New cars and hot deals, 28 March 2008Save £££s on a 'green' BMW and the Ford Fiesta ST

28 March 2008

Which? Car weekly email

For your weekly fix of car news and reviews, sign up to our NEW Which? Car email. We'll drop you a line every Friday with what's hot in the world of motoring - and some very tempting deals, too…

Market watch – new and used deals

BMW 118d

'Green car of the year' for £15k

The BMW 118d  has just been voted green car of the year at the World Car Awards, thanks to its frugal diesel engine and innovative EfficientDynamics technology.

Getting a discount on a brand new one isn’t easy - Broadspeed and New-Car-Discount.com are the best we found, saving you around £1,700 depending on which trim level you choose.

Not enough? Try buying used: low mileage ‘ES’ 57-plate models, with EfficientDynamics can be had for a little over £15k – a saving of £4,000 plus.

Kia Sorento

Sorento - smashing value

The Kia Sorento is big, properly capable off-roader, and available in 2.5-litre diesel XE trim through internet broker Autobytel for £16,000 – a saving of £4,000 on the list price.

It’s hard to argue that this isn’t great value for money for this practical workhorse, compared with many similar off-roaders.

Ford Fiesta ST

£3,000 off fast Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is soon to be replaced, and about to get a lot sexier. However, the current car is still a tidy supermini, and can be great to drive – especially in 148bhp ST guise.

There’s no point paying full whack at this stage, though, so try Buy My New Car, which has the ST at just £10,549 new. That’s £3,046 less than the £13,595 list price. The ST looks pretty good, too.

Details and pricing for new Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester 2008 front

Forester now more 4x4 than estate

Subaru is introducing an all-new Forester – and it’s now much more than a jacked-up estate car.

Targeting the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan X-Trail, the Forester is competitively priced at £17,995 for the 2.0X model, and £21,895 for the 2.0SX.

Both versions are generously equipped, including electronic stability control (an overdue addition), six airbags, electric windows, climate and cruise control as standard.

Subaru Forester 2008 rear

On sale in April, from £17,995

Upgrading to the SX adds alloys, leather, CD-changer, and keyless go amongst other items, while handling benefits from the Forester’s low centre of gravity. The revised 2.0-litre petrol engine has improved power, economy and emissions compared with the previous version.

Carbon dioxide emissions, at 199g/km, are good for this class – and that’s with the four-speed automatic gearbox, a £1,000 option. The standard five-speed manual improves CO2 only slightly (197g/km) but you do get a low-ratio setting for more serious off-road work.

The new Forester is on sale in April – but we think you would be best to wait for the diesel version. Using Subaru’s own critically acclaimed turbodiesel, this is expected to arrive later in the year.

Volvo C30 gets free R-Design kit

Volvo C30 R-Design Sport side

Special R-Design bodykit

Volvo has added a new trim level to its C30 SportsCoupé hatchback line-up.

The R-Design Sport matches the price of the entry-level SE model. But it includes the R-Design bodykit and has unique interior detailing - part leather upholstery, embossed with the R-Design logo, blue instrument dials, and aluminium pedals.

The extra bits – previously optional – help give the C30’s distinctive shape a sportier edge. And although the driving experience doesn’t exactly live up to this promise, the Volvo has strong residual values and remains an interesting, individual choice in this class.

Volvo C30 R-Design Sport rear

C30 is interest-free, too

Engines range from basic the 1.6-litre petrol or diesel to the 227bhp T5, the same engine found in the Ford Focus ST. Prices start at £14,995.

And to tempt you further Volvo is currently offering three years 0% interest (with 30% deposit) and 12 months free insurance – subject to status. See your local Volvo dealer for details.

Hyundai Genesis bound for the UK?

Hyundai Genesis front

Stylish Genesis - coming here?

The New York motor show is currently underway, and would it surprise you to learn that Hyundai is well and truly amongst the stars?

This is thanks to the Genesis, a new coupé that’s been designed especially for the American market. The first rear-wheel-drive Hyundai coupé, it claims to deliver highly driver-focused handling.

Hyundai Genesis rear

Rear-drive coupé promises thrills

Engine choices are a 220bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder, and a 306bhp naturally aspirated 3.8-litre V6. Rivals would include the Audi TT and Nissan 350Z, but it may even steal sales from the butch Ford Mustang. Being something of a looker should certainly help.

Why are we telling you this? Because Hyundai UK are currently evaluating the Genesis’ potential for sale here. So if you are at all interested, start pestering your local dealer now…

Fiat offers: limited edition, 5-year warranty, 0% finance

Fiat Bravo

0% finance bid to boost Bravo sales

A limited edition Grande Punto is amongst Fiat’s current range of finance and other offers.

The Grande Punto DUB is based on the £8,550 Active model, but is priced at only £8,295 despite including extra equipment.
The single biggest item is the Blaupunkt DAB digital radio head unit, but you also get 15-inch alloys, side stripes and rubbing strips - that looks good value. Only 700 are coming to the UK.

Fiat Sedici

Save up to £2,500 on the Sedici mini-MPV

In terms of finance, if you pay a deposit on the Grande Punto and Panda you get four years’ 0% APR - if you don’t pay one you get three years’ 0% APR. The Bravo is also interest free over three years with no deposit - including a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.

As for other offers, the ‘warm hatch’ is available with one year’s free insurance to anyone over 21, while the Multipla, Doblo and Sedici MPVs all have money off – up to £2,500 in the case of the Sedici.

All deals are subject to status, and end 31 March (excluding the Grande Punto DUB, which is until stocks last).

Seven-seater petrol LS joins Kia Carens range

Kia Carens

New model in the family

Kia has added a new variant to its Carens  MPV range, the 2.0-litre petrol LS.

Complete with seven seats, this becomes the only petrol-engined Carens you can buy in top-spec LS trim.

This means it includes climate control, electric windows, electric adjusting and folding mirrors, auto lights and wipers, 16-inch alloys, and more storage features.

Both rear seat rows fold flat to create a useful load area, and the Carens comes complete with five-year unlimited mileage warranty, plus RAC-backed that even covers mainland Europe.

It’s a decent, no-nonsense family car. And although best bought with Kia’s fine 2.0-litre diesel engine, at £15,050 the petrol Carens LS is £1,000 cheaper than the £16,050 diesel equivalent.