Top ten coolest cars 2011

At Perrys we’ve already brought you our top ten sexiest cars and the top ten cars for fashionistas, but what about the top ten coolest cars?

These are the cars that may not sell in huge numbers, but car fans will certainly take notice when they see one in the street.

Cool cars can be quirky, classy or generously equipped with all the latest equipment, but they have one thing in common – they turn heads wherever they go and earn praise from even the most cynical of drivers.

So if you’re an individual looking for something a bit unique in the car market, consider these ten cars that we think are the coolest around.

Kia Soul

Special editions called the ‘Soul Searcher’ and ‘Soul Burner’ may not be the greatest ever car names, but the Kia Soul is a superb quirky option.

It’s style – a raised SUV feel with a boxy back end and gently sloping roof – is a love-it or hate-it design, but there’s no doubting the individual charm of the Soul.

The Kia Soul is unconventional but still attractive and its five-door practicality, superb seven-year warranty and vast array of specification choices make it an often under-appreciated head-turner on UK roads.

Why is it cool?

It looks like nothing else on the road, matching charm with imposing SUV styling, all in a practical but compact package.

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Citroen DS3

The Citroen DS3 tends to crop up on any cool car list. It is certainly hard to ignore, as the folks at Stuff magazine found when it was the only car named in the prestigious ‘Cool List’ last year – ahead of Apple iPad in the list.

The DS3 feels like a premium car, with high quality build and enough customisable options to keep even the pickiest car buyer happy.

It looks great, is incredibly fun to drive and even manages to match this with low running costs and high levels of equipment.

It takes a lot to oust the Mini as the most desirable small car on the market, but the Citroen DS3 did it almost effortlessly.

Why is it cool?

The Citroen DS3 is so highly customisable, with roof colours, graphics and interiors all available as extra options, you can transform the car into almost any configuration you wish.

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Fiat 500

Did we say the Citroen DS3 is the most desirable small car on the market? The Fiat 500 may have something to say about that.

Car makers often refer to what is known as ‘retro’ styling for new cars, and this can often not be a successful move.

When Fiat brought back the 500 city car with a new shape giving more than a nod to the iconic car of the same name, it blended modern safety, equipment and trim to the retro feel of the original.

Top Gear named it as the world’s sexiest car upon its return, highlighting just how successful the designers at Fiat have been.

Throw in several fashion-themed special editions and the garish Pink model and the Fiat 500 is a real winner in terms of style.

Why is it cool?

Fashionable Italian design matched with an upmarket interior and superb driving dynamics. What’s not to like?

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta

The Ford Focus may be the best-selling hatchback on the market, and the Vauxhall Astra is a testament to its British-built origins, but for those who really love their cars, Alfa Romeo remains the peak of driving excellence.

Reliability issues are long behind the Italian brand, but the passion and eye for design remains and the Giulietta hatchback’s sporty lines make it the best-looking hatchback on the market.

It’s well-equipped too, and the interior is noticeably more comfortable than previous Alfa models, while the boot is practical and spacious.

It also has a five-star safety rating, highlighting how far Alfa Romeo has progressed in recent years.

Why is it cool?

Quite simply, it’s an Alfa Romeo.

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Seat Leon Cupra R

It’s a fact that the UK loves its hot hatches. The Renaultsport series is ever-popular on these shores and models such as the latest Ford Focus RS 500 were instant sell-outs.

Our favourite however, is the Seat Leon Cupra R, the most powerful Seat to ever go on sale in the UK.

The car packs 261bhp from its 2.0-litre TSI engine and it was so quick Seat was forced to limit the engine to 155mph.

However, it’s five-door layout lends itself for use as an everyday car, creating an exciting blend of practicality and performance.

Why is it cool?

The Seat Leon Cupra R is quite simply the best option in the hot hatch category if you don’t want to sacrifice practicality or performance.

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Mazda MX-5

Is the Mazda MX-5 a hairdresser’s car? It’s an insult directed at the world’s best-selling roadster since its launch way back in 1989.

However, this is mostly said by people who have never climbed behind the wheel of the lightweight, two-seat sports car. Those that have almost unanimously describe it as one of the most involving and, above all else, fun cars available to buy today.

Even later generations have stuck close to the low weight, high driving philosophy and as a result, the Mazda MX-5 is as popular as ever.

It’s also affordable, and in sunny weather, there is nothing better than putting the top down and taking the MX-5 for a spin.

Why is it cool?

Mazda’s ‘Zoom Zoom’ tagline was made for this car. It will leave a big smile on your face whenever you get behind the wheel.

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Citroen C5

When French do styling well, there is nobody better at it. This is true in the case of the Citroen C5 saloon, which looks elegant, classy and suave both outside and in.

Taking on the German premium manufacturers in the executive saloon segment is daunting, but the C5 also delivers one of the most comfortable rides in the segment, wafting over bumps in the road with ease.

The Citroen C5 may be a little older than other saloons, but it still looks the part and will certainly encourage some jealous glances from other drivers out on the road.

Why is it cool?

The Citroen C5 is simple, elegant and tremendously comfortable inside. An ideal business car.

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Jaguar XJ

Jaguar is back after a troubled few years and the main reason for its spectacular turnaround is quite simple: three superb new cars.

The XK Coupe and XF executive saloon were successes long before the XJ arrived on the scene last year, but the latest model is the best of the bunch.

The sheer amount of technology and luxurious touches inside the saloon is astonishing, from the sumptuous leather interior to the futuristic ‘launch button’.

Outside, the car’s flowing lines are modern and stylish, and the ride comfort is at least as good as anything the German premium car makers can offer.

Why is it cool?

British luxury at its finest, and more than a match for its German rivals.

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Range Rover Evoque

The Evoque is likely to be one of the most successful launches of 2011. This is down to a number of factors.

First, the car looks fantastic, with typical Land Rover SUV styling mixed with a low, coupe-like ‘floating’ roof.

Second, the interior is as luxurious as you would expect from a Range Rover, Land Rover’s premium sub-brand. It features three stunning interior trim levels courtesy of none other than Victoria Beckham, who acted as an advisor for the interior designs.

Finally, entry-level versions are under £30,000 – for a Range Rover! Available from September, the Evoque will be the coolest compact SUV on the market when it arrives.

Why is it cool?

All the luxury of a Range Rover in a compact, modern package.

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Ford C-Max

Can a people carrier be cool? Plenty of people will say no, but the Ford C-Max is an exception.

The Ford C-Max is a compact five-seat MPV based on the same platform as the Ford Focus. The result of this is handling and responsiveness on par with a hatchback – a rarity for an MPV.

Frugal engines, well-equipped trim levels and a comfortable and versatile interior capable of carrying five people and a spacious boot give the Ford C-Max the edge in the MPV category.

It also makes use of Ford’s kinetic design language, which is designed to make the car look like it is in motion even when it is stationary.

The result is a sharp-looking compact MPV with a refined drive and plenty of modern equipment – and a notable example of a car that is both a people carrier and cool.

Why is it cool?

Drives like a Ford Focus, but with extra practicality – a rarity in its segment.

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