It’s that time of year when all the ‘best of’ lists flood the internet and over the next few days, Motor-Vision will be doing the same, naming and shaming the finest and most horrendous cars of 2017.
Today, we’re concentrating on the cream, those zingers that accelerated into the hearts of motorists the world over.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Along with the 3 Series-rivalling Giulia, the Stelvio brought Alfa back from the brink and proved it can piece together an SUV just as good as what the big boys can offer.
It wouldn’t be an Alfa if it wasn’t a slick-looking unit and while it totally delivers in the style department, it’s a lot more competent out on the road than previous Alfas too.
Aston Martin Vantage
Revealed only last month, the all-new Vantage shot straight into our favourite cars list if only for the fact that it recycles a lot of the design flair seen with the DB10, which was effectively reserved for James Bond only.
The Vantage’s twin-turbo four-litre V8 engine packs 503bhp and up 687Nm of torque, meaning it can dash from zero to 62mph in 3.6 seconds before topping out at 195mph.
Audi may be more celebrated for its hulking yet stylish SUVs in 2017, but the new A8 proved it still knows how to carve out a top-notch executive cruiser.
Rather than make a plus-size A6, Audi let its design team inject some very intriguing details and the resulting car showcased a more evolved look compared to what other recent Audis had offered.
Looks aside, the A8 promises to be the first production car in the world developed for highly automated driving, debuting new self-driving and self-parking features, as well as a new eight-cylinder four-litre 429bhp diesel engine.
The unadventurous styling of the new X3 may fill you with despair, triggering cries of ‘oh, yet another German SUV’.
However, this mid-size off-roader has been optimised to do what it does better than anyone else and anyone looking for premium, comfortable SUVing can’t go wrong with the X3.
The original i3 was a game-changer for electric cars and its unveiling in 2013 was verification that the big boys were taking EVs seriously.
Even though it was just a facelift for the i3, the refresh process spawned a new sportier variant – the i3s – which brought with it a higher power output, enhanced handling, revised styling and new model-specific chassis technology.
With an extra 14bhp (up from 170bhp), the i3s can clear a 0-62mph spring in 6.9 seconds, almost half a second quicker than before.
Kia began 2017 by confirming its long-touted Stinger would go into production and before the year was through, the five-seat grand tourer has gone on sale and won the hearts of everyone who drives one.
The flagship GT S model has become the meanest Kia yet, with its 3.3-litre 365bhp twin-turbo V6 clearing 0-62mph in under five seconds.
Once known as a producer of brown saloons for glove-wearing dads, Volvo has somehow evolved into an SUV company.
2016’s XC90 marked a high point for the SUV segment and Volvo has done well to condense much of what its full-fat SUV does well into a more compact package.
However, it still does its own thing, introducing an edgier, more youthful look and an uncluttered cabin, whilst remaining an excellent cruiser.