February 27, 2019 at 2:59 PM
Depending on the vehicle you're sat in, a long car journey as a driver or passenger might not be an appealing prospect. However, if you've got deep enough pockets, you could purchase a luxury car to get a first class experience on every journey.
The best luxury cars provide a relaxing experience no matter how long or short the distance. They will have a premium and comfortable interior with the latest technology, gadgets and connectivity systems. For long journeys specifically, the car also needs to be practical and fun to drive whether you're setting off for a staycation, a weekend away or business trips around the country.
We've compiled a list of six of the best luxury cars that embody all of these characteristics.
MERCEDES S CLASS
The flagship Mercedes model is the benchmark for many of its competitors in terms of ride comfort. The latest versions include cutting-edge technology that can see bumps in the road and adjust the suspension accordingly giving you the smoothest ride possible.
As a long wheelbase saloon, its unsurprising that the S Class has a supremely spacious interior. With limousine-like accommodation, passengers in the rear seats will not be struggling for leg or head room, while the fold out tables can be used to rest devices on for children to watch videos, or transform the car into a perfect office space.
All versions come with a high definition 12.3" colour display in the centre of the dashboard with another one next to it on the right behind the steering wheel. The main screen can be controlled using a rotary dial or touchpad on the centre console, while the driver's screen is synced to touch-sensitive pads on the steering wheel.
Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard alongside wireless charging in the front and Mercedes' Connect Me. This system offers accident assistance, breakdown management and servicing requirements to keep you safe on the road.
In terms of driving, the six-cylinder 350 d engine is capable of 0-62mph in just six seconds flat, but you won't hear any noise from it, especially on the motorway where wind and tyre roar will also be non-existent for a quiet and relaxing drive.
LAND ROVER DISCOVERY
Since its release in 1989, the Land Rover Discovery has been a formidable machine in terms of luxury, refinement and off-road ability. The subsequent versions built on these features through continuous development adding extra levels of practicality giving buyers a complete package with seven seats.
The Discovery is equally at home completing the school run and weekly shop as it is being fully loaded for a week spent camping or an excursion up a mountain. Its 4x4 capabilities are almost unrivalled, especially when you consider this is also a family car.
Thanks to its raised ride height and SUV body shape, you have a commanding view of the road ahead. Passengers are also treated to a large and comfortable cabin that is spacious enough to transport three adults in the second row of seats, with a further two seats available in the boot.
The practical and plush interior uses leather and wood to provide a high quality trim that reminds you you're in a premium product. The 8" colour touchscreen - which comes as standard on all Discovery models - is luxurious and inherently practical.
The 8-speed automatic gearbox provides a comfortable cruising ride and is operated using a Jaguar XF-style dial selector that rises from the centre console upon ignition.
BMW 5 SERIES
The multi-award winning 5 Series has undergone a significant shift from being closer to the smaller 3 Series to taking cues from the larger limousine-style 7 Series model and sharing much of the same technology for a cheaper price.
As standard, every 5 Series comes with an intuitive 10.2" touchscreen infotainment system which provides access to satellite navigation, DAB and various online services. When stationary, you can interact with it in a similar way to a tablet device, whereas, when you're on the move, it's controlled by a rotary dial on the centre console.
The interior is expertly fitted and finished to a standard that puts some much more expensive cars to shame with high quality materials. Although electric adjustment and lumbar support are only available as an optional extra, the seats are very supportive and offer plenty of adjustment.
For passengers in the back, there's nearly as much leg room as the larger 7 Series, so plenty of space for two tall adults to undertake a long journey in comfort. There's also useful storage solutions with cupholders and door pockets available.
Finding a model with the optional Variable Damper Control setup will provide a smooth ride at low speeds and along British A-roads and motorways, especially when you select the 'Comfort' mode. However, it also offers composure and precision on wavy countryside roads that few cars in any price bracket can compete with.
Similar to the BMW 5 Series, the Audi A6 receives a number of highlights from the larger A8 model including a calm cabin design and exterior styling cues used on its limousine-style big brother.
Inside the A6, there's an instantaneous futuristic environment created by the trio of infotainment screens. First is the Audi Virtual Cockpit which sits behind the steering wheel and can be configured in several different ways such as displaying sat nav directions or a more prominent speedometer.
There are two more screens that sit on the centre console. The top screen is a 10.1" display that features smartphone-like apps that can be dragged and dropped, so you can customise it to your personal preferences. Finally, underneath this screen, there's a 9" display that is reserved for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls.
Finding a comfortable driving position is made easier with a fully electrically adjustable seat and electric lumbar adjustment available as standard. In the rear seats, there's enough room for you to cover some serious miles and still keep everyone comfortable.
The A6 is an easy and relaxing car to handle on a long drive over varied roads. Whichever engine you choose will provide a calm and quiet driving experience whether you're around town or on the motorway.
Although it can't compete with it's German rivals in terms of interior technology and material quality, the Jaguar XJ offers the best driving experience. It is rare to find a large executive car that is this much fun to drive.
If you're a driving enthusiast, there are few better luxury saloon cars on the market. The low driving position and exceptional handling create the impression you're behind the wheel of a sports car until you look back and see the amount of space in the rear.
The handcrafted interior mixes traditional woods and leathers with 21st Century technology such as the 12.3" TFT instrument cluster that sits behind the steering wheel. 2018 models receive the latest 10" touchscreen infotainment display with a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot that supports up to eight devices at once.
Despite not supporting Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, the new system does offer a Commute Mode which learns your daily drive and will automatically offer alternative routes to avoid congestion and save you time.
For the most luxurious experience, you can specify twin seats in the back (instead of a three-seat bench) that come with electrical adjustment plus heating, cooling and massage functions. However, both the standard rear bench and individual seats are comfortable over long distances.
Unlike the Land Rover Discovery, the Range Rover is unashamedly a luxury car first and a 4x4 second, which is not to suggest that is isn't a capable off-road vehicle. It is just as comfortable as a long-distance cruiser as it is crossing a tricky terrain.
The SUV body and sheer size of the vehicle means that you do have to climb up to the seats, so it's not quite as easy to get in to as a luxury saloon. However, this extra height also makes the Range Rover extra spacious, especially in the back. It also gives the driver a commanding position on the road being higher than almost any other vehicle apart from buses, lorries and the larger vans.
Originally, the Range Rover was built to provide rugged usability and practicality which has been refined over the years to also include luxury. There's more space in the back than a Bentley Bentayga with a flat floor making it a comfortable space for three adults to travel alongside each other.
As standard, you can expect to receive 20" alloy wheels, a self-parking system, an automatically opening tailgate and a digital TV and radio. At the top of the range, the SVAutobiagraphy model is the pinnacle of luxury with massaging front seats and a champagne fridge between two executive seats in the back.
The Range Rover is able to keep up with its German rivals in terms of luxury and refinement; where it really excels is its off-road ability and huge towing capacity. Despite its hulking size, it remains an agile and responsive vehicle that is enjoyable to drive and capable of achieving 0-60mph in just 5.1 seconds (with the supercharged V8 petrol engine).
If you consistently make long journeys and want to experience the premium comfort provided by these luxurious models, search our stock for excellent examples for each of these cars.