Plenty of shiny new models will appear in dealerships in 2018, so to help you pick the perfect new car, we’ve drawn up a list of the 10 best models you’ll be able to get your hands on this year.
- Mercedes A-Class
- Audi A6
- VW Touareg
- Lexus UX
- Mercedes CLS
- Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door Coupe
- Ford Fiesta ST
- Peugeot 508
- Ford Focus
- BMW 8 Series
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The new Mercedes A-Class brings a staggering amount of luxury-car tech to the world of affordable family hatchbacks. It comes with a slick dual-screen infotainment system, just like in an S-Class limo, and a spacious interior that’s packed with plush materials and classy design details. Just check out those air vents.
Its boot isn’t quite as roomy as in a VW Golf and the A-Class isn’t quite as much fun to drive, but the Mercedes is impressively comfortable for such a small car at motorway speeds and it’s still a doddle to drive around town.
The new Audi A6 doesn’t just look sportier than the old model, inside you get one of the smartest-looking infotainment systems in the business with three huge infotainment screens nestled in a neat, minimalist dashboard.
Unfortunately, while its cabin looks great, the lack of physical buttons can make it tricky to tweak some of its features as you drive along. Thankfully, the car comes with an automatic gearbox as standard to give your left leg a rest in heavy traffic and you can get optional adaptive suspension to iron out bumps and potholes on twisting country roads. Loads of high-tech safety kit, also borrowed from the A8, should help make the A6 one of the safest cars on sale, too.
The Touareg is VW’s high-tech luxury SUV that’s slightly more affordable than alternatives from BMW and Audi. However, that isn’t to say it looks or feels cheap inside. In fact, you get a seriously smart cabin that’s packed with futuristic infotainment features including two giant displays. It’s also roomier inside and comes with a bigger boot than the old model.
If running costs are your main concern, there’ll also be a plug-in hybrid model with 376hp, but it’ll cost significantly more to buy than conventional petrol and diesel versions so might not prove more economical in the long run. There’s also a 421hp V8 version that’s ideal for towing trailers.
The Lexus UX is an eye-catching alternative to the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 that comes with the option of an efficient petrol engine or a frugal hybrid. Inside, you get a stylish, well-built cabin with plenty of plush materials and just enough space in the back for tall adults.
Sadly, its rather dark cabin can feel slightly claustrophobic at times and its CVT automatic gearbox won’t feel quite as responsive as the dual-clutch units you can get in many small SUVs. Still, if you want a futuristic new car that’s sure to stand out from the crowd, the UX is worth a closer look.
The Mercedes CLS is the S-Class’ slinkier sibling that comes packed with just as many luxurious features and an equally high-tech infotainment system with two huge widescreen displays. All models come with leather seats as standard and mood lighting to bathe the cabin in whichever of the 64 available shades you choose.
Unfortunately, the price you pay for the CLS’ sporty silhouette is slightly less rear-seat headroom than in an E-Class or S-Class saloon. You also get fewer engines to choose from, although the CLS’ smooth six-cylinder petrol and diesel units all make light work of long motorway journeys.
Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door
Love the idea of a large four-door coupe but fancy something a little faster than the CLS? The AMG GT 4-Door could be your perfect car. This sporty alternative to the Porsche Panamera comes with turbocharged V6 and V8 engines which, in range-topping 63 S trim, will power it all the way to 193mph.
Inside, you get a sporty-yet-plush cabin with features borrowed from the E-Class saloon and the AMG GT sports car. Unfortunately, this blend of high-performance and high-class luxury comes at a high price – more than £125,000 for top-spec 63 S models.
Ford Fiesta ST
At the other end of the performance spectrum, you find the Ford Fiesta ST – comparatively modest, but still masses of fun. This hotted-up version of one of the UK’s best-selling cars is set to take the hot-hatch market by storm when it arrives in mid-2018 with its new 200hp turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and revised, lightweight chassis.
Selectable driving modes will let you tweak the throttle response and exhaust volume, while a clever torque vectoring system will brake individual wheels to help stop the Ford sliding in tight corners. Whether these high-tech features will spoil any of the outgoing car’s old-school charm is yet to be seen…
The Peugeot 508 throws its unexpectedly stylish hat into the ring this year to rival the likes of the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and VW Passat. Styling inspired by Peugeot’s eclectic selection of recent concept models makes sure the 508 looks far sportier than these cars on the outside, while its slick cabin continues a similar theme inside.
The small steering wheel and high-mounted instruments won’t be to everyone’s taste, but the Peugeot’s 10-inch touchscreen and posh metal toggle switches lend it a classy upmarket atmosphere inside that’s often missing from mid-size saloons.
The all-new Ford Focus gets a smart new look both inside and out and a significantly more modern infotainment system that the car it replaces. Its boot is bigger than the old car’s and space in the back seats is also more generous.
Top-spec Vignale models might look flashy, but they cost a pretty penny. You’ll be better off going for a mid-range Titanium version, or an ST-Line car if you fancy something a bit sportier and can’t wait for the full-blown ST model.
BMW 8 Series
The 8 Series name makes a comeback in 2018 on BMW’s new two-door, four-seat sportscar. In high-spec M850i trim, this luxurious Mercedes SL rival will come with a 530hp 4.4-litre V8 engine, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive to give it masses of grip in slippery conditions.
Adaptive suspension to help iron out bumps comes as standard, but you’ll have to pay extra for the 8 Series’ clever active anti-roll system. This helps the car feel as sporty as possible by leaning its elegant body into a corner as soon as you start to turn the steering wheel. In due course, an even faster M8 model will also go on sale alongside a more practical four-door 8 Series Gran Coupe.
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