The best new cars to hit the UK in 2018

27 Dec 2018

We saw some truly remarkable new models hit UK roads in 2018. Two big names issued their first ever SUVs and we got an all-new Ford Focus. But which new cars were the best? We’ve picked out our favourites here…

Volvo XC40

We’ll start with what went on to become WhatCar?’s car of the year. Arriving in May, this compact SUV took the format of its larger siblings and injected a funkier, more youthful vibe.

That means it isn’t too dissimilar to the more mature XC60 and XC90, and the XC40 still offers same mix of clever packaging, uncluttered interior design, cruising comfort and great connectivity.

Audi A1

Superminis aren’t often renowned for their upmarket feel but this one is. Anyone looking to buy a compact yet premium hatchback couldn’t go wrong with the second-generation A1.

It’s longer and more spacious than the original A1, and it’s five-door only now, but the familiar styling means there’s no mistaking this new A1 for anything else.


The BMW X5 is one of the leading names in the premium mid-size SUV market and the arrival of the new fourth-gen model has only cemented that.

Auto Express hailed it as ‘a fantastically capable all-rounder’ and while it may struggle to truly excel in any particular area, the X5 remains a class-leader.

Jaguar E-Pace

After the sales success that was the F-Pace - the first ever SUV to wear the famous big cat logo - Jaguar spotted a gap in the market for a smaller version, and thus the E-Pace was born.

Auto Express and Autocar were big fans, awarding four-star ratings and describing it as a “great blend of agility and comfort with decent cruising refinement and impressive practicality”, not to mention “fun to drive - exactly how a Jaguar should be”.

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus rarely sets pulses racing but Ford’s family-sized hatchback continues to be quietly brilliant at everything.

It looks great, it’s efficient, spacious, affordable and ‘drives as pleasingly as a Focus does’ - according to Autocar.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan?

With a price tag approaching £250k, the Cullinan - Rolls-Royce’s first crack at an SUV - had to be good and with a monstrous 563bhp 6.75-litre twin-turbo engine, it didn’t disappoint.

Despite weighing 2.5 tonnes, this great lump of a car is no slouch and can rally up to 62mph in 5.2 seconds.

For a Roller, it’s as luxurious as you’d expect but the real trump card is that it can handle the rough stuff too, tacking off-road rubble and ruts with ease.

Lamborghini Urus

Another luxury name to get in on the SUV game in 2018 was Lamborghini with the Urus.

One glance is enough to know it’s a Lambo and the ‘world’s first super SUV’ (Lambo’s words) can clear a zero to 62mph sprint in 3.6 seconds, before topping out at 189mph.