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New cars and hot deals, 16th July 2007

New BMW coupé; deals on Daihatsu, Hyundai and Seat

BMW announces 1 Series Coupé

1 Series Coupe

1 Series Coupé starts around £21,000

BMW’s 1 Series receives a sporty boost in November when a new Coupé variant goes on sale. Unusually for a coupé, two of the three engines available will be diesel units.

The entry-level 120d uses the recently upgraded 2.0-litre 175bhp turbo-diesel that features throughout the German carmaker’s line-up, but it’s joined by a new twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel, badged 123d. BMW claims this is the world’s most powerful four-cylinder production diesel, producing 202bhp, while returning 54.3mpg combined.

Topping the range is the 135i. This uses BMW’s 303bhp twin-turbo six-cylinder petrol engine, is limited to 155mph, and capable of 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds. All engines feature the new ‘EfficientDynamics’ technology.

The 120d Coupé starts at £21,470, with most models priced around £1,000 more than the equivalent five-door hatchback. Log into our Car Buying Guide to see the full price list for the range, which tops out at £29,540 for the 135i M Sport.


‘Final-edition’ Subaru Impreza WRX adds value

Subaru Impreza GB270

Last chance to buy a turbo Impreza

Subaru’s current Impreza is about to be replaced, and a run-out version of the 2.5-litre turbo WRX is now available.

Badged GB270, this special edition adds £7,600 worth of additional equipment to the standard WRX saloon, and £7,000 worth to the Sports Wagon estate; but at £22,995 for either, it costs just £2,898 and £1,898 more, respectively.

Extras include various cosmetic trimmings, larger 18-inch alloy wheels, lowered suspension, and a Prodrive Performance Pack – boosting acceleration and mid-range response. 300 GB270 saloons and 100 GB270 Sports Wagons will be made. Deliveries commence in September.

The all-new Impreza arriving this autumn won’t be offered in WRX guise, so this represents your last chance to get one.


New Smart ForTwo grows up 

New ForTwo

ForTwo is longer

The all-new Smart ForTwo city car goes on sale this September, promising greater levels of comfort and safety from its slightly inflated dimensions.

Available in the same Pure, Pulse and Passion trims as the current model, the new version is seven-inches longer and priced from £6,900 to £10,970.

We’ve already been behind the wheel of the 84bhp petrol model, and can confirm that there’s slightly increased boot and passenger space, and the longer wheelbase delivers a smoother ride. It’s good to see that stability control (ESP) is standard across the range.

There are three petrol engine options, and an improved semi-automatic transmission. Demonstrators are available at Smart dealers now. A diesel version that emits just 88g/km of CO2 is available in Europe. Smart says it’s unlikely to be offered in right-hand drive but it may yet come to the UK.


Summer offers from Daihatsu, Hyundai and Seat

Daihatsu Sirion

Summer savings on Sirion

Daihatsu is in its centenary this year and is celebrating by offering discounts on its Terios compact 4×4 and Sirion supermini. From 1 July to 30 September all new Terios models have £1,000 off, while the Sirion enjoys a £500 reduction. This means the 4×4 now costs from £11,995, and the supermini starts at £6,995. Both include air conditioning, electric windows and a CD player as standard. Neither are the best cars in their sector, but Daihatsu always offers value for money – and now even more so.

Hyundai Amica

Sub-£5,000 Amica

Hyundai’s summer offers are on the Amica and the Getz. The 1.1-litre Amica Atlantic now costs £4,995, while the 1.1-litre Getz GSI three-door is £6,995 – savings of nearly £1,000 on both models. The 1.1 Amica GSI is also reduced – it includes electric front windows and air conditioning for £5,395, saving £947. In addition, Getz buyers can take advantage of a cut-price servicing scheme: £99 for three years or 30,000 miles – a saving of up to £762.

Seat Toledo Sport

Deals on Toledo

Seat has announced ‘Be Driven By Your Passion’ offers on several of its cars. Highlights include: a range of finance deals, including zero per cent APR on hire purchase over three years on the 1.2 and 1.4 TDI Ibiza Reference Sport; £2,000 savings on the 1.6 and 1.9 TDI Altea Reference Sport; and two free integrated child seats plus £750 in Centre Parcs vouchers when purchasing the Alhambra Reference and Stylance 2.0-litre diesels. Special edition versions of the Ibiza, Leon and Toledo are also available, offering added value for money and extra equipment. The deals run until 30 September.


MPV revisions from Toyota and Vauxhall

Toyota Verso

Verso has been refreshed

Toyota has refreshed its Verso compact MPV with specification changes, a new SR trim, and some cosmetic alterations.

New bumpers and lights are standard across the range while the T2 gets a better stereo, the T3 gains dual-zone climate control, and the T-Spirit and T180 models both gain a new sat nav with Bluetooth option.

The SR is based on the T3, but adds 16-inch alloys wheels, a roof spoiler, privacy class and rear parking sensors, despite costing £300 less. The new Verso range is priced from £14,445 to £21,245 – with the SR starting at £16,995 – and is on sale now.

Vauxhall Zafira Elite

New ‘Elite’ Zafira comes with leather

Meanwhile, Vauxhall has introduced a range-topping Elite trim to its Zafira line-up. This includes a full leather interior, electronic climate control, alloys, cruise control and a light pack comprising automatic lights and wipers plus a self-dipping interior mirror. The Elite is available now, and costs from £18,950.

Elsewhere in the Zafira range, the entry-level Expression 1.6 petrol has been reduced in price to £12,995 – undercutting all rivals to become the cheapest seven-seat MPV currently on sale.


Lexus reveals prices for LS 600h saloon

Lexus LS600h

Hybrid LS isn’t cheap

The ‘h’ in Lexus LS 600h stands for ‘hybrid’, a first amongst luxury saloons. Thanks to a 5.0-litre petrol V8 and an electric motor, Lexus says it can deliver V12 performance with diesel economy.

Pre-crash safety systems, adaptive suspension, LED low-beam headlights, leather, wood, and a 19-speaker stereo system are all part of the package. There’s also a Rear Seat Relaxation Pack (with shiatsu massage seat, no less), and the 600h has permanent four-wheel drive – something not previously seen on the LS.

All this technology doesn’t come cheap, though. It costs £81,400 for the standard version, £83,645 for the long-wheelbase, and £88,000 including the special rear seat. That’s at least £16,000 more than the regular LS 460 which, despite the claims, is actually quicker than the 600h. The hybrid does promise to return another 5mpg though, and has a much lower CO2 emissions figure of 219g/km. Amazingly it also currently qualifies for exemption from the London Congestion Charge, something a Smart car, and dozens of other small, low-polluting cars, don’t. 

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.

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