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The best cars for rear-seat passengers

The best cars for rear-seat passengers


These are the best cars you can buy now for those travelling in the rear…

There’s a tendency to focus on the front seats in a car. And why wouldn’t there be? After all, the car’s owner is usually its main driver, and so it makes perfect sense to buy a car that’s good to drive, comfortable to sit in and spacious up front.

But there are many people who use their back seats regularly, whether that be to ferry children, relatives, or even paying customers to and from their destinations. For those people, it’s the rear pews that matter.

Rear seats are especially important in the livery service trade, where customers will pay big bucks to be chauffeured here and there. These passengers expect the finest in comfort, space, and refinement – and some also require top-end technology to enable them to keep connected on the move.

These are the best cars you can buy now for those travelling in the rear…

Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb driving on a road

The Superb is legendary in the Volkswagen Group for its rear legroom. Though it’s ostensibly based on the same underpinnings as the humble VW Golf, it’s been stretched and fettled to provide space for even the very lankiest passengers to stretch out.

Skoda Superb interior seats

A comfortable ride thanks to a long wheelbase as well as high-quality interior fittings ensure that the rear seats are the place to be in this car. It’s certainly good enough for dignitaries – the Czech president has one as his personal transport.

Audi A8

Red Audi A8

If the Skoda badge isn’t quite premium enough for you but you’d like to stay within the VW Group, the Audi A8 is the car for you. Even regular-wheelbase models are very accommodating in the rear, though for true comfort, long-wheelbase models are the way to go.

Interior rear seats of the Audi A8

The A8’s packed with the very latest tech, including mild-hybrid powertrains and adaptive suspension, so the important folk in the rear will enjoy refinement and ride comfort in equal measure.

Mercedes-Maybach S650

Mercedes Maybach S650

Mercedes only applies the Maybach badge to its very top-end S-Class, so there’s no doubt this beast is a rather special one. Though it looks much like a ‘regular’ S-Class on the outside (if you can call any S-Class ‘regular’), it’s been given a serious interior makeover and fettled to provide the ultimate in ‘bahnstorming’ luxury.

Interior of the Mercedes Maybach

And while this doesn’t have as much presence as bespoke Maybach models of old, the double-M badge at the end of that long, long bonnet should leave passersby in no doubt that you’re a passenger of quite some means.

SsangYong Turismo

White SsangYong Turismo

We’re dropping down to earth with an audible thud to suggest the sub-£20k SsangYong Turismo but hear us out – this Brobdingnagian bruiser is actually a fine choice for those travelling in the rear.

Rear seats of the Turismo

It’s all down to size. The Turismo’s huge body contains seven genuinely adult-sized seats – one of very few MPVs to do so. Those in the middle row get individual captain’s chairs with twin armrests too, plus there’s a great view out courtesy of enormous rear windows. Just so long as you get into this car under cover of darkness, you’ll love it.

Honda Jazz

White Honda Jazz

The dinky Jazz is amazingly roomy inside for such a small car, and its trademark ‘magic seats’ in the rear are enough to earn it a place on this list.

Rear seats of a Honda Jazz

It’s a true marvel of packaging, and few superminis will allow tall adults to stretch out quite so much as the Jazz does. As for presence? Well, you’ll certainly fly under the radar…

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery driving on a road

The Discovery offers a considerable amount of luxury, though admittedly those who want the most presence from their livery service would do better with a Range Rover. However, for family transport, there’s little better.

Rear seats of a Land Rover Discovery

Key to the Discovery’s success is its stacked ‘stadium’-style seating – the middle row is situated higher than the front, and the rear higher than the middle. This ensures passengers all get easy access and a fantastic view out of the car’s enormous windows.

Rolls-Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce Phantom driving on a road

You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? Luxury cars can’t be mentioned without the word ‘Rolls-Royce’ cropping up, and the Phantom is the best of the breed. It’s the size of a stately home and considerably more luxurious.

Interior of a Rolls-Royce

Rear-seat passengers sink into soft leather and inch-thick lambswool carpet – after climbing in through the Phantom’s rear-hinged coach doors, of course. On the move they’ll be able to stretch out, and only the faintest whisper from the V12 engine up front ever penetrates the cabin. This is proper, old-school luxury at its finest.

BMW 7 Series


The 7 Series is the best car in its class from a driver’s perspective – so if you’re in the habit of keeping your chauffeur happy, then by all means, opt for this. However, the big BMW is also a great choice for rear-seat passengers, as it’s got bags of room and more technology than GCHQ.

BMW 7 Series rear seats

Passengers can control media, navigation and connectivity via removable tablets, while the Rear Seat Comfort pack adds a Blu-Ray player and digital TV. Because, well, why not?

Suzuki Celerio

Got a tiny budget, a tiny garage but lanky teens to carry in your rear seats? The Suzuki Celerio may be small, but it’s mighty spacious for a city car, and you’ll just about be able to squeeze a six-foot adult into the rear seats.

Suzuki Celerio rear seats

Once back there… well, they can operate the windows. Ooh, and there’s a cupholder! And grab handles. Sheer. Unadulterated. LUXURY.

Lexus LS

lexus LS

Want something a bit different to the German norm for your luxury limo? The Lexus LS could be for you. It mates hybrid powertrains – ideal for the CEO with a conscience – to a truly avantgarde interior.

Rear seats of Lexus LS

The chauffeur might not be best pleased with the slightly unfathomable infotainment up front, but passengers in the rear will enjoy cavernous legroom, silk inserts on the door panels and extendable footrests.