Lexus would likely argue that the ES’s biggest draw card is the fact that it’s only available as a hybrid here in the UK, coming in the form of the ES 300h. Its based on the same TNGA GA-K architecture as the latest Toyota RAV4, meaning there’s a 2.5-litre four-pot up front, which is supplemented by an electric motor for a combined output of 215bhp.
Around town is where the Lexus is most in its element. Here it’s hybrid powertrain is at its smoothest, while the ability to run for brief periods on electricity alone means it achieves decent fuel economy too.?
Does it hold a candle to the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes in terms of outright desirability, though? Not really. While its comparably comfortable, its cabin lacks the polish of those of the Germans, and its infotainment system is infuriating to operate at times too. Being front-driven, it also lacks the natural rear-drive balance of the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF.
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The Skoda Superb is big on many things: size, interior space, comfort and value for money.
In a class largely populated by upmarket rivals, the Superb undercuts the vast majority as far as initial outlay is concerned, although it doesn’t quite boast the same levels of badge prestige.
Still, buyers will be drawn to the Superb’s comfortable and refined drive, as well as its cavernous interior. Real-world fuel economy isn’t quite as good as Skoda would have you believe, mind.
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While the Ghibli may command the most badge prestige of all the cars included in this top 10, that extra appeal does come at a rather serious price.