Currently reading: The Top 10 Cars of 2010
Autocar's Top 10 Cars from the past 12 months, from the Hyundai i10 to the Aston Rapide
4 mins read
31 December 2010

The past 12 months have been eventful for the motoring industry. Brands have been diversifying like never before - just look at the Audi A1, Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke for proof.

But for all the new metal, it is some of our established favourites that have come out, once again, on top in the Autocar office. So here are our Top 10 Cars from 2010, from a luxury new Aston four-door saloon to one of the cheapest cars on sale in the UK.

See Autocar's stunning pics of each of the Top 10

Aston Martin Rapide - Richard Bremner“True, this car is considerably more expensive than the Porsche Panamera, but the Aston is decidedly better looking, its cabin feels – and is – considerably more tailored and it gets rarer, relative to the more-produced Porsche, by the week.

“This is one of Britain’s finest cars.”

BMW 320ED – Andrew Frankel“If you can extract these numbers from an old saloon without a battery or electric motor in sight, then reports of the imminent demise of the unencumbered internal combustion engine would appear grossly exaggerated.

“On the contrary, on this evidence I fully expect it to see us all out.”

Citroen DS3 - Matt Saunders“There can be no clearer indication of greatness in a new car, surely, than that it should change the way we perceive the company that makes it. That’s what the DS3 does.

“And as far as Citroen’s ‘DS’ brand is concerned, this is only the beginning.”

Ferrari 458 Italia – Steve Cropley“The 458 is crossing-continents comfortable, yet satisfyingly challenging and vocal in nature; easy to operate yet positioned in the rarified atmosphere for both straight-line and cornering performance.

“It’s one of those cars that flatters the competent driver, yet (so I’m told) gives the expert something extra to work with. Above all, it is clearly one of those Ferrari models that represents a special step forward for the marque, and always will.”

Ford S-Max – Vicky Parrott“It’s so dominant in its sector, in fact that - rather like Schumacher’s reign back in the day – it would be a welcome break in the norm for a new rival to really challenge the S-Max. But whichever way you look at it the Ford is just the best there is at what it does. And that’s without the sabotage, corruption and bad haircuts.

“There can be no better justification than that for its place in our Top 10.”

See Autocar's stunning pics of each of the Top 10

Hyundai i10 – Matt Prior“Want a car that, for under £8000, comes with air conditioning, electric front windows, remote central locking, MP3 connectivity, five doors and a five year unlimited mileage warranty? That’ll be the i10.

“And above all, want a city car that can do more than just compete in the city? One that has arguably the finest gearshift among current production cars and relatively engaging handling? That’ll be … well, you can see where this is going, can’t you?”

Jaguar XJ – John Mcilroy“Perhaps the XJ’s crowning achievement is that it finally wrestles Jaguar’s styling clear of the cautious traditionalism that blighted so many of its big saloon offerings of the past 20 years.


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“I was always aware that the previous-generation XJ featured some cutting-edge aluminium construction techniques, for example, but I’d never have considered buying one because it looked like it ought to have been racing down a cardboard box-littered side street on an episode of The Sweeney.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RS – Steve Sutcliffe“No matter how much more usable the GT3 RS may turn out to be as a road car, the best place to drive it is on a track. Flat out, on the edge, balls to the wall. That’s where this car reaches it zenith.

“And that’s when it becomes untouchable – even by cars like the Ferrari 458 and Noble M600. Which, believe me, is saying something.”

Renaultsport Clio Cup – Jamie Corstorphine“We know of Clio Cups that share garage space with much more exotic machinery, and that get selected for a trackday use because they offer equal amusement with far fewer consumable costs.

“But of course the Clio Cup is not the reserve of the fortunate few, because beyond its ability bring a smile to your face, or take apart a challenging road, the Cup’s defining quality is that it is accessible. Pound for pound it is the most exciting car on sale.”

Skoda Superb Estate – Hilton Holloway“For all its virtues as a super-capacious estate, there are few cars – especially at this price – better suited to UK roads, proving that driving pleasure doesn’t have to be synonymous with aggressive damping, darty steering and bump-thump.”

See Autocar's stunning pics of each of the Top 10

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31 December 2010

personally i am unimpressed by nearly the entire list, the only 2 that really move the game on at all are the 458 and 320ed. As for the XJ and (C)rapide being in there, that surely must be a joke???

31 December 2010

The problem is that you expected to be impressed , while I didn't. You shouldn't knock the Rapide . They clearly think it is much nicer to live with than they expected. As a youngster I would have craved one of these - these days I find it so big and so expensive as to be academic.

31 December 2010

Vidge 123 wrote the following post at Dec 31, 2010 6:40 PM:

personally i am unimpressed by nearly the entire list, the only 2 that really move the game on at all are the 458 and 320ed. As for the XJ and (C)rapide being in there, that surely must be a joke???

I think it is a good list the S-Max fully deserves to be there no other MPV has even come closs to what the S-Max can do which is carry 7 people in style and still let the driver enjoy his driving and with class to and good build and quality materials inside .

The DS3 deserves to be there to as it shows what Citroen can do and is changing how people view them .

The Clio Cup is a great little car for someone who really likes driving and track days on a resonablr budget .

The Skoda Superb Estate is classy , huge with pleant off space inside , decent to drive great engines and is keenly priced so also deserves to be there .

31 December 2010

[quote Vidge 123]personally i am unimpressed by nearly the entire list, the only 2 that really move the game on at all are the 458 and 320ed. As for the XJ and (C)rapide being in there, that surely must be a joke???[/quote]

The 320 ED is the result of engineers obsessing over one highly controversial component of exhaust gases and reducing it to the point where it fits within an arbitrary tax band, thus reducing road tax and offering savings to company car drivers. While the ED's bias towards CO2 helps lower the cost of motoring by a couple hundred pounds a year, whether the car is remarkable in any other regard is highly debatable, particularly as it's tens of thousands to buy in the first place and is essentially the world's second least exciting 3-Series.

1 January 2011

The ones that writes the article(s) are always in advantage because they should, supposedly be right, we assume they are experts so they (should) know! But the list without Giulietta make their credentials and objectivity dubious,at least!

1 January 2011

320ed a remarkable achievement, non ED models lead the way and this is even further out in front. 458 Italia has got me entering the Lotto again!

1 January 2011

Where is Alfa Romeo Guilietta? Oh Wait.... This is an Autocar verdict!! How can an Alfa be in this list? BTW you are doing good job in wiping Alfa from this country even its last drop Autocar!!! In spite of making such marvellous car and winning accolades everywhere, it still is not good enough to feature in this list!!

1 January 2011

In my foresight I can see Alfa Romeo making waves around the world but sadly pulling out of this country courtesy respected magazines like Autocar...... It would be sad to see beauty go from our roads and see all these robotic sad looking German machines taking over.....

2 January 2011

the year Alfa make a good enough car is the year they will feature it in Autocar's list. In what way does the Uma Guiletta move the game forward? None. Is it class leading? No Are there any medium hachbacks on the list? No. So grow up and get over it. I like Alfas, but they have to be the best car to be at the top of my list, and none are. And their reviews worldwide support this, unless all you read is 'Alfas make me' . As for Autocar being biased generally, possibly, but I doubt it.

2 January 2011

I find the whole Kia/Hyundai love in very boring. These cars are just achieving class standard, and so they should.

The one exception is the little i10, a car so right for the times that it should be driven by our lovely leaders showing us how real money saving can be achieved without any apparent drop in living standards.

The one big mistake in this cars nomination is the price of £8000 though, a quick trawl on the interweb bring a brand new i10 classic in non metallic for just £6450. An outrageous bargain.


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