Thursday 18 January 2018

17 of the most anticipated car models of 2017

From Alfa to Volvo, these are our most anticipated new models of 2017

1. Alfa Romeo Stelvio
1. Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2. BMW 5 Series
8. Mazda MX-5RF
13. Renault Zoe
15. Toyota Plug-in Prius
Geraldine Herbert

Geraldine Herbert

From Alfa to Volvo, these are our most anticipated new models of the year

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

1. Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Alfa Romeo revealed their new Stelvio at the Los Angeles Motor Show. This is the Italian brand's first premium crossover and launches their return to the US market.

Named after the winding roads hidden in the Stelvio Pass, the highest mountain road in Italy, the Stelvio is the second model to use the Giulia platform, which first spawned a performance saloon. It will be entering a hotly contested market, facing the likes of the Porsche Macan, Mercedes GLC coupe and Jaguar F-Pace. With a focus on pure performance, a 510 HP Quadrifoglio version that can apparently accelerate from 0 to 100kph in 3.9 seconds will also join the range.

BMW 5 Series

2. BMW 5 Series

The new seventh-generation BMW 5 Series may not look radically different from the outside but it's now slightly longer, wider and taller than the previous model. It's also more powerful and, because of the lighter body weight and with better technology, it is more fuel-efficient than previous models. BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system will be offered for the first time on the 5 Series and will be available from launch on the 520d, 530d and 540i. New technology abounds in the 2017 5 Series, including a host of features first seen on the 7 Series, including Gesture Control, Remote Parking and the BMW Display Key. Available in the spring, prices will start from €52,800. A fully self-driving prototype was shown earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 and is expected to hit the roads by 2021.

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta super-mini is due here in the summer

The Fiesta may continue to be a perennial favourite but as the current version reaches the grand old age of eight, an update is long overdue. Due here in July, the all-new, seventh-generation Fiesta is now more like a fun-size Focus. Inside there is a totally upgraded interior and the new model is likely to be available in a wide range of choices including Titanium, ST-Line, Vignale and Active with three and five-door body styles also. The Fiesta Active crossover will be the first of many Active models rolled out across the range. Ford's 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol is available, alongside a 1.1-litre three-cylinder version. A 1.5-litre TDCi engine is the first high-power diesel engine ever offered for a Fiesta and promises emissions of just 82g/km.

Honda Civic

Due here in March: the new Honda Civic

It may not be beating the Golf and the Focus just yet, but the new 2017 Civic makes a dynamic statement for hatchback buyers looking for something a bit different. Unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the tenth-generation Civic has been the largest, single-model development programme in the company's history. The new Civic is lower, longer and wider than any of its predecessors and promises to be spacious inside thanks to an additional 30mm in extra width and 130mm in length. Engine options are the 127bhp 1.0-litre i-VTEC turbo and the 180bhp 1.5 i-VTEC turbo. A host of safety features will be standard as part of Honda's 'Sensing' safety package, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist and Intelligent Speed Assistance that automatically adjusts speed to that indicated by the last road sign. Due here in March, it will cost from €23,750.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Jaguar's sporting estate, the XF Sportbrake, will arrive in the second half of 2017 and is designed to compete with the Audi A6 Avant and Mercedes E-Class Estate. Spy shots are already appearing online showing the same svelte and sleek proportions of the previous model.

The XF saloon features one of the nicest interiors around and it is very well thought-out and intuitive. Inside you are cocooned in soft-touch materials with clean and uncluttered design and we expect the Sportbrake to offer the same. Engine choices are likely to be carried over from the saloon, which includes the 163bhp (from 104g/km and 70mpg) and 180bhp versions of the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine, but if you need more oomph off the line there are also a 240PS 2.0-litre petrol automatic, a 300PS 3.0-litre diesel automatic and 340PS 3.0-litre petrol automatic to choose from.

Kia Rio

The new five-door Rio is due here in March and promises sharp new styling, improved refinement, higher quality and a more spacious interior. Key features include the now familiar 'tiger nose' grille stretched between large LED-highlighted headlights, Apple CarPlay integration, a new lightweight three-cylinder engine and much improved ride and handling. The new Rio also comes equipped with an arsenal of safety technology and will be the first car in its class to offer Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition. Engine options include a 1.0-litre turbo petrol in addition to the current 1.25 petrol and 1.4 diesel. With more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015, accounting for 16 per cent of Kia's annual sales, the Rio is Kia's global best-selling model and the new fourth-generation version promises to build on its key strengths - design, low running costs and practicality.

Land Rover Discovery

Originally conceived as a more comfortable Land Rover Defender, recent incarnations have made the Land Rover Discovery more than a match for the Range Rover in terms of luxury and styling. Now for 2017, the fifth generation has been completely overhauled, shaving off 480kg and being moved even more upmarket. The squared-off boxy design of its predecessors has given way to a curvier and softer shape heavily influenced by the Range Rover and the smaller Discovery Sport. All three cars share the same Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) platform.

While the styling of the new Discovery lacks some of the charm of the previous version, it is longer, more ergonomic and practical. Engine options include the 3.0-litre TDV6 and 3.0-litre Si6 petrol, while a four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine with 132kw and 180kW and CO2 figures from 159g/km is new to the range. There are four trim levels: S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury and prices will start around €58,000.

Mazda MX-5 RF

Mazda's MX-5 RF (retractable fastback), the hardtop version of Mazda's iconic Japanese roadster will be in showrooms very soon. Revealed at the New York Motor Show, the previous-generation hardtop version was phased out in 2014. The roof is folded simply by a switch on the dashboard and takes around 12 seconds to complete, and for those sudden downpours it can be operated while on the move. Along with the 1.5-litre engine currently offered in the roadster, the new version will also be available with a 2.0-litre powerplant. There are two trims, standard and GT and prices will start from €31,495. The more powerful engine will only be available in the GT-spec grade and will feature a limited-slip differential and 17-inch wheels.

Mini Countryman

Largest yet: the Mini Countryman crossover

MINI will launch the new generation of the Countryman crossover with a more rugged, more SUV-like look in February. The new version is larger than the model it replaces, promising more interior space, sophistication and practicality. The Countryman will be available as a Cooper, Copper D and the high-performance Cooper S and SD. The familiar range of Mini petrol and diesel engines will be offered along with a completely new option for a Mini - a plug-in hybrid version. A 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine powers the front wheels and an 87bhp electric motor sends its power to the rear wheels. The battery sits under the back seats and can power the Countryman for up to 39kms on electric power only. Prices for the new MINI start from €33,580 on the road.

Nissan Micra

Radically different: Nissan Micra

One of the big surprises of the Paris Motor show was the all-new 'funky' Nissan Micra. No longer the preserve of learner drivers, the new model moves on from the cute designs of the past. The all-new, sharper Micra arrives with the bold styling and is significantly longer, wider and lower and is likely to replace both the old model and Note in the Nissan line-up. According to Nissan, the Micra's extended width and wheelbase means cabin space is among the best in class. The new model also sits lower than before, which only enhances the new dynamic styling. Inside it promises a range of innovative safety features and at launch will be offered with the choice of a 1-litre 73bhp petrol, an 0.9-litre turbo-petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel. Prices are expected to be around €16, 500 when it launches here in April.

Opel Insigni

Opel's Insignia will make its official debut in March

Opel plan 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 the first to arrive with a Grand Sport and Grand Tourer launching a little later. The new model looks sportier and is also slightly lower and wider than the last Insignia but, more significantly, it is nearly 175kgs lighter thanks in part to a new platform. The Insignia Grand Sport, the first of the new Insignia models, will receive its world premiere at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Peugeot 3008

The Peugeot 3008 has been transformed from people carrier to muscular motor

A host of new compact SUVs and hatchbacks will arrive in showrooms this year, as the big-selling brands do battle in the most hotly contested segments of the market. Designed to compete with the Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga and Renault Kadjar, the new Peugeot 3008 is one of the most anticipated. With a choice of five trim levels, to include Access, Active, Allure, GT Line and GT versions, buyers will also 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. The range starts from €25,995 for the entry-level model, the Access 1.2 130bhp PureTech petrol version. Boasting a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the new 3008 SUV range includes a host of safety equipment including Speed Limit Information with Intelligent Speed Adaptation, Driver Attention Alert Level 1 and Lane Departure Warning features. We haven't had an opportunity to drive it yet but it's already scooped awards across Europe, so initial impressions bode well.

Renault Zoe

13. Renault Zoe

A new version of Europe's biggest-selling all-electric car, the Zoe arrives in showrooms from March. Renault estimates the new Zoe now has a range of up to 300km in urban or suburban areas and even when it is particularly cold, it can still manage 200kms. This is all due to a new 41-kilowatt-hour battery pack, up from 22kwh in earlier versions and, according to Renault, it now gives the Zoe "the greatest range of any mainstream electric vehicle". The Zoe also comes with a Chameleon charging unit, so you only use a single cable which adapts to the different power levels at different charging points. A new top-of-the-range Signature Nav trim level has been added to the Zoe line-up for the 2017 and prices are expected to be in the region of €25,000. Electric cars have long been criticised for being too pricey, too impractical and too likely to run out of charge but the new Zoe, with a much-improved driving range and an affordable price tag, makes EV ownership far more appealing.

Skoda Kodiaq

Hit the ground running: SKODA KODIAQ SUV

Skoda's Kodiaq SUV is designed to reach a broader audience, targeting buyers of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan X-Trail and Land Rover Discovery Sport. It is also Skoda's smartest-looking car and in terms of size is slightly shorter than the Kia Sorrento. Offering five or seven seats, there is a very generous 720 litres of boot space with five seats and 270 litres with seven. Due here in the spring, there will be a 2.0-litre diesel with 190bhp, two 1.4 petrol units with 125 and 150bhp. The Kodiaq is the first of a number of SUVs the Czech carmaker plans to launch over the next few years. Irish pricing and specification has yet to be confirmed and in this very competitive market segment, it will be key to the success of this car.

Toyota Plug-in Prius

15. Toyota Plug-in Prius

Toyota is the world leader in hybrids, pioneering their development 25 years ago, but plug-in hybrids are a new departure for them. February sees the arrival of the fuel-sipping Plug-in Prius. According to Toyota it will consume 1.4 litres per 100km or a staggering 202mpg with CO2 of just 32g/km making it the most fuel efficient PHEV on the market. In addition, it will have an electric range of 50km with a top speed in EV mode of 135km per hour.

VW Golf

Volkswagen Golf

The new Golf Mk8 version is not likely to be launched until 2018, but for 2017 the Golf gets a mid-life refresh. 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 an increase in power to 230bhp and with the Performance Pack this increases to 245bhp.

Volvo V90 Cross Country

January arrival: Volvo V90 Cross Country location

Since the introduction of the first Cross Country almost 20 years ago, Volvo has become synonymous not only with practical and safe estate cars but also with rugged all-road, all-weather versions and their latest model is the V90 Cross Country. Essentially it's a V90, but with an increased ride height and a chassis optimised for all-weather conditions. Designed to cope with the demanding requirements of an extreme Scandinavian climate, Cross Country models promise to cope in all sorts of road conditions. Inside, the connectivity and entertainment features that were launched with the new S90 and V90, including a high-end sound system by Bowers & Wilkins, are available in a sumptuous interior. The car will go on sale imminently and will be a replacement for the V70 Cross Country and a rival to Audi's A6 Allroad and the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz E-Class 'All Terrain'.

Sunday Independent

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