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Guide to 2013’s most desirable motors

Whether it’s a hybrid, a 4x4, or a sports car you’re after, there’s more choice than ever in dealerships. Tim Barnes-Clay rounds up 2013’s best motors.

1. Family cars

Citroën C4 Picasso Exclusive 115 Airdream

The C4 Picasso (pictured above) is a top family car. The interior includes a panoramic windscreen and five individual, adjustable, seats.

While the focus is more on people than power, the C4 delivers a perky drive.

Importantly, the Picasso has a five-star safety rating, so it’ll do a fine job of protecting you and your precious cargo.

Price: £21,555

Peugeot 5008 Allure HDi 163 FAP Auto



I’m a little biased when it comes to this vehicle because I own one. My wife loves it because the seven-seater will fit in our three children and the grandparents, making family outings easier.

The car is comfortable, with little touches such as two rear-view mirrors so you can keep an eye on the kids behind you.

It has a five-star safety rating and a diesel engine that pulls well too.

Price: £25,605

2. Sports cars

Lotus Exige S



The Exige S is petrolhead paradise. The power that the car’s 3.5-litre V6 supercharged engine provides is bewitching.

It’s a two-seater. But that’s the point: you’re buying it for yourself, not the family.

With a maximum speed of 170mph and 0-60mph in four seconds, the Lotus is wild.

One thing’s for sure: your day will always be sunnier for having had a blast in the Exige S.

Price: £52,900

Jaguar F-TYPE S



Powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine, the Jaguar has muscle.

The temperament of the powerplant encourages you to be eager behind the wheel. After all, 0-60mph comes in just 4.9 seconds and the top speed is 171mph.

The F-TYPE delivers precisely the key sporting characteristics that Jaguar intended.

It's definitely a big toy for big boys.

Price: £67,520

3. Hatchbacks

Peugeot 208 GTI



The 208 GTI’s 1.6-litre 200bhp petrol engine emits a rumble that delights your ears.

It’ll do 0-60mph in less than seven seconds and the top speed is 143mph.
 
You can buy a new 208 GTI for £18,895, and it’ll be worth it because this is the most enjoyable car to come from the hatchback stable for years.

Price: £18,895

Kia pro_cee'd GT



The Kia pro_cee'd GT can do 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds and the top speed is 143mph, but even though it has some quick figures on paper, the car is well behaved.

At under £20k, it’s an inexpensive warm-hatch in today's market.

Price: £19,995

4. Saloon cars

Audi A4 2.0 TDI S line



The 175bhp turbo diesel engine in the A4 2.0 TDI S line Saloon combines power with efficiency.

Top speed is 143mph, and 0-60mph is reached in 8.2 seconds.

The car's large brakes offer supreme stopping strength too.

This means the Audi is made for mile-munching and will faithfully serve anyone who lives on the road.

Price: £29,635

Chrysler 300C Executive



It is expensive but the 300C has charm.

With leather seats and wood on the dashboard, it's a delight to be in.

The Chrysler’s 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel lump will do 144mph and 0-60mph is achieved in 7.4 seconds.

The outsized 300C's American roots show when travelling around the UK, but there’s no denying it’s a pleasurable motorway cruiser.

Price: £39,995

5. 4X4s

Kia Sportage KX-4 2.0 CRDi AWD



The KX-4 2.0 CRDi AWD Sportage model features a powerful engine alongside a luxurious level of specification.

It seats five and has practical 4x4 grip. Indeed, it's a clever car - the Sportage continuously monitors driving conditions and calculates when all-wheel drive will be needed.

This guarantees it’s always prepared for the prevailing circumstances.

Price: £27,195

Hyundai Santa Fe



The Santa Fe Premium has the grip of a traditional 4x4 and the manners of a normal car, while a high level of kit adds more than a splash of splendour.

Equipment includes leather upholstery, a sound system with 10 speakers, parking sensors and a rear-view parking camera.

Price: £31,895

6. Hybrids

Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid Estate



This Benz will soar from 0-60 mph in just 7.8 seconds before topping out at 144 mph. It’ll also return 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 119 g/km.

The tank just seems to sip at the juice. In fact, it sometimes doesn't need a drink at all.

This is because, with its hybrid system, the car runs on stored electric power for short-distance city driving.

Price: £41,435

Honda CR-Z



Thanks to boosts of pulling power from the petrol-electric drivetrain, the CR-Z's pretty green.

Honda's battery system gives the 1.5-litre petrol engine a boost of electricity, with a resulting top speed of 124mph.

The upshot is a combined economy of 56.5 mpg and CO2 emissions of 116 g/km.

Price: £20,750


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Tim Barnes-Clay

Leon Poultney

Tim is an experienced motoring writer with a background in radio and TV journalism. He puts his pedal to the metal each week with his must-read car reviews.

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