Awards 2012 : AROnline’s top British cars for 2012 (voting closed)

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

It’s your chance to choose the AROnline British new car of the year 2012

Without doubt, 2012 has been another interesting year for the British car industry. Manufacturing might have been under pressure as the UK economy struggled to emerge from the effects of the 2010 recession (and impending 2012 Euro crisis), but that didn’t stop our carmakers coming up with an interesting and diverse selection of new metal within the space of a single year – possibly for the first time in a decade.

And to mark the occasion, we’ve drawn a short list of the top five new British cars to go on sale in 2011. And it’s down to you to choose which you think deserves the crown of British new car of the year 2012 by clicking on your choice at the bottom of this page – but be quick, as voting closes on 31 December 2011.

Over the coming week or so, we’ll also be announcing other award-winners for 2012, including:

  • Web forum or community of the year
  • Classic car of the year
  • Used car of the year
  • Specialist of the year
  • Owners’ club of the year

MG6 GT/Magnette

Is the MG6 a worthy British car of the year for 2012?
Is the MG6 a worthy British car of the year for 2012?

MG finally launched its UK-assembled 6, and proved to the world that Longbridge was in the business of car assembly post-MG Rover. And the 6 is an excellent effort for what is effectively a start-up operation – it’s dynamically excellent, stylish, well screwed-together, and good value. It might have been a slow start in terms of sales, but there’s no doubt parent company SAIC’s in it for the long haul, even if it’s yet to be marketed. Also, if we were to award a car of the year, purely in terms of AROnline reader feedback – good and bad – the MG6 would win by a country mile…

McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren-MP4-12c: taking the supercar fight to Ferrari
McLaren-MP4-12c: taking the supercar fight to Ferrari

Down in Woking, McLaren opened its impressive new production plant next-door to Paragon, and began to roll-out its Ferrari 458-rivalling MP4-12C supercar – as powered by Ricardo. It’s a true-Blue British effort, and one that features some impressive technology, not least its adaptive suspension. Aside from its surgically-clean production plant, and incredible performance, the most impressive aspect of McLaren Automotive’s handling of the MP4-12C, is how quickly it’s reacted to both customer and press suggestions…

Range Rover Evoque

The Evoque is both stylish and desirable – and is already a winner
The Evoque is both stylish and desirable – and is already a winner

We love the Evoque at AROnline and so, it seems, do you. There’s already a long waiting list for Land Rover’s stylish new lifestyle oriented off-roader, with many customers representing conquest sales. Available in both three- and five-door form, and with a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, the Evoque drives as well as it looks – and it’s exactly the innovative kind of product that’s turned Jaguar Land Rover into the money making success machine it is today…

Morgan 3Wheeler

In an increasingly sanitised world, the Morgan 3Wheeler is a genuine feel-good arrival.
In an increasingly sanitised world, the Morgan 3Wheeler is a genuine feel-good arrival.

Although there had been rumours in the lead-up to Geneva that Morgan was going to introduce a 3Wheeler tribute, no one actually believed that the Malvern Link company would actually go ahead and do it. But come the Swiss motor show, and buyers were able to pore over the most exciting product from a company that was increasingly learning how to break the mould.  Especially as the production 3Wheeler lacks any form of safety equipment – in an era we find ourselves increasingly obsessed by it. Everyone who’s driven one absolutely loves the 3Wheeler, and there’s now a whacking great waiting list for it – and that’s all the encouragement we need to shortlist the Morgan 3Wheeler.

Mini Coupé and Roadster

Coupé (R58) added further variery to the MINI range in 2011.
Coupé (R58) added further variery to the MINI range in 2011.

The final new body variations of the 2006 R56-generation MINIs went on sale some five years after the launch of the original car – the Coupé and Roadster are certainly non-conformist options in an increasingly niche-driven market. The Cowley-built Coupé sparks strong reactions thanks to its stepped floating roof, but the Roadster has been greeted warmly by sun-loving MINI fans. Both are great to drive, and are instrumental in MINI’s plan to have a full range of derivatives (just as BL did in the 1960s and ’70s), ranging from the £11K First to the five-seater Maxi, sorry Countryman…

Your chance to vote : AROnline’s new Car of The Year 2012 (voting closed)

Range Rover Evoque
41.6%
Mini Coupe
4.9%
Morgan 3Wheeler
8.4%
McLaren MP4-12C
4.0%
MG6 GT/Magnette
41.1%

(2081 votes received)

 

Gallery

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

64 Comments

  1. hmm, if the Magnette comes with a free matching accessory like that, it might actually do ok…

    I picked the Morgan because it proves you dont need 8 computers, 2 turbos and 600hp to have fun.. Not to mention that its eminantly tunable & fixable. I wonder how long it’ll be before some nutcase sticks a blower or turbo on it, ala the 2CV…?

  2. I wish I could vote for the Morgan with a clear rational conscience. But I can’t. It’s awesome that exists, though!

  3. Hmm indeed!

    My head would say Evoque.

    My heart wishes it could say MG6. The picture above illustrates very convincingly that the MG6 as British Car Of The Year is not such a ridiculous notion – with a full engine range and dealer network, of course.

  4. its got to be the range rover for me because it speaks to me on a emotional and sensory level its looks alone blow me away far better than the sport that every drug dealer seems to buy.As for the mini is someone taking the piss?

  5. The only thing that emerged from Britain this year that was at least equal to Pippa in head-turning looks was, of course, the Evoque.
    Good to see JLR going from strength to strength under Tata.

  6. Heart and brain say together Morgan!It’s imposible to find something more british than that.

    Evoque? Extrermely overpriced for what really is: a posh and shorter Freelander II. Next!

  7. Vote for Morgan 3Wheeler, what else?
    It’s raving mad, I want one, right now!
    As for the others, all except the MacLaren, boring conventional.
    Rang Rover, I thought this sort of vehicles had died – who needs them.
    Erik

  8. For me the Evoque is best… I’ve only seen one “for real” and it impressed me more than the photos did. It would be nice to regard the MG6 as a car of the Year but its sales figures dont back that up.

  9. Evoque here, it is the current British success story and is flying out the door seemingly as fast as they can build them.

    The bini is just plain horrid, the Mclaren is out of the reach of most mere mortals, the MG, well, seeing as MG are treating it with no enthusiasm, it’s kind of hard to vote for it too, and the jury is still out on how far you can go to call it British made. That leaves us with the Morgan. One day they may realise it’s not 1948 still, and while it’s quirky I’m really not enamoured by it.

  10. “hmm, if the Magnette comes with a free matching accessory like that, it might actually do ok…”

    You know i was just thinking the same thing.

    I have a feeling the one with the Evoque might be high maintenance though.

  11. The Evoque by a mile, I see loads of them around the nicer bits of London, a massive success story, which has really caught the imagination.

    The MG6 suffers from (a) lack of Britishness in its production, and (b) lack of sales

    McLaren is amazing and a showcase for british high technology, but a bit, um boring.

    The Morgan is brilliant, though completely mad. Talking of madness, on Friday I saw an Aston Martin Cygnet:-)

  12. That’s a nice easy one!

    Top British Car for 2012:

    1. McClaren
    2. Morgan
    3. Evoque
    and a distant fourth…
    4. MINI Coupe and Roadster thing

    Top Chinese Car for 2012:

    1. MG6 GT/Magnette

  13. “The Evoque is both stylish and desirable” — unlike the Beckhams!

    I voted Evoque – If I had two votes I’d want the Morgan as well, bulldog spirit and two-fingers to the HSE brigade. Can’t see the yanks buying it (they’re probably not allowed to). Love to see the NCAP ratings for the morgan, wouldn’t mind betting VAG or BMW bring out a concept next year called the ME 109 🙂

  14. Evoque, it is the successor to the SD1 and P6, and designed and built in the UK unlike some of it’s competitors!

    Next would be the MINI, BMW keep demonstrating how to design and market a car! MG wake up and learn from MG’s former owners, and the 6 could be the car to own in 2012.

  15. Its got to be the Range Rover Evoque. Why? Becuase it is a premium volume car that takes the fight direct to the Germans and earns valuable export pounds in the millions for this country. Roll on the new small Jaguar and please bring out a successor to the Sd1 and P6. Rover cars would succeed with a true successor to these for world markets.

  16. Morgan everyday of the week – if only because its club community loves the fact its a Morgan, unlike RR MINI MSG who have a them and us!

    But manufacturer of the year? Got to be the GB PLC success story Nissan.

  17. Hilton Davis – Comment 11

    I work minutes from Halewood and looking out of my first floof office window I see scores of Evoques on transporters every working day. Very impressive but for me the novelty has understandably worn off. I sometimes think the Evoque could do with a bit more of a British, original Range Rover Vogue, feel to it in terms of trim, colours, overall feel. Or am just a bit too old fashioned?

  18. Time to log off I think – I’m getting tired judging by the number of mistakes in my above comment. Still, you get the point….

  19. I’m surprised by the lack of love for the McLaren, but I voted with the majority for the Evoque, too. This is a vehicle that moves the goalposts like the original Range Rover did and should keep JLR healthy for years to come.

    Love the Morgan, but it’s a motorcycle, no? 🙂

  20. @John

    By your logic, the best German car is that MINI thing, and the best Indian car is the Evoque.

    Range Rover Evoque

    As much as I hate ‘on road’ SUVs, I voted for this. It seems to be the right car for the downsizing premium market, has the obligatory celeb endorsement for the celeb obsessed society and appears to be selling well. Hopefully the platform can spawn the new X type.

    Mini Coupe

    Take the ‘original’ poorly packaged MINI and make it even less practical.

    Morgan 3Wheeler

    Always thought of Morgans as more of a curiosity, a remnant of the Britain of old that while I would probably never own one, am still glad that it exists.

    McLaren MP4-12C

    Top Gear track fodder. A nice demonstration of how to build a British supercar. But it is a playboy’s toy.

    MG6 GT/Magnette

    A decent first attempt, Genesis (and hopefully not Revelations) of the new MG brand. Just the annoyance that MG UK seem to be keeping it’s existance a secret!
    Maybe next year, when they race the things, bring out a diesel, and people realise it exists.

  21. I see the MG6 has a sunroof, especially for people like me who like to keep a parked car ventilated.
    The model is a bit Anna Rexic for my taste.
    David(24), I’m jealous – I’ve always wanted a first floof office.

  22. Actually, the MG6 doesn’t look bad compared to the awful MINIs (big on the outside, small on the inside) and the Morgan (waste of time). Both are totally impractical with the Morgan beating everything on the planet by miles. That leaves us with three:

    Range Rover Evoque – Stylish and almost affordable it probably has to be the right choice.

    McLaren MP4-12C – The really need to work on an easy to remember name, but it is the most stylish and exciting and expensive leading to a millstone for your neck until death.

    MG6 – The only really affordable option but difficult to choose for many reasons. Jemma’s comment that if the free matching accessory were to be supplied with each car, then the divorce costs, and high maintenance running costs, followed by low residual value would probably cause its costs to exceed a pair of McLarens. Still the car would probably be a low mileage second hand bet for the next owner as the accessory would provide more entertainment without actually travelling very far at all. Sadly you have missed the “Accessory” option from the selection.

  23. Morgan 3-wheeler as it’s completely bonkers. Plus, they’ve done amazingly well to make something as dangerous-looking as that get over all the ‘new vehicle’ hurdles!

  24. Re. comment 33 – Good point – does anybody know if any MG6’s have been sold second-hand yet? It would be an interesting acid-test.

  25. “Especially as the production 3Wheeler lacks any form of safety equipment”

    Well that’s not strictly true, i can see two seat belts and Roll hoops in the picture.

  26. “MG6 – The only really affordable option but difficult to choose for many reasons. Jemma’s comment that if the free matching accessory were to be supplied with each car, then the divorce costs, and high maintenance running costs, followed by low residual value would probably cause its costs to exceed a pair of McLarens. Still the car would probably be a low mileage second hand bet for the next owner as the accessory would provide more entertainment without actually travelling very far at all. Sadly you have missed the “Accessory” option from the selection.”

    On the other hand, in the way that many people keep the handbook, and jack when they sell a car. Some may just buy a 6 then sell it while keeping the accessory haha.

  27. @ Richard Killpatrick.
    Yup, agreed. The Morgan Three Wheeler is pretty amazing for this day and age, but I think The Rang Rover Evoque will be the most important car for the UK though.

  28. Funny how only the Morgan is the only British car there, and even then, the engine is foreign. No mention of Honda or Toyota or Datsun anywhere there Keith, even though Swindon has just announced 500 jobs at their plant.

  29. My vote is for the new MGB, marking the 50th anniversary of the MGB as the MG RV8 marked the 30th. Oh sorry – there isn’t one. Damn.

  30. If MG 6 counts as british, even if it’s just a chinese assembled vehicle, why you don’t put Nissan Qashqai or Honda Civic in your list?

  31. Rodrigo:

    ” If MG 6 counts as british, even if it’s just a chinese assembled vehicle, why you don’t put Nissan Qashqai or Honda Civic in your list? ”

    Good point! Especially as the Civic has only just been launched. It’s interesting that the Chinese owned and built (and MG badged) SAIC is currently No 2 in a list of “British” cars!

  32. Give me the Morgan anyday. Love it to bits. It’s such a great car, a modern interpreation of what the grandfather of Charles Morgan started.
    McLaren is a very fine car indeed but it costs over a £ 100,000 and it can’t stand in the shadow of the F1.
    The Evoque is a toy (in my eyes), the Mini Coupé is just stupid and ugly and the MG6 is as British as the Chinese Wall.

  33. Is the Morgan engine foreign? I thought the V2 was Uk built?

    I thought about Nissan and Japanese based UK manufacturers, but none of them launched anything very significant during the year, the latest Civic is a fairly uninspiring facelift of the current model.

    The Evoque catches the mood perfectly, it’s not what many ARG readers want, but it’s what a lot of other people want, a British Car sold at high prices is a recipe for a successful Uk car industry!

  34. Will M:

    ” By your logic, the best German car is that MINI thing, and the best Indian car is the Evoque. ”

    My logic is based, not upon the country of ownership, but what goes on inside the factory.

    I have toured the factory at Cowley (MINI) several times and the seen the Evoque and Freelander 2 being built at Halewood and can assure you (assuming that you’ve never done this yourself which, judging by your comments, is a fairly safe assumption) that serious manufacturing and assembly goes on at these plants, with a very large proportion of UK sourced components. This includes engines from Hamms Hall, Bridgend and Dagenham.

    In comparison, the SAIC is almost entirely built in China from largely Chinese components. The “manufacting” in Longbridge consists of putting the pre-built engine in and fitting the wheels and exhaust. I’m not aware of a single component that is UK sourced. This is a complete sham and can only assume that it is to claim that it is an EU built car and also to fool some of the less well informed new car purchasers.

    When the, completely Chinese built, MG5 arrives (if it ever does), will people still be fooled by the badge?

  35. @John, living in an opposite end of the UK to the W. Midlands plants, I would relish a tour of them!

    I did vote for the RR Evoque, JLR are producing great things these days.

    Still early days at MG though.

  36. Dickie524 – Actually, I meant a low resale value on the “accessory” I would keep it so long that after 20 years, there would be no point in selling.

    Dennis – Are there really people who keep the handbook and the jack? These are so specific to the car that they are not worth keeping. On the other hand, the “accessory” has many uses, aesthetic and pleasing in so many ways!

  37. I ticked MG, most likely car I would buy, second would be Evoque, reminds me of the HRV I owned 2 winters ago, good wee car it was, but so underpowered( undertorqued, more precisely..)

  38. The MG6 is bland and could be absolutely anything. I wasn’t overly impressed by the build quality of one I looked at from my local dealership, either. As a Morgan three- and four-wheeler owner, I wouldn’t touch the new three-wheeler with a barge pole. It’s a mildly warmed over American kit car and, from what I hear, not too well put together. The ‘Mini’ just looks ugly and impractical and totally at odds with the original concept of the cars.

    I’m loving the McLaren and the Range Rover. The McLaren is a brilliant showcase of British engineering, manufacturing and design. However, my vote went to the Range Rover as being a more accessible car for the public…

  39. @ Didier Ziane. Lol I don’t think JLR would be too happy with that comparison, but it get what you mean. Hopefully the Rangie won’t have the torque problem though…

  40. Oliver Lewis – comment 54

    “The MG6 is bland” – I don’t agree! I would say it is quite distinctive in a subtle fashion, especially its front, its face. If it had established a street presence I’m sure you could easily spot one and say ” oh look, there’s an MG6″.

  41. Does it have to be cars launched this year? If so MG6 otherwise XJ 🙂 Not keen on Evoque, love the Morgan those Minis are the worst yet.

  42. Interesting that the evoke has come out so well
    My take on the evoke is if someone sticks the right badge on any crap people will buy it
    Landrover are playing the same game as BMW did many years ago.If the BMW badge appears on anything it’s automatically deemed as “Good”
    However if it is selling well and getting exported then its got to be good, For the UK

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