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Marmite motors: the cars we hate to love

Marmite motors: the cars we hate to love

Marmite motors: the cars we hate to love

The automotive landscape would be a dull place if we all bought the same vehicles. While it’s easy to agree that the latest Audi A4 is A Good Car, and the Mitsubishi Mirage is a car no one should spend their own money on, there’s a plethora of cars in between that will divide opinion. A bit like Marmite. We’ve picked out a selection of cars you’ll probably love or hate. Personally, we love ‘em…

Renault Avantime

Renault Avantime

It cost more to buy than a Volkswagen Sharan, was less practical than a Volkswagen Sharan and was about 100 times more likely to leave you stranded than a Volkswagen Sharan – but who wouldn’t love a Renault Avantime? A quirky two-door people carrier with a reputation for going bang (expensively), the Avantime is truly a terrible car. But one we’d love to own.

Jaguar XJ-S

Jaguar XJ-S

When it was new, the XJ-S was a disappointing replacement for the beloved Jaguar E-Type. It was a cross-continent cruiser rather than an outright sports car, and safety regulations meant its dowdy looks weren’t improved by the addition of big, plastic bumpers. Over the years, it’s earned a reputation for going wrong, so values remained in the doldrums for a long time. But, all these issues aside, we’ve got a lot of love for the XJ-S. Time has even been kind to its looks.

Citroen C3 Pluriel

Citroen C3 Pluriel

Citroen did something wacky when it brought out the C3 Pluriel in 2003. It was a car that could be used as a convertible in the summer, a cosy supermini in the winter, and a pick-up truck when you needed something moving. An unconventional idea – and one that never really took off amongst customers. Age hasn’t been kind to the Pluriel, either – with it developing a reputation for iffy reliability and a roof that goes wrong. A modern day 2CV it is not, but we still see the appeal.

Austin Allegro

Austin Allegro

In Harris Mann’s early design sketches, the Austin Allegro was a very sleek-looking car. But that changed as practicalities were realised. For example, it had to accommodate a (very deep) heater, which had already been designed at great expense. As a result, the Allegro looked frankly disastrous. It frequently tops polls for the worst car ever sold, but we love its charm. It sums up the 1970s British car industry. And for that, we’d love one on our driveway.

Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Jimny

It’s frankly astonishing that, practically unchanged since 1998, the utilitarian Suzuki Jimny is still in production. The interior feels dated, the ride is uncomfortable, it offers all the performance of a tired tortoise, yet we’ve got a lot of time for the Jimny. It’s a quirky off roader (that can genuinely show up Land Rovers in the mud), and should never break down.

Caterham Seven

Caterham Seven

As a toy, the Caterham Seven is arguably the most fun you can have for its £15,995 starting price. But in reality, it’s far from perfect. It’s uncomfortable, has no creature comforts, and the roof is a nightmare to put down (and, more importantly, up). And, unless you pay extra, you have to build it yourself. Still… we’d have one in our lotto-win garage.

Rover Streetwise

Rover Streetwise

The Rover Streetwise was essentially a jacked-up Rover 25 with slightly increased ride height and chunky, off-roader-esque bumpers. It featured the standard two-wheel-drive drivetrain despite the 4×4 looks, in a bid to appeal to young, fashion-conscious buyers. It was, however, a sales flop – but you could argue it was ahead of its time.

Audi TT

Audi TT

‘Terrible’ might be a bit harsh on the original TT, but it certainly didn’t deliver the enjoyable driving experience its sporty looks promised. The front-wheel-drive TT shared a platform with the Skoda Octavia and initially developed a reputation for being unstable at high speeds, resulting in a recall in 1999. But its design has aged so well in our opinion – it’d make for a great used buy.

Ford Probe

Ford Probe

When the Ford Probe went on sale in the UK in 1992, there was a great deal of excitement over the modern-day Capri. But the Mazda-based Probe proved to be disappointing, with stodgy looks and dull front-wheel-drive handling. It’s finally starting to get a bit of a following, however, and we quite fancy buying one while we still can. Numbers are falling, with fewer than 718 believed to be left on UK roads.

Ford Fiesta XR2i

Ford Fiesta XR2i

How motoring writers laughed when Ford released the much-anticipated Fiesta XR2i, complete with its wheezy, thrashy CVH engine, ultra-low-geared and twirly steering, wooden chassis and precision more akin to a blunt knife. Compared to the scalpel-sharp Peugeot 205 GTI and effervescent Renault 5 GT Turbo (and later Clio 16v), the Fiesta was laughably off the pace. But still they sold – it’s a Ford, after all. And still, despite the standard car’s soapy lines, Ford’s hot hatch designers managed to make it look like the exciting, racy car it wasn’t. It even had a blue pinstripe: the epitome of cool. Conventional wisdom is to lust after a 205 GTI. Us, we’ll stick with the people’s choice, warts and all.

To find out more Marmite cars we love to hate, click through our gallery on MSN Cars

Football, Farage and Ferraris: Goodwood Revival 2016 in pictures

Football, Farage and Ferraris: Goodwood Revival 2016 in pictures

Football, Farage and Ferraris: Goodwood Revival 2016 in pictures

In the case of the Goodwood Revival, a picture paints a thousand words, as demonstrated by this evocative photo from the weekend. With the hills of the Sussex Downs still echoing to the sound of historic racing cars, we bring you some of the best photos from the Goodwood Revival 2016.

Wet, wet, wet

The Goodwood Revival is an authentic recreation of motorsport from days gone by, and this year the organisers even managed to arrange some typically British weather. The drenched track made for some interesting conditions; these drivers needed nerves of steel to compete in these priceless machines.

Sunshine on a rainy day

The Aston Martin DB4 GT you see here was involved in a dramatic incident while attempting to overtake a Jaguar E-Type in the Kinara Trophy. The DB4 GT span off the track, reversing into the tyre wall in the process.

Grid walk

Remove the modern sponsor logos and this could pass as a photo taken in the 1960s. A grid girl is flanked by a pair of Jaguar E-Types.

St Mary’s Trophy

We’ll never tire of seeing the Austin A35s at the Goodwood Revival. The cars were mechanically identical, making for fast and frenetic action on track. The little A35s made for some social media gold, including the sight of a driver wiping his windscreen at 100mph, along with an A35 driven by Ben Colburn barrell-rolling into a field.

We’re going to Wembley

A Routemaster bus and a Mini Moke leads a parade of 1960s vehicles in celebration of England’s World Cup triumph. It’s 50 years since England lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy.

They think it’s all over…

As we’re reliably informed whenever England play in a tournament, the final score was England 4-2 West Germany. It looks like a German player is calling for offside. Or is he suggesting the ball didn’t cross the line?

It is now

England supporters doing their best to drown out the sound of the historic race cars. They failed.

Nigel Farage

The Goodwood Revival is a chance to get up close and personal with some ‘celebrities’ who are never too far away from the news. Here’s former UKIP leader Nigel Farage engaged in some healthy debate. We wonder if he’s discussing the finer points of lift-off oversteer…

Rowan Atkinson

Meanwhile, here’s Rowan Atkinson in what appears to be a pensive mood. Mr Bean swapped his Mini for a 1959 Austin A35 as he competed in the St Mary’s Trophy.

Sir Chris Hoy

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy competed in car number 51, against Rowan Atkinson. Hoy qualified in a more than respectable tenth position, ahead of the likes of Tiff Needell, David Coulthard and Karun Chandhok.

To see more pictures from the 2016 Goodwood Revival, click through our gallery on MSN Cars

The story of the Land Rover Discovery: in pictures

The story of the Land Rover Discovery: in pictures

The story of the Land Rover Discovery: in pictures

Test mules of the new Land Rover Discovery are currently being trialled worldwide, ahead of the car making its official debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. With more than 25 years of heritage, the Discovery has quite a story to tell.

The story starts in the mid 80s, when Land Rover was losing sales to the likes of the Mitsubishi Shogun and Isuzu Trooper. The firm decided it needed a practical, family four-wheel-drive vehicle, filling the void between the Defender and the Range Rover. The first clay models were created in 1986.

Tucked away in Hall 9 at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show, Land Rover revealed its new Discovery. Budget constraints meant it shared many features with the Range Rover, including the chassis, suspension, body frame, inner door panels and even windscreen.

It shared a V8 petrol engine with the Range Rover, too – although it was enlarged to 3.9 litres for the Discovery. A four-cylinder diesel, the 200 Tdi, was also offered.

Three- and five-doors

Land Rover Discovery three- and five-door

Initially, the Land Rover Discovery was only available with three doors. To truly appeal to families, a five-door was required, and this was launched a year later. The Discovery’s interior was designed by an external agency, Conran Design Group. It was described as a ‘lifestyle accessory’, featuring built-in sunglasses holders, map pockets above the windscreen and twin sunroofs to create an airy cabin.

At a time when company car tax rules favoured cars with smaller engines (rather than being CO2-based), Land Rover briefly sold the Discovery with a 2.0-litre petrol engine known as the ‘MPI’. It struggled to heave the mass of the Discovery and proved to be unpopular. As such, it was short-lived.

Sales success

Sales success

The Land Rover Discovery soon became a sales hit for the brand. In November 1993, the Sunday Times reported: “During the L-plate bulge in August, sales of recreational four-wheel-drive vehicles continued to soar. Almost 15,000 new off-roaders were registered, a rise of 66% over last year, amounting to over 3.5% of the entire car market.”

Leading the SUV boom was the Discovery, with 3,161 sold in August 1993 – ahead of the Vauxhall Frontera, Suzuki VItara, Isuzu Trooper and Jeep Cherokee.

Honda acquired a 20% share in Rover Group in 1990 – and the Discovery was launched as the Honda Crossroad in Japan three years later. It was the first time Honda had used its badge on a foreign vehicle, but competition from other Japanese manufacturers meant it was keen to exploit its relationship with Land Rover.

Camel Trophy

Camel Trophy

The annual Camel Trophy put a variety of Land Rover vehicles (and their drivers) through their paces every year, exploring areas including the Amazon, Madagascar and Australia. The Discovery was first used in the Camel Trophy in 1990.

The first Camel Trophy event to use the Discovery took place in Siberia, and used a three-door 200 Tdi model. As always for the event, the vehicles were painted in the old British Motor Corporation colour of Sandglow, and kitted out with essential off-road gear such as winches, extra lighting and roll cages.

The Camel Trophy was a huge PR exercise for Land Rover. Although most Discovery buyers wouldn’t do much extreme off-roading, it showed what their cars were capable of. By the 90s, Land Rover decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for the upmarket Range Rover to compete in the Camel Trophy, so the Discovery featured for seven years.

Land Rover Discovery facelift

Land Rover Discovery facelift

A facelifted Discovery arrived in 1994, codenamed internally as ‘Romulus’. Although it didn’t look much different externally than its predecessor, with revised taillights and headlights, the interior was heavily revised to make it more car-like. Airbags were added, as was a more advanced sound system. A variety of colour schemes allowed customers to personalise their Discovery.

The biggest change came in the form of the engine. The archaic 200 Tdi was replaced with the more modern 300 Tdi – another 2.5-litre four-pot diesel, with improved performance and lower emissions. A new five-speed gearbox was also introduced.

At the same time as the 1994 facelift, Solihull’s Special Vehicles department produced a load-lugging version of the Discovery. Based on a three-door, the Commercial featured the same engines as the regular model. It had panelled-over side windows and no rear seats.

The 1994 model was the first Discovery to be sold in North America, and it proved popular worldwide throughout the mid-90s, with 70,000 built in 1995. Several special editions were also introduced, including the Anniversary 50, Goodwood and the Argyll.

Land Rover Discovery 2

Land Rover Discovery 2

The second-generation Discovery was launched under Rover Group’s BMW ownership in 1998, and broadly similar to the outgoing model. But it was heavily revised, with a tweaked chassis and changes to almost every body panel. The three-door model was dropped, and a larger shell meant it was more practical than its predecessor.

A year before, Land Rover had launched the smaller Freelander, meaning the Discovery could concentrate on being a large, seven-seat, family 4×4. Extra kit was fitted as standard, and passengers on the rearmost, side-facing seats had more room.

The biggest changes were under the bonnet. Although the 3.9-litre petrol V8 remained largely unchanged, a new in-line 5-cylinder diesel replaced the 300 Tdi. Badged the TD5, the new diesel was shared with the Defender, and is often misdescribed as being a BMW engine. It is, in fact, a Rover engine, largely finished when BMW bought the Group in 1994.

As with the Discovery 1, Land Rover sold a number of special editions of the second-generation Discovery, including the Adventurer and Braemar.

Land Rover Discovery 2: facelift

Land Rover Discovery 2: facelift

In a bid to bring the now-ageing Discovery up-to-date alongside its L322 Range Rover, Land Rover gave the model a facelift in 2002. Changes were minor, with the bodyshell remaining the same but new front and rear lights and bumpers introduced.

Even more options were added to take the Discovery 2 further upmarket, while the engine line-up remained in the same – in Europe, at least. In North America, a more powerful 4.6-litre version of the V8 was offered in a desperate bid to sell the Discovery to power-hungry Americans. So far, the model hadn’t been a success in the States.

Back in the UK, the Discovery was proving to be a popular vehicle with emergency services. Its ability to travel at motorway speeds in comfort (and greater, when required), combined with its practicality meant many police forces had a Discovery on their fleet, particularly in rural areas.

Land Rover Discovery 3

Land Rover Discovery 3

The third-generation Discovery arrived in 2004, and proved to be a bit of a shock for traditional Discovery fans. Developed under Ford, the Discovery 3 was all-new – with not a single component carried over from its predecessor.

It was bigger and heavier than before, designed to appeal to North American customers (where it was badged the LR3 to shake off connotations associated with the Discovery badge). Over there, it was powered by a 4.0-litre Ford V6 (known as the Cologne V6).

In Europe, buyers could choose between a 4.4-litre Jaguar V8 and the (much more popular) 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel co-developed with Peugeot/Citroen.

The Discovery 3’s huge 288.5cm wheelbase meant it was roomier than ever before, while air suspension on all but the entry-level models offered a Range Rover quality ride.

Land Rover Discovery 3

Although the 2004 Discovery was less utilitarian than ever before, it proved to be even more popular with emergency services. There have been reports of TDV6-powered Discoverys having covered more than 400,000 miles.

Although Land Rover cut its links with the Camel Trophy after the 1998 event, the firm introduced its own G4 Challenge in 2003. The third-generation Discovery was used in Bolivia in stages of the 2006 event – proving that it had what it takes to be a serious off roader. A clever terrain response system worked with its air suspension to make the Discovery 3 the most capable Discovery so far.

Land Rover Discovery 4

Land Rover Discovery 4

The fourth-generation Discovery (known as the LR4 in North America) has been on sale since 2009, and is very similar to the Discovery 3 on which it’s based. Like with the Discovery 2 facelift, the Discovery 4 featured revised front and rear lights, and new front bumper. This gave it a more modern look and brought it up-to-date with the rest of the Land Rover range.

Dig deeper, and you’ll find greater changes underneath the skin. The Discovery 4 was powered by a revised version of the TDV6 PSA diesel engine, increased to 3.0-litres with greater power, torque and economy. A revised gearbox followed in 2012.

Today, the Discovery remains a competent off-road vehicle. Land Rover Experience centres worldwide are used to promote it, and demonstrate its capabilities to potential customers. There’s one thing you can be sure of: when the Discovery 5 goes on sale in 2017, it’ll be just as capable off-road.

As traditional for Land Rover, a number of special editions have been introduced to the Discovery 4 range over the years. These include the XXV, launched to celebrate 25 years of the Discovery.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover Discovery Sport

What’s this? The Discovery Sport, launched in 2014, triggered the Discovery badge now becoming a sub-brand in its own right – following in the footsteps of Range Rover.

Essentially a replacement for the Freelander, the Discovery Sport was previewed in the (larger) Discovery Sport Vision concept at the 2014 New York Auto Show, before going on sale in September of that year.

Designed by Gerry McGovern, the same man responsible for the original Freelander, the Discovery Sport features a steel monocoque, while the bonnet, wings, roof and tailgate are made from aluminium. Many have commented on its likeness to the popular Range Rover Evoque.

Initially, buyers had a choice of the same engines that powered the Freelander: a 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine and the 2.2-litre Duratorq four-cylinder diesel in 150hp and 190hp guises. When JLR’s new Ingenium engine range was launched in the Jaguar XE in 2015, they soon followed in the Discovery Sport, replacing the ageing Ford engines.

Land Rover Discovery 5

Land Rover Discovery 5

And this brings us to today: the new 2017 Land Rover Discovery 5, teased ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show. The tech-heavy SUV is expected to offer ‘capability and technology like no other’, says Land Rover.

The Discovery 5 will look like a larger version of the Discovery Sport, and very similar to the Discovery Vision concept of 2014.

Again going upmarket compared to its predecessor, the Discovery 5 will be powered initially by the firm’s 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine, with 3.0-litre V6 powerplants also expected. Using the Range Rover’s aluminium monocoque, it’s expected to be substantially lighter than the Discovery 4, coming in at less than two tonnes.

Meet the Instagrammers who love rubbish cars

Meet the Instagrammers who love rubbish cars

Meet the Instagrammers who love rubbish cars

Some chase Pokemon, others hunt down rare and exotic supercars. There’s a thrill in ‘capturing’ something hard to get – and in this social media age, there seems to be a treasure hunt craze to suit all tastes. Including those who love awful cars.

Data obtained from the DVLA by Motoring Research shows that a number of popular 1980s and 1990s cars are facing extinction, with fewer than 100 examples of some models left on UK roads. There are just 91 Vauxhall Belmonts still registered, for example, while rust has reduced the number of Citroen Visas left to just 31.

By comparison, Aston Martin registers around 1,000 cars in the UK every year – meaning you’re much more likely to see a DB9 than an Austin Metro.

Sixteen-year-old William Bray has been snapping unusual cars since he was 12. A lot of the cars he takes photos of are older than him, and he can’t remember them ever being commonplace.

“Everyone takes photos of supercars and I want to be different,” he explains. “Many retro cars are now rarer than supercars, so finding a Mk1 Fiesta is much harder than seeing a Porsche.”

A social media sensation

Bray posts the pictures he takes on his Instagram account, @peugeot304, where more than 5,000 loyal fans follow his posts. Flicking through reveals a wonderfully perverse attraction towards the mundane: from a battered, grey 1991 Ford Sierra Sapphire (itself worth 167 Instagram ‘likes’), to a Skoda Favorit parked in a supermarket car park.

His enthusiasm for the under-appreciated is huge. “I did see a Bedford Chevanne at Burger King in Bognor Regis,” he boasts, before adding excitedly: “I genuinely couldn’t believe my eyes!”

This desire to photogragh vehicles that most would consider to be scrapyard fodder does extend beyond simply stumbling across cars in car parks.

His bemused parents have had to turn around on a number of occasions so he can get a second look at cars, including a Bedford Astramax and a Morris Marina Coupe.

He even made them drive around a housing estate hunting out a Mk1 Vauxhall Astra estate he’d been tipped off about. “I did manage to find it in the end,” he quips.

Meet the Instagrammers who love rubbish cars

Bray isn’t alone in this unusual hobby. Paul Renowden, 34, is from Cornwall, and a browse of his Instagram account (aptly titled @cornish_car_spots) reveals a love of Rover Metros, Ford Probes, and even relatively modern Fiat Puntos.

As a serial car buyer who counts a Triumph Acclaim Triomatic parked next to an Austin Allegro estate as his best spot, Renowden’s interest comes from the fact that these cars are actually within reach. “As a teenager, all I wanted was a Ferrari 288 GTO,” he explains. “But now I get weak at the knees at the prospect of owning another Fiat Uno and I have an unexplainable urge to buy a Metro.”

So what turned him off supercars and onto, well, rubbish cars? He describes modern performance cars as “motorised PlayStations”.

“If you parked a Fiat Strada 65 CL next to a Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, I’d be swooning over the Strada,” he jests. And, with 36 Fiat Stradas registered on UK roads, who could blame him?

Capturing their prey

Like Bray, Renowden’s interest has gone further than simply snapping a quick picture of a car spotted out and about. He tells me of the time he once chased a Fiat Tipo for quite a distance, losing it and finding it again, before it pulled into a supermarket car park to be ‘captured’.

“My Dad had a Tipo, and that got me into cars, and I had one many years later.

“I followed it, lost it, found it again, followed it and it eventually pulled up. I spoke to the owner for ages and nearly forgot to take a picture!”

Not everyone will get so excited about a Fiat Tipo. But numbers of cars like this are in decline, and we’re already at a time when you’re unlikely to see an old Austin Allegro anywhere but a classic car show. Some won’t mourn the passing of everyday cars of yesteryear – but next time you’re stuck in traffic behind something a bit obscure, bear these ‘chod-botherers’ in mind.

Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Tucked away on a quiet industrial estate in Bracknell you’ll find Honda UK’s press garage. Here, among the Civics and CR-Vs, is a mouthwatering line-up of perfectly preserved cars from Honda’s past.

The collection stretches from an original Mk1 Civic to a brace of NSXs – with various Type Rs and Mugens in-between. Join us for a guided tour…

Honda Civic (1975)

Honda Civic (1975)

We start with this delightful Mk1 Civic, a 1.2 Deluxe model in a very 1970s shade of ‘Carnaby Yellow’. The advertising slogan for the first Civic was ‘It will get you where you’re going’ – quite a novel concept for drivers more used to British Leyland cars of the time.

This particular Civic, chassis number 003, used to be a press demonstrator, so it came full-circle when Honda bought it back for the heritage fleet. It also featured in UK brochure shots when new.

The Civic is powered by a 50hp 1.2-litre engine mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is 90mph and acceleration to 62mph takes a leisurely 15.2 seconds. This Deluxe model features an AM radio and heated rear window. Snazzy.

Honda Civic Type R (2005)

Honda Civic Type R (2005)

Leaping forward into the modern era, this is the second-generation Civic Type R (but the first to be sold in the UK). Known to enthusiasts as the EP3, it has a practical, MPV-style body and a screaming 200hp 2.0-litre VTEC engine. What’s not to like?

Honda originally planned to sell 1,500 Type Rs a year in the UK, but actually managed to quadruple that figure. British-built Type Rs were even exported back to Japan.

Not everyone loved the red Recaro seats (a Type R trademark), but few criticised the driving experience. At the time, Autocar magazine said it was “One of the most exhilarating and satisfying drivetrains of any car on sale, irrespective of price”. High praise indeed.

Honda Civic Type R (2010)

Honda Civic Type R (2010)

In 2007, EP3 gave way to FN2: a hot hatch that’s less universally loved. It had space-age styling and a power boost to 215hp from its 2.0-litre engine – enough for 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds.

This ‘Milano Red’ FN2 is one of the more desirable post-2009 cars, which had a limited-slip differential as standard. Note the split rear window: a styling theme that continues on the current Civic.

The interior of the eighth-generation Civic was pretty futuristic, too. Check out the split-level dashboard with no less than three information panels. It’s also quite red in here…

Honda S2000

Honda S2000

Honda’s rev-happy roadster only ceased production in 2009, but it’s already a modern classic. Thank its 240hp 2.0-litre engine, which is redlined at a motorbike-esque 9,000rpm. Producing an incredible 120hp per litre, it won four Engine of the Year awards.

The S2000 seen here is the last-of-the-line Edition 100 model, boasting 17-inch alloys and Grand Prix white paint. It could hit 62mph in 6.2 seconds and keep going to 150mph.

The plasticky – and rather cramped – interior is where the S2000 shows its age. But it’s still a real treat to drive: an analogue sports car in an increasingly digital age. The Telegraph said: “The S2000 begs to driven hard and the experience of doing so generously lightens the weight of life’s struggle.” Blimey.

Honda NSX (2005)

Honda NSX (2005)

When the Honda NSX was launched in 1990, it was revolutionary – something that is starting to become a theme of this gallery. Its aluminium construction was a first for a mass-produced car, and it boasted a chassis tuned with input from none other than F1 champ Ayrton Senna.

The first-generation model was axed in 2005 as sales declined, making this example on Honda’s heritage fleet one of the very last. Recently subject to a heavy rebuild following an incident involving a wet test track and an over-eager journo, MY05 NSX is showing just 30,000 miles on the clock.

Powered by a 3.2-litre VTEC engine, the NSX produced 280hp and could hit 62mph in 5.7 seconds. Being a later model, it used a slick six-speed manual gearbox and, unfortunately, lost the pop-up lights of the original model.

Honda NSX (1990)

Honda NSX (1990)

And talking of the original… Honda’s got one on its fleet. Designed to be a Ferrari-beater (in terms of performance, usability, reliability and well, everything really), the NSX was originally powered by a 3.0-litre quad-cam 24-valve VTEC V6.

And hasn’t it aged well? Its angular looks with pop-up headlights look as good today as they did 26 years ago – although the lack of a Ferrari badge on the front did put some buyers off.

The inside doesn’t look quite as special, although it does feel it – sitting low down and a long way forward with the engine positioned behind you. It’s a shame this one uses the four-speed ‘F-matic’ automatic gearbox.

Honda Insight

Honda Insight

In 1999, Honda introduced this weird futuristic thing called the Insight. A quirky hybrid-powered car with bold looks and only two seats, the Insight preceded the more mainstream (and more successful) Prius by a few months.

By combining a tiny 67hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with an electric motor, Honda claimed the Insight was quick enough to rival conventional 1.5-litre cars. It was seriously innovative for its time – featuring regenerative braking, stop-start and even electric power steering.

This example in Honda’s heritage collection is in mint condition and was previously owned by a Honda employee. With around 250 officially sold in the UK, it has to be one of the best in the country.

Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z

Launched in 2010 as a spiritual successor to the Honda CR-X, the three-door CR-Z coupe featured a hybrid powertrain. This combined a 1.5-litre petrol VTEC engine with an electric motor – but performance was a smidgen disappointing, taking close to 10 seconds to hit 62mph.

With performance not living up to its appearance, and the compact coupe body resulting in poor practicality (and appalling visibility) the CR-Z sold in relatively small numbers in the UK. Its price tag of more than £20,000 probably didn’t help matters either. Not when you could pick up the excellent Ford Fiesta ST for £17,000.

But let’s not be entirely down about the CR-Z. Its hybrid powertrain was genuinely innovative at a time when everyone was buying diesel, and 56.5mpg was excellent for a sporty(ish) car. It also handled brilliantly.

Honda Civic Type R Mugen

Honda Civic Type R Mugen

Aftermarket tuning company Mugen was established in 1973 by Hirotoshi Honda – the son of Honda Motor Company founder Soichiro Honda. Although not owned by Honda, Mugen has worked closely over the years to provide performance variants of its models. One of which is this: the Honda Civic Type R Mugen.

Only 20 of these were ever built, with each one precision engineered in the UK by Mugen Euro and built to customer specifications – with a starting price of more than £40,000. The regular 2.0-litre VTEC engine was tuned to produce 240hp, using bespoke pistons, camshafts and an ECU remap, while the exhaust, wheels, brakes, suspension and gearbox all received the Mugen treatment.

The result was a hot hatch that could hit 62mph in 6.0 seconds flat and was described by Top Gear magazine as “so in tune with your every movement that you don’t so much drive it as simply think it around the track”.

Honda CR-Z Mugen

Honda CR-Z Mugen

Despite its sporty looks, the standard hybrid CR-Z was never a particularly dynamic car to drive. Mugen experimented with a hot interpretation, which supercharged the 1.5-litre petrol engine to produce 200hp (up from a lacklustre 124hp).

Around 50kg was shaved off the CR-Z’s kerb weight, while stiffer springs with adjustable dampers sharpened up the handling – helped, as well, by the addition of a limited-slip diff.

A unique Mugen exhaust means the CR-Z sounds the part, while its bodykit has a look of Max Power about it. This is aided by the lightweight 17-inch alloys and carbonfibre bonnet and doors.

To see more pictures of Honda’s heritage collection, click through our gallery on MSN Cars

2016’s fastest accelerating production cars

2016’s fastest accelerating production cars

2016’s fastest accelerating production cars

Tesla has launched what it’s describing as ‘the fastest volume production car in the world’ – the Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds. That’s extraordinarily quick for a family saloon (especially with eco credentials). But how does it stack up against the fastest accelerating cars, full stop..?

For the sake of this feature, we’ll enforce a rule that a car has to be capable of a sub-3.5 seconds 0-62mph time to qualify for inclusion. So, that’s supercars such as the Mercedes-AMG GT S and Aston Martin DB11 eliminated already. We’re taking no prisoners. And, for simplicity’s sake (and to prevent 911 overload), we’ve taken the fastest version of each model.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso – 3.4 seconds

Launched at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Ferrari FF replacement that is the GTC4Lusso boasts a 3.4 second 0-62mph time and a staggering 208mph top speed. That’s in a car capable of carrying four people and gadgets including a new 10-inch infotainment screen.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – 3.4 seconds

While there are more finessed supercars featured here, the Corvette Z06 is one of the cheapest – costing around £90,000. The American brute is stonkingly quick compared to its closest rivals, hitting 62mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 186mph.

Audi R8 Plus – 3.2 seconds

Audi R8 Plus - 3.2 seconds

Audi knows how to produce a quick car – its Audi RS6 Performance estate almost qualifies for inclusion here, hitting 62mph in 3.7 seconds. The R8 supercar has been tempting 911 buyers for 10 years now, with the second-generation model arriving last year and covering the 0-62mph run in 3.5 seconds even in ‘base’ spec. In R8 Plus guise, with power from its V10 engine boosted to 610hp, it’ll 62mph in 3.2 seconds.

Lamborghini Huracan – 3.2 seconds

The Lamborghini Huracan shares a platform and engine with the Audi R8 – but to drive, it feels surprisingly different. The four-wheel-drive LP 610-4 matches the R8 Plus’s 3.2 seconds 0-62mph sprint.

McLaren 570S – 3.2 seconds

Until the watered-down 540C came along, the 570S was an entry-level McLaren. An entry-level McLaren with a revised version of the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the the McLaren 650S and P1. It hits 62mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 204mph.

Noble M600 – 3.0 seconds

Noble M600 - 3.0 seconds

Built in a shed in Leicestershire, the M600 uses a twin-turbocharged Volvo V8 to produce up to 659hp – a hefty amount of power for a lightweight sports car made of a mixture of stainless steel and carbonfibre. It’ll hit 62mph in 3.0 seconds flat.

Ferrari 488 – 3.0 seconds

The old naturally-aspirated Ferrari 458 wouldn’t have qualified for this feature in standard form, but its turbocharged successor hits 62mph in 3.0 seconds flat. Both the GTB coupe and soft-top Spider versions take the same amount of time to accelerate to 62mph, while top speed is in excess of 200mph.

McLaren 650S – 3.0 seconds

A carbonfibre tub combined with a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 makes for a Ferrari-baiting 0-62mph time in the McLaren 650S. Hitting 62mph takes 3.0 seconds in both the Spider and coupe variants. That’s 0.3 seconds quicker than its short-lived 12C predecessor.

Ferrari F12 TDF – 2.9 seconds

Ferrari F12 TDF - 2.9 seconds

While the regular Ferrari F12 Berlinetta doesn’t cut the mustard in performance terms (in our harsh sub-3.5 sec requirements, anyway), the track-ready F12 TDF hits 62mph in 2.9 seconds. That’s thanks to a 39hp power boost from its V12 engine (taking the total to 780hp), while 110kg has been shaved off the total weight. To help deploy such performance, an incredible 230kg of downforce is created using some trick aero.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – 2.9 seconds

The Porsche 911 Turbo S is arguably the 911 nobody needs. Lesser models (now turbocharged, too) offer easily plentiful performance for even the most enthusiastic of Autobahn drivers, but for bragging rights the Turbo S is the one to have. The latest incarnation hits 62mph in 2.9 seconds, a top speed of 205mph and has lapped the Nürburgring in 7min 18sec.

McLaren 675LT – 2.9 seconds

This is the result of McLaren’s engineers taking a 650S, improving as many bits as they possibly could, and producing a car that’s almost as fast as its flagship P1 hypercar. The McLaren 675LT shares many components with the P1, while 100kg has been shaved of the 650S’ weight. No wonder it can hit 62mph in 2.9 seconds.

BAC Mono – 2.8 seconds

BAC Mono - 2.8 seconds

Jeremy Clarkson described it as ‘amazing’. Yet another bonkers car from a small-time Brit, the BAC Mono boasts a power to weight ratio of around 525hp per tonne. No wonder it’ll hit 62mph in comfortably less than 3.0 seconds.

Lamborghini Centenario – 2.8 seconds

Revealed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Centenario is Lambo’s Aventador-based supercar launched to commemorate Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. A tweaked version of the Aventador’s 6.5-litre V12 produces 770hp. Unfortunately, all 40 examples (20 coupes and 20 Roadsters) are sold out.

Lamborghini Aventador SV – 2.8 seconds

Sharing the Centenario’s engine, the performance-spec Aventador SV packs 750hp from its naturally-aspirated V12. Carbonfibre body panels and a stripped-out interior means it packs a dry weight of 1,525kg – 50kg less than the regular Aventador. It hits 62mph 0.1 seconds quicker than the standard model.

Nissan GT-R – 2.8 seconds

Nissan GT-R - 2.8 seconds

Nissan. The firm that once made the Bluebird, but now better known for its popular Qashqai crossover. It also makes the GT-R Skyline successor, launched in 2007 and getting ever-faster nearly a decade later. Top Gear magazine described the 2.8 second 0-62mph time of the latest GT-R as ‘frankly violent’. We won’t disagree.

Koenigsegg Regera – 2.8 seconds

The most bonkers thing to come out of Sweden, Koenigsegg describes its Regera as a ‘megacar’. We’ll go with that. At lower speeds, the Regera is powered by three electric motors, while a mid-mounted twin-turbo 5.0-litre V8 kicks in when you ask more from it.

Caterham Seven 620R – 2.8 seconds

If you’re going to accelerate from standstill to 62mph in less than 3.0 seconds, you probably want to be doing it in something fairly substantial. But the tiny, flimsy, ancient Caterham Seven can hit 62mph in 2.8 seconds in flagship 620R spec. The firm’s fastest ever road car, it’ll take serious guts to give it full whack on the commute – but you’ll probably giggle more than any other car featured here.

Radical SR8 RX – 2.7 seconds

Radical SR8 RX - 2.7 seconds

The Peterborough-built Radical SR8 is essentially a race car, but it can be registered as a road-legal vehicle. It holds the Nurburgring lap record, completing the legendary German circuit in 6 minutes, 48 seconds. Powered by a 2.7-litre V8 producing 430hp, the Radical will hit 62mph in 2.7 seconds and a top speed of 178mph.

Ariel Atom – 2.7 seconds

Put a 2.0-litre Honda VTEC engine into a car that weighs around half a tonne and you get a car that is seriously quick. With its exoskeleton frame, the Ariel Atom is guaranteed to be one of the fastest cars on a track day but, like the Caterham, we’d be a bit nervous about high-speed Autobahn runs.

Hennessey Venom GT – 2.7 seconds

The Hennessey Venom GT might look a bit like a Lotus Exige… that’s because it’s based on a heavily modified Lotus Exige. The car, tweaked by American firm Hennessy, set a Guinness World Record in 2013 for the fastest production car from 0–186 mph. It completed the run in an average 13.63 seconds.

Tesla Model S – 2.5 seconds

Tesla Model S - 2.5 seconds

And this is where the Tesla slots in. There is a caveat – the 2.5 seconds time Tesla’s bragging about is 0-60mph, not 0-62mph. In reality, that extra 2mph is unlikely to take more than a tenth of a second, as the Tesla’s electric powertrain means there’s no chance of a gear change fluffing up the 0-62mph sprint. But are Tesla’s ‘fastest car’ claims correct..?

Porsche 918/LaFerrari/McLaren P1

Technically, the Porsche 918/LaFerrari/McLaren P1 hypercar trio have no right to appear here as they’re no longer in production. But for comparison sakes, we thought we’d chuck them in. The LaFerrari covers it in ‘less than’ 3.0 seconds, while the Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 take 2.5 seconds. Yup, the Tesla is almost as fast as these three to 62mph.

Bugatti Chiron – sub-2.5 seconds

So this is the only road-going car currently on sale that’ll hit 62mph a fraction of a second quicker than the Tesla. Bugatti says its Chiron, the Veyron-successor, will reach 62mph in ‘less than’ 2.5 seconds. You’d kind of hope so, with an incredible 1,500hp from its 8.0-litre W16 quad-turbocharged engine. It’s limited to 261mph. But with just 500 Chirons expected to be sold, and a £1.9 million price tag, it’s still fair to describe the Tesla as ‘the fastest volume production car in the world’. Now click back and remind yourself of all the supercars the Tesla beats!

British motoring world-beaters

British motoring world-beaters

British motoring world-beatersTeam GB has outperformed all expectations in the 2016 Rio Olympics – but British automotive has been punching above its weight and beating the world for decades. We’ve selected some of the best world-beating cars produced in the UK.

Nissan Leaf

You might not think of the Nissan Leaf as being a British car, but it is built at the firm’s Sunderland plant. It’s also the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, and all British gold medal winners at the Rio Olympics sponsored by Nissan are being given their very own Leaf – finished in gold, natch.

Range Rover

Launched in 1970, the Range Rover was the first true luxury SUV. Over time it’s become increasingly more upmarket, and now it’s seen as a status symbol worldwide. In the celebrity world, you’re nobody unless you drive a Range Rover.

Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque

When Land Rover cashed in on the Range Rover brand in 2011, launching the smaller Evoque, some were sceptical. But it’s been a huge success – again, triggering a new sector: the premium crossover. Even a starting price of more than £30,000 hasn’t put off buyers – and rightly so, as it’s a hugely desirable car.

Land Rover Defender

After 68 years in production, we saw the final Land Rover Defender leave the Solihull production line earlier in 2016. OK, that’s not entirely true – it’s only sported the Defender badge since 1991, and there are rumours that we’ll see another Defender. But still, the utilitarian workhorse has delivered aid around the world, and have become even more desirable since production ended.

Mini

Alec Issigonis’ original Mini was designed to a brief that it must fit into a small box of 10×4×4 feet. Intended to combat rising fuel prices, the Mini was never expected to become a fashion accessory. Yet production lasted more than 40 years with over 5 million sold worldwide – and its name lives on…

MINI

MINI

…In the new MINI, developed by BMW. This came about when BMW bought Rover before flogging it on and retaining the MINI brand, which built on the image of its historical predecessor. The new MINI, originally launched as a three-door hatch in 2001, is now available in a size and shape to suit every buyer. It’s a great British success story whose Plant Oxford factory was even incorporated into the 2012 London Olympics torch relay.

Senna’s first F1 test – Williams at Donington

We’ve been celebrating all things Rio and Brazil this sporting summer: Ayrton Senna remains a true Brazilian sporting hero – but it was Britain who gave him his first taste of F1. On a chilly, drizzling Donington racetrack in 1983, Senna tested a Williams F1 car for the very first time, instantly wowing everyone in attendance. The rest is history for arguably the most iconic driver motor racing has ever seen.

Jaguar E-Type

It’s a car Enzo Ferrari described as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’. Launched in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type combined incredible looks with a 150mph top speed and sub-7.0 seconds 0-62mph time. It was also relatively affordable – no wonder it was such a huge hit. A success that, even today, Jaguar is desperately trying to recreate.

Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar F-Pace

And here’s a Jaguar that could genuinely take on rivals from across the world. It’s too early to say whether the F-Pace will be a sales success, but early signs are promising. The firm’s first SUV is getting five-star reviews across the board, with many putting it ahead of German rivals.

Jaguar XJ220

The Jaguar XJ220 was the creation of the firm’s ‘Saturday Club’ – a team of volunteers working at evenings and weekends on a project with the aim of creating a supercar that could win Le Mans. Emission regulations and a desire for lightness (born from rivals such as the Ferrari F40), meant the intended V12 engine was replaced with a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6. Despite this, it briefly held the title as the world’s fastest production car, capable of 217mph…

McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 is what happens when a Formula 1 team (as McLaren predominantly was back then) launches a road car. It’s been dubbed one of the greatest road cars of all time – and broke records for its phenomenal pace when it was new in 1993. Powered by a 6.1-litre naturally-aspirated V12 engine sourced from BMW, the F1 could hit 60mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 240mph. A true Ferrari (and Jag) beater.

McLaren P1

McLaren P1

It’d be several years before McLaren produced a car as great as the F1. In 2014, the plug-in hybrid P1 arrived and took on the mighty LaFerrari and Porsche 918. The Woking-built hypercar can embraces F1 technology to achieve a 0-62mph time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 217mph.

British F1

No country is as dominant in Formula 1 motor racing as Britain. Fully eight of the current 11 teams racing today are based here: the dominant Mercedes-AMG team may have a German name but its HQ is in Brackley, just a few miles from Silverstone. Britain has produced the most F1 World Champion drivers too…

Rover Streetwise

OK, we’re pushing it a bit here, but the Rover 25-based Streetwise was still a first: it was arguably the first modern crossover, predating the Nissan Qashqai for several years and proving to marketeers in rival car companies that mainstream buyers would find pseudo-SUV styling on a practical, affordable family car appealing. Today, off-road-style family cars are everywhere: MG Rover, alas, died in 2005.

Thrust SSC

Thrust SSC

A desire to go faster than anyone else seems to be a theme for this gallery. The Thrust SSC is a jet-propelled car which hit a remarkable 763mph in 1997. It holds the World Land Speed Record to this day…

Bloodhound SSC

…But RAF fighter pilot Andy Green, who was driving the Thrust SSC when the record was broken, is now out to beat his top speed. He’s part of a team developing Bloodhound, which is designed to exceed 1,000mph. Test runs are expected to start in 2017, with a full-speed attempt scheduled for later in the year.

Triumph Rocket

While we’re talking about speed-related world records, the Triumph Rocket has been designed in Britain with the aim of being the fastest two-wheeler in the world. It uses a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, producing more than 1,000hp. In a bike…

Dolomite Sprint

Dolomite Sprint

Engines with 16 valves were once only used in exotic sports cars: it was a British brand, Triumph, that popularised this high-tech engine advance. 16 valves means air can go in and out of the engine more freely, making it more powerful and efficient: most engines today have multi-valve heads and it was the Triumph Dolomite Sprint that led the way back in the mid-70s.

Austin Maxi

Five-speed five-door hatchbacks are the dominant type of new car today, certainly in Britain and many other European countries. The British car that set the template was the Austin Maxi, which boasted flexibility and spaciousness many a modern car would be envious of.

Austin Metro

Dubbed ‘the British car to beat the world’ when it was launched alongside a patriotic advertising campaign in 1980, the Austin Metro sold in huge numbers: taking on the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. It regularly topped sales lists in the UK, and outsold European rivals.

MG Metro Turbo

MG Metro Turbo

If your hot hatch doesn’t have a turbo these days, you’re nowhere. But, back in the 1980s, when everyone else was pushing out large-capacity engines with high-rev power, it was Britain leading the way with a high-output small-capacity turbo: enter the 1.3-litre MG Metro Turbo, complete with engine design by Williams F1 and chassis setup by Lotus. Developed on a shoestring, it was still a knockout in its day.

Team Dynamics Honda Lawn Mower

The UK holds some weird and wonderful world records: including one for the world’s fastest lawn mower. Capable of 116mph, the Mean Mower is based on a Honda HF2620 sit-on lawnmower, ‘tweaked’ (slight under-exaggeration) by the Japanese manufacturer’s British Touring Car Championship partner, Team Dynamics.

Radical SR8 RX

The Nürburgring is the German ‘Green Hell’ where manufacturers from around the world head to test their cars – but the fastest production car to lap the 12.9-mile circuit is actually from a small British manufacturer. The Radical SR8 RX is built in Peterborough and lapped the ‘ring in just 6:48. You could argue the Suzuki-powered sports car is pushing ‘road car’ boundaries, but still…

Mini-MINIs

Mini-MINIs

Unfortunately cars aren’t part of the Olympics just yet – although we’d argue that motorsport is infinitely more entertaining than some of the eclectic activities currently argue. This is the closest cars have come, though – the quarter-scale electric MINIs were used in London 2012 to collect javelins, discuses, hammers and shots before returning them to competitors.

Rover P6

The European Car of the Year prize is known the world over, and has been running since way back in 1964. But what was the very first car to win it? Yes, it was British – the oh-so fine Rover 2000 P6. Britain followed it up a year later, too, with the oh-so clever (but hardly beautiful) Austin 1800.

BAC Mono

Think carbon fibre is the ultimate lightweight material for the cars of the future? Think again: Graphene was discovered in 2004 in Manchester, and is the world’s first 2D material. 200 times stronger than steel, it’s already being used in Automotive: the radical BAC Mono single-seater road car uses Graphene as part of its construction.

Team Sky Jaguar

Team Sky Jaguar

Jaguar and Team Sky have gone their separate ways this year – but the partnership, initiated in 2010, has led to British-built Jaguar XF Sportbrakes becoming synonymous with cycles races including the legendary Tour de France.

From Diana's Metro to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 10 classics sold at auction

From Diana's Metro to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 10 classics sold at auction

From Diana's Metro to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 10 classics sold at auction

Although many of us wouldn’t dream of buying a car from auction, millions of cars a year are sold this way in the UK. An incredible 3.5 million pass through the halls of British Car Auctions each year, with the firm celebrating its 70th year of business in 2016.

To celebrate the occasion, long-standing employee Simon Henstock, chief operating officer, UK remarketing, has selected 10 of his favourite auctions during his near 40 years with the firm.

1: Bugatti Veyron

1: Bugatti Veyron

Top Gear named the Bugatti Veyron the ‘car of the decade’ following its launch in 2005 – and it’s hard to dispute that the mid-engined supercar is a technical tour de force. With a top speed of 253mph and 0-62mph time of 2.5 seconds (and that’s the entry-level model…), the 8.0-litre W16 Bugatti commanded a price tag of more than £1 million when it was new.

It’s not the kind of car you expect to see going through auction, then – but in 2010, a 2006 model appeared at BCA’s Blackbushe site. It attracted a bidding frenzy, resulting in a sale price of £625,000. That was a UK record value for a modern production car at auction and the highest value ever achieved by BCA on one vehicle.

2: Royal Mail Morris 1000 Post Van

2: Royal Mail Morris 1000 Post Van

BCA doesn’t often dabble in sales of classic cars, but this Morris 1000 Post Van was a special case – donated by Royal Mail and sold with all the proceeds going direct to children’s charity Barnardo’s.

The van had seen service in Poole and Bournemouth in the 1970s and had been fully restored by four dedicated Royal Mail employees at the Isle of Wight workshop, before being sent to auction.

It attracted bids from classic car fans and Royal Mail enthusiasts, before selling for £8,000.

3: Bentley in bits

3: Bentley in bits

Classic Bentleys are always going to make strong money at auction – but no one expected this box of Bentley bits to fetch £80,400.

We’re not sure how a disassembled Bentley 3 Litre Open Tourer came to go under the hammer, but it happened at the peak of the classic car boom on 11 September 1989.

4: MG F

4: MG F

In 1996, when Rover had to flog 30 or so early examples of the MG F, it took over British Car Auctions with a special sale. At a time when MGs were still desirable, many were selling for more than new examples – with a waiting list encouraging wannabe buyers to shop at auction.

On average each car made 7% above its new list price. Today, you can buy one for less than a monkey (that’s £500 to you and me).

5: Winston Churchill’s hearse

5: Winston Churchill’s hearse

This 1964 Austin Princess hearse was used to carry Winston Churchill during his funeral in January 1965. It was shown on television carrying Churchill’s coffin past crowds of mourners from Festival Pier to Waterloo Station.

The hearse has been sold a number of times since it passed through BCA’s hands in the 1990s – and it currently resides in the US with a collector who paid a staggering £3 million for it.

6: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

6: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chris Evans famously bought his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang replica for £500,000 in 2012 – but failed to sell it at auction three years later.

GEN 11 was a genuine Chitty, however – one of six examples used in the original 1968 film. It was auctioned twice by British Car Auctions during the 1970s. Powered by a Ford V6, GEN 11 was fully road legal.

7: Bruce Reynolds’ Lotus Cortina

7: Bruce Reynolds’ Lotus Cortina

Bruce Richard Reynolds was the mastermind criminal behind the 1963 Great Train Robbery. A number of the gang’s possessions, including Reynolds’ Lotus Cortina (used as a getaway car) was auctioned as part of a special auction in 1969.

The Lotus Cortina, developed by Ford in collaboration with Lotus Cars, was based on the first-generation Cortina. This example was seized by police under the Proceeds of Crime Act and attracted a lot of attention in the press when it was sold.

8: Jonesy’s Van

8: Jonesy’s Van

How much does an old butcher’s van fetch at auction? The 1935 Ford box van used by Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army was bought by the Dad’s Army Museum in Norfolk for £63,100 in 2012 – more than double its predicted hammer price.

Locals loaned the museum the funds to buy the van, which previously sold for £10,400 at BCA in 1991.

9: Rod Stewart’s Lamborghini Countach

9: Rod Stewart’s Lamborghini Countach

Pop star Rod Stewart famously loves his cars – he’s been papped in a number of Italian supercars in recent years. British Car Auctions has handled numerous cars from his collection over the years, but it’s one in particular that Henstock has fond memories of.

The white Lamborghini Countach pictured here sold for £100,000 and even made an appearance on breakfast TV.

10: Princess Diana’s Metro

10: Princess Diana’s Metro

Ordinarily, an ageing Austin Metro going through the auction hall in the early 90s would have struggled to attract many bids – especially such a basic as example as this.

But the 1980 Austin Mini Metro L had a story to sell – it was actually Princess Diana’s first car. Driven by a 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer, the Metro was regularly snapped by paparazzi at the time when she was first linked with Prince Charles.

This fame meant it sold for around £6,000 – five times the amount a Metro would normally sell for at BCA. It now resides at the Coventry Transport Museum where it shows a modest 30,000 miles on the clock.

From Diana's Metro to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 10 classics sold at auction

From Diana’s Metro to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 10 classics sold at auction

From Diana's Metro to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 10 classics sold at auction

Although many of us wouldn’t dream of buying a car from auction, millions of cars a year are sold this way in the UK. An incredible 3.5 million pass through the halls of British Car Auctions each year, with the firm celebrating its 70th year of business in 2016.

To celebrate the occasion, long-standing employee Simon Henstock, chief operating officer, UK remarketing, has selected 10 of his favourite auctions during his near 40 years with the firm.

1: Bugatti Veyron

1: Bugatti Veyron

Top Gear named the Bugatti Veyron the ‘car of the decade’ following its launch in 2005 – and it’s hard to dispute that the mid-engined supercar is a technical tour de force. With a top speed of 253mph and 0-62mph time of 2.5 seconds (and that’s the entry-level model…), the 8.0-litre W16 Bugatti commanded a price tag of more than £1 million when it was new.

It’s not the kind of car you expect to see going through auction, then – but in 2010, a 2006 model appeared at BCA’s Blackbushe site. It attracted a bidding frenzy, resulting in a sale price of £625,000. That was a UK record value for a modern production car at auction and the highest value ever achieved by BCA on one vehicle.

2: Royal Mail Morris 1000 Post Van

2: Royal Mail Morris 1000 Post Van

BCA doesn’t often dabble in sales of classic cars, but this Morris 1000 Post Van was a special case – donated by Royal Mail and sold with all the proceeds going direct to children’s charity Barnardo’s.

The van had seen service in Poole and Bournemouth in the 1970s and had been fully restored by four dedicated Royal Mail employees at the Isle of Wight workshop, before being sent to auction.

It attracted bids from classic car fans and Royal Mail enthusiasts, before selling for £8,000.

3: Bentley in bits

3: Bentley in bits

Classic Bentleys are always going to make strong money at auction – but no one expected this box of Bentley bits to fetch £80,400.

We’re not sure how a disassembled Bentley 3 Litre Open Tourer came to go under the hammer, but it happened at the peak of the classic car boom on 11 September 1989.

4: MG F

4: MG F

In 1996, when Rover had to flog 30 or so early examples of the MG F, it took over British Car Auctions with a special sale. At a time when MGs were still desirable, many were selling for more than new examples – with a waiting list encouraging wannabe buyers to shop at auction.

On average each car made 7% above its new list price. Today, you can buy one for less than a monkey (that’s £500 to you and me).

5: Winston Churchill’s hearse

5: Winston Churchill’s hearse

This 1964 Austin Princess hearse was used to carry Winston Churchill during his funeral in January 1965. It was shown on television carrying Churchill’s coffin past crowds of mourners from Festival Pier to Waterloo Station.

The hearse has been sold a number of times since it passed through BCA’s hands in the 1990s – and it currently resides in the US with a collector who paid a staggering £3 million for it.

6: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

6: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chris Evans famously bought his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang replica for £500,000 in 2012 – but failed to sell it at auction three years later.

GEN 11 was a genuine Chitty, however – one of six examples used in the original 1968 film. It was auctioned twice by British Car Auctions during the 1970s. Powered by a Ford V6, GEN 11 was fully road legal.

7: Bruce Reynolds’ Lotus Cortina

7: Bruce Reynolds’ Lotus Cortina

Bruce Richard Reynolds was the mastermind criminal behind the 1963 Great Train Robbery. A number of the gang’s possessions, including Reynolds’ Lotus Cortina (used as a getaway car) was auctioned as part of a special auction in 1969.

The Lotus Cortina, developed by Ford in collaboration with Lotus Cars, was based on the first-generation Cortina. This example was seized by police under the Proceeds of Crime Act and attracted a lot of attention in the press when it was sold.

8: Jonesy’s Van

8: Jonesy’s Van

How much does an old butcher’s van fetch at auction? The 1935 Ford box van used by Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army was bought by the Dad’s Army Museum in Norfolk for £63,100 in 2012 – more than double its predicted hammer price.

Locals loaned the museum the funds to buy the van, which previously sold for £10,400 at BCA in 1991.

9: Rod Stewart’s Lamborghini Countach

9: Rod Stewart’s Lamborghini Countach

Pop star Rod Stewart famously loves his cars – he’s been papped in a number of Italian supercars in recent years. British Car Auctions has handled numerous cars from his collection over the years, but it’s one in particular that Henstock has fond memories of.

The white Lamborghini Countach pictured here sold for £100,000 and even made an appearance on breakfast TV.

10: Princess Diana’s Metro

10: Princess Diana’s Metro

Ordinarily, an ageing Austin Metro going through the auction hall in the early 90s would have struggled to attract many bids – especially such a basic as example as this.

But the 1980 Austin Mini Metro L had a story to sell – it was actually Princess Diana’s first car. Driven by a 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer, the Metro was regularly snapped by paparazzi at the time when she was first linked with Prince Charles.

This fame meant it sold for around £6,000 – five times the amount a Metro would normally sell for at BCA. It now resides at the Coventry Transport Museum where it shows a modest 30,000 miles on the clock.

The safest new family cars in the UK

The safest new family cars in the UK

The safest new family cars in the UK

Looking for the safest family car money can buy? We’ve selected the family motors awarded a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating between 2013 and 2016. Note: Euro NCAP doesn’t include small and large off-road vehicles in its family car category, but given the popularity of such models, we’ve included them in our gallery.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Adult Occupant: 98%, Child Occupant: 81%, Pedestrian: 69%, Safety Assist: 60%

Euro NCAP introduced the overall safety rating in 2009, based on four areas: Adult protection; Child protection; Pedestrian protection; and Safety Assist technologies. A star rating was introduced to add more flexibility. Based on the current system, the Alfa Romeo Giulia received a maximum five-star rating, including an impressive 98% for adult occupants.

Toyota Prius

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 77%, Safety Assist: 85%

The Safety Assist rating is focused on technologies that support safe driving to avoid accidents and mitigate injuries. These include seatbelt reminders, automatic city braking, lane support and speed assistance systems. The Toyota Prius scored 85% when tested by Euro NCAP, contributing to an overall five-star rating.

SEAT Ateca

SEAT

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 60%

The Ateca is SEAT’s first SUV, so the Spanish firm will be delighted to receive a maximum Euro NCAP safety rating. It’s one of four cars tested by the safety firm in 2016…

Volkswagen Tiguan

Adult Occupant: 96%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 72%, Safety Assist: 68%

The Volkswagen Tiguan is the fourth and final car to be awarded a maximum five-stars in 2016, a year in which Euro NCAP recognised the increasing popularity of safety packs. In other words, a car can now be tested with or without an optional safety pack. Based on the new system, the Suzuki Baleno received three stars, but this was increased to four with optional safety technologies.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Adult Occupant: 95%, Child Occupant: 89%, Pedestrian: 82%, Safety Assist: 71%

Next up: cars that received the maximum five-star safety rating in 2015, starting with the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Using Euro NCAP’s own categories, small off-road and large off-road vehicles are omitted from the family cars section, but given the popularity of crossovers and SUVs, we thought it best to include them.

Lexus RX

Lexus RX

Adult Occupant: 91%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 79%, Safety Assist: 77%

Which means the Lexus RX is also included in our safest family cars feature. Look beyond the challenging styling and you’ll find a large SUV that goes head-to-head with the likes of the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and BMW X5. The RX features a pre-crash system with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, automatic high beam and adaptive cruise control. Prices start from just shy of £40,000.

Audi Q7

Adult Occupant: 94%, Child Occupant: 88%, Pedestrian: 70%, Safety Assist: 76%

If you’re struggling to choose between the Lexus RX and Audi Q7, and safety just happens to be your primary concern, the best way to look at things is that the Q7 is better for those travelling in the car, while the RX does a better job of protecting pedestrians. Life is all about priorities…

Volvo XC90

Adult Occupant: 97%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 72%, Safety Assist: 100%

Check out those scores. The Volvo XC90 is the safest thing short of wrapping your children in cotton wool and never letting them leave the house. The five-star rating includes a maximum 100% for safety technologies, plus 97% for adult occupants. Prices start from £46,850 for the Momentum trim level, which includes city safety, road sign information and lane keeping aid.

Volkswagen Touran

Volkswagen Touran

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 89%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 76%

The Volkswagen Touran scores well across the board. Depending on trim and the amount of options boxes you tick, you can equip your Touran with adaptive cruise control, park assist, trailer assist and traffic jam assist. The latter is a clever system that controls the brakes, acceleration and steering in stop-go traffic.

Audi A4

Adult Occupant: 90%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 75%, Safety Assist: 75%

The current Audi A4 is arguably the benchmark in the fiercely competitive compact executive sector and it doesn’t score lower than 75% in any of the Euro NCAP classifications. Prices start from £26,350.

BMW X1

Adult Occupant: 90%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 74%, Safety Assist: 77%

The X1 is BMW’s entry-level X model and prices start from £27,440. You can equip your BMW X1 with a Drive Assist package, which includes lane departure warning, approach control warning and person warning, which provides an alert when a pedestrian is in the road, preconditioning the brakes.

Ford Galaxy

Ford Galaxy

Adult Occupant: 87%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 79%, Safety Assist: 71%

The humble MPV may have had its day, but private hire firms and rental companies keep the likes of the Ford Galaxy alive. In this sector, a five-star safety rating is almost essential.

Ford S-Max

Adult Occupant: 87%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 79%, Safety Assist: 71%

The second generation Ford S-Max was unveiled in 2015 and it remains the best choice for those in search of a people carrier that’s good to drive. It includes an optional camera mounted on the front of the car that relays a split-screen image to the dashboard, allowing the driver to see vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians coming from either side.

Renault Megane

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 71%

In 2001, the Renault Laguna became the first car to be awarded the maximum five stars for occupant protection. Fast forward 15 years and the all-new Renault Megane has received five stars, including 88% for adult occupant protection.

Infiniti Q30

Infiniti Q30

Adult Occupant: 84%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 91%, Safety Assist: 81%

The Infiniti Q30 is based on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and boasts a number of safety devices. These include intelligent cruise control, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. With a 91% score for pedestrian safety, this is one car that won’t strike fear into those who are walking through town.

Kia Optima

Adult Occupant: 89%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 67%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Kia Optima is available in three trim levels: Optima 2, Optima 3, Optima 4. The top trim offers blind spot detection, lane keep assist, high beam assist and autonomous emergency braking.

Skoda Superb

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 76%

It’s perhaps most famous for packing a pair of umbrellas and doing a good impression of something that costs double the price, but the Skoda Superb is rather safe, too. Along with the usual options, such as lane assist and blind spot detection, the Superb can also be fitted with crew protection assist. If the car senses a collision is imminent, it retracts the front seat belts, pulls up the side windows and closes the sunroof. Clever.

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Hyundai Tucson was one of our favourite new cars of 2015. Prices start from a headline grabbing £18,995, but in order to take advantage of the full array of safety equipment you’ll need to part with at least £25,340 for the Premium model. This adds autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.

Toyota Avensis

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 78%, Safety Assist: 81%

It’s easy to overlook the Toyota Avensis, which means you might not know that Toyota Safety Sense is standard across the range. The package includes lane departure warning, automatic high beam, road sign assist and a pre-collision system. Prices start from £18,085.

Vauxhall Astra

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 83%, Safety Assist: 75%

The all-new Vauxhall Astra is a thoroughly good car and these are a thoroughly decent set of results. Opt for the SRi and Elite models and you can enjoy the benefits of OnStar, which provides 24/7/365 access to an advisor. It also includes an automatic crash response system.

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage

Adult Occupant: 90%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Kia Sportage is an extremely popular car in the UK, not least because of its excellent value for money and seven-year warranty. We’re surprised buyers manage to escape Kia dealers without reaching for the headache pills – there are ten different trim levels to choose from.

Jaguar XE

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 81%, Safety Assist: 82%

When you’re hoping to mix it with the Germans, a good Euro NCAP score is going to help. Fortunately for Jaguar, the XE doesn’t disappoint, with 81% being the lowest of the four scores. The all-wheel drive versions can be fitted with adaptive surface response, which recognises differences between surfaces to exploit the maximum available grip.

Honda HR-V

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 79%, Pedestrian: 72%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Honda HR-V is based on the Jazz supermini and features the clever ‘Magic Seats’ system found in the Civic. The top trim HR-V EX costs from £24,305 and features forward collision warning, intelligent speed limiter, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.

Mercedes-Benz GLA

Mercedes-Benz GLA

Adult Occupant: 96%, Child Occupant: 88%, Pedestrian: 67%, Safety Assist: 70%

The GLA is the Mercedes-Benz equivalent of the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. All models are fitted with an active bonnet for pedestrian safety, attention assist and active brake assist, while an optional Driving Assistance package includes blind spot assist, lane keeping assist, distance pilot and Pre-Safe anticipatory safety system.

Porsche Macan

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 60%, Safety Assist: 66%

With a score of 60%, the Porsche Macan records the lowest pedestrian safety rating of all the cars featured here. According to Euro NCAP, “the front edge of the bonnet scored no points, with poor protection being provided”.

Subaru Outback

Adult Occupant: 85%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 70%, Safety Assist: 73%

Like the Macan, the Subaru Outback was crash tested back in 2014, when it was awarded the maximum five-star rating. The Outback uses Subaru’s EyeSight technology to monitor the road ahead and recognise potentially dangerous driving situations.

Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat

Adult Occupant: 85%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 76%

Volkswagen Passat prices start at £22,680, but you’ll need to upgrade to the £23,490 SE to take advantage of front assist including city emergency braking. The SE also offers adaptive cruise control.

Jeep Renegade

Adult Occupant: 87%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 65%, Safety Assist: 74%

The Renegade shares its platform with the Fiat 500X and is the first Jeep to be assembled outside the US. But while the Renegade gets the maximum five stars, the 500X has to make do with four, not least because it scored a lowly 64% for safety technologies.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

Adult Occupant: 84%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 60%, Safety Assist: 70%

The 2 Series Active Tourer is BMW’s first people carrier, and a front-wheel drive one at that. This might upset the purists, but families will appreciate the five-star safety rating and quality interior.

Volkswagen Golf SV

Volkswagen Golf SV

Adult Occupant: 87%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 62%, Safety Assist: 73%

The Volkswagen Golf SV is known as the Golf Sportsvan in the rest of the Europe, but there’s nothing remotely sporty about the inflated Golf. Still, at least it’s safe.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 77%, Safety Assist: 70%

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class can be fitted with the likes of adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist, cross-traffic assist, pre-safe preventive occupant protection and LED intelligent lights.

Kia Sorento

Adult Occupant: 90%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 67%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Kia Sorento KX-3 adds lane departure warning and speed limit information to an already impressive level of kit. Upgrade to the KX-4 and you’ll find blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and drive mode select.

Renault Kadjar

Renault Kadjar

Adult Occupant: 89%, Child Occupant: 81%, Pedestrian: 74%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Renault Kadjar shares its platform with the Nissan Qashqai, but while both crossovers achieved a five-star rating, the individual scores are different. The Kadjar is better for adult occupants, but in every other respect the Qashqai scores better.

Nissan Qashqai

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 69%, Safety Assist: 79%

Amazing to think the Nissan Qashqai was tested back at the start of 2014. Since then it has cemented itself as the nation’s favourite crossover. A five-star Euro NCAP safety rating helps.

Nissan X-Trail

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 75%, Safety Assist: 75%

It’s a similar story for the larger X-Trail, which scores better for adult and pedestrian protection, but slightly worse for safety technologies.

Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 66%

In the case of cars available in different body styles, Euro NCAP will list the model tested. For the Ford Mondeo it was the estate, but the five-star rating also applies to the saloon.

Lexus NX

Adult Occupant: 82%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 69%, Safety Assist: 71%

Lexus NX brand ambassador will.i.am will be delighted to learn the posh crossover scored a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Nissan Pulsar

Adult Occupant: 84%, Child Occupant: 81%, Pedestrian: 75%, Safety Assist: 68%

The Nissan Pulsar offers a huge amount of rear legroom and a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Adult Occupant: 82%, Child Occupant: 78%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 68%

Since 2013, 11 hybrid and electric cars have been tested by Euro NCAP, seven of which scored the maximum five-star rating. One of these was the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

Citroen C4 Picasso

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 88%, Pedestrian: 68%, Safety Assist: 81%

The Citroen C4 Picasso offers an array of safety features, including active lane departure warning, active blind spot warning, safety brake and speed limit recognition.

Mazda 3

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 65%, Safety Assist: 81%

All versions of the Mazda 3 get Smart City Safe support, a system that applies the brakes if it senses a low-speed collision is likely. Higher spec Sport Nav models can be equipped with lane departure and blind spot monitoring.

Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 66%

The Skoda Octavia is one of our favourite cars at any price, so it’s good to know it has a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating. Prices start at £16,660 for what is essentially a more practical and affordable Volkswagen Golf.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 69%, Safety Assist: 82%

The Land Rover Discovery Sport records one of the best adult occupant protection scores, while also performing very well in terms of safety technologies. Driver aids include lane keep assist, driver condition monitor, autonomous emergency braking and surround camera system.

Lexus IS

Adult Occupant: 91%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 80%, Safety Assist: 66%

Like the aforementioned Jaguar XE, the Lexus IS another alternative to the executive saloons offered by the ‘big three’ from Germany. It’s available as a 2.0-litre petrol or a 2.5-litre hybrid.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 64%, Safety Assist: 81%

The Outlander PHEV has been a runaway success for Mitsubishi, fast becoming the UK’s best-selling plug-in hybrid. Brake assist and city crash provision are fitted as standard, with higher trim levels gaining curve guidance warning, forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning.

Toyota Auris

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 68%, Safety Assist: 66%

The Toyota Auris faces a fight in a sector dominated by the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, but the availability of a hybrid version and a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety provide some much needed standout qualities.

Toyota RAV4

Adult Occupant: 89%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 66%

The original Toyota RAV was an early pioneer of the crossover recipe. In common with the Auris, there are better alternatives to today’s RAV4, but the hybrid version is a good enough reason to take a closer look.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 80%, Pedestrian: 72%, Safety Assist: 81%

The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is about to be refreshed for 2016. It’s long overdue, as Suzuki’s Qashqai rival has been eclipsed by the newer Vitara, which was also awarded five stars, but is classed as a supermini by Euro NCAP.

Jeep Cherokee

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 79%, Pedestrian: 67%, Safety Assist: 74%

Order a Jeep Cherokee in a top trim level to take advantage of lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and park assist.

Peugeot 308

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 79%, Pedestrian: 64%, Safety Assist: 81%

It’s a while since the Peugeot 308 scooped the European Car of the Year award and was put through the rigours of the Euro NCAP crash test. In 2013 it scored an impressive 92% for adult occupant protection.

Mazda 6

Mazda 6

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 77%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 81%

This is the same score as the Mazda 6, a car that deserves more recognition than it gets. Not only is the 6 great to look at, it’s also great to drive.

Kia Carens

Adult Occupant: 94%, Child Occupant: 76%, Pedestrian: 64%, Safety Assist: 81%

It might not be the most exciting new car on the market, but buyers love its blend of practicality, value for money and ease of use. The seven-year warranty and five-star Euro NCAP rating also help.

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Adult Occupant: 91%, Child Occupant: 75%, Pedestrian: 74%, Safety Assist: 81%

Mercedes-Benz calls its CLA model a coupe, but in reality it’s a compact four-door saloon that rivals the Audi A3 saloon. It scores brilliantly for adult occupant protection.

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 74%, Pedestrian: 68%, Safety Assist: 66%

You’ve made it this far, but we promise we’re nearly at the end of our marathon look at the safest family cars in the UK. The penultimate car on the list is the Honda CR-V…

Ford Tourneo Connect

Adult Occupant: 94%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 62%, Safety Assist: 70%

Which is swiftly followed by the Ford Tourneo Connect. Think of it as a Ford Transit Connect dressed up as a practical MPV.