Nice cars

The best things in life may be free, but feel-good cars can be pricey. That needn't be the case, though, with the best used nice cars

James Wilson
May 16, 2022

Nice cars are very difficult to define because what one person classes as nice may be very different to another driver's idea of a nice car. Some motorists might see a car that is luxurious and upmarket inside as ‘nice’, while others might look for a car that is super-easy to live with every day, totally reliable and affordable. Others might simply expect something extremely stylish - potentially with huge alloy wheels, a sporty look or brightly coloured cabin.

Whatever type of nice car you're after, it is important to think about what your priorities are. If you would like to have fewer worries about unexpected repairs, then a car with a nice long warranty could be ideal; some new cars come with a five-year warranty, while other cars offer a seven-year warranty, giving you great peace of mind when getting a used car. Likewise, if you want a car that will make the neighbours jealous and the masses swipe right, perhaps a good-looking car is the answer.

Being that nice cars can come in all shapes and sizes, we have found eight of the best from a variety of different car types. These include a stylish SUV, limo-like saloon, ultra-modern electric car and a fast family car. So whatever your definition of 'nice', there should be an option for you.

All of the models highlighted below can be scooped up second-hand for somewhere between £10,000 and £40,000. So keep reading to find your favourite - whether style, luxury, value, space or plenty of high-tech kit is the most important part of a nice car for you.

Nice cars

1. Range Rover Evoque

Comfortable nice car

Our pick Range Rover Evoque D200 R-Dynamic SE
Used deals from £14,400

If you like the sound of a full-size Range Rover but can’t stomach a huge car or the huge cost, then the Range Rover Evoque is a great option. The original model was launched in 2011 and was made all the way up to 2018, so there are plenty of second-hand models available for affordable prices. The latest version picked up where the older version left off, promising a designer exterior and an interior awash with high-quality materials, making it feel much nicer than most similarly priced cars.

The biggest changes were updates to in-car technology, such as a digital display for heating controls. It will pay to do some thinking about which is the best Evoque for you, as the running costs can vary significantly. If you plan on only ever driving on the road we’d recommend a two-wheel-drive model, as these will be cheaper to buy and less expensive to run.

If, however, you want the added grip of four-wheel-drive then the premium might be worth it, though if you only want this for dealing with occasional snow, you're better off sticking with a two-wheel-drive model and getting winter tyres fitted when the temperature drops. That's because, while four-wheel-drive helps you to get moving in slippery conditions, it does nothing to help you grip or stop safely. Winter tyres, meanwhile, can boost a car's acceleration, grip around corners and stopping ability on cold and snowy surfaces.

2019-PRESENT RANGE ROVER EVOQUE BUYERS' GUIDE
2011-2019 RANGE ROVER EVOQUE BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Lexus ES

Nice car to live with

Our pick Lexus ES 300h Takumi
Used deals from £28,490

Most people wouldn’t recognise a Lexus ES if it was parked on their doorstep but if anything, this is part of its under-the-radar appeal. The ES is an alternative to cars like the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6, so it is a relatively large, upmarket saloon. Crucially though, Lexus builds cars for people who value comfort and interior quality over racing-car-style handling and loud exhausts. As a result, there aren’t many cars that are nicer to cruise through town or on the motorway in, for the same price as a Lexus ES.

Lexus is also much more confident in the quality of its products compared to other car makers. This is shown by its super-long warranty which runs for 10 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first). All the driver needs to do is make sure their Lexus is serviced at an official Lexus garage every year for the warranty to remain valid after the first three years or 60,000 miles.

Another benefit to the ES is the fact it is a self-charging hybrid, so it has relatively low exhaust emissions and impressive fuel economy for a car of this size. It won’t be as cheap as running a little economy car like a Kia Picanto, but it is likely to beat a non-hybrid petrol equivalent when it comes to low fuel costs - especially around town.

LEXUS ES BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Mercedes S-Class

Luxurious nice car

Our pick Mercedes S350d AMG Line
Used deals from £28,100

In the saloon car food chain, the Mercedes S-Class sits above more affordable cars like the Lexus ES above - in terms of size, equipment and price. What do you get for the extra money? Quite simply, one of the most comfortable and luxurious ways to get from A to B. It is for this reason that the Mercedes S-Class is regularly the car of choice for high-flying wealthy people looking to be chauffeured from one hostile takeover to the next.

If you are planning on moving from a less upmarket or smaller car, the amount of technology available with the S-Class is mind-blowing. We don’t just mean large media displays and heated and cooled seats, either, as the Mercedes can be dressed head to bumper in tech. Take closing the doors - in some models, there is a soft-close feature. Much like soft-close kitchen cabinet doors, you can gently push the door to and the car will do the rest.

MERCEDES S-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Mini Electric

Nice car for teenagers

Our pick Mini Electric Level 2
Used deals from £25,480

Riding around in a Mini Electric is an all-round nice experience. The automatic transmission means that you never need to worry about stalling and the electric motor makes for nippy acceleration should you want it. The lack of stalling can be particularly appealing to teenagers or new drivers who are still getting to grips with life behind the wheel. In terms of design, the Mini has a funky interior and styling that many find charming, and the result is a car we challenge anyone to drive without having a smile on their face.

Officially, the Mini Electric has a range of up to 145 miles from a full charge. This means it is best suited to town driving and shorter trips. If you plan on doing lots of longer journeys you’d be better looking at the latest Renault Zoe, which can do up to 238 miles on a charge. The Mini Electric has a short range as it has a relatively small battery. This makes the car lighter, which in turn helps make the battery-powered car feel agile - some heavier cars can feel like driving a barge when trying to make tight turns - and quicker to charge.

READ MORE ABOUT THE MINI ELECTRIC

5. Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

Affordable nice car

Our pick Vauxhall Insignia 1.5 Turbo SRi VX Line
Used deals from £9,490

Affordable and nice aren’t often used in the same sentence, when it comes to cars. In the case of the Vauxhall Insignia, it is genuinely a nice car that is very affordable. All models come with some great equipment as standard, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors. None of these are groundbreaking technology but you’d be surprised how many similarly priced (or even more expensive cars) don’t include them as standard.

The latest version of the Insignia arrived in 2017 and is a nicer car than the model it replaced. This wasn’t because the old car was a dud, just that Vauxhall made the Insignia notably sleeker on the outside and plusher on the inside to compete with the likes of Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Superb. The move upmarket was successful, with the interior feeling and looking classy. There is plenty of space for a driver and passengers and if you need lots of luggage space, then there is an estate version with an extra large boot.

VAUXHALL INSIGNIA GRAND SPORT BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Fiat 500C

Cheap nice car

Fiat 500C Electric front three quarters view

Our pick Fiat 500C Electric Icon
Used deals from £5,899

If a nice car means dropping the roof and enjoying the sunshine with a drive through the country to you, then one of the cheapest ways to experience this is with the Fiat 500C. This uses an electronically sliding fabric roof that opens up the centre of the car and folds into a neat pile just above the boot door. This might sound a bit tent-like but if the 500C was to be likened to any kind of outdoor pursuit it would be glamping.

This is because the little Fiat is one of the most fashionable cars on the planet. Its chic looks and low running costs - thanks to a range of fuel-efficient petrol engines - mean the 500 is very popular with city drivers and young motorists. Fiat launched an electric version of the 500 - including a 500C version - which is one of the best value small electric cars and well worth considering if your budget can stretch to it.

FIAT 500 BUYERS' GUIDE
FIAT 500 ELECTRIC BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Skoda Superb

Fast nice car

Our pick Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI Sportline DSG
Used deals from £10,995

Although you might not think the Skoda Superb is a fast car by looking at it, in the right specification it can be rapid. Unlike some fast cars, it doesn't make lots of noise or demand attention from passersby with a loud exhaust, firm suspension and racing-style gearboxes, which can detract from how nice a car is to drive. Instead, it offers space for all the family, a slick automatic gearbox that is equally good around town and on the motorway, plus the option of high-tech equipment such as matrix LED headlights.

Matrix lights can be quite strange to use at first, with the car able to detect vehicles ahead and direct the headlights' main beam around them, but once you trust that you can leave your main beam lights on, driving at night can get a whole lot easier. Moving to the matter of speed, the fastest Superb models come in Sportline trim with a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces a substantial 280hp. This means that accelerating along sliproads and overtaking on country roads is effortless.

SKODA SUPERB BUYERS' GUIDE
SKODA SUPERB ESTATE BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Jaguar XF

Classy nice car

Our pick Jaguar XF 2.0d Portfolio
Used deals from £13,490

If you are shopping for a nice car to look at, the Jaguar XF is hard to beat. If you fancy a nice car to drive, the XF is an appealing option, too. As for a nice car that can be used as a company car for business meetings and as family transport, the XF works just as well. It's not the most expensive or luxurious car available, but it's a desirable option that makes a lot of sense if feel-good factor is high on your wishlist.

Jaguar updated the XF in 2021 and while the visual differences are subtle, the updates to the interior might be very desirable for you. One of the biggest changes is a more modern media system, which Jaguar calls ‘Pivi Pro’. The pre-update XF is still a great car, but the media system was a major weakness when comparing it to alternatives such as the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.

Jaguar offers an interesting range of engines with the XF, starting with relatively economical diesel-powered options and moving all the way up to high-performance petrol engines. If you need help deciding between petrol or diesel, take a read of the article in the link below.

JAGUAR XF 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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