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The Best and Worst Cars of 2014

We round up the highs and the lows of 2014, as rated by our team of road testers

Words ByAaron Smith

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This year has seen a variety of new cars coming on the market, with more than 90 new or updated models being launched.

Here, we run down the very best and worst from 2014 - cars that were awarded the coveted five stars on a What Car? road test and the more forgettable models that scored just one star.

The Best

Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TSI 150

The A3 is great in hatchback and saloon form, and chopping off the roof hasn't affected the car's potential as a convertible. In 138bhp turbocharged 1.4 TSI guise it's quiet, comfortable, economical and pulls smoothly from low revs.

Audi TT 2.0 TFSI 230 Sport

This new third-generation TT had a tough act to follow after the previous version won our Coupe of the Year Award multiple times. In front-wheel-drive 2.0 TFSI manual form, our road testers adored its classy cabin, agile handling and surprisingly practical boot.

BMW M3

Potential buyers who were concerned about the M3 going turbocharged had no need to worry, according to our road testers. The 425bhp 3.0-litre turbo six-cylinder M3 looks fabulous, is easy to drive when cruising or pressing on and offers genuine real-world supercar pace.

Hyundai i10

The Korean city car trumps its rivals on price, while offering a more spacious cabin and still maintaining excellent levels of refinement in its category. Priced from £8345, the entry-level S-spec version even comes with bags of kit as standard. Our team thinks it's the best car Hyundai currently makes.

Jaguar F-type R Coupe

As good as the F-type convertible is, the Coupe model was always going to appeal to a wider audience when it was launched soon after its drop-top sibling. In full-fat supercharged V8 R guise, with 542bhp on tap, it's an addictive experience with a beautiful raspy soundtrack and super-sharp handing. Do we need to mention the jaw-dropping looks?

McLaren 650S

The 650S coupe is a staggeringly capable supercar, taking the fight to rivals such as Ferrari's 458 Speciale and the Porsche 911 GT3. Our testers also found very little difference between the coupe and the Spider on the road. On that basis we'd recommend you pull the trigger on the £215,250 Spider, if you can afford it.

Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi

Our reigning 2014 Car of the Year stil remains a five-star car, thanks to its punchy 1.5-litre diesel engine, strong residual values and excellent cabin space. The Qashqai comes with lots of safety kit as standard and cabin materials have a quality feel to them.

Porsche Cayman GTS

The flagship model in the mid-engined Cayman range gets a 15bhp power hike and even sharper handling over the Cayman S. Bespoke GTS Alcantara trim and a sports exhaust complete the £55,397 package. It's fully deserving of the coveted five stars.

Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI Greenline III

What sets the Greenline apart from the rest of the Octavia range is its impressive fuel economy - a claimed 88.3mpg on a combined cycle. It's also got a six-speed manual gearbox and a bit more power over the standard Octavia 1.6 TDI. The Octavia Greenline is a superb all-rounder.

The worst

Infiniti Q50 2.2D

While the Q50 possesses a decent ride quality, it falls down in other dynamic and refinement areas compared to its rivals. The seats are comfortable and have a good range of adjustment. Legroom is good, too. However, optional kit is expensive and running costs are far too steep.

MG 6 1.9 DTI

The MG 6's 1.9-litre diesel engine has improved fuel economy and CO2 emissions, but despite the improvement it still lags behind its rivals; the engine is too noisy and unrefined, with cabin quality not up to scratch, either.

Nissan 370Z Nismo

On paper, a more focused version of the Nissan 370Z sounds appealing. However the What Car? road test team marked it down in several areas, including gearbox whine and tyre noise, despite the extra cabin insulation over the previous version. Interior quality also felt sub-par for a near-£38,000 car.

Read our most anticipated cars of 2015, here.