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Best Saloons to lease in 2021

They say the humble saloon is dead – trampled in the inexorable surge of the SUV – but we think differently. Yes, SUVs are popular, but there’s something stylish and understated about a proper four-door cruiser. 

The cars that once defined the British public are now the cars that define taste and elegance.

And despite manufacturers throwing money at their SUV darlings, there’s still a wide range of svelte saloons to choose from. If you’re having trouble deciding which cars are worthy of your hard-earned cash, we’ve picked out a handful of the best four-door saloons you can lease right now.

BMW 3 Series

Car lease price: from £305.11 per month*

Right, we’re calling it. The 3 Series is probably the best car you can lease right now. In almost every area, it’s absolutely faultless. It’s practical, good looking, solidly built, refined and comfortable. And if you decide you want to drive like Lewis Hamilton, the 3 Series will reward you for it. Nothing in the class drives this well, although that’s partly down to the engines, which are complete masterpieces. The six-cylinder diesel ‘330d’ is particularly awesome, but the four-cylinder motors are great too. If we absolutely must find a fault, the cabin isn’t especially inspiring and the digital instrument cluster is a bit fussy. But other than that, we’ve got nothing.

BMW 3 Series need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Saloon
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 4.6 out of 5**
  • Boot size: 480 litres
  • Engine Options: Petrol, Petrol Plug-In Hybrid, Diesel
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars


Mazda6

Car lease price: from £276.82*

If the mainstream American and European marques don’t do it for you, rest assured there is another way. Taking the fight to the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat is the Mazda6, a car famous mainly for looking really good in Mazda’s Soul Red paint. Beneath the curves and chrome lies a car with genuine premium aspirations, so top-end models get all the kit you’d expect from brands higher up the automotive food chain. It drives like a premium car, too, with supple suspension and sublime handling that makes it surprisingly enjoyable on a deserted B-road.

Mazda 6 need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Saloon
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 3.9 out of 5**
  • Boot size: 480 litres
  • Engine Options: Petrol, Diesel
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars


Skoda Superb

Car lease price: from TBC*

Although technically a hatchback rather than a saloon (because the rear window is part of the tailgate), it’s hard to ignore the Superb. Yes, the name might be pretentious, but it’s thoroughly deserved, because this is a four-wheeled phenomenon. Practical, spacious and solid, it ticks all the sensible boxes right away. It looks good, too, and because it’s a product of the Volkswagen Group, you know it’s going to be reliable. You can get powerful engines for the Superb, but this is a car with comfort at its heart, and when you’re pelting down the M4 on a cold, miserable Friday night, you’ll be grateful for that.

Skoda Superb need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Saloon
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 4.5**
  • Boot size: 625 litres
  • Engine Options: Petrol, Diesel, Petrol Plugin
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars


Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Car lease price: from £325.19*

Fresh from a recent revamp, the E-Class has long been the weapon of choice in the executive saloon arena. Spacious, stylish and comfortable, it’s the perfect companion for a long-distance slog down the UK’s motorways. The facelift has brought improved infotainment and a slightly more honed aesthetic, both of which have fixed the only slight weak points in the E-Class armour. A refreshed engine range has also brought the range bang up to date, and there’s a choice of petrol- or diesel-powered plug-in hybrids.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Saloon
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 3.9**
  • Boot size: 370 to 540 litres
  • Engine Options: Petrol, Diesel, Petrol Plugin, Diesel Plugin
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars


Tesla Model 3

Car lease price: from £419.99*


The joker in the automotive pack, Tesla has shaken up the car industry with its pioneering electric cars. By doing things differently, offering cutting-edge technology and minimalist style, the company has gained a cult following. First came the Model S, then the Model X and then the Model 3, promising to silently assassinate the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The most affordable model in Tesla’s range, the car has been a huge hit, topping the UK sales charts in December 2020.

Tesla Model 3 need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Saloon
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 4.4**
  • Boot size: 425 litres
  • Engine Options: Electric
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars


Volvo S90

Car lease price: from £462.43*

Volvos have always been a safe choice. Not only are they renowned for protecting you and your loved ones in the event of an accident, but they traditionally feature middle-of-the-road, inoffensive styling and an enormous bootful of practicality. They’ve always been great cars, but not especially exciting. Until now. The second-generation XC90 changed the game for Volvo, adding a dollop of Scandi style to the recipe. And now the S90 is carrying that torch, making it a proper alternative to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6. Like the E-Class, it’s a soft and comfy way of getting from A to B, but it has slightly less bling, somehow. If you’re bored of the German establishment, this is the place to look.

Volvo S90 need to knows:

  • Car Leasing Category: Saloon
  • Select’s Car Review Score: 4.1
  • Boot size: 500 litres
  • Engine Options: Petrol Plugin
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars

*Prices include VAT. Credit is Subject to Status, Ts and Cs and Arrangement Fees apply. Excess mileage may apply. Price correct as of 12/01/2021.

**Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the scores of the UK’s top five leading independent car website reviews

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