Best new cars for 2016

1 Jun, 2016 2:15pm

From supercars to superminis, we round up the best new cars to hit showrooms this year

Carbuyers in 2016 have more choice than ever, and things are looking bright with more eagerly awaited cars appearing by the week. All this variety can make your choice a hard one though, so to make deciding between some of these stunning vehicles a little easier, we've rounded up the best new cars that will go on sale in 2016. Halfway through the year, there's still a few we're looking forward to, but others are ready to buy now - and where we can, we've reviewed them and given our thoughts.

• Best new car deals

Strong sales and growth means many manufacturers are busier than ever prepping new models, and every sector will have fresh market entrants. On the list of best new cars, we'll see practical and fun small cars, bonkers hypercars, the latest generation of hybrid tech and all-electric SUVs, and all will hope to make an impact in increasingly competitive sectors. 

Some models will put driving thrills first and foremost, while others will push the boundaries in terms of design. Technology will also get more and more prominent in the driving experience, with an increasing amount of autonomous features and connectivity.

Best new cars for 2017

So to keep you up to speed with what’s on the horizon, check out our list of the best new cars for 2016 below.

If you’re in the market to buy a new car, don’t set foot in a dealership until you’ve read our rundown of the best cars for 2016...

The best new cars coming in 2016

Abarth 124 Spider

Price £29,565, On sale Now

Abarth has worked its magic on the Fiat 124 Spider to come up with a desirable and dynamically capable roadster that will take the fight to the car on which both models are based: the Mazda MX-5.

And the Abarth 124 Spider promises a great deal: its 1.4-litre MultiAir engine has been tuned from 138bhp in the standard Fiat version to 168bhp. That’s enough to take the one-tonne roadster from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds. A fruitier soundtrack comes courtesy of a quad exhaust, while stiffened suspension and specially tuned Bilstein dampers should improve grip and feel.

The £10,000 premium over the standard Fiat 124 Spider might seem steep, but the Abarth looks the part, too. Inside, there’s an Alcantara-clad dash, leather sports seats and a thick-rimmed leather steering wheel.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Price £29,000 (est), On sale Summer

The Giulia is Alfa Romeo’s latest crack at the executive saloon class. It’s been nearly six years since the old 159 was axed, but the newcomer promises much more – even in a tough market that demands prestige, performance and thrift in equal measure. Rear-wheel drive, well equipped, attractively priced and, of course, beautifully designed, the Giulia appears to have the recipe nailed.

Alfa Romeo Giulia review

A 180bhp Fiat Group 2.2-litre diesel engine gives decent performance and sub-100g/km CO2 emissions for tax-free motoring. Meanwhile, at the less sensible end of the Giulia spectrum, the 503bhp V6 Quadrifoglio model threatens the German establishment with a dose of Italian style. This all bodes very well for Alfa, and our first drives have confirmed that this car is a serious player next to the likes of the BMW 3 Series.

Aston Martin DB11

Price £154,90, On sale Now

After 13 years, the DB9 will be replaced by the new DB11. Unmistakably an Aston Martin, yet freshly detailed, the newcomer is wide and low with a trick ‘floating’ roof. It sits on a brand new aluminium chassis and is powered by a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, which gives 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 200mph. The rear wheels are driven through an eight-speed ZF auto box.

Aston Martin DB11 prototype review

The four-seat interior is a glorious mix of cutting-edge design and sumptuous leather, and space has improved over the DB9 – there’s even a pair of Isofix child seat mountings. Look closely at the dashboard and there’s some familiarity, though; thanks to a parts deal with Daimler, media is controlled by a Mercedes COMAND dial.

Audi A5

Price £30,000 (est), On sale September

The latest Audi A4 tells us plenty about what we can expect from the A5 coupe when it arrives this year. Our spy shot shows it will have a low, wide stance, while adding Audi’s latest grille and LED light signature.

It’ll be up to 100kg lighter, with power coming from a familiar range of TDI diesel and TFSI petrol engines. In 2018, a 350bhp S5 will arrive, as will five-door Sportback and two-door Cabriolet versions.

Audi Q2

Audi Q2 - front

Price £22,000 (est), On sale August

Audi’s smallest Q model aims squarely at younger buyers by ditching the Russian doll styling of the brand’s other SUVs. Chunkier, funkier and more customisable than any other Audi, the Q2 features a wide ‘floating’ C-pillar, thick bumper inserts and a brighter colour palette. Practicality isn’t the car’s strongest suit, but it still seats five and has a split-folding rear bench, plus its 405-litre boot is only 15 litres down on the Q3’s.

Audi Q2 review

Running costs should be low, with power from Audi’s usual range of 2.0-litre TDI diesel and 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engines, while the cabin is upmarket. On the kit list will be Audi’s latest MMI infotainment set-up, the full digital Virtual Cockpit instrument display, LED and ambient lighting, plus adaptive damping and automatic city braking.

Plus:

Audi Q5 Price £32,000 (est), On sale Late 2016 Audi R8 Spyder Price £130,000 (est), On sale Late 2016 Audi SQ7 Price £70,000 (est), On sale August Audi S4 Price £47,000 (est), On sale Now Audi TT RS Price £50,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

Bentley Mulsanne EWB

Price £250,000 (est), On sale Now

For those who think the Bentayga SUV is simply too trendy, the Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase will be an old-school tonic, and it’s as luxurious as a Bentley gets. 

The focus is on cosseting occupants in the rear, with legroom up by 250mm, while standard features include fold-out tables, two airline-style individual reclining chairs and a champagne flute case. 

BMW M2

Price £44,070, On sale Now

The new BMW M2 isn’t just one of the quickest small coupes on sale today; it’s one of the most engaging rear-wheel-drive models in the world – up there with the Porsche Cayman in its ability to thrill. It sits below the M3 and M4 in BMW’s smaller M range, but the result is a car that will one day enjoy iconic status, just like the 1M that went before it.

A manual gearbox is standard (a rarity in modern high-performance models), while the straight-six turbo engine is brutally quick, punching the M2 from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155mph.

Some clever engineering goes into making it all seem very natural – including an active rear differential, M-specific stability control and adaptable sports suspension. Plus, specify the dual-clutch auto, and it will shift gears quicker than you can, and blip the throttle on downshifts, too.

As on all high-performance BMWs, the M2 features subtle bumper extensions and flared sills, which mean it looks far more discreet than a Cayman, yet still offers bags more style than some of the latest mega hatches like the Audi RS3 or Mercedes-AMG A 45. If you want an M2, however, you’ll need to be quick, as apparently only 500 have been earmarked for the UK – and at ‘just’ £44,070, they’re likely to sell out fast.

BMW X3

Price £35,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

Our spies have caught the all-new BMW X3 on test, and it’s set to bring a big step up in refinement. A new construction will significantly reduce weight, and this will combine with two-wheel drive to improve efficiency. 

Expect the new rear-wheel-drive compact SUV to get a 2.0-litre diesel delivering 60mpg-plus. But it will be offered alongside M Division performance models, potentially including a six-cylinder diesel badged X3M 40d

Plus:

BMW 330e Price £33,935, On sale Now BMW M4 GTS Price £121,770, On sale Now

Bugatti Chiron

Price £1.9million (est), On sale Autumn

It doesn’t matter how good the Bugatti Chiron turns out to be on the road, because like the Veyron before it, talk will be forever dominated by the numbers: eight litres, 16 cylinders, four turbos, 1,479bhp, 261mph and £1.9million. 

This is the very pinnacle of what a supercar can be. Its official on-sale date is this autumn, but with interest among the world’s wealthiest at fever pitch, Bugatti’s build schedule is already occupied for years to come. Beneath the numbers lie more true wonders of engineering, including a carbon-monocoque chassis, carbon-silicon carbide brakes and an extremely advanced supplementary air brake system. The tyres are also unique to the Chiron, to help rein in that 261mph top speed.

Citoren SpaceTourer

Price £23,000 est, On sale August

When the Citroen SpaceTourer touches down near the end of 2016, it will become one of the most shamelessly practical MPVs on the market. Combining the basic dimensions of a van with the refinement of an MPV, it will be offered with a choice of three body sizes on two wheelbases.

Ranging from 4.6 to 5.3 metres long, the big Citroen can be specified with up to nine seats – or just the five if you require a boot big enough to build a house in. Two distinct specs, Feel and Business, aim at family buyers and taxi drivers respectively. Features include individual chairs and touchscreen infotainment incorporating Apple CarPlay.

Fiat 124 Spider

Price £19,500 (est), On sale Summer

Replacing the Barchetta has been no hardship for Fiat, but using the iconic 124 Spider name for its latest sports car has added a weight of expectation. Thankfully, the new model uses the same underpinnings as the Mazda MX-5.

That masterstroke has made the car a sensation. It’s reasonably priced, too, and as it’s powered by Fiat’s 138bhp 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo engine, it’s quick (7.5 seconds from 0-62mph) and capable of 40mpg-plus economy. It doesn’t have the kudos or power of its Mazda cousin, but it could really dent the Japanese maker’s sales – it’s that good.

Fiat Tipo

Price £16,000 (est), On sale September

The Tipo returns as a spacious, budget family car pitched at the Skoda Rapid. Sold as a hatch or estate in the UK, it’s a bit bigger than a Ford Focus yet has rear legroom worthy of the class above.

Fiat Tipo 2016 review

Considering the substantial 420 and 520-litre boot capacities of the hatch and estate respectively, this car promises superb, low-cost practicality – and Fiat is set to follow this approach, rather than making any ‘premium’ claims. Still, the interior is neatly designed and well equipped, including DAB, air-con and Bluetooth, and the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel claims 70mpg-plus.

Ford Edge

Price £29,995, On sale Now

Changing driver tastes have seen an explosion in the crossover and SUV market, and Ford is adding another choice to the mix. The flagship Edge provides masses of equipment and loads of space; with the back seats in place, its 602-litre boot trumps the Audi Q5’s by 62 litres.

Ford Edge 2016 review

A five-seat layout puts the newcomer at a distinct disadvantage against Land Rover’s seven-seat Discovery Sport, but the prices are keen. Less than £30,000 buys all-wheel drive, touchscreen nav, heated and cooled front seats plus 19-inch alloy wheels – as well as a 178bhp 2.0-litre TDCi diesel capable of 48.7mpg.

In addition, and to bolster the Edge’s overall credentials, Ford has launched a range-topping Vignale with true premium aspirations, priced at closer to £40,000. As with other Vignale models, this will offer more leather and chrome, plus a unique, VIP-style dealer service for customers.

Ford Ka+

Price £8,000 (est), On sale Summer

The Ka went from city car icon to also-ran in a single generation. So Ford is set to make the Fiesta-based Mk3 a roomy, high-value alternative to Korean budget cars.

It will add a ‘+’ to the name, and following on from 2013’s concept, the five-door-only Ka will offer just the basics. Specifying alloys, air-con and electric rear windows will bump its price closer to £10,000.

Plus:

Ford GT Price £250,000 (est), On sale Late 2016
Ford Kuga Price £20,000 (est), On sale Late 2016
Ford S-MAX Vignale Price £34,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

Honda NSX

Price £130,000, On sale Autumn

A unique entry into the supercar sector, the Honda NSX combines a 576bhp twin-turbo V6 engine with a nine-speed auto gearbox and three electric motors.

It’s all housed in a lightweight aluminium body, resulting in a 0-62mph time of under three seconds and a top speed of 191mph. It’s a cocktail that’s sure to give the Audi R8 and McLaren 570S a real hangover. 

Plus:

Honda FCV Price £42,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

Hyundai Ioniq

Price £20,000 (est), On sale Ocotber

Hyundai is launching a three-pronged attack on the green market, hoping its Ioniq soon becomes a synonym for ‘eco car’, just like Toyota’s Prius and Nissan’s Leaf. To achieve this, the brand has combined the qualities of the two: the Ioniq comes as a petrol-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full EV.

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid review

It’s styled like a conventional family hatchback, and the hybrid version is a five-seater with a huge 750-litre boot, returning around 63mpg. The electric model, due alongside the hybrid this year, promises to trump the Leaf with a battery range of 160 miles. The plug-in is due in 2017.

Infiniti Q60

Price £30,000, On sale Summer

Infiniti’s latest roll of the dice against the German establishment is the Q60, which is a new coupe rival to the BMW 4 Series

Strangely, Infiniti hasn’t announced a diesel version yet, focusing instead on a flagship 400bhp 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol model, which claims 26.4mpg economy and 206g/km CO2 emissions. But it’s likely the Q50 saloon’s 168bhp 2.2-litre diesel will feature, while a seven-speed auto will be standard. 

The sharp-suited two-door comes packed to the rafters with equipment, including sat-nav, Bluetooth, DAB, leather upholstery, dual-zone air-conditioning and 18-inch alloys.

Infiniti QX30

Price £29,490, On sale Summer

Along with the Q30, the QX30 is a car Infiniti hopes will finally make its dealers busy, competing against the BMW X1 in the booming compact crossover class.

It’s based on the Mercedes GLA and shares many of its parts, but unlike the GLA, the Sunderland-built QX30 will only be offered with part-time four-wheel drive. Every model will come very well equipped.

Jaguar F-Pace

Price £34,170, On sale Now

After much anticipation, 2016 sees the arrival of Jaguar’s vital first SUV – and it’s been worth the wait. Our winter session behind the wheel proved that the F-Pace could shake up the premium SUV market with its impressive blend of versatility, premium appeal and sporty handling. It feels far more dynamic than the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, and is shaping up to be a genuine Porsche Macan rival. 

Jaguar F-Pace review

The SUV shares the F-Type sports car’s four-wheel-drive system, ensuring sporty handling while giving all-wheel grip when needed. The most characterful versions are the 296bhp V6 diesel and 375bhp supercharged V6 petrol, but the 2.0-litre 178bhp Ingenium diesel – claiming 57.7mpg and emissions of 129g/km – will be the top seller.

Jaguar F-Type SVR

Price £110,000, On sale Summer

Jaguar is sailing remarkably close to supercar territory with the new F-Type SVR. It’s a stylish two-seater that packs a whopping 567bhp and 700Nm of torque, plus four-wheel drive, a 200mph top speed and a 0-62mph sprint time of just 3.5 seconds. 

Available as a Coupe or Convertible, the SVR is the first series production Jaguar tuned by JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division, with most of the work going into making it as dynamic as possible.

To that end, it gets retuned suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, lightweight alloy wheels and carbon-fibre body parts, as well as a titanium exhaust to crank up the volume. 

Plus:

Jaguar XF AWD Price £36,350, On sale Now

Kia Niro

Price £18,000 (est), On sale Summer

Meet Kia’s Prius. The Niro is the company’s first standalone hybrid, and it’s aiming to slash the brand’s carbon footprint. The family friendly SUV is off to a good start, too, because it’s stylish, well built and keenly priced, at £5,000 less than the Prius. The Niro was designed specifically to house Kia’s new petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain, which claims 73.6mpg and 89g/km. 

Kia Niro review

While these numbers aren’t exactly groundbreaking, Kia has replaced the CVT gearbox often used in hybrids with a six-speed auto. The result is a more conventional driving experience with markedly improved refinement. 

A fully charged battery allows three miles of emission-free driving, too – which is more than twice what a Prius will do. Add to that SUV levels of space and practicality, and the Niro is destined to be an eco hit for Kia.

Plus:

Kia Optima GT Price £32,000 (est), On sale September Kia Optima SW Price £23,000 (est), On sale Summer

Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

Price £205,000, On sale Now

Consensus has it that a convertible version of a coupe can’t be as dynamically pure, and will therefore be the inferior ‘driver’s’ car. However, the new Lamborghini Huracan Spyder drowns out that notion with the glorious sound of its 5.2-litre V10.

By driving with all the sharpness of the coupe but bringing you closer to the frenetic V10 wail, the Spyder is one of today’s most desirable cars – whether you’re tearing past a track paddock or a roadside pub. It’s only two tenths slower from 0-62mph (3.4 seconds), will still exceed 200mph, and it’s 60 per cent stiffer than its drop-top Gallardo predecessor.

Lexus LC 500h

Price £60,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

It’s almost possible to imagine the Lexus LC 500h as a sort of half-price BMW i8, in the sense that it’s a stunning 2+2 petrol-electric hybrid sports car that combines whirlwind pace with supermini running costs.

Unusually, the drivetrain uses two gearboxes – a CVT for the electric motor, programmed with conventional ‘step’ gearchanges, and a four-speed automatic for the 3.5-litre V6 petrol. The idea is that it eradicates the distinctly unsporty whine of a CVT-only set-up, but retains good economy.

Total power is 354bhp, bringing a 0-62mph time of less than five seconds yet average economy approaching 70mpg. It rides on a new GA-L platform, using high-tensile steel in the chassis and aluminium in the bonnet and wings. Inside, it gets a digital dash interface and Lexus’s next-generation infotainment system.

Maserati Levante

Price £53,000 (est), On sale Now

The exotic new Maserati Levante is probably the closest we’ll ever come to a Ferrari SUV. As you’d expect, it’s quick, with each of the three versions packing six cylinders. The petrol cars feature twin turbos and deliver either 345bhp or 424bhp, although UK buyers will only be able to buy the 266bhp V6 diesel.

Even so, it’s no slouch, covering 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds (incidentally, the petrol Levantes claim times of 6.0 and 5.2 seconds respectively). Unfortunately, CO2 emissions are as exotic as the styling, with the 189g/km diesel more polluting than Porsche’s Cayenne V6 diesel.

Yet the newcomer has a very low centre of gravity, 50:50 weight distribution and a super-luxurious cabin; buyers can specify silk trim. And it’s as spacious as Maseratis come, although the sporty styling demands sacrifices; its 550-litre boot is 120 litres down on the Cayenne’s.

McLaren 570GT

Price £154,000, On sale Now

McLaren has added its “most practical car ever” to the Sports Series in the form of the 570GT, which offers 220 litres of boot space at the back and 150 litres up front.

McLaren 570GT review & video

A rear redesign of the 570S Coupe sees the GT gain a convex, side-hinged glass tailgate that conceals a leather luggage deck. The interior has leather as well, while a panoramic glass roof adds to the luxurious feel. It’s still very quick, packing a 3.8-litre 562bhp twin-turbo V8.

Mercedes E-Class

Price £35,935, On sale Now

Mercedes has moved back to its traditional values of cutting-edge luxury, refinement and safety. The new E-Class embodies all those qualities, and jumps straight to the top of the executive saloon class; it’s the most advanced car Mercedes has ever made.

Once you’re behind the wheel, a twin-screen digital display acts as instrument panel and infotainment screen, while on the motorway, the semi-autonomous driving technology can steer the car and is even capable of safely changing lanes.

Yet the E-Class gets the basics of comfort, build quality and efficiency spot-on: the E 220d SE will cover 0-62mph in just 7.3 seconds, while claiming 72.4mpg economy. Estate and Coupe versions will follow in 2017, plus the AMG E 43 model – a 396bhp twin-turbo V6 with four-wheel drive that goes from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds – is also set to follow.

Mercedes SLC

Price £30,495, On sale Now

A facelift for the old SLK not only sees the name change to SLC, but the introduction of a new base-level model. It’s the SLC 200 Sport – a 181bhp 2.0-litre turbo model with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Mercedes SLC 2016 review

A 250d version lies in the middle of the range, claiming 70.6mpg, while at the top, the 362bhp twin-turbo V6 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 is good for a 0-62mph time of 4.7 seconds. Visual changes over the SLK are limited to front and rear exterior tweaks.

Plus:

Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet Price £37,000 (est), On sale Summer
Mercedes GLC Coupe Price £39,000 (est), On sale Late 2016
Mercedes-AMG GT R Price £140,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

MG GS

London Motor Show - MG GS

Price £15,000 (est), On sale May

MG knows it can’t survive with just two models in its range, so step forward the GS. It’s looking to tap into the mid-size SUV boom, currently led by the likes of the Nissan Qashqai.

At 4.5 metres long, the GS is larger than the Nissan and on par with the Renault Kadjar, so expect competitive cabin space. It’s likely to feature a 1.5-litre petrol engine and 1.9 diesel, while the platform it sits on is scalable, opening the doors for a smaller Nissan Juke rival in the future.

MINI Countryman

Price £18,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

With the MINI hatch and Clubman moving things on a generation, the six-year-old Countryman crossover is next for a reboot. An all-new model is just around the corner, and our exclusive image shows how it should look when it’s released in the autumn. Its rugged styling is evolutionary rather than a radical rethink; the current Countryman is still a strong seller, so there’s no need to mess with the recipe.

It’ll feature a longer wheelbase than the current car, thanks to the new front-wheel-drive platform that underpins the rest of the MINI range. More interior space is therefore on the cards, as is a bigger boot. Expect the Countryman to share the three and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines you’ll find in the Clubman, too.

Mitsubishi ASX

Price £15,000 (est), On sale Autumn

Mitsubishi has given its ageing ASX a quick nip and tuck to keep the car competitive in the face of an ever-growing list of competitors. Most noticeable is the angular front end, with a gloss-black grille surround and chrome detailing that bring it into line with the Outlander.

Further subtle changes include a shark-fin antenna, plus 18-inch alloys. The 112bhp 1.6-litre diesel gets stop/start, while the 1.6 petrol and 2.2 diesel are unchanged.

Morgan EV3

Price £30,000 (est), On sale Summer

Morgan is well known for its traditional approach, but that hasn’t stopped it looking at an electric future. This new EV3 three-wheeler gets a 46kW electric motor in place of the standard two-cylinder petrol engine, plus a 20kW lithium-ion battery pack. In a car weighing less than 500kg, that gives a range of up to 150 miles. It will be priced in line with petrol models.

Nissan Micra

Price £11,000 (est), On sale Summer

Nissan’s Micra is lagging behind in the supermini class. That will soon be addressed by an all-new model, spied on test and set to arrive in the summer.

It’ll feature a bold new design direction based on the Sway concept from the Geneva Motor Show, with sharp creases and a new family face. An upmarket cabin with extra technology will feature, too.

Peugeot 2008

Price £13,000, On sale Summer

In the face of growing competition in the small crossover market, Peugeot has given its 2008 a facelift to keep it looking fresh.

The most obvious changes are at the front, where the central grille has been redesigned to incorporate the badge, which used to sit on the edge of the bonnet. More rugged-looking wheelarch extensions have been added, while a new GT-Line trim gives extra equipment and greater visual appeal.

Peugeot 2008 2016 review

Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink smartphone connectivity are also included, plus there’s the option of a reversing camera. The boot space has been improved from 350 litres to 410 litres, or 1,400 litres with the seats folded down; that’s much larger than the rival Nissan Juke’s 1,189-litre capacity.

Porsche 718 Cayman

Price £40,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

If purists were hoping the Cayman would escape the same downsizing approach as the Boxster, they’re out of luck.

Out comes the flat-six, and in goes a newly developed flat-four turbo. No figures on power or performance have been released, but expect near-identical outputs to the Boxster’s two engine options. The updated model will share exterior, interior and chassis tweaks with the drop-top, and for the first time it will be marginally cheaper.

Plus:

Porsche 911 R Price £136,901, On sale Now

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Price £47,500, On sale Now

The Range Rover Evoque Convertible could be the start of something new in the car industry, taking the successful SUV-coupe formula and adding a canvas roof.

Land Rover says this is the world’s first luxury convertible SUV, and it certainly offers something different. Thanks to extra strengthening to boost rigidity, it’s 277kg heavier than the standard car – so in the 178bhp diesel, economy falls from 57.6mpg to 49.6mpg. The 0-62mph time is over a second slower, too, at 10.3 seconds. Four-wheel drive will ensure the drop-top is capable off-road, for those buyers who need it.

Renault Megane

Price £18,000 (est), On sale September

With its wide stance, distinctive lights and large badges, Renault’s new Megane certainly stands out, and it’s set to leave rivals such as the VW Golf and Ford Focus looking plain. The cabin is better than ever, featuring more luxury materials and a big touchscreen to keep the car competitive in an increasingly upmarket sector.

It’s got a large luggage area as well; at 434 litres, it’s bigger than those of the Golf and Focus. Following our initial drive in Portugal, we’re looking forward to getting behind the wheel on these shores to see how it copes with Britain’s notoriously rutted surfaces. We’ll deliver our verdict in the summer.

Renault Scenic

Price £20,000 (est), On sale Summer

MPVS are slowly being superseded by spacious, stylish and affordable crossovers, but don’t count them out yet. Renault’s new Scenic has the look of an off-roader, with chunky styling and 20-inch wheels on all models, and sits between the Captur and Kadjar SUVs for size. Yet it’s still an MPV, with plenty of head and legroom.

While there’s a more spacious Grand Scenic in the pipeline, for now we know that the Scenic has an impressive 572-litre load area, lots of cubbies and fold-flat rear seats – all crucial features for MPV buyers. Expect to see the same engines as in the Megane on which it’s based, including 1.5 and 1.6-litre diesels.

Plus:

Renault Alaskan Price £22,000 (est), On sale Late 2016 Renault Clio Price £11,500 (est), On sale Autumn

Rolls-Royce Dawn

Price £265,000, On sale Now

The Rolls-Royce Dawn follows a 50-year tradition of large, luxurious convertibles from the British brand. It’s said to be the quietest soft-top car on sale, with only a whisper from the huge 6.6-litre V12 under the bonnet. With its high rear deck and enormous footprint, the Dawn is focused heavily on interior comfort, and its sumptuous cabin is similar to the Wraith coupe’s. It costs a huge £265,000, commanding a premium of around 15 per cent over its fixed-roof sibling.

Rolls-Royce Dawn review

Despite its relaxed nature, the Rolls can sprint silently from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 155mph. There’s more than enough space for four, too, with plenty of leg and headroom for rear passengers. Company bosses say they like their cars to serve as ‘social spaces’ – and thanks to its simply enormous dimensions, the new Dawn does exactly that.

SEAT Ateca

Price £17,990, On sale September

SEAT is taking on the Nissan Qashqai with its new Ateca SUV. As well as offering a touch of Spanish style in the booming crossover class, it will compete on running costs with its range of VW Group petrols and diesels.

The Ateca is set to be slightly cheaper than the Qashqai as well, with prices from less than £18,000. A 115bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine will be available in the entry-level manual model, while a four-wheel-drive version with a DSG auto box is also available. Inside, the car shares much with the Leon hatchback, with a similar dash and centre console layout, including a touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Even though it’s slightly smaller than its VW Tiguan sister car, with a shorter rear overhang, the Ateca promises impressive boot space of 510 litres – 80 litres more than a Qashqai. Hot FR and Cupra models are on the horizon, too.

Plus:

SEAT Mii X-Perience Price £10,000, On sale Late 2016

Smart ForTwo Brabus

Price £25,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

Smart recently revealed a Brabus styling pack for the new ForTwo Cabrio, but we’re also expecting an injection of real performance into the dinky city car with a full-fat Brabus version likely to make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn.

The Brabus upgrades will be applied to the ForTwo and ForFour, and include a tweaked version of Smart’s current 900cc petrol turbo. Power will rise from 89bhp to 110bhp-plus, and drive the rear wheels through a manual or dual-clutch automatic box. Suspension revisions will firm up the ride but give more handling precision, plus larger brakes could be added.

Styling upgrades will include more aggressive bumpers to help mark the car out as the range-topper. Bigger alloy wheels and a new exhaust are likely to round off the exterior tweaks. The interior will benefit from a smattering of Brabus badges, along with new materials.

Subaru Impreza

Price £19,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

A more stylish and upmarket Impreza will join Subaru’s range later in the year. The all-new model has just been revealed at the New York Motor Show, although UK buyers will only be given the option of a five-door hatch, rather than the saloon.

It’s underpinned by a brand new ‘global’ platform, which will go on to form the basis for a whole host of upcoming Subaru models. The newcomer is longer and wider than the model it replaces, but is also lower and 70 per cent stiffer, thanks to the more rigid body structure, for a more confident and controlled ride.

Subaru’s trademark boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive will be included on the new models, while the revised platform could also support plug-in hybrid and fully electric powertrains in the future, too.

Suzuki Baleno

Price £12,000, On sale June

Suzuki’s second supermini, the Baleno, is billed as a more spacious and practical Swift alternative. The Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia-rivalling five-door will have a 355-litre boot – one of the class’s biggest.

Suzuki Baleno 2016 review

Two petrol engines will be offered from launch: a 110bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo and larger but less powerful 89bhp 1.2. If you like to keep an eye on running costs, a mild hybrid version will arrive later in the year.

Tesla Model X

Price £90,000 (est), On sale Summer

Even electric car pioneer Tesla is after a slice of the SUV market. The Model X is its first crossover, and comes with seven seats, all-wheel drive and supercar-baiting all-electric performance. A key design feature of the Model X is its falcon wing rear doors, which open automatically as the car senses which door you’re approaching.

We’ve already been behind the wheel and experienced the 250-mile range, which should meet the needs of most families. Despite weighing 2,468kg, the range-topping P90D version can do 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds.

Toyota C-HR

Price £18,000 (est), On sale Summer

The C-HR will finally give Toyota a rival to the hit Nissan Qashqai. The name stands for Coupe High Rider, and although it looks similar to the Nissan Juke, it’s only fractionally smaller than the Qashqai. That sloping rear end gives the crossover a sporty appearance, but the SUV proportions provide a more muscular stance.

There will be petrol and hybrid versions of the C-HR, but no diesel engine option. The hybrid will be the most economical choice; its 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor combine to emit less than 90g/km of CO2. The crossover is based on the brand’s new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), which also underpins the Prius, so a plug-in hybrid version could also be introduced. 

Plus:

Toyota Hilux Price £24,000 (est), On sale Late 2016 Toyota Prius Plug-in £32,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

Vauxhall Zafira X

Price £22,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

The new X badge refers to Vauxhall’s SUV-style vehicles, but it will also be applied to a new jacked-up Zafira MPV, revealed in our exclusive image. Using a platform shared with the PSA Peugeot-Citroen group, the Zafira X will feature an SUV-style design to increase its appeal, just like Renault has done with its new Scenic. Expect to see Vauxhall’s strong range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as a spacious, practical interior.

Plus:

Vauxhall Mokka X Price £17,000 (est), On sale Summer

Volkswagen Beetle Dune

Price £21,300, On sale May

After several concept cars over the years, Volkswagen’s production Beetle Dune will finally hit the road this spring. Although it has a crossover-style look, thanks to its slightly raised suspension and extra body cladding, the car isn’t likely to be taking on any real sand dunes; the changes over the standard Beetle are mainly cosmetic.

We’ve driven the convertible version already, and were impressed by its tidy handling and comfortable ride. In the UK we’ll get 1.2 petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engine options.

Volkswagen Golf

Price £18,000 (est), On sale Late 2016

Fewer cars are more important to Volkswagen than the Golf, and at the end of this year the updated version will arrive. Visual changes previewed by our exclusive image show that styling updates will be minor, with reprofiled front and rear bumpers expected, alongside slimmer LED headlamps.

Bigger changes are to come inside, though, as bosses say the facelifted car will get next-generation infotainment, likely to be made up of three digital displays and featuring gesture control. This is a first for the family hatchback market, and continues the trend of advanced tech making its way into more affordable cars.

Plus:

Volkswagen Golf R400 Price £40,000 (est), On sale Late 2016
Volkswagen up! Price £9,000 (est), On sale Summer

Volvo S90

Price £32,555, On sale September

The S90 is Volvo’s long-awaited answer to cars like the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. It follows in the footsteps of the dated S80, with the company hoping it can build on the success of its award-winning XC90 SUV. A V90 is coming, too.

It sits on the same Scalable Product Architecture as the XC90, and takes styling cues from that car. That means identical ‘Thor’s Hammer’ daytime running lights and a portrait touchscreen will appear. The S90 will get the same range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, as well as a 400bhp T8 Twin-Engine hybrid.

Plus:

Volvo V40 Price £20,000 (est), On sale June
Volvo V90 Price £34,555, On sale Autumn

Which car are you most looking forward to in 2016? Let us know in the comments below...

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