Best cars of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show has been a hectic affair, but the Auto Express team has still found time to pick out the best cars…

After much hype and expectation, the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show did a thorough job of delivering the goods. The flurry of press events and media launches within the vast halls of the Frankfurt Messe turned up some fantastic new cars. And it made the job of choosing the best cars at Frankfurt 2017 all the harder.

Concept cars appear to have dominated the stands at the 67th IAA (International Automobile-Ausstellung), with the likes of the BMW i Vision Dynamics, Audi Aicon, Honda Urban EV, Kia Proceed, Mercedes EQA, MINI Electric, Renault Symbioz, Skoda Concept E and VW I.D. Crozz II among the many designs previewing the future of the automotive industry.

All the news from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

That said, the present looks rather exciting too, with the arrival of the Bentley Continental GT, BMW M5, Hyundai i30 N, Porsche Cayenne, Renault Megane RS, Volkswagen Polo, Citroen C3 Aircross, Dacia Duster, Ferrari Portofino, SEAT Leon Cupra R and Suzuki Swift Sport, to name but a handful of new cars that graced the show.

And who could forget the 986bhp, F1-engined Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar? Still technically a concept at this stage, the £2.4 million monster gives us a clear impression of what the final design will look like when it hits the road in 2019…

With all those contenders to consider, our team has had a tough time picking out the best cars of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Nonetheless, everyone has chosen a favourite - have a read of our choices below...

Frankfurt Motor Show 2017 - Best Cars

Kia Proceed

By Graham Hope, editor

Kia billed the Proceed concept as an ‘extended hot hatch’ that hints at the styling of the next-generation Cee’d. What it also points to is a shooting brake version of the Cee’d that has every chance of making production. With sales of three-door hatches on the wane the company is keen to reimagine the current Pro_cee’d, and Kia Europe design boss Gregory Guillaume told me that it “had come up with a lot of answers internally”. However, none could possibly be as pretty as this stylish model which, once it makes production, should inject a genuine dose of desirability into the Kia line-up.

Jaguar E-Pace

By Richard Ingram, reviews editor

Jaguar Land Rover is onto a winner. Everything it touches at the moment turns to gold, and I reckon the same will prove true of its latest SUV: the E-Pace. Last year, we awarded the larger F-Pace our overall Car of the Year gong, and the E-Pace looks as if it could be in with a chance of repeating that success in 2018. Taking all the best bits from its bigger sibling, the sleek and stylish E-Pace looked great on JLR’s busy Frankfurt show stand. It’ll be built on an adapted version of the Range Rover Evoque platform, and the brand’s team of talented engineers will have a challenge on their hands to make it as dynamic and fun to drive as the F-Pace. But I for one have every confidence they’ve got what it takes. I really can’t wait to drive it.

MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

By James Batchelor, editor-at-large

With seemingly every manufacturer unveiling a car powered by electricity in some sort of way at Frankfurt 2017, it was a relief to see that MINI still has the heart to show off something daring and petrol-powered. At one end of its stand stood the all-electric MINI Concept; firmly at the other was the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept. It hints at a potential future third-generation MINI GP, and while it does boast some frankly ridiculous costume jewellery it’s a seriously exciting prospect. It's just further proof that the hot hatch isn’t dead just yet. 

Renault Megane RS

By Jonathan Burn, news editor

The Megane RS was the perfect tonic to a motor show filled with electric cars and pie-in-the-sky concepts. Renault seems confident that the RS can set a new lap record for a front-wheel drive production car around the Nurburgring; the brand’s rich history of hot hatches means we can believe what it says, too. It may not be the most powerful car in its segment but Renault has always shown that a good chassis and modest kerbweight counts for more.   

Suzuki Swift Sport

By Lawrence Allan, senior staff writer

Frankfurt is packed full of fast and exciting metal to keep enthusiasts coming back for more, but not all of it is attainable. I prefer my thrills to come from something small, light and affordable, so the new Suzuki Swift Sport is definitely my sort of car. It’s now in its third generation, and continues to offer a sub one-tonne kerbweight and a manual gearbox, and is expected to start from around £16,000. With 138bhp it won’t set the road alight, but the torquey 1.4 Boosterjet turbo petrol should make both more fun and more useable every day. 

Mercedes Concept EQA

By John McIlroy, deputy editor

This seemed like the Frankfurt show where everyone wanted to talk not about now, but about what’s coming in 2025. But the good news is that Mercedes’ EQ all-electric sub-brand is due in a shorter timeframe than that (about 2019) - and I reckon that the Concept EQA shows promising signs of how it could deliver real desirability to lots of new EV customers.

The hatchback concept has some show gimmicks, such as a ‘front grille’ screen that can change its display depending on which of the car’s modes is being used. But for me, the most refreshing thing about the EQA as a Mercedes is the shortage of creases or lines along its bodywork. It’s a pure, unfussy shape that promises to bring sophistication to match its environmental credentials. I can’t wait to see what the cabin looks like.

Dacia Duster

By Steve Fowler, editor-in-chief

I’ve always been a fan of the Duster – a good value, uncomplicated 4x4 that makes pretty much every other SUV look expensive. Now it’s been reinvented with an element of style that could well turn this into one of the coolest SUVs on the market.

New Dacia Duster revealed at Frankfurt

The new design is evolutionary, but with enough interesting curves and some delightful details (especially the lights) that give it a more upmarket look – yet the price will remain anything but. 

I’m a particular fan of the clever interior; for example, the vents that are cheaper to make yet look better than ever. And there’s been a big tech upgrade, too, including a new touchscreen and, whisper it, some luxury kit like keyless entry. It’s just a shame we have to wait until next year to get our hands on it.

Let us know what your pick of the Frankfurt Motor Show 2017 cars is in the comments section below…

Most Popular

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
New Toyota RAV4 Adventure heads up 2022 model refresh
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
News

New Toyota RAV4 Adventure heads up 2022 model refresh

The rugged Toyota RAV4 Adventure targets lifestyle buyers with a tough-looking new front bumper and interior tweaks
14 Sep 2021
E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?
Petrol pump
News

E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?

E10 petrol is up to 10 per cent ethanol and is available at UK fuel stations now as part of the bid to cut CO2 emissions
1 Sep 2021