Best new cars for 2015

19 Dec, 2014 3:25pm

From supercars to superminis, we reveal some of the most exciting new cars for 2015

Don't go putting down that deposit on a showroom-fresh car yet, as a host of potential new class leaders will start to roll on to our roads as soon as the Christmas decorations come down.

We’ve looked into our crystal ball and picked the key cars coming in 2015. Our in-depth guide tells you everything you need to know about this sparkling new metal.

Once again, 2015 is set to be a big year for crossovers, with Honda reviving its HR-V badge for a new entry into that class, while the new Vauxhall Astra and Jaguar XE are big news for the British car industry. But whether you’re after a supermini, SUV or supercar, you’ve never had a better range of models to choose from.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Price: from £22,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2015

Alfa's rebirth, started by the 4C, will continue with the all-new Giulia. Penned as a rival for the BMW 3 Series and new Jaguar XE, the Italian saloon will be rear-wheel drive and potentially powered by a range of Fiat’s MultiAir engines. The wraps will come off next July before arriving in showrooms before the end of the year. Our image gives you some idea as to how the svelte saloon will look in hot QV guise, with strong lines and a distinctive grille. But don’t expect the design to be as lavish as Alfas of old.

Also coming soon:

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Price: £50,000 (est)
On sale: early 2015

Aston Martin Lagonda

Price: £400,000 (est)
On sale: early 2015

Aston is reviving the Lagonda name with this stunning luxury saloon. Heavily inspired by the 1976 original, but crammed with modern tech such as LED lights and carbon-fibre bodywork, the new Lagonda will be limited to just 100 cars and sold only in the Middle East. It’s based on the DB9 and Vanquish’s aluminium VH architecture, uses the same 565bhp 5.9-litre V12 and will be hand-built at Aston’s Gaydon factory in Warks.

Audi R8

Price: £100,000 (est)
On sale: mid 2015

We thought we’d be lucky enough to see a new Audi R8 this year, but in an attempt to draw out the current car’s lifespan, the brand revealed a final-run R8 Competition instead.

Destined only for the US, the lightweight road car boasted an extra 20bhp over the range-topping V10 Plus, as well as carbon ceramic brakes and a seven-speed S tronic gearbox. However, this should signal the end of the first-generation R8’s reign, with a new model – hinted at by our exclusive image – destined for March’s Geneva Motor Show.

It’s set to be the most advanced Audi yet, with the brand making use of weight-saving techniques learned from its R8 LMS race car, while also sharing a mid-engine platform with the rapid Lamborghini Huracán.
We’re still unsure what engines the new R8 will use, although it’s likely to come fitted with a revised version of the current V10.

There’s a chance Audi may consider turbocharging in an attempt to meet ever-increasing emissions targets, as well as the possibility of a plug-in hybrid to rival the BMW i8.

Audi TT Roadster

Price: from £31,970
On sale: mid November

Revealed at the recent Paris Motor Show, the TT Roadster is just as good to look at as the new coupé, with the same chiselled grille and sharp headlights. But it adds a fully electric folding fabric roof, as well as an anticipated price premium of around £2,200 over the equivalent hard-top model. A storming 306bhp TTS will go on sale early next year, but engine choices at launch will be limited to the 182bhp 2.0 TDI diesel or 227bhp 2.0 TFSI petrol. A six-speed manual box is standard, or a dual-clutch S tronic auto is another £1,370. Quattro four-wheel drive is optional on the 2.0 TFSI and standard on the TTS Roadster. A potent five-cylinder TT RS is in the pipeline, too.

Also coming soon:

Audi Q7
Price: from £45,000 (est)
On sale: mid 2015

BMW M2

Price: from £40,000 (est)
On sale: Autumn 2015

Following the success of the milder M235i, BMW is cooking up a more extreme proposition in the new M2. The rear-wheel-drive coupé will feature a 3.0-litre straight-six turbo with more than 350bhp and the option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT auto box from the current M3. You can also expect a substantially wider track and more flared bodywork, along with 19-inch lightweight alloys and upgraded brakes. A limited-slip differential will also be offered as standard.

BMW 2 Series Convertible

Price: from £29,180
On sale: Feb 2015

The 2 Series Coupe’s been on sale for nearly 12 months, but it won’t be long before the Convertible arrives, too. First seen at October’s Paris Motor Show, the smart drop-top will feature largely the same engine range as the Coupe.

As well as a range of fast and efficient petrols and diesels, it’ll be offered in top-of-the-range M235i guise for the first time. This should give 0-62mph in only 5.2 seconds. Although we’re yet to drive it, you can expect the 2 Series Convertible to provide plenty of fun – despite the reduced rigidity normally associated with cabriolets. The 2 Series’ predecessor was among the best cars in its class for handling, so we’ve high hopes for the new model.

The basic 220i kicks off from £29,180, and standard kit is generous, too, with all cars getting Bluetooth, DAB radio and alloys. Sports seats, automatic air-con and a multifunction steering wheel ensure this will be one convertible well worth waiting for.

Ferrari 458M

Price: £200,000 (est)
On sale: March 2015

Ferrari is set to launch a new car every year, and the 458 Italia replacement is first on the to do list. This could be badged 458M, and while we’ve only seen spy shots of prototypes on test, it’s set for major mechanical changes. Big news is the possibility of a new downsized 3.8-litre turbo V8 – first seen in the new California T – in place of the 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8. This could offer 650bhp-plus, and cut the 0-62mph time from 3.4 seconds to around three seconds flat.

Fiat 500X

Price: £14,000 (est)
On sale: spring 2015

Meet the Fiat 500X – the latest addition to the 500 range. It may share part of its name with the charming city car but, aside from a few styling cues, that’s where the similarities end. The size difference is obvious, as the new crossover measures in at 710mm longer, 170mm wider and 120mm taller than its baby brother.
But beneath its sharp new suit, the 500X uses the same modified Punto platform as the 500L – which you’ll also find beneath the Jeep Renegade. There’s a range of petrol and diesel engines on offer, alongside a new nine-speed auto gearbox. Two and four-wheel-drive models are available.

Ford S-MAX

Price: from £24,000 (est)
On sale: Summer 2015

October’s Paris Motor Show played host to countless new car launches, with Ford’s S-MAX one of the most significant. With a more upmarket design, the seven-seat MPV will build on the success of the old car, and prove that large, versatile MPVs needn’t be boring to drive.

It’s the same size as before, but boasts more practical features like power-folding second and third row seats, plus a hands-free tailgate. New self-parking tech also allows the car to reverse itself into perpendicular multi-storey bays, as well as parallel spaces.

Ford will offer a range of frugal 2.0-litre TDCi diesels, plus a pair of EcoBoost petrol engines. The pick of the line-up is likely to be the mid-range 148bhp diesel, which should offer a good balance of pace and running costs. There’ll also be a choice of manual and dual-clutch auto boxes, and the option of four-wheel drive for the first time.

Prices aren’t expected to rise significantly, so an entry-level petrol car could start at £24,000. An ultra-luxurious Vignale model is also expected, with high-quality leather seats as part of an upmarket interior.

Honda Civic Type R

Price: £30,000 (est)
On sale: early 2015

We toyed with including the upcoming Ford Focus RS as our most eagerly anticipated hot hatch for 2015, but the pull of Honda’s bonkers Civic Type R  was just too strong to ignore.

We’ve seen it in prototype form on two occasions already, with the production version set to debut at next year’s Geneva Motor Show. This year’s Paris show concept came in a vivid blue, complete with a huge rear wing, quad exhausts and an aggressive front bumper. Nearly four years since the old Type R ceased production, fans have gone wild at the prospect of the new hot hatch. It’ll have a 2.0-litre petrol turbo with up to 300bhp, linked to a six-speed manual box.

That will ensure it sprints from 0-62mph in under six seconds and gives Honda a good stab at Renault’s front-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap record, which currently stands at seven minutes, 54.36 seconds.

Prices are expected to start in the region of £30,000, placing the Type R slap-bang in between VW’s Golf GTI and Golf R. It’ll also be priced on a par with the Focus RS, due to be revealed late in 2015.

Honda HR-V

Price: £16,000 (est)
On sale: early 2015

Honda ditched the HR-V nearly a decade ago. That was long before cars such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur stormed the market, stealing sales from conventional superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.

However, the brand is set to reinvent the HR-V nameplate in 2015, and has high hopes for the compact crossover. Revealed at October’s Paris Motor Show, the stylish SUV shares its underpinnings with the Jazz and is expected to use a number of that model’s economical engines. That means the range should include petrol and diesel engines and a hybrid set-up too.

We’ve not seen any interior shots just yet, although Honda bosses insist that there will be a distinct focus on quality. Practicality will be key, too, with the brand’s Magic Seats folding flat for improved versatility. The fuel tank will be hidden centrally under the floor, to avoid limiting boot space and prevent pushing up the back seats, which would impact on rear headroom.

Prices for the HR-V are expected to start from around £16,000, with the range-topping Hybrid version costing upwards of £20,000.

Honda Jazz

Price: £14,000 (est)
On sale: early 2015

The Jazz has a strong reputation to uphold, due to the impeccable reliability records of the first and second-generation models. Honda is looking to build on that for the Jazz Mk3 supermini with a new scalable platform – which also underpins the new HR-V – as well as a bolder design and added technology. Under the bonnet, the engine range is expected to be largely familiar, with efficient 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrols, as well as an upgraded version of the petrol-electric drivetrain for the Jazz Hybrid. Practicality looks set to remain a strong point, though, with a boot capacity of around 400 litres plus Honda’s Magic Seating, which allows owners to fold the rear seats easily, and even flip up the bases, cinema-style.

Also coming soon:

Honda NSX
Price: £100,000
On sale: mid 2015

Hyundai i20

Price: from £10,000 (est)
On sale: Early 2015

The new i20 offers a more swish design and class-leading cabin space. A new platform makes it 40mm longer and 26mm wider than before, which will no doubt pay dividends for practicality. Blacked-out C-pillars and an emphasis on horizontal lines help the car appear lower and meaner than the outgoing model, too, and as for tech, Hyundai’s thrown everything in, with a reversing camera and seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav.

Also coming soon:

Hyundai i20 Coupe
Price: from £12,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2015

Infiniti Q30

Price: from £20,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2015

Nissan’s luxury arm, Infiniti, is taking on other premium hatchbacks, such as the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and VW Golf, with the new Q30. Already revealed in concept form, it will be built in the UK at Nissan’s Sunderland plant. Under the skin, the Q30 will borrow technology from Mercedes – so as well as sitting on the MFA platform underpinning the A-Class, the car is expected to use Mercedes’ range of 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engines.

Also coming soon:

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
Price: £85,000 (est)
On sale: late 2015 (est)

Jaguar XE

Price: from £26,995
On sale: May 2015

Jaguar’s been without a compact executive car since the X-Type was axed back in 2009. However, next year, the brand will remedy that with the introduction of the all-new Jaguar XE – designed to take the fight to the Audi A4BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class.

It’ll initially be made available with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines, as well as a range-topping supercharged 3.0 V6. The latter should satisfy performance fans, sprinting from 0-62mph in less than five seconds.

The XE is actually on sale now, starting at £26,995 for the 2.0-litre petrol – around £400 more than for the equivalent BMW 320i. The price differential rises if you opt for a diesel, with the XE costing around £1,000 more than the 320d.

Its aluminium body should help both fuel economy and handling, with Jaguar hoping its new car can trounce the competition both on twisty back roads as well as at the pumps. Theoretically, as much as 75mpg will be possible from the basic diesel engine, thanks to low levels of internal friction and plenty of power from low revs.

Kia Sorento

Price: from £27,000 (est)
On sale: early 2015

Kia’s new SUV has benefited from the expertise of design boss Peter Schreyer, and it looks good. It’s still a seven-seat 4x4, it still offers stacks of equipment and a 2.2-litre turbodiesel is the only engine option. What’s fresh is the focus on refinement, with the new Sorento reportedly 29 per cent better soundproofed than before, and tuned to deliver less steering kickback. The car will have to be very good to beat our current favourite large SUV – Kia sister brand Hyundai’s Santa Fe – but with this sophisticated new design, the future’s looking bright.

Also coming soon:

Kia Rio
Price: from £12,000 (est)
On sale: early 2015

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Price: from £32,395
On sale: early 2015

The Discovery Sport is a more upmarket replacement for the Land Rover Freelander. But it sits on a reworked version of the Freelander/Range Rover Evoque chassis, rather than an all-new aluminium body. It doesn’t get the Jaguar XE’s impressive new Ingenium engines yet, either. Buyers initially have to make do with the old 187bhp 2.2-litre SD4 diesel, returning 46mpg. Still, the stylish Discovery Sport should major on practicality, offering seven seats as standard. There’s also a raft of new tech, while Land Rover’s Terrain Response system will contribute to unstoppable off-road ability.

Click through to the next page to see the second half of our list of the best new cars 2015.

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Does anyone else see the influence of Alfa Mito on the Hazumi Concept (Mazda 2)?
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