If you’re in the market for a new saloon car you’ll find the sector a lot less crowded since the SUV and Crossover revolution really gathered momentum in recent years. However there are still some very nice options available to you and if you’re looking for a more traditional car and are considering a saloon or hatchback you may also want to check out at our top 5 large hatchback picks too.
So here are our top 5 recommended saloons for 2017:
The Mazda6 is a big favourite of the team at UK Car Discount. Across the range there something for everyone, the vehicle is very pleasing on the eye with a muscular and stylish design that Mazda call the ‘Kodo’ design, inside the vehicle is equally impressive.
You also get a very nice selection of tech and equipment that ‘out-does’ some of the more expensive competitor models. The vehicle delivers a very comfortable ride with plenty of room inside for driver/passengers and generous boot space.
Mazda really propelled the 6 onto a new level a few years ago when it introduced its ‘SkyActive’ technology which is a clever combination of a much lighter chassis/vehicle combined with some very efficient engines options and clever technology. The end result if you plump one of the economical options is a meaty/stylish looking saloon with running costs that will be more comparable to a small car. The SkyActiv-D 150 diesel engine is the most efficient of the bunch offering a fuel economy of up to 68mpg and CO2 emissions of just 107g/km yet it’s still got enough power to take you from 0-62mph in a fraction over 9 seconds.
The incredibly low running costs for a vehicle in its class make it a very attractive proposition for private buyers clocking up a lot of mileage and companies looking for a fleet vehicle that looks great on the balance sheet.
Models-wise there’s an SE, SE-Nav. SE-L Nav and the Sport Nav model. Engine options are kept simple with the SE and SE-Nav models offering either the SKYACTIVE 150PS diesel or the SKYACTIVE 145PS petrol unit, there are only manual options here. If you want an automatic you’ll have to look at the SE-L Nav trim-level that offers the petrol and diesel engines with either manual or automatic transmission. The diesel beats the petrol all ends up, it quicker, cleaner and more economical but you’ll pay around an extra £2700 for the diesel models. If you’re doing a lot of mileage the diesel has to be the option. The Sport Nav model offers some more powerful petrol options the 165PS and the 175PS unit which takes you from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds.
Equipment wise most people would not be disappointed with the entry-level SE/SE-Nav models which include 17 inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, front and rear electric windows, air con, 7 inch touchscreen, DAB radio/CD player, Bluetooth, sat nav (on the Nav model), cruise control, electronic parking brake and a long-list of safety features.
The SE-L Nav model offers the addition of dual zone climate control, dusk sensing headlights, smart city brake, auto-dimming rear view mirror, front and rear parking sensors, heated power-folding door mirrors, privacy glass and automatic windscreen wipers.
The Sport Nav offers the addition of 19 inch allow wheels, smart keyless entry, LED front fog light, LED daytime running lights, LED headlights, black leather trim seats, a reversing camera and premium Bose sound system.
It’s got to be the SE-L Nav model with a ton of equipment as standard with the 2.2L 150PS SKYACTIVE diesel engine.
Stylish inside and out, lots of equipment as standard, most efficient vehicle in its class.
No automatic transmission option on entry-level models.
The VW Passat is more expensive than the Mazda6 and has something of an executive look and feel about it epitomised by the plush interior. VW see the Passat as competition for vehicles at the top end of this segment and the smaller executive vehicles like the BMW 3 series.
Whilst from the outside it may not blow you away, once you’re inside the Passat you’ll find a spacious interior with a real executive and premium feel to it, it is extremely comfortable and once you’re in the driver’s seat you’ll be more than ready for a long journey knowing it won’t be a chore.
The latest Passat comes in 6 trim-levels including the new plugin hybrid model the Passat GTE, the range offers plenty of options with all models well equipped with the latest tech and resale values should also be very good.
The entry-level model the Passat S features 16 inch alloy wheels, 6.5 inch touchscreen with DAB radio/CD and Bluetooth, air con plus front and rear electric windows and there’s also a very long list of safety features. Engine-wise you get a decent choice with 1.4 petrol and 1.6/2.0 diesels with manual and DSG options. The 1.6 TDI (120PS) is the most economical offering up to 70mpg.
The SE Business is the next model in the line-up and adds front and rear parking sensors and sat nav you then have the Bluemotion model which adds to S model equipment list with an alarm, remote central locking, front fog lights and the unique BlueMotion aerodynamic styling which looks great and delivers better mpg. You just get the single engine option with the BlueMotion, the 1.6 diesel (120PS), with the added aerodynamics it offers up to 76mpg.
The GT trim level offers even more styling and equipment with 18 inch alloy wheels, panoramic roof, front fog lights, tinted glass, a premium navigation system, Alcantara interior and comfort seats.
Top of the range is the R-Line model which features unique R-line styling including a body kit and R-line interior, with the R0line badge featured. There are also some meatier engine options here with the quickest of the bunch, the 2.0 BITDI (240PS) DSG the quickest capable of 0-62mph in little over 6 seconds.
The GTE is the new Hybrid option; it’s well equipped and as you’d expect for a hybrid there is a big leap in the price. The 1.4 TSI Hyrbrid takes you from 0-62mph in a brisk 7.4 seconds and offers a fuel economy of up to 157mpg.
We recommend the SE model for the additional equipment with the 1.6 TDI engine.
Plush interior, very comfortable, very good residual values.
Uninspiring exterior looks, more expensive than some rivals on this list.
THE HYUNDAI I40
The i40 is a rising star in this segment, it boasts eye-catching looks, an equally impressive and spacious interior made from good quality materials, economical engines and good levels of equipment and there’s also an attractive five year warranty thrown in for good measure.
Hyundai keep it fairly simple with four models available the S, SE Nav, SE Nav Business and the top of the range, aptly named Premium model. All models include allow wheels, front and rear electric windows, LED brake lights, leather covered steering wheel and gear knob, electrically adjustable door mirrors, Bluetooth and intelligent stop and go.
We think the SE Nav model is good value for money with the extra equipment it adds to the entry-level S model including DAB radio, rear parking camera, touchscreen sat nav and heated steering wheel. The SE Nav Business model adds more equipment including front and rear parking and sensors and the Premium models adds 18 inch alloy wheels, a Lane Departure Warning System, enhanced exterior styling with chrome trim, alloy pedals.
The engine range is kept to a minimum, as with most manufacturers the emphasis is on economy and efficiency which is where the market demand is, where Hyundai differ is with the lack of a petrol option. There are three engine options, a 1.7 CRDi Diesel Blue Drive with manual transmission (115 and 141PS options), the 141 PS unit is also available with a DCT transmission. The 112PS engine is a tad sluggish and you may want to go for the quickest 141PS unit if you don’t mind paying the extra as there is little different in mpg (up to 66mpg) and emissions 114g/km.
Hyundai’s are not quite the budget buy they used to be, but it is reflected in the build quality and level of equipment you get with the i40.
Go for the SE Nav model the extra equipment is well worth the cost.
Eye-catching car, low emissions, economical, generous 5 year warranty.
Not the budget car it used to be but price reflected in the superior quality.
If you’re looking at the Hyundai as an option then you need to also consider the Optima which is basically the same as the i40 when stripped back, with Kia though you get Hyundai’s very attractive, industry leading 7 year/100,000 miles warranty.
Kia keep the range simple with three models the Optima 2, 3 and the GT-Line S. One of the strengths of the Optima is the long list of equipment included as standard and even the entry-level 2 model features 17 inch alloys, electronic parking brake, a 7 inch touchscreen with sat nav, Bluetooth, reversing camera, dual zone automatic air con, front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio/CD/MP3/USB/AUX, ESC (electronic stability control) & VSM (vehicle Stability management).
The Optima 3 model offers on top of the 2 model 18 inch alloy wheels, 8 inch touchscreen with sat nav, a premium sound system, a premium instrument cluster, faux lather interior, heated front seats, LED front fog lights, power adjustable driver’s seat with memory function, LED rear combination lights and LKAS ( lane keep assist system).
The GT Line model adds a wireless mobile phone charger, panoramic roof with tilt and slide, smart key, start/stop button, SPAS (smart park assist), AEB (autonomous emergency braking), BSD (blind spot detection), RCTA (rear cross traffic alert) and LED headlights.
We think the Optima 3 model offers the best value for money and enough equipment to keep the vast majority of people very happy.
There are just two diesel options here, a 1.7 CRDi with manual or DCT transmission, the manual offers fuel consumption of up to 76mpg and CO2 emission of 110g/km. The entry-level 2 model is only available with the manual transmission it should be noted. The hybrid model, the Optima Phev offers a fuel economy of up to 176mpg.
The Optima 3 with manual transmission, with a ton of equipment as standard.
Economical, packed with equipment and tech, industry leading 7 year warranty.
Limited engine options
We’ve put the 508 on the list as we like the improvements and strides forward Peugeot have made with the vehicle. The latest model offers more refinement and a more comfortable drive (if still slightly on the stiff side and not yet on a par with the Mondeo for example). Peugeot have vastly improved the interior too, which shouts quality a lot more than previous models. Inside the vehicle there’s plenty of head and leg room and the boot space is a decent at 550 litres.
Engine-wise Peugeot have tried to keep it simple and as with most vehicle’s in this class there’s an emphasis on efficiency and economy with a range of 1.6 and 2.0 diesels, the most frugal the 1.6 eHDi offers up to 74mpg and emissions of just 99g/km putting in firmly up there with most efficient rival models. If you prefer more power you can look at the 2.0 diesel, its a fair bit nippier (0-62mph in approx. 9 seconds compared with over 11 seconds for 1.6). The 2.0 diesel is still pretty frugal though offering up to 67mpg and emissions of 109g/km.
The trim level line-up consists of the entry-level Active model followed by the Allure, GT Line and GT models.
The entry-level model the Active may not be as cheap as some rivals but what you’ll find is a lot of equipment as standard for entry-level model which rivals may not match in their equivalent entry-level offering.
The Active features 17 inch alloy wheels, automatic dual zone climate control, one touch electric windows, cruise control and speed limiter, rear parking sensor, electric heated/power folding door mirrors, 7 inch touch screen with DAB radio/CD player, Bluetooth, Apple Airplay, MirrorLink and Android Auto support, electric parking brake, leather multifunction steering wheel, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, automatic headlights and windscreen wiper plus there’s a very long list of security features unrivalled by other entry-level models.
The Allure model offers the additional of 18 inch alloy wheels, front LED fog lights, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, start/stop button, heated front seats and half leather interior trim.
Move up to the GT line model and you’ll get the unique GT Line 18 inch alloy wheels, half leather and interior with red stitching detail, twin exhaust design and full LED headlights with smartbeam assistance. The GT model offers 19 inch allow wheels and full black Nappa leather interior.
The entry-level Active model is equipped well beyond what you’d expect and will compete with higher trim levels in rival models. Go for the super-efficient 1.6L BlueHDi 120 S&S engine.
Latest model has undergone major improvements in refinement, entry-level model packs a huge list of standard equipment, economical engine options.
Exterior styling still a bit uninspiring, ride is still a bit stiff and not as comfortable as some rivals.