RATINGS ★ = Thrill-free zone ★★ = Tepid ★★★ = Interesting ★★★★ = Seriously good ★★★★★ = A truly great car
= new entry this month. Cars in italics are no longer on sale. Issue no. is for our most recent major test of the car (D = Driven, F = feature). Call 0330 333 9491 for back issues. Engine is the car’s combustion engine only – electric motors aren’t shown. Weight is as quoted by the manufacturer for the car in basic spec, e.g. with a manual gearbox. In most cases this is to DIN standards (i.e. with fluids but without a driver), but where the manufacturer only quotes a ‘dry’ weight (i.e. without fluids) this is indicated by *. Note that a dry weight will make the car’s power-to-weight ratio (bhp/ton) appear more favourable. 0-62mph (claimed) is the manufacturer’s 0-62 figure, with a manual gearbox where offered. Our 0-60mph and 0-100mph (tested) figures could be with either a manual or automatic/dct gearbox.
SUPERMINIS / HOT HATCHES OUR CHOICE
Honda Civic Type R. Building on the promise shown by the short-lived FK2 version, the new FK8 Type R is a more rounded proposition – and is all the better for it. It’s outrageously fast on all kinds of roads, edges ahead of its rivals on track, offers oodles of interaction and is practical to boot.
BEST OF THE REST
If you can’t stomach the Civic’s styling, the classy VW Golf R may be more up your street – there’s even a handy estate version. The new Hyundai i30 N Performance Package, meanwhile, makes a intriguing – and impressive – alternative to the usual suspects. From the smaller hatches, we’d choose the Peugeot 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport (left).