top test drives

The best cars on the road in 2020. 

Despite it being a, how do we put it… tremulous year, the Carparison team have powered on, continuing to source the best personal lease and business lease deals for new and returning customers as well as testing out the latest cars in order to provide the most informed advice to our audiences. 

Over the past 12 months the team have test driven more than 30 new vehicles. These ranged from SUV’s, executive Saloons, City Cars, Hybrids, Electric Vehicles and everything in between. Some we liked, some we loved and some we didn’t want to ever get out of.

Now, in no particular order (it was just too hard to rank them), we’ve put together the teams’ favourite test drives of 2020...

Skoda Superb Estate 

And the award for the biggest boot goes to…

The Skoda Superb Estate boot capacity is nothing short of astounding, and at 660 litres with the seats up (and 1950l with the seats down), it is more spacious than the BMW 5 Series Touring or VW Passat Estate. And that’s not all that’s impressive. If we were to name everything, this would be a very long article indeed, so instead you’ll have to read our full Skoda Superb Review and make do with this very condensed list... 

  • Vast amount of space and head/leg room for passengers
  • Impressive performance/ low running costs
  • Great family car
  • Massive boot (we know we’ve said it already but we just can’t get over it)
  • Comfortable seats
  • Impressive technology
  • Virtual cockpit (on certain models)
  • Good looking and fantastic to drive!

Land Rover Discovery Sport

If we remember correctly, the Disco Sport was one of the first cars we test drove in 2020. Much like the weather now, the test drive was gloomy and cold, and the roads muddy and water-logged… perfect for testing out this capable SUV.

There was just something about this car. The dimensions seemed ideal, the driving position was high but not too high, and the cabin encompasses you without feeling claustrophobic. It’s also practical, seating up to 7 people (albeit the 2 extra seats really are for children), and also model depending, allowing easy off-roading. With wading capacity up to 600mm and maximum towing capabilities of 2,500kg it really is a Land Rover through and through. 

It’s also way more affordable that the larger Discovery, and arguably just as good looking as the smaller Evoque. Either way, we couldn’t recommend a Discovery Sport lease more.

Read our full Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

Ford Ranger Wildtrak

Without a doubt the most surprising entry into the top 10. The Ford Ranger was a total triumph across the board and won over pretty much everyone in the office when they took it out to drive. But what was so good about it and why should it be top spot for a Pickup Truck Lease?

Well first off, it looks damn good. Big and imposing with wide tall grille, and bold styling. In our Wildtrak review we called it “robust, rugged and rambunctious”, and well, it really is. It looks suitably impressive on the road, and the riding position is great for the driver. 

It also offers impressive towing, loading a wading capabilities, putting it up with greats like the Nissan Navara or Toyota Hilux.

Whilst the engines are smaller than previous generation Rangers’, they’re also cleaner and provide even more power. Choose between 130, 170 or 213 PS (we’d go for the 210 for more competitive performance or the 190 for a mix of economy and power) and either a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic, the latter of which was really impressive and smooth. 

Inside, the Wildtrak also offers all the mod cons a driver could want as well as comfortable and durable interior. Making not just a reliable workhorse, but also a comfortable commuter. It’s also a great choice for Business Lease drivers with its low tax rates.

Read our full Ford Ranger Review.

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

Now, it’s probably no surprise that the 8 Series made it in to our top 10. Simply because it was quite possibly the most prestigious and luxurious vehicle that we had the pleasure of driving all year. It caused a stir when it was delivered to Carparison HQ here in Exeter, with a small crowd gathering around it in a matter of minutes. It’s not often we get to drive cars of this calibre, and it was an absolute pleasure to do so.

This particular BMW 8 Series featured Ivory White interior, a panoramic sunroof, ‘CraftedClarity’ glass applications, soft-close doors, cooling seat functions, the most ridiculously comfortable upholstery, more tech than you can shake a boot at, and even heated armrests… yep. You read that correctly. Heated armrests.

Read our full 8 Series Gran Coupe review.

Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge 

Now, we actually test drove two variants of this car; a diesel XC60 plus (and this is the one we want to rave about) the petrol plug-in hybrid T8 Recharge. Unlike the standard XC60, this T8 features a battery powered electric motor to offer a claimed purely electric range of up to 30 miles. This means that for many of us doing regular short commutes, you are able to do so emission free and then have the reassurance of a petrol engine to fall back on for longer journeys.

We think this is a great option for those not yet ready to make the move into an electric car lease, but want to reduce their daily CO2 emissions.

To boot, this car is seriously quick for its size, benefiting from 303+87 horsepower when from the engine and motor. We like the added presence that an R-Design Pro model has to offer, and if you want to go all out, why not go for the upgraded 22 inch alloys?

Read our full Volvo XC60 Hybrid review.

Renault ZOE

The Renault Zoe is the smallest and most affordable car in the lineup, but it made a BIG impression. We test drove the top of the range GT Line, which had all of the kit going – 9.3 inch touchscreen, reversing camera and blind spot assistant to name a few!

This car ticks all of the boxes for those looking for the best small electric cars on the market right now. It’s got a gorgeous cabin, comfortable seats and cornucopia of features that really make it stand out against competitors such as the Vauxhall Corsa-e or Peugeot e-208.

The ZOE is remarkably adaptable, and features a unique chameleon charger, which always allows you to charge to the maximum power output available. It also gets a real-world range of around 230 miles which is more than ample, and it also retains charge brilliantly. No range anxiety with this one.

Read our full 2020 Renault ZOE review.

BMW 3 Series Touring

There’s not much we need to say about this car that you don’t already know. But, if we were to narrow it down to 3 things that are incredible about the 3 Series Touring it would be:

  1. Flipping fantastic to drive
  2. Ridiculously practical
  3. As good looking as many cars that are double the price

The 3 Series Saloon must also get an honourable mention, as it was claimed champion by our Marketing Manager, Sarah. This was after a cruise down to Cornwall and back, and she experienced first hand the quality drive the BMW 3 Series is renowned for and well… didn’t want to give it back.

Read our full BMW 3 Series Touring review  or have a browse of our BMW 3 Series Saloon review. 

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon 

Now it’s probably not a surprise that something like the E-Class Saloon ended up on our list. But just because it’s expected doesn’t mean we shouldn’t rave about it.

The E-Class Saloon is premium in every manner, and the technologically advanced cabin really is a sight to behold. It just does everything to another level… features that many cars now boast the Mercedes-Benz just does that little bit better. Ambient lighting options aren’t just primary colours, in fact there’s 64 different colour combinations. The widescreen display is just that little bit crisper and more responsive and the drive just a smidgen more refined.

This wasn’t a test drive that overwhelmed us with power or acceleration or size. It was just the test drive that ticked all the boxes. It was the most relaxing morning driving around our local Devon roads in a premium, comforting vehicle, and that certainly makes it worth a place in our top 10.

Read our full E-Class Saloon Plug-In Hybrid Review.

Jaguar I-PACE

The I-PACE battles with the Tesla Model 3 for our favourite EV test drive of the year. We actually had the pleasure of driving two different models, the SE and the HSE. Both were phenomenal.

Where the Tesla is minimalist to the extreme, the Jaguar I-PACE is a lesson in fine British manufacturing. It encompasses great quality materials, futuristic design and exhilarating acceleration to create a truly exciting electric SUV.

Explore the latest Jaguar I-Pace lease deals

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Now this was a drive that caused a bit of a stir in the Carparison office, not because of how many people loved the drive, but because of how many people missed out on a it…

Cue a very sheepish look from our test drive maven, Alice, who about 2 minutes into the test drive blew a tyre and in turn the ability for anyone else to have a go. However, a few weeks later, the powers that be at Tesla forgave us, and sent down another Model 3 Performance for us to take for a spin.

And for anyone who hasn't driven a Tesla, or who has the chance to drive a Tesla in the future. You must. It is the single most wonderous and exhilarating experience that we have had this year. 

The Tesla Model 3, is simplistic. No, it’s more than that. The Model 3 is minimalist to the extreme. There is no faff or unnecessary tat. Comfortable seats, cup holders, steering wheel… that’s your lot. 

Everything, and we really do mean everything is centred and controlled around a huge 15 inch touchscreen with quite possibly the best graphics we’ve seen in any car… ever.

However that isn’t the astonishing part. This comes when you put your foot down. The Tesla Model 3 Performance is a understated Saloon car that treats you to supercar-like performance. In numbers that’s a 0-60 time of (an honestly mind-boggling) 3.2 seconds.

See our full Tesla Model 3 Review.

These wonderful cars made our top 10 for 2020, but there’s still a load of brilliant lease cars that we also had the pleasure of driving this year. Read more Carparison test drive reviews or head on over to the Carparison YouTube channel to watch instead!