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living: autocade

The Car to Be Seen in 2009The Car to Be Seen in 2009

What car has the right style for the year? For the ninth year running, Lucire goes through its list for 2009—and we name a winner as the year’s most stylish car

 

EVERY YEAR SINCE 2001, Lucire has named a car as ĎThe Car to Be Seen iní. Itís been a tough year to figure out which cars donít make the cut, since nothing really jumped out at us.
   With an economic downturn, the car manufacturers seem to be revamping a lot of their models rather than début all-new ones, in some cases. And the new cars have included some gas guzzlers, despite petrol prices hitting some highs over the course of 2008.
   But TCBS has always been about the year ahead, and our projections of what will complement the style and mood of 2009.
   By the close of 2008, we had identified the following models. Turn the page for our choice.

 

Renault Mégane 3

A great looking coupé and this certainly had publisher Jack Yanís heart beating a bit more quickly (he owns an earlier model), but the regular models are less exciting.

 

Ford Fiesta Mk VII
Ford Fiesta B299, photographed by Tanya Sooksombatisatian

Tanya Sooksombatisatian/Lucire
Ford has pinned its global hopes on this model. We like it, thanks to features such as voice recognition and easy-to-use Bluetooth. Itís also fun to drive. Itís a further example of Ford giving you more, keeping true to its values.

 

Ford Ka Mk II
Ford Ka

A better handler than the Fiat 500 (it comes out of the same factory) but loses its sister carís cuteness.

 

Volvo XC60
Volvo XC60

Not a year for SUVs, but surely Volvo, which has traditionally been socially responsible, could win? After all, the XC60 even has collision avoidance and stops the car (below a certain speed) if you are about to hit something. But itís also very wide, and only 7 mm narrower than the big XC90ówhich is already too huge for Stockholm streets.

 

Opel Insignia
Opel Insignia in Autocade

The winner of the European Car of the Year. Dynamically, itís there and unlike the Ford Mondeo, it hasnít got too huge. We like the three body styles and an image that harks back to the cool Opels of the early 1970s. Excellent quality and great at speed.

 

Alfa Romeo MiTo
Alfa Romeo MiTo

The Fiat Grande Punto already looks great. The MiTo makes having a hatchback sexy. Dynamic traction control helps it stick to the road admirably and itís better value than a Mini.

 

Mini John Cooper Works
Mini John Cooper Works

Tanya Sooksombatisatian/Lucire
We really love the Works. Unlike the regular Mini Cooper, which needs to be worked hard, the Works is the Mini on steroids. Everything you need to reenact The Italian Job.

 

BMW 123d

Is it possible to get 31 mpg in a sportsí saloon? BMW proves that you can.

Nissan GT-R

Looking like a jet fighter for the road, Nissan’s GT-R carries on a long tradition of value-for-money, high-tech racers.

 

Lancia Delta
Lancia Delta

Another well proportioned, well built hatchback from the Fiat group. No Integrale in this line-up, but certainly stylish. Let down by the interiorís materials.

 

BMW 7er-Reihe

Big new BMW, with more diesels and smaller engines. Mobile wifi sounds like a great idea.

 

Volkswagen Scirocco III
Volkswagen Scirocco III

Golf quality and sporty styling, but interior a step below other Volkswagen Group models.

 

Genesis
Genesis

Hyundai enters the big league with a new marque (in Korea). Rear-wheel-drive and a V8 doesnít sound very Hyundai, hence the new name. But itís a little too reminiscent of the BMW 5er.

 

Lincoln MKS

Big new Lincoln replacing the disappointing LS, based around Volvo S80 bits. But like the Genesis, appears derivative from so many angles other than the new Lincoln front end.

Tata Nano
Tata Nano

Finally, Tata managed to get the world’s cheapest production car on to the market. Once exports start, this could signal an affinity with the ideas of classlessness and caring better than any Toyota Prius.

 

continued

 

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