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The car industry is going through a period of massive change, thanks to the rapid development of electric and autonomous cars, and the rapid decline of diesel. Add in the growing influence of Chinese car manufacturers, a host of new and bold model launches and continued disruption from upstart firms such as Tesla, and there’s been plenty to read about on this website.
These are the ten most-read stories on autocar.co.uk this year.
Autocar’s ten most popular news stories of 2017
Our readers are always interested in what Jaguar Land Rover is up to, and our exclusive scoop that Land Rover is preparing a premium, all-eletric and car-like ‘Road Rover’ model was hugely popular. The firm has yet to confirm the news.
Read more: Why the Road Rover echoes history
Did you know the Peugeot 3008 is the best-selling car in Slovenia? You would have if you’d read this story, featuring the latest data from JATO. Warning: some entries are utterly unsurprising. We’re looking at you, Spain and Czechia.
Read more: Brexit: what do the car makers think?
There are few three-letter combinations as evocative to British petrolheads as T, V and R, and the reveal of the new Griffith attracted lots of readers.
It’s got a striking set of numbers to go with the typically TVR look, too – 5.0-litres, eight cylinders, 500bhp, 400bhp per tonne, less than 4.0sec to 62mph and a top speed in excess of 200mph. What more could an industry crying out for more low-volume British madness want?
Read more: Insight: Why TVR is destined for success
Another Autocar exclusive, as we gathered together details on the new Defender, which is due in 2019. The new version of the machine will be sold as a premium 4×4, but will retain the unbeatable off-road ability of its predecessor.
The unveiling of the new version of the Volkswagen supermini was super-popular in 2017, perhaps helped by confirmation of a 197bhp GTI variant (which we recently reviewed).
The sixth-generation Polo is bigger than ever and has divided opinion: some people reckon it’s now too Golf-like. But given the huge sales and critical acclaim achieved by the Golf, is that a bad thing?
Read more: Why cars have become less fun
Jaguar’s SUV expansion continued with the launch of the E-Pace. The small SUV pushes further into a segment Jaguar has never until now found itself in, and online popularity among Autocar readers put all of its established German rivals to shame.
There was a rush by car firms to launch scrappage schemes, in a bid to counter some of the knee-jerk headlines surrounding diesel engine (more of which in a bit…). Still, that was good news for people with old cars to trade in: they could get up to a four-figure sum off a new one.
The problem was that the various scrappage schemes were all very different, with all sorts of clauses and catches. Our handy guide explained them all.
Read more: Scrappage schemes: are they a rip-off?
The last 12 months have seen the fallout from the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal develop into a wider demonisation of diesel engines, with concerns about their impact on public health leading to a slump in sales.
Governments around the world have started to bring in legislation penalising diesel engines. Here in the UK, the Government first announced a ban on the sale of non-hybrid petrol and diesel models by 2040, and then introduced a number of tax penalties for diesel cars in the Budget.
The new rules were hugely confusing though, causing much consternation in the car industry.
Read more: Why the new diesel tax rules are a farce
We told you the Velar was coming early this year, and the newest member of the Range Rover family was revealed at the New York motor show back in March. The Velar is the most road-focused model Land Rover has put out yet, bridging the gap between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport.
Given the popularity of any Land Rover model, we weren’t totally surprised by its popularity – and it seems the excitement it generated wasn’t entirely beneficial to Land Rover.
nterested? We’re not surprised – the Velar achieved nearly double the number of readers as the year’s next-most popular story, so it’s safe to say that the Range Rover Velar stands out as one of the landmark cars of 2017.
Read more: Why the Range Rover line-up needs the Velar