19 cars worth waiting for in 2019
From small and economical to large and luxurious, these are the notable new cars of the year
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Electric car sales may still be slow to make a real impact, but the onslaught of all-electric SUVs is likely to have a significant impact. Available to order from this month, Audi's e-tron is the luxury car maker's first all-electric vehicle and will have a range of more than 400km. Pricing for the e-tron starts from an on-the-road cost of €101,750 and includes a four-year service plan. Powered by two electric motors, Audi reckon it can hit 100kmh in under six seconds. Under normal driving conditions, the combined power of the two motors is 350bhp and its battery can be charged up to 80pc capacity in about 30 minutes. Outside, it is instantly recognisable as an Audi while inside there is room for five. The Q5-sized SUV is set to take on Tesla, who have set the standard for this group for years. Unfortunately, the high asking price will limit its appeal.
BMW 3 Series
A new 3 Series is always big news and with more than 15 million units sold since its introduction in 1975 and despite dwindling sales of saloons, much is expected of this seventh-generation model. Revealed at the Paris Motor Show, it sports a sleeker, more sophisticated look for 2019. Built on a completely new platform it uses a modular architecture known as CLAR, which combines aluminium, carbon fibre, high-strength steel and even magnesium. The benefits include new suspension and improved aerodynamics. It is also loaded with tech including a heads-up display and the very latest in driver assistance and active safety features. Prices for the new BMW 3 Series start at €43,770 (RRP) for the 318d SE model and is available to order now. First customer deliveries are expected in Ireland in March 2019.
BMW recently unveiled its third-generation Z4 and for this new version the retractable hardtop option has been abandoned in favour of an electrically operated soft-top. Simple to operate, it opens and closes in 10 seconds and, crucially for those sudden downpours, at speeds of up to 50kmh. Outside, it is immediately recognisable as a BMW and inside the Z4 is driver-focused but, as with most roadsters, it is snug in the cabin and you will struggle to find places to stow smartphones and drinks. On the road it is grippy with sharp handling. The new roadster will launch in Ireland in March, with three petrol engines. The top-of-the-range Z4 M40i features a straight-six unit with 340bhp. Other engines are the 3.0i and 2.0i with four cylinders and all are mated to an eight-speed steptronic auto transmission. Prices start from €50,420, while the top-of-the-range Z4 M40i will set you back €73,230. There will be two trim levels: Sport and M Sport, in addition to the M Performance model.
Citroen C5 Aircross
Spring sees the arrival of Citroen's all-new SUV, the C5 Aircross. Comfort is Citroen's new focus. Inspired by customers, the French car-maker believes this to be its unique selling point. First impressions matter when it comes to buying an SUV and the new C5 Aircross is certainly striking, with an imposing grille and discrete air bumps. Despite its rugged appearance there are only front-wheel-drive versions offered, although the PSA's Grip Control system is optional, and buyers will have the choice of five engines: a PureTech 130 six-speed manual; PureTech 180 EAT8 petrol; BlueHDi 130 six-speed manual; BlueHDi 130 EAT8; and BlueHDi 180 EAT8 diesel. In 2020, the Citroen C5 Aircross will be the first vehicle in the line-up with a petrol plug-in hybrid engine. Prices for the new car will be announced this month and it will be in showrooms from the middle of February.
Honda C-RV Hybrid
Arriving in showrooms at the end of last year, Honda's compact SUV the CR-V was launched in petrol form only but will be joined next month by a hybrid version. Composed of an electric motor, a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a separate electric motor-generator, it delivers a total output of 181bhp and 315Nm of torque. The system automatically moves between three driving modes - EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive - depending on motorway or urban conditions. The engine's figures are impressive - on a mix of urban and rural Honda reckon you will achieve 5.3 litres per 100km fuel economy, while CO2 is 120g/km. Unlike the 1.5-litre petrol version, the hybrid will only be available as a five-seat option; the addition of the battery pack rules out the option of a seven-seater. Arriving in February, it will cost from €38,000.
The new all-electric Kia e-Niro is likely to arrive in time for 192 sales and will be offered with a choice of two batteries that should quell range anxiety: a 39.2kWh (136PS) unit with a range of 289km and a 64kWh (204PS) unit with a range of 455km. Prices are not yet confirmed but it is expected to start in the region of €33,000. Charging on a public fast-charging point, the battery can be boosted from 20pc to 80pc in a little over four minutes, but it can take considerably longer on a regular three-pin socket at home. The e-Niro also gets the seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty on all Kias, which extends to the battery and electric motor and is fully transferable to future owners too. Well-priced, spacious and family-friendly, the e-Niro will give a much-needed boost to EV sales in Ireland.
This 5 Series and A6 rival is the best-selling Lexus in the world but is the first time the ES will be offered in Europe. Shrinking the best elements of its larger LS into the more affordable option, the new premium saloon gives prospective customers an alternative to the German rivals like the Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. With a claimed fuel economy of 4.4 litres per 100 km, the ES is one of the most eco-conscious large saloon cars on sale. The ES is priced from €49,450 with an all-new 2.5-litre fourth-generation self-charging hybrid and 106g/CO2.
Revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show at the end of last year, the new 3 will play a key role in Mazda's product line-up and reignite its appeal with younger drivers. Expected here from April, it is already turning a lot of heads, thanks to a Mazda's unique blend of technology and distinctive design. It will be available as both a four-door saloon and five-door hatchback and powering the range will be a 2.0-litre petrol, 1.8 diesel and the new Skyactiv-X engine. Mazda claim they can offer the same performance as you would expect from a petrol but with the economy and reduced CO2 emissions of a diesel. This is thanks to what Mazda calls Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SCCI).
Mercedes-Benz's new all-electric crossover, the EQC is the first of 10 all-electric cars the company will launch by 2022 and it will form the basis for a new range of future Mercs in its EQ range. Despite being based on the GLC Mercedes-Benz, over 85pc of its parts and components are totally new. Inside, it shares features with the GLC but is fitted with the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) user interface: driving modes, charging capacity and departure time can also be controlled and set via MBUX. Powering the electric SUV are two electric motors with a total capacity of 300kWh (408hp) and the combination delivers a claimed driving range of 400km under the new WLTP guidelines. It can be 80pc charged in about 40 minutes on a fast charger. The Mercedes-Benz EQC will hit the road in later this year and pricing of €80,000 means bargain hunters will have to look elsewhere.
THIS looks like being the year MINI will finally embrace electrification with the first electric model slated to begin production in 2019. Based on the current Mini Hatchback, it is likely to sport minor styling tweaks that will mark it out from the regular Mini. It is also rumoured to available only as a three-door. This year marks the 60th anniversary of MINI, so the new electric version is expected to be launched to coincide with a host of anniversary events planned for this summer. The new car is likely to share its motor and battery with the BMW i3 and come with a range of around 320km. No pricing has yet been confirmed for the new MINI, which is due to arrive in showrooms next year.
One of the the most significant new launches into small car market in 2019 will be the popular small hatchback, the Opel Corsa. It is expected to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and will be available as a five-door only. Following the merger of Opel with the PSA (Peugeot) group last year the Corsa will be built alongside the new 208 as a part of new strategy to save on development and production costs. The new Corsa will share PSA's engine line-up and is likely to adopt the 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder in a variety of power outputs. An electric version, the eCorsa with a range of around 400km will follow in 2020.
The Peugeot 508 is ready to put a dent in the saloon car market. With a radical new exterior it looks sharper and sleeker, while the interior has moved more upmarket and benefits from Peugeot's i-Cockpit. Available in saloon and estate version, there are four trim levels: Active, Allure, GT Line and GT. The first cars are expected in Ireland in March. Petrol and diesel models will go on sale first and a plug-in hybrid petrol with a claimed electric-only range of 50km (WLTP) will join the range toward the end of 2019. Prices for the new 508 start from €32,400 but, with buyers shunning traditional family saloon cars and flocking to crossovers and SUVs, it has to be very good to compete.
There's a dazzling line-up of new cars for 2019, but the Porsche Taycan has to be the most hotly anticipated of them all. The Taycan is Porsche's first all-electric car and the brand's first serious challenge to Tesla. With a claimed range of 400km and more than 600bhp, the Taycan is more than a match for the Model S. In addition, it can sprint from 0-100kmh in less than 3.5 seconds. Porsche is working on 800-volt infrastructure to charge the Taycan and its all-electric successors and claim charging for just 15 minutes gives 80pc capacity and provides a 320km range. A showroom-ready version of the electric car is likely to debut at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.
Range Rover Evoque
With the launch of the Evoque, Land Rover proved it could build cars that could be both desirable and capable and sales of their smallest SUV surpassed all expectations as it won favour with younger drivers and women in particular. For 2019 it has been redesigned and re-engineered. Exterior styling takes its cue from the larger Velar and an improved interior and a wider range of technology is expected. It also promises to be a convincing member of the range and will offer all-terrain capabilities and can happily wade through 600mm of water thanks to ultrasonic sensors on the side-view mirrors that monitor the depth. Inside, thanks to a longer wheelbase, there is more room for luggage and passengers. All versions of the Evoque, petrol or diesel, will have a mild-hybrid system to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, while a plug-in hybrid model is expected to launch within the next 12 months.
France's best-selling car enters its fifth generation next year, with a raft of tech upgrades to make it the most advanced on the market. To compete with the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa and Peugeot 208 the new car is expected to be a radical departure from the current model, while inside it's likely to echo the Megane. Little else is known about the new model but it is likely to take centre stage on the Renault Stand at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The SEAT Tarraco will shake up the large SUV market when it arrives next month as it's stylish, well priced and available as a five- or seven-seater. Based on the same platform as the VW Tiguan Allspace and Skoda Kodiaq, SEAT are hoping to steal buyers away from the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai Santa Fe and the Peugeot 5008. At launch buyers will be able to choose from a range of petrol and diesel engines, including a 150hp 1.5-litre and a 190hp 2.0-litre petrol and two 2.0-litre diesels (150hp and 190hp). An FR sporty version and a PHEV hybrid with 210bhp will join the range in 2020. The SEAT Tarraco is available to order in two trim levels: SE and XCELLENCE and two- or all-wheel drive. Prices start from €34,700 for the five-seater.
Tesla Model 3
Right-hand-drive production is finally due to begin in 2019, so we can expect Tesla to launch their eagerly awaited Model 3 later this year. Two Model 3 options are likely to be on offer: one with a range of 544km with an expected cost in the region of €60,000; and a €70,000 high-performance, dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Model 3. What we have yet to see is the much-anticipated basic, small-battery, $35,000 rear-wheel-drive model - the version that generated much of the initial hype. Given their incessant production difficulties, the question remains whether or not Tesla will ever actually produce such a car? Only time will tell.
One of Toyota's best-selling cars, more than 19 million Camrys have been sold in more than 100 countries since 1987. And now it has returned to the company's line-up after a 14-year hiatus and is reinvented as a petrol-electric hybrid that promises best-in-class fuel economy. Arriving in April, it is available across three grade options with prices starting at €39,750.
The T-Cross will join the successful Tiguan and T-Roc in VW's SUV line-up when it goes on sale in April and is VW's stylish attempt to lure younger drivers into the small SUV market. It will compete with the likes of the Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. There will be a choice of two petrol engines initially, both 1.0-litre TSI units putting out either 95bhp or 115bhp. There will most likely be one diesel version offered, a 1.6-litre TDI putting out 95bhp, in the T-Cross. While it shares a platform with the Polo, it has more space inside, making it a good choice if you have a family. It's only available with two-wheel drive, meaning it is an off-roader in looks only.