Every year, we're lucky enough to 'own' cars as part of our long term fleet, getting to live with them as if they actually were our own, and crucially test them for more than just a few hours.
In the process, we dig into the high-points and flaws, with some proving more memorable than others. Here's our pick of the 2021 fleet.
The 'Curse you, remote working' award
For the car you most wanted to try but didn’t get the chance to
Winner BMW 128ti Highly commended Toyota GR Yaris, BMW M440i Coupe
While Autocar headquarters has now reopened for business, various lockdowns, the advent of remote working and the need to go and drive lots of cars mean we’ve still not seen that much of each other. As a result, several staffers again frustratingly missed out on driving some of the cars on our f leet.The one they felt most aggrieved to pass up was BMW’s 128ti, which was in part because it was run by senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel from his home on the Welsh border.
“I love hot hatches that focus on the ‘hatch’ part (ie the everyday usability) as much as the hot, so I remain desperate to get behind the wheel of the 128ti,” said editor Mark Tisshaw.
Another hot hatch secured the runner-up spot: the Toyota GR Yaris. “One of the greatest hot hatches ever made, so I’ve read,” said editorial director Jim Holder. “It makes me wonder why driving one isn’t part of every Autocar staffer’s induction. If only I knew someone who could demand that it happens.” Make it happen, Jim. We all believe in you...
The Extended hours long-distance award
For the car you would most want to take on a very long journey