The 10 best British-made cars: homegrown heroes

The British car industry boasts some of the best vehicles in the world. From grand-tourers to compact city cars, you may be surprised by the variety of vehicles built on our shores. You might also be surprised to find that many manufacturers that build cars here don’t originate from here, hence why Japanese marques Honda and Nissan make this list.

Here’s our list of the 10 best cars currently made in Britain, all of which can be specced to you perfect configuration using our car configurator tool.

Mini Hatchback

The Mini Hatchback is the latest in a long line of cars built in Oxford since the revival of the brand in 2001. It’s been praised for its sharp handling and powerful, efficient engines that help make it a worthy successor to the superb original Mini.

Ranging from a frugal 1.2-litre petrol to a sporty 2.0-litre Cooper S model, the lineup should offer something for everyone. The vast range of personalisation options ensure your Mini will look like no other (albeit at a price).

If this sounds like the perfect car for you, put a Mini Hatchback in our car configurator and let carwow find you a great deal.

Lotus Elise

The Lotus Elise is another quintessentially British car that, thanks to a paired-back design and sublime handling, has proved a success for the Norfolk-based car maker.

The Elise has become the metric by which many more expensive sports cars are judged – it’s hard to argue with the dynamic abilities of this pocket-sized roadster.

A surprisingly refined ride and cheap running costs help make this unapologetically sporty car slightly more practical, but a very small boot and sparse interior makes it a struggle to use everyday.

If you like the sound of a great driver’s car at a good price, then put the Lotus Elise into our car configurator.

Nissan Qashqai

With the Nissan Qashqai, we jump from one extreme to the other. This spacious and well-built SUV has become one of the most popular family cars in the country and, despite coming with a Japanese badge, is built at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland.

Although not the most exciting car to drive in its class, the Qashqai compensates with a very comfortable ride and five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

The Qashqai is available with a selection of efficient engines including the ‘exceptionally refined’ 1.2-litre petrol and the free to tax 1.5-litre diesel.

If you’re after a great price for a new car, our Nissan Qashqai car configurator could find you a fantastic deal.

Range Rover Evoque

If you’re after a more luxurious SUV, then the Range Rover Evoque could be the perfect car for you. Built at the Land Rover plant in the West Midlands, the Evoque is certainly the most road-focussed of the current range. Options including two-wheel drive and an efficient 2.0-litre diesel that can return 63mpg.

The interior is well equipped and shares some features and high-quality materials with much larger Range Rovers. The Evoque can also be specified with a large panoramic glass roof that completes the premium interior atmosphere, but does come at the expense of rear passenger headroom.

If it’s the British-made car you’ve been after, put one into our Range Rover Evoque car configurator and carwow will find you a great deal.

Jaguar XE

The Jaguar XE is the firm’s first small executive car and is aimed squarely at the segment dominating BMW 3-Series. Jaguar has gone to great lengths to ensure this smart and well-equipped saloon hasn’t lost any of the qualities that’ve made the brand so popular.

A combination of F-Type derived suspension and a choice of engines including a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 make the XE reportedly excellent to drive. Combine this with a well-built interior in which you’ll enjoy a very comfortable ride and the Jaguar XE becomes more than a match for the competition.

If this sounds like the car you’ve been looking for, why not put a Jaguar XE into our car configurator and check out the great carwow savings?

Toyota Auris

If a smaller, cheaper and more family friendly hatchback is what you’re after, you could do worse than the Toyota Auris. Improvements over the older model means this latest version is more efficient, better equipped and offers greater value for money than many of its rivals.

You can expect good reliability from this Derbyshire-built car which is backed by an impressive five-year warranty. The option of a hybrid model may well sway potential buyers, as could the five-star safety rating.

If it sounds like your kind of car, put one into our Toyota Auris car configurator and have a look at the great savings carwow can offer you.

Bentley Continental GT

Few cars can top the ability of the Bentley Continental GT to consume miles with ease over long distance trips. An exquisitely trimmed interior and effortlessly powerful range of V8 and W12 engines make it a perfect cross-continent cruiser (if you can afford the fuel bill that is).

Only minor styling changes have been made over the Continental GT’s two generations since its introduction in 2003 but steady improvements to its engineering underpinnings have allowed the Bentley to remain one of the most comfortable and capable grand tourers you can buy.

If this Crewe-built cruiser sounds like your kind of car, why not put a Bentley Continental GT into our car configurator and let carwow find you a great deal.

Honda CR-V

Another surprise Japanese-branded entry into our list of British-made cars is the Honda CR-V. Built in Swindon, this recently facelifted SUV is a very capable alternative to brands such as Nissan and even BMW.

Although functional and well-equipped, the Honda’s interior features few luxuries in standard trim. If you are looking for a fully specced, top of the range model, you can expect to pay over £35,000.

Safety concerns have been addressed comprehensively in the CR-V helping it earn a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Collision mitigation systems, lane assist, adaptive cruise control and numerous airbags help to prevent collisions and keep you safe in the event of an accident.

If it sounds like the perfect family friendly SUV for you, put one in the Honda CR-V car configurator to see how much you could save.

Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra is a staple of the British automotive industry which has been in production for an impressive 35 years. The most recent generation has seen marked improvements in fuel economy and emissions with the 1.6-litre diesel returning a admirable 76.3mpg. CO2 emissions are down below the magic 100g/km mark so it’s free to tax.

The Astra now marginally edges out rivals from Ford and Volkswagen in terms of handling and ride quality. Equally, good equipment levels across the range and low running costs make it a sensible choice in the face of fierce competition.

If this is your perfect family hatchback, why not put a Vauxhall Astra in our car configurator to see the best deals carwow can find from dealers across the country.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The curvaceous Aston Martin V8 Vantage has been the subject of nine years of development and fine-tuning since it was launched and now represents the pinnacle of the Gaydon brand’s sporting know-how.

The brutish V8 serves up a tantalising 420hp which, when coupled to a manual gearbox offers drivers an old-school, hands-on approach to the modern supercar. Although composed and precise in the corners, the firmer Aston Martin is not quite as comfortable a long-distance tourer as some of its rivals.

The only area where the V8 Vantage may be left wanting is its rather dated interior. It’s well equipped but not very user friendly and would rather have you focus on the road than the switchgear, which looks quite old compared to rivals from Mercedes.

If this super coupe has tickled your fancy, then our Aston Martin V8 Vantage car configurator will help you find the perfect one.

What next?

Put any of the cars featured on this list in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you’re still struggling to pick your next car, check out our car chooser.

Nissan Qashqai

Compact SUV is a great family car
£18,545 - £29,840
Read review Compare offers

Jaguar XE

One of the best small executive cars you can buy
£26,990 - £44,995
Read review Compare offers

Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover levels of luxury in a smaller SUV body
£30,600 - £51,200
Read review Compare offers
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