Cars have continued to progress and advance in many ways over the years, especially when it comes to safety, efficiency and technology.
However, one area that has seemingly been overlooked when it comes to the development of new cars is ride comfort. That’s because the popularity of new vehicles fitted with overly large alloy wheels with lower-profile tyres has often resulted in harsher-riding vehicles, meaning less overall comfort.
Yet there are plenty of more comfortable cars available should this be a top priority. Let’s take a look at some of the best.
The Range Rover has moved increasingly upmarket in recent years, and thankfully this has not been at the expense of comfort, with this luxurious SUV offering one of the most cosseting rides of any car around.
All versions come with advanced air suspension as standard, which can even be lowered and raised depending on the type of terrain you’re driving on. The Range Rover also comes as standard with 20-way heated and electric front seats, meaning it’s almost impossible to find the perfect seating position. Top-spec models even get a ‘hot stone massage’ feature to truly take the strain out of longer trips.
Citroen C5 X
But comfort isn’t just reserved for the most expensive luxury cars, as Citroen’s range of vehicles show. Almost every model it sells offers supreme levels of comfort, but it’s the firm’s flagship C5 X that leads this way.
Available from £28,695, the C5 X can soak up lumps and bumps in the road in a superb manner, while at higher speed it wafts along like big Citroens of years gone by. The C5 X is a large hatchback that offers a very spacious interior and plenty in the way of standard equipment too.
Volvo’s cars are known for being comfortable and great for longer trips, and the model that shows this best is its largest SUV, the XC90. It’s able to seat seven adults in comfort, while the interior quality is exceptional throughout, even if this Volvo might be getting on a bit in terms of age.
The best advice for maximum comfort with the XC90 is to stick with the smallest 19-inch alloy wheels on the entry-level models. Adaptive air suspension is available, but is only included on the pricey top-spec Ultimate trim level.
Though a new Skoda Superb is on the way shortly, there’s still a huge amount going for the outgoing car. It offers an especially roomy interior, while is available with a great choice of engines and trim levels.
But perhaps its best feature is its comfortable ride, especially on cars fitted with the smallest 17-inch alloy wheels. On higher trims, it’s worth adding dynamic chassis control (DCC) – a £1,105 optional extra – that adds adaptive suspension for exceptional ride comfort. With prices starting from just above £30,000, you get a lot of car for your money with the Skoda Superb.
The Mercedes S-Class has long ruled the luxury car segment, and that continues to be the case today. Given this large saloon is targeted specifically at the chauffeur market and rear-seat passengers, comfort is a top priority, and this Mercedes doesn’t disappoint.
All new models are equipped with air suspension that automatically raises and lowers to alleviate the impact of bumps in the road, and automatically lowers at higher speeds too. Choose an AMG Line Premium Plus model and it gets massaging seats, individual climate control for each passenger and even heated armrests.
No magic tricks are needed for the Honda Civic when it comes to ride comfort, as by default this spacious hatchback is an ideal car for longer trips thanks to its well-cushioned suspension and top-tier refinement.
There’s also loads of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel, and though you sit pretty low in the car, it has one of the best seating positions of any car. With the Civic’s spacious interior, great build quality and efficient hybrid engine, it’s one of the best cars you can buy right now.
If you’re looking for something smaller but still very comfortable, there aren’t as many options to choose from, but one car that is very easy to recommend is the Peugeot 208. Again, stick with the smaller alloy wheels for the best ride quality, but it is fantastic by compact car standards.
It’s more supple than almost every car in its class, while is remarkably refined and comfortable on the motorway – more so than many larger cars. The 208’s small steering – a feature on all modern Peugeots – won’t suit everyone, aside from that there is little to complain about with this Peugeot.