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The top ten car reviews of 2014 so far

  1. We’re only a third of the way through 2014, but already this year has seen a mighty bevy of new metal reaching our roads.

    From 875bhp Porsche hybrid hypercars to Volvo’s sporty V60, from an all-new Mini to an even-more-deranged version of Jaguar’s already entirely deranged F-Type, we’ve been behind the wheel of dozens of shiny, lairy new cars already, to review them for you with our trademark blend of insight, knowledge, wit and just a little screaming.

    Some have been sublime. Some have been a little forgettable. Some required us to have a quick lie-down afterwards.

    Here, for your car-purchasing delectation, is our countdown of the reviews you’ve clicked on the most over the year to date. Any of these set to grace your driveways soon?

  2. 10. Volvo V60 Polestar

    “In the corners where the V60 really comes into its own. Big ventilated front discs and six-piston Brembo calipers offer serious stopping power, this big load-lugger stops with serious power, letting you brake late into a corner and then throw it in in a very un-Volvo fashion. Where, thanks to that expensive shopping list of motorsport parts (the decent suspension set up, grippy tyres and modified four-wheel-drive) you don’t topple off the road.”

    Read the full review here

  3. 9. McLaren 650S

    “There’s more grip, and even more astounding body control especially through chicanes or when you lift off in a bend to tuck the nose in. But best of all, the thing feels more organic and transparent. You don’t have to be leaning into a corner at last-gasp effort for it to feel alive. It’s more engaging even at real-world speeds.”

    Read the full review here

  4. 8. Porsche 918 Spyder

    “The 918 an astounding technical achievement. An absolutely all-new car, using bleedin’-edge techniques wherever you look. And it was done at record speed, apparently to Porsche’s usual elevated quality. The engineers can’t have slept a wink these past three years.”

    Read the full review here

  5. 7. Porsche Macan Turbo

    “By SUV standards, the Macan is a bullet train of a thing. The turbo V6 is a brute, combining a chest-tightening low-end wallop from the turbos with a cheery charge past 6000rpm. It’ll fling you deep into licence-losing territory before you can say, ‘Goodness, I am being flung deep into licence-losing territory’…”

    Read the full review here

  6. 6. New Mini

    “Show it a corner and the Cooper comes alive. The front end is super-agile. The steering is sharp but notably progressive and you feel exactly what’s going on. Any car that reacts so quickly but so predictably, and gives you so many options, and connects you so intimately to its moves, cannot fail to be a bundle of laughs…”

    Read the full review here

  7. 5. New Nissan Qashqai

    “Nissan was the first carmaker to truly cash in on the crossover SUV market by, y’know, actually building a half decent crossover SUV. And compared to stuff like the Kia Sportage, and Hyundai iX35, the new model really feels like Nissan’s leading the charge here…”

    Read the full review here

  8. 4. BMW 235i

    “This new Coupe is properly bolted to the road. There’s masses of grip, and a lovely balance - all four tyres club together to carry you through the arc. Then when it’s all loaded up you can trim that balance with the throttle…”

    Read the full review here

  9. 3. Alfa Romeo 4C in Britain

    “If you gave yourself a sliding scale of civility and habitability, with the Porsche Cayman at one end and the Lotus Exige at the other, then, before driving the 4C, I would have placed the Alfa somewhere in the middle. Wrong. It’s right down the Lotus end. Possibly beyond it, in fact…”

    Read the full review here

  10. 2. New Subaru WRX STI

    “On the road, you immediately feel all that new stiffness in the chassis. Every bump, lump and crack is telegraphed to not just your hands, but your back and backside, too. This is exactly what you want when you are blazing to your next destination in an imaginary hurry…”

    Read the full review here

  11. 1. Jaguar F-Type Coupe

    “When you’re driving with some moderation, the coupe is a little more civilized than the convertible F-Type. But crank it up and here comes the familiar brutal V8 howl, and the spitting on the over-run as you pull the down paddle and it chews through the ratios…”

    Read the full review here

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