What Car? readers can now choose what they think will be the most exciting new car of 2018, as voting for our annual Reader Award is now open, but hurry as voting closes at 5pm today.
Cars including the upcoming Ford Fiesta ST, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-tron and Volkswagen Up GTI are all in the running to be crowned as our reader's champion. This time last year, that honour went to the Honda Civic Type R hot hatch.
The winning car will be announced in January as part of the 2018 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, where we'll also reveal the best new cars in the UK across 20 different categories – plus we'll name one as our overall Car of the Year, a title currently held by the BMW 5 Series.
The What Car? awards are the most established honours for both car manufacturers and the public, with the Reader Award in particular providing a valuable indication of customer reaction to upcoming new cars
What Car? Reader Award 2018 – the shortlist
Audi’s first electric SUV has a claimed driving range of at least 310 miles and will cost you upwards of £60,000. Taking styling cues from last year’s E-tron quattro concept car, it will have a minimalist interior and Audi’s self-driving 'pilot' system included.
Described as an sports activity coupé, the X2 has been designed in the same vein as BMWs current X4 and X6 SUVs. It’s based on the same underpinnings as the Mini Countryman and will face off against other style-led SUVs such as the Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé.
The old Citroën C5 family saloon has been replaced by a chunky SUV that will rival the big-selling Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca. The C5 Aircross has more space inside than almost any other car in this class and features a digital dashboard that’s similar to Peugeot’s i-Cockpit design, which won our Technology Award last year.
This new version of Britain’s cheapest new SUV will keep its tempting price tag but gains a more stylish exterior and better in-car tech, including the option of a multi-view camera to aid parking.
The old Fiesta ST won our Hot Hatch of the Year title every year since 2013, but with a new Fiesta also comes a new ST. This car has 197bhp from its three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine and is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 6.7sec – as fast as the old Fiesta ST200.
Jaguar’s first electric car will be the I-Pace SUV, which was first shown in concept form last year. Jaguar claims that the I-Pace, which rivals the Tesla Model X and the upcoming Audi E-tron, can travel for up to 310 miles between charges.
Kia’s Ford Focus rival will be revitalised next year when a shooting brake version – previewed by this Proceed concept car – joins the new five-door hatchback and estate family. This sleek Cee’d will be aimed at style-conscious buyers who don’t need the space of a full estate car.
Lexus is renewing its fight with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 in the luxury car market with a new LS. The new range-topping saloon features a large 12.3in digital display inside and is powered by a V6 petrol engine, with a hybrid option likely to follow soon after.
The new A-Class will aim to beat the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series with a high-quality interior, more interior space and a new touch-based infotainment system. It will also be capable of partly automated driving, using technology taken from the S-Class luxury saloon.
Joining the Arona and Ateca in Seat’s growing SUV range is this seven-seat SUV, which shares its platform with the Skoda Kodiaq. It will rival that car and others including the Nissan X-Trail. Its name is being decided by a public vote, with Alboran, Aranda, Tavila or Tarraco being the final contenders.
Tesla’s crucial third electric model is a small saloon. It will face executive rivals including the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, and is expected to be priced from around £35,000. The interior is dominated by Tesla’s 15in infotainment touchscreen. Buyers will be able to choose from two versions to either prioritise performance or driving range.
We’ve already driven this hot version of the Up city car, and while its power comes from a lowly 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, it’s still capable of putting a smile on your face. Sporty styling inside and out separates it from the regular Up.
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