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New ’66 plate – What’s new – Renault to Volvo

Jonathan CrouchJonathan Crouch

September 2016

Renault

2016 Renault Megane
2016 Renault Megane

An all-new Megane has just gone on sale in the UK in the Focus-class gamily hatch segment. It comes with stylish looks and a range of engines that offers everything from frugal to fast. There will also be a new Renaultsport hot hatch version, but not until 2017. Earlier than that will be the introduction of a sporty Grand Coupe two-door Megane model. The Megane also provides the underpinnings for Renault’s two new MPV models, the five-seat Scenic and the seven-seat Grand Scenic. Both will be in the showrooms soon.

ONE TO WATCH: New Megane is an accomplished car that will have its rivals worried.


Rolls-Royce

2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn
2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn

Rolls-Royce added the Dawn to its range in 2016 and it’s selling strongly amongst the super-wealthy. It’s essentially a convertible version of the Wraith and shares this model’s engine and styling.

ONE TO WATCH: The Dawn revives an old Rolls name and much of the style of a bygone age.


Seat

2016 Seat Ateca
2016 Seat Ateca

SEAT’s big news is the launch of its first crossover model, the Ateca. It runs on the same underpinnings as Volkswagen’s MK2 model Tiguan and, apart from a slightly smaller boot, offers just about everything you get in that VW for a significantly lower price. Elsewhere in the SEAT range, the Alhambra large MPV range has been lightly revised, with a revised trim structure and upgraded media connectivity.

ONE TO WATCH: The Ateca crossover will rejuvenate the SEAT brand.


Skoda

2016 Skoda Octavia SRS
2016 Skoda Octavia SRS

Skoda dealers have a Crossover model to talk about – the all-new Kodiaq, a car due to arrive towards the end of this year. In the showrooms now is a new 1.0-litre TSI version of the Octavia family hatch. And a potent 280PS 2.0 TSI petrol turbo version of the Superb. You can also now get a 4x4 version of the quick Octavia vRS hot hatch.

ONE TO WATCH: Octavia vRS 4x4 is one of the most able and practical hot.


Smart

2016 Fortwo Cabrio
2016 Smart Fortwo Cabrio

The Fortwo and Forfour use the same basic engine and gearbox. A new Fortwo Cabrio model broadens the appeal of these city cars.

ONE TO WATCH: Smart Fortwo Cabrio is a good bet for city driving in style.


Ssangyong

2016 Ssangyong Tivoli
2016 Ssangyong Tivoli

The SsangYong Tivoli is a smaller crossover style of car and moves the Korean firm into the mainstream, especially in new lengthened XLV form. It’s good to drive and provides more than ample interior space in a car that is well equipped and keenly priced.

ONE TO WATCH: The Tivoli XLV is a good example of the crossover breed at a competitive price.


Subaru

2016 Subaru Forester
2016 Subaru Forester

Subaru has lightly updated its Forester 4x4 estate and XV crossover models. Both cars get a minor facelift and improved media connectivity. Both are also slightly smarter inside too. Otherwise, the cars’ core attributes still remain, namely tough build quality and a capable Symmetrical 4x4 system.

ONE TO WATCH: The Forester’s Symmetrical 4WD will keep you going when rivals would falter.


Suzuki

2016 Suzuki Baleno
2016 Suzuki Baleno

Suzuki is breathing new life into its Baleno name with an all-new supermini bearing this name. It uses the Celerio’s direct injection 1.0-litre petrol engine. In the Crossover sector, the brand now offers the Vitara, lately improved with the additional option of a pokey but efficient 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine.

ONE TO WATCH: The Baleno is a low profile but efficient high value supermini well worth checking out.


Toyota

2016 Toyota Prius
2016 Toyota Prius

Toyota has just introduced a new generation version of its Prius hybrid, while at the other end of the efficiency scale, there’s also a new generation version of its Hilux pick-up too. The brand has also introduced an all-new Proace van in recent times and is offering it in people carrying MPV form as the ‘Proace Verso’. The Mirai is a much more radical approach to family transport. Its hydrogen power limits where it can be used as the fuel is not widely available, but this fuel cell car is a bold step towards the future.

ONE TO WATCH: The new Prius is better to drive and sleeker than before.


Vauxhall

2016 Vauxhall Mokka
2016 Vauxhall Mokka X

Vauxhall has thoroughly updated its Mokka crossover and re-badged it the ‘Mokka X’. The car gets a pokier 1.4-litre petrol turbo engine option and more technology, including Intellilink media connectivity. The same infotainment system is also used in the facelifted version of the Zafira Tourer 7-seat MPV that is just reaching the Griffin brand’s showrooms.

ONE TO WATCH: Mokka X now looks a more credible small crossover than before.


Volkswagen

2016 Volkswagen Up!
2016 Volkswagen Up!

If there’s such a thing as a ‘premium’ example of a citycar, then Volkswagen’s little Up! model is probably it. The Wolfsburg brand has revised this car for the current market, adding in a clever three cylinder 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine at the top of the range to give it a little more zip. Also lightly facelifted it’s the brand’s iconic Beetle model. There’s Plug-in petrol/electric technology for the company’s Mondeo-class Passat – and the same engine will also be used in the company’s forthcoming Tiguan GTE.

ONE TO WATCH: New Up! is smarter and perkier and now has the option of turbo power.


Volvo

2016 Volvo S90
2016 Nissan Leaf

Volvo is back in the executive saloon market with its S90 that goes on sale alongside an estate model, the V90. Further down the range, the V40 premium hatch has received a facelift and now features efficient ‘Drive-E’ engines across the range.

ONE TO WATCH: S90 promises to make Volvo a much bigger player in the executive saloon sector.