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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.