Best cars of the 2016 Geneva Motor Show

What were the cars that stood out for the Auto Express team in what was an action-packed Geneva Motor Show…

The 2016 Geneva Motor Show didn’t disappoint, with a wide range of new production models and wacky concepts taking centre stage. Geneva is always one of the biggest events on the automotive calendar, but the Auto Express team was there to cover it all and these are the cars that stood out for us.

There was an extensive list of cars on show with everything from power-packed hypercars to everyday family runabouts, with the Honda Civic, Skoda Vision S concept, Toyota C-HR, Maserati Levante, Lexus LC500h and many more attracting attention on the stands.

However, having run the rule over all that the 2016 Geneva Motor Show had to offer, the Auto Express team have picked the cars below as their stars. Take a look and tell us what your star of the show was in the comments section below...

Aston Martin DB11

By editor-in-chief, Steve Fowler

Aston boss Andy Palmer says that his company’s cars have to be beautiful and this one certainly is. In fact, the DB11 had so many people clamouring to see more of it that Aston Martin’s own website crashed shortly after the car’s unveil. For me, it’s the modern interpretation of Aston style that I love, complete with incredible aerodynamics and a new twin-turbo V12. I just hope it goes as good as it looks.

Bugatti Chiron

By editor, Graham Hope

Yes, the Bugatti Chiron is £1.9million worth of 1,479bhp, 261mph craziness. And no, I wouldn’t have one even if I did have that kind of money (I don’t, for the record). The Chiron is a car for a certain type of individual, and I’m not sure I’d want all the attention it brings. But as a headline act at Geneva, it ticked all the boxes.

Put simply, everyone had an opinion - “It’s a car that transcends motoring,” as one industry insider said. Hearing the engine roar at the VW Group’s preview evening was spine tingling – you can watch our video here. Little wonder there are already nearly 170 deposits of around £180,000 laid down, with Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer telling me that one mega-rich fan has ordered six!

Volvo V90

By deputy editor, John McIlroy

Having driven Volvo’s S90 in the Arctic Circle on a couple of days before Geneva, I was keen to see the estate version on the Swedish manufacturer’s show stand - and it didn’t disappoint. The V90 looks smart, sophisticated and practical - everything a big Volvo wagon should be, basically. I was even pretty impressed by the bold shade of brown paint (let’s be kind and call it dark bronze) on one of the cars present.

Then there’s the cabin, which looks a step on from even the XC90, with excellent materials, one of the best infotainment systems in the business and the kind of seats that almost tempt you to undertake a long journey.

Volvo’s on a bit of a roll at the moment, with its investment in platforms and new engines finally paying off. The V90 looks capable of delivering further good news.

Renault Scenic

By editor-at-large and head of motoring video, James Batchelor 

With SUVs becoming so fashionable, the MPV is being killed off slowly. A good example is the new Renault Scenic as it ditches the frumpy, ‘mumsy’ looks of previous Scenics and instead takes on a crossover look. With its slightly raised ride height, big wheels and plastic mouldings on the doors, there’s a clear link to the Captur crossover and Kadjar SUV.

It looks brilliant with the show cars being displayed in stunning yellowy gold and expensive-looking maroon. It’s spacious on the inside too, nicely made and shouldn’t drive too badly either. It’s a good thing the Scenic’s larger brother, the Espace, is no longer sold in the UK as the Scenic is now the best-looking MPV on the market.

Audi Q2

By news editor, Richard Ingram 

Audi’s ambition to fill every niche in the car market continued at Geneva. The new Q2 looked great under the bright lights, and will no doubt be a familiar sight on UK roads later this year. It’s compact dimensions, bold face and top notch interior ensure this supermini SUV will be winner the world over. It’s available with a range of turbo petrol and diesel engines and – thanks to the VW Group’s versatile MQB platform – four-wheel drive. Cracking.

SEAT Ateca

By deputy news editor, Jonathan Burn

Amidst all the bhp and inflated price tags, there were some sensible new cars at Geneva and none more important than the SEAT Ateca. It's the Spanish brand's first SUV and brings them into a segment which is bursting at the seams with potential and profit. SEAT's sales have seen a bit of a slow down in recent months and the Ateca can come no sooner - especially when it looks this good.

Abarth 124 Spider

By news reporter, Sam Naylor

We've already been impressed by the new Fiat 124 Spider on our first drive, and the prospect of an Abarth version is really exciting. The styling is retro - in the best possible way - as well as sporty, with the quad exhausts especially giving the back end a much meaner look than the Fiat version. The standard 124's slightly dull styling has been set right on this version too, and it's just as good looking as its Mazda MX-5 sibling. The X1/9-inspired rally version on the stands was a particular highlight of the show as well, with its 300bhp competition engine and motorsport bodykit.

Porsche 911 R

By senior road tester, Sean Carson

Forget the £1.9m Bugatti Chiron, Porsche’s new 911 R could be the most scintillating sports car revealed at Geneva. The recipe is mouth-watering, combining the GT3 RS’s 493bhp high-revving 4.0-litre flat-six with a six-speed manual transmission. No PDK auto here.

There’s no big wing, either – this is a 911 for the purists. The three pedal layout ensures the driver is at the heart of everything, while the 3.7-second 0-60mph time means performance is still savage. It’s also 50kg lighter than the already featherweight GT3 RS, boasting weight saving features like a titanium exhaust. Just 991 will be built to boost exclusivity, too.

McLaren 570GT

By Carbuyer editor, Stuart Milne 

The McLaren 570GT is the perfect McLaren at the perfect time. Blending all that’s great about the rest of the Sports Series, but endowing it with a slightly more practical twist. How practical? The combined front and rear boot space is more than a Ford Focus hatchback. Incredibly McLaren has managed to pull off the feat and make the car look even more attractive.

On the track, the 570GT promises to lose little of its focus, but should be more capable as a daily driver thanks to fractionally softer suspension and slightly slower steering. 

Jaguar F-Type SVR

By content editor, Jake Groves

What’s not to love about a 200mph Jag? In a show that is increasingly involving compact crossover concepts and alternative powertrains, the F-Type SVR stuck out - big time. A hefty 567bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 and four-wheel drive makes for a mind-bending 0-62mph sprint of just 3.5 seconds, and a pretty exciting package in the sports car pace race. I’d have one over a 911 Turbo in a heartbeat.

Get all the latest news on the 2016 Geneva Motor Show here...

Geneva 2016 round-up stories

• Geneva Motor Show 2016: news round-up• Best concept cars at Geneva 2016• Best of the rest at Geneva 2016• Nine things we learned at Geneva 2016


2022 Geneva Motor Show cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Geneva Motor Show

2022 Geneva Motor Show cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

Geneva show cancelled for three years running but hope for 2023 return remains
7 Oct 2021
Geneva Motor Show to launch Qatar exhibition in 2022
Geneva Motor Show

Geneva Motor Show to launch Qatar exhibition in 2022

Geneva Motor Show heads to the middle east with a spin-off event planned in Doha every two years from 2022 or 2023
25 Aug 2021

Most Popular

15 Tesla Supercharger sites open to non-Tesla vehicles in the UK
Tesla Supercharger

15 Tesla Supercharger sites open to non-Tesla vehicles in the UK

Pilot scheme to open up Tesla-only charging network to all electric cars lands at selected UK locations
18 May 2022
New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up
Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider - watermarked front
Alfa Romeo

New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up

Alfa Romeo bosses have confirmed that a new two-seat electric roadster is in the company’s rejuvenation plans and our exclusive images preview how it …
19 May 2022
Shell and ABB team up to deliver world’s fastest electric car charger
Shell charger

Shell and ABB team up to deliver world’s fastest electric car charger

New Shell and ABB-developed Terra 360 EV charger can add 62 miles of range in less than three minutes
16 May 2022