PH 2019 | Favourite car of the year

PH 2019 | Favourite car of the year

Tuesday 24th December 2019

PH 2019 | Favourite car of the year

2019 has given us no shortage of exceptional new cars; here are six that stood out...



Mercedes GT R Pro

This was a real surprise. It shouldn’t have been, given what the AMG GT has achieved thus far, but the distance the Pro has taken the car beyond even the GT R is genuinely incredible and superbly executed. I reckon the balance and compromise between luxurious Benz and road racer AMG loon is near perfect. I also think it looks absolutely sensational and I love that Mercedes had the guts to go ahead with it. Taking on McLaren and Porsche is brave enough, but making a GT with a cage in it, manually adjustable coilovers and aero flics seemingly straight from an N24 racer is a real sign of intent for a company still best known for autobahn bruisers. That it can compete with those sports cars, the very best out there in fact, lap the β€˜ring in 7:04 and deliver genuine fun on the road validates the decision - the Pro is fabulous.
MB

Search for a Mercedes-AMG GT here


Megane Trophy R

A huge proportion of the reaction to any car, be it old or new, a daily or an exotic, inevitably revolves around how much it costs. Especially so when it’s a Β£72,140 Renault hatchback. But put aside questions of value, opportunity cost and the fact that Β£21k of that price can be cut with the removal of the optional carbon discs and rims, and what’s left is the knowledge that the Megane Trophy-R is simply an absolutely phenomenal driving machine.Β Pitting it against the most enjoyable car I drove last year, the Golf GTI Clubsport S, only served to highlight just how good it is. From the second you get underway it’s apparent that the Trophy R is something special; the steering feel, damping and brakes all a cut above any other hatch, the car nimble and light on its toes while remaining unfailingly planted and predictable. It’s unbelievably quick but, unlike so many fast cars today, unbelievably fun too. And who can really put a value on that?
DW

Search for a Renaultsport Megane here


McLaren 600LT Spider

Yes, a convertible version of a thoroughbred sports car is my pick from the year. But hear me out. Adding a folding metal roof to the MonoCell II-tubbed McLaren Sports Series machine has a negligible effect on performance, but enables such a drastic enhancement in noise and drama that I’d go so far as saying the 600LT’s skywards-pointing exhausts are my favourite of any car. Wind the Spider’s back window down and they’re right there over your shoulder, fizzing, gargling and crackling at deafening levels. The tinnitus is totally worth it. We already know about the 3.8-litre V8-powered LT’s ability to spit blue flames with every high-rev downshift, but on a night drive through Wales with the Spider’s back screen rolled down, nothing quite prepares you for the fireworks display. The 600LT’s other traits – an utterly fabulous chassis, rich hydraulic steering and feelsome brakes – provide a plethora of rewards for its driver. Add in the freedom provided by a 600hp machine as compact as this and to me, the 600LT Spider is one of the most rewarding high-performance driver’s cars out there.
SS

Search for a McLaren 600LT here


Porsche Taycan

I’ve waded into deep waters here because if I’m being totally honest with myself, the Taycan is neither the best car I drove this year nor my favourite (that honour likely falling to the latest 911 Speedster). But Porsche’s technical achievement - and the far-reaching ambition required to get it there - is thoroughly deserving of recognition. There are many aspects to that success, of course, but the simplest way to impart them all at once is to categorically state that no-one reading this, not even the staunchest opponent of the electric motor’s revival, would be unmoved by the experience of actually driving the quickest Taycan. It is simply too fast and clever and comfortable and consistently good to not earn your respect (even if it is extracted begrudgingly).Β Yes, it is hugely expensive and distressingly heavy and less than perfect in other notable ways, too - but the Taycan is confirmation that the advent of the electric car is not incompatible with the concept of a driver’s one; it is irrefutable evidence that one day in the not too distant future we will all be able to have our cake, and eat it too.
NC

Search for a Porsche here


C8 Corvette

While the C8 has several significant flaws, none are serious enough to stop it from topping my personal list of 2019’s highlights. For much of its life the Corvette has existed in a parallel universe to the rest of the performance car world, especially outside of its U.S. homeland where buying one has always been a deeply eccentric decision. But with the move to a mid-mounted engine GM has taken the 'Vette out of its comfort zone and created something that genuinely makes every other mid-engined sportscar look expensive, certainly with American pricing. It is democratizing one of the most exclusive bits of the market like nothing before; if things go to plan the C8 will outsell the combined total of every junior supercar by a comfortable margin.
MD

Search for a Chevrolet Corvette here


Ferrari F8 Tributo

I drove faster cars than the F8 Tributo in 2019. I drove more intoxicating cars as well. But all things considered, I don’t think I drove a better one. When I think about what an entry-level Ferrari berlinetta needs to do in 2019, the F8 Tributo ticks every single box. Ferrari - and what follows here applies every bit as much to McLaren with its 720S - has found a way to make a mid-engined supercar with more than 700hp perfectly amenable in normal driving, utterly undemanding to use and comfortable over longer journeys, but then sensationally good to drive at speed both on the road and a race track. Shouldn’t there be at least one impossible combination in amongst all that? It’s like that guy at school who’s popular with girls, better than anybody at sport, funny, good at maths and somehow brilliant in English class as well. Actually, when I put it like that, I don’t think I like the F8 Tributo one bit.
DP

Search for a Ferrari here


Β 

Author
Discussion

Fetthobler

Original Poster:

34 posts

37 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Only super cars on the list here... Are there no real life hero cars? Suzuki Jimny, Alpine A110S, etc?

Merry Christmas from the Negev 🌵 desert 🐪

chunder

637 posts

195 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Fetthobler said:
Only super cars on the list here... Are there no real life hero cars? Suzuki Jimny, Alpine A110S, etc?

Merry Christmas from the Negev ?? desert ??
Whilst a slightly strange observation maybe there is a point, at least it might tax PH journos a bit anyway if there was a sister article, Favourite car of the year for under £250 / mth.

DoubleD

10,252 posts

57 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
People moan whatever cars they choose.

Futse

147 posts

134 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Indeed they do. If anyone of us would drive some normal cars, some gti's and some supercars, big chance our favourite would be... a supercar, no?

C_Boomerang

2 posts

27 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
I wouldn’t call a Megane a supercar whether it has carbon wheels & brakes or not

thebestlittlecivicintheworld

55 posts

2 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Would you call an Audi rs2 a supercar?

stuckmojo

2,036 posts

137 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
New G Wagen.

TheOrangePeril

400 posts

129 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
chunder said:
Fetthobler said:
Only super cars on the list here... Are there no real life hero cars? Suzuki Jimny, Alpine A110S, etc?

Merry Christmas from the Negev ?? desert ??
Whilst a slightly strange observation maybe there is a point, at least it might tax PH journos a bit anyway if there was a sister article, Favourite car of the year for under £250 / mth.
I like the idea of a sister article but monthly pricing seems a bit weird for a "real life" comparison. A few buy a car and keep it for three years, some for eight, and people like myself keep them for 10-15 years, or for life. For the truly 'hero' cars, surely most would hang on to them? At which point the monthly cost decays asymptotically, or flips to a net gain.

Maybe favourite cars under 30k would be a better brief?


Edited by TheOrangePeril on Tuesday 24th December 10:16

Rumblestripe

1,342 posts

111 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
I think the fact that the only borderline "ordinary" car is a very special Megane is a point.

We all love super/hyper cars on here (well most do) but they are not always the "best" car. Going to do the weekly shopping, do I take the McLaren 600LT or the Skoda Karoq? (Not trying to suggest that the Karoq should be in the list but just that a hyper car isn't always the best car) No leccy car aside from the very odd looking Taycan and that a very expensive Porsche badge carrier.

Bit of a disappointing and one dimensional list IMO.

Leftfootwonder

97 posts

7 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Considering every article you read starts with "the end of the internal combustion engine is nigh" and ends with "this could be the last of the breed" or words similar, 2019 has been a very good year for new metal. clap

Baldchap

2,015 posts

41 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
TheOrangePeril said:
I like the idea of a sister article but monthly pricing seems a bit weird for a "real life" comparison. A few buy a car and keep it for three years, some for eight, and people like myself keep them for 10-15 years, or for life. For the truly 'hero' cars, surely most would hang on to them? At which point the monthly cost decays asymptotically, or flips to a net gain.

Maybe favourite cars under 30k would be a better brief?


Edited by TheOrangePeril on Tuesday 24th December 10:16
Then you get comments along the lines of 'nobody buys their cars, chav lease PCP, what about a used M5 instead...' etc.

They can't win whatever articles they put together at no cost to the reader.

BlackandWhite

56 posts

143 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Mercedes and Renault. It would be like seeing my mum shortlisted for supermodel of the year 2019, of course she’s getting my support. Renault indeed, who would have thought it. Congratulations for even being on the same list.

greenarrow

1,872 posts

66 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
In fairness Its been a fairly quiet year for big real world budget performance car launches. Fiesta ST launched last year, new Golf next year. so nothing from VAG. Focus ST was launched but wasn't exactly a world beater. The Alpine was launched last year, perceived wisdom seems to be that the new Toyota Supra doesn't cut it and I guess the Cayman GT4 is the most notable "sub-supercar" arrival in 2019. Perhaps surprising the Merc A35/A45 hasnt got a mention? Its done well in road tests so far.....

big_rob_sydney

2,423 posts

143 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Shock news just in; expensive cars perform better than cheaper cars. Who'd a thunk it...

/sarcasm

But seeing the Renault is the big news for me. Good on them. I personally wouldn't buy it, but hey, I know plenty of choice is a good thing, and there will be buyers for it.

I would echo some of the comments here though (not because "PH can't win" etc, etc), but simply that, not everyone can afford a supercar. It would be nice to see a sister article of the non-supercar persuasion. Quite what the criteria would be are anyone's guess, but I agree that a supercar focus, while exciting, may not be realistic for the majority of genuine buyers.

jwwbowe

128 posts

121 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Out of that list it has to be the big bad Mercedes, very cool. I think a £72k front wheel
drive Renault hatch that has its engine in a normal location is a bridge too far regardless of how good it is at setting lap times.

Also there no point in moaning about people moaning, a lot of people are getting tired supercars (myself included) as there seems to be another McLaren every week, they all look the same are astonishingly fast and it’s a similar story at Ferrari. We’re just getting de-sensitised to them, I read the McLaren long tail article yesterday and was disappointed by my own initial reaction to 250mph car, which was a yawn because it’s not 300mph, which I recognise is ludicrous because of the physics of getting wheel driven vehicle to 250mph are amazing. But for me the F40, XJ220 and the F1 broke the 200mph watermark 20+yrs ago. The Veyron was really the only thing that moved the game on in terms top trump figures and in gear times. Where speed like that can be achieved is so few and far between that it almost makes it irrelevant anyway.

Cars that are fun at real world speeds are much more important to the everyday enthusiast.

If the vote included non production cars then the Retropower Escort would be my car of the year.

But if forced to pick a production car then Mustang Bullitt in RHD, given that it looks amazing, sounds amazing, is affordable to a great deal more people than everything else on that list and is still hanging in there with a N/A V8 and a manual gearbox, it should be celebrated before we all drive white good electrics!




Edited by jwwbowe on Tuesday 24th December 16:52

cerb4.5lee

13,372 posts

129 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
Whatever is RWD and has a manual gearbox and a LSD. cool

I'm guessing that I've not got that much to choose from though because everything is either electric or has only 2 pedals now. frown

WalterGeoffery

521 posts

72 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
The PH forum has ruined us all. The end.

YouTalkinToMe

2,445 posts

47 months

Tuesday 24th December 2019
quotequote all
BlackandWhite said:
Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Mercedes and Renault. It would be like seeing my mum shortlisted for supermodel of the year 2019, of course she’s getting my support. Renault indeed, who would have thought it. Congratulations for even being on the same list.
Why? Renault have been in F1 for a number of years and a great engine supplier. Their RenaultSport cars are arguably the best FWD cars available. Harry Metcalfe once said a Lamborghini Gallardo couldn't keep up with a Clio 182 with the Gallardo driver actually trying.

Yes, they make bread and butter cars, but were not talking about those.

sideways man

732 posts

86 months

Wednesday 25th December 2019
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
Whatever is RWD and has a manual gearbox and a LSD. :cool. frown
I’m interested in what your#1 choice would be?

DMZ

84 posts

109 months

Wednesday 25th December 2019
quotequote all
The Corvette is probably the most affordable of that lot and has about the right amount of go and uniquely in that group, a naturally aspirated engine and a V8 no less. What are its significant flaws, by the way?