Best Motorway Cars 2018

By: Lisa Harper

If you cover a lot of miles day-to-day, then you need a car that will go the distance. Fuel economy is sure to be top of your priority list, however we think there are a number of other things worth considering:

- Comfort is a key priority if you’re going to be spending a lot of time behind the wheel. So as well as comfortable seats look out for features like rake and height steering wheel adjustment and full seat adjustability.

- Noise factor is also crucial, as while many cars may be quiet enough at urban speeds if you’re regularly hitting the 70mph mark you need a well-insulated cabin that minimises outside disturbance.

- The engine needs to provide enough power for overtaking as well as having enough oomph to make it capable of cruising along at 70mph.

- Connectivity can help make your commute more productive with functions like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto ensuring you can stay up to date and never have to miss a call again. 

Taking the hassle out of your commute we’ve chosen a best motorway car for a variety of different car classes. So whether you’re looking for a supermini or an executive car you’re sure to find something suitable.

Best Supermini: Ford Fiesta

The economical and fun Fiesta is more complete than ever before and is one of the most entertaining superminis to drive.

The diesel is a sensible option for anyone covering over 12,000 miles with the 1.5-litre 84bhp diesel engine having a claimed 88.3mpg and emitting a mere 82g/km CO2 for the three-door variant. If you want a bit more oomph the 118bhp variant of the same diesel can achieve 0-62mph in nine seconds while still managing 80.7mpg.

Inside the Fiesta has a welcoming atmosphere and is equipped with all the mod-cons like air-conditioning, electric windows and Bluetooth. Plus the improved acoustic windscreen alongside the re-designed suspension and engine mountings reduces road noise and vibration, for a more pleasant drive.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

Best Hatchback: Hyundai i30

The Hyundai i30 is a capable and refined motorway cruiser. Official figures state the 136bhp 1.6-litre diesel can achieve over 70mpg. Plus with an optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox your leg will get a well-deserved rest on longer journeys.

There are a host of features which are sure to make every drive hassle-free. The cruise control comes with a handy speed limiter function so there’s no need to worry about average speed zones. Plus as SE Nav models and above all come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, you can experience full hands-free functionality of your phone on the move.

Hyundai i30

Hyundai i30

Best Compact SUV: Suzuki Vitara

The Suzuki Vitara has impressive levels of comfort meaning you can drive for hours without the ride becoming tiring or uncomfortable. You will experience some wind and road noise at higher speeds however this is counteracted by the impressive ride quality. While the raised driving position and boxy body shape ensure excellent visibility all-around.

The Vitara has four transmission settings; Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock. The Auto setting is ideal for longer distance driving as the two-wheel drive mode offers the best fuel saving conditions. While being one of the sportiest SUVs on the market it has impressively economic running costs. The 1.6 DDiS 118bhp diesel engine has official mileage capabilities of 70.6mpg and emits just 106g/km CO2.

Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki Vitara

Best Estate: Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

If you need to carry a lot of equipment on your commute then you also need to consider boot space; with the estate being the go-to vehicle. The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is a prime example offering space in abundance as well as exceptional value for money. It is ideal for quiet, relaxed and refined high-mileage motorway use.

It is impressively kitted out to reduce driver fatigue and improve overall experience. Features include touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry and cruise control. It’s safe too, scoring a full five-star rating in Euro NCAP testing and features like autonomous emergency braking as standard.

The 1.6-litre 108bhp diesel engine returns 65.7mpg and just 112g/km CO2 or for a gutsier engine opt for the 134bhp variant. MPG is only reduced slightly to 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions are only marginally higher at 119g/km.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

Best Executive: Alfa Romeo Giulia

The latest Alfa Romeo Giulia is set to take on mainstay executive saloons so is now packed with as much substance as it is style. With rear wheel drive the new Giulia is enjoyable in almost all conditions, plus the low hunkered-down position puts you in an ideal position to enjoy the road. While being able to absorb road undulations it offers up an exceptionally smooth ride.

It’s a safe and sophisticated ride too. With forward collision alert, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking as standard.

The 2.2-litre diesel engine is the best option for motorway miles, with both the 148bhp and 178bhp outputs offer 63.8mpg and emit just 109g/km CO2.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Best Electric: Nissan Leaf

An electric vehicle may not be an immediate first choice for a great motorway cruiser. However with fuel prices rising and the increasing move towards electric vehicles, we thought it prudent to include one.

On paper the Leaf’s range is an impressive 168 miles, however most real world feedback suggests this figure is more realistically around 124 miles. It’s more than enough for most people’s daily commute and will take you a fair distance. Plus with the growing motorway charging network travelling further afield all-electric can only get easier.

Capable of 0-60mph in around eight seconds you get nippy performance which means you should have no worries overtaking at speed. On top of that you’ll have no problem relaxing on every journey as the ride quality is hard to fault at motorway speeds plus you’ll soon discover the Leaf is whisper quiet.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

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