As fuel prices continue to rise, MPG and CO2 emissions have for many people, replaced top speed and 0-60 as the number one considerations when buying a new car.
Over the last 12 months we tested some great (and a few not so great) vehicles, many of them incorporated start/stop technology and environmentally friendly systems to maximise efficiency and minimise their carbon footprint.
None did this better than the new lower emission Fiat 500C Pop Twin Air. It combined retro chic with cutting edge performance (95g/km CO2 and 68mpg), but the combination came at a price.
To pick a ‘Best car of the year’ is no mean task, the new Citroën DS3 is a great all rounder, and for sheer comfort and luxury the smaller Jaguar XF 2.2LD is almost as well equipped as their top of the range vehicles but £20-25k less.
Slightly smaller but definitely one of my favourites from this year was the slightly unconventional Peugeot Partner Tepee. For those looking for more space, the Ford S-Max 1.6 TDCi Titanium and Seat Alhambra SE 2.0 LUX TDi were also both excellent cars to drive.
It makes me wonder who would buy a Golf when you can get a much better looking Volkswagen Scirocco GT 2.0 TSI for virtually the same price and Peugoet’s RCZ is the most exciting car they have made for years. I love the look of the Volvo C30 DRIVe 1.6 SE and it’s a million miles away from the old Volvo stereotype of yesteryear.
The decision was tough and with so much competition the ‘Flush the Fashion Car of the Year‘ is not one you would perhaps expect to win.
The winner, the KIA Picanto 1.0 5DR is practical, comfortable and ticked every box in the ‘car about town’ category. It wasn’t too shabby on the motorway too. It looks good, is safe, has low (99 C02g/km) emissions, no road tax, no Congestion Charge, and a combined MPG of 65.7mpg. All for £7795 brand new and with KIA’s no nonsense 7 year warranty it is unbelievably good value for money.
There will be some exciting models launched in 2012 including the new Ford Focus ST, the Volkswagen ‘up!’ and Skoda’s city car the ‘Citigo’. We’ll be here to test the best, so stay tuned!