Every 5-star car on What Car?
From nimble city cars to stylish SUVs, and exciting sports cars to practical MPVs – this is where you'll find every car which has earned What Car?'s highest road test rating...
Every 5-star car on What Car?
It's not every day that we give out a five-star road test rating, because any car that achieves this is judged to be outstanding in almost every area.
To gain a five-star rating, a car must beat its rivals at the things that matter most (for example, performance and handling for a sports car or practicality and comfort in an SUV) without disappointing in less crucial areas.
As such, any car that has a five-star rating is often at the very top of its class, and if you're looking for a new car, these should be at the very top of your shortlist. Of course, you'll see plenty of What Car? Car of the Year Award winners in here, too.
In this story, we'll take you through every car that has been awarded five stars and is still on sale. Let's get started.
The latest Kia Picanto has leapt ahead of city car rivals including the Hyundai i10, Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen Up thanks to its spacious interior, excellent infotainment system on upper trim levels and tidy handling.
The Volkswagen Polo is the current holder of our Small Car of the Year Award, offering a superb interior that's surprisingly spacious, a peppy range of engines and impressive refinement.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
Updates to the Land Rover Discovery Sport in 2019 have made it more appealing than ever, with a refined range of engines, a lengthy equipment list and lots of seating flexibility. It now suits more families more of the time, and is therefore a worthy five-star contender.
Tesla Model 3
The stakes were high for Tesla's highly anticipated third model, but boy did it deliver. With a real-world range which should suit the vast majority of buyers, technology which makes driving easier and safer and yet with surprising practicality, it's a very convincing reason to go electric.
Honda Civic Type R
Honda has a long history with the Type R badge, but this latest hot Civic is a revelation. Very few rivals can match either its pace or its fun driving dynamics, and we like the sporty touches made to its interior, too.
Ford Fiesta ST
This go-faster version of the Ford Fiesta is powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine producing a heady 197bhp. It's outrageous fun to drive quickly, but what's truly impressive is that it's still every bit as practical as the regular car. Indeed, you'll struggle to find as much driving pleasure for so little money.
The Volkswagen Touran is one of our favourites in the MPV market, because it's spacious, good to drive and feels very well built. It carries a premium price tag, but hefty discounts ensure this shouldn't be a problem.
The Skoda Superb is comfortable, well equipped, great value for money and one of the roomiest cars in its class. It's a car that truly lives up to its name, then, and we like Skoda's extra touches, such as the umbrellas hidden inside the front doors.
The replacement for the popular Yeti combines excellent practicality with a comfortable ride, plus it's available with luxurious features such as a digital instrument display and gesture control for the infotainment system.
Skoda Superb Estate
Having extolled the virtues of the regular Skoda Superb already, you'd be safe in thinking that this more spacious estate version is, if anything, even better. Well, you're absolutely right. In increasing the amount of storage space in the Superb, Skoda has made an already good car great.
On the face of it, the fact that Mazda's biggest model doesn't offer the option of seven seats puts it at a disadvantage. However, if you don't need to transport more than five people, it's one of the very best large SUVs.
Audi's executive saloon is a former What Car? Car of the Year. You can choose from a strong range of petrol and diesel engines, but our favourite 2.0-litre diesel option combines punchy performance with good fuel economy. The A4's interior is at the top of this class for quality, too.
The old 5008 was a fairly frumpy MPV, but it has been reinvented as a tech-heavy large SUV that's both stylish and practical. We like its comfortable ride, flexible seating and low CO2 emissions.
Audi TT Coupé
The latest Audi TT Coupé is fantastic to drive and, as long as you except that the rear seats are really just for coats and bags, surprisingly easy to live with. Its controls are light yet precise, its ride is comfortable and its interior is one of the classiest around.
Audi TT Roadster
The TT Roadster is fantastic to drive and, so long as you don’t need more than two seats, surprisingly easy to live with. Its controls are light yet precise, its fully electric roof can be raised or lowered quickly and – just like the TT Coupé – it has one of the classiest interiors around.
BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series won our overall Car of the Year Award in 2017, and it remains the best luxury car you can buy. Its interior quality puts some rivals that cost twice as much to shame, plus it's great to drive and incredibly quiet and comfortable.
BMW 5 Series Touring
The BMW 5 Series Touring is the estate version of our 2017 Car of the Year, the 5 Series saloon. We've been impressed by its classy interior, its massive storage space and its strong range of engines.
Looking for a plush large SUV? Surely the Audi Q5 is already on your shortlist. And so it should be, because it's superb to drive and relatively cheap to run yet also has one of the best interiors you'll find in any new car.
Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche fans may have been split when the Cayman adopted a turbocharged petrol engine, but they needn't have worried, because this is still one of the most fun sports cars to drive, with agile handling and raucous power. It has a classy interior, too.
Porsche 718 Boxster
Like its Cayman sibling, the Porsche Boxster has long been a symbol of how to own an entertaining and prestigious sports car without breaking the bank. The 718 Boxster is, in fact, the cheapest convertible Porsche makes, and it's hugely entertaining to drive quickly.
Audi's luxury SUV is the best car of its kind. It's relaxing to drive, comfortable to sit in and pleasantly efficient to run, while its interior is plush enough to shame most luxury saloons. As if all that weren't enough, the Q7 is extremely practical, offering plenty of space for families and their luggage.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a classic sports saloon: it has a big engine up the front (a 2.9-litre V6 petrol, in this case), offers sweet handling and is capable of crossing whole countries in a flash. Better than that, though, it's also fairly practical, being based on the standard Giulia executive car.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloon
Picture a luxury limousine and you'll probably be thinking of Mercedes' largest saloon, the S-Class. It has been around for a long time and is still among the most comfortable and luxurious ways to travel. We particularly like its composed handling and great refinement.
The 911 badge has been around for a very long time, and yet Porsche's most iconic model remains one of the very best sports cars on sale. It's fantastic to drive, it's usable every day and has a beautifully furnished interior.
Porsche 911 Cabriolet
If you want great performance but also fancy the wind in your hair, the 911 Cabriolet should be your next port of call. Like the regular coupé, it offers superb handling and a smart interior, plus it's surprisingly practical for a performance convertible.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé
How do you make the already excellent S-Class saloon even better? Simple, you take away two of its doors and turn it into a coupé. This S-Class is every bit as luxurious and comfortable as its limousine sibling but is even more stunning to look at.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet
This is the third version of the S-Class to grace this list, which gives you an idea of just how good it is to start off with. If neither the saloon nor the coupé versions float your boat, this convertible combines luxury and comfort with open-air thrills.
"Surprisingly usable, shockingly rapid and great fun to drive, even at everyday speeds". With a road test verdict like that, need we say more?
With a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, a hunkered-down driving position and stylish looks, McLaren followed the supercar recipe to the letter in creating the 570S. And the result is outstanding: it's incredibly fast, entertaining at any speed and has a surprisingly large boot.
BMW 3 Series saloon
This latest BMW 3 Series executive saloon reclaimed class leadership from the brilliant Audi A4 thanks to its super strong engines, cosseting interior and superior infotainment system.
Jaguar's first electric car is an SUV with decent space inside and a long range between charges. It should appeal whether you're looking for an electric car or a luxury SUV.
The Kia e-Niro family SUV is the best electric car around right now, offering an impressive driving experience and a long real-world range at a price that might cause more expensive rivals to tremble in their tyres. It's so good, in fact, that we named it our 2019 Car of the Year.
The McLaren 720S is a serious supercar. It's staggeringly fast and involving, yes, but also perfectly usable every day. It offers stunning handling and superb visibility yet remains comfortable.
For the money the Citroën Berlingo offers unrivalled interior space, and a relaxing ride. It's also better-trimmed inside then a Vauxhall Combo Life and slightly nicer to drive than a Peugeot Rifter — cars that are otherwise identical.
As the inaugural winner of our Sports SUV of the Year award, the Cupra Ateca is proof that performance and practicality can meet in a glorious package that's excellent fun to drive. The fact that it's also surprisingly affordable only sweetens the deal.
Volkswagen T-Roc R
Think of the T-Roc R as being a small SUV with hot hatchback levels of performance – because that's exactly what it is. Using the same powerfu 2.0-litre petrol engine as the Golf R hot hatchback, it has prodigous pace, but is also well equipped and handles sharply.
The Macan is a fine sports SUV, offering punchy performance and superb handling, as well as a high-quality interior and a usefully large boot. For families looking for driving thrills, it's a fine choice.
If you're looking for a sporty coupé with plenty of pace but also enough space for passengers and their luggage to come along for the ride, then the BMW M4 deserves a spot on your shortlist. The M4 is engaging to drive, yet also has one of the best infotainment systems you'll find anywhere.
Range Rover Evoque
The Evoque is one of the finest family SUVs you can buy right now, with a great driving position, excellent levels of equipment and slow depreciation. It may well be its funky looks which draw you into the showroom to look at an Evoque, but it's a fine car on more objective levels too.
The Amarok is the most car-like pick-up truck to drive, and considering the commerical nature of this type of car, that's a big compliment. Indeed, the Amarok offers a decent load-bay and a strong range of engines, thus pleasing drivers who want to use it as a working car, but its decent, spacious interior will please families too.
The C63 is based on the Mercedes C-Class saloon, but gets a 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine under its bonnet rather than the conventional petrol and diesel engines you'll find in the regular line-up. As you might expect, then, it's wonderfully fast, is also easy to drive and reasonably practical.
McLaren 570S Spider
Taking the fight to rivals from Audi, Ferrari and Porsche was always going to be a tough mandate for McLaren's open-top version of the 570S, but crikey does the 570S Spider deliver. There's precise handling and grin-inducing acceleration to go with the McLaren's jaw-dropping looks, as well as impressive everyday usability.
Range Rover Velar
Even though the Velar is intended to be more road-focussed than its Range Rover siblings, it can still travel farther off the beaten track than most luxury SUVs. Add in that it has a massive boot, and that our recommended D180 diesel engine is surprisingly efficient, and it's easy to recommend.
Updates to the Renault Zoe in 2019 have made it a more appealing electric proposition than ever before, with a better real-world range and a punchy electric motor. It's quiet and easy to drive, too, so will hit the sweet spot for many buyers.
You might think that it's mad for Skoda to have both the Scala and the Octavia competing in the same family car class, but the Scala is even cheaper than its larger sibling, so aims to capture buyers on a tight budget. It's a compelling choice, too, with a comfortable ride, a spacious interior and a good infotainment system.
The Corolla is a hybrid family hatchback, so brings far lower running costs than a traditional car in this class. It's not just those low fuel and tax bills which impress, however – we also like the Corolla's comfortable ride, and the fact that you get lots of kit as standard.
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