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Express Cars of the year awards 2017 – THESE are the best cars on sale


Daily Express Cars of the Year 2017EXPRESS

Daily Express Cars of the Year 2017

Best executive saloon:

Runner-up: Porsche Panamera

Any year that sees a new BMW 5-Series introduced means that any other executive saloons are likely to be vying for second place. It’s not only the longest-serving model in the German firm’s history but arguably also the best – the huge flexibility and enduring appeal of its range underlined by those 7.9 million sales since 1972.

This seventh-generation of 5-Series is slightly less involving as a driver’s car than before, but in all other ways – refinement and quality in particular – it’s simply outstanding.

Priced from £34,835, throw in the newly available four-wheel drive plus the supercar-chasing M5 due for 2018 and it’s a winner all the way.

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Best 4×4:

Runner-up:

Is there a car on the market more flexible or more adaptable than the Land Rover Discovery? We don’t think so. From serious off-roading to family transport or executive saloon, the £45,895 Discovery has all the bases covered.

While we’re not big fans of the loss of the split tailgate or the offset rear number plate, overall it’s a smart design that works well. Refinement has been improved as has its on-road handling, while off-road it’s impossible to beat at almost any level.

Add that to its sheer functionality for families with five Isofix seat mountings and nine USB charging points and it’s no surprise why families love it so much.

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Best supermini: Ford Fiesta/ Nissan MicraPH

Best supermini: Ford Fiesta/ Nissan Micra

Best supermini: /

Runner-up: Citroen C3

Has there been a tougher year in which to choose the best supermini? In reality, the latest version of the Ford Fiesta should have walked this contest.

Starting at £13,165, there’s no doubting that the blue oval’s latest is very good, but its conservative styling and somewhat reduced driver enjoyment means that you can’t help but wonder how much better it could have been.

By comparison, Nissan has got its mojo back with the £11,995 Micra that’s great to drive and brings a welcome element of fun back to the class. It’s a testamant to the sheer quality of the sector that a talent like the excellent Citroen C3 gets pushed into the runner-up position.

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Best premium crossover: Volvo XC60/ Range Rover VelarPH

Best premium crossover: Volvo XC60/ Range Rover Velar

Best premium crossover: /

Runner-up: Audi Q5, BMW X3

Another sector that’s been so packed with talented newcomers that the margin between our joint winners is cigarette-paper thin.

The £44,830 Range Rover Velar is a superbly good-looking and talented car taking Land Rover forward into the next century.

Meanwhile the £37,205 Volvo XC60 can’t offer the same levels of driver enjoyment as the Velar, but just does everything so well, plus already offers an all-important plug-in hybrid version unlike its rivals – that’s it’s impossible to ignore. Don’t dismiss those Audi Q5 and BMW X3 runner-ups either, buying any one of these four and you’d have a very good car indeed.

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Best eco car: Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybridPH

Best eco car: Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid

Best eco car:

Runner-up:

There’s no question that this is going to be the class to watch in the next few years. The all-electric and plug-in hybrid market will explode with new models between now and 2020, so this is really just the start.

We’ve been fans of the Ioniq range since it was introduced last year when it won our eco Oscar. Now this £27,495 plug-in hybrid joins the range and it’s more appealing than ever with a 39-mile all-electric range and a 1.6-litre petrol engine as a back up to ensure you’re never left stranded.

In a single swoop, Hyundai has out-done the Toyota Prius at its own game.

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Best city car: Kia PicantoPH

Best city car: Kia Picanto

Best city car:

Runner-up:

While the supermini class has exploded with new talent – something that’s set to continue with the arrival of the new VW Polo into showrooms in 2018 – the same can’t be said for the city car class below. That’s no reason to ignore the brilliant £9450 Kia Picanto however.

The Korean firm’s larger Rio is undoubtedly talented but swamped with those new higher-profile rivals, while the Picanto just goes on doing what is does best.

Smart styling, good build quality and an excellent little 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine are just the basics for what is a great little small car. Add to that the fact that it’s good to drive and there’s Kia’s usual seven year warranty and there’s a lot here to like.

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Best convertible: Mazda MX5 RFPH

Best convertible: Mazda MX5 RF

Best convertible:

Runner-up: 718 GTS

Does Mazda’s RF version of its popular MX5 count as a proper convertible? Serious driving enthusiasts might argue not, but for us its clever folding hard top is enough for it to take the top slot in this category.

With only minimal extra weight compared to its full-on soft-top counterpart, the RF retains all the fun-to-drive aspects of the standard car with a completely different and more mature look for an equivalent additional £2000 starting from £22,295.

As ever, customers pay their money and take their choice, but for us Mazda has managed to expand the MX5’s appeal with none of the downsides.

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Best crossover: Peugeot 3008PH

Best crossover: Peugeot 3008

Best crossover:

Runner-up:

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