The 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 2009and we name a
winner as the years 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.
Fiesta Mk VII
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
A better handler than the Fiat 500 (it comes out of the same factory)
but loses its sister carís cuteness.
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.
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
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
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.
Is it possible to get 31 mpg in a sportsí saloon? BMW
proves that you can.
Looking like a jet fighter for the road, Nissans GT-R carries
on a long tradition of value-for-money, high-tech racers.
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.
Big new BMW, with more diesels and
smaller engines. Mobile wifi sounds like a great idea.
Volkswagen Scirocco III
Golf quality and sporty styling, but interior a step below other
Volkswagen Group models.
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
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.
Finally, Tata managed to get the worlds 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
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