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New cars and hot deals, 14 Sept 07

Don't be afraid to haggle hard

Market watch – new and used deals

BMW 7 autobytel

BMW 7-series

It’s new registration time, and dealers are desperate to get people into ’57’ plate cars. If you’re interested in buying brand new, do not be afraid to haggle hard.

Underlining this point, you’ll already find many manufacturers are running incentive offers.

Perennial favourites include free insurance – available on the Vauxhall Corsa Club 1.2 petrol for drivers age 19 to 80, for example – and servicing deals – free for 3 years or 30,000 miles with the SEAT Leon 1.6 Sport if you take out a finance deal. But remember: always check the small print.

If the new plate isn’t so important, pre-reg and ex-demonstrator deals are often tempting.

Again the time of the year is in the buyer’s favour as showroom space is at a premium and old stock needs to be shifted.

Autobytel has a selection of such vehicles – including Audis, BMWs, and Mercedes – with savings of up to £17,875.

Chevrolet September sale

Chevy Lacetti

Cheap as chips – the Lacetti

Chevrolet is having a sale. From 14-30 September the budget-orientated brand is dropping prices to drive new ’57’ plate registrations.

The biggest reduction comes on the Lacetti 1.6 SX family hatchback. £8,995 on the road – down from £11,115 – means a saving of £2,120.

Alloy wheels, air conditioning and electric windows all round are standard. If image isn’t important, this makes it an inexpensive upgrade from smaller superminis.

Speaking of superminis, the Kalos is also ‘on sale’. The 1.2 S 5-door is reduced by £1,820 to £5,995, while the 1.4 SX 5-door is available for £7,995 – a £1,320 saving. Finally, the 1.0-litre SE Matiz city car is discounted by £1,070 to £5,795.

None of these are class-leading vehicles, but they do offer value for money.

Expect good deals to continue into next year as Chevy makes room on forecourts for new models – including the Aveo supermini, just launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Prices announced for new Audi A4

Audi new A4

Audi’s svelte new A4

Audi has announced UK pricing for the new A4 at its official unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Five engines will be available at launch – 1.8 turbo and 3.2 V6 petrols, and 2.0, 2.7 and 3.0 (with quattro four-wheel drive) TDI diesels – and they’ll only come in SE trim.

Prices range from £22,590 to £30,290, with the increase over the old model ranging between £700 and £2,700. But this does include a lot of new electronics and extra legroom.

If you want more choice, try the current model. Good deals on remaining stock are easy to find. Some showrooms are even offering free extra equipment and trim upgrades as incentives, so shop around.

SEAT Ibiza Ecomatic promises just 99g/km of CO2

Ibiza Ecomatic

Low CO2 Seat Ibiza

Volkswagen’s BlueMotion technology is making its way into other Volkswagen Group brands.

The Ibiza Ecomatic is SEAT’s version of the Polo BlueMotion, using the same 1.4-litre diesel engine to achieve identical environmental performance. In raw figures, that means 74.3mpg on the combined cycle, while it emits just 99g/km of CO2.

At first glance it looks little different to the standard car, but various aerodynamic tweaks as well as changes to the ECU and the fitment of low rolling resistance tyres are all included.

No pricing yet, but it should cost less than the Polo BlueMotion, which is £11,995 in basic three-door guise. Specification is likely to be slim, but sacrifices are necessary when saving the planet.

Motorpoint mobile phone car immobiliser

Motorpoint pinpoint

Motorpoint ‘pinpoint’ system

We’re used to car manufacturers offering innovative new electronic devices, but we don’t often see it from car dealers.

However, that’s exactly the case with Motorpoint’s new Pinpoint security system. Using a GPS module and Pay As You Go SIM card, Pinpoint allows you to check your car’s location to within 10 metres via mobile phone text message.

This is done with longitude and latitude coordinates – unusual, but compatible with any internet mapping website.

What’s more, if your vehicle’s been stolen Pinpoint can immobilise it by text message, too. This also sets off a 120-decibel alarm. And of course you’ll know exactly where to send the police, and recover it.

Pinpoint is available on any new or used car bought from Motorpoint. It costs £586, and can be transferred between vehicles whenever you decide to sell.

Nissan Micra gets a refresh

Facelift Micra

Nissan’s facelifted Micra

October sees a mild refresh for the Nissan Micra, as the Japanese company looks to maintain sales in the face of newer rivals such as the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 207.

All the engines stay the same, but there’s a minor facelift and renamed trim levels – most including extra fitted equipment.

Hatchback prices remain static – £7,495 to £10,695 – except for the Tekna trim (formerly Sport), which see a £150 increase. C+C convertible prices are increased between £50 and £150, and now range from £13,550 to £15,045.

The Micra is getting old now, but these upgrades add value. Remaining stocks of the current car should only be considered at bargain prices.

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