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Velimatti Honkanen (Finland)

My judgement is based on following grounds:

Alfa Romeo Giulia

A true car of hearts! You can’t but admire the bold design, superfast steering and the driving dynamics. Giulia is made for us who still enjoy driving a car, and not just want to be tranported by some faultless but bland box on four wheels. However, perceived quality is not perfect and some details could be improved. But you forget those few shortcomings behind the wheel of the 510 hp Quadrifoglio!

 

Citroën C3

After the C4 Cactus the C3 is another proof of Citroën’s new values and philosophy. C3 is perky little car that makes you feel better. It rides comfortably and has various possibilities for personalisation. The steering could be a bit better and some more interior space could give it a competitive edge against its main rivals.

 

Mercedes Clase E

Breath-taking collection of latest technology and a showpiece of Daimler’s competence. It is utterly comfortable, yet safe and rewarding to drive. The complete range includes four body shapes from sedan to cabriolet and engines from frugal 2-litre diesel to furios AMG powerplants. Value for money? Definitely, but many of the nicest features are optional extras with a hefty price tag.

 

Nissan Micra

A major step towards European tastes compared to the predecessor. Micra’s design is modern and sporty. Many features are familiar from larger and more expensive models. Driving dynamics and the steering are fine but the suspension is quite uncomfortable. Now the Micra is on the same level with its main competitors like Citroën C3 but cannot overtake them.

 

Peugeot 3008

Changed its style from MPV towards SUV, but only with a front-wheel drive. The quality feel is close to premium and the i-Cockpit concept works better than in the 308. The 3008 rides well and has enough space and functionality for family use. We have to wait until 2019 for the powerful PHEV version with 4WD. It is also interesting to see the Opel Grandland X that is based on the same architecture.

 

Toyota C-HR

A clear evidence of Toyota’s aim to move out from dullness and from the willing to please everybody. The design seems to include all the edges that have been erased from past years’ Toyotas. The suspension is a bit too sporty, the performance not so. Especially the hybrid version would need a bit more power and the powertrain is not as frugal as in Prius.

 

Volvo S90/V90

It would not have risen to the top of my ranking without winning our “Winter Car of the Year” comparison test in Tekniikan Maailma. Volvo is a solid vehicle with clear Scandinavian design, lots of space, good driving dynamics and no weaknesses. It is a true and distinct alternative to the usual (German) suspects in the segment. The T8 plug-in hybrid and the new Cross Country version complete the range.