We Rank the Best British Cars

What Are the Best Cars From the U.K.?

Although no longer known as an automotive hub, Britain has bequeathed several brands, noteworthy for their sporty performance and upper-crust heritage.

Think blue-blooded Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, sporty Aston Martins, racy McLarens, and elegant Jaguars and Land Rovers. The fun, spunky MINI brand, now owned by Munich, Germany-based BMW Group, was also born in Britain.  

Read ahead to get a closer look at the British cars and SUVs that perform best in our rankings.

Jaguar F-Pace

The No. 1 luxury compact SUV in our rankings, the all-new Jaguar F-Pace is the brand’s first-ever SUV.

The F-Pace comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that makes 180 horsepower, along with two optional supercharged V6s. Its eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and can handle a variety of terrain. It’s fast, too – the standard engine takes 8.2 seconds to go from 0 to 60, while the 340-horsepower supercharged version and 380-horsepower F-Pace S take 5.4 seconds and 5.1 seconds, respectively. However, the F-Pace’s fuel economy ranks near the bottom of its class, at 20 mpg overall.

Starting at $40,990, the F-Pace is priced to compete as a midrange offering in the luxury compact SUV segment, alongside more expensive models from MercedesPorsche, and BMW

Land Rover Range Rover

The Land Rover Range Rover, the No. 2 luxury large SUV in our rankings, is also the second-highest rated vehicle in our off-road SUV rankings.

Land Rover’s flagship vehicle comes standard with a supercharged V6 but truly shines when equipped with the turbodiesel V6 or supercharged V8. Fuel economy is above average, at 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for the base model. The turbodiesel is even more efficient, getting 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

The Land Rover Range Rover is known for its lavish interior, ride comfort, and suite of standard features that includes satellite radio and front and rear parking sensors. 

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

Rated second in our rankings of luxury subcompact SUVs, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoquecombines off-road performance with the composed handling you’d expect on smooth pavement.

Nimble and luxurious, the base Evoque has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. However, critics note that space is limited – the rear seats can feel cramped and cargo space is in short supply.

Starting at $41,475, the smallest of the Range Rover lineup comes in five trims: SE, SE Premium, HSE, HSE Dynamic, and Autobiography. The base model gets a decent 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Jaguar F-Type

The sporty Jaguar F-Type is No. 5 in our luxury sports car rankings.

Powerful and fun to drive, the two-seater F-Type features nimble handling and a choice of a smooth-shifting six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. The F-Type’s base model has a supercharged V6, while the midrange F-Type S has a more-powerful supercharged V6. The F-Type R comes with a supercharged V8. All-wheel drive is available. Bluetooth, navigation, and satellite radio are standard.

Like the Jaguar F-Pace, the F-Type is a top performer but gets disappointing fuel economy, at 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

Jaguar XJ

The Jaguar XJ full-size sedan rates sixth out of the six super luxury cars we evaluated in our rankings. It competes against the Mercedes-Benz S-ClassPorsche Panamera, and BMW 7-Series.

The Jaguar XJ handles more nimbly than competitors, but critics note that its cabin is a beat behind rivals, with inferior technology and cramped seats. However, Jaguar has introduced a new infotainment system and suite of driver assistance features for 2016. The sedan comes with a choice of a supercharged 340-horsepower, a 3.0-liter V6, or a 470- or 550-horsepower 5.0-liter supercharged V8.

The base model gets average fuel economy, at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Mini Cooper

The 2016 Mini Cooper boasts agile handling and high-quality cabin materials. It is our sixth-highest rated subcompact car.

Not only is the classic minicar fun to drive, it’s now safer than ever – the 2016 model introduces an option for automatic pre-collision braking. However, critics note that the two-door model’s rear seats and cargo area are small and that the ride can feel stiff.

The base trim comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that makes 134 horsepower. The mid-tier Cooper S is powered by a 189-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line John Cooper Works model gets a respectable 228-horsepower with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Mini Cooper Countryman

Larger than the Mini Cooper, the Mini Cooper Countryman is the No. 5 subcompact SUV in our rankings. 

The four-door, five-passenger Mini Cooper Countryman performs well, has a relatively upscale cabin, and gets an impressive 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.  

Critics also say that the subcompact is short on cargo space and that its infotainment system can be difficult to control due to its awkward placement on the center console. All-wheel drive is optional on the mid-range Cooper S and standard on the John Cooper Works trim. 

Its starting price of $22,750 is among the highest in its class. A fully loaded Mini Cooper Countryman can top off over $40,000.