Tuesday 20 February 2018

A-Z of the hottest models coming on to the market in the New Year

From new models, fresh styling and updated engines here's our rundown of the best new cars coming over the next 12 months. Geraldine Herbert reports

Alfa is entering the growing SUV market in the second half of the year with the Stelvio. This Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace rival will be the Italian's first SUV. In other news for the Alfa range the MiTo and Giulietta get some styling tweaks and updated equipment. Just in time for 171, Alfa's Giulia arrives in showrooms and will be available with both petrol and diesel engines. Prices start from €39,995.

AUDI: Audi continues its quest to fill every possible niche in the car market and roll out a litany of new models and updated versions of existing ones. A slightly bigger and smarter second generation Q5 SUV arrives early in the year and will be powered by four diesels and one petrol. In time for January sales the new Audi Q2, the most compact SUV in its range, is available to order in dealerships now. Pricing for the 1.6 TDI 110 bhp SE, the likely volume seller, starts from €32,490, with the 1.6 TDI S Line starting from €35,790. The A5 Coupe, a large, two-door coupe based on the Audi A4, launches in Ireland with five engine options: three petrol and two diesel. The A5 Sportback will launch in January with two TFSI and three TDI engines. Arriving at the end of summer a 394bhp RS3 saloon is sure to get pulses racing.

BMW: A new 5 Series is always big news and while the visual changes to the new model are almost unnoticeable it's now slightly longer, wider, and taller than before. With a focus on driving dynamics the car gets new suspension and sheds more than 100kg. BMW's 'xDrive' all-wheel drive system will be offered for the first time on the 5 and will be available from launch on the 520d, 530d, and 540i. The new 5 also gets a host of technologies first seen on the 7 Series including Gesture Control, Remote Parking and the BMW Display key. Available in the spring from €52,800.

CITROEN: With C4 Cactus styling cues and frugal running costs, Citroen's funky third-generation C3 stands out from the crowd with more than 36 different options. Power comes from a three-cylinder 1.2 petrol engine with 68, 75 or 82bhp, or a 1.6-litre turbodiesel with 75 or 100bhp. A 110bhp petrol engine with automatic transmission will join the range from February. Prices for the new C3 start from €15,490.

DACIA: The Dacia Sandero, Sandero Stepway and Logan MCV all receive styling tweaks and updated interiors plus a wider range of engine options. New is the entry-level three-cylinder petrol engine SCe 75 and a choice of transmissions. The Logan MCV and new Sandero share a more modern front bumper design, along with chrome detailing for the air intake grille and a new smarter lighting signature front and rear. The Dacia Duster has received a mild facelift with a new grille to the front and at the rear a chromed exhaust tailpipe. Inside, all cars feature new upholstery and patterns and a new finish to the dashboard.

DS: Having launched the DS3 and DS4 this year, 2017 looks like a quiet year for DS with no news cars on the horizon.

FIAT: A new Fiat Tipo has just been launched and unlike many of its rivals, comes in hatchback and estate form, with a saloon version on the way early next year. Engines include 1.3 and 1.6 turbo diesels and 1.4 and 1.4 turbo petrol versions with Co2 emissions starting from 98g/km. Prices are from €17,995. The 124 Spider has just been launched and is priced from €31,495. Fiat has taken the bones of the Mazda MX-5, the chassis and interior, and added its own exterior design and engine - a 1.4 MultiAir Turbo 140hp 6spd manual.

FORD: The new smallest Ford, the Ka+, will be in showrooms this month with a 1.2 litre petrol (70PS and 85PS). Larger than the outgoing Ka, it promises space for five passengers and will be priced from €13,050. Ford is finally introducing ST Line versions of the Fiesta, Focus, Kuga and Mondeo with sporty body kits and new design touches. The new Kuga, Ford's mid-size crossover, will be here next month with the option of a new smaller 1.5 litre diesel engine that has the same 120hp power output of the current 2.0 litre. Prices start from €33,345. An all-new Fiesta lands in the second half of next year. There's no info on engines, spec or prices yet.

HONDA: The big news for Honda is the arrival in spring of the new Civic. Unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the new Civic is lower, longer and wider than any of its predecessors and promises to be more spacious. Power will come from 3-cylinder 1-litre (127bhp) and 4-cylinder 1.5-litre (180bhp) petrol engines.

HYUNDAI: Hyundai's popular city car, the i10, gets revised styling for 2017 and arrives here early in the year. The new Hyundai i30 also gets updated styling and a host of new safety features. Launched just this month is the IONIQ hatchback with electric and hybrid powertrains. Prices start from €28,495 for the electric and €31,995 for the hybrid. A plug-in hybrid will join the range in spring.

JAGUAR: Revealed at the LA Motor Show this month, the I-Pace is Jaguar's first all-electric SUV. Setting its sights firmly on Tesla's Model X, Jaguar will reveal a production version in late 2017 and the I-Pace will hit the road in 2018. Jaguar's sporting estate the XF Sportbrake will arrive in the second half of 2017.

JEEP: Jeep's latest SUV, the Compass, smaller than the Cherokee and bigger than the Renegade, is due here in mid-2017.

Kia: Due to arrive in March, the new Kia Rio promises improved refinement and a more spacious cabin. Engine options include a 1.0-L turbo petrol in addition to the current 1.25 petrol and 1.4 diesel.

A new Picanto is likely to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2017 and will arrive in Ireland in time for summer.

LAND ROVER: By far the biggest story for Land Rover in 2017 is the arrival of the long overdue new Discovery. Boasting revised engines, a 480kg weight reduction and significantly lower running costs than its predecessor, the new, fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery is expected here in March.

LEXUS: As well as updated styling, the IS gets enhanced technology and an upgraded safety specification and will be in showrooms for 171 sales. The gorgeous LC500 will join the range in July.

Mazda: The new Mazda MX-5 RF (retractable fastback), the hardtop version of Mazda's iconic Japanese roadster, will be in showrooms from January. Along with the 1.5 litre engine currently offered in the roadster, the new version will have a 2.0 litre alternative. Two trims will be available - standard and GT - and prices will start from €31,495. The second-generation version of the CX-5 was unveiled recently at the Los Angeles Motor Show and is likely to arrive here in the second half of the year.

MERCEDES: 2017 is shaping up to be a busy year for the German car maker with six new or revised models on the way. Poised to make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show, the new E-Class Coupe will make its debut here in March along with a refreshed GLA. Arriving towards the middle of the year is the Mercedes S-Class facelift while a new E-Class Cabrio is expected in the autumn. Mercedes is planning to end the year with the launch of a refreshed S-Class Coupe and Cabrio.

MINI: A new Countryman crossover with a rugged, more SUV-like look will be introduced in February. Petrol engines include a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder - available in Cooper models - and a turbocharged 2.0-litre. The diesel options are both 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines. There will also be the option of a plug-in hybrid.

MITSUBISHI: For 2017 the Outlander passenger range will receive a host of model updates, including Mitsubishi's Smartphone link Display Audio (SDA) which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Outlander Business, the two-seater commercial SUV, also receives significant specification upgrades for 2017.

NISSAN: The new generation of the Micra arrives with bold styling. It is also significantly longer, wider and lower than the previous version. The fifth generation model promises innovative safety features and a range of new turbocharged petrol engines and one diesel to choose from.

OPEL: Opel is aiming to launch a host of new models in the next few years and for 2017 there are three versions of the new Insignia. Due here in the second half of 2017, an Insignia hatchback will be first to arrive, with a station wagon and country tourer launching a little later. A new Crossland X will replace the Meriva and will be in showrooms in time for 172 sales. Opel will also launch the Grandland X to do battle with the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar.

PEUGEOT: Out goes the old MPV-style 3008 and in comes a more stylish crossover that will target the Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga and Renault Kadjar. We expect an upmarket interior, generous specification and competitive pricing. Buyers will have the choice of a 1.2 PureTech petrol engine or a 1.6-litre diesel 100bhp/120bhp and a 2-litre diesel 150bhp/180bhp version. Peugeot's second new SUV 5008 will take on the new Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail and is expected in Ireland in May.

PORSCHE: The super-slick second-generation Porsche Panamera will be on sale from January. Prices will start from €111,321.

Renault: With almost its entire range refreshed or revised, 2016 has been a busy one for Renault. The next-generation Scenic/Grand Scenic features a sharper design, extra equipment and improved driving dynamics. With a good dose of French flair and seductive appeal, it makes rivals look positively dull. Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, the new Renault Megane Sport Tourer - the Megane Estate - is the next to join the line-up along with the Coupe saloon and will be in showrooms in time for the January sales. The Grand Coupe Megane saloon will be priced from €21,990 and will be powered by 1.5 dCi 110 and 1.6 dCi 130 diesels. A new version of Europe's biggest-selling all-electric car, the Zoe, arrives in the New Year. Renault estimates the new Z.E. 40 battery has a range of 300km in urban or suburban areas. Prices will be announced next month.

SEAT: A new version of the popular Leon will be launched in March and a new Ibiza arrives just in time for summer. An FR version of the Ateca will join the range in May.

SKODA: The Kodiaq will be Skoda's flagship SUV and is introduced in response to the demand for a rival to the likes of Hyundai's Santa Fe, Nissan X-Trail and Land Rover Discovery Sport. There will be a choice of four engines - two 2.0 litre diesels and two 1.4 petrol units. We expect a spring launch for the seven-seat SUV.

SSANGYONG: It will be the end of 2017 before we see anything new from Ssangyong when the South Korean company will reveal its all new Rexton.

SUBARU: There is a new Subaru Impreza on the way for 2017. No prices or details are available as yet for the Irish market.

SUZUKI: Suzuki's latest mini crossover, the Ignis, was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and arrives in showrooms in January. Under the bonnet is a 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine. A hybrid version is likely to be added to the range later in the year. A new Swift is expected to debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March.

TESLA: As Tesla Motors announces it intends to open for business in Ireland next year, local buyers can look forward to both the Model S saloon and Model X SUV being introduced early in the 2017. Model S prices start at €81,086 and the Model X costing from €110,042.

Toyota: A new compact SUV will extend Toyota's model line-up and will arrive in showrooms this month. The C-HR, (Coupe High Rider) will offer an alternative to the likes of the Mazda CX-3, Honda's HR-V, the Mitsubishi ASX and Nissan's Qashqai. Prices start from €26,895 for the 1.2-litre petrol. February sees the arrival of the fuel-sipping Plug-in Prius. According to Toyota it will consume 1.4-litres per 100km (a staggering 202mpg) with CO2 of just 32g/km.

VOLKSWAGEN: VW is ending 2016 with two new additions - the new Up! and Beetle. The Up! gets a revamped design, and the Beetle now has an R-Line grade to replace the previous Sport version. Buyers can choose between a 105bhp 1.2-litre TSI petrol or 150bhp 1.4-litre TSI petrol, or diesel a 2.0-litre TDI with either 110bhp or 150bhp. Prices start at €22,735 and rise to €34,575 for an R-Line 2.0-litre 150bhp TDI DSG. The revised Golf is likely to arrive at the end of March. Exterior changes are subtle but the interior has been revamped and some new engines, including a 1.5-litre TSI are added to the range. The GTI gets a power jump to 230bhp and the GTI with the Performance Pack now jumps to 245bhp. Other likely additions to the VW range include a 300kW eGolf and we may possible see a new T-Roc small SUV, new Polo, and new CC in 2017, although Volkswagen is staying tight-lipped on exact arrival times for these.

VOLVO: The new XC60 will be on sale by the summer from around €45,000. The V90 and V90 Cross Country will join the Volvo line up from January. Prices for the V90 will start from €46,650 and for the Cross Country D4 from €54,650.

Sunday Independent

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