German cars are some of the most desired on the market - and have been for a long time. They're known for class-leading quality, refinement, reliability and badge appeal - all deservedly so. There's a lot to choose from if you're in the market, so we've narrowed down to our three favourite German cars.


1. BMW 5 Series

2. BMW 4 Series

3. Audi A4


1. BMW 5 Series If you're looking for a luxurious five-door saloon car, the 5 Series may just be the best out there today.


It packs comfort, style, driving appeal and luxury all into one practical package. There's a broad spectrum of engine choices too - from efficient diesels right to the high-output M5 variants. There's something for everyone. Awards

Performance If you're looking for a performance monster in your BMW 5 Series, look no further than the M5. The 2018 model launched recently, boasting a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 developing 591bhp and 750Nm of torque, launching it from 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and on to an electronically limited 155mph top speed.

Emissions If exhaust emissions are a large factor in your purchase decision, we'd recommend the 520d. It offers the lowest CO2 output across the 5 Series range at 108g/km, meaning a reasonable first year VED rate of GBP 145.

Driving Despite the size, the 5 Series manages to bring an engaging driving experience. It sticks to the BMW ethos of "The Ultimate Driving Machine", with suspension firm enough to corner well but soft enough to provide comfort all-round while a range of strong engines means there's grunt to back up the handling.


Comfort The BMW 5 Series is one of the most comfortable machines you can get without paying Rolls-Royce levels of money. Inside, vast use of premium-feel materials creates a quality-feel interior while low levels of road and wind noise make it a relaxing drive.

Space No matter the 5 Series saloon model, there's 520 litres of luggage space on offer along with room for five occupants. The result is a car that can cope with almost any task you could throw at it from a family perspective.

Equipment On entry-level 520d SE models, there's a decent amount of equipment as standard - with highlights including cruise control, satellite navigation, parking sensors, heated seats, a leather steering wheel and a digital instrument cluster. Additional equipment is available at a premium.

Price The 5 Series range starts at GBP 36,715 - which may seem pricey, but it's worth keeping in mind that they hold value quite well, especially in comparison to some German cars. Running costs should also be quite manageable on lower-end diesel models.


Quality The BMW 5 Series can't be accused of lacking quality. Fit and finish is superb, while interior materials are among the best in class. It's a luxurious package.

Safety The BMW 5 Series scored five stars when tested by safety board Euro NCAP. It scored 91 per cent in adult occupant protection, 85 per cent for child occupants, 81 per cent for pedestrian safety and 59 per cent for its assistance technologies.

We recommend: BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Auto

2. BMW 4 Series Back in 2013, BMW made the decision to spin the two-door version of the 3 Series into its own model - thus the 4 Series was born.


It still shares the majority of its parts with the 3 Series, but packages all that into a stylish coupe body. The ranges are similar too, with a choice of efficient diesel engines starting the line-up with a performance powerhouse M4 CS topping it all off. Awards JD Power Tech Experience Index

Performance While the BMW 4 Series is going to perform pretty well no matter your powertrain choice, speed demons should look straight to the range-topping M4 CS. It takes the already ludicrous M4 and turns it up to 11, packing more power and more aggressive looks. Its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine produces 454bhp and 600Nm of torque, making the CS capable of 0-60mph in a mere 3.7 seconds with an electronically limited 155mph top speed also possible.


Emissions The lowest emitting 4 Series comes in the form of the 420d with a manual gearbox. It produces 125g/km of CO2, resulting in a first year VED of GBP 205. Driving The 4 Series is one of the best driver's cars on the market, thanks to a well-refined chassis and excellent handling attributes. It can even make driving a diesel quite an engaging experience - a rare thing to do - while the M4 variants are widely regarded to be up there with the top performance cars today.

Comfort No matter your choice of 4 Series, it's going to be a comfortable experience - perhaps not something sports coupes are traditionally known for. Premium-feel materials are present throughout, while ride quality is sublime and low wind and road noise creates a calming atmosphere.

Space For a coupe, the BMW 4 Series is a pretty practical machine. It offers 445 litres of boot space and is capable of seating four. Those rear seats are surprisingly spacious too - not something to be usually expected on two-door cars.

Equipment Heated leather seats, Xenon headlights and parking sensors come as standard on all 4 Series models, while there's also a wide range of optional extras like a reversing camera, a self-parking system and a heads-up display which projects driving information onto the windscreen.

Price The BMW 4 Series range starts at a price of GBP 34,990. That may seem quite a lot, but you pay for a quality package with a strong amount of equipment as standard. Opt for a lower-end diesel model and you can also expect reasonable running costs.


Quality As with any BMW product, quality is top-notch thanks to the use of high-end materials throughout while overall fit-and-finish is superb. Expect good reliability too, along with a durable interior.

Safety Euro NCAP has not tested the 4 Series, but the mechanically-similar 3 Series scored well when scrutinised. It achieved a five-star rating, receiving a 95 per cent rating for its adult occupant protection, 84 per cent for child occupants, 78 per cent in pedestrian safety and 86 per cent for its assistance technology.

We recommend: BMW 430d M Sport Auto 430d M Sport Auto

3. Audi A4 The Audi A4 is one of the most popular offerings from the four-ringed brand, and deservedly so. It wraps strong, efficient engines and good quality in a stylish package - offering value for the money too.


There's something for everyone - from fuel-saving-focused diesels to a high-performance RS model. Awards WhatCar? Car of the Year Awards 2018: Best Executive Car

Performance The Audi A4 range houses one of the most potent cars on the market - the RS4 Avant. This high-strung estate is powered by a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine, developing 444bhp and 600Nm of torque. That makes the RS4 Avant capable of 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds before hitting an electronically limited 155mph top speed.

Emissions The Audi A4's most efficient engine comes as a 2.0-litre diesel unit. At 126g/km of CO2, it commands a first year VED of GBP 205.

Driving The Audi A4 may not be the best driving experience money can buy, it's certainly far from the worst. Across the range, handling is on-par with most rivals and a punchy range of engines means you're unlikely to feel underpowered.


Comfort The Audi A4 offers a good level of comfort, thanks to a pleasant ride, the use of high-quality materials and a low amount of wind and road noise fed into the cabin.

Space The Audi A4 is a fairly practical machine - offering 480 litres in saloon guise, matching that of its main rivals. It'll also seat four in comfort at the same time.

Equipment As standard, the Audi A4 features 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry and Audi's MMI infotainment system. More equipment is available at extra cost.

Price With a GBP 34,315 starting price, the A4 may appear pricey, but you are paying for a luxurious package with good equipment and great badge appeal. It's also likely to hold a respectable amount of its original value - meaning you'll be less out of pocket compared to some rivals when time comes to sell.


Quality You should expect quality when buying an Audi product, and that's what you get here. The A4 is awash with premium-feel materials, while overall build quality is as you'd hope for. It's going to be reliable as well.

Safety Euro NCAP awarded the A4 a five star rating. It scored 90 per cent in adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupants, 75 per cent in pedestrian protection and 75 per cent for its safety assistance technology, We recommend: Audi A4 S-Line 2.0 TDI 190PS

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