If you’re planning a visit to the place, we recommend hiring a car to complement the trip. You want something beautiful, elegant, and attractive to match your surroundings and make you feel like the queen of the world.
Here are some of the cars you’ll want to consider.
The Audi S7 is a practical German vehicle that proves that hatchbacks don’t have to be dull. The stretched wheelbase makes this vehicle feel more like a saloon. And thanks to the “S” moniker, you get a huge amount of power under the hood, making it a great option for anyone planning on climbing steep roads in the Alps or Pyrenees.
If you can, get the version of the vehicle that comes with the 4.0-litre V8. This engine offers over 420 bhp which is more than most supercars had just ten years ago. The automated manual transmission comes as standard, so you can play around with the seven-speed gearbox however you like.
Britain produced some wonderful cars in the past, but today, stellar vehicles from the old mother country are a little less common. Even so, some brands, such as Jaguar, live on. And they continue to make decent vehicles (mainly because of German owners)>
The Jaguar XJL is the company’s current top-of-the-line executive vehicle, designed for ferrying CEOs and other business titans from the city to their country retreats at the weekend.
The XJL, though, is more than just a pretty face. The vehicle uses lightweight aluminium in the chassis and some of the components, reducing the overall weight and increasing the performance of the 340 BHP V6 3.0-liter supercharged engine.
On the inside, things just get better. The comfortable leather seats on most models make it one of the best cars to use for touring. And the suspension prevents cobbled streets or even dirt tracks from putting your back out.
Lastly, there’s a nice big trunk at the rear, so if you want to take your golf clubs with you, you can.
BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé
The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé is one of the more impressive vehicles in this lineup. It looks like it comes right out of Blade Runner, but it doesn’t look out of place in Zurich or the Costa Del Sol either.
Unlike the Audi S7, the BMW 6 Series is based on its two-door cousin. And while it has the full five doors you need for road touring, it keeps the same chassis and muscular flanks. On the highway, the car rips through the air like a hot knife through butter, giving you a sense of performance and control you don’t get with many other vehicles in the class.
The fact that the car is handsome helps, too. But the really nice thing about it is the 315 BHP turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 under the hood. With this car, you can positively roar around Europe with your fellow travellers and not have to worry about reliability issues.
If you decide to buy this car, just make sure that it comes with credit hire. If someone does get into a collision with you and it’s not your fault, you can get a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired.
Mercedes-Benz S Class
No list of European touring cars would be complete without mentioning the Mercedes-Benz S Class. The iconic vehicle has been a class leader for decades and continues to offer all the creature comforts you need for long journeys.
Newer models of the vehicle are more impressive than most drivers realize, and come with the company’s world-beating technologies. Magic Body Control, for instance, uses cameras to scan the road ahead and prepare the suspension system for impact. Adaptive cruise control lets you match the speed of the traffic ahead. And top-notch safety equipment means that the chances of getting hurt while driving this vehicle are insanely low.
The car has a powerful engine, but Mercedes rarely emphasizes it. That’s because this vehicle is all about making your experience of the road better. Blind spot detection, self-parking, and a variety of automatic warning systems improve the experience tremendously.
If you’re looking for something a little simpler but no less European, then you might want to consider the Audi S3. This vehicle is most at home if you are touring more northern climes, particularly Scandinavia or Scotland. A powerful heating system, onboard entertainment, and heated mirrors make it a great choice for anyone travelling through winter conditions.
As you might expect from Audi, the S3 includes the company’s Quattro technology. This can be indispensable if you find yourself in muddy, snowy or icy conditions. Each wheel independently feeds traction information back to the central computer, reducing the risk of skidding uncontrollably.
The S3 is no slouch, either. It’ll propel you from 0 to 60 mph in just under five seconds. And, if you’re on the autobahn in Germany, you can quite easily reach the limited top speed of 155 mph, which is a lot of fun.
Aston Martin Vantage V8
Now we’re really talking. The Aston Martin Vantage is a quintessentially British car and the ultimate way to introduce a little Ango-Saxon feel to your next European trip.
This car is most at home in the UK, thanks to its history and pedigree. Driving it will feel like you are James Bond, thanks to all the dials and buttons on the dashboard. Plus, you get an antiquated manual transmission, great for steep hills in the Yorkshire Dales.
What’s nice about the Vantage V8 is how it doesn’t apologize for including old driving technology. It’s perfectly happy to have drivers fiddling about with its big gear stick for hours on end, thanks to the more active driving experience it offers.
Is the Vantage V8 a good European touring car? Well, it depends on what you’re after. If you’re looking for something stylish and unique, then of course it is. But if you want something reliable and comfortable with automatic transmission, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
If you’re heading to southern Europe, particularly Italy, you might want to consider hiring the Ferrari FF, one of the most notable and innovative cars of the last decade.
The vehicle’s enormous hood is the first thing you notice, followed by its rather tight rear end. It looks a bit like a roadster, but with considerably more attitude.
Interestingly, the FF was Ferrari’s first mass-production vehicle. But even though the company made a lot of them, they still came with tremendous power. The 12-cylinder engine on most models, for instance, produces more than 651 BHP which makes it the most aggressive and powerful vehicle on this list.
Who would use this car for a European road trip? Well, it has to be someone with minimal luggage. The FF uses most of the space in the chassis to house its enormous engine. There isn’t much room left over for the trunk.
You also need to be the sort of person who is comfortable handling a high-performance vehicle. When you put your foot down in the FF, you can really feel the beast roaring underneath you. You need to constantly remind yourself that it’s not a Nissan Micra.
Tesla isn’t the only electric vehicle maker churning out decent EVs these days. Many European brands are getting in on the act, too, and Mercedes-Benz is no exception.
The B-Class is the automakers’ recent attempt to bring a compelling vehicle to market. And it’s just the sort of car you’d expect to see driving around Europe’s narrow, tight-cornered roads.
What makes it special? Simple: it’s compact, lightweight, and great for hopping from one village to the next. Just make sure you travel to places within range. The B-Class will only drive 87 miles on a single charge.
Perhaps the most temperamental car in history, the BMW i8 is also a rare beast. It looks incredible, but that comes at the cost of atrocious reliability.
Even so, you should consider it for a European tour, particularly if you plan a visit to the Cote d’Azur region. Having a fast car like this can help you fit in.
The i8 is a hybrid vehicle that offers both battery and gasoline power to give it its high performance. Combined, the tiny 1.5-litre gasoline engine and the electric battery generate over 350 BHP. And when combined with the lightweight chassis, the i8 outperforms practically every other car on the road.
Then there are the gull-wing doors. When you step out of this vehicle, it feels like an event. The car offers a tremendous amount of theatre in such a small package.
Lastly, there is the eco-friendliness of the vehicle. If you’re cruising around city streets, you can go more than 15 miles on battery power alone, so most journeys don’t require gas or CO2 emissions at all.