Although this has not always been the case, British car manufacturers have built some of the finest vehicles on the world’s roads – going back through old Jaguars, Aston Martins and Land Rovers.
But with companies from other countries dominating the market, which cars are flying the flag for the UK and offering the best in British motoring? We take a look at our favourites…
If you’re looking for a car that encapsulates the upper echelons of the British market, then the Range Rover would be that. Luxury in spades, paired with unparalleled off-road abilities help to make this one of the best overall packages on sale today. The Sport version is slightly smaller and faster, while the PHEV model sets the Rangey up for the future of motoring. It also comes in one of the most iconic shells on sale, so what’s not to like? Is it cheap? No. But is it worth it? Absolutely.
As one of the country’s best-selling models, the Astra always figures a way into the nation’s hearts. Cheap to buy and run, the latest Astra is the best yet. Now in its seventh generation, the Astra has been on sale in the UK since 1979 and continues to be offered as an affordable package.
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Modern Jaguars are up against the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes in terms of executive cars, and the XF line is one of the best on sale. Combine that with a practical estate-like body, and the XF Sportbrake is a superb car indeed. It looks great – as it’s arguably the best-looking estate on sale – and includes the latest tech that the Jaguar Land Rover conglomerate has to offer, such as the new line-up of Ingenium fuel-saving engines.
With the looks based on the car that captured hearts and minds, the Mini Hatch offers one of the best overall packages in the hatchback segment. It drives well, can be fitted with high-end technology and has stylish looks that combine retro and modern design. Although it is offered as a five-door, the three-door version captures the essence of the original Mini perfectly, and as a Cooper S it flies along and feels like a jacked-up go-kart that will always put a smile on your face.
McLaren is a name steeped in racing heritage, but the road-going arm of the Formula One team was launched only eight years ago. In that time, McLaren has established itself as one of the best supercar manufacturers and its latest production offering – the 720S – is one of its fastest. With a top speed of 217mph, the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 catapults the 1,437kg supercar from 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds – making it one of the most ferocious road cars on sale right now.
As the spiritual successor to the legendary E-Type, the F-Type combines stunning looks with great driving dynamics, as well as four-, six- and eight-cylinder engine options to suit your needs. Coming as a coupe or a roadster, the F-Type is an excellent two-seat sports car that, since 2013, has been a more-than-able replacement for the XK before it. It is also available as a 200-mile-an-hour SVR model that comes with a raucous 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine under the bonnet.
Land Rover Discovery
As the most capable off-roader that Land Rover makes, the Discovery has been part of the brand’s line-up since it was introduced back in 1989. Although the latest version isn’t the best-looking one of the line-up – far from it in fact – it is the most advanced and includes the latest in off-road technology. With the seven-seater offering a capacious interior, it is incredibly practical as it can tow up to 3.5 tonnes and can go almost anywhere.
Bentley Continental GT
Unveiled mid-way through 2017, the third-generation Continental GT is unquestionably the best-looking of the lot and offers supreme comfort and a 6.0-litre W12 engine under the beautifully-sculpted bonnet. The luxury 2+2 coupe combines a premium finish with the latest tech, and with 626bhp at its disposal, it is capable of demolishing motorway miles without flinching. There isn’t much wrong with the Continental and that makes it one of the best Grand Tourers around.
Aston Martin DB11
The latest DB model to come from Gaydon, and one of the finest Aston Martin has produced. Following on from the ever-popular DB9, the 11 had a lot to live up to, but it has managed to continue the reputation built up by its predecessor by including a premium finish and classic Aston looks. Fitted with a brutish V12 or lightweight yet punchy V8, the DB11 comes as a coupe or a soft-top Volante – with the latter truly stunning to look at.
If you’re after a car that has more luxury than you will ever need, a truly iconic badge on the front, and even your own piece of art in the dashboard, look no further than the Rolls-Royce Phantom. It has no equal in terms of opulence and the latest Phantom is both great to look at and be in. The Phantom will waft along with next to no trouble, and if you’re after a luxury airline-like experience for the road, don’t look past this.