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TG magazine: the best cars you can buy

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What are the very best cars you can buy right now? Some magazines would aim to answer this question with spreadsheets of economy data, residual values and tax brackets.

But not Top Gear. Because we understand that buying cars is as much about head as heart, in the new issue of our glossy magazine - available in print or interactive digital form - we’ve assembled the definitive guide to the cars you actually want to own, no matter your budget or shopping list.

From city cars to supercars, from coupes to track weapons at every price point, we’ve raked through the competition to nominate the cars we’d spend our own money on. If we hadn’t already blown it all on rusty old Alfas. And crisps.

The selection process was arduous. We’ve thrashed the Rolls-Royce Wraith, Merc S-Class Coupe and Jaguar F-Type across Wales, hoofed BAC’s Mono, the Ariel Atom and Caterham 160 around a track, and got handbrakey in a deserted shipping yard with the Ford Fiesta ST, Audi S1 and VW Golf R.

We’ve taken the Bentley Continental GTC, Fiat 500C and BMW 4-Series convertible on a trip to the beach, investigated luxury in the shape of the Rolls Phantom, S-Class and Skoda Superb, and considered whether the Vauxhall Ampera or BMW i8 better represent the brave electric future.

We’ve even organised an epic relay from Maranello to Weissach across the Alps in a Ferrari 458 Speciale and Porsche’s Cayman S and 918.

If you can’t find inspiration for your next motoring purchase among that lot, frankly you’re beyond help. But, just in case, we’ve also named and shamed the very worst cars on sale in the UK, from the Ssangyong Turismo to the Morgan Plus 4 and many more besides.

First drives? We’ve got the 2-Series - BMW’s first foray into front-wheel drive - along with the Lexus NX, revised VW Scirocco and Aston Martin’s glitzy new Rapide S.

In this month’s News, we investigate Smart’s brave new dawn, delve into Hennessey’s claim that its new Venom F5 will crack 290mph, and explain why the FBI considers Google’s super-cute autonomous car a potential lethal weapon.

Elsewhere, Richard Hammond drives the gorgeous Porsche 964, while we meet the shady millionaires behind YouTube sensation TaxTheRich, and interview daredevil balloonist Felix Baumgardner.

And, of course, we’ve got the usual irreverent thoughts and ramblings from Jeremy, James and Richard. It’s everything you need to know about cars this month.

The September issue of Top Gear magazine is available now

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Get the fully enhanced iPad edition with HD video and images, plus loads of cool interactive stuff for you to play with - download a free preview here - CLICK HERE

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