Our definitive list of the greatest new cars you can buy today, chosen after deep deliberation (and some arm-wrestling) by our team of road testers
8 July 2017

Assembling the ‘best’ cars on sale, then.

This, on a website where opinion is not in short supply, is obviously as far from a breeze as you’d think it would be.

It works like this: an Autocar writer distributes a list of what he is absolutely sure are the best 50 cars on sale; the 50 cars that must be on the list. It is approximately 68 cars long.

He asks for feedback, and it is widely given, and so the ‘best 50 cars on sale’ list gains another 10 cars and then loses a few through immediate howled derision. And so begins a short series of exchanges and revisions until we have something we mostly agree on, based on our extensive testing experience, objective measurement and analysis, and, naturally, blind prejudice – because sometimes only the latter will do.

But then a curious thing happens, from around 15th position up to the top. From that point, there is less argument, more consensus. And when placings for the top 10 are being decided, and when we’re choosing which five cars to take away on extended test so we can decide their order – and by definition, determine the very best car on sale today – there is increasingly less and less division. Because car people know, and understand, that subtle mix of objective and subjective measurements that make a car not just good, but great.

You can read through our top 45 in the gallery above. It contains the broad spectrum of cars you'd expect from Autocar, from the Seat Ateca to the Ford Focus RS, and the Ferrari 488 to the Jaguar F-Pace.

Find out the top five here.

Words by Nic Cackett, Andrew Frankel, Matt Prior and Matt Saunders

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Our Verdict

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Comments
11

8 July 2017
I've wondered in the past if these list articles aren't just your way of trolling readers. The fact that you call the Mini Cooper " affordable " just solidified that tought. Won't be clicking on lists any more.

 

 

8 July 2017
I've wondered in the past if these list articles aren't just your way of trolling readers. The fact that you call the Mini Cooper " affordable " just solidified that tought. Won't be clicking on lists any more.

 

 

8 July 2017
And fix your GD comments section and photo gallery!

 

 

8 July 2017
The 320d is a fine car, for sure but its depressing that it epitomises aspiration for so many. Its the apotheosis of conformism

8 July 2017
"We don't deny that the Discovery 5 is visually a less distinct Land Rover."
Damn right, it's hideous - it looks like it's about to give birth.

8 July 2017
Err you said you can't envisage what will ever beat it, have you read this week's magazine?!?
My prediction for Top 5:
Golf R
Porsche 911 variant
McLaren
so I'll have to log in for other 2 tomorrow (will Seat Ibiza be there??)

8 July 2017
Err you said you can't envisage what will ever beat it, have you read this week's magazine?!?
My prediction for Top 5:
Golf R
Porsche 911 variant
McLaren
so I'll have to log in for other 2 tomorrow (will Seat Ibiza be there??)

8 July 2017
apologies folks for duplicating

9 July 2017
This makes me think of Private Eye articles with the byline Phil Page.

9 July 2017
What makes Autocar think its list is 'definitive'?

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