Market watch – new and used deals
With lots of new models launching at the Frankfurt show dealers are keen to clear stock of soon-to-be-replaced cars which means great deals for buyers.
Peugeot’s 307 is one such car, with its 308 replacement recently revealed.
There are various 0% APR finance options available but if you opt for an S or Sport you can bag a £2,500 discount on the price as well.
Need a bit more space? Then go for the SW estate version, also available with 0% finance and a £1,000 saving on the usual OTR price. See www.peugeot.co.uk for more.
We’ve talked about the new Impreza but what deals are available on the outgoing car? Broker www.allbrandsnew.com has some amazing deals, offering high powered WRX models for just £13,999 – saving nearly £6,000 on the list price (after extras).
If bonnet scoops and big performance aren’t your thing try www.askaprice.com and pick up a delivery mileage 1.5R Sport Wagon for just £9,995 – a saving of nearly £3,000.
The new E-class is still a little way off but Mercedes-Benz is offering a free engine upgrade on selected models. Best deal of the bunch is the offer of a V6 turbodiesel E280 CDI for the price of the four-cylinder E220 CDI.
While performance is similar the V6 is much more refined and gets the seven-speed auto as standard into the bargain – a five speeder is usually a £1,480 option on the 220 CDI. See the Mercedes-Benz UK website. www.mercedes-benz.co.uk
Volvo’s alcohol lock tackles drink driving teens
Drink driving remains a big factor in road fatalities in the UK. And in keeping with its traditional focus on safety issues Volvo is leading the way in preventing drink driving with the option of a fully integrated breathalyser dubbed ‘Alcoguard’ on its S80, V70 and XC70 models.
Using a wireless breathalyser, the driver blows into the device to check blood alcohol levels. If this is over a preset level – the UK legal limit is 80mg per 100ml – the car will not start.
The technology has been around for a while but Volvo is the first manufacturer to offer it as an official option and expects to fit the system to 2,000 cars next year. But there’s no protection against getting a breath sample from a sober passenger or passer-by.
This comes as road safety charity BRAKE warns that one in five teenage drivers has admitted to driving whilst over the limit and a third have ridden in a car with a drunk driver at the wheel.
Government statistics indicate that 17 to 18-year-olds account for around 10% of deaths and serious injuries on the road. BRAKE’s survey demonstrates that the war against drink driving is far from won.
Safety first but don’t forget residual values
Buyers are rushing to the showrooms to be the first on the block with a new ‘57’-plate car. And motoring organisations are offering tips as to how to make sure your car is safe, green and sure to hold its value.
Auction house BCA trades 1.3 million cars a year in the UK and knows exactly what features can add hundreds – or even thousands – to the price of car and what can do the opposite.
It’s all common sense stuff too. For example, executive cars are especially sensitive to specification and colour choices.
So skimping on extras like sat-nav and metallic paint on your new ‘57’-plate car could cost you a lot more when you eventually come to sell it.
BCA advises playing it safe and avoiding garish colours and aftermarket modifications if you want to maximise residual values.
Meanwhile the RAC Foundation warns that buyers of so called ‘green’ cars may be unwittingly putting themselves at risk, with a disproportionately small number of such cars (44% against the 55% of all new cars) fitted with electronic stability control (ESC).
It names the Toyota Prius, BMW 318d and Audi A6 2.0 TDI as among those boasting both low emissions and the latest safety gear.
New A4 unveiled as dealers offer incentives
Competition in the premium small exec market is hotting up, with news of Audi’s brand new A4 ahead of its debut at Frankfurt. And despite the conservative styling, this is an all-new model.
The changes include a much longer wheelbase, the front axle having moved forward 154mm compared with the existing car to the benefit of interior space and weight distribution.
Indeed, Audi claims the new A4 has the longest wheelbase in its class and rear legroom alone grows by 36mm. At launch there will be a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines, the likely favourites being the 1.8 Turbo FSI petrol and 2.0 TDI.
Gearbox options include a tiptronic six-speed auto and a CVT unit, in addition to a six-speed manual.
Audi will be taking orders for the new A4 from September 11, the day of the car’s Frankfurt debut. Ahead of this Audi dealers have a range of offers on the outgoing model.
You can get factory-fit sat-nav for just £500 (usually £1,975) and a free upgrade to ‘SE’ spec on any new car ordered before the end of September.
This gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a leather steering wheel and aluminium trim. For another £750 you can upgrade to sporty ‘S-line’ spec, saving £650 on the usual rrp of £1,400.
Real power junkies can opt for S-line Special Edition, starting at £24,995. Upgraded engines, RS4-style alloys and a host of sporty upgrades are included.
New C-Class estate due next year in UK
Audi isn’t the only German luxury car maker with new goodies in store. Mercedes-Benz has announced details of the estate version of its new C-Class range.
As ever, the new model promises more of everything with an increase in load capacity of 145 litres over the previous model.
With a maximum load volume of 1,500 litres it also trumps its 3-series Touring rival, which manages just 1,385 litres in comparison.
The four-cylinder diesel C220 CDI accounted for nearly half of sales of the previous shape C-class estate and for the new model there is more power, together with reduced fuel consumption.
This equates to a not-inconsiderable 20bhp hike to 168bhp and an average fuel consumption figure of 46.3mpg. The other engines in the range boast similar gains.
So should you hold out or try to pick up a bargain on the previous generation car? Retailers have plenty in stock. Although official offers have finished if you shop around you should be able to get a good price as dealers prepare for the new car’s arrival next spring.
Subaru aims at C-segment
Subaru is looking to ditch its boy racer image with its new hatchback Impreza, on sale later this month.
Initially available with a choice of two non-turbo petrol engines, Subaru’s traditional fanbase will have to fight over a limited supply of hot WRX and STI models available later in the year.
Starting at £12,495 for the 1.5R, the new Impreza offers traditional Subaru features like a flat-four engine and four-wheel drive with a low-range transfer case for the price of a Ford Focus.
For country folk or those who just like the extra security of all-wheel drive this is a great deal, made more attractive by the new model’s practical and roomy hatchback configuration.
The lack of a diesel engine remains a big stumbling block.
Subaru will be unveiling its unique flat-four diesel motor at Frankfurt and the firm’s UK division is pressing for diesel-powered Imprezas as soon as possible. Don’t hold your breath though, with sales not expected until the middle of next year at the earliest.