McLaren MP4-12C Spider

The Essentials

  • Price from £195,000
  • What Car? says: 5 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 24.0mpg
  • What is it? Open-air version of this fantastic supercar


  • It goes like a rocket, but stays solid and composed so it's relatively easy to drive
  • The ride quality is so good, it's better than some executive saloons
  • You're guaranteed to turn heads in this


  • It gets pretty blustery in the cabin with the roof down
  • Access could be better
  • Reliability is a bit of an unknown
  • Drive

    As blindingly quick as the coupé, with the same lighting responses and rock solid grip

  • Inside

    Smart, modern fittings and chunky buttons and switches

  • Safety

    Only four airbags but super-strong structure

  • Reliability

    Feels rock solid but limited sales make reliability hard to track

  • Space

    Plenty of space for occupants but not great for luggage

  • Standard and extras

    Not an outstanding rosta of kit, especially for the money, and options are pricey

  • What's it like to drive?

    The 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine has a whopping 592bhp and 442lb ft of pulling power; put your foot down and you'll be on the horizon before you've even taken a breath.

    What's more, the car's rock hard grip and body control means it stays brilliantly composed even as you rocket through corners, and the ride is more comfortable than many executive saloons.

    Take the roof down and the cabin becomes quite blustery but it also allows you to hear more of the fabulous engine. Put the roof up and the 12C is remarkably quiet.

  • What's it like inside?

    he cabin looks smart and suitably sporty with a modern, high-tech design. The seats are extremely supportive and there's plenty of adjustment so you can get comfortable. Over-the-shoulder vision is restricted but generally visibility is much better than most mid-engined supercars.

    Practicality isn't the 12C's strong point (or it's point at all); even getting in the car is a challenge as the doors, which open up as well as out, leave a space that's so narrow you have to sidle in feet first. However, there's plenty of space for the two occupants and, with the roof up, the Spider actually has more luggage space than its coupe sibling because the well that the roof folds into doubles as an extra boot if the roof is up, and you can get bespoke bags to make the most of the space.

    Standard equipment includes a touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth, a part-leather interior, climate and cruise controls and rain-sensing wipers. However, extras such as parking sensors and sat-nav are expensive. The passenger seat doesn't have Isofix but it automatically switches off the airbag here if it detects the weight of a young child.

  • How reliable is it?

    Reliability is hard to assess due to the limited number of McLarens sold but the cabin feels impressively solid. The super-strong materials and structure should stay intact if you have a smash, and there are four airbags, while a sophisticated stability control system should help avoid a crash in the first place.

  • Should I buy one?

    You'll need to be super-rich to buy and run a 12C Spider but it's priced in line with rivals and re-sale values will be superb.