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New cars and hot deals, 23rd November 2007

Save thousands on Alfa Spider and Mazda RX-8

Market watch

Mazda RX-8

Save up to £4k on the RX-8

You can currently bag up to £4K off the list price for a Mazda RX-8 if you’re willing to go pre-registered. Online cars has a variety of colours and specs available, with delivery mileage only and a full Mazda warranty.

That might come in handy because, although the RX-8 is a hoot to drive, it doesn’t live up to Mazda’s usually excellent reliability record (according to our car reliability survey).

Alfa Romeo Spider

Good time to buy the stylish Spider

Winter is always a good time to bag a deal on a convertible and, if you fancy a bit of cut-price Italian style, Motorpoint has some stellar deals on Alfa Romeo Spiders. It has a selection of delivery mileage 2.2 JTS models for just £22,999 – just shy of £3,000 off the list price.

The deals are even more spectacular on the range topping 3.2 V6 JTS Q4, with the asking price of £25,999 saving you more than £5,000.

Seat Leon and R44 chopper

It seemed a reasonable part-exchange…

Finally, in an unusual move to drum up business, an Essex-based Seat dealership is offering free helicopter lessons to anyone who buys a new car there from now until the end of December. Whether you plump for a basic Ibiza or a sprightly Leon Cupra, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a free taster lesson or an hour’s pleasure flight over London in a Robinson R44 chopper.

Call Parkstone Motor Company in Leigh-on-Sea on 01702 711841 or go to Seat and click on ‘locate a dealer’ for more details.


Audi offers upgrades for Q7 and A6

Audi A6

What’s another £115 when you’re spending £30k?

About to buy an Audi Q7 but worried that sheer size alone isn’t enough to impress people? Then fear not, because if you place an order for new year delivery you’ll get the £900 S-line trim package for free.

Comprising 20-inch five-spoke alloys, leather/Alcantara sports seats, S-line body styling and a multi-function sports steering wheel, it turns the already imposing Audi 4×4 into a very serious looking piece of kit.

If off-roaders aren’t your thing then don’t worry – Audi is also offering an upgrade to a Le Mans edition A6 for just £115. OK, so you’ll need to be ordering an A6 2.7 TDI S-line or 3.0 TDI Quattro S-line but, for this negligible premium, you get a whole bundle of desirable kit.

Tasty 19-inch alloys, Milano leather, parking sensors and a choice of special S-line paint finishes are all part of the deal, not to mention heated seats and discreet Le Mans badging. Prices start from £30,540 and, as with the Q7, the offer applies to cars ordered before March 31 and for delivery in the new year.


Kia Sportage gets seven-year warranty

Kia Sportage

Sportage now comes with 7 years’ back-up

Kia has announced range changes and price updates for the 2008 model-year Picanto and Sportage.

Big news is that the 4×4 Sportage now comes with the same industry-leading 7-year, 100,000-mile warranty as the Cee’d hatchback. Changes on the surface are few, but under the skin a significantly revised chassis promises a more ‘European’ driving experience.

Trim levels have been revised to XE, XS and Titan, while a two-wheel-drive variant is offered for the first time.

The petite Picanto ’mini features a much more comprehensive facelift, some new trim levels, and the base 1.0-litre version now falls into band B for Vehicle Excise Duty. That means £35 a year road tax.

The new Picanto 3 tops the range with sportier looks, while the Picanto Ice is a value-laden launch model. Interiors feature better quality plastics.

Both the Picanto and Sportage now get indicator stalks on the same side of the steering wheel as everyone else – the left, instead of Kia’s usual right – which should help boost their appeal.

The 2008 Sportage is priced from £13,995 to £19,995; the Picanto from £5,995 to £7,995. Both are competent rather than exceptional cars, but offer excellent value – especially the Sportage with its new 7-year warranty.


Fiat 500 here in the new year

Fiat 500

Fiat 500 deliveries should start in March

Excitement is reaching fever pitch for the retro 500 but it seems Fiat has anticipated demand – if you order one now you’ll have it for the spring.

This comes despite pre-launch hype about huge waiting lists and supercar-style speculators buying up all the initial stock with a view to selling at a premium.

The first batch of orders has already been processed for delivery in March but if you get in quick you’ll be able to secure a car for the next one, with cars arriving in April.

All specifications are available too, from the £7,900 Pop 1.2 to the Sport 1.4 at £10,700. Of course, Fiat is counting on buyers to raid the options list to personalise their cars – so it’s likely most will add a grand or two the price without trying too hard.

The official launch for the car comes on January 21 – exactly 500 hours into the new year. But if you need to see a car in the flesh before placing your order, demonstrators are expected to arrive at Fiat dealers by the end of December.


Volvo prices entry-level engines

Volvo V70 diesel

New entry-level engines for V70 estate

Volvo is introducing new 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines to its large V70 estate and luxury S80 saloon.

This plugs a hole in both model ranges, enabling Volvo to compete with rival marques that have offered smaller engines in their large cars for some time. Company car drivers are likely to take particular note.

The diesel should be the bigger seller, with 134bhp at its disposal from low down the rev range. A diesel particulate filter is standard, and the CO2 emissions are 157g/km on the V70 and 151g/km on the S80. Volvo claims the fuel consumption is 47.9mpg for the V70 and 49.6mpg for the S80. The V70 is priced £25,495, the S80 £23,995; only available in SE trim.

For £500 less you can buy the 2.0-litre petrol instead. It offers 143bhp but less actual pulling power than the diesel. Efficiency also suffers, with the V70 producing 206g/km of CO2 while returning 32.8mpg, and the S80 199g/km and 34.0mpg.

Both engines are available to order now for delivery in January.


Revised Daihatsu Sirion adds bigger engine

Daihatsu Sirion SX

Sirion SX gets a 1.5 petrol engine and ESC as standard

Daihatsu’s budget supermini has a new range-topping model.

Badged the Sirion SX, it’s based on the 1.3 SE, but gets a bigger 1.5-litre engine, a bodykit, and generous standard equipment. The new engine produces 102bhp, is available with an automatic gearbox, and comes with electronic stability control (ESC) as standard – a welcome first for the otherwise impressive Sirion.

Performance isn’t startling – 0-62mph takes 10.1 seconds and top speed is 109mph – but as with other Daihatsus it remains impressively efficient. A claimed 54.3mpg on the combined cycle puts it amongst the most fuel-efficient petrol-engined cars available. It costs £9,495 (£600 more for an auto), and is on sale now.

For 2008 other Sirions benefits from a mild cosmetic makeover, improved trim quality, better seats, and retuned suspension. Prices start at £7,495 for the 1.0 S (with £35 annual road tax), but until 31 December, Daihatsu is offering a £500 discount on the 1.0 and 1.3.


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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