Here's what the car makers have lined up to tempt you in 2014
Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham details major new and revised arrivals as tens of thousands ponder the purchase of a new car this year. Use it to plan what and when you buy
The updated Giulietta goes on sale early in the year with revised pricing to be announced. A new Uconnect infotainment system with a 5ins or 6.5ins Radionav touchscreen is part of the deal.
It gets a new 150bhp 2.0 JTDM 2 engine (up 10bhp, but down 9g/km to 110g/km than current 2-litre). Indeed all engines have lower emissions -- 119g/km for 1.4 TB TCT, 104g/km for 105hp 1.6 diesel.
The MiTo is also revised as is its pricing. It gets a new 0.9-litre turbo TwinAir 105bhp (99g/km). Also has Uconnect 5ins colour touchscreen.
The main arrivals include the latest A8, here this month. It starts at €92,800 ex-works. The A3 Cabriolet arrives in late February (from €38,560). There will be a choice of petrol and diesel. Expect an S3 down the line.
A plug-in hybrid A3 E-tron is due towards the end of the year. This has a potential range of more than 900km because its 150bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine acts as a generator for the 75kw electric powertrain.
Hot, performance models include a new S1 (expect 231bhp) with quattro four-wheel drive. There will also be an S3 saloon with 300bhp (from €49,750).
The all-new TT coupe is due in October. The roadster arrives next year.
The X5 has been on sale for a little while now but really this is the first month of proper buying.
The 4-series convertible goes on sale on March 8, priced from €55,090 (all BMW prices quoted here are on the road -- OTR). This follows the Coupe launch here last October.
An M4 Coupe version arrives on June 21 (from €100,890).
The 2 Series Coupe also goes on sale in March and prices begin at €38,480 for the 220d SE.
The powerful M3 saloon gets here on 21 June (from €100,050).
Interesting to see how the i3 electric car does in its first full months of sale. Prices start at €34,010.
The i8 will get here in July with a starting price of €136,430.
Not much happening with the Ypsilon, 300C or Grand Voyager.
The new Grand C4 Picasso has just gone on sale.
The other really big arrival -- the C4 Cactus -- is due in late September but we'll get a look at the first look production model next month, possibly.
There will be a new Relay van sometime in the third quarter and a new C1 before that -- in the second quarter.
The Sandero Stepway -- a muscular version of the supermini -- has just arrived. It has 16ins wheels and satin chrome roof bars to complete the Crossover look.
Engines include the 3-cyl TCe 90 petrol (90bhp) and the dCi 90 diesel. They claim cabin space for up to five and a boot capacity of 320 litres.
Apart from a full year of the 500L range (L, Trekking, MPW) they are also expecting a Panda 4X4 this month and a 500 TwinAir 105hp 6spd before the end of March.
The 500L/Trekking/MPW gets the new 1.6-litre MultiJet 120hp engine in the first quarter as well.
There have been rumours of a 500X but, I'm cryptically told, were such a vehicle to exist it probably wouldn't get here til next year anyway.
Busy last year and busy this year, but we'll have to wait until late in the year for the biggie -- the new Mondeo.
The Tourneo Connect 'people carrier' is a January arrival with the small crossover/SUV EcoSport here in mid-year.
There will be an electric Focus too. There are no final details on powertrain or pricing but Ford says it will be the 'first all-electric version of a true volume-selling car'.
And then there will be the Mondeo -- later. No price details yet.
It will come as a 5dr estate and 4dr saloon. Among available equipment will be Advanced Active Park Assist -- a system that supports parallel and perpendicular reverse parking. Hurry up there.
Making their European debuts are the rear inflatable seatbelts.
Engines will include the 1-litre EcoBoost petrol, a 1.6-litre diesel and a hybrid electric.
Quiet year after a busy one in 2013 but they are promising a hectic 2015.
However, they will have the Civic Tourer in late February/early March.
The 1.6 i-DTEC (120bhp, 99g/km) will be the main engine but there will be a 1.8 i-VTEC petrol in manual and auto.
Honda claims it will be the most spacious car in its class, particularly with the seats up. They even say it is beaten only by the massive Skoda Superb and Mercedes E-Class. Watch this space.
By the way, in 2015 there will be a new Jazz, a new small SUV, new NSX and a Civic Type R.
The latest i10 is on sale this month with prices starting from €11,995 ex-works. The 1-litre petrol comes with manual or automatic transmission.
There is an ix35 Celebration model on sale too (1.7-litre diesel) from €25,495 ex-works which they claim is €1,000 less than the entry level new Nissan Qashqai diesel.
The F-TYPE Coupe is eagerly awaited. The cabrio had us drooling. Sales of the Coupe start in March.
A new sports sedan won't be revealed until the end of the year with sales in 2015.
The Grand Cherokee is revised with pricing from €69,000 and emissions of 198g/km.
The new Cherokee is a spring arrival. The version with the nine-speed transmission arrives in the second half of the year.
Their only launch this year is the new Soul in April or May.
They have upgraded the Evoque and Discovery.
The Evoque gets a 9spd automatic transmission and debuts InControl connected car technology. They claim better economy and reduced emissions.
The Discovery tweaks looks here and there, especially the grille and 'Discovery' badging.
They have an LF-NX sports utility coming in October to compete for buyers with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. It will have a 2.5-litre engine and, of course, hybrid technology. This will be around 130mm shorter than the RX.
The new Mazda3 is the main event and the company is pinning a lot of hopes on it for a major breakthrough in the sector.
The next generation Mazda2 is an early 2015 arrival.
New arrivals include the GLA in the first quarter, the new C-Class saloon in the second quarter -- and the estate version will come around then too.
Then at the back end of the year will be the S-Coupe.
Expect a new roadster C190 AMG later in the year as well. The CLS will get a facelift around then too.
The new MINI hatchback, with new engines (two petrols and a diesel). A 6spd manual gearbox is standard but there's a 6spd automatic.
It gets here in the spring and prices start from €22,530 OTR. That's just €135 more expensive than the current one.
The cabin benefits from better-quality materials, the buttons for the electric windows are on the doors and there are myriad 'connections' in the car with online-based services such as web radio, use of social networks including Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and Glympse, RSS news feeds and entertainment elements such as AUPEO!, Stitcher, Napster and TuneIn.
The five-seat Pajero Executive long wheelbase has been upgraded and they claim has a lot of equipment as standard.
The 3.2-litre diesel develops 200bhp and of course 4x4 is on tap. It costs from €49,950 ex-works.
They will also have a commercial version of the new Outlander SUV. The VRT comes to €200 and the price is under €30,000.
The plug-in hybrid electric Outlander is claimed to be a world first for a SUV and is due here early enough in the year.
They say it has the environmental performance of an electric vehicle, cruising range of a conventional vehicle, and the performance of a SUV.
They expect a range of more than 824km.
The new Qashqai is due here towards the end of January.
There is a1.2 DIG-T petrol engine (129g/km) a 1.5-litre diesel (99g saving of €90 on road tax) and a 1.6dCi (115g, 130bhp).
There is also a CVT option with the 1.6-litre diesel (119g/km). There is a 4WD option on the 1.6dCi. Prices start at €24,495
The new X-Trail (built on the same platform as the new Qashqai) is more crossover than SUV and will have five-seat and seven-seat versions. It gets here in July.
No word yet on pricing, engines or equipment levels yet.
The e-NV200 is Nissan's first electric commercial vehicle and arrives in July. Based on the NV200 multi-usage vehicle it will share major drivetrain components with the LEAF electric car. Owners will be able to recha-rge the battery to 80pc capacity in 30 minutes thanks to a Quick Cha
And it will be able to harness energy stored in its battery to power electric tools and equipment up to 6,000W.
The company will return to the family hatchback sector with a new model to replace the Almera and Tiida and gets here in September.
They've done a big job on the Insignia family/fleet motor. The 2-litre CDTi (140hp) is a serious piece of work (just 99g/km, €180 road tax). Prices start at €24,995.
The Country Tourer 4WD, muscular, taller version arrives in March (2-litre 163hp diesel). It will cost from €37,995. Gulp.
The Meriva little people carrier gets a substantial lift and a new 1.6CDTi (136bhp, 116gm/km) diesel, IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7ins colour touchscreen.
This is a fine engine. It is already in the Zafira Tourer and should be in the Astra saloon later this year.
The trendy city car ADAM will get a new 3cyl 1-litre direct injection petrol (115hp). Fuel consumption is improved by 20pc compared to the current 1.4-litre.
The Astra gets the new generation 1.6-litre diesel engine and IntelliLink system with Bluetooth interface.
Opel is planning 23 new models and 13 new engines before 2016.
The brand new 308 is the big news and there will be latest versions of the 3008 and 5008 for this month.
The new 308 Station Wagon arrives in July after being unveiled at Geneva. It is 140kg lighter and will have a mix of petrol and diesel engines.
The Mégane Hatch, Coupé and Grand have had a bit of a facelift. The dCi 90 engine will be replaced by a dCi 95 version which has more pulling power (torque). Road tax is €190.
The ZOE will complete the range of electric vehicles when it gets here in June or July.
Their new Leon ST estate gets a runout on Irish roads next Tuesday. Prices start at €20,185 -- good spread of petrol and diesels.
The hot-hot 280bhp Leon Cupra gets here in April. Expect a price tag of around €36,000.
There will be a Leon Cupra ST in the summer.
Also expect a 4WD 'muscle' version of the Leon, called the Xperience -- in the early autumn.
They will have petrol RS models from this month with a 220bhp petrol engine. The facelifted Yeti is here now too.
We'll see a 4x4 Octavia Scout estate in the summer with a 2-litre 150bhp diesel the likeliest favourite. The new Fabia will be revealed at the Paris Motor show in September. It goes on sale here in December.
They have the new 'Special Edition' Swift in March -- different bumpers, new front grille, door mirror indicators and new alloys. Price will be the same as the existing GLX SE (€14,995).
Expect a new small car in October to replace the Alto but no name yet. It will be unveiled at Geneva, it will be bigger than the Alto and will have a 1-litre engine (90g/km).
They recently rolled out a high-spec five-seater version of the Landcruiser (from €53,995) called Business Grade. With 13.3pc VRT it benefits from a price drop and if VAT is excluded the price is around €45,000.
They have cut the price of the Yaris by an average of €375.
They have also brought in a new Auris Aura version to battle for buyers at the core of the hatchback market. It has alloys, air con, front fogs, chrome and new interior trim (from €20,725). The RAV4 has a new 2-litre Sol grade. The AWD version now has a 2-litre engine as well as the 2.2-litre which reduces the price by €1,800.
They will bring in the 4WD 300bhp Golf R this month, while in February they will land a super-frugal 110bhp Golf BlueMotion (85g/km and a claimed 88mpg).
The evergreen Polo gets a facelift though most of the improvements are under the skin. Due here before July -- and the 142 plate.
Watch for smaller engines that are more powerful. Worth noting: a Polo Blue GT model with 140bhp.
The Sportsvan, yet another MPV-like version of the Golf, is a summer arrival.
The name could be changed for Ireland.
There will be an electric Golf in the summer too with a claimed 190km range. It could cost less than €30,000 when incentives and government grants are included.
The Jetta gets a facelift in time for July plate -- slight re-styling and lower emissions.
New engines will seriously refresh the entire range for Volvo as the year unfolds.