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New cars and hot deals, 11 July 2008

Save thousands on a Peugeot; MG TF makes comeback

Market watch – new and used deals

Peugeot 207

Peugeot’s ‘best selling’ 207

Go to a Peugeot dealer and you can get the 207 supermini, ‘Britain’s best-selling small car’ (according to official registration stats) for £925 off.

This is part of a three-year, £170 a month, 7.9 per cent PCP deal on an S variant, with front foglights, air-con and CD player. It takes the price to £9,520 on the road, and asks for a £995 deposit.

If you’re not fussed about the finance, that’s easily beaten by several new car retailers. Broadspeed could chop £500 off Peugeot’s special deal price – taking it up to around £1,400 off. Buyacar can beat that by an extra £150 or so.

As these cars are sourced from UK dealers, it’s well worth haggling that bit harder: don’t take special deals on face value!

Alternatively, you could go used. We spotted a year-old 207 S three-door at Motorpoint. Better still, it had the more powerful (and more modern, economical) VTi 95 1.4-litre – a car that costs £10,725 new.

Yet a 13,000-mile example could be yours for £7,699. They also had five-door 75bhp S models for under £7k.

We’ve also looked for Peugeot 308s, having investigated the news story shown below. Take the 1.6 HDi 90 Sport 5dr. Drivethedeal can do you one for £12,432. That’s a massive £3,577 off list price! Pretty impressive for a brand-new car supplied by a UK dealer.


Peugeot SR for fleets

Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308 ‘rep special’: SR spec

Peugeot has announced a new ‘special value’ model, aimed specifically at company drivers.

The 308 SR comes with a choice of two diesel engines, and is offered in five-door hatch or ‘SW’ estate guise.

The thinking behind it is to provide essential kit that business drivers need. For that, read standard Smartnav satellite navigation, Bluetooth hands-free kit – and alloy wheels, for added company car park kudos.

Engine choice will be the 1.6-litre HDi in 90bhp or 110bhp format. The former hits the all-important 120g/km CO2 barrier, with the latter having a standard particulate filter and optional EGC semi-auto gearbox.

Colour choice is limited to six sensible hues, and the price jump over the S it’s based upon is £650 – despite, as Peugeot points out, £1,175 of extra kit. While it’s aimed at companies, private buyers can still order one if they wish.

Peugeot adds, however, that the best incentives for retail customers may well still be on other variants. It’s priced from £15,845 for the HDi 90 5dr, or £16,345 for the HDi 90 SW.


Renault Koleos on sale now

Renault Koleos

Renault’s Koleos: in showrooms now

Renault has announced its new Koleos SUV has arrived in dealer showrooms.

The range opens at £17,995, and that’s for the 2.0 dCi 150 Dynamique, a model that averages 39.2mpg and emits 191g/km of CO2. This is well beneath any gas-guzzler penalties.

It’s also significantly cheaper than the base-model Land Rover Freelander, and undercuts even the Nissan X-Trail which donated so much of the underpinnings.

Renault reckons the ‘added value’ over rivals could be as much as £5,000. The company compares it to a Ford Kuga Titanium, and calculates Koleos buyers get £3,000 of extra kit as standard.

The Koleos will be offered with both 2WD and 4WD transmissions, within a single five-door bodyshell that seats five. It’s an SUV erring towards MPV sensibilities: the seat fold mechanism is particularly clever, and is actually taken from the Laguna Sport Tourer estate.

Renault also claims to be ‘unusual’ in offering even the base diesel with a six-speed manual, while there is an optional auto too, plus a higher-powered dCi 175 engine.

There is also a three-year warranty that stretches to 100,000 miles, reflecting Renault’s growing confidence in its vehicles’ reliability. But do buyers still have confidence to join the SUV market?

Renault has also opened the order books for its fast city car, the Twingo Renaultsport 133. Priced from £11,550, those ordering in the first 133 days will get a free Renaultsport track day.


New Citroen mini-MPV

Citroen C3 Picasso

New C3 Picasso

Citroen has announced a surprise competitor to the Vauxhall Meriva and Renault Modus.

The C3 Picasso will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this autumn, prior to going on sale over here in mid-2009. Citroen’s first attempt at the mini-MPV sector mirrors the dimensions of the successful Vauxhall Meriva.

Standout features include a panoramic windscreen and, they say, highly flexible rear seat layout. The chassis will be derived from the Peugeot 207, and engines include the familiar 1.6-litre HDi turbodiesels, plus 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre VTi engines also shared with MINI.

Prices have yet to be announced, but we’d be amazed if this five-seat expansion of the Picasso range strayed too far from the £10,000 entry point established by the Meriva.

Citroen C3 Picasso

Surprise new model from Citroen

Also don’t forget Citroen dealers’ tendency to deal, particularly through cashback schemes.

In related Citroen news, the company also revealed the C4 is to be facelifted later this year. There will be a subtly changed C5-style front, interior trim enhancements, a much-improved sat nav system and low-rolling-resistance tyres to reduce fuel consumption.

A new 1.6-litre petrol engine will also be fitted, in 120bhp non-turbo and 150bhp turbo guise. Again, these are units also seen in the Mini range.


MG is back


The MG TF is back…

The MG TF is back – again. But this time, they have both priced it and promised when it’ll be delivered.

Production of the two-seat roadster will recommence at Longbridge in September, with the launch of the LE500 special. This will cost £16,399 which is much higher than expected, but MG is confident its strategy will win through.

‘When you consider the level of specification that comes with the LE500, the package is extremely competitive’, said an MG company director. So what do you get? A mid-mounted 134bhp 1.8-litre engine capable of 35.8mpg, for starters.


…but is it worth £16,399?

Equipment will also include leather seats, air con, a body-colour hard top complementing the soft-top roof (with rear glass screen), anthracite or chrome multi-spoke alloys and a decent stereo.

The Chinese-owned NAC MG UK Ltd remind us that, last time round, the TF was the UK’s best-selling roadster. But, save for a few styling changes, the basic design hasn’t changed.

Can this elderly model still do the business in a marketplace dominated by the Mazda MX-5? In a few months’ time, the 54 dealers selling it will find out.


Right-hand drive Caddy

Cadillac CTS

Cadillac’s big CTS saloon

Come this September, Cadillac will be offering a right-hand-drive executive rival to the Jaguar XF.

What’s more, the big CTS V6 saloon is to be extremely competitively priced. The 2.8-litre V6 entry car will cost £26,995 – nearly £7,000 less than the cheapest XF.

Even the top-spec 3.6-litre V6, with direct injection and 306bhp, costs less than the XF, at £32,995. And that’s despite having more power than the 4.2-litre V8 Jaguar.

Cadillac won’t be able to offer a diesel until 2009, though – that’s when a 2.9-litre V6 unit arrives. For now, it’s just the two models, in Sport Luxury trim.

Cadillac CTS

Cheaper than a Jaguar XF

They’re well-equipped, so there are only three options – metallic paint, electric sunroof and wood dash trim.

Everything else is standard, including 18-inch alloys, leather, sat nav and bi-xenon headlamps.

Crisp, stand-out design is a CTS highlight. The limited engine line-up may be a hindrance until the diesel arrives, but Cadillac hopes this could be the car to turn around its dismal sales performance in the UK.

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