How has it been for the editorial photographer in the last 365 days? Family friendly, fast, electric and classic – here is my selection of TOP cars from last year.

If I may borrow the introductory sentence from my colleague Vlád Kadera’s review article: “It was a year!” Among the test cars there was a varied mixture of machines of various shapes and types of drive, traditionally I prefer family cars, and even more so because I in April, a son was born, who completed our car family with a wife and a small first-year-old with additional experience with the capacity of the trunks regarding the stroller and the configuration for family travel. So – as a well-deserved editorial photographer with a seven-year-old petrolhead, an eight-month-old baby and a lot of stuff on board, this was the best ride for me:

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

I can already see it in the discussions under the article – “Well, of course, the concern comes first!” Or: “Of course, he rode something with more than 150 horses and it’s the experience of the year!” Nowhere. The first generation A7 was already a neatly organized car with very good driving characteristics, and the second generation follows it in the best sense. As for the volume of the suitcase, the typical customer sees it through the optics of golf bags, I am now converting this to the actual volume of the stroller and the trunk – both fit perfectly and can be changed comfortably there. But that’s not all the A7 or RS 7 is about. The main stars are the engine and chassis.

TEST Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance (463 kW): Bud Spencer and Terence Hill at the wheels

The output of 463 kW (630 hp) as a simple number does not express how flexible the four-liter eight-cylinder under the hood is, which also pleases the perfectly working mild-hybrid system. Sports exhaust with flaps? A great thing that will please both young and old (but not if you’re shopping and the baby is asleep), as well as a delicately tuned four-wheeler without tricks, but with a ravenous appetite for apexes and oversteer.

Honda ZR-V 2.0 i-MMD Hybrid

Second place deservedly belongs to a medium-sized SUV with a very refined drive in the form of an atmospheric two-liter plus two electric motors. But the driver doesn’t really need to know anything about technology, he just has a car that drives quite comfortably and economically with a consumption of around five liters, in addition to a 57 liter tank. Assistants assist and do not interfere, operation is easy, driving characteristics in the category of medium-sized SUVs with a large reserve between action and safety… The only weakness is the quite objectively small trunk with less than four hundred liters. Even the stroller fit here, plus diapers and luggage – if you’ve ever played Tetris, you’ll know.

TEST Honda ZR-V 2.0 i-MMD Hybrid: It drives comfortably and for little, but the Czechs won't forgive it for one thing

Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid

The American automaker entered the electrified era somewhat hesitantly. In the Mondeo, she had a very economical hybrid, which she killed with a big hump in the trunk, with the current Kuga it already works very well without compromises in terms of practicality, and the older Galaxy Hybrid (my father-in-law has it) is a completely optimal choice for the family. Despite the initial reluctance to recycle the famous name, the Puma is a really great crossover with refined driving characteristics, a tuned mild-hybrid and an echo of the glorious era of the number one and two Focus – when care was taken to ensure that cars had their own specific and good driving characteristics.

TEST Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid: Oldschool name and approach with a modern heart

Honorable mention: BMW iX1

I’m not an electro fanatic, not even by mistake. But the iX1 is one of the first examples of a good parity between internal combustion engines and battery drive – the price one, with a range of around 400 kilometers and really good driving characteristics. It makes all the more sense for someone looking for a second usable car for the family. For a limited time, the xDrive30e ATV can send up to 230 kW of intense torque to the wheels, accompanied by a futuristic soundtrack by the master of the genre, Hans Zimmer – such cases are exceptional and memorable. By themselves they do not make a good car, in the case of the iX1 practicality, excellent handling and comfortable suspension even on large wheels contribute to this.

TEST BMW iX1 xDrive30 (230 kW): Finally electric for almost everyone?

What went wrong? Opel Combo-e Van

Even the best electric cars of today are only suitable for those who use them in ideal conditions and modes. The electric Combo (and by that I mean all its siblings from the Stellantis concern from Peugeot to Citroën and so on) suffers from a platform that only has a 50kWh battery, subjectively poor thermal management in lower temperatures, significantly less range in real conditions and in winter, slow charging … However, the entrepreneur always prefers to buy a diesel, and the price difference compared to the electric Comb (or Rifter and Berling) can be spent on a set of mink fur coats.

PF 2024: The future will only get better

Dear readers, let me wish you a successful year 2024, all kilometers without accidents, low consumption, beautiful experiences behind the wheel. Fuel and electricity prices are gradually stabilizing, bombs or ballistic missiles are not falling on us, we live in a free society where, among other things, we still can and will be able to choose how, what and what we drive. Please don’t be influenced by the primal negativity that is pouring at us from many directions on the internet, from social networks and from peeps who want to exploit and amplify our possible fears about the future. We are in the safest and most unfree era of our republic, so let’s enjoy it and cherish it. Thanks for reading us!

Special: Ford Puma

The first-generation Ford Puma was an affordable front-wheel-drive sports car that was produced in Germany from 1997 to 2002. The first generation ended without a direct successor, but in 2019, Ford brought the familiar name back to life. The second generation of Puma completely changed the concept. It arrived as a stylish crossover in the city with the option of a hybrid drive.

Second generation Ford Puma officially • First sketch • First generation