juez

Joaquim Oliveira (Portugal)

My judgement is based on following grounds:

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Sexy design and great road handling are good to have… but there is far much more to a car than that. The sedan segment is shrinking every day, Alfa has no plans to come up with any kind of e-propulsion system and these two factors give the Giulia a “dated” flavor. Interior quality is average for the segment and so is space and boot volume. Good for Alfa to start its come-back, but it will be a car for a vast minority of people

 

Citroën C3

It fixes most of the “issues” the C Cactus has while keeping the new “non-conformist” approach which is today advocated by Citroen. Interior quality is juat acceptable, riding is as comfortable as one would expect in a Citroen without seriously compromising handling stability. However it is likely to appeal more to a crowd addicted to social media than to those still in favor of exciting driving dynamics. Which it does not provide.

 

Mercedes Clase E

A technology breakthrough on four wheels: the new E Class is the world´s most advanced car in terms of autonomous drive technology which will is likely to become a must by the middle of next decade, but with the first necessary steps being taken now. Very high material and fit & finish quality, outstanding comfort, a very comprehensive range of bodies (5 or 6 depending on the way you count them) and a wide choice of engines more than justify the vehicle´s premium positioning.

 

Nissan Micra

It is impressive what the Nissan engineers were able to do with a chassis/platform which was far from brilliant on the Note. The new Micra has a sharp and sporty road handling, good overall quality on the cabin for its class and interesting driver assistance resources. But it lacks a wider body range and the fact that it keeps changing the overall philosophy from generation to generation does not help to position the Micra nameplate as a strong asset.

 

Peugeot 3008

This SUV is going to change the perception of the Peugeot brand the way we know it: brilliant virtual cockpit concept (and digital instrument panel always standard on every version, from entry level), good overall quality, very competent road handling with na impressive agility feel, a broad engine range (which will be complemented by a plug-in hybrid in the future) and an attractive design "conspire" to create an unmistakable winner in Europe´s hottest car segment.

 

Toyota C-HR

The way to prove that not all hybrids are born Priuses – meaning with a dull design and matching driving dynamics – materialized into a compact SUV which follows the “love it or leave it” formula pioneered by the Nissan Juke (with an overwhelming success). And if we agree that the new Prius platform resulted in an exciting car to drive (suspension, steering) at least with the 1.2 petrol engine (mated to a competent manual transmission), the problem is that the hybrid system – which is likely to account for 3 in every 4 C-HR sold – totally blows it with the usual "washing machine" exasperating sound and feel (courtesy of the CVT transmission linked to the hybrid drive system in Toyota). It simply destroys the great effort done by the chassis engineers.

 

Volvo S90/V90

Platform, engines, interiors and technologies are almost all known from the SUV XC90. It is a good car/wagon, with great interior roominess, high overall quality and an elevated level of safety. But neither the performances nor the road handling match those of the dominant German competitors from whom it aspires to gain customers.