From nimble hatchbacks to stylish SUVs, and exciting sports cars to practical estates – this is where you'll find every model that has earned our highest road test rating...
- Small cars
- Honda Jazz
- Family hatchbacks
- Seat Leon
- Skoda Octavia
- Skoda Scala
- Toyota Corolla
- Hot hatches
- Honda Civic Type R
- Mercedes-AMG A45
- Toyota GR Yaris
It’s not every day that we give out a five-star road test rating, because any car that earns this is judged to be outstanding in almost every respect.
To get five stars, a car must beat its rivals at the things that matter most to potential buyers (for example, performance and handling for a sports car, or practicality and comfort in an SUV) without disappointing in less crucial areas.
In this story, we’ll look at each type of car, taking you through every model that has been awarded five stars and is still on sale. To find out more about a particular car or see how much you could save on it by using our free New Car Buying service, just click on the relevant link.
The latest Jazz is proof that a small car can feel big inside, because it’s simply bursting with space. As well as this family friendly practicality, though, the latest Jazz has the potential to lower your fuel bills thanks to its hybrid technology, and it comes with lots of standard kit. It’s our class champion in the small car market.
Welcome to our reigning Family Car of the Year, the Seat Leon. It’s great to drive, has lots of space for your family and all of their luggage, and is well equipped to boot. We think the 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine will suit most buyers the best, and this offers plenty of pep while also keeping running costs sensible.
Few cars in any class are as practical as the Octavia; indeed, you can fit more into the Skoda’s boot than you can in many far larger cars. What’s more, the Octavia is smartly finished, generously equipped and very well priced. It’s a great all-rounder.
You might think it odd that Skoda felt the need to introduce the Scala when it already had the Octavia in its range, but the Scala is aimed at those after something a bit smaller and cheaper. And while it is both of those things, it’s still very practical and, crucially, doesn’t feel remotely cheap, either inside or in term of the way it drives.
If you want a family car with seriously low C02 emissions, hybrid power to help lower your fuel bills, and lots of standard kit, then the Corolla is well worth looking at. It’s a good all-rounder, offering plenty of comfort, and benefitting from Toyota’s stellar reliability record.
Honda Civic Type R
For very reasonable money you can step into the driver’s seat of the Honda Civic Type R. It offers awesome performance and precise handling, yet is also a practical and comfortable everyday car.
The Mercedes-AMG A45 is a monster of the hot hatchback class, offering up an explosive 415bhp from its 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine – that’s enough to get it to 62mph in just 3.9sec. As well as savage acceleration, though, the A45 also offers impressive grip, meaning you can really lean into those fast corners.
Toyota GR Yaris
Fast, fun and relatively affordable, the GR Yaris is our reigning Hot Hatchback of the Year because it perfectly sums up this class. It’s outrageous fun to drive, feels perfectly suited to UK roads and is even comfortable enough to use as your daily driver, provided you can live with a few practicality compromises. Go for the optional Circuit Pack to get the most of out it, though. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you order one now, you’ll likely face a lengthy wait because of the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage.