Shopping for anything these days is tough and tricky. Just think about the last time you went onto Amazon to buy something trivial, like a cleaning brush for your beard trimmer, which was like $5.89 or something, yet you still spent 35-minutes reading through twenty-plus different reviews to make sure you got the right one for you.
Using that context, picking the perfect new car is a battle that would scare off even the most savvy-motor shoppers in the world, especially given how many different varieties of car styles there are these days.
You’ve got mini-cars, hatchbacks, family cars, executives, estates, cabriolets, performance cars and, of course, at the top of the dream pile, luxury motors. And that’s narrowing it down some. That’s a list which avoids all those niggly crossover variations. Anyway, the point is, picking the perfect car for your needs has got a whole lot harder.
Luckily for you, we’ve pulled together a list of the best cars in each category according to owners and journalists to make your car-buying life a whole lot easier. So, without further ado, here are the very best of the best.
Number 1 Supermini – Seat Ibiza
In a category that is so heavily contested, it was great to see the Seat Ibiza beat so many staple cars that have dominated for so long, cars like the Ford Fiesta and Mini Cooper, cars that have been the big sellers for the best part of the decade.
Best Of The Best Hatchback – VW Golf
The VW Golf has been making driver’s smile for generations and, after a small blip along the way, the seventh generation is one hell of a car. It is just the most exciting, practical and accomplished hatchbacks on the market right now, and possibly ever.
Favourite Family Car – Mazda CX-9
Don’t be surprised if you see more than a couple of Mazda cars on this list because they have really upped their game right across their range. Anyway, what makes the Mazda CX-9 the winner in this increasingly tough category is what it offers families. It’s a big SUV that doesn’t feel like one to drive. It offers all the practicality of a minivan but with the attractiveness and energy of an SUV. In fact, it’s not just one of the best cars in this field, it’s one of the best cars on this whole list.
Top Executive Car – BMW 5 Series
The saloon car, the kind that businessmen and dads not ready to adopt a less sporty car love to drive, has become a ferociously contested niche in recent years. You have Mercedes-Benz in the contest, you have the Audi A6 and Jaguar’s brilliant XF. However, according to the judging panel, the new 5 Series is one impressive beast that will not be toppled. It has become the pinnacle of executive luxury, but the kind that is attainable.
The Luxury life Winner – Rolls-Royce Phantom
When you see the price tag, which is near enough a cool half-a-million, your brain will start to cry out, “ah, duh, of course, this is the best luxury car; it has to be for that money.” But it hasn’t coasted to the top of this list based on price. It’s taken the top spot because it is more comfortable than The Queen’s bed, boasts a 6.75-litre V12 engine under the hood and yet, somehow, whispers when you press the accelerator. The bottom line is, this car is something else. It’s more like a first-class cabin on an Airbus than it is a car.
For Estate Excellence – BMW 5 Series Touring
Yeah, the BMW 5 Series is back again, taking the number one spot, this time in the competition for best estate car money can buy. And deservedly so because, the 5 Series Touring has it all. It has the boot space for a family that loves camping with their three dogs, an infotainment system to keep even the biggest computer nut happy, the comfort of a ten-year-old sofa and the kind of power that will get the driver’s heart thumping like an elephant running.
The Very Best Cabriolet – Mazda MX-5 RF
This car has become part of the furniture when it comes to lists on best cars to buy. It is a staple. It is the dominant force. It is the best selling convertible car of all time, bar none, and an absolutely steadfast favourite amongst its owners. It’s as if, once you go MX-5, you never go back. What makes the RF version so incredible, though, is the introduction of a hard-top roof, which sort of makes this car feel like you’re driving a transformer. Of course, with that extra stability comes a little more refinement, leaving the others in the category left wanting.
The Perfect Performance Car – Kia Stinger
If you thought the Seat Ibiza taking the title of best supermini from Ford was a shock, then you ain’t seen nothing yet because Kia taking the title of the best performance car is more shocking than both Brexit and Trump put together. But the Korean-made Kia Stinger absolutely deserves to snatch up the trophy for fastest four-door family saloon because this 3.3-litre V6 muscle car shows the competition what this category is all about. Audi S5? Never heard of it.
Hottest Hatch Around – Hyundai i30N
Spoiler alert: there is about to be another shock to the system because, yes, the Hyundai i30N has snatched the red rosette from the claws of so many amazing hot hatches, the kind that have long been celebrated as the most exciting smaller cars. Once upon a time, this category was dominated by the VW Golf GTI, Peugeot 205 GTI and Ford Escort Cosworth. But time-travel to the here and now and, voila, you have another Korean car taking the top spot. Bravo.
The Coupe Contest – Lexus LC
This car wins so many competitions it’s ridiculous. Best looking car. Check. Most exciting hybrid engine. Check. Biggest head turner. Check. As such, it’s no wonder this motor has won the best coupe competition. But it’s not the petrol hybrid that we love the most; it’s actually the 5.0-litre V8 version that takes that honour. Why? Because it’s a reminder of how amazing non-turbo cars can be.