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New ’66 plate– What’s new – Alfa Romeo to Hyundai

Jonathan CrouchJonathan Crouch

September 2016

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Giulia
All new Alfa Romeo Giulia competes head on with the BMW 3 Series

The Italian brand is about to launch its most important car for years, the BMW 3 Series-sized Giulia model, which looks a strong and elegant contender. If you can’t quite stretch to it, then the company would also like you to consider a recently facelifted version of its BMW 1 Series-sized Giulietta model.

The brand has also recently introduced an open-topped version of its desirable 4C coupe, the 4C Spider. This car features a lift-out panel over the cabin and a new titanium exhaust to counteract any weight gain.

ONE TO WATCH: Giulia saloon is Alfa’s most crucial car in decades.


Aston Martin

Aston Martin DB11
Aston Martin DB11 5.2 V12 twin turbo

Aston Martin is about to introduce its new luxury sportscar, the DB11, which uses a new 5.2-litre V12 turbo engine. This is the first truly all-new Aston production car since the Vanquish in 2012. Aston Martin has also revived the Lagonda name for a new, limited numbers saloon. Improved versions of the Vanquish and Rapide S now use an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

ONE TO WATCH: The DB11 heralds a new model and new tech for Aston Martin.


Audi

Audi Q2
New for 2016, the Audi Q2 small crossover

Big news for Audi is the launch of the new Q2 small Crossover, a key rival for cars like Honda’s HR-V and Jeep’s Renegade as well as top versions of car’s like Nissan’s Juke. The other important all-new launch for Ingolstadt is that of the second generation A5 coupe, which is lighter, sleeker, more efficient and more hi-tech than before.

There’s also plenty else that’s new at your local Audi Centre. The A3 range has been fundamentally revised and gets the clever ‘Virtual Cockpit’ instrument display we first saw in last year’s TT sportscar. Luxury SUV buyers get the market’s first high performance plug-in model, the SQ7 TDI. And wealthier folk can try the open-topped R8 Spyder.

ONE TO WATCH: The new Q2 small Crossover will become one of the company’s most profitable models.


Bentley

Bentley Bentayga
Bentley Bentayga - 2016 award winner in its class

The Bentley Bentayga may split opinion about its looks, but there’s no doubting its ability on and off-road. There’s also a facelifted version of the company’s top Mulsanne saloon. A more traditional addition to the range is the new Grand Convertible that shares much of its style and underpinnings with the Mulsanne saloon. The Grand Convertible will arrive towards the end of 2016.

ONE TO WATCH: The Bentayga may not be the prettiest luxury SUV of its kind, but it’s massively capable on- and offroad.


BMW

BMW 225xe and BMW 330e
The new 330e plug-in hybrid

BMW continues its introduction of Plug-in hybrid technology across its range. There’s a plug-in version of the 2 Series Active Tourer – the 225xe – and the 3 Series saloon – the 330e. The brand also has its X5 xDrive 40e and, most recently, its 740e and 740 xDrive Le luxury saloon models. There’s also a new run-out version of the M5 executive sports saloon, the M5 Competition Edition.

ONE TO WATCH: The 330e is a good choice is you want a compact executive saloon that’s both sporty and efficient.


Citroen

Citroen C3
The new Citroen C3 - a bold colourful personality

Citroen is gradually re-inventing itself as a maker of interesting cars. The C4 Cactus crossover model began that trend – and is now available in special edition ‘Rip Curl’ and ‘W’ guises. Far more important though, is the launch of the third generation version of the company’s C3 supermini. It looks sassier and there’s even a built-in camera that can record road accident situations or send video clips of your travels to your friends.

MPV buyers meanwhile, get revised versions of the company C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso models, plus a super-large new Space Tourer model at the top of the range.

ONE TO WATCH: The new C3 returns Citroen to its innovative roots.


Dacia

Dacia Duster
The 2016 Dacia Duster

Dacia has given its popular Duster a mild makeover, so there is an updated front grille and headlights, as well as some small changes to the dash design. There’s also a new 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine.

ONE TO WATCH: Revised Duster is hard to ignore with its more frugal 1.2 turbo petrol engine.


DS

The DS 4 and DS 4 Crossback
The DS 4 Crossback

The DS brand is slowly growing following earlier introductions this year which saw the new DS3 and DS4 models arrive to join the existing DS5.

ONE TO WATCH: The DS4 Crossback is an interesting option if you want something a little different to a standard Qashqai-class Crossover.


Fiat

Fiat Tipo
2016 Fiat Tipo Hatchback

Fiat is reviving the Tipo name in 2016 with its VW Golf rival. It gets Fiat’s existing petrol and turbodiesel engines. The compact 500 citycar was revised in 2015 with 1,800 changes and now can be ordered in sportier-looking ‘500S’ guise. The Italian brand has also entered the pick-up sector with the Mitsubishi L200-derived Fullback model.

ONE TO WATCH: The Tipo is a keenly-priced alternative to usual Focus-class choices.


Ford

Ford Fiesta ST200
Ford Edge

Ford has plenty that’s new in its showrooms at present. Having launched the sporty Focus RS and Mustang models earlier this year, the brand is following up with the sportiest-ever Fiesta, the Fiesta ST220. If you can’t quite stretch to that, there are more dynamic-looking ‘ST-Line’ versions of the Fiesta and Focus available. Plus ‘ST-Line’ trim is also available on the brand’s Kuga family SUV.

Talking of SUVs, there’s plenty that’s new with Ford in that market sector. The brand’s smallest SUV/Crossover offering is the EcoSport and this model has been lightly revised, the key change being the addition of a 1.0-litre 140PS engine at the top of the range. At the other end of Ford’s SUV line-up is the all-new Edge, a car that provides a high-value alternative to models like Audi’s Q5 and BMW’s X3.

ONE TO WATCH: The Edge is arguably the most class-competitive large SUV Ford has yet brought us.


Honda

2016 Honda NSX
2016 Honda NSX

Honda’s key current introduction is a supercar, the second generation NSX. It boasts a petrol V6 and electric motor that combine to give 550bhp. More important for the brand though, is the all-new Civic family hatch that debuts early next year.

ONE TO WATCH: New NSX promises to give its European rivals a run for their money.


Hyundai

New Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition
New Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition

Hyundai has facelifted its i10 citycar and added a new perky 1.0 T-GDI petrol turbo engine into its i20 supermini line-up. There’s also an i30 Turbo Edition hot hatch model, plus a new automatic 1.7-litre CRDi diesel option for the strong-selling Tucson SUV line-up.

ONE TO WATCH: The i20 1.0 T-GDI introduces three cylinder eco-power into the Korean company’s supermini line-up for the first time.