The best cheap saloons available in the UK

Sleek and stylish, saloons are one of the oldest types of car available and they're a popular choice when it comes to executive comfort and luxury touches. Choose the right model and you'll get that all-important space for passengers, as well as fuel-efficient yet punchy engine power. You won't be lacking in the style department either, with saloons known for their distinctive body shape that can be split into three sections: a long imposing bonnet, generous seating area and a sloping back-end. If you're in love with the look but can't afford to pay top whack, take a look at our list of the best cheap saloons available in the UK.

White Vauxhall Insignia

1. Vauxhall Insignia

Offering a refined, sleek look that’s perfectly fitting for its executive saloon status, the Insignia is surprisingly affordable. Seven trim levels cover all the bases, from entry-level to sporty and tech-laden, with the Elite Nav topping the line. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is a big hitter when it comes to fuel economy, achieving over 70 mpg and incredibly low CO2 emissions. However, if you’re buying a newer model, you can opt for the plug-in hybrid version for even greater efficiency and green credentials. This Vauxhall gives you all the space you need, from its generous rear seats right through to the 500-litre boot, which is why it’s such a firm favourite for company car drivers and families.

White ford mondeo

2. Ford Mondeo

Hugely popular in its classic saloon form, the Mondeo’s biggest asset is its interior space. It’s not as luxurious as some of the others on this list, but there’s still lots of quality tech on board and you’re guaranteed a comfortable drive. Safety has always been more important to Ford than luxury, and you’ll have lane-keeping alert and automatic emergency braking as standard in the latest models. This all helped the Mondeo achieve top scores in its Euro NCAP test in 2019. As the design has evolved over the years, so has its sophisticated refinement. It’s now a sleek, almost sporty-looking vehicle, and you’ll struggle to find a more competitively priced saloon. If you’ve got a tighter budget, the Mondeo is one of best cheap saloon cars you can find for a bargain used.

Blue Skoda Superb

3. Skoda Superb

Another popular choice of cheap saloon is the Superb. Like the Mondeo it’s got bags of space inside, making for an impressively large car compared to the relative size of its price tag. The driver gets plenty of room to sit in comfort and lots of seat and wheel adjustment possibilities, particularly with the optional electric seats. Tall adults have an enormous amount of legroom and headroom in the back, so there’ll be no complaints when travelling on a long journey. It’s also got the largest boot on our list at 625 litres. You have the choice of petrol, diesel or a plug-in hybrid, and all perform well while cruising around. Light and precise steering completes the perfect package.

White Volkswagen Passat

4. Volkswagen Passat

The Passat saloon has been a fleet favourite for many years as it’s a premium model offered at an affordable price point. It delivers quality, comfort and practicality on a level that’s hard to beat. The latest iteration has upped its game in the style stakes with a sleek grille and a headlight complement that comes with LED lights as standard. Coming in close to the Superb in terms of interior space, adults won’t struggle to fit in the back and the nice wide-opening doors make getting child seats in and out a breeze. The engines are punchy and economical, with a choice of petrol or diesel on the market.

Red Kia Stinger

5. Kia Stinger

The Stinger is relatively new to the saloon market and boy has it arrived in style. This five-door sports coupe has rear-wheel drive and stunning good looks, sitting low to the ground with sculptured contours and wraparound headlights. But if it’s power you’re after, this is where the Kia really shines – even its entry-level engine, a 2-0 litre turbocharged petrol, delivers blistering performance and acceleration. Kia is known for its exceptional seven-year warranty and for offering affordable options when buying new or used. This one’s a serious contender to the more established names on this list when it comes to the best cheap saloon on the market.

blue BMW 3 series

6. BMW 3 Series

If you’re a fan of executive saloons then the BMW 3 Series must be on your wish list. It’s not cheap when new by any means, but if you look second-hand there’s a good chance you can get a quality model at an affordable price. This saloon’s offered in either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, and certain trims also have BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive transmission for enhanced traction. If you’re not too fond of the firm suspension, later models have softer damping for when the car is lighter, maintaining a more supple ride while still hugging the corners of winding roads. Even the entry-level engines are performance-driven, and there’s certainly a choice for every type of driver, from the super-speedy petrol M series and an eco-friendly hybrid right through to traditional diesel-powered units.

Yellow Alfa Romeo Giulia

7. Alfa Romeo Giulia

Gorgeous looking and with masses of kerb appeal, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is a fast, compact, luxury saloon. It corners accurately at speed and offers an involving ride – a real drivers’ car. Gearheads and everyday users alike will love the three driving modes: Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency. You can use them to customise the steering and throttle response to your preferences. The eight-speed automatic gearbox is impressively slick, and there are optional shift paddles if you want to feel more in control. Inside you’ll find high-quality materials and a clean, elegant design. The 2.2-litre diesel is the most popular option, giving you over 50 mpg, which is pretty good considering the power beneath your feet. New models are pricy, but it’s certainly worth scoping out an affordable used version for a cheap saloon with impressive power and bags of style.

Blue Mercedes-Benz C-Class

8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Oozing sophistication, the C-Class is an upmarket executive saloon that continues to be a best-seller for Mercedes-Benz. It’s the perfect blend of luxury and performance, offering up a huge array of engine choices and a legacy spanning almost thirty years. A high-quality interior with lots of advanced tech features, including a large infotainment screen, gives it that all-important premium feel. There’s plenty of legroom in the back and the rear seats also have a nifty reclining feature, so the whole family will be comfortable on long road trips. For the cheapest deals, go for an older model with a lot of miles on the clock. They’re built to last, so as long as it’s got a solid service history, you won’t be disappointed.

Black Audi A4

9. Audi A4

Another premium model that’s had executive appeal since its launch in the mid-’90s is the Audi A4. It certainly still delivers on the joy of driving and does so without compromising on comfort. It’s smooth and quiet thanks to its precision engineering, the frugal engines offer good efficiency, and it still has plenty of power for an engaging drive. A high-quality roomy interior ensures the inside looks as good as the outside. Here, Audi packs all its features neatly into a user-friendly dashboard, and if you’re going for a newer model, be sure to check out the Virtual Cockpit. Known as a solid, hardy car that ages well, you’ll be hard pushed to beat the value for money of an older one of these if you’re looking for a cheap saloon.

Blue Toyota Avensis

10. Toyota Avensis

Rounding off our list is the budget-friendly Avensis. In production until 2018, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap second-hand saloon. It offers a comfy ride on the motorway, making it ideal for regular commutes. The fuel economy is on par with many of the others on this list, giving you over 60 mpg with the entry-level diesel – that’ll keep running costs low. Plus, there’s generous legroom and headroom for all passengers including in the rear middle, with the flat floor making it more comfortable. Try to look for a used model that’s got one of the higher-level trims so you can take advantage of features such as parking sensors. It’s a great alternative to the Mondeo – if you’re looking for something a little different but have a tight budget, give it a go.

Pick one of the saloons on our list and you’ll get great value for money, space for all the family and an efficient, dynamic drive that will leave you wanting more. We’re certain you won’t have to compromise on style or quality to find a cheap saloon. To learn more about the cars on this list or to check out other saloons, head to our in-depth reviews.

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