Cars we're looking forward to driving in 2012Our favourite cars due for arrival in the new year

31 December 2011

VW Beetle interior

The cars we're looking forward to getting behind the wheel of in 2012

With 2011 coming to a close today, the Which? Car team has been discussing the cars we’re most excited about for 2012.

We trek to the major European motor shows every year to catch a glimpse of what could be around the corner, and, as motoring enthusiasts, keep a keen eye out for the new models that are due for release in the near future.

Read the selections made by some members of the team, and then why not have your say on the Which? Conversation post at the end of this article? 

2012: the new cars we can’t wait to drive

Claire Evans: VW Beetle

At last 2012 promises a VW Beetle that’s worth buying. The reinvented Beetle in 1999 was more TV reality wannabe than true star, and simply not worthy of the name. This time round it’s got a great chassis and sparky engines to compliment its curvy body – I can’t wait to drive it.

Toyota GT86

The Toyota GT86 has been eagerly anticipated

Dave Evans: Toyota GT86

When it arrives in June 2012, the Toyota GT86 will make a refreshing change from my usual mundane car requirements – size, versatility and economy. As a family man, this is my reality.

But in that parallel world where I’m still young, free and loaded, I would seriously consider splashing out £28k on a GT86. With its sporty aspirations, I suppose it’s the long-awaited successor to the MR2.

Powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, driving the rear wheels (in true sports car fashion), it looks to me to have a layout similar to a Mazda RX8 – a 2+2 coupe.

We've been waiting for this car since the first concept was revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2009, and we'll soon be getting out chance to try it.

Lewis Skinner: Hyundai i30

If the performance of the lives up to its predecessor then the class-leading Ford Focus could have a real competitor on its hands. Hyundai has upped its game in the looks department for the new i30, both inside and out. A stylish, modern dash and a distinctive, sharp exterior will ensure it stands out from the many other hatchbacks in the market.

With plenty of engine options available I’m sure this car will prove to be very popular.

Jaguar X-C16

The Jaguar X-C16 was one of the stars of the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

Richard Headland: Jaguar C-X16

The Jaguar C-X16 was the star of the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The C-X16 is a stunning evocation of what a 21st Century Jaguar should look like, but it’s not all about the looks. Jaguar makes some astonishing claims about the hybrid powertrain, too.

The 375bhp 3.0 V6 is allied to a 94bhp electric motor, helping the C-X16 sprint to 62mph in just 4.4 seconds. The driver can also call upon an F1-style ‘push to pass’ button to briefly boost power for overtaking. All this, and yet Jaguar reckons CO2 emissions will be a very respectable 164g/km.