Andrew English (United Kingdom)

My judgement is based on following grounds:

Alfa Romeo Giulia

A great-looking car, which impresses most with its combination of rear-drive handling, looks and beguilingly good ride quality. There`s something rather touching about Alfa`s attempt to carve out a driver-focused niche in this market so dominated by German car makers, but the electronic systems aren`t up to the class standards and while the interior is classy, some of it isn`t that well made.


Citroën C3

Likeable little supermini. Attractive and more innovative and pleasant than its predecessor, but it isn`t actually that new as it`s based on the old `Platform-One` chassis and not PSA`s forthcoming Compact Modular Platform. Nor does it enjoy the benefits of Citroën`s new damping system with hydraulic bump stops. The engines are good, though it bounces along the roads like a glass-fibre rowing boat in a gale.


Mercedes Clase E

Despite its po-faced attitude towards Coty, Mercedes has made a quite brilliant car. It`s everything you would want from a big Merc: smooth riding; powerful; refined; quick and the cabin is delightful, with its double-screen dashboard and gorgeous seats. The new two-litre turbodiesel is terrific and the nine-speed transmission is best in class. This was a profoundly impressive machine and it is my Car of the Year.


Nissan Micra

This car is going to give Ford`s new Fiesta, which comes out this year, a problem. After years of not taking superminis seriously, Nissan has given us a new Micra designed for Europe, with a kitchen sink`s worth of equipment and refinement. Attention to detail marks this car out, but it`s expensive and the heavily boosted petrol engine surges unpleasantly.


Peugeot 3008

We liked this SUV when we drove it in France, but on English roads it was too bouncy, with excessive and uncomfortable vertical acceleration on long bumps and lots of side-to-side head toss. Diesels feel at the weight limit of the chassis acceptance and the dashboard interfaces seem a bit clunky, though the cabin is lovely and spacious.


Toyota C-HR

C-HR presents the intriguing idea of an urban SUV/crossover, with zany looks and great accommodation for four. The hybrid version is an acquired taste with its whirring, rubber-band effect and the 1.2-litre is a tiny bit underpowered. Inside the cabin design is bonkers, occasionally obscuring practicality. It`s set up softly, comfortable, but controlled. Bit of a one-trick pony, but also quite desirable.


Volvo S90/V90

A very grown-up approach for this big Swede, which is best as a sleek-looking V90 shooting-break. Volvo`s four-cylinder-only policy works best in the basic petrol and diesel units, which are refined and smooth, and the transmission works brilliantly. Cushioning ride with excellent damping control, but the Mercedes does it better.