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What is the smoothest riding car made?

Top 10 most comfortable cars for UK roads

Potholes and speed humps make British roads some of the roughest in northern Europe. These cars are great at smoothing out the tarmac and will offer you the best ride quality without spending a fortune

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10 most comfortable cars for UK roads

While we’re lucky to have no shortage of fantastic driving routes on the British Isles, our roads aren’t exactly famed for being billiard table smooth.

Potholes, cracks and — especially if you’re an urbanite — speed humps can increase wear and tear on your car’s suspension, but there are a few models out there specifically designed to deal with these challenges.

Below, we run through some of our favourite comfortable cars to help you iron out the imperfections provided by our British roads. They’re in no particular order – because they’re all great.

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red Citroen C3 driving on the road

Citroen C3

Citroen was a pioneer of comfortable-riding cars through much of the 20th century, with innovative hydropneumatic suspension that gave its models a cloud-like ride.

The little C3 could only dream of using such a complex system, but that doesn’t stop it from riding nicely on British roads.

It’s so good at this because Citroen has managed to give it a relaxing demeanour while using more conventional suspension – the sort of set-up more carmakers wished they had.

grey Skoda Kodiaq driving on the road

Skoda Kodiaq

Comfortable, spacious and well-priced, the Skoda Kodiaq is a well-equipped and safe choice for families.

It’s also a smart-looking crossover that owners usually praise for its quietness and exceptionally smooth ride.

To get the best out of its ride, we’d recommend looking for one that’s fitted with the optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), where you gain a Comfort mode for the suspension that lets it soften off. And relaxxxx.

blue Skoda Superb estate driving on the road

Skoda Superb

This big Czech saloon (and the estate version) has the ambience of a luxury car but with Skoda pricing.

It offers lots of space and refinement for its occupants. The long wheelbase and well-judged suspension system create an admirably smooth ride that’s often likened to much more expensive cars.

black Jaguar XF driving on the road

Indeed, this is Skoda’s poshest model, although DCC isn’t a standard option. If you want the smoothest ride possible, make sure you look for a car that has it fitted.

Jaguar XF

Jaguar’s handsome sports saloon proves that soft, forgiving suspension can also offer fine handling.

The Jag does a good job of relaxing over speed humps and potholes, yet it also manages to tense and remain well-controlled through the bends.

Jaguar’s I-Pace and F-Pace SUV models are similarly capable, as is much of the maker’s line-up.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised – it is a brand based in Britain, after all.

red Toyota C-HR driving on the road

Toyota C-HR

This futuristic-looking crossover from Toyota turns the heads of passers-by while keeping its occupants safe and comfortable.

The suspension and seats are forgiving on your backside, with owners often praising their car’s driver’s seat adjustability, ensuring maximum comfort, no matter your size or body shape.

And thanks to the genius’s behind this car, its engine is really quiet, too.

white Peugeot 3008 driving on the road

Peugeot 3008

This mid-range family crossover from France’s Peugeot brand is well-priced yet features an interior that feels rather upmarket.

You’ll find quality materials and a good level of gadgets and luxuries throughout the cabin.

Owners report that it’s very quiet on the road and has a lovely smooth ride on most surfaces, thanks partly to its raised ride height and squidgy tyres.

white Range Rover mk5 driving on the road

Range Rover

Okay, so now we’re into the upper realms of comfy-riding cars.

The Range Rover has long represented luxury in the SUV segment, and the latest models are considered to be as smooth-riding as a hot knife through butter – which, if you haven’t tried, is heavenly smooth.

Air suspension does wonders in ironing out the road surface below, while also enabling you to raise or lower the car as you see fit.

If you live down a rough country lane and own one of these, well, the road won’t be bumpy anymore.

  • Watch our full 2022 Range Rover review

black Mercedes-Benz S-Class driving on the road

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The Mercedes S-Class is basically a luxury limousine produced in high numbers.

Mercedes doesn’t beat about the bush when describing its best-equipped versions of the S-Class, boldly calling the suspension technology aboard it Magic Body Control.

And it’s for good reason, as the comfort-boosting tech feels like, well, magic – or at the very least like engineering witchcraft.

Sitting in the back of the S-Class is what we’d imagine lying on a fluffy cloud to feel like – pure heaven.

red Volvo S90 driving on the road

Volvo S90

Of course, a Volvo was going to feature on this list.

The Swedish carmaker has long been prioritising comfort and safety in its cars, so the top-rank saloon gets the brand’s best comfy stuff for its suspension setup.

Like the S-Class above, Volvo’s range-topping saloon comes with the brand’s poshest interior, so the suppleness is carried over into the cushions underneath you.

There are also some seriously old-school suspension techniques used in the same way one might light a candle during a romantic dinner.

These come in the form of leaf springs at the rear, which are usually left to pickup trucks these days but works wonders on the S90.

black BMW 5 Series touring driving on the road

BMW 5 Series

A BMW might not have featured on this list because so many of the brand’s models come equipped with handling-focused M Sport suspension.

But not everybody ticks the sporty options box for their car’s suspension, meaning there are BMWs out there that ride softly.

The 5 Series (and 5 Series Touring) is a great example of just that because it glides over bumps and cracks confidently — and looks good doing so too.

Read more about choosing a car:

  • Best small SUVs and crossovers to buy online
  • Best electric cars to buy online
  • Best cars for small driveways

THE Most Comfortable Small Car for Long-Distance Driving

THE Most Comfortable Small Car for Long-Distance Driving


After calculating how many miles I drive a year (which is over 25,000+ miles), I started to realize that maybe a Fiat 500 is not the most comfortable small car for long-distance driving. In my next car purchase, I wanted to check off all those boxes: small, most comfortable, and the best suited for long-distance driving.

I started doing a bit of research to see what my next compact car purchase should be, and I found that the most important factors in finding the most comfortable small car for long-distance driving are:

  • Seating – Plushier seats offer the best comfort
  • Interior Space – The more legroom and headroom you have, the more comfortable you’ll be
  • Ride Quality – Influenced by the suspension and tire setup of the vehicle
  • Noise Insulation – Quieter interiors can offer a better driving experience
  • Features to Improve Your Driving Experience – Includes heated/cooled seats, driving assistance, and other features

In my search, I was able to identify and rank the best cars in each of the categories listed above using Edmund’s most popular spec for each vehicle, which is categorized by the average monthly visits on the pages for each vehicle (and likely the most common spec found on dealer’s lots).

From a combination of these factors, I chose the best overall winner, and that was the 2022 Hyundai Elantra. If you’re interested in how I came to this conclusion, read through the end.

In this article (Skip to…)

  • Best Seating
  • Best Interior Space
  • Best Ride Quality
  • Best Noise Insulation
  • Best Features To Improve Your Driving Experience
  • Overall Winners

Best Seating

In the compact small car segment, the car with the most comfortable seating according to the type of seat used, material and adjustability is the Audi A3.

I came up with this figure by charting all the cars in the compact small car segment on three factors: Type of seat used, material of the seat, and adjustability.

  • The most comfortable type of seat found in car’s today is probably a captain-style seat, which is found in most larger vehicles.
  • Unfortunately, captain-style seating is not found in this segment, so the next most comfortable available seating is a bucket seat, which most cars in this segment offer—So there is no clear winner in this category.
  • Sport-style seating is not recommended for comfortability since it offers less adjustability due to their design.

Material of Seat

  • Although cloth, leather and leatherette seats can all offer the same comfort, I gave the edge to any car in this segment that offers leather.
  • Nowadays, leather is most often associated with luxury and a good leather can contribute to a better ride.
  • In this segment, there were only two vehicles that offered this, which was the 2022 Audi A3 and the 2022 Nissan Leaf.
  • Having a seat with lots of adjustability is important when driving long distances. You want to make sure you’re in a comfortable position for longer periods of time.
  • Most cars in this segment offer at minimum a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, however, there were some that offered up to 8-way adjustability with lumbar support included.

Best Interior Space

In the compact small car segment, the car with the most interior space according to the legroom and headroom is the Hyundai Elantra (39.6-inch average).

I took some time to compile all the relevant data and charted it on the table below so you can browse through the stats.

If you’ll be carrying front and rear passengers, then the 2022 Hyundai Elantra is your best bet, however, if you usually drive solo and maximum space is your priority, then you’ll want to go for the 2022 Nissan Versa.

The 2022 Nissan Versa offers the best driver’s legroom and headroom at an average of 42-inches.

Also, although the 2022 Audi A3 won in the seating category, it offered the worst overall legroom and headroom at a total average of 36.8-inches.

Best Ride Quality

In the compact small car segment, the car with the best ride quality according to their tire size is a tie between eight different vehicles:

  • 2022 Nissan Versa
  • 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage
  • 2022 Hyundai Elantra
  • 2022 Toyota Prius
  • 2022 Hyundai Accent
  • 2022 Toyota Corolla
  • 2022 MINI Cooper

I came to this conclusion by identifying the key items that contribute to ride quality: wheel size, tire size, type of tire compound and suspension setup.

Unfortunately, I am not able to test drive each vehicle to check off all the ride quality contributing factors, so I had to divert to information that was easily accessible—the tire size.

I learned that the larger the tire sidewall is, the more cushion it has in terms of transmitting impacts from the road.

The eight vehicles listed above have tire sidewalls of 65. The larger the number of the sidewall, the more potential cushion it has.

Of course, there are other things that contribute to ride quality, but this should be a good indicator of how the car was engineered—and that’s with comfort in mind.

As an example, a poor choice from this list would be the 2022 Hyundai Veloster. It has one of the smallest tire sidewalls at 35, which is better geared for performance and road feel.

Best Noise Insulation

Unfortunately, without individually testing the cabin noise of each vehicle while driving, it’s impossible to give an exact winner in this category.

The compact car segment is usually one of the cheapest in each car brands lineup, which likely means they are cutting corners on more premium aspects, such as noise insulation.

Take for example Mercedes-Benz with the S-Class and A-Class. The S-Class offers active noise insulation as one of its premium features, whereas this is absent from the A-Class.

Dual-plane windows are also a premium noise insulation feature found in the S-Class, however, that is not something offered in the A-Class (or any car in this segment).

It’s safe to say that no matter the car you get in the compact segment, you’ll likely experience a similar level of noise while driving, so it’s best to make a choice from the other factors listed in this article.

There are, however, a few options on this list that come as hybrids, which are known for being much quieter than their combustion-engine counterparts.

Although not a definitive winner, since a lot of the long-distance driving is done when the combustion engine is on in a hybrid, the 2022 Toyota Prius should not be overlooked in this category.

Best Features to Improve Your Driving Experience

Since you’re driving long distances, you want to make sure you have some form of driver’s assistances and unique temperature controls.

I narrowed these important features to the following: driver assistance packages, dual-zone climate, and heated/cooled options.

Based off those factors, the cars with the best features to improve your long-distance driving experience (as a driver) are the 2022 Toyota Prius and the 2022 Hyundai Elantra and the 2022 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

To figure out these details, I once again used Edmund’s to figure out the available features.

Nowadays, most cars have built in or optional driver’s assistance packages that offer things such as lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring or active cruise control.

Most of these compact vehicles offer a combination of driver’s assistances.

Dual-climate zones are also very important if you’re driving long distances with other passengers, that way you can control what temperature you want to have.

Edmund’s sometimes did not contain any dual-climate zone information, so I marked them down as a “no”—but do your due diligence in case this information was omitted from their data at the time of me pulling.

Features such as heated seats and steering wheels plus cooled seats are a plus, especially if driving through cold or hot weather conditions.

They allow you to keep your hands and butt warm (or cooled) in case of extreme temperatures.

Although I listed those three vehicles as the winners, if you’re driving with passengers, you should look for the 2022 Nissan Sentra or the 2022 Mazda 3 due to their dual-climate zone offerings (along with heated options).

Overall Winners

2022 Hyundai Elantra

The most comfortable small car for long-distance driving is the 2022 Hyundai Elantra.

It has the most driver-oriented legroom and headroom (and the best total overall), while also incorporating the thickest sidewall tire for ride quality, and has both heated and cooled interior features.

2022 Toyota Prius

The runner-up most comfortable small car for long-distance driving is the 2022 Toyota Prius.

While it’s not the outright best in any category, it is a jack of all trades. It is commendable in the interior space area while offering much of the same features as the 2022 Hyundai Elantra.

The 2022 Toyota Prius is the runner up because it lacks in the average interior space department, but it also is a hybrid, which gives it an edge in noise insulation depending on your speed.

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What is the smoothest riding car made?

Is the Amfleet II.

This car, and it’s smaller windowed predecessor, has taken a recent beating about the alleged poor ride quality. I really don’t know what the writers of these opininions were thinking about.

Amfleet II is the smoothest Amtrak car in the fleet. This railcar can absorb Himilayan/Mt. Everest sized bumps. A surgeon can do eye and heart operations in this car.

I hope these great vehicles of ultimate travel will be around ’til the day I die.

Date: 06/10/03 10:04
Re: Smoothest riding Amtrak car
Author: Ditchlite

You’re joking right? Dude, an SD70 MAC is a smoother ride.

Date: 06/10/03 10:24
Re: Smoothest riding Amtrak car
Author: chs7-321

> 933-
> You’re joking right? Dude, an SD70 MAC is a smoother
> ride.

Dude. I agree with 933. Amfleets are smooth riders. at least the ones on the NEC.

P.S. Would that SD70 be actually moving??

Date: 06/10/03 10:41
Re: Smoothest riding Amtrak car
Author: Ditchlite

Yes, I was being sarcastic. By the way, you say they’re smooth riding cars IN THE Northeast. Go figure. You have a passenger railroad there. Try riding one on a shared right of way with 6k ton freights. Rail seems a bit rougher. And the SD70Mac thing? Yeah I too was being sarcastic.

Date: 06/10/03 10:48
Re: Smoothest riding Amtrak car
Author: chs7-321

> Yes, I was being sarcastic. By the way, you say they’re
> smooth riding cars IN THE Northeast. Go figure. You have a
> passenger railroad there. Try riding one on a shared right of
> way with 6k ton freights. Rail seems a bit rougher. And the
> SD70Mac thing? Yeah I too was being sarcastic.

Date: 06/10/03 10:54
Re: Smoothest riding Amtrak car
Author: davew833

Amfleet II? You’ve just quoted the punch line to some Jay Leno joke, right? I always enjoy the Amtrak humor on this site!

Date: 06/10/03 10:58
y’all cracking me up!!
Author: NE933

(now don’t say I was cracked already) 😉

Listen, my fellow kin. I have memories as my backup. Riding to Florida, when getting up in the middle of the night as we barrelled along the Carolinas at 100+ behind the 2 F40’s, that train horn and beam of light up front that was comforting as mother holding a child, nothing could do ham to me, my dreams, or whatever, inside an Amfleet II. And the rest of Amtrak for that matter.

Date: 06/10/03 11:58
Re: Smoothest riding Amtrak car
Author: hsr_fan

No way! When I walked from my Viewliner sleeper to the Amfleet II lounge, there was a noticeable difference. Viewliners ride very smoothly. Amfleets «jiggle around» quite a bit.

Date: 06/10/03 12:23
Re: y’all cracking me up!!
Author: dchui

> when getting up in the middle of the night as we
> barrelled along the Carolinas at 100+ behind the 2 F40’s

Maybe it felt like 100+, but is there actually any track that fast on any of the Florida trains outside the NEC??

I remember riding the Adirondack with the then-recently refurbished Heritage cars in the mid 1990s, and the cars were sometimes vibrating like they’d fall apart going no more than 40 mph on stretches north of Albany. Once we got south of Albany, the ride was much smoother at over twice the speed.

Date: 06/10/03 13:03
Re: y’all cracking me up!!
Author: NE933

We passed shopping malls, little towns, and road vehicles whose images whizzed by fast enough that I’m sure it was either the century mark or either a few points behind, but not by far. This was during the early to mid 80’s.

In a NARP news letter at least 12 years ago, mention was made that the some portions of the CSX lines had been upgraded for 90mph passenger operation.

Date: 06/10/03 13:47
Re: y’all cracking me up!!
Author: john1082

We have a full dome car out here on the west coast that sometimes appears on the San Diegans (oops, Surfliners). Rides like a Cadillac.

Date: 06/10/03 14:08
Re: Smoothest riding Amtrak car
Author: Ditchlite

You guys don’t think it absolutely has something to do with the rails? Of course you do.

When you ride the Canadian along CN’s «concrete slabway» the ride is like skiing on glass..and that’s in 60 yr old Budd streamliners..

Date: 06/10/03 14:29
Re: y’all cracking me up!!
Author: Macster

Talgo and the Amtrak California cars.. both I can fall asleep like a baby in.

Date: 06/10/03 16:27
Re: y’all cracking me up!!
Author: Amfleet

It all depends on track conditions, truck conditions, position of the car in the consist, and the speed of the train.

Date: 06/10/03 16:46
Re: y’all cracking me up!!
Author: joemvcnj

I have experienced Talgo leaving PDX for the north, and they rock like boats in the terminal trackage there on jointed rail and frogs. Take them on the Harrisburg line at 70 MPH (jointed rail), and everyone would be throwing up.

Date: 06/10/03 17:08
Re: y’all cracking me up!!
Author: updrumcorps

I was once on a California Zephyr that got re-routed through Iowa and put on some tracks that I don’t think ANYONE had used in a long time(judging from all the stares we got from the people in the towns along the way) Even though we were only going about 10mph, the cars were swaying like something out of «The Poseidon Adventure». Some of the other passengers were pretty upset, but I thought it was a hoot.

Date: 06/10/03 18:27
Re: Smoothest riding Amtrak car
Author: NYCSTL8

The roughest ride I have ever had on rails occurred on the e.b. «Capitol Limited,» coming out of Chicago on the NS ex-NYC track in Sept., 2001. In the first 40-or-so miles there were several times I was sure we were going to leave the rails. One really violent lurch deposited the dining car steward smack in the middle of our table. Although the track condition contributed, it is my HO that the S-liners are too tall and thus subject to excessive swaying and rocking, even on good track. Give me the single-level LSL any day. Jim in Wapak, OH.

Date: 06/10/03 18:31
Re: Smoothest riding: The Metroliner
Author: RDG484

Refurbished Amfleet I, Amfleet II, and Viewliners all get high marks based on my personal experiences. The Acela Express is very smooth when you’re sitting, but not when you’re standing. But the smoothest ride I’ve ever had on an Amtrak train was when I rode a set of Metroliner MU’s on the Northeast Corridor on the concrete ties. Those cars were like Sherman Tanks-solid, heavy, and rode like glass wherever there were concrete ties.

I beleive the stories about 100 MPH running in the Carolinas because when ACL and SAL ran competitive services, 100 MPH was frequently attained on both RR’s, and this is with many, many grade crossings!!

Date: 06/10/03 20:33
Re: y’all cracking me up!!
Author: bnsfbob

> It all depends on track conditions, truck conditions,
> position of the car in the consist, and the speed of the
> train.

Yes, there are lots of variables, but after lots of riding, some patterns emerge. Amfleet II ride quality is like night and day compared to the horribly-riding Amfleet I. Another thing I like about Amfleet II is no annoying overhead lights at night.

I don’t care how Viewliners ride. The room charges are too expensive. Another reason to be thankful for the smooth-riding Amfleet II for overnite travel.

There were even ride quality differences between heritage coach classes. I thought that the ex-SP Sunset Limited coaches were the quietest and smoothest. Bob

Date: 06/10/03 20:53
Author: bnsfbob

> In a NARP news letter at least 12 years ago, mention was made
> that the some portions of the CSX lines had been upgraded for
> 90mph passenger operation.

NARP and news are two widely divergent concepts, but I digress.

There are only a few routes that allow over 79mph outside of Amtrak owned-routes in the Northeast and Michigan. South of DC, on the Florida trains, 79mph is the official tops although I’ve heard a few detectors go off at speeds up to 84 mph on the Meteor in GA and the Carolinas.

The ACL was fast, but in the POSTWAR era, there were only three U.S. railroads that exceeded 90mph AUTHORIZED TIMETABLE maximum speed. They were the Illinois Central, the Burlington and a little-known railroad out west called the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. Bob

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