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.
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.”
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.
“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.”