Home / Auto / Best new cars of 2018 – Top picks ahead of the new '68' number plates coming in THIS WEEK

Best new cars of 2018 – Top picks ahead of the new '68' number plates coming in THIS WEEK


Ford Fiesta Active

Ford Fiesta Active (Image: FORD)

Ford Fiesta Active

Price: from £18,095

Ford is going all-out on its assault on the crossover market with its new Active range.

As well as this Fiesta Active, there are also Active versions of the Ka+ and Focus on their way too.

Filling the seemingly tiny gap between the standard Fiesta supermini and the Ecosport, this Fiesta Active is expected to account for around 15 per cent of sales.

Sitting slightly taller than the standard car, the Fiesta Active has a choice of six engines, although the mid-range 100bhp and 125bhp 1.0-litre turbo-petrols will account for the bulk of sales. On the road, it has a slightly higher driving position than usual and it drives and rides very well indeed, widening the appeal of an already popular car.

Kia Ceed

Price: from £18,295

This third generation of Kia Ceed is a perfect example of how far the Korean brand has come.

Since 2006, the Ceed has been a worthy but slightly outgunned family hatchback up against tough rivals such as the Focus and Golf, although more than 1.3 million of them left showrooms, making it one of Kia’s best sellers in Europe.

This new Ceed changes that with better looks, better build quality and surprisingly good on-road handling and refinement too.

Available in five-door hatchback and SW estate versions with a more stylish Shooting Brake estate due in early 2019, this new Ceed is superb and definitely worth a look.

wrangler

The Wrangler has an authentic off-road charm (Image: NC)

Jeep Wrangler

On sale: next month Price: est from £40,000

As motoring icons go, the Jeep Wrangler is definitely up there with the all-time greats.

This all-new version remains familiar but the US firm has bought it bang up to date with better on-road manners, a much-improved interior with a central touchscreen on the dashboard and even a petrol-electric hybrid joining the range in 2020.

Some things have not changed, though, so this Wrangler still boasts incredible off-road ability and hardcore owners can take the doors and roof off and fold the front windscreen down flat if they wish.

It may not be the most relaxing or practical car to drive every day but most of us, including me, would not have it any other way.

Peugeot 508

On sale: October Price: est from £25,000

If you thought the family saloon market was full of boring old repmobiles, then think again – Peugeot’s gorgeous new 508 is about to tear up the rule book.

With its sleek coupe-like lines, the new 508 gets a new five-door hatchback bodystyle – there is also an estate on the way – and a whole new look inside as well as out.

Under the bonnet is a range of Peugeot’s new engines and its focus on the business market is likely to see the trio of turbo-diesels account for the bulk of sales.

Inside is the French firm’s brilliant i-cockpit incorporating the infotainment system which is sure to win over many potential buyers.

A great new contender for company car drivers.

VW Toaureg

VW Touareg (Image: VW)

Volkswagen Touareg

Price: from £48,995

There is no doubt that Volkswagen’s Touareg has been a big hit for the German firm in the UK.

More than 45,000 have been sold here since 2002 and there is no reason to think that this third-generation model will be any different.

Given that it will be up against the likes of Volvo’s XC90, the Land Rover Discovery and Audi Q7 though, it is a little odd that the Touareg only comes with five seats rather than the seven of its rivals.

Initially, there will be a choice of two 3.0-litre turbo-diesels with 228 or 282bhp, while a V6 petrol arrives this autumn and a V8 diesel and petrol-electric hybrid are in the pipeline.

An excellent interior with a premium feel adds to a much more luxurious feel than before too.

Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5 (Image: MAZDA)

Mazda CX5

Price: from £24,795

With the huge sales boom in crossovers, it is not a major surprise that Mazda’s CX5 is now its best-selling model in the UK and accounts for a quarter of all its global sales.

Mazda has now updated the CX5 with a host of changes including a more powerful version of the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine with 184bhp and also for the first time the availability of a petrol engine with an automatic gearbox.

There is also more safety equipment too with advanced blind spot monitoring, smart brake support, lane keep assist and radar cruise control all as standard.



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