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New cars and hot deals, 22nd February 2008

Good time for deals; Ford prices new Kuga 4x4

Market watch – new and used deals

It’s approaching new registration time (1 March), so now should be the time to pick up a bargain – dealers need to shift aging stock to make room for new arrivals. However, it seems there are also plenty of deals around if you want something brand new…

Land Rover Discovery

Save a bundle on the Disco

Land Rover’s most recent Discovery will seat seven in comfort and offers plenty of space. UK Car Discount can supply new 2.7 V6 diesels in loaded HSE trim and ready for an ‘08’ registration for £39,334 – that’s a saving of more than £5,200. All from UK dealers, and delivered to your home with no extra charge.

The only sticking point is the Discovery’s disappointing – don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Audi S8

Big car, big performance – huge savings

Reverse auction site AutoeBid – which works by having dealers compete for your custom by trying to undercut each other – saved a customer a massive £18,010 on an Audi A8 last month.

What’s more it was an S8, the performance flagship model that’s unusual to find discounted at all. It’s worth seeing if AutoeBid can save you money on your next car.

Mercedes C-class estate

Save more than £3,000 on the outgoing estate

The new Mercedes C-class estate has just been officially launched in the UK. But if you don’t care about having the latest model, but still want a premium estate, try Broadspeed.

It has a large selection of the previous version available, in a range of different engines and trims, all described as ‘new’, and all discounted.

Expect to save more than £3,000 on most models, and over £5,000 if you’re after the high performance C55 AMG, which it’s listing at £45,273.

Ford prices new Kuga 4×4

Ford Kuga front

Kuga will start from £20,495

Ford is gearing up for a busy yearlast week, it revealed first pictures of its new Fiesta, and this week it has announced UK prices for its sporty-looking new Kuga 4×4.

On sale in June, the Kuga is available in Zetec or Titanium trim, priced from £20,495 and £22,495 respectively. Standard equipment is generous throughout.

Ford Kuga rear

2.0 diesel likely to be a popular choice

Pricing is competitive compared with rivals such as Citroën’s C-Crosser, but the Kuga comes with only five seats. 

On-road and off-road ability should be good, however, and the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine produces just 169g/km CO2, while managing an impressive 44.1mpg.


Honda updates S2000, announces all-new Accord

Honda S2000 2008 update

Love it or hate it – the pretty manic S2000

Honda’s venerable S2000 roadster has been on the receiving end of another set of updates – and this time Honda promises the nervous on-limit handling is gone for good.

And this has got to be a good thing, because aside from these slight predictability issues, the has always had lots to recommend it.

It’s pretty rather than showy, has the fastest folding electric soft-top of any car currently on sale, and a simply brilliant gearbox. A multi-award winner, it’s also highly reliable, and relatively exclusive, too.

You’ll either love or hate the 237bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine – the screaming 9,000rpm redline isn’t for everyone. But retuned dampers, uprated springs and thicker anti-roll bars bring the latest UK car into line with the Japanese spec S2000 Type-S.

It’ll set you back £28,050 for the Roadster, £28,600 for the GT (which includes a detachable hardtop).

New Honda Accord saloon

All-new Accord coming soon

The other big Honda news (discounting its new F1 car) is the all-new Accord. Longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces, this promises decent driving dynamics and a higher quality interior.

It is also home to Honda’s second-generation diesel engine, which is certain to take up where the old award-winning unit left off.

The new Accord debuts at the Geneva Motor Show, before going on sale later this year. We’ll bring you our first drive in April.


Fiat unleashes 500 Abarth

Fiat 500 Abarth front

Hot new Abarth will be shown at Geneva in March

Another Geneva debutant will be the Abarth performance variant of Fiat’s new 500.

As with Mini and Cooper, there is history behind the Abarth name, especially in combination with 500s from the 1960s. 

There’s nothing 1960s about the performance from this modern version, though, as the new 500 Abarth has a 135bhp turbocharged petrol engine, and up to 152lb ft of torque.

Fiat 500 Abarth rear

Abarth should cost around £12,000

This should put the 0-62mph time comfortably into the eight-second area. And the engine still meets forthcoming Euro 5 emissions regulations, just like the rest of the 500 range.

Other changes for the Abarth include an aerodynamic bodykit, dual exhausts, turbo boost gauge and a gearshift indicator light. 17-inch alloys are optional, 16s are standard, and it features floating calliper brakes front and rear.

We predict a price of around £12,000 – it should go on sale date later this year.


Citroën C5 on its way

Citroen C5 saloon new 1

C5 saloon – on sale 2 April

Citroën’s classy-looking new C5 saloon is all set to go on sale on 2 April in the UK. The Tourer estate follows in the summer.

The C5 represents an interesting alternative to rivals in the Mondeo-sized sector, as its emphasis is firmly placed on comfort over handling prowess.

To this end it’s going to be available with a choice of two different suspension types – a regular steel-sprung system, and a more unusual (but very Citroën) hydraulic set-up. Both aim to offer unsurpassed levels of ride comfort, cocooned within a pair of very good-looking bodystyles.

Citroen C5 Tourer

C5 Tourer will follow in summer

Equipment and technology levels are high throughout the range, while practicality is another important emphasis – especially for the Tourer, which has options including an electric tailgate and dual-function flashlight mounted in the boot.

No official prices as yet, unfortunately, but with a choice of petrol (avoid these; they are old and about to be replaced) and diesel engines, the C5 is expected to cost between £16,000 and £23,000.


MPV news

Vauxhall Zafira facelift

Vauxhall’s bestselling Zafira

The Vauxhall Zafira is the UK’s best-selling MPV, representing more than a quarter of all sold last year.

This hasn’t stopped Vauxhall giving it a refresh. Ready for the new ‘08’ registration, Vauxhall has given the Zafira a minor face-lift, fitted curtain airbags as standard and introduced a new value-conscious Exclusiv trim. This includes air-con, alloy wheels, remote locking and electric windows, and is priced from £13,940.

VW Caddy Maxi Life

Caddy Maxi Life makes its UK bow

If you want a more utilitarian MPV, you could try Volkswagen’s brand-new Caddy Maxi Life – now on sale in the UK for the first time.

Priced from £15,995, it’s good value for a large seven-seater bearing the VW badge. And although its basis on the Caddy van doesn’t bode well for refinement, this does mean plenty of space and practicality.

Available with 1.9-litre or 2.0-litre diesels, the Caddy Maxi Life includes air conditioning, twin sliding doors and a six-speaker CD stereo as standard. First deliveries will be in mid-March 2008.

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