The best drives of 2017

RACV’s expert car reviewers pull no punches when it comes to what cars they liked most in 2017 (and what they didn’t like). Here are Ernest Litera and Greg Hill' best drives for 2017.

Nissan 370Z Nismo
Nissan 370Z Nismo

Best Drives of 2017

Ernest: Ferrari 488 Spider, Alfa Romeo Giulia QV and Nissan 370Z Nismo. Each stood out for being spirited, distinctive, interactive and tactile. The epitome of the craft of vehicle engineering, each gives back to the driver when they are driven well.

Greg: I didn’t get to drive any of those fancy cars. 

Ernest: Rank has its privileges.

Greg: The BMW 530i and Mercedes E300 comparison impressed me because of each car’s combination of technology, luxury and ability. For me BMW is just slightly ahead because it is more of a driver’s car.

Citron Cactus
Citron Cactus

Most Disappointing Drives of 2017

Ernest: The Mercedes E300 and BMW 530i comparison. They are at the limit of techno wizardry but they left me cold as a driver. The other disappointment was Land Rover Discovery. It’s getting porky – it is fat with technology but cumbersome and bulky in everyday use. It has lost the simple engineering excellence of its forebears. 

Greg: I agree on the Discovery. It has a lot of great features but as a driving car it was clumsy.

My most disappointing moment was Kia Stinger because I only got to drive it for a short distance. It was something special and deserves all the praise Ernest has given it. And the Haval H2 showed the Chinese are starting well behind the pack but are moving in the right direction.

Ernest: Other cars that fell short of the mark for me are all MG variants – and I’m a member of the MG Car Club; I should love them. Also, the Haval H2 and the Citroen Cactus, which lives up to its name.

 

Volkswagen Tiguan 110tdi Comfortline
Volkswagen Tiguan 110tdi Comfortline

Best Family Cars 2017

Ernest: Volkswagen Tiguan and Honda CR-V; both are well thought out and easy to live with. The VW is for drivers and Honda for peace of mind.

Greg: As an everyday drive I was very impressed with Mazda CX-5. It would suit my lifestyle. Six months later Honda CR-V came out and it was also really impressive. They have such minor differences, it would depend on what day you asked me as to which I’d recommend.

 

Ford Ranger XLT 3.2
Ford Ranger XLT 3.2

Best Commercial Vehicles 2017

Ernest: Ford Ranger XLT 3.2. I bought one.

Greg: I wouldn’t be as gung-ho as Ernest on the stand-out in this class. I’d be tossing up between the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

Ernest and Greg might not agree on each of the best cars they’ve seen in 2017 but they are united on what they are looking forward to in 2018 — the release of the first fully imported Holden Commodore.

* More RACV road tests and car reviews.