Top 10: The What Car? hot list

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.

Last week, the Land Rover Discovery Sport  knocked the Ford Focus out of the top 10. It was the first time the popular hatchback hadn’t appeared in the list. For the second week running, the Ford is noticeable by its abscence. It’s also been a great week for the Renault Captur which has jumped up to number four. Will it make its way into the top three?

Here are the hottest cars on the site this week.

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 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

3rd 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

4th Renault Captur

The Captur has been a massive success story for Renault, with many thousands finding homes since the model was launched in 2013. It’s not hard to see why, either. The Captur is great to look at and if you choose a sensible specification, the price is pretty keen. Go for the gutsy 0.9-litre petrol and get it in Dynamique Media Nav trim, which gets you a colour touchscreen sat-nav system that lifts the cabin. Don’t be scared of a bright body colour – the Captur can cope with it. Don’t pay list price, either. The Captur is popular, but you can lever more than £1500 off the ticket without a great deal of effort. 

Our pick: 0.9 Dynamique Media Nav



5th 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

6th 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. 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

7th BMW X3

It’s no surprise that the BMW X3 is on this list. It’s 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

8th Audi A3

Our former What Car? Car of the Year, the Audi A3, is one of the best premium hatchbacks you can buy thanks to its strong, efficient engines, comfort, classy interior and strong resale values. Go for SE trim and you get all the kit you could want plus your A3 will come with the best suspension setting – it’s the most comfortable but does nothing to ruin your driving enjoyment.

Our pick: 1.4 TFSI 125 SE

9th Land Rover Discovery Sport

The Discovery Sport is the replacement for the popular but aged Freelander. It’s not in the showrooms yet, but order books are open. It offers seven seats at a far more family-friendly price than the Discovery 4 and it’s a far more urban-friendly size. There’s no denying the allure of the Land Rover badge, either. Our pick of the range is the SE Tech model with the automatic gearbox.

Our pick: 2.2 SD4 190 SE Tech

10th Hyundai i10

Our City Car of the Year 2015 is quieter and more practical than everything else in the class. While most city cars make do with four seats, the Hyundai i10 is a genuine five-seater. It’s also cheap to buy and run and comes with a five-year warranty for added peace of mind. True, it’s not as fun to drive as the Volkswagen Up, but the i10 should definitely be on the shopping list for most city car buyers. Our favourite model is the 1.2 Premium which comes with lots of kit as standard.

Our pick: 1.2 Premium

See the full list of car reviews on What Car? here

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