2018 is certainly shaping up to be a busy year for new models, range replacements and facelifts of some of the UKs most popular cars. Here’s just a small selection of vehicles taking a bow over the next few weeks.
DS 7 Crossback
Billed as a preimium SUV, when viewed as alternative to the Audi Q5, BMW X3 or the Mercedes GLC, the DS 7 Crossback stacks up fairly well. Its La Premiere specification is certainly packed with classy features, including two 12-inch infotainment displays, ‘Art Rubis’ leather upholstery and 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.
Engine-wise, there’s a turbocharged 222bhp 1.6 litre petrol engine and a 178bhp 2.0 litre diesel, both of which come with an eight speed automatic gearbox. Clocking in at 8.3 seconds and 9.4 seconds respectively to hit the 62 mph mark, it’s certainly no slouch. Fuel economy is also reasonable, particularly for the diesel engine, which offers 58.8mpg (based on EU fuel tests).
It’s a pretty smooth ride too, thanks the stretched version of Peugeot’s 3008 EMP2 platform and an Active Scan suspension system designed to actively monitor road conditions and adjust the dampers accordingly.
Ford Fiesta ST
One of the most successful small cars ever produced, the Ford Fiesta ST drops the old four cylinder 1.6 engine in favour of a new 1.5 litre three cylinder turbo. In fact, despite being smaller, the new engine has given the bhp a gentle upward nudge to 197bhp. And whilst power and speed have increased (Ford claim to have notched up a two tenths improvement for 0-62mph), cyclinder reactivation means that the CO2 emissions are now just 114g/km.
For those of us who value look and feel as much as raw power, the ST has exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels, Recaro sports seats and Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system. They’ve even lowered the ride height and given it an impressively sharp bodykit.
Volkswagen up! GTI
VW fans will readily tell you that this is the spiritual successor to the original Golf GTI and it’s certainly getting some pretty good press if early reviews are to be believed.
In truth, it’s more about fun than speed, with the 113bhp engine delivering 0-62mph in about 8.8 seconds. Whilst figures like that might lack a little something (the power it does have comes from nothing more than a tweaked version of the one used in the existing up! TSI) it looks and feels great, if a little quirky.
At around £17K it’s certainly not the cheapest of options for a small car, for VW fans it could still be a very popular choice.
Designed as a direct competitor to the Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar E-Pace, the XC40 is the first Volvo to use Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which basically means that it is part of the new range of Volvos to be built on one of two fully scalable and wholly modular vehicle architectures.
Whilst this doesn’t sound overly impressive, it actually has quite a big impact on drivers because it means that customers of smaller compact cars will have the same level of advanced engineering as larger models.
There’s expected to be a hybrid at some stage but for now the XC40 range offers three petrol and two diesel engines. There’s also a choice of manual transmission or automatic, with either front or all-wheel drive.
There are seven trim levels (perhaps more than is strictly necessary) starting with the entry level Momentum, through to Inscription Pro and First Edition models, with extra refinements, creature comforts and tech wizardry as you go up the scale.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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