Best big cars for sale

Want to go large for less? Here are some of the best value big cars, some which prioritise passenger room, others luxury or boot space

James Wilson
Jan 12, 2021
BMW 5 Series Touring front

Cars seem to be getting bigger by the day. It wasn’t long ago that the original Mini - which measures in at barely 3m long but still had space for four adults - was still in showrooms. In the 2020s, however, even the smallest of cars are pretty big, with the two-seater Smart Fortwo being barely any smaller than that original Mini and even the smallest four-seaters being much larger. But what if you want a big car, that offers more room and practicality than rivals?

There are plenty of options when going large with a car, but size is relative and can mean a number of different things, depending whether you need as many seats as possible, the largest boot you can get or serious towing capability. Meanwhile, some large cars offer plenty of room, but make driving around town a stressful experience, not fitting into many parking spaces and proving difficult to squeeze through tight gaps or simply making reverse parking or even fitting the car on the drive a challenge. Especially if people are watching.

With that in mind, we've rounded up the most useful big cars that offer significant benefits to justify their sheer size. Included are some of the best big cars available from a range of car types, meaning there should be at least one big car that suits your motoring needs - whether you need room for seven adults or have a surfboard or a double bass to carry around.

There are estates - which offer large boots and good visibility and manoeuvrability for stress-free town driving - high-riding SUVs, a couple of hatchbacks and even a pick-up. On top of promising big car status, each model is readily available second-hand from less than £10,000 - or around £150 per month with PCP finance - to around £35,000 or approximately £500 per month.

Big cars for sale

1. Land Rover Discovery

Our pick Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 Landmark
Used deals from £29,995
Monthly finance from £416*

The Land Rover Discovery 4 - so named as it is the fourth version of the Discovery - is both very different and very similar to the first Discovery. And yes, it's very big. At its heart it is a very practical rugged four-wheel drive car. Where the original versions were a little rough around the edges by today's standards, though, the Discovery 4 is overall a very refined affair, even though it was replaced in 2017.

The fact this is no longer the latest model is also beneficial as it means that used prices are much less than you might expect, with older versions of the current model being more expensive. Newer versions, however, can't compete with the bold square styling of this version, which makes it seem huge. If you want a big car that looks enormous, this is it.

The best versions come with a plush leather interior and tonnes of standard kit, making them feel very luxurious. Most models are seven-seaters although there are a handful of five-seater models, though these are classed as vans rather than regular cars. The majority of Discovery 4s come with a diesel engine and an automatic gearbox and this is the best combination for most drivers, offering the best balance of running costs and performance.

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Hyundai Santa Fe

Our pick Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE
Used deals from £28,594
Monthly finance from £418*

Hyundai launched the current version of its Santa Fe in 2018 and although it shares much with the Discovery mentioned above in concept they are very different propositions. Yes, all Santa Fe models come with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, but this car is very much designed for the road.

If you want to spend time off road, the Land Rover is a much better choice. For the time being, all models are diesel-powered, too, but a plug-in hybrid model is expected in the near future, offering the prospect of a short electric range if you charge the batteries. All models come with seven seats and the cabin is both roomy and comfortable, making the Santa Fe a good family car.

Hyundai keeps things simple when it comes to specification levels - the range is made up of just two trims, Premium and Premium SE, and both are well equipped and offer a good feeling of quality. Proof of Hyundai's faith in the car is that it comes with a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty from new - which is more than can be said for rival brands such as Ford and Skoda.

HYUNDAI SANTA FE BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Skoda Superb Estate

Skoda Superb Estate rear

Our pick Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 190 SE L
Used deals from £21,751
Monthly finance from £322*

Some might think it is a bit bold for Skoda to call one of its cars ‘Superb’, but first off this is a reference to a Skoda model launched in the 1930s, and when it comes to practicality the name most certainly fits this car. Take boot space as an example. The Superb Estate has 660 litres of cargo room with all its seats in place, which is a sizeable 100 litres more than the similarly sized Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, one of its key rivals. In fact, the Superb’s boot is so big it puts most of its competition to shame.

Skoda’s engineers have also made the Superb Estate particularly comfortable to drive, well-equipped and available with a great spread of engines. Both petrol and diesel models are very common, plus there are a limited number of plug-in hybrids available, but these are currently still quite pricey as this version was only recently launched. If you plan to load the car with lots of people and heavy loads regularly we'd recommend diesel power, with petrol models suiting those who carry less weight or those who mainly do short journeys.

SKODA SUPERB ESTATE BUYERS' GUIDE

4. BMW 5 Series Touring

Our pick BMW 520d M Sport Touring
Used deals from £17,622
Monthly finance from £267*

BMW names its practical estate models as ‘Touring’. If that paints the picture of loading the car up and heading on long road trips to exotic locations then happily this version of BMW’s 5 Series Touring is so refined, so comfortable and so enjoyable to drive that filling the four passenger seats and the substantial 570 litres of luggage space and heading off to the south coast of France wouldn't be a hardship.

Also worth mentioning is the broad choice of engines. At the sensible end of the scale there are the frugal, yet decently powerful 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale there are large 3.0-litre petrol and diesel engines that offer impressive straight-line speed and respectable fuel economy considering how potent they are. Opt for one of the 3.0-litre ‘530d’ diesel models, for instance, and you'll be able to zoom from 0-62mph in around six seconds, which is faster than a number of sports cars.

BMW 5 SERIES TOURING BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Hyundai i800

Our pick Hyundai i800 2.5-litre CRDi SE Nav
Used deals Limited stock

If you need a big car so you can comfortably transport eight people, then look no further than the Hyundai i800. Not only is it great value for a vehicle of this size, but it also offers eight seats rather than the more normal seven that come with most people carriers. The i800’s rearmost seats are big enough to comfortably transport adults, too, which is a real boon as often the third row of seats in seven- and eight-seaters are only fit for small children.

Space isn’t the only thing on offer, though, as all i800 models come with a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty when new so even if you go for a two- or three-year-old version - which can cost as little as £12,000 or so - you should have plenty of manufacturer cover left.

Yes, a van-based car like the Hyundai i800 is not the best car to drive, but it's more than quiet and comfortable enough, and cars as big and practical as the i800 are never the most exciting to drive. All i800s are diesel powered but there is a healthy mix of manual and automatic models, so whichever you prefer, you should be able to find one to suit you.

In keeping with the i800’s exterior, the interior is functional rather than glamorous but that does mean it is built to last and should cope well with years of children climbing in and out or enormous loads being piled into the boot.

6. Ford Focus

Our pick Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Titanium
Used deals from £8,999
Monthly finance from £155*

Yes, the Focus isn't the bigger car in the world, but the the latest Ford Focus, which was launched in 2018, is bigger - in all the right ways - than the model it replaced. So if you'd rather drive something reasonably compact but would benefit from a decently big boot and cabin, then it's a good bet. Space for rear passengers, for instance, has been notably increased over the previous Focus, so even taller people should be able to travel in comfort in the back seats.

What Ford has managed to carry over unmarred from the last model, though, is the excellent driving experience - the Focus is so good it sets the benchmark by which all larger hatchbacks (such as the VW Golf and Skoda Octavia) are judged against. Onboard technology is good, too, and much improved on older versions of the Focus and the range of engines is strong also. Not only are there frugal but punchy petrol and diesel engines on offer but there is also a rapid ST high-performance model which is great fun to drive.

FORD FOCUS BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Volkswagen Polo

Our pick Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 95 SE
Used deals from £8,799
Monthly finance from £147*

The Polo may be even smaller than the Focus above, but it is one of the biggest cars of this type you can get, so if you want maximum space in a car of this size, the Polo is a great choice. Cars like the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta (which many refer to as ‘superminis’) are very popular in the UK. It isn’t hard to see why as they are normally affordable to run, relatively good fun to drive and manage to be small enough to use in town but big enough to perform well on the motorway.

One of the most grown-up (and biggest) superminis is the Volkswagen Polo - it is so big in fact you could be forgiven for thinking it is the larger Volkswagen Golf. As an example of its size, the Polo’s boot is claimed to be able to take 351 litres of cargo, which is just 24 litres less than the much larger Ford Focus mentioned above.

The Polo’s interior is amongst the best in a car of this size, thanks to the high quality feel of its materials and the availability of a slick media system. VW has designed the Polo to drive in a refined and comfortable manner, making it feel more like a larger car than the more agile and sporty Ford Fiesta, for instance. What’s more, there are plenty of petrol and diesel engines to choose from, as well as decent manual and automatic gearboxes.

VOLKSWAGEN POLO BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Nissan Navara

Our pick Nissan Navara Double Cab 2.3 dCi Tekna
Used deals from £14,995
Monthly finance from £353*

When it comes to big cars few are as large, as tall and as wide as a pick-up. The most practical pickups are commonly referred to as ‘double cabs’ as they have seating for five plus doors to access front and rear seats. Nissan’s pick-up is called the Navara and it is one of the best value options out there, while still being seriously big.

All current models (those produced from 2014 onwards) come with a 2.3-litre diesel engine and part-time four-wheel drive. The diesel engine means that the Navara offers lots of low-engine-speed muscle and better fuel economy than an equivalent petrol engine would provide. Meanwhile, you can take advantage of four-wheel drive when having to deal with slippery surfaces and then shift into two-wheel drive mode on the road for better fuel economy using a dial on the dashboard.

Nissan refreshed its pickup in 2019 and if your finances allow we'd recommend going for one of these newer versions, as they feel more up to date. That said, pre-2019 Navaras are still very capable machines, offering plenty of size, style and a reasonably comfortable ride. As the Navara is good value as a used purchase, you may want to aim for a higher specification level, such as ‘Tekna’, so it feels more like an upmarket SUV and less like a tough pick-up primarily designed for transporting heavy kit to building sites.

NISSAN NAVARA BUYERS' GUIDE

*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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