1. Porsche Macan

The Macan is included on this list for aspirational reasons – everyone needs something to aspire to, especially in winter, and if you’ve got a spare €70,000+ down the back of the sofa you could do worse than put your money on Porsche’s compact SUV. It’s the 4×4 that handles like a sports car.

2. Renault Captur

But if you can’t stretch to a Macan there’s always the Captur. Right so this is quite a comedown. It’s not set up for pace or performance or any sort of sharp handling, but it will trudge quite affably with the family on board. There are some great colour combinations to brighten up your life and I’m feeling hot already with the thoughts of Arizona Orange or Miami Blue.

3. Fiat 500

The 500 is a real feel-good car. It’s all about the style and it’s unashamedly cute with those big, round headlamps. Some of the interior colour schemes verge on the feel of the toy car you had when you were five.  What’s not to love about that? And it’s cheap thrills with prices starting at just €13,450.

4. Ford Fiesta ST

If you have a budget of around €26,000 and you don’t need a family wagon, then I think the 182bhp Fiesta ST is the car for you. It’s a super car on the road, and both the look of that body kit and the sound of the engine is going to get your heart going. Just imagine how great you’re going to feel in that Recaro seat.

The fast and capable Volkswagen Golf R
The fast and capable Volkswagen Golf R

5. Mazda MX-5

Low, light and fast – Mazda hasn’t strayed too far away from a predictably hot formula, and whether you’ve got the roof up and the heaters on full blast or roof down wrapped in a duvet watching the stars on these frosty nights, there are few cars that evoke such legendary status as the Maxda MX-5.

6. Volkswagen Golf R

You could buy the ultimate Golf to beat the blues. The Golf R has got four wheel drive as standard so it’s well up for winter and will make all the difference when you attempt to put the 300bhp to the road on a crisp January morning. I reckon that’s going to be fun.

7. Opel Adam Rocks

The Adam Rocks bristles with attitude. He’s a tough little guy on the outside and you can spend those dark winter nights having loads of fun on the configurator making Adam Rocks your own. When you finally get on the road in your creation, let the explosive 1.0-litre turbo loose and you’ll soon realise that you’ve got a very tidy hot hatch on your hands.

8. Audi TT

A blast along some back roads in the Audi TT is sure to blow away the January cobwebs. It’s low slung and sexy, and there’s pure artistry in the design.  An expensive treat, and not very practical but you’ll be the envy of everyone.

Caroline Kidd