Most innovative cars 2014

Last updated: Aug 28, 2014

With more and more competition in the marketplace, manufacturers are being forced to come up with innovative new cars. Improving economy and emissions are a big priority these days, and buyers are continually demanding more space, safety and practicality from their purchases. There's even innovation on producing incredible value cars like the Dacia Duster.

With hybrid cars becoming more and more common, manufacturers have to innovate with new ways of powering their cars. To attract buyers in today's climate of economic and environmental change, cars like the range-extending Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt are starting to appear.

Read on for our top ten most innovative cars 2014.

Ford B-MAX mini MPV

The mini-MPV design of the Ford B-MAX is not particularly new, but the way it has been developed and produced is truly groundbreaking. The central B-pillar, which usually divides the front and rear doorways, has been removed completely and the B-MAX uses sliding rear door. This means the spacious interior is easily accessible for anyone. As a result, the B-MAX is by far the most practical car in its class. Read more.

Key points

4.6 / 5
Price 
£12,995 - £19,095

Vauxhall Ampera hatchback

With hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius becoming more and more common on the roads, it become harder to innovate with hybrid technology. The Vauxhall Ampera does just that, combining the incredible economy of an electric car with the range of a petrol-powered one. The Ampera can run for 50 miles on electric power alone, before the petrol motor kicks in to recharge the battery. You can also recharge it from home with a normal plug. Read more.

Key points

3.5 / 5
Price 
£33,750 - £35,495

Dacia Duster compact SUV

The Dacia Duster is a very inventive car – not because it’s packed with new technology, but rather because it offers loads of SUV features for an incredibly low price. For the price of a Ford Fiesta you can have a proper off-road SUV, and although it’s clear this is a budget car it’s not lacking build quality or practicality. The Duster sets a new bar for value cars. Read more.

Key points

4.7 / 5
Price 
£9,495 - £15,495

Mercedes S-Class saloon

Unlike some of the cars on this list, the Mercedes S-Class innovates with an incredible range of technology and equipment. It’s one of the most comfortable cars in the world thanks to a clever new suspension that adapts to the road ahead, and one of the safest too thanks to a host of active protection gadgets. These include lane departure warnings, automatic braking and a camera that can spot pedestrians in the dark. Read more.

Key points

4.2 / 5
Price 
£66,910 - £179,985

Toyota Prius+ mini MPV

If you need seven seats but don’t want to pay hefty fuel and tax bills, the Toyota Prius+ could be the MPV for you. It’s the first hybrid seven-seater on the market, and thanks to the low emissions road tax is completely free. It’s not the best car for driving on the motorway unless you go for the diesel model, but for short trips and city driving this car sets new standard for efficiency in the larger MPV class. Read more.

Key points

2.4 / 5
Price 
£26,145 - £29,445

Renault ZOE hatchback

The Renault ZOE steps away from the traditional engine completely in favour of an all-electric system. There are no fuel bills in sight, only electricity ones from charging at home, and the range is 100 miles. That’s not nearly as far as a normal car but should be fine for city driving, which the ZOE excels at. It’s well equipped and quiet too, and although it’s hardly cheap to buy it does cost less than some of its rivals. Read more.

Key points

2.7 / 5
Price 
£18,443 - £20,043

Volvo V40 hatchback

According to the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, the Volvo V40 is the safest car on the road. It’s full of neat equipment to protect both occupants and pedestrians, including the world’s first outside airbag. For a relatively small hatchback the huge steps forward in safety make the V40 a very innovative car indeed. Read more.

Key points

3.7 / 5
Price 
£18,995 - £31,900

Toyota GT 86 coupe

The Toyota GT 86 is another car that innovates by going back to basics. It’s light, agile and most of all really fun to drive, thanks to its rear-wheel drive and compact set-up. It’s not often that sports cars are considered good value, but for this much fun Toyota’s little sports car is a bargain for keen drivers. Read more.

Key points

4.8 / 5
Price 
£25,110 - £26,605

Skoda Octavia estate

The Skoda Octavia estate does what so many car strive for – it combines practicality, reliability, economy and value for money. It’s got the biggest boot in its class, and is really well built – but it’s really cheap to buy, as well. Skoda’s best innovation is with value for money, and the Octavia estate really does offer loads of car for not much money. Read more.

Key points

5.0 / 5
Price 
£17,115 - £28,665

Nissan Note mini MPV

Despite being a small car, the Nissan Note has 1,465 litres of boot space with the rear seats down. That’s even more than the much larger Skoda Octavia estate – the load space in the Note is incredible for such a small and economical car. The rear legroom is impressive, too, so if you’re after a lot of rear space in a compact package the new Nissan Note is well worth a look. Read more.

Key points

3.8 / 5
Price 
£9,995 - £17,100

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