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New ’66 plate – What’s new – Jaguar to Porsche

Jonathan CrouchJonathan Crouch

September 2016

Jaguar

2016 Jaguar F-Type SVR
2016 Jaguar F-Type SVR

The Jaguar F-PACE is now on sale after much pre-launch fanfare. It’s a key car for Jaguar as it opens up the lucrative SUV market. The F-PACE takes Jaguar into direct competition with the Audi Q5, BMW X4 and the Mercedes GLC Coupe. Lovers of fast cars will find the F-type SVR to their liking as it is lighter than a standard F-type and has a 567bhp version of the supercharged V8 engine.

ONE TO WATCH: A 200mph F-type elevates Jaguar into a very rarefied club of sportscars.


Jeep

2016 Jeep Renegade
2016 Jeep Renegade

Jeep’s Cherokee is the cleanest and most frugal it’s ever been, with help from a ninespeed automatic gearbox. It’s also generously equipped, but not as good to drive as a BMW X3. At the affordable end of the spectrum is the Renegade. It shares much of its underpinnings with the Fiat 500X, so there are 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines, as well as a choice of two- and four-wheel drive.

ONE TO WATCH: Renegade has all of Jeep's usual qualities coupled to a more youthful and funky style.


Kia

2016 Kia Optima
2016 Kia Optima

The key news from Kia is the launch of its new Niro small crossover hybrid model, the first petrol/electric contender in this segment. It slots in below the new MK4 model Sportage, a family-sized Crossover launched earlier this year and now selling strongly.

Also new for new reg is an estate version of the company’s Mondeo-sized Optima. And Optima fans also get the option of Plug-in petrol/electric technology for the first time. At the bottom of the Kia model range, the Picanto citycar and Rio supermini line-ups have been lightly revised and now include air conditioning on all models.

ONE TO WATCH: Much improved Optima now has greater appeal to fleet drivers.


Land Rover

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Convertible
2016 Land Rover Range Rover Convertible

Land Rover has finally laid the Defender to rest and a replacement is not due until 2018. In the meantime, Land Rover has the new Evoque Convertible, which is based on the three-door model and has a fabric roof. Engines are the same as the hard-top models and Land Rover promises the convertible will be just as able off-road as its fixed-top stablemate. A new Discovery will replace the current model at the end of 2016. It will use aluminium to be lighter and hybrid power is a likely option, but it will retain seven seats and its brilliant all-round ability.

ONE TO WATCH: A convertible Range Rover sounds wrong but looks very right.


Lexus

2016 Lexus RC
2016 Lexus RC

Lexus has broadened its coupe range. The RC is the same overall body shape and style as the V8-powered RC F but comes with more affordable engine options. Meanwhile, the new Lexus GSF uses the RCF’s same V8 engine but offers a more practical four-door bodystyle.

ONE TO WATCH: Sleek RC could be a surprise contender for upscale coupe buyers' custom.


Mazda

2016 Mazda MX5
2016 Mazda MX5

The improved Mazda3 family hatch offers a smarter cabin and improved media connectivity. It slots in above the new generation Mazda2 supermini launched last year and now available in limited-run ‘Red Edition’ guise. Selling strongly is the Mazda5 sportscar, now available in ‘Icon’ special edition guise.

ONE TO WATCH: MX5 is a good looker and it drives very well too.


Mercedes-Benz

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate

A new E-Class is big news as this model accounts for a fifth of all Mercedes’ sales globally. It’s the seventh generation of E-Class and further refines the company’s saloon look as used on the C- and S-Class models. For the ’56 reg, the key news is that this car is now also available in Estate guise too.

Mercedes has also just introduced a smart Cabriolet version of its C-Class. And a sporty Coupe version of its GLC luxury compact SUV.

ONE TO WATCH: New E-Class Estate has Audi, BMW and Jaguar rivals firmly in its sights to outdo them for comfort and class.


MG

2016 MG GS5
2016 MG GS 5

The new MG GS Crossover offers just about everything you get from a Nissan Qashqai but for a lot less cash. It’s also well equipped and quite decent to drive.

ONE TO WATCH: MG GS is a low-price alternative to family-sized Crossover rivals.


MINI

2016 MINI Countryman
2016 MINI Countryman

A new MINI Convertible brings the latest third generation looks and style to the open-top model. It has a larger boot than the previous model for greater practicality. Expect a new second generation Countryman model to debut in the Autumn too.

ONE TO WATCH: New Countryman has distinctive looks and style with reasonable practicality.


Mitsubishi

2016 Mitsubishi L200
2016 Mitsubishi L200

The latest version of the L200 pick-up keeps Mitsubishi near the front of this keenly contested market. It has a 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine that delivers improved economy and emissions. The recently revised Outlander family SUV continues to sell strongly, especially in PHEV Plug-in form. Plus there’s a new citycar, the Mirage Juro.

ONE TO WATCH: The L200 remains a tough, dependable workhorse.


Nissan

2016 Nissan Leaf
2016 Nissan Leaf

Nissan’s N300 Navara pick-up is new and now uses more car-like suspension than rivals. There’s a choice of two and four-wheel drive models, reflecting the desire for some buyers to only use this car on-road. The Leaf electric car has been revised and now has a longer range thanks to a more powerful battery. This means it can travel up to 155 miles between charges.

ONE TO WATCH: More battery power and a longer range make the Leaf a more appealing prospect.


Peugeot

2016 Peugeot 3008 GT
2016 Peugeot 3008 GT

Peugeot is introducing a second generation version of its 3008 family Crossover, a car with classier looks, more efficient engines and greater media connectivity. This slots in just above the recently revised 2008, a smaller Crossover model now being re-branded as an ‘SUV’ but actually offering much the same kind of package it did before, albeit in a smarter, better-equipped guise. For MPV buyers, the brand has its new large Traveller MPV, surely big enough for any family.

ONE TO WATCH: The 3008 is a much more effective Qashqai crossover rival.


Porsche

2016 Porsche 718 Cayman
2016 Porsche 718 Cayman

Porsche has introduced four cylinder turbocharged engines for the latest versions of its Boxster and Cayman sportscars, these now re-badged the ‘718 Boxster’ and ‘718 Cayman’. These changes distance these cars a little further from the iconic 911 line-up, which was itself re-positioned with all-new engines at the beginning of this year. The brand is also about to launch a new generation version of its Panamera luxury five-door model.

ONE TO WATCH: New smaller engines for the Boxster and Cayman still offer plenty of power and performance.