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New cars and hot deals, 24th August 2007

This week's new cars and new deals

Market watch – new and used deals

Renault's Megane CC - savings up to £7,000

Renault’s Megane CC – savings up to £7,000

The weather has not been good for convertible sales this summer, so now is a good time to get a deal on drop-top motoring.

The Renault Megane CC is getting on now, but its folding metal roof should keep out the worst of the elements, and a recent facelift brought the looks up to date. Motor Provider has a choice of models with both 1.6 petrol from £12,895 and 1.9 diesel from £14,295 – and savings of up to £7,000.

Audi's A4 Cabriolet - highly desirable and now more affordable

Audi’s A4 Cabriolet – highly desirable and now more affordable

The Audi A4 convertible remains highly desirable, despite the imminent arrival of an all-new A4 later this year, making it tough to find a good deal. However, Broadspeed has a 2006 2.0 turbo petrol in S Line trim with 7,020 miles for £24,999 – saving more than £5,000 over the brand new version.

Too expensive? Then how about Vauxhall’s amiable Tigra? A quick search of the classifieds should reveal plenty of 1.4 petrols at around £9,000. At the most, they’ll be two years old, with below average mileage.


Audi and Volvo emissions cut

Low CO2 Audi A3 - good for the environment and company car tax

Low CO2 Audi A3 – good for the environment and company car tax

Following Volkswagen’s announcement last week that the BlueMotion Golf will emit just 119g/km of CO2, Audi and Volvo have both released details of similarly environmentally-friendly hatchbacks this week.

Volvo will show the C30 Efficiency at the Frankfurt motor show next month. It uses a specially modified 1.6-litre diesel, promising 62.8mpg combined and ‘sub 120g/km’ CO2 emissions. It’s on sale early in 2008; no pricing details yet.

Audi’s greenest A3 does without any kind of particular designation, but is actually available to order now for delivery in October. Priced from £16,660, it uses the same 1.9-litre diesel as the BlueMotion Golf, meaning 62.7mpg and 119g/km of CO2.

Both cars feature aerodynamic modifications, longer gear ratios, and unique electronics. They will also be exempt from London congestion charging under proposed legislation.


Honda Civic Hybrid gets EX upgrade

Honda's business-geared Civic Hybrid EX

Honda’s business-geared Civic Hybrid EX

Honda UK has reacted to customer demand and introduced a new higher specification level on the Civic Hybrid.

Badged EX, upgrades to the 1.4-litre petrol-electric hybrid are focused on meeting the requirements of business and other customers looking for well-equipped low emissions vehicles.

As a result, the EX is the first Civic Hybrid to be offered with factory-fitted satnav – complete with voice activation; it also gains leather and hands free telephone integration as standard.

At £19,300, the EX costs £3,000 more than the standard ES model, but undercuts the equivalent Toyota Prius by over £1,400.


SEAT announces Altea Freetrack 4 prices

Seat's Altea 'soft-roader' - the Freetrack

Seat’s Altea ‘soft-roader’ – the Freetrack

SEAT has announced pricing for the Altea Freetrack 4 4×4. Based on the Altea XL, but with added four-wheel drive system, 40mm raised ride height and unique contrasting bodycladding, the Altea Freetrack comes in a single trim level with a choice of two engines.

The 197bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol costs £20,495, does 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds, 30.1mpg and has a top speed of 133mph; the 2.0-litre diesel costs £21,395, does 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds, 41.5mpg and has a 127mph top speed. Dual zone air-conditioning, multimedia system with DVD screen, cruise control and ESP are all standard. It’s on sale in October.


New Avenger launches Dodge into saloon segment

Dodge Avenger 2007

Dodge Avenger – newcomer to the Large Car market

A forth model joins the Dodge line-up in September when the American brand launches its new Avenger saloon.

Similar mechanically to the Chrysler Sebring, the Avenger differs from its sister car by offering a more aggressive exterior design and lower pricing. There are three engines and two trim levels; entry-level SE comes as either 2.0-litre petrol or diesel, with higher-spec SXT also offering a 2.4-litre petrol with auto gearbox.

Prices range from £14,995 to £17,995, and fitted-equipment is likely to be competitive. Whether the interior plastics and American driving dynamics will suit European buyers is another matter, and we’ll reserve judgement on safety standards which lag behind the market leaders on the smaller Caliber.


Cadillac discount deals

Slow sales means bargain prices for the Caddy BLS

Slow sales means bargain prices for the Caddy BLS

Cadillac is struggling to make an impact in the UK market place. The result is substantial discounting on the BLS executive saloon, CTS mid-size luxury saloon, and Escalade SUV.

The BLS is essentially a cosmetically altered Saab 9-3. The 2.0-litre turbo petrol SE is on offer at £13,325 – over £7,000 off the usual list price. Alternatively, the 1.9 diesel SE at £15,525 represents nearly £6,000 off.

Bargain prices to be had at Cadillac dealers - including the big CTS saloon

Bargain prices to be had at Cadillac dealers – including the big CTS saloon

The rear-wheel drive CTS is on offer in Sports Luxury trim with either 2.8 or 3.6-litre petrol engine. The 2.8 is available at £20,395, and the 3.6 at £22,895 – a saving of £7,000 on both.

The left-hand drive only Escalade is one of the biggest off-roaders on sale. It’s also being discounted by nearly £7,000, with the 6.2-litre V8 petrol Elegance priced at £39,999.

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