Picking our most surprising cars of 2012 was very hard as over the last year we've been treated to some crackers.
Narrowing down the list to five was a time-consuming process and one which gave us many headaches.
Choosing the cars that didn't quite hit the sweet spot was hard too, mostly because, generally speaking, there aren't any bad cars anymore.
We thought long and hard about the cars which fell short of the mark. We could have come up with a rather more expansive list than just five, but we started to bore ourselves to sleep.
The following five cars are by no means bad but they're worse than that – they're disappointing. They've let us down in one way or another; some promised to be really good, while others were a rubbish idea in the first place.
Have your own view or strongly disagree with us? Let us know by posting your comments below.
Top five most surprising cars of 2012
- Renault Twingo
To try and stoke some interest in the rather limp Twingo, Renault thought it would be a marvellous idea to make the 2012 version look its mad DeZir concept car. Squint a bit and it works, but then look at the sides and, oh dear, it's the same old unimaginative-looking Twingo. Even the rear, now with an extra set of lights, looks the same. Factor in high list prices and scratchy dashboard plastics, and our mind begins to wander onto the Skoda Citigo. </p>
- Honda Civic
Each new version of a car tends to be better than the old one. Thankfully that's just what happens, but not with the Honda Civic. We all rejoiced when Honda finally made an interesting Civic in 2006. With its spaceship styling and triangular exhausts, even today it looks modern. Honda replaced it with something that looks and drives like an iron. It's built beautifully by talented workers in Swindon, but we can't help but think the whole car is a backward step from the car before it.</p>
- Toyota Prius+
Toyota must be patted on the back for steadfastly developing its hybrid cars... but we have to draw the line when it comes to the Prius+. As you probably guessed it's a Prius but bigger. It has seven seats... and that's all the praise we can muster. The dashboard lacks any attractive design flourishes and the whole car, frankly, has very little appeal. We're not being hard on Toyota here - just think of that two-seater sports car they also launched in 2012. Hard to think they're both from the same company isn't it?</p>
- Fiat Punto
Trust Fiat to make a facelift look even worse than before. Granted the previous version wore a face that bore a considerable likeness to a whale's, but the 2012 Punto looks tremendously unhappy even in the knowledge it has the jolly TwinAir under its bonnet. When this car originally appeared in 2005 (then called Grande Punto), some people likened its front end to a Maserati Quattroporte's. Oh, how times have changed.</p>
- Hyundai Veloster DCT
A bit controversial this. You can't deny Hyundai is on an unstoppable roll at the moment. And then there's the Veloster 2+1 coupe. True it's different but we're not sure that's a good thing. The 1.6-litre petrol engine is desperately asthmatic, and the DCT automatic version was actually awful to drive. Luckily Hyundai saved themselves in 2012 with the much more like it Veloster Turbo.</p>