Top 5: Production cars in Geneva

#5: Renault Kadjar


Why is it here? Because it’s based on successful Nissan X-Trail/Rouge, because it manages to look even better than the already-handsome donor car, and because it should help us forget the sad joke that was the Renault Koleos (European sales in 2014: fewer than 7,500)

#4: Hyundai Tucson


Why is it here? Because it promises to continue Hyundai’s good form of making the new model better than the previous one, because it goes from funky-looking to being arguably the most handsome car in the affordable midsize SUV class (to these eyes it’s like a smoothed-out Mazda CX-5 with a wider look), and because it avoids the new Sonata’s pitfall of confusing bland for premium.


#3: VW Touran


Why is it here? Because it goes from dull-but-worthy to being one of the most elegant and sporty (!) looking cars in the midsize MPV class, because it shows BMW that small MPVs don’t need to be dumpy-looking, and because it lost around 50kg courtesy of adopting the MQB platform.


#2: Honda Civic Type-R

Why is it here? Well, it’s certainly not here because of its looks, but rather because it’s the return of one of the most exciting hot hatches of all times, because while it’s turbocharged the engine is still meant to employ VTEC, and because its 7:50 time around the Nürburgring beats the previous FWD record by over four seconds.


#2: Skoda Superb


Why is it here? Because while some complain that it lost the aggressiveness of the Concept C I still think it’s a very handsome saloon, because it replaces the stupid overwrought double-hatch with a simple hatch, and because it should continue being the smart-person alternative in a rather boring segment. Oh, and VW should sell it in the US as the Passat, but that’s a topic for another time…


Dishonorable mention #1: Honda Jazz


Why is it here? Because it looks like a Chinese clone of the previous generation, because its wheels look completely lost in the wheelarches, and because somehow Honda thought that faux hot air exhausts in the rear bumper belong on a supermini.


Dishonorable mention #2: Lotus Evora 400

Lotus Evora 400

Why is it here? Because it looks like the standard Evora after a visit to the tuner, because it hikes the price even further, and because Lotus spent money on this car rather than a new generation of the Elise.