The Best Cars For Autumn
With September now firmly past the half way mark, the darker evenings beginning to draw in and the heatwave of a couple of weeks ago already a distant memory, people’s car buying habits switch from supercars and sports cars to SUV’s. But just because we may have seen the last of the summer, it doesn’t mean that your car buying choices have to suffer. We have put together a helpful guide of the Best Cars For Autumn that you may not have necessarily thought of, making sure you can still enjoy the thrill of driving without the need for the summer sunshine.
The nice weather may be on its way out, but there may still be an Indian summer on the cards if we are really lucky. With that in mind, it is worth considering a convertible for those few days of sun we may still get for the remainder of the year. But rather than having to endure a rainy autumn with the rain beating down on a noisy a fabric roof, why not get one that has a folding hard top, and while you are at it, one that is also four-wheel drive for when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
For those with a bigger budget there is the sensational Ferrari SF90 Spider. Supercar looks, power and speed, yet unusually for Ferrari, their very first plug in hybrid, a hard top folding roof and four-wheel drive. The SF90 may not be your typical prancing horse on paper but to drive, look at or listen to, it is every bit Maranello’s finest. With the help of 3 electric motors and a 4.0 V8 petrol engine, the SF90 is capable of 0-62mph in just 2.5 seconds and has 987bhp yet kept in check with the help of that four-wheel drive system for when the British Autumn weather is ‘less than optimal’.
For similar open-air thrills, yet at around a third of the price, Porsche’s 911 Targa 4, 4S or 4 GTS offers a similar blend of sports car driving and looks, four-wheel drive stability and assurance, and without a doubt the coolest folding roof mechanism on the market today. The way the roof folds up and down is pure engineering pantomime, and you would certainly find yourself putting it up and down even more often just to watch the whole process again and again. Whilst the 911 is often considered by most as the ultimate everyday sports car, being a Porsche, you know it will perform day after day, and thanks to all-wheel drive, thankfully whatever the weather too. The Targa offers effortlessly chic motoring and enough performance to ensure it could be the ultimate car for all seasons.
The performance car has become a lot more accessible in recent years, partly down to the fact that the latest car models seem to be getting quicker with each generation, but also the fact you can get near supercar performance even in as low down the motoring hierarchy as a select few hot hatches these days. For power and usability mixed with the reassurance of four-wheel drive and all-weather usability, look no further than the Audi Sport range of cars.
At the top of the Audi tree is arguably the most user-friendly supercar of them all, the fantastic R8. A howling naturally aspirated V10 engine, all-wheel drive stability, stunning exotic looks and the familiarity and ease of driving of any of the Audi range, the R8 is fantastic to drive at any time of year and at any speed. The refinement, build quality and reliability will ensure that the flagship Audi will continue to plough on where most supercars would struggle in adverse weather conditions and falling temperatures. Whilst most cars now making the move to hybrid power and electrification, the V10 R8 could be the last of the great combustion engine supercars, and what a way to go out with a bang.
Working your way through the rest of the Audi range and the ‘RS’ range of models offer 90% of the performance of the flagship R8, yet with a ‘something for everyone’ approach. From the practical RS6 and RS4 super-estates offering not just the pace but also the practicality, the stylish RS5 and TT RS coupes for the ultimate in style mixed with muscular bodywork hinting at the power underneath, even the pocket rocket RS3 in saloon or hatchback form offer 400bhp and 0-62 times of under 4 seconds, meaning they can keep up with and outperform cars they really shouldn’t be able to. All RS models offer the perfect blend of performance for all weathers thanks to the iconic quattro four-wheel drive system, and couple it with aggressive styling, comfortable cruising ability and the latest technology for the ultimate all round package perfect for that changeable Autumn weather.
Autumn Grand Touring
Driving hundreds of miles across countries or cruising your way to the South of France for a summer break is what GT cars were made for. The perfect combination of power and speed mixed with the upmost in luxury and refinement that means any trip is a pleasure to undertake. But when the seasons change, however, you want to make sure that you can still enjoy the same type of journey whatever the weather.
The epitome of Grand Touring motoring has for many years been the Bentley Continental GT. All the power you would ever need, the ability to effortlessly conquer mile after mile and one of the most lavish and finely detailed interiors on the market, the Continental GT has everything. Bentley has always exuded luxury and opulence, yet the latest version also offers the very latest technology and sophistication to ensure the ride, handling and performance are also on parr with the very best. Not to mention a sophisticated four-wheel drive system akin to that of sister company Audi, ensuring your grand tour can take you to any climate you wish.
For those looking for that mix of power, style, all-wheel drive and grand touring ability, yet for a more reserved budget, look no further than the stunning Jaguar F-Type. It is easy to see the influences of the iconic E-Type in the design of the F-Type, and from almost every angle, Jaguar’s design team seem to have got it just right. The long, defined bonnet, muscular rear arches and slim styling to the lights are effortlessly chic and the perfect nod to the famous 60’s legend. The ability to cruise far and wide whilst in total comfort mean that the Jaguar is more than capable of continuing to perform through into Autumn and beyond. Jaguar’s push to an all-electric line-up has meant that the F-Type’s days are numbered, and it has been announced that there won’t be an electric version on its way. Sadly, this may be the last time to get your hands on one of the best sounding combustion engine cars around.
The SUV or 4×4 or ‘off-roader’ is something that should easily be able to handle whatever Autumnal weather can throw at it. But being capable should not meant that you must surrender owning a vehicle with style and desirability in abundance. Many SUV’s claim to be stylish at the same time as being accomplished when the weather does take a turn, but often that is not the case. Thankfully there are some that manage to do both.
The utilitarian looks, seemingly limitless power, and sumptuous interior comfort that the Mercedes Benz G63 AMG offers are a combination that on paper should not really work. With very few design tweaks to the retro styling in over 40 years of production, it is the rugged charm and bulletproof persona that makes the G63 appealing to so many. Inside it is pure Mercedes Benz luxury with the finest leathers, abundance of technology, plentiful assist systems and of course the rumble from that familiar AMG V8 soundtrack that is always pleasing to the ear. These days the ‘G-Wagon’ may look more at home cruising the urban jungle, but thanks to it originally being developed for the military, it is just at home exploring the actual jungle.
However, if design chic and actual off-road ability is what you are looking for, there has always been a literal king of the hill, and one that has recently undergone a complete overhaul to bring it bang up to date. The Land Rover Defender has always been the go-to reference for dependability when the going gets tough and you need to keep on going. On the road, however, many that drove one were put off by the utilitarian interior and driving experience, or lack of it. With the latest Defender, Land Rover have produced styling inspired by the original’s iconic silhouette and design features, and teamed it with the latest technology, interior comfort and on-road performance of the best premium SUV’s.
For many years the idea of a Hybrid was something that looked a bit quirky yet had very limited performance (both in terms of speed and actual range) but was seen as the sacrifice an owner was making in order to save the planet. Now, nearly all mainstream manufacturers have a range of hybrid options in their line-up, and many are almost indistinguishable to look at from their petrol or diesel equivalents. They also play an important part in ensuring that the introduction of electrification to the motor industry, can be seen as a more acceptable transition, combining the very best of both worlds from electric and fossil fuel power.
One of the most impressive hybrid options on the market comes from Land Rover and their flagship Range Rover model. Everything you already loved about the Range Rover is even better in the latest model, in fact until the car eerily starts moving around without making a sound, you’d be hard pushed to even know that you were in a hybrid at all. As well as the electric only running mode that offers 69 miles of petrol free motoring, the top of the range P510e engine offers combined fuel consumption of up to 321 miles per gallon. Seemingly at odds with the 510 bhp on offer and the fact that this 2.8 tonne vehicle can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds. All this with the famed Range Rover opulence to the interior, as well as the more than capable off-road ability, makes this car not just the perfect Autumn vehicle, but quite possibly the ultimate car from every season and every occasion.
At the other end of the scale, yet still very much a hybrid, is the much overlooked yet seriously impressive Honda NSX. A reimagining of the legendary NSX supercar, Honda decided to deploy the very latest in hybrid technology, which at launch was the same as that seen on the Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar, but for a fraction of the price. The blend of a twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, a trio of electric motors for both power and efficiency, as well as four-wheel drive for added stability, mean that the NSX stands out from the crowd as something a bit different.
The speed may be blistering and the looks like something from the future, but perhaps the most impressive thing about the NSX is how easy it is to drive. Driving around town or on a daily commute and apart from looking at the futuristic interior, you could easily think you were in a Civic, such are the levels of comfort and the way it switches between electric and petrol power seamlessly and for most efficiency. If anything shows what is possible using the efficiency of hybrid technology that doesn’t get in the way or make excuses in order to spoil the experience, this would be it.
Autumn Electric Motoring
Whatever opinions we have it seems like there is no avoiding the fact that electric cars are the future of motoring. The looming combustion engine ban shows no signs of being pushed back, or going away any time soon as much as many hope it will. Thankfully, car manufacturers have put a major focus on actual driving experience with electric cars, producing cars that are actually enjoyable to drive not having to make excuses for the fact it is electric powered. The fact that combustion engines are soon to be a thing of the past may, for many, sound like Armageddon, but compared to where electric cars where a decade ago, things are certainly getting much better.
Porsche are usually at the top of people’s wish lists when they are looking for an engaging drive, the level of engineering and motorsport inspired knowhow means they never fail to impress at their dynamic capabilities. When Porsche released the all-electric Taycan, enthusiasts may have been forgiven for thinking Porsche had sold their soul and diluted the spirit of the company. They needn’t have worried. The strongest accolade of the Taycan is that it drives just like any other Porsche, an unheard-of review for most electric cars that had gone before.
Other than the soundtrack, there doesn’t appear to be any compromises or drawbacks, if anything there are many advantages. Porsche themselves have catered for multiple lifestyles and needs with the range of ‘original’ Taycan sports saloon, the go-anywhere more rugged Cross Turismo and the spacious yet sporty Sport Turismo. Despite being launched way back in 2019, an age compared to a lot of electric cars currently on sale, the Taycan is more equipped than most to ensure it is ready for whatever autumn can throw at it.
Unheard of a little over a decade ago, Tesla have disrupted the car industry like nothing that had been seen for a very long time. With a new approach comes new ideas; minimalist interiors with huge touchscreens, gullwing doors to the rear of their SUV’s for easier access, impressive performance driving modes called ‘Ludicrous’ and the most advanced autopilot functions ever seen on a road car. Their range of electric only cars are all available in all-wheel drive versions and offer some of the farthest ranges in their sector, as well as the fastest accelerating. Their market share for such a comparatively new company (Almost 80% of EV sales in 2020) is a testament to their fresh ideas and out of the box thinking when it comes to what they think a car should be. The fact that the rest of the world’s car makers have spent the past few years trying to catch up just shows how impressive that has been.
Car Finance Any Time Of The Year
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