From the sleek and stylish to the powerful and luxurious, British car brands have a long-standing reputation for producing some of the finest automobiles in the world. With a rich history and a commitment to craftsmanship and innovation, these brands have become synonymous with elegance, class, and style.
So whether you’re in the market for a sports car, a luxury sedan, or something in between, the best British car brands are sure to have something that fits your needs and exceeds your expectations. With all the twists and turns that the automotive industry has taken over the years, it’s no easy feat to make it to the top of the heap. Here’s our pick of the best British car brands:
Best British Car Brands
1. Rolls Royce
While BMW may now own Rolls-Royce, the brand’s commitment to building the best luxury cars in the world has never wavered. Each model, from the more “affordable” Ghost to the controversial Cullinan SUV and the ultra-luxe Phantom, is crafted by hand at the company’s Goodwood headquarters, with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy adorning the bonnet.
And if you’re a discerning ruler or billionaire with a taste for the unique, Rolls-Royce offers bespoke options that can result in your own one-of-a-kind coach-built vehicle. With unparalleled attention to detail and quality, Rolls-Royce continues to set the standard for luxury cars that define the very pinnacle of automotive excellence.
- Silver Wraith II
- Silver Ghost
Lotus, based in Norfolk, is one of the most legendary British car manufacturers, known for producing some of the country’s most iconic sports cars. The company was founded by the visionary engineer Colin Chapman, whose Formula One car went on to win multiple world championships. Chapman’s design philosophy was to “simplify and add lightness,” a mantra that is still followed today in the lightweight and agile Elise.
With the backing of Chinese owners Geely, Lotus has been able to invest in a new generation of vehicles, including the upcoming Emira, which will replace the Elise, the sleek battery-powered SUV, the Eletre, and the awe-inspiring Evija. This all-electric hypercar is set to redefine what’s possible in the world of high-performance vehicles.
- Lotus Esprit
- Lotus Evija
- Lotus 7
McLaren, a legendary name in the world of Formula One, has also established itself as one of the most remarkable sports car makers on the planet, ranking among the very best British car brands. Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One, won all three of his world championships with McLaren.
The company’s reputation for excellence continues today, with a range of carbon fiber tubbed supercars that cater to a wide variety of tastes, from the Artura and 720S for daily driving to the outlandish Elva roadster, which features everything but a windscreen. And for those seeking the ultimate McLaren experience, the blisteringly fast Senna is a fitting tribute to the legacy of the world’s greatest F1 driver.
- McLaren P1
- McLaren F1
- McLaren Senna
Jaguar, now part of the Jaguar Land Rover group, continues to embody the qualities that have made it a legendary name in the motoring world for decades. The company’s iconic 1960s slogan of “grace, pace, and space” still rings true today.
From the unforgettable E-Type, which defined the spirit of the Swinging Sixties, to the F-Type, a worthy challenger to Porsche, and the class-leading electric SUV, the I-Pace, Jaguar has remained at the forefront of automotive design and engineering.
- Jaguar E-Type
- Jaguar D-Type
- Jaguar XK120
It may surprise you, but Vauxhall, “Luton’s finest,” has produced some notable cars beyond the typical “repmobile.” The minimalist VX220 and the Lotus Carlton, a 140 mph super-saloon ahead of its time, are just a few examples.
While the Corsa and Astra may not be the most exciting models, they remain popular favorites. Vauxhall’s racing heritage is also worth noting, with multiple touring car championships to their name. All in all, Vauxhall is a more interesting brand than many might assume.
- VX220 Turbo
- Opel GT 196-1973
In our opinion, BMW’s modern take on Alec Issigonis’ 1959 classic has produced the world’s most fashionable hatchback. The new Mini’s playful design, nimble handling, and distinctive interior have won over a legion of fans. The electric Mini E has become especially popular, while the standard Mini Hatch can be personalized in countless ways, much like the original model.
- Mini Cooper S
- Mini Mark 1
- New Mini
7. Land Rover
The original Defender was the undisputed ruler of the four-by-four world. The Range Rover was the first luxury SUV. Today’s Land Rovers, including the boxy new Defender, the Evoque, the Discovery, the Velar, and the super-luxe Range Rover, may seem more at home on the fashionable streets of Chelsea, but they are still just as capable off-road, taking on any terrain with ease.
Despite being owned by India’s Tata Motors, Land Rover’s production remains largely based in the West Midlands. It’s no wonder Land Rover is considered one of the greatest car brands.
- Range Rover Evoque
- Land Rover Defender
- Land Rover Series IIA SAS Pink Panther
These days, Morgan’s chassis might be made of bonded aluminum, and the company is owned by an Italian investment group, but their Plus Four or Plus Six still retain the vintage charm of the 1930s with sweeping wings and long bonnets.
Handbuilt in Malvern, Worcestershire, Morgan sports cars are the epitome of British eccentricity, featuring more structural wood than H. F. S. Morgan’s originals. These fast sports cars are powered by BMW engines and are available as three-wheelers. An electric future beckons for this iconic brand.
- Three Wheeler
- Aero 8
- V6 Roadster
Crewe still proudly hosts the headquarters of the company founded by W. O. Bentley, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times in the 1920s. Bentley, now part of the VW Group, excels at producing fast super-luxury saloons, like a drawing room on wheels. Order the Flying Spur for swift progress to your penthouse, the Bentayga SUV for the Alpine lodge, and the Continental GT for the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans in memory of the Bentley Boys.
- 2015 Bentayga
- 2003 Continental GT
- 1929 Birkin Blower
MG, a legendary nameplate in the world of British motoring, has withstood the test of time and continues to be a favorite among car enthusiasts today. Once a symbol of affordable sports cars, MG has come a long way since its inception in 1924.
Now under the ownership of Chinese automaker SAIC Motor, the brand’s heritage is still celebrated through its sleek and stylish vehicles. From the roaring success at Mille Miglia in the 1930s to today’s modernized roadsters, MG has cemented its place in the annals of motoring history.
- MG EX 120
- EX 181
- MG B
Imagine a sleek, powerful machine, its body crafted with a mastery of aerodynamics, every curve and angle finely tuned for optimal performance. This is the hallmark of a British manufacturer of luxury sports cars, TVR, which once ranked third among the world’s premier producers of specialized sports cars.
Their vehicles embody a perfect balance of speed, precision, and finesse, achieved through the use of cutting-edge materials and techniques. Despite their incredible power, these cars are renowned for their remarkable lightness, which enables drivers to experience the purest, most unadulterated thrills of the road.
- Griffith 400
12. Aston Martin
Without it, James Bond’s arsenal would be incomplete. The iconic Aston Martin DB5, driven by 007, is the brand’s most recognizable model. Combining hand-crafted luxury with exceptional performance, Aston Martin has created some of the most desirable grand tourers in history.
Modern enthusiasts can choose from the athletic DB11 or the high-performance DBS sports cars, while the DBX SUV offers the perfect combination of power and versatility for any mission – even those involving high-speed chases through rugged terrain.
- 2020 Aston Martin Goldfinger DB5
- 2001 Aston Martin Vanquish
- 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda
In conclusion, British car brands have a rich history of producing high-quality, luxurious, and high-performance vehicles that are renowned around the world. From Aston Martin and Jaguar to Land Rover and Mini, British car brands offer a wide range of options for car enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a stylish sports car or a rugged off-road vehicle, these brands are sure to deliver an exceptional driving experience.