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New cars and hot deals, 4 April 2008

Seat's new Ibiza; half-price Renault Megane CC!

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Market watch – new and used deals

Renault Megane CC

Half-price Megane CC

Motorpoint is celebrating its 10th birthday this weekend, with big discounts on the Renault Megane Coupé Cabriolet and Sport Tourer estate.

Ten cars are available – one of each at each of Motorpoint’s five locations – on a ‘first come first served’ basis on Saturday, 5th April.

The Megane CC 1.9 diesel is on sale at almost half price: £10,999 (£3,000 less than Motorpoint’s usual price, and £10,188 less than list).

The Megane Sport Tourer is available from £9,999 representing a £6,953 saving, and £1,000 less than the Motorpoint norm.


BMW’s soft-roader

However, these are likely to go very quickly, so if you’re heading to Motorpoint you might also look out for these deals: try a delivery mileage 08-registration 3.0-litre diesel BMW X3 SE from £29,599.

Alternatively there are 2007 Vauxhall Vectra SRi 1.9 diesels from £10,699, and 2007 Ford Galaxy Zetec 1.8 diesels from £15,299.

Meanwhile All Approved Cars is listing a used Lexus RX 400h SR hybrid SUV for £35,950.

Lexus RX400h

Hybrid Lexus

First registered in September 2007, it has 2,900 miles on the clock, and spec-for-spec it will save you around £6,000 compared to a brand-new one.

Finally, returning to Renault Meganes, the Renaultsport dCi 175 is one of the best diesel hot hatches you can buy.

And Buy My New Car can save you £4,631 on one. Available brand new for £14,299, that’s a hefty saving on the £18,930 list price.


New Seat Ibiza

Seat's new Ibiza

All-new Seat Ibiza

This is the all-new Seat Ibiza, described by the Spanish brand as its most important new model in recent history.

Styled by ex-Lamborghini man Luc Donckerwolke, it certainly looks striking – and promises to deliver a sporty driving experience, too. But beyond that there is more passenger room and a much bigger boot: at 292 litres it’s currently the largest in the supermini class.

Seat's new Ibiza

Some interesting lines

High-tech options include Volkswagen’s new seven-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (automatic), Hill Hold Assist, and front cornering lights. Interestingly, the all the engines available at launch are petrols, with a choice of 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6. All three emit less than 160g/km CO2.

No word on pricing or availability yet, but we should learn more at the May 2008 launch.


Seat Leon FR550

Seat Leon FR550

Questionable colour scheme

In other Seat news, the Spanish company is celebrating its diesel-powered cars racing in the 2008 British Touring Car Championship. Reflecting this, there’s now a limited edition Leon FR.

Labelled the FR550 – signifying that only 550 are available – it’s based on the existing 168bhp turbodiesel FR, adding a host of extras and some unique badging for the £400 premium over the standard model.

The special add-ons consist of racing-style bucket seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a USB socket for MP3 players. There is a choice of paint finishes, including this interesting ‘Citrus’ lime green.

Performance and economy figures remain unchanged over the standard Leon FR diesel. 0-62mph takes 8.2 seconds and the Leon FR550 can achieve a 135mph top speed. Fuel consumption is an impressive 47.1mpg, and CO2 emissions 161g/km.

The Leon FR550 costs £18,405, and is available to order now.


Citroen adds Cachet

Citroen C4 Cachet

Catch the Cachet

The arrival of Spring brings new special edition versions of Citroen’s C2, C3 and C4 – all badged Cachet.

Equipment includes alloy wheels, front fog lights, air conditioning, CD stereo with MP3 compatibility, remote locking, electric front windows, and four airbags – although the C2 versions do miss out on some of these items. All come in a range of bright colours, depending on model.

The C2 Cachet comes as 1.1- or 1.4-litre petrol, priced from £9,095. The C3 is available in two 1.4-petrol variants (8v and 16v), and as a 1.4 diesel, from £10,695. And the C4 hatchback as 1.6 petrol, or in two 1.6 diesel version (8v and 16v again), from £14,395.

Citroen dealers are usually good for a discount; so if a bit of Cachet sounds tempting, don’t be afraid to haggle.


Toyota Auris spec changes

Toyota Auris SR

Toyota’s re-jigged Auris SR

Toyota is updating its Auris hatchback range, improving the existing TR specification, and adding new SR models below the SR180 sporting flagship.

The new SR variants use either a 1.6-litre petrol or 2.0-litre diesel engine, offering high levels of kit, and sporty looks.

Toyota Motorsport lowered sports suspension, 17-inch alloys, a rear spoiler, and tinted windows complete the exterior makeover, while on the inside there are nine airbags and climate control amongst other items.

Toyota Auris TR

More kit for Auris TR

Biggest change for the Auris TR, available as 1.4 petrol, 1.6 petrol and 2.0 diesel, is the introduction of standard-fit dual zone air conditioning. Other revisions include unique blue interior trim, a new alloy wheel design, and some chrome detailing on the rear. The TR also has nine airbags, and a six-speaker stereo.

The SR is priced from £14,495 – £690 more than the existing Auris T3, but with £1,495 in extra equipment. The TR is priced from £12,995, working out £390 less than the equivalent T3, which with the added equipment means extra value of over £655.


‘Urban-friendly’ Hummer

Hummer H3

The gas-guzzling Hummer H3

The 2008 versions of Hummer’s smallest variant, the H3, is now on sale in right-hand drive.

‘Smallest’ is a relative term of course – including tyres, the wheels are a gargantuan 32 inches in diameter – but the H3 is about the length of a large family saloon. It’s available in three trims, SE, Luxury and Adventure, all with properly capable four-wheel drive hardware.

With a 3.7-litre five-cylinder petrol engine, producing 242bhp and 242lb ft of torque, it isn’t exactly green. Official fuel consumption is 20.9mpg combined, while the CO2 emissions figure of 327g/km puts it firmly in the ‘gas guzzler’ taxation band. Prices start at £26,495.

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