Best cars for golfers

Fancy something comfortable, classy and cavernous for the drive to the golf club? These estate cars and SUVs are well above par

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Nov 12, 2020

Seduced by the idea of a car that offers great everyday comfort and class with the ability to swallow all sorts of golf kit - without costing a wedge? There are plenty of options that fit the bill, whether you fancy something super cushy, more sporty in feel or the quiet that comes with electric power.

For a car to qualify as being great for golfers, it needs to be large enough to carry your clubs, desirable enough to make your fellow golfers, ahem… green with envy, and comfortable enough for the drive home from the 19th hole. 

If you haven’t done so already, check out our guide to the best cars for carrying golf clubs, where we focus on cars that combine golf club-swallowing space and strong value for money - including small hatchbacks and sports cars. You don't have to spend much to get a relatively new car that works well for lugging clubs around.

For this guide, we’ve selected eight larger cars - estate cars and SUVs that will make a great impression in the golf club car park and offer more than enough practicality to deal with several sets of clubs. So, without further ado, it’s time to tee off.

Best cars for golfers

1. Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Used deals from £19,991
Monthly finance from £284

'Sportbrake' is Jaguar speak for estate car, but we understand why the company decided to give the Jaguar XF wagon such an evocative name. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we think you’ll struggle to find a more attractive estate car - it looks sensational for such a large car.

Not that this beauty comes at the expense of practicality. The boot can swallow 565 litres of luggage, which is more than enough for clubs for you and a number of friends. Fold the rear seats down, and you’ll create a space that’s two metres in length and a metre in width at its narrowest point. Forget golf clubs, this is enough for the entire contents of the club shop.

All versions come with an electric tailgate, while the optional Activity Key is a waterproof wristband that allows you to leave the physical key in the car. No more worries about losing your car key when you’re searching for a wayward golf ball in the rough.

JAGUAR XF BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Lexus RX

Used deals from £29,750
Monthly finance from £388

The Lexus RX isn’t the most spacious SUV in its class, but it’s certainly large enough for a set of golf clubs or three. Whatever you think of the styling, there’s no doubt that the RX will stand out in the golf course car park - you will make a big impression.

Those striking looks will make up for the lack of noise you'll make arriving at the club. Under the bonnet sits a powerful 3.5-litre petrol engine, but it's combined with a pair of electric motors that can drive the car independently or the engine, meaning you could sneak into the car park in near-silence. The hybrid battery charges when you’re braking and driving, so there’s no need to worry about finding a charging point. Just be aware that plug-in hybrids that need to be charged for maximum fuel economy offer a much greater electric range.

You’ll love the details, including the comfortable and supportive leather seats, the leather- and wood-trimmed heated steering wheel, adjustable cup holders, six USB ports for charging your smartphones and other devices, and the climate control system with air-purifier. You can even specify a six-seat version on the RX L model, which features six individual captain's chairs.

LEXUS RX BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Porsche Panamera

Used deals from £59,992
Monthly finance from £872

Three-time Ryder Cup winner Paul Casey is a new brand ambassador for Porsche. We’re not saying that buying a Porsche will make you play like the former world number three, but we have no hesitation in recommending the Panamera as a club-friendly machine.

There are two versions available: the standard hatchback and Sport Turismo, which is similar to a conventional estate car, albeit still a pretty sleek vehicle. The latter is more expensive, but the extra boot space will come in handy for your golf clubs. It’s a really useful space, with rear seats that split and fold 40:20:40 - giving you more options when carrying luggage and rear passengers - plus a relatively low loading lip and tall boot opening.

We’re not going to pretend that the Porsche Panamera is a cheap car, because it isn’t. But the quality of the cabin, the level of specification and the ferocious pace combine to justify the expense. Even the ‘entry-level’ Panamera can hit 62mph in 5.6 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 168mph.

If you have one eye on the green, too - that’s ‘green’ as in the environment - the E-Hybrid offers up to 34 miles of electric range, giving it zero-emission capability provided you charge it regularly. Do this and only cover short trips and you can run the car purely on electricity, cutting your fuel bills and reducing your emissions.

PORSCHE PANAMERA BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volvo V90

Used deals from £16,449
Monthly finance from £239

You need an estate car, you buy a Volvo, right? Maybe you grew up in the back of your parents’ Volvo. Did your parents ever complain about a shortage of space? Precisely, which is why we’re recommending the Volvo V90.

Granted, it’s not as cavernous as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate, but it trumps its German rival in other areas, and it still offers 560 litres of space - practically the same as the Jaguar XF above. Standard equipment is generous, even on the entry-level version, while you’ll struggle to find a more comfortable driver’s seat.

Ride quality is a hallmark of the Volvo V90, too - it's super comfy provided you avoid models with the largest alloy wheels, which reduce the amount of rubber between you and the road, making the suspension feel firmer.

It’s not as though the boot is small either. In five-seat mode, it’s large and useful, aided by a wide opening, a flush loading lip and rear seats that fold flat. It’s only when you fold the rear seats that the V90 looks less practical than the E-Class, BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant, so if you have much bulkier loads to carry than just a couple of sets of clubs, you might also want to consider these.

VOLVO V90 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Mercedes GLE

Used deals from £22,980
Monthly finance from £338

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE arrived in 2019, so prices have yet to fall to a level that makes it an affordable used buy. Which is why we’re recommending the previous model, which was on sale from 2015 to 2019. It’s worth noting that this GLE is a reworking of the old M-Class, which dates back to 2011. That's not a bad thing, just don't expect anything super high-tech here.

On the GLE's side, it's cheaper than many of its direct rivals, but while the likes of the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 offer the option of seven seats, the GLE is a strict five-seater. Put it this way, do you really want to pay extra for two seats you aren’t going to use? Not having two rear seats under the boot floor also frees up more space for clubs...

Even the entry-level Sport model is well-equipped, featuring the likes of an electric tailgate and an eight-inch touchscreen media display, but the vast majority of UK GLEs left the showroom in the more desirable AMG Line trim, which adds a sportier look and additional equipment. This is a badge that will earn some kudos points in the golf club car park, too.

MERCEDES GLE BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Range Rover Velar

Used deals from £33,350
Monthly finance from £527

The Range Rover Velar is arguably the best looking Land Rover to date. It’s also an admittance that most luxury SUVs spend more time on the road than they do with mud on their tyres. A case of style over substance, then? Not at all.

In fact, if you’re after head-turning styling, a comfortable ride and the latest clever tech, the Velar is well above par. All versions come with a pair of 10-inch touchscreen displays, enabling you to use the sat-nav on the upper screen while playing media on the lower screen. Higher specification SE and HSE models also feature an impressive 12.3-inch digital driver display in place of the traditional instrument panel.

The cabin looks like it has been designed by an architect with a penchant for black roll-neck sweaters, especially if you opt for the perforated grained leather and suede interior - it's modern and high-tech and yet still classy. There are so many options to choose from, but when it comes to the engine, may we suggest the 3.0-litre petrol, which is also found in the Jaguar F-Pace and offers plenty of punch.

RANGE ROVER VELAR BUYERS' GUIDE

7. BMW 5 Series Touring

Used deals from £14,795
Monthly finance from £224

When it comes to driver appeal, few practical cars are as good as the BMW 5 Series Touring. It drives as well as the 5 Series saloon, which is to say that it handles superbly, so corners become a pleasure, even if the large boot is loaded with golf clubs. The tailgate is electric and features a handy opening rear windscreen for loading smaller items.

The precise handling doesn’t come at the expense of ride comfort, which is smooth and supple, even on larger alloy wheels. As for the engine, we’d recommend the six-cylinder 3.0-litre diesel in the 530d, which offers the best blend of performance, economy and pulling power.

One of our criticisms of the 5 Series Touring when new is the relatively high price, especially once you’ve fitted a few must-have options. However, a 2017 example could cost as little as the price of a new Ford Fiesta, with the desirable M Sport trim dominating the listings on the BuyaCar website.

BMW 5 SERIES TOURING BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Audi e-Tron

Used deals from £51,481
Monthly finance from £719

If you want to be the talk of the clubhouse, the Audi e-Tron is the car for you. Audi’s first all-electric production car is designed to rival the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace, but the restrained styling means that it won’t out-do the club captain in the car park.

It’s almost as large as the Audi Q7, so there’s loads of room on the inside, including a spacious boot that’s big enough for 16 carry-on cases. When the rear seats aren’t in use, the boot becomes larger than you’ll find in the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC or Jaguar I-Pace.

But the biggest selling point is the electric format, with the e-Tron offering up to 249 miles of range from a single charge. A 50kW charger will provide an 80% charge in just 90 minutes, so you’ll have time for a round of golf while you’re charging the battery. Perfect.

AUDI E-TRON BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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