Just over a decade ago, picking a car used to be down to a simple matter of deciding how many seats you needed and whether or not you were going to transport anything bulky.

On offer were saloons, estates or hatchbacks from a number of manufacturers and if you wanted something sporty a handful of convertibles and coupes were available too. Ah, the good old days, go through the same process today and the sheer number of permutations available will make your head hurt.

How about a coupe that actually has four doors and a hatchback rear end? BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi all have something you may be interested in. Or perhaps a vehicle that offers a halfway house between an estate and a full-sized SUV? That would be the crossover, a sort of hatchback on stilts, and one of the fastest growing segments around.

Need sportscar performance, off-road ability and the occasional need to cart around heavy and bulky boxes? No problem, there are a range of pointlessly overpowered SUVs to satiate your needs. And that is just the start, we now also have three door hatchbacks, luxury convertible off-roaders and of course the perfectly pointless performance hybrids.

Stick with us though and we will weed out the faintly ridiculous from the merely curious in an attempt to identify which of these niche busting newcomers may actually be actually worth purchasing.

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