14 February 2014

New models on sale from vehicle manufacturers

A raft of new models, as well as facelifts of existing ranges, will be introduced by vehicle manufacturers throughout 2014.

However, some have been quick off the starting line, and have already revealed additions and modifications to their line-ups. We highlight some of the key changes.

Audi

The Q3 is the latest beneficiary in the Vorsprung durch Technik brand’s drive to cut engine capacities down to a more efficient size without impacting performance.

The compact SUV has adopted a new 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine, which joins the range alongside a new S line Plus specification option.

The new 1.4 TFSI slots in at the entry point to the Q3 line-up as an alternative to the 140PS 2.0-litre TDI model, and shares its exclusively front-wheel-driven configuration. Available in conjunction with SE and S line trim levels priced from £23,870 on-the-road, it offers peak power of 150PS, delivered between 5,000 and 6,000rpm, and maximum torque of 250Nm from 1,750 to 3,000rpm, channelled through either a six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission.

Paired with the manual transmission, the Q3 1.4 TFSI will reach 62mph from rest in 9.2 seconds (8.9 seconds for cars equipped with S tronic), and can carry on to a top speed of 126mph. Combined fuel economy stands at 47.9mpg, and CO2 emissions match the 140PS version of the 2.0 TDI engine elsewhere in the range at 137g/km (145g/km for S tronic models).

Looking further up the Q3 range at quattro-equipped variants, a new S line Plus specification now slots into the line-up above the S line option and expands on its many benefits both inside and out.

Available for all quattro-equipped 2.0 TFSI and 2.0 TDI models, the S line Plus specification carries a £2,350 premium over the S line trim – from £31,835 to £34,595 on-the-road.

The new top-ranking specification includes: 19-inch ‘five segment spoke’ alloy wheels, privacy glass extending from the B-pillar rearwards, perforated leather and Alcantara mix upholstery, cruise control, the Audi parking system plus, and SD card-based satellite navigation via a 6.5-inch colour display.

Citroën

The new Grand C4 Picasso seven-seat compact MPV is now on sale, with on-the-road prices ranging from £19,200 for the VTi 120 manual TVR to £27,855 for the flagship BlueHDi 150 automatic Exclusive+.

Weighing up to 110kg less than competitors, with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduced by 30g/km on average, the new line-up delivers from 98g/km with a class-leading combined cycle fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg (e-HDi 90 Airdream ETG6).

At the heart of the 16-model range, the e-HDi 115 ETG6 emits 104g/km of CO2 emissions (105g/km for the manual version) with a combined fuel economy of 70.6mpg.

The model is also available with the new Euro6 compliant BlueHDi engine, fitted with Citroën’s innovative Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system – the only technology able to sharply reduce NOx emissions (by 90%) whilst also cutting CO2 emissions. The BlueHDi 150 manual unit in Exclusive trim emits 110g/km of CO2 emissions (117g/km automatic).

All diesel-powered Grand C4 Picasso models are fitted with Stop & Start technology, as standard.

Available in four trim levels – VTR, VTR+, Exclusive and Exclusive+ – prices are £1,700 higher than an equivalent five-seat C4 Picasso. With an anticipated 90% diesel/10% petrol mix, the top-selling model is expected to be the e-HDi 115 Airdream manual VTR+ (at £21,995).

Lexus

The price of the CT 200h is being cut by up to £1,500, as Lexus simultaneously introduces styling, handling and equipment changes to the market’s only full hybrid luxury hatchback.

Available to order now with customer deliveries from March, the 2014 six-strong CT 200h range is available at £20,995 for the entry level S model, a £1,000 reduction; elsewhere in the six-strong line-up, prices have fallen by up to £1,500 – although there is no change to the on-the-road price of the Advance model (£23,995).

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission figures across the range fall below the 100g/km threshold, but the S version will feature an engine with a new class-leading low of 82g/km. Combined cycle fuel economy figures are 78.5mpg for the S grade, and 68.9mpg for the other models in the range.

Full details of the across-the-board improvements to the CT 200h will be revealed closer to the revised model’s launch, but include a new slimline seven-inch monitor on the centre console, a new steering wheel adopted from the new IS and a new shift lever design.

Mercedes-Benz

A host of changes have been made to the C-Class, including a new model line, new option packages and a simplified line-up of 19 variants, reduced from 47.

The new AMG Sport Edition replaces the AMG Sport and AMG Sport Plus model lines and is now applicable to all Saloon, Estate and Coupé variants.

The AMG Sport Edition retains the AMG bodystyling, steering wheel, alloy wheels and 15mm lower sports suspension from the outgoing AMG Sport model, but gains an AMG boot lid spoiler (Saloon and Coupé), dark-tinted headlamps and high-gloss black grille to enhance visual appeal.

Inside, the new trim line benefits from AMG Sport Plus seats upholstered in black Artico and Dinamica with blue/grey contrast stitching and split folding rear seats in the Saloon (already standard in Estate and Coupé). In addition to the dark brushed aluminium trim, the gear shift gaiter also now has grey contrast stitching, as does the Dinamica-covered door panel trim.

When the AMG Sport Edition is fitted with the optional 18-inch seven-spoke AMG alloy wheels (£300 including VAT), it represents a 50% saving versus the outgoing AMG Sport Plus model.

In addition, there are two new optional packages. The first is the Premium Package (£1,595 including VAT), which includes COMAND Online with Media Interface, reversing camera, heated front seats, Lighting Package and DAB digital radio. The Premium Plus Package (£2,495 including VAT) offers up to a 45% saving on individual options and features the same content as the Premium pack, with the added benefit of a panoramic glass sunroof.

The engine and line combinations for C-Class were made up of a total of 47 variants, including seven engines and three model lines. The new 2014 enhancements mean that this has now been reduced to 19, consisting of two trims and four engines.

The new AMG Sport Edition is available on C 220 CDI and C 250 CDI engines from £30,170 on-the-road for Saloon, £31,370 for Estate and £32,455 OTR for Coupé.

Škoda

The Octavia hatchback model range now includes a new GreenLine derivative powered by a 1.6-litre TDI CR 110PS diesel engine, returning combined cycle fuel consumption of 88.3mpg, while CO2 emissions are just 85g/km.

Costing £21,150 on-the-road and available now, the GreenLine hatchback equipment includes low rolling resistance tyres fitted to 16-inch ‘Velorum’ alloy wheels, a Start-Stop system and cornering front fog lights as standard.

Toyota

The RAV4 was the original compact recreational SUV and, 20 years on, the 2014 version features the option of the 2.0 D-4D engine with all-wheel drive (previously only two-wheel drive), higher specification for Icon and Invincible grades and a price cut of £400 on the entry-level 2.0 D-4D 2WD Active (£22,195 on-the-road).

The new RAV4 2.0 D-4D AWD is available in Icon and Invincible grades with on-the-road prices from £26,495. The 122bhp engine generates 310Nm and, coupled to a six-speed manual transmission, it returns official combined cycle figures of 137g/km and 53.3mpg.

Icon models adopt keyless entry and push-button start as standard, together with new two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels. Where Invincible grade models are concerned, customers can now choose between black or a new beige leather seat upholstery. All-round protection has been made standard, thanks to front parking sensors being provided in addition to those at the rear.

The 2014 RAV4 range also sees the debut of an improved Toyota Touch 2 touchscreen multimedia system, and optional Toyota Touch 2 with Go, incorporating improved navigation functions.

Volkswagen

The Polo is to be updated with a range of new technologies and engines, along with a makeover inside and out.

Full details of the changes to the supermini will be available when order books open in April, with first deliveries expected in late July.

We do know that, under the bonnet, the revised Polo will feature a range of new Euro6-compliant engines, offering fuel efficiency improvements of up to 21% over the old units.

New three- and four-cylinder petrol engines lead the changes. There are two 1.0-litre MPI units, with 60 or 75PS and two 1.2-litre four-cylinder TSI engines with 90 or 110PS.

As before, a 1.4-litre TSI engine with cylinder deactivation (ACT) will be available, this time with power increased by 10PS to 150PS. A range-topping Polo GTI with increased power will be available next year.

In the UK, the diesel-powered Polo BlueMotion is to be replaced with a new petrol-powered Polo BlueMotion TSI, which returns 68.9mpg on the combined cycle and emits 94g/km of CO2. It uses a new turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine that produces 90PS.

Additionally, the new Polo will feature a range of advanced technologies that will be familiar to drivers of the latest Golf.

All new Polos will be equipped as standard with an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision and thus minimises the chance or consequences of a second impact. Options include a Driver Alert System and Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Automatic Cruise Control.

A new optional Sport Select suspension system will be offered, using electronically controlled dampers to switch between two suspension settings. Meanwhile, a new electro-mechanical steering system will improve efficiency and offer more precise control.

Volkswagen’s modular infotainment system, familiar to Golf drivers, will also be introduced across the Polo range.

Exterior changes are subtle, but include more precise lines on the redesigned front bumper and grille, with a chrome line that separates the front fog lights. Inside, the driver faces wholly redesigned instruments and a new steering wheel and a refreshed centre console with new heating and ventilation controls.