Best Cars 2024

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Best Cars 2024

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  • Discover which type of car is best for you
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If you need some help buying the right car then we're here to help with the best cars to buy in 2024. 

Whether you want a small SUV, a seven-seater or an electric car, we're on hand to guide you through the minefield that is buying a new car with our handy top 10 lists. 

The new car market has seen big changes and while sales were down to due the Covid pandemic (and a shortage in the supply of new cars), last year saw electric car sales exceed the whole of 2010 to 2019 put together. The best selling car in the UK is the Ford Puma, followed by the Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Corsa.

In 2024 we'll see increased growth rates in electric cars. In 2023, electric car sales were second only to petrol car sales and EVs now account for 16.5% of new car sales. Diesels have become a niche purchase and only 3.8% of new cars registered in 2023 were diesel.

See the latest data on used car prices in the UK and meet the experts behind our heycar reviews. 

If you're looking to save money on a new or used car in 2024, check out our guide to the best car deals.

Best SUVs 2024

Kia Sportage Review 2024: front dynamic

Best for Families who need a large and practical car. The best SUVs may no longer be off-roaders (in fact the vast majority aren't) but they offer lots of space and make the perfect all-round family car for many.

Why buy an SUV? If you have children, need lots of space or like a raised driving position, then an SUV is right for you. Many of the larger SUVs on the market are available as seven-seaters, so ideal for larger families while big towing capacities make them ideal for caravanners. They are no longer the gas guzzling monsters they were once portrayed either and there are now a host of electric SUVs on the market such as the Hyundia Ioniq 5 and Skoda Enyaq.

Best electric cars 2024

Volkswagen ID.3 Review 2023 front

Best for Those that can afford to make the switch away from combustion engines. The latest and best electric cars are now delivering a range of more than 250 miles, making them genuine alternatives to the family diesel car, but they're still expensive. However, there are still some brilliant cheap electric cars available. 

Why buy an electric car? An electric car will mean never having to visit a traditional filling station again - instead you can charge your car at home or work (or ideally both). The charging infrastructure is growing steadily so there are more fast chargers around, although planning is still required for long journeys. Electric cars are more reliable than traditional petrols and diesels as they have fewer moving parts and to fully charge an electric car like a mid-range Volkswagen ID.3 at home costs around £10.

Best hybrid cars 2024

Ford Kuga Review 2023: Driving

Best for Buyers who aren't quite ready to make the switch to an fully electric car but want cheaper running costs and hybrid refinement without worrying about their maximum range and charging on a long journey.

Why buy a hybrid car? If you value refinement and want lower running costs, pick one of the best hybrid cars is an ideal buy. Choose a plug-in hybrid and you could spend most of your time pottering around town or doing the school run only using electric power, with the engine there for longer drives. A standard hybrid like the Toyota Corolla - or self charging hybrid as they have become known - can't be plugged in but will use the battery at low speeds or to boost the engine when needed.

Best small SUVs 2024

Renault Captur Review 2024: front-three quarter

Best for Drivers who like the looks and raised driving position of an SUV but don't need a huge bulky car. The best small SUVs have become hugely popular in recent years as a more practical and comfortable alternative to the standard family hatchback.

Why buy a small SUV? There are so many high quality small SUVs on the market that you're spoilt for choice. From cheap to run hybrid small SUVs like the Toyota C-HR to high performance models like the Ford Puma ST, chances are there will be something for you. If you're making the switch to electric you will also find a growing number of small electric SUVs like the Mercedes EQA and Vauxhall Mokka-e which are cheap to run.

Best small cars 2024

Vauxhall Corsa-e Review 2023 Front Side View

Best for Buyers looking for an affordable car or couples who don't necessarily need a big car. Indeed such is the quality of many of the best small cars that those downsizing from something larger won't feel short changed.

Why buy a small car? If you want a car that's easy to drive, simple to park and gets you from A to B in comfort, then a small car is ideal for you. You probably don't want to do long motorway trips, but a small car will be cheap to run with modern petrol engines meaning 50mpg is becoming the norm. Of course you can go down the hybrid route with the likes of the Toyota Yaris or choose a fully electric small car like the Peugeot e-208.

Best family cars 2024

Skoda Octavia

Best for Families, would you believe. The term 'family car' used to refer to something like a Ford Mondeo but now covers everything from SUVs to estates. Basically anything that suits family life.

Why buy a family car? You need room, versatility and a durable interior. Having children means your pride and joy is in for plenty of abuse, whether you have babies, toddlers or grumpy teenagers. The best family cars are designed with child safety in mind and come with plenty of useful user-friendly features to make parents life easier.

Best 4x4s 2024

Land Rover Discovery 2023 Review: exterior front three quarter photo of the Land Rover Discovery off-road

Best for Those who want the reassurance of four-wheel drive, whether it be for driving off-road, in wintry conditions or simply for towing a caravan or trailer.

Why buy a 4x4? While the terms 4x4 and SUV have become almost interchangeable, a lot of SUVs are actually two wheel drive and have very little off-road ability. A grass verge on the school run is the closest they get. But if you tow or regularly have to tackle muddy tracks or snowy roads, then the best 4x4s (fitted with the right tyres) will keep you mobile when others are falling by the wayside.

Best estate cars 2024

 Audi A6 Avant Review: exterior rear three quarter photo of the Audi A6 Avant

Best for Anyone who needs space. While SUVs may be flavour of the month, nothing can match an estate for all-round space and load carrying ability. 

Why buy an estate car? If you need room but don't fancy the idea of a big SUV, choosing from one of the best estate cars is the perfect compromise. For many family buyers an estate is ideal thanks to lots of rear legroom which means the kids aren't sardined in the back. Choose something like a Skoda Super Estate and you'll get more legroom than a Mercedes S-Class. Cyclists like them too as it's easier to load a bike onto the roof rack of an estate than an SUV. 

Best sports cars 2024

Jaguar F-Type Review 2023: exterior front side photo of the Jaguar F-Type

Best for Anyone who has a bit of cash and wants something enjoyable to drive that's also a bit flash. Sports cars aren't very practical but they are a lot of fun and are still seen as a status symbol. 

Why buy a sports car? You've worked hard, saved up and now you want something fun to drive that's also probably ludicrously impractical. The best sports cars are all about emotion, from the sound of the exhaust to the performance and handling, a sports car should be about one thing - driving pleasure. And you can guarantee if you arrive home in one of these, the neighbours will be twitching their curtains enviously.

Best hot hatches 2024

Volkswagen Golf R Review 2023: front static

Best for Those who want driving pleasure but still need everyday practicality. If you want thrills but still need five seats and a useable boot, picking one of the best hot hatches will fit the bill.

Why buy a hot hatch? If you want something fun and fast to drive, step right this way. The hot hatch may have changed over the years, with power and price both increasing, but the formula remains the same. Take your common or garden hatchback, give it a powerful engine, bigger brakes and adorn it with a bodykit and often some sort of big rear wing et voila. You get a performance car but still with hatchback practicality.

Best convertible cars 2024

Mazda MX-5 100 anniversary 2020

Best for Someone who likes the idea of wind in the hair motoring but who is also a bit of a poser. You don't buy one of the best convertible cars if you don't want to be seen...

Why buy a convertible car? There's nothing quite like dropping the roof on a sunny day and driving down a country lane in a classy convertible. Of course it's not so fun on the motorway but despite the fact Summer usually lasts about three days in the UK, Brits still love a convertible and there are plenty of quality soft tops on the market ranging from cheap convertibles to eye wateringly expensive. 

Best city cars 2024

Fiat 500 Electric Review 2023: front dynamic

Best for Anyone who has just passed their test or those who want a cheap to run second car for nipping out to the shops in. 

Why buy a city car? If you want to keep costs down, choosing one of the best city cars is the way to go. Affordable to buy, they are also economical and cheap to insure for new drivers. It's why they are ideal for younger drivers who get stung by high insurance premiums. The quality of modern city cars is excellent so not only are they good for nipping in and out of traffic, they are also well equipped and crucially, safe. 

Best automatic cars 2024

Audi Q5 Sportback Review 2023: front

Best for Anyone who wants convenience. A manual gearbox may make a car more involving to drive but for any people it's also another hassle. An automatic makes life much easier and means a smoother drive too.

Why buy an automatic car? Who wants to have the hassle of gears anyway? While sports cars and hot hatches suit manual gearboxes, for the vast majority of larger cars, an automatic gearbox makes more sense. The best automatic cars are more convenient, smoother and often provide better economy. Hybrids and electric cars come with automatic gearboxes as standard. 

Best used cars 2024

Nissan Qashqai Review 2024: exterior three-quarter photo of the Nissan Qashqai on the road

Best for Anyone who wants to save money and beat the waiting lists for new cars. With the semi-conductor shortage causing lengthening waiting times, finding a used car for sale means you can effectively jump the queue.

Why buy a used car? A nearly new or used car may mean having to miss out on specifying it yourself, but there are significant savings to be made on the used car market. Choose an Approved Used car from a franchised dealer and you will also get many of the benefits of buying new including a 12-month warranty and breakdown cover. Many include MoT cover so if your car fails its MoT, the cover will pay for any repairs necessary.

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