Our seven favourite cars from 2023

Ferrari Purosangue (Ferrari/Ferrari)
1. Honda Civic Type R

Honda has had a busy 2023, but its best new release – and potentially even the best car of the last 12 months – is the exceptional Civic Type R. The engine is superb, the gearshift is possibly the best of any car on sale today and the balance of the car is sublime. We could run out of superlatives to describe it.

Honda Civic Type R (Honda/Honda)
2. Jeep Avenger

The Avenger is important for several reasons, not least because it’s Jeep’s first electric car and a far cry from the gas-guzzling 4×4s the firm is known for. While the Avenger might be based on the same underpinnings as the Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka, Jeep has been far cleverer with its ingenious packaging, as at four metres long, this Jeep is no larger in size than cars like the Volkswagen Polo yet delivers some great space inside. It’s a brilliant car, and deserving of its ‘European Car of the Year’ title.

Jeep Avenger (Jeep/Jeep)
3. McLaren 750S

The McLaren 750S might not look much different to the 720S that came before it, but the engineers have improved this supercar in just about every way. It sounds better, is more fun to drive now and gets a far more livable interior. But it’s the 750S’ sheer all-round ability that makes it all the more impressive. It really is a supercar that can be used every day of the week.

McLaren 750S (McLaren/McLaren)
4. Abarth 500e

Manufacturers continue to struggle to make electric cars genuinely fun to drive, making the Abarth 500e an exception. With a sound generator that replicates the noise of a petrol Abarth’s exhaust, sharp handling and zippy performance, the Abarth 500e is a true look at the hot hatch of the future.

Abarth 500e (Abarth/Abarth)
5. Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Essentially a track car that has been allowed on the road, this boss 911 is a sensory overload to drive, with the rear-mounted 4.0-litre flat-six being core to the experience. Inside, it’s a stripped-out affair with lightweight materials used everywhere. The steering wheel, meanwhile, is straight out of racing and features controls for the aerodynamics, driver modes and even the car’s Drag Reduction System – or DRS – just like F1 cars.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS. (Porsche/Porsche)
6. Lotus Eletre

The Eletre caused quite a stir when Lotus first announced it. Here was a car which flew in the face of the firm’s founder Colin Chapman’s original lightweight ethos, instead arriving as a relatively heavy, large and battery-powered SUV which seemed worlds away from classic Lotus models like the Elise and Exige.

But Lotus diehards needn’t have worried as though the Eletre is quite different to some of the firm’s previous offerings, it’s still one of the most dynamic-driving electric SUVs on sale today, backed by a cleverly packaged interior and some great technology. We expect the Eletre to have a big impact on the fortunes of Lotus, that’s for sure.

Lotus Eletre (Lotus/Lotus)
7. Ferrari Purosangue

It seems pretty obvious to put a Ferrari in this list, but the abilities of the Purosangue can’t be understated. Sure, this £300,000-plus, V12-powered SUV might be slightly out of touch with the current financial climate, but in classic Ferrari fashion, it’s the execution of the Purosangue which amazes. For such a large car it’s remarkably easy to drive while the huge engine under the bonnet lends the Purosangue a character that can’t be matched even by other ultra-performance SUVs. Fit it with winter tyres and it’ll still tackle snow and ice, just as you’d expect a ‘proper’ off-roader to do.

Ferrari Purosangue (Ferrari/Ferrari)