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The 10 best cars for summer holidays

Forget flying – it's way more comfortable to set off on your summer holiday in a car, rather than crammed into a metal tube with someone else's kid kicking your seat!

Holidaying in a car means you get the space to stretch out and your own tunes on the stereo. And, thanks to modern, efficient engines, most of the UK and Northwestern Europe can be accessed on just a tank or two of fuel.

We've chosen 10 of our favourite summer holiday cars – five if you're travelling with just one passenger and five for family buyers. You'll find most are available as great-value used cars from Motorpoint.

Summer holiday cars for solo and couple travellers

Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 in grey

If you only need one other seat, why not truly embrace the joy of driving in summer with the Mazda MX-5. Whether you buy the traditional soft-top or the folding hard-top, infinite headroom is just a few seconds away, letting you properly experience the sights, the sounds and even the smells of wherever you're roadtripping to. The handling is sublime, the performance is entertaining but not overpowering, and you'll still find all the mod-cons in the cabin so you can keep the tunes flowing on your journey. You might just need to pack light.

Check out our range of used Mazda MX-5 cars

BMW 4 Series

BMW 4 Series coupe in white

If you want something a little more substantial than the MX-5, without losing the sporty character, take a look at the BMW 4 Series. Available as a coupe, convertible or five-door Gran Coupe, it's pricier than the Mazda, but you get more of everything – more space, more seats, more tech and much more power, especially if you choose the red-eyed BMW M4. Stick with one of the standard models, however, and you get a car that's fun and balanced on a twisty road without losing the ability to settle down on longer trips, eating up the miles to your destination.

View used BMW 4 Series cars for sale

Mini Convertible

Mini Convertible in yellow

If your driving holiday includes nipping through tight urban streets, you might want a fun car with familiar hatchback-like dimensions. Perhaps, something like the Mini Convertible, which is essentially the same as the standard Hatchback but with the added benefit of a proper fabric drop-top roof. You lose a little cargo space over the hard-top model but that car's boot was pretty small already, so simply treat the token back seats as extra storage and you'll have more than enough room for a couple of suitcases.

Find a used Mini Convertible at Motorpoint

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang (Mustang Bullitt) in green

Maybe your ideal summer road trip doesn't end parked outside the Casino de Monte-Carlo but, instead, rumbling down a long, sunlit highway. If that sounds like you, take the Ford Mustang for a spin. This American icon is now available in the UK with proper right-hand drive and a real-deal 5.0-litre V8 delivering a thunderous soundtrack when you put your foot down. It feels like a proper boulevard cruiser, too, with low seats looking out over the long hood and a cue-ball-sized gear shifter that looks like it came from The Fast and the Furious.

Search used Ford Mustang cars

Audi A5

Audi A5 coupe in white

If your idea of a great summer road trip is more about enjoying the journey than the driving experience itself, try out the Audi A5. This chiselled cruiser comes as a coupe, convertible or five-door Sportback and is more about effortless composure than outright driving thrills. It might not entertain on a back road like a BMW, but it'll crush hundreds of miles of autobahn without even noticing. Plus, the quality of the A5's build and the cabin materials, along with its slick infotainment setup makes this an extremely easy coupe to live with all-year round.

Browse used Audi A5 cars for sale or read our Audi A5 review

Summer holiday cars for families

Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60 in red

Families have flocked to Volvo for years thanks to the brand's focus on comfort, safety and practicality. Models like the XC60 show why the brand still enjoys that reputation today. It has a plush, spacious cabin, a serene driving experience and a suite of passive and active driver aids to keep an extra eye on the world around you. The back seats are especially generous, outclassing the competing BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC, and giving you loads of space to wrestle a bulky child seat into the easily accessible Isofix points.

Find a used Volvo XC60 at Motorpoint or read our Volvo XC60 review

Dacia Jogger

Dacia Jogger in red

Its name might conjure visions of cardio but, don't worry, the Dacia Jogger will do all the legwork for you. The Jogger's true genius is cramming SUV-like space and seven seats into a frame that's only a touch longer than a standard hatchback. What that means for your summer holiday is that you can bring the family and their friends, and all their luggage, without the price tag or fuel consumption of an equivalent SUV. Hard plastics and modest engines remind you this is an affordable car, but you'll still find the key equipment present in the cabin.

Shop used Dacia Jogger cars

Volkswagen Touran

Volkswagen Touran in blue

If you need as much space as possible, the Volkswagen Touran might be the answer. It has seven seats but, unlike many similar vehicles, there's actually enough space in each position to seat a tall adult in comfort. Not only that, but there's still room left over for all your passengers' luggage thanks to the tall and wide boot. With so many people on board, all you're really going to want from a car like this is that it's easy to use and the Touran earns top scores in that regard – everything from the dashboard to the driving experience is effortless.

Take a look at used Volkswagen Touran cars


MG HS in red

Big SUVs often present a stumbling block when you go to sign on the dotted line – they're usually quite expensive. That's why the MG HS is so compelling. This large, five-seat SUV has enough rear space to rival the Volvo XC60 above while costing less than half the price. Like the pricier Swede, the MG also has a large, square boot that's perfect for suitcases or pushchairs. Entry-level petrol models are easy to drive, or you can hunt down a plug-in-hybrid version, which'll cut your emissions while you're touring around your destination.

Check out used MG HS cars for sale or read our MG HS review

Mercedes GLC Coupe

Mercedes GLC Coupe in black

You'll notice that the holiday cars we've chosen for families don't have as much of a focus on excitement as the cars for just one or two people. The Mercedes GLC Coupe, however, might be able to bridge the gap. Its long, elegantly curved body hides a fairly spacious cabin and a boot that's large enough for a quartet of travellers. Under the skin, however, you'll find powerful Mercedes engines shared with the C-Class, including fire-breathing six and eight-cylinder AMG models that'll race from 0-62mph as fast as some serious sports cars.

View a selection of used Mercedes GLC Coupe cars

Your perfect summer car for less

Find massive savings on thousands of nearly new and used cars at Motorpoint. If you're planning to catch the rays on your summer holiday, check out our essential guide to driving in hot weather.