The best saloon cars in the UK traditionally come from the 'big three' German car makers or the likes of Ford and Vauxhall.
However, in recent years new, exciting saloons have been introduced by less traditional manufacturers. With the likes of Kia and Volvo launching impressive new models, the title of best saloon in the UK is a competitive one.
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When it comes to making a final financial decision on a saloon you need to consider all aspects of car buying, which includes looks, comfort and cost. Whether or not they go in this order is up to you.
To help you decide what saloon is right for you, we have collated some of the markets top saloon competitors and highlighted some of their best, or worst, qualities - enjoy.
The Optima is Kia's first saloon model in the UK and it offers a distinctive appeal with a tiger nose front end and a muscular body style, which has become synonymous with other Kia models, like the Rio.
Inside, the Optima offers a cockpit-like cabin with technology aplenty - including Bluetooth, steering wheel mounted controls and, depending on trim level, an LCD instrument display.
The Optima offers a 1.7-litre diesel powertrain which emits 128g/km. Kia Optima prices start from £19,595.
View our Kia Optima review
BMW 3 Series
The 3 Series is one of the most popular business/smart run around cars on the road, as it usually features as a fleet business vehicle.
But don't let that deter you, it still offers quality features as standard kit includes 17-inch alloy wheels, multi-function steering wheel and air conditioning.
It also offers CO2 emissions as low as 109g/km. BMW 3 Series prices start from £24,880.
View our BMW 3 Series review
Ford Mondeo (expected in 2013)
The Mondeo is set for a dramatic refresh, with its new Aston Martin-esque front grille being just one of its changes.
The refreshed Mondeo also features a new frugal 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine, further expanding Ford's eco-signature range.
The Ford SYNC will feature on the new Mondeo, which allows drivers to navigate the cars media systems via voice control.
Ford Mondeo 2013 prices have not been announced yet, but should be revealed later in 2012.
The Insignia is another one of those classy yet popular models like the BMW 3 Series.
One of the best traits of the Insignia is its versatility with both engines and trim levels as it offers a wide range of sat nav trim levels and a frugal range of diesel engines.
The Insignia's most economical engine is a 2.0-litre ecoFLEX diesel, which emits just 115g/km. Vauxhall Insignia prices start from £18,040.
View our Vauxhall Insignia review
As with all other Audi models the kit is great, but in terms of exterior 'stand-out style' the Audi A4 looks just like every other Audi, which isn't that stylish.
However, the Audi A4 is great for interior comfort as it offers a leather steering wheel, three-zone climate control and a Driver's Information System.
The A4 also offers a wide engine range, which includes a 242bhp 3.0-litre TDI diesel. Audi A4 prices start from £23,630
View our Audi A4 review
For those who didn't already know, the XF has been given a new 2.2-litre diesel powertrain which, with 149g/km CO2 emissions, lowers its starting price to £29,940, which although it isn't 'cheap', it is for a Jag.
This entry level price tag includes climate control, a central touch screen display and of course the 2.2-litre diesel engine, which produces 161bhp.
The XF offers a very stylish appeal with sporty body contours and a mean looking front end.
View our Jaguar XF
The 508 incorporates Peugeot's new 'mean' bonnet design, featured on its acclaimed sister brand model, the Citroen DS5.
Engine options include a 120bhp 1.6-litre petrol, matched with a six-speed manual gearbox, and a 112bhp 1.6-litre diesel, which is matched with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The entry level 508 model includes air conditioning, USB compatible radio, daytime running lights and electric windows. Peugeot 508 prices start from £17,495.
View our Peugeot 508 review
The Citroen C5 is slightly akin to the C6 model, minus the highly noticeable pointed nose.
The C5 offers three trim levels, with kit on the entry level VTR trim plentiful as it includes automatic air conditioning, trip computer, cruise control and Electronic Stability Control (ESP).
One of the most popular engines in the C5 is the 1.6HDi diesel, which emits 140g/km of CO2 and returns 50mpg. Citroen C5 prices start from £19,895.
View our Citroen C5 review
The C-Class is a much more affordable Mercedes model as many of us know their price tags can sometimes reach into the £80,000 region.
But at £25,915 the C-Class cheapest saloon in the Mercedes range. It features a low riding roof, strong body contours and a large Mercedes badge on its front end.
As usual its interior is highly luxurious and may make you question the viability of other considerably more expensive Mercedes models.
View our Mercedes C-Class review
Not a lot of people realise how luxurious the Volvo brand can be, especially models like the S60.
With a unique exterior appeal that features a slightly sloped front end, the S60 offers an executive appeal inside and out.
Standard kit is high quality as it includes integrated satellite navigation, seven-inch colour touch screen and a DVD player.
Volvo S60 prices start from £22,995.
View our Volvo S60 review
Renault Fluence Z.E.
The name Fluence may be flying around when buying a saloon, so make sure you know what you are getting into.
The full electric Fluence is said to have a range of around 115 miles (although it is really more like 80) off a single charge.
Its interior is quite luxurious, but this is rendered irrelevant if want to travel a fair distance cross country.
View our Renault Fleunce Z.E. review
The Exeo saloon is somewhat of an ace up the sleeve of the Seat brand as it is usually renowned for its smaller models, like the Mii city car.
Although its exterior design isn't particularly extravagant, the Exeo saloon offers a generous range of standard equipment, including dual-zone climate control, cruise control, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and iPod compatibility.
There is also a frugal 2.0-litre TDI diesel on offer emitting just 129g/km.
Seat Exeo prices start from £19,480
View our Seat Exeo review
The exterior design of the Accord isn't hard on the eyes, but it isn't anything special either.
Its engine range is also quite disappointing as its lowest emitting is a 2.2-litre diesel which emits 128g/km, which by today's standards is pretty poor.
But all is not lost as standard kit is generous and includes climate control, cruise control, all-electric windows and an adjustable steering wheel.
Honda Accord prices start from £22,125.
View our Honda Accord
The i40 has quite a few fancy gadgets that are included as standard. They include Bluetooth connectivity with voice control, stability control, air conditioning, hill-start assist and automatic headlights.
The i40 has some sleek sporty styling and comes available with a frugal 1.7-litre diesel, which emits just 113g/km.
View our Hyundai i40 review
As with most other Lexus models, the IS saloon offers executive comfort, but in essence quite basic exterior design.
The IS offers premium trim levels, with standard equipment on the entry level SE model offering cruise control, tinted glass, climate control and 17-inch alloys.
Although it ticks the interior comfort box, it lacks a little when it comes to efficiency. However, if you are willing to spend £26,226 for a car, then I wouldn't imagine fuel costs are a problem.
View our Lexus IS review
The Mazda6 is a bit of a hidden gem in the Mazda range.
With a Business line trim level the Mazda6 offers TomTom satellite navigation, steering wheel mounted controls and 17-inch alloy wheels. It also offers a 2.2-litre diesel engine that emits just 133g/km.
Even without the Business Line trim the Mazda6 is a great buy, especially with a low staring price of £17,810.
View our Mazda6 review
The Passat is one of the key competitively low priced saloons on the market and usually runs alongside the Ford Mondeo in terms of competition.
With a starting price of £18,610, the Passat comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel mounted controls, adjustable driver's seat and a six speaker CD player.
The Passat offers a frugal 1.6-litre diesel engine that emits just 109g/km.
View our Volkswagen Passat review
The Skoda Superb is essentially a bigger version of the Octavia hatchback model and although it is sometimes labelled as a hatchback itself, it definitely falls into the saloon segment.
One of the Superb's most valuable features is its interior storage space as it offers up to 565 litres of boot space and 1,670 litres with the seats folded down.
It also offers a fair bit of standard kit with all electric windows, ESP, air conditioning and a trip computer.
Prices for the Skoda Superb start from £17,810.
View our Skoda Superb review