Every week, we take a look at the most popular cars in the What Car? reviews section. The top 10 is usually made up of a mix of the most keenly anticipated new cars, the What Car? Award winners and the UK’s best sellers.
These are this week’s hottest cars on the site.
1st Nissan Qashqai
The What Car? Car of the Year for 2014 retains its place at the head of the most popular reviews on the site, despite relinquishing its COTY crown to the Skoda Fabia in January 2015. The Qashqai remains our pick of the small SUVs, however, thanks to the comfortable ride, good levels of equipment and sensible pricing. Our pick of the range is the 1.5 dCi 110 N-tec 2WD trim, which keeps the price right and makes it a very appealing company car option. Shop around and you can save around £2000 on the list price.
Our pick: 1.5 dCi 110 N-tec 2WD
2nd Ford Fiesta
For years, the fab Ford was unassailable at the head of the charts on What Car?. The Fiesta remains the best-selling car in the country, despite a spirited sales performance by the new Vauxhall Corsa. Other small cars may have smarter interiors or be more keenly priced, but nothing matches the Fiesta from behind the wheel. Our favourite Fiesta comes from the middle of the pack: Zetec trim gets you enough toys to stay comfortable, but the best engine to opt for is definitely the 99bhp 1.0-litre Ecoboost, which offers spirited performance and impressive fuel economy. Expect to save at least a grand on that optimistic list price, too.
Our pick: 1.0T 100 Ecoboost 5dr
3rd Mazda CX-5
The CX-5 has staying power in the What Car? reviews top 10, having hung around among the most popular cars on the site for the best part of two years. It’s richly deserved, too, because the Mazda SUV has been among our favourite crossover cars since we reviewed it for the first time in 2012. It steers and drives very well and is practical, too. Wind and road noise can be an issue, but otherwise the big Mazda is pretty hard to fault. The best models are worthy of five stars; you can score a £1500 discount on our favourite 2.2D Skyactiv-D 150 SE-L model. It’s little wonder so many people are reading about it.
Our pick: 2.2D Skyactiv-D 150 SE-L
4th Volkswagen Golf
The Volkswagen Golf is a classy and refined family car and a perennial favourite. This generation of Golf is the best yet. It might not have as plush an interior as the Audi A3, nor is it as spacious as the Skoda Octavia, but it is comfortable, refined and great to drive. There’s also something for everyone in the Golf range, from Bluemotion models for the eco-conscious to GTIs for those looking for more performance. Our favourite is the mid-range 1.4 TSI 122 Match 5dr, which offers a decent blend of performance, equipment and low running costs. It’s a great buy.
Our pick: 1.4 TSI 122 Match 5dr
5th Ford Focus
The UK’s third best-selling car warrants consideration from anyone who wants a small family hatch that prioritises the quality of the driving experience over pretty much everything else. That’s not to say the Focus lets itself down elsewhere. There’s a huge range of engines and model variations on offer, but going too high up the trim tree is a mistake. Stick at Zetec level and get the best deal you can on the 1.6-litre TDCi diesel model and you won’t be disappointed. Push hard for discounts if you are buying privately, to take the sting out of the steep depreciation.
Our pick: 1.6 TDCi Zetec
6th BMW 3 Series
BMW’s popular 3 Series has just been facelifted to compete with the Jaguar XE and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It’s still one of the best compact executives out there. The 3 Series offers strong performance, excellent economy and fine handling. It also has a luxurious and spacious cabin. Go for an automatic gearbox because the standard manual is notchy and also add Adaptive M Sport Suspension to make it one of the best-handling cars in the class.
Our pick: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics
7th Volvo XC60
The Volvo XC60 has a really nice cabin, comfortable ride and loads of safety kit as standard too. It looks a little on the pricey side too, but there is good news there too. There are some brilliant deals to be had on the XC60, with discounts of up to around £4500, putting prices in reach of less premium-badged rivals. With all models getting climate and cruise control, automatic wipers and a DAB radio, there is no need to go higher than SE spec unless you must have leather seats. In terms of engines, the 2.0 diesel is clean and frugal, particular in our favourite two-wheel drive form.
Our pick: 2.0 D4 SE
8th Vauxhall Astra
The Astra is a big seller in the UK so the launch of an all-new model is big news. Vauxhall has managed to create a stylish family hatch that’s good to drive, practical and well equipped. It’s also cheaper to buy and run than many rivals. The new Astra gives the best in class a decent run for their money and deserves its space in the top 10.
Our pick: 1.4T 150 SRi
9th BMW X3
The BMW X3 is one of the best cars in the class with a plush and spacious cabin, relatively low running costs and a great level of refinement. Our pick of the range is the xDrive20d SE, which has all the performance you need, low running costs and a generous specification. However, we would suggest selecting the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox because the manual is pretty clunky.
Our pick: xDrive20d SE
10th Skoda Fabia
Our 2015 Car of the Year is proving a popular draw for those researching which supermini to go for. While the new Fabia is a little short of pizazz, it is very hard to fault elsewhere. It drives well, looks sharp, has a good cabin and if you buy the right model the pricing is very tempting indeed. Our pick is the peppy 1.2-litre turbo petrol model and if you opt for SE trim you’ll get a DAB radio, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors as standard. To gild the lily further, our Target Price deal hunters have found nearly £900 off the list price.
Our pick: 1.2 TSi 90 SE
See the full list of car reviews on What Car? here