Want to know what the best, most relevant, cars from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show were?
The Which? Car team has just returned from the first major European car show of the year, and here is our pick of the bunch unveiled this week.
To see our top 10 favourites, watch the selection of videos below and read each report on the individual cars.
Sharing some DNA with the 500 supermini, the Fiat 500L is a mini MPV aimed at those looking for the Cinquecento fashion statement but in a package capable of carrying the whole family. It’s not due to arrive in the UK until the end of 2012 and we expect prices to start from £13,000 upwards.
Nissan Invitation concept
The Nissan Invitation may have been launched as a concept, but it’s a preview of the next Note mini-MPV. Nissan has already confirmed the production model will be designed in the UK and built in Sunderland. A mega-frugal engine has also been promised, which is likely to be a similar 1.0-litre engine as used in the current Nissan Micra.
Revealed as a concept at the same show last year, the production Ford B-Max is almost identical to the car we saw in 2011. It retains the key talking point of that concept car too – the sliding doors incorporating the B pillars. On sale from the summer, prices will be between £13,000 and £18,000.
The 2012 Porsche Boxster is a significant design and performance overhaul, for a Porsche anyway. Engine tweaks mean the Boxster and Boxster S are both more powerful than before, but there’s also claims of a 15% improvement in efficiency, making this a more affordable performance sports car to own.
A brave move from Volvo for 2012 is to enter the V40 name into the competitive luxury medium-hatchback sector. The new car goes head-to-head with the BMW 1 Series and the new Audi A3 and Mercedes A-class you can read about below. It also has a unique airbag system on the outside of the car to protect pedestrians.
The is no longer a top-heavy small MPV-looking car. For 2012, it’s a sleek, compact, medium hatchback. It’s pretty expensive too, with prices kicking off at £20,000. Not expected to arrive until the end of 2012, we’re interested to see if this car appeals to the existing A-class buyers.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible concept
One of the most talked about cars of the show, the , was also one of the most outrageous. If you said to someone ‘convertible SUV’ they’d probably think you’re in la-la land. But the popular Evoque was showcased as a drop-top, and there’s plenty of talk of this car making it to production.
The standout supermini for us this year was the . The replacement for the 207 is shorter and lighter that it’s predecessor, but offers a larger boot and more rear legroom (claimed). It’s also not a bad looker, with the three-door offering coupe-like design and the five-door a more practical option. It should be available for under £10,000 when it arrives in the summer.
We’ve been extremely impressed by the Hyundai i30 in our recent first drive, so we expect much of the same from the , which shares the same platform. Like the i30, the new Cee’d is a more upmarket version of the car it replaces. And Kia’s seven-year warranty will continue to be a huge selling point.
Squint and you’ll barely be able to tell the difference between the old and new . Audi says its latest medium hatchback is 80kg (about the same weight as an average UK male) lighter than the previous version. However, the old car was launched almost a decade ago, so we expected some significant improvements. Like the A-class, prices are steep; they start from £19,000.