Our weekly round-up of motoring news includes all-new cars from Volvo and Renault and some tips for advertising your old car.
New Volvo V70 and XC70 estates
Volvo has released the pricing and specification for its all-new V70 and XC70 estates. In dealerships from September and available to order now, prices range from £26,495 to £38,280 for the V70, and from £31,035 to £36,200 for the XC70. From the end of the year there will also be 2.0-litre petrol and diesel models that are £1,500 cheaper.
There are three trim levels, SE, SE Sport, and SE Lux, and five engine options for the V70, two for the XC70. A traditional estate car, the V70 features a 40/20/40 split rear seat, lockable load floor, and load-adaptive rear lights. As with the previous model, the XC70 adds four-wheel drive, a raised ride-height, and protective body cladding; it also gets leather upholstery as standard.
New Renault Twingo – versions and pricing
Prices have been announced for the new Renault Twingo supermini, ahead of its UK launch in September.
Popular on the Continent since 1993 but never officially available in the UK, this all-new model sees Renault offering a right-hand-drive version for the first time. There are just two trim levels available here: the £8,375 Dynamique, a 1.2 16v petrol with 74bhp; and the £9,995 GT, which gets the newly introduced 1.2 turbocharged petrol, producing 99bhp.
Both offer competitive levels of standard equipment and are available to order from July, but it’s surprising that this sub-Clio model isn’t available at sub-Clio prices. A faster RenaultSport version is set to follow later.
Citroën and Volvo praised for innovative car security
Thatcham’s British Insurance Car Security Awards took place on Wednesday, with Citroën and Volvo both scooping an Innovation Award.
The Volvo Personal Car Communicator (PCC) is a remote keyfob with a difference. As well as indicating whether the car is locked, unlocked, or if the alarm has been activated, it also interacts with a heartbeat monitor inside the vehicle. This alerts owners on approach if there’s an intruder, a world first implementation of such technology. The Volvo PCC is a £500 option on the S80, V70 and XC70.
The Citroën Vehicle Identification System (CVIS) is so secret details are scarce. But it’s said to allow police to quickly identify a stolen vehicle through both ‘overt and covert’ means, and is fitted to all new Citroëns as standard.
Volkswagen revises Phaeton and adds cleaner V6 diesel
Volkswagen’s flagship luxury saloon, the Phaeton, is being revised. The latest model features mild bodywork changes, new lights, and a centre console redesigned for easier use. A new DVD satnav system is standard, and Voice Activated Mobile Phone Preparation is optional for the first time.
The 4.2-litre V8 and 6.0-litre W12 petrol engines are unchanged, but the 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel is now Euro V emissions compliant – the first VW diesel to achieve this rating, compulsory from 2009. Available in September, and on sale now, the new Phaeton is priced from £37,995 to £74,272.
Given the limited sales success of the current model, any outstanding stocks should soon be offering good value on the forecourts, and you might even get a deal on the new one.
Alfa Romeo 159 Turismo Internazionale
Alfa Romeo is boosting its 159 range with the introduction of a Turismo Internazionale (TI) specification.
Available as both saloon and Sportwagon estate, the TI features sports suspension, a bodykit, 19-inch alloys and Brembo brake callipers. The interior is similarly enhanced with sports seats and aluminium trimmings.
There are three engines – 2.2 petrol, 3.2 V6 petrol, and 2.4 diesel – a choice of manual or automatic gearbox, and three exterior colours. Four-wheel drive is standard on the V6 but optional on the diesel.
Priced from £23,400 for the 2.2 petrol saloon to £28,500 for the 3.2 Sportwagon, the added equipment makes the TI good value and should help the 159’s value at resale time.
Used cars: buyers put off by clichés and abbreviations
According to a YouGov survey commissioned by Craigslist, a classified advertisements website, buyers are increasingly alienated by the use of clichés in used car adverts.
The phrase most likely to put off a potential purchaser is ‘careful lady owner’ – especially if the buyer is male – but almost every other common cliché also risks dissuading people from picking up the phone. Other examples include ‘fully loaded’, ‘first to see will buy’ and ‘no time-wasters’. Abbreviations, such PAS (Power Assisted Steering) and ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), are also unpopular – particularly with women.
The use of plain, unembellished language is clearly the best strategy if you’re trying to sell your used car.
Market trends: Peugeot 207 is Europe’s bestseller
JATO Dynamics is reporting the Peugeot 207 was the best selling car in Europe for the second month in a row. More than 40,000 207s were sold in May, placing it ahead of Ford’s Focus, and the Volkswagen Golf. VW remains the biggest selling brand in a market that’s 1.2 per cent down in the year to date, compared with 2006.
According to research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 61 per cent of cars sold in 2006 produce less than 165g/km of CO2, compared to 43 percent in 2000. This shift away from higher emissions vehicles is due not only to buyers’ increasing environmental concern, but also improvements in engine technology.
Want to know more?
Don’t forget, for up-to-the minute details of new and used cars, and current selling prices, all Which? members can log into the Car Buying Guide. There, you will also find our in-depth test-drive reports and reliability information on hundreds of different models.