Published 14/03/2011 | 10:39
Bugatti Veyron -
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO LAUNCH The World's 50 best cars gallery .....From Ferrari to Kia, motoring expert David Wilkins takes a peek at the best model around
Porsche's range has expanded enormously over the years, but the rear-engined 911 line remains at its heart. Enthusiasts remain blind to the claims that the mid-engined Boxster and Cayman have better balance - for hard-core Porsche fans the demanding 911 is the only choice.
How much £64,256
Land Rover Freelander
The looks, commanding driving position and much of the cross-country ability of the big Land Rover models in a smaller, more affordable package; a fuel-saving 'stop-start' system helps to keep the bills low. Great fun to drive on or off the road.
How much from £19,495 ~ (White Special Edition)
Initially available only through a government-sponsored trial, the i-MiEV is expected to go on general sale later this year. Spacious and nippy, this is one of the most practical electric cars so far. Only the 100 mile maximum range is a limitation.
How much lease cost £350 per month
A slightly odd name but great car.Thecee'd came from nowhere to match the established players like the Golf and Focus in almost every area - and Kia threw in rock-bottom pricing and an industry-leading seven-year warranty too. Years of painstaking research into European buyers' preferences are the secret of the cee'd's success.
How much £12,150
Amiracle of space utilisation, the iQ is not much longer than a Smart Fortwo but has accommodation for four, not two - although three is a more comfortable number. In one of the more bizarre examples of co-operation between car manufacturers, the iQ will also form the basis of the forthcoming Aston Martin Cygnet
How much from £9,974
Until the XF came along, Jaguar's styling was stuck in a retro dead end. But all that's changed after the company's stylists gave the wood-and- leather look a 21st-century makeover.
How much from £29,900
Ferrari 458 Italia
The latest Ferrari and the one that everyone is talking about. It's the looks, exceptional even by the standards of the marque, and the 200mph top speed that do it. Works best in Italian racing red - or rosso corsa - of course.
How much from £169,545
Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life
A huge amount of space for the money - one of the few cars on the market that can carry a lot of luggage even with a third row of seats in place. Research tip: it's hidden away in the commercial vehicles section of VW's website.
How much from £17,283
Streetcar Car Club
Streetcar says it offers the 'self-service pay-as-you-go car', which tells you most of what you need to know. Hire any Streetcar vehicle for as long as you like using your card and PIN.
Where 1,000 plus London locations (www.streetcar.co.uk)
How much from £4.95 (hourly), £49.95 (24 hours)
High performance, German quality and not as big and unwieldy as true super-cars, could the lowslung R8 be the car that eventually knocks the Porsche 911 off its perch? Or will Audi's owner VW, which is acquiring Porsche too, keep them apart?
How much from £82,555
An impressive achievement - the most car-like of all SUVs. But if you're really after the BMWexperience and never go off-road, pound-for-pound you'll still be better off with one of the saloons or roadsters.
How much from £41,715
Skoda Superb Greenline
There probably isn't a car on the road that can quite match the Superb's impressive balance of space, quality, capability and value. This Greenline version, with its fuel-saving tweaks, is an especially interesting option.
How much from £16,665
With today's Mondeo, Ford has left the world of 'Dagenham dustbins' far behind. It has the sort of polish that used to be the preserve of premium brands. Only the blue oval badge holds it back a little.
How much from £18,790
The i10 has been one of the big winners under the government's cash-for-bangers car scrappage scheme. Korean cars no longer sell just on price - ability and even style are now part of the mix too.
How much from £7,760
Working with a clean sheet of paper, a new factory, some German parts and quite a bit of money, this is how the Bavarians reinvented one of Britain's most famous automotive brands.
How much from £275,990
Aston Martin Vantage
The Vantage is the cheapest Aston Martin, at least until the bizarre and tiny Toyota iQ-based Cygnet comes along. Until then, the Vantage is smaller and wieldier than other Astons as well.
How much from £87,102
Volvo S80 DRIVe
This DRIVe version of Volvo's big S80 comes with a tiny 1.6-litre diesel engine. The surprise is that it works, delivering entirely adequate performance combined with outstanding economy.
How much from £23,245
Amore convincing product than Volkswagen's reinvented Beetle, theFiat 500 competes hard with BMW's Mini; the Mini has the edge as a driving machine, the Fiat in its looks and keen pricing.
How much from £9,300
Bentley's best-seller is available as the GT coupé, GTC convertible and Flying Spur saloon, so there's a Continental for everyone - everyone who can afford one, that is.
How much from £120,700
Despite containing some ordinary bits, the TT competes with cars with fancier badges such as the BMW Z4, the Mercedes SLK and even the Porsche Boxster.
How much from £26,245
Nissan has all but abandoned mainstream saloons and hatchbacks in favour of an 'all-niche' strategy and the popular Qashqai crossover is one of the results. The +2 version will give you a third row of seats.
How much from £15,395
All of Hyundai's cars are a lot better than their predecessors but the i30 is probably still the pick of the bunch. It offers slightly more polish than its close sister model, the Kia cee'd, but is still more competitively priced than mainstream rivals.
How much from £12,000
The first of a parallel range of more individual DS models that will sit alongside Citroën's mainstream range. One selling point is the the extent to which the DS3, in particular its two-tone colour scheme, can be tailored to individual buyers' tastes.
How much from £11,700
This car's appearance hasn't changed much since it was the Lotus Seven and Patrick McGoohan drove one in The Prisoner.Exceptional lightness means rocket-like performance, even in smaller-engined versions.
How much from £13,300 (kit form), £16,300 (factory built)
BMW 320d EfficientDynamics
Not the most exciting BMW on the road but one that nevertheless makes a compelling case for itself. It emits only 109g/km of CO2, which means £35 annual road tax and only a 13 per cent rating for company car Benefit in Kind taxation.
How much from £26,680
Take a Golf, stretch the tail to provide more space for passengers and luggage, and knock a couple of thousand off the price. That's Skoda's sure-fire formula for the Octavia's success.
How much from £12,240
KWE Jaguar XJ
Jaguar launches the fourth-generation XJ this year but if you prefer traditional Jag styling, KWE will sell you an 'as new' remanufactured and updated version of the 1968 original.
How much K6 (XJ6) from £59,000; K12 (XJ12) from £65,000
Volkswagen Golf GTI
Six generations of Golf GTI have ruled the roost in the hot hatchback market since the first one appeared in 1976. Ford, Vauxhall and Peugeot have provided competition to the class leader but never matched its staying power.
How much from £24,175
Renault Grand Scénic
Renault introduced one of the first people carriers, the 1984 Espace, and MPVs have been big business for the company ever since. The focus of the market has switched to slightly smaller models such as the Grand Scénic.
How much from £17,768
Ford Focus ECOnetic
Spend money to save money. This fuel-saving version of the Focus costs a steep twenty grand plus when fitted with stop-start technology but delivers exceptionally low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
How much from £19,661
The new E-Class marks a return to form for Mercedes and the 250 CDI variant probably represents the best balance between performance and economy.
How much from £27,570
Nine years and one major revamp after BMW reinvented this British classic, the Mini seems to be as popular as ever. New entry-level First model is good value.
How much from £11,270
Mercedes' mighty S-Class has long provided the benchmark in the luxury class, and this one is no exception.
How much from £57,103
Ford Focus RS
The wonderfully wild sporty version of Ford's big seller. Aglorious five-cylinder turbocharged Volvo engine provides more than enough shove for anyone.
How much from £27,575
VW had little tradition of building 4x4s but still came up trumps with this convincing and well-rounded big SUV a few years ago. Much cheaper than its sister car, the Porsche Cayenne.
How much from £31,290
Forget Vauxhall's dull old Vectra; its successor is a polished product good enough to go up against Ford's Mondeo as well as some cars with fancier badges too. Now that General Motors is on themendyou can probably buy one with confidence.
How much from £18,070
With the MX-5, Mazda stumbled upon an unbeatable recipe; build a light, simple British-style rearwheel drive sports car and add Japanese reliability. The MX-5 is great value too, costing not much more than the first-generation model did back in 1990.
How much £16,795
Despite its small footprint, the Yeti crossover has a large and practical interior. The optional 4x4 version is surprisingly capable off-road as well. Slightly pricey for a Skoda, so those on a tight budgets might want to take a look at the Roomster as well.
How much from £13,990
Seat Ibiza FR
The Ibiza is one of the prettiest small cars and this sporty FR version is a delight to drive. The diesel, which emits just 119g/km of CO2, is the first ever eco hot hatch, but the zingy petrol, with its self-shifting seven-speed DSG gearbox is worth a look too.
How much £15,520
This new version of Vauxhall's big seller provides more visual and dynamic zing than the previous model. It's the only Vauxhall car built in the UK so it's a patriotic choice too. Like the Focus, it's starting to look a bit pricey against Skodas and the Koreans.
How much from £16,012
The crisply styled replacement for the popular Chevrolet Matiz. Don't let the badge fool you; most Europe-bound Chevrolets are Korean rather than American, although that's not necessarily a bad thing.
How much from £6,945
This sumptuous Citroën is rarely seen on British roads, but offers a lot of comfort. With its oleo-pneumatic suspension, it still has something of the magic carpet quality of its predecessors, the DS and CX.
How much from £34,795
'It looks like it's going fast, even when it's standing still.' An old motoring writer's cliché but one that captures the XK perfectly. It's as good as it looks, too. Available as a convertible or a fixed-roof coupé.
How much from £61,955
For years, Peugeot produced one hit after another but its recent cars haven't had the zip of old favourites like the 205. The practical and appealing seven-seat 5008 represents a return to form.
How much from £17,345
Honda's hybrid isn't quite as sophisticated as the longerestablished Toyota Prius but it's still an intriguing machine. At £3,000 less than the Prius, and the same price as basic Astras and Golfs, it's a bit of a bargain.
How much £16,338
Somehow Seat managed the difficult trick of injecting a bit Spanish auto emócion into a car originally designed according to the cold precepts of Vorsprung durch Technik.
How much from £18,775
Nothing can squeeze through gaps or into small parking spaces the way the Smart Fortwo can, although this model isn't quite as compact as the original.
How much from £8,715
The Discovery-based Range Rover Sport is £20,000 cheaper than its sister model, the Range Rover, and truer to the rakish good looks of the original 1970 model.
How much from £66,095
Performance car clubs such as CLUBGT allow you to try a variety of exotic models in return for an annual fee. Can get pricey - but not as pricey as ownership.
How much from £1,250 to £8,495 annually
Subaru Legacy Tourer
Four-wheel drive and a smooth boxer engine are just two of the technical delights that lurk beneath the well-engineered Legacy's staid bodywork.
How much from £23,745
Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy has hit out at claims made in a Dublin newspaper that has bought a Bugatti Veyron worth £1.3m.
According to the
Sunday Independent, a source claimed "flash wheels are due to arrive in the coming weeks and are about to make the Co Down boy's wildest dreams come true."
"Rory is really enjoying living the high life with his winnings and he's always dreamed of getting a car like this," said the unnamed source
"He has made a call to a motoring garage in Northern Ireland in the past fortnight and asked to arrange for the car to be ordered with all the extras included.
The Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 is a mid-engined supercar. It is the most expensive modern car in the world at £1.3m.
However McIlroy used his Twitter account to pour cold water the on claims describing them as "utter rubbish".
Not since Tiger Woods has anyone shown so much potential at such a young age.
At 21, after three years as a professional, McIlroy's precocious golfing talent has made him a multi-millionaire and demand for him is growing in the marketplace, too, with three clothing companies believed to be presently chasing his signature.
In 2010, McIlroy was 135th in the US for holing putts inside five feet and ranked 167th between five and 10 feet. The fearless golfer is currently No 8 in the world -- and is participating in his 100th individual event as a professional this week.