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New cars and hot deals, 15th February 2008

Ford previews new Fiesta; big savings on used BMWs

Market Watch – new and used deals

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Beat the queue

Slightly unusual one here. If you fancy (and can afford) an Aston Martin but don’t want to join the waiting list, hurry because Drive the Deal has three brand new and unregistered examples in stock: two DB9 coupes and a V8 Vantage Roadster.

There’s no discount – so prices start at £99,000 – but the cars are all packed with desirable options and, more importantly, they’re available right now.

used 320d

Bargain used 320d

More down to earth, Carcraft has a number of 56-plate 320d SE BMWs in stock at £17,995. Although not as economical as the latest EfficientDynamics version of this car, the 320d SE is nonetheless one of the greenest premium junior executive cars you can buy, and currently lists new at just under £26,000.

Since Carcraft’s examples have as little as 4,000 miles on the clock, this is a good-looking deal.

Old Focus

Outgoing Focus deals

Even more ordinary? Try Motor Provider for what it describes as a Special Edition Ford Focus 1.6, equipped with air-con and alloys, for £9,995. It’s a new car but pre-registered with delivery mileage. Good deals on pre-facelift Focuses such as these should be everywhere, as the facelifted car is now in showrooms.

Autobytel has a diverting alternative in the shape of Kia’s five-door Cee’d 1.4 S at £9,232 – a saving of £1,763 – with free metallic paint and Kia’s excellent seven-year warranty.


Citroën cashback deals

citroen c3

C3 offers

The March registration change is almost upon us. However, if you don’t care about having the latest plate you can get plenty of money off at Citroën until the end of February.

As usual, it’s running a whole series of cashback promotions. In fact the only cars in the range you can’t get cashback on are both versions of the C4 Picasso, the soon-to-be-replaced C5 (available from just £15,995 anyway), and the C-Crosser.

Xsara Picasso

Ageing Xsara Picasso

Biggest discount is on the Xsara Picasso 1.6i Desire, with a £4,700 cashback available bringing the price down to £10,495 – a bargain for this aging but practical and popular MPV.

Other highlights include £3,500 off the C8 – if you need a really big, van-like MPV – and £2,500 off the supermini C3. See your local dealer, or Citroën’s website for more details.


New Fiesta at Geneva motor show

New Fiesta

‘Kinetic Design’ styling

Ford has announced details of its long-awaited Fiesta replacement, based on the Verve concept first seen in 2007.

The Fiesta consistently features in Top Ten UK sales charts, and March’s Geneva show represents a global premiere for the important supermini in production form.

Dubbed ‘Kinetic Design’ by Ford bosses, the attractive new styling borrows elements from the new Mondeo and Focus ranges. The Fiesta will also feature improved safety and a ‘human-machine’ interface in the cockpit.

New Fiesta

All-new Fiesta

Three- and five-door bodystyles will be offered, with a revised range of engines. The 1.25 and 1.4 petrol units are carried over, joined by a 113bhp 1.6 ‘Duratec’ option. This is a re-worked version of the existing 1.6 engine, producing and additional 15bhp with no detriment to fuel economy thanks to variable valve timing.

1.4 and 1.6 diesel options are also offered, while an ‘ECOnetic’ version will be offered later in 2008 boasting sub-100g/km CO2 emissions. Full pricing and spec details will follow closer to the launch in Autumn 2008.


Passat Highline trim


New Highline spec

Volkswagen’s popular Passat SE model has been given the boot, and in its place is a new, even better specified Highline variant.

The Highline will set you back an extra £250 over outgoing SE prices, but includes £2,125 in extra equipment. 

And it’s tasty stuff, too, including full leather upholstery, 17-inch instead of 16-inch alloys, heated front seats, and a multifunction steering wheel. The SE’s chrome exterior detailing remains.

The Passat range in general is also set to benefit from VW’s new 2.0-litre common-rail diesel engine – which is a significantly smoother and greener unit than the old 2.0-litre diesel it replaces.

Prices for the Passat Highline start at £18,860, and it’s on sale now. Look out for bargains on remainder SE stock – dealers will want to shift them to make space for the new version.


Land Rover ‘HST’


New LR trim level: HST

Land Rover is to introduce new range-topping HST models to its Freelander and Range Rover Sport lines.

The Freelander HST features a bodykit, 19-inch alloys, leather seats, darkened ‘privacy’ glass and metallic paint as standard. Costing from £31,990, it’s just over £1,000 more expensive than the equivalent HSE, which previously headed the Freelander range.

The Range Rover Sport HST also gets a bodykit, even bigger 20-inch alloys, privacy glass, sunroof, and rectangular tailpipes integrated into the rear bumper. A choice of leather for the interior is also included. It costs from £59,895. Both are available from March, just in time for a new ’08’ registration.


Mercedes-Benz CLS update

Following on from the SLK and SL, Mercedes has this week released details of updates to its CLS four-door coupe. 


CLS updates

The changes include some minor adjustments to the visuals front and rear – you might spot the reduced number of bars in the grill, and the new trapezoid shape to the exhaust pipes – new alloy wheel designs, and LED lights.

On the inside there’s Mercedes’ latest infotainment system, a revised set of instruments and some new trim choices. A seven-speed automatic gearbox is standard on all models, while the flagship CLS 63 AMG gets a sportier exhaust.

Prices will be announced nearer launch, which is scheduled for April 2008.


Chevrolet updates

Chevrolet Epica

Epica family saloon

Chevrolet’s new Epica family saloon arrives 26 April, and is a bit of a curiosity for two reasons.

Firstly, it costs from just £13,595, yet at 4.8-metres long it’s a heck of a lot of car for the money. Entry-level LS spec includes air conditioning, cruise control, electric windows and alloys; LT adds climate control, leather, CD-changer, and ESP amongst other items.

Secondly, the only petrol available at launch – for that headline grabbing £13,595 – has six cylinders. Somewhat unusual at this price point to say the least. We would tell you more but Chevy is holding back on the details.

Alternatively you can pay more to have a 2.0-litre diesel (the only choice if you opt for the top spec LT) which is optionally available as an automatic.

chevy captiva

‘Zest Brown’ paint!

Chevrolet also has a special edition seven-seat Captiva SUV on sale from now until 17 March. Named Edge, and priced at £19,995, this adds over £2,400 in equipment to the regular five-seat 2.0-litre diesel LT model it’s based on.

Extra equipment includes 20-inch alloys, sidebars, and the no obligation choice of ‘Zest Brown’ metallic paint. Which looks suspiciously like bright orange to us.


Help wanted – company cars

Have you opted out of a company car scheme and chosen to run your own car instead? Or are you currently weighing up the options? Would you like to feature as a case study in a forthcoming investigation into car running costs?

You’d be helping fellow motorists save money, and your picture will feature in the May issue of Which? If you’d like to take part, please email us with your contact details. 

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