Welcome to our list of what we rate as the top 50 cars in Britain.
The rules for inclusion are very simple insofar as there are no rules. We didn’t divide the cars into categories or price points or make sure that every major manufacturer was represented.
Instead, we wrote down every possible candidate based simply on the cars that the senior editorial staff and road test team liked most, and we’ll say now that if this had been a list of our top 87 cars, we’d have saved ourselves a whole lot of time and effort.
What actually happened is that we disappeared into a large room with big chairs, poured ourselves a lot of coffee and discussed, debated, argued and just occasionally shouted at each other until we’d whittled it down to 50 cars.
We then all named our individual top fives to find the cars that would take part in our final shootout and placed the remaining 45 in order of preference. Then all we had to do was decamp to Wales for two days of driving with our five favourite cars to find the best of the best.
The list: our top 50 cars
Lucky for Volvo that we’re listing our favourite cars rather than the most technically accomplished, because on paper the V60’s case is easy to deconstruct. But as an iconoclast in a conformist world, its desire to be different is enough to sneak it on to this list.
As English, eccentric, entertaining and practical as the Ministry of Silly Walks. Morgan’s cheapest car is, for fans of the marque’s intrepid charm, also its best.
Stifle that yawn. A school swot on wheels, were the excellent A3 not such infuriatingly good company you’d hate it. But you can’t, and neither can we.
The Mk2 TT would have stood as much chance of making this list as Nigel Farage receiving a Christmas card from the PM. So the Mk3’s inclusion is progress.
About as subtle as a Mitchell Johnson inswinger and no less effective. This Aussie muscle car is fast, brutal and not troubled by bedside manner.
An MG based on a kit of Chinese parts may not sound promising, but the 3 is cheap, attractive, effective and fun. Just like an MG should be, in other words.
The Radical RXC is not a Le Mans car for the road, but for a five-figure sum it comes closer than you might imagine possible.
You might conceivably conclude that when a car is this well built, comfortable and quiet, anything bigger is a pointless profligacy. A fine achievement by VW.
The V8 S feels like the car that the Continental should always have been: sophisticated and entertaining, with just a hint of brutality.
The new Mondeo was released nearly three years late, yet it’s still good enough to make this list. Imagine where it would have come had it been on time…