Cars to watch in 2017
"Whilst the Micra has always been a popular and surprisingly spacious runabout for its size, it has been stunted by stiff competition."
Two notable late 2016 arrivals in prep for 2017 are the new Kia Rio and the Suzuki S-Cross.
The Rio was launched at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. It’ll be available in five door only and be on our roads before the turn of the year. Whilst the current Rio is one of the cheapest small cars on the market in this segment, we think this one will lift the entry level price somewhat.
Meanwhile Suzuki have successfully revitalised the S-Cross with a major facelift. Launched on 16th October 2016, prices start at an enticing £14,999 for the SZ4 1.0 litre petrol with manual transmission. The S-Cross is now available in two and four-wheel drive (for SZ-T and SZ5 models only) with 1.0 litre and 1.4 litre boosterjet petrol engines or 1.6 litre diesel, the latter achieving an impressive average fuel consumption of 68.8 mpg.
Buyers might be interested to know that the Diesel powered two-wheel drive model achieves an impressive 106 g/km of CO2 resulting in an annual VED charge of just £20. The new S-Cross is available in three grades, SZ4, SZ-T and S25, and all are equipped with seven airbags and ESP as standard. It’s in your showrooms right now.
So to 2017. The first three months of this year sees new entries from Volvo, Hyundai and Peugeot. The Volvo V90 Cross Country due in January 2017 is a genuine off-roader with a higher ride height and meatier wheels than the standard car. In styling terms it steps back to that flatter sharper look we know and love of Volvos of the past, and will retail at circa £40,000.
The new Peugeot 3008 (starting at around £21,000) is one of the earliest cars to feature the brand’s latest i-Cockpit design and this latest version puts the 3008 clearly into SUV territory. Both these factors will boost its popularity, and January is a good time to attract customer interest in sales within this sector.
We’ll be seeing a new Ford Fiesta too, and it’ll be bigger and more spacious than the outgoing car. The Fiesta will be powered by the usual range of diesel and petrol engines; yet it will be in the design and cabin space where we will see the biggest changes.
Sticking with small cars, there’s a new Nissan Micra in 2017. Whilst the Micra has always been a popular and surprisingly spacious runabout for its size, it has been stunted by stiff competition. The new Micra is Nissan’s answer; we’ll see the car in March 2017 and it’ll have a range of three and four cylinder engines, with starter prices in the region of £9,000.
January sees the intro of the new Hyundai i30. These cars are great value for money, putting many European rivals to shame; they are also reliable and stylish. There will be an i30 for all tastes as the new car will be available as saloon, estate, or hot hatch. The i30 has penetrated the UK market on credibility and value alone, the car always proving a welcome surprise on test, particularly in terms of refinement and value. Once you take the brand plunge Hyundais become addictive, and the message is spreading. Expect more cabin space and an all-round hotter car.
Spring will see an update on the popular Volkswagen Golf. Interesting car this, as once the dieselgate affair died down Golf sales rocketed, with the company charting record European sales. Despite the consumption con, the build integrity of these cars is exceptional and the Golf in particular ticks all the boxes. There’ll be a new hybrid model for 2017 hoping to achieve the 60 mpg mark, and VW are looking to price it more competitively. Note how the Golf gets increasingly handsome; a little eye candy does no harm.
Whilst we’re on the topic of mainstreamers, spring also welcomes the new Honda Civic. Honda need to renew their assault on its main and highly accomplished contenders in the form of Focus, Astra and Golf. To do this the new Civic will gain size and sit lower, with softer angles and lines yet still highly distinguishable. Look to see the new Civic around April 2017.
Stepping up to the executive ladder, Vauxhall plan to introduce a new Insignia in March 2017, and it will contend with improved versions of Ford’s Mondeo and Skoda’s Superb. Tesla are looking to launch the long awaited smaller family model, the Model 3, literally the third production car in the Tesla line. Unlike Models 1 and 2, the Model 3 is expected to sell for relatively ordinary money. Further, the long awaited Model X should be on our roads in late 2017 with two power options available as well as all-wheel drive.
February 2017 will see the launch of the new BMW 5 series, the most popular being the household favourite, the 520d. Four and six cylinder engine variants will be available too. A petrol V8 and hybrid will soon follow after launch, and no doubt this highly credible motor will retain its mantle as the most competitive executive car in the segment. Prices should start at around £36,000.
The sporting scene looks interesting for 2017 too. The MX5 chassis based Fiat 124 sneaked in at the tail end of 2016. It’s a good little car to drive but lacks the edge over the MX5; if you’re looking for real sporting performance best go for the Abarth version. Mazda will be back on the scene with an MX5 RF (retractable fastback), a hard topped version of the current car. 2017 also welcomes back the reintroduction of a great performance brand of old, the Renault Alpine. Its 1.8 mid mounted engine, seven-speed double-clutch gearbox and light weight promises entertaining handling and will spark new and much needed interest in the Renault brand.
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