The versatile, rugged and cheap Dacia Duster is Autocar’s most popular review of 2015. Read on to find out what else joined it in the top 10.
Taking the top spot in 2015 for the most read review is the implausibly cheap Dacia Duster, which seems too good to be true. The fact that this small SUV is cheaper than a Ford Fiesta and a Smart Fortwo while its top-spec Laureate edition still undercuts an entry-level Skoda Yeti is mind-boggling.
Don’t expect the Duster to be lavishly appointed, because a starting price of £9495 gets you an Access-trimmed model with steel wheels and no radio. The mid-spec Ambiance gets a CD player, radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity while the range-topping Laureate equips the car with air conditioning, an on-board computer, heated electric mirrors, cruise control and 16in alloys.
The hottest Volkswagen Golf currently on sale is second on our most-read list, as this all-wheel drive R version has redefined the hot hatch sector.
The 296bhp Golf, descendant of two generations of R32 Golfs, is capable of reaching 62mph in 5.1sec, or 4.9sec if you opt for the dual-clutch automatic gearbox, before going on to reach its electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
But the Golf R is not just a turbocharged track-derived car, it is also well appointed, with Alcantara and leather seats, climate control, Bluetooth, cruise control and bi-xenon lights coming as standard.
Completing the top three most-read reviews of 2015 is the Ford EcoSport, which was the Blue Oval's attempt to breach the small SUV/crossover sector.
The 4x4 arena was not a new one for Ford, especially when it comes to importing such vehicles into the European market, as was the case with the Explorer in 1998. The Ecosport is an all-new car in the UK market, but was Ford’s second-generation model, as it was developed off the Fiesta platform originally for the Brazilian market.
The Brazilian-designed and Indian-built small SUV comes with three engine choices, including in a 123bhp 1.0 Ecoboost version, and two trim levels – Titantium and Titanium X.
Sticking with small crossovers, the Vauxhall Mokka is the next most-read review of this year, with it playing a pivotal role in helping revamp the Griffin-badged manufacturer’s range.
The Mokka entered an already competitive sector, which is headed by the Skoda Yeti, Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, with Vauxhall stating that its primary aim was to get private owners spending their own money, rather than taking market share.
To do so is a big gamble, but this small crossover has numerous factors in its favour, including both two and four-wheel drive options, good levels of equipment and a choice of two petrol and one diesel engine, as well as sharp styling.
Mercedes-AMG’s mad creation is next on the list. It was clearly not enough for Mercedes-AMG to keep the G-Wagen on the road simply by churning out iterations of it in more luxurious and ludicrously powered forms, as the review on its 6x6 version shows.