedtime lullabies or Barry White compilation.

AUDI Q5 BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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