Commercial insurance article archive
New models for 2007-8
Spring is traditionally the time of year when we start to think about throwing out the old and bringing in the new, and the car industry is no exception. There are a number of new models on the market this spring, with everything from sporty soft tops to family saloons.
In the "sporty soft top" category is the new Audi TT Roadster 3.2 quattro. This all-wheel drive is built for the kind of winding roads and hairpin bends that those in the car advertising industry are so fond of. It's both longer and wider than the original TT, but no less attention-getting, with that distinctive, curvy shape that the car is known for.
The differences aren't simply cosmetic, though. The new Roadster is also 90kg lighter than its predecessor, with a body shell which is 120% more rigid. The soft top opens and closes in 12 seconds, folding away to leave plenty of room for cargo in the back, and the car comes with manual six-speed gearbox as standard. You can choose from either a 2.0 litre turbo or 3.2 litre V6 engine, and will pay £31,535 for the basic model.
Another new open top is the Volkswagen Eos CC. Their cars aren't normally known for their image, but with the Eos Volkswagen have come up trumps, creating a sporty looking convertible which is a world away from the manufacturer's usually "sensible" image. This is their first attempt at creating a folding hard top, and, indeed, the first sports coupe the company have made since 1995. They've made a good job of it, too, with the car earning generally positive reviews.
Priced from £19,695 - £28,400, the 3.2 litre V6 version is the top of the range model, while the lowest price option comes with a 1.6 litre engine and six speed manual gearbox. Voted the What Car? Best Open Top 2007, the Eos also has a spacious interior, with plenty of legroom in the back for your passengers. The foldaway roof contains a sunroof, allowing you to catch some rays whether the roof is up or down, and the steep windscreen helps give the vehicle a sporty look. It also comes with a dash-mounted CD player with 8 speakers, cruise control and dual zone climate control air conditioning (developed specially for this car), all of which help make the interior comfortable and stylish.
The Ford Mondeo has long been recognised as one of the most popular vehicles in the family saloon class. The latest version retains much of the design of previous incarnations, but still comes in for a fair amount of criticism from those who consider the appearance too bland. Nevertheless, it was still voted What Car? Best Used Family Car of 2006, although the "used" here is significant as the Mondeo tends to depreciate quickly, making it an expensive new buy, with prices starting from £16,222.
There are various engine sizes available in 2007, including a 1.6 litre, 1.8 litre SCi with direct petrol injection and 130 bhp, a 2.0 litre, 2.5 litre five cylinder turbo with 220 bhp, and an ST (Sports Technologies) version featuring turbocharged 3.2 litre six cylinder engine, with around 250 bhp. The new Mondeo is also available as a diesel, with e2.0 and 2.2 litre versions oen the market.
In the compact car class, Vauxhall's new city car may be small, but perfectly formed – according to Vauxhall at least, who've tried to make their latest small car fun and fashionable, to appeal mostly to city-dwelling female drivers. With a curvy yet compact shape, the Vauxhall Agila has been made in partnership with Suzuki, and, despite its small size, will comfortably seat five, with more head and legroom than you might expect in a car which is just over 12 foot long.
The choice of engines on the vehicle include a three-cylinder 1.0 with 65bph, a four cylinder 1.2 with 86bph (this version is also available as an automatic), and a 1.3 litre 75bph turbodiesel. The interior also seems to have been designed with style-conscious drivers in mind. The cabin comes in orange or blue colourways and there's a separate rev-counter pod to help create the illusion of a sports model. Driving position is high, and the rear seats can be folded down to create what General Motors claim is the largest storage space in a car of its class. There's also extra storage space available under the floor.
With global warming high on the political agenda, car manufacturers are keen to make their offerings as environmentally friendly as possible, making the "green" car more popular than ever before. The Vauxhall Corsa has always been popular with those looking for a super mini, but it's now set to become popular with ethically aware drivers too, thanks the attention Vauxhall have put into making the vehicle environmentally sound.
Hard work to reduce the Corsa's carbon emissions has definitely paid off. The 1.3 emits less CO2 than its previous incarnation: the last model produced 124g/km whilst the newest Corsa will produce just 119g/km. As well as helping keep the environment healthy, however, Corsa owners can expect to keep their bank balances looking healthier too: the drop in emissions will also drop the tax band the car falls into, with road tax falling from £115 per year to just £35. London drivers could also save money if plans to make changes to the current congestion charging model are approved: under the proposed new rules, the Corsa would become exempt from the charge, meaning that drivers who enter London on a daily basis could save around £2000 per year.
The new Corsa is priced from £9810, and, as well as being environmentally friendly, also scores highly on reliability and performance, winning the overall honour at the What Car? awards in January of this year. The basic model comes with a 1.3 litre engine and top speed of 102mph. Although a little more expensive than other cars in its class, Vauxhall are hoping that the savings driver will make on tax will make up for that.
20 Jun 2007