Best new cars for 2015
Our unmissable guide to the most exciting new cars heading for the showroom in 2015
The bounce is back in the car industry, with the recent Geneva Motor Show playing host to an array of fascinating new models, from chic city cars to rugged, all-purpose SUVs and firebreathing hypercars.
To keep you up to date with all the best new cars on the way in 2015, we've compiled this unmissable guide that showcases the models we're most excited about.
Here we tell you all you need to know on some brilliant new cars, including when you can get your hands on them and what their starting prices are expected to be. If you're thinking of buying a new car, you can't afford to miss it.
Scroll down the page for the best new cars of 2015...
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Price: from £22,000 (est)On sale: Late 2015
Last year, Alfa Romeo sold only 5,523 cars in the UK - as many as Peugeot sells in a quiet month - so it desperately needs an injection of showroom appeal. Step in the Giulia, the brand's entry in the lucrative junior executive class. The new BMW 3 Series rival is sure to score on style, while it'll be rear-wheel drive with engines from the Fiat stable. So expect a range including efficient JTDm diesels and the rasping 1.75-litre petrol turbo from the 4C for serious performance. There may even be a hot M3 rival, possibly badged GTA, hinted at in our exclusive image.
Also coming soon:
Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf
Price: £400,000 (est)On sale: Winter
Aston'S UK sales dipped slightly in 2014, but the company won't be too worried as it concentrates on expanding in the lucrative Middle East market. It was originally thought the £400,000 Lagonda Taraf would only go on sale there, but now it has been confirmed that it will be made available worldwide, in limited numbers. Designed to be the world's most luxurious saloon, it has a 6.0-litre V12, and each will be hand-built in Gaydon.
Also coming soon:
Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT12Price: £250,000On sale: now
Price: £119,000On sale: May
Even Audi was staggered by the success of 2007's original Audi R8, so the pressure was on to get this new model right. True to form for the brand, the styling is evolutionary and perhaps even loses a little of the drama of the Mk1 model - although it's a much improved car in every way.
To push it even closer to its Lamborghini Huracan stablemate, V8 power has been dropped - leaving the V10 only, in two outputs: 533bhp or 602bhp. The car is automatic-only, too, although a manual gearbox may be offered later if demand is there; the gated manual box was one of the original R8's real highlights.
The higher-powered V10 Plus is a true supercar, giving 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and hitting 205mph. Even the 'base' model completes the benchmark in 3.5 seconds. But it's not all about pure power: a carbon fibre and aluminum chassis means the R8 is lighter, stiffer and sharper than ever.
Also coming soon:
Price: £45,000 (est)On sale: Summer
An M2 has been on the cards since the launch of the BMW 2 Series Coupe in 2014, and it's the true successor to the limited-edition and extremely well received 1M Coupe.
With a flared bodykit and around 350bhp from a 3.0-litre turbocharged engine, the rear-wheel-drive M2 will be more about focused dynamic involvement than huge, straight-line power. Plus, unlike the M3 and M4, it will come with a manual box. A mechanical, limited-slip differential will also be standard.
BMW 3 Series
Price: £24,000 (est)On sale: late 2015
BMW will facelift its big-selling compact executive model in 2015, and while the changes won't be revolutionary, you can expect useful efficiency improvements - not least owing to three-cylinder turbo engines. These are a first for the 3 Series and are set to vastly improve the economy of base models.
To keep company drivers happy (and match Jaguar's XE), a sub-100g/km 320d will appear, while a petrol-electric hybrid with 50g/km CO2 emissions is expected. And all that alongside notably improved cabin quality.
Also coming soon:
BMW X5 plug-in Hybrid Price: £55,000 (est)On sale: late 2015 (est)
BMW 7 Series Price £60,000 (est)On sale: summer
BMW X1 Price: £25,000 (est)On sale: summer
BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer Price: £24,175On sale: September
Price: £22,995 (Seven 270)On sale: now
The news that Caterham is introducing three brand-new Sevens to its line-up is intriguing, but it's simply a revision of the naming structure. The new 135bhp Seven 270, 180bhp Seven 360 and 210bhp Seven 420 fill the gap between the entry-level Seven 160 and the range-topping 620R. The 360 and 420 use versions of the familiar 2.0 Ford Duratec engine, while the 270 gets a Ford 1.6 Sigma engine. Two new â€˜S' and â€˜R' option packs are also available - suited for either track or road.
Price: £23,500 (est)On sale: summer
There's more to the facelifted DS 5 than meets the eye. This is the car designed to launch DS as a standalone brand in Europe, moving it away from Citroen and - bosses hope - closer to the all-conquering German big three. To bring a greater sense of sophistication to the model, there's a new hexagonal grille trimmed in chrome with wings flowing seamlessly into the headlights, which feature a pattern derived from the DS symbol. The sides and rear remain largely unchanged from the current DS 5, although not much tinkering was needed with a design this distinctive.
A total of six engines will be offered, including a range of 1.6-litre THP turbocharged petrols, a choice of 1.6 and 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesels and a Diesel Hybrid 4x4 model. Although the full plan has yet to be finalised, we expect the new DS 5 - and all subsequent DS models - to be sold through the existing Citroen dealer network, but with DS 'zones' created in each dealership.
Ferrari 488 GTB
Price: £200,000 (est)On sale: late 2015
The 458 Italia was always going to be a tough act to follow, but Ferrari seems to have managed it with the searingly fast and beautiful 488 GTB. The name has an interesting story, too: the 488 refers to the individual capacity, in cc, of each cylinder, while the GTB is a nod to the 308 GTB.
The big news here is that Ferrarihas turned to turbocharging in order to simultaneously boost power and reduce CO2 emissions. The new 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 produces 661bhp and 760Nm of torque - that's 99bhp and 220Nm more than the 458, and enough to propel the 488 GTB from 0-62mph in three seconds flat. Those split vents in front of the rear wheels channel the airflow to the engine, through the flanks and out the back.
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.
Fiat 124 Spider
Price: £20,000 (est)On sale: late 2015
The sister car to the new MX-5 being developed by Fiat and Mazda was always supposed to wear an Alfa Romeo badge, but following a U-turn from top brass in Italy, it'll now be reworked as a Fiat and badged 124 Spider.
Expect the same playful handling, sharp steering and crisp gearshift as the Mazda, but with the bonus of retro design, as our exclusive image reveals. For performance fans, an Abarth version is also in the pipeline, which could use a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo with upwards of 200bhp.
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.
Price: £28,995On sale: late 2015
Fifty years since it took America by storm, the Mustang is finally arriving in the UK and will officially be sold by the firm's UK dealer network. And on paper, it looks as though this new version has lost none of its predecessors' greatest selling point - it's cheap. The new one is an extraordinary high-performance bargain with the 5.0-litre V8 version just £33,000.
Half of Ford's pre-orders are for that version, says the company, with the other half taking the 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbo model. The entry-level 2.3 shouldn't be overlooked though, as its 310bhp packs a bigger punch than many of the old V8s fitted in previous Mustangs. Despite generous standard kit and the eye-catching muscle car styling, the interior is let down by some sub-par plastics, and dynamically it's nowhere near the BMW 4 Series.
Ford Focus RS
Price: £29,995 (est)On sale: late 2015
There's a stellar line-up of new hot hatches for 2015, but the Ford Focus RS has to be the most hotly anticipated of them all. This latest incarnation of the RS breed combines a 320bhp-plus version of the four-cylinder 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine from the new Mustang with an innovative four-wheel-drive system which varies power between the front and rear axles; there's even a 'drift mode'. Now the Focus is a global car, the RS will be sold in much larger numbers, so the silhouette is less pumped-up than before, but a road-scraping chin spoiler, huge rear wing and 19-inch lightweight forged alloys make sure you'll see the car coming.
Honda Civic Type R
Price: £30,000 (est)On sale: early 2015
With modern hot hatchback power outputs stretching from VW's 217bhp Golf GTI to the 362bhp Audi RS3, the new 306bhp Civic Type R sits somewhere in the middle - but it could well establish itself as king of them all. No production hatchback has ever looked as fearsome as this, and Honda's form suggests it could become the quickest, sharpest front-wheel-drive hatchback ever made.
The Type R has already trounced the SEAT Leon Cupra 280's hot hatch record around the Nurburgring race track - although it wasn't a production-spec Honda that set a new fastest lap. Still, with a 5.7-second 0-62mph time from its 2.0-litre turbo VTEC engine, plus new adaptive suspension to reduce torque steer significantly, the car is as cutting edge as front-drive hot hatches come. Steering, throttle response and dampers are all adjustable, while that big rear wing ensures impressive high-speed stability.
Two versions are available from launch, with a better-specified GT model including satellite navigation, climate control, parking sensors and lane departure warning for a £2,300 premium. A faster, lighter version could be on the way in 2016, too.
Price: £11,500 (est)On sale: Summer
Honda's big news in recent weeks has been head-turning models such as the Civic Type R hot hatch and NSX supercar, but the humble new Jazz is one of the most important cars the company will launch this year. It's set to build on the reputation the current model has for exceptional space and flexibility in a small footprint, and promises much improved refinement and quality. A 102bhp 1.3-litre petrol engine will be the only option at launch, offering better economy, at 60mpg, with a hybrid to follow.
Also coming soon:
Price: £19,500 (est)On sale: summer (est)
A range of styling tweaks inside and out, improved dynamics, cleaner engines and some new technology complete the changes for the mid-life revamp of Hyundai's i40. The saloon and Tourer estate are already appealing, but have lost ground to more modern rivals. Updates include a more intuitive infotainment system, a small power hike to 139bhp for the 1.7-litre diesel, plus lower emissions thanks in part to stop/start. A new Advanced Traction Cornering Control system improves handling.
Price £17,500 (est)On sale september (est)
A very significant car for Hyundai, the Tucson represents a complete step change according to the Korean firm. It replaces the ix35 crossover and boasts the best quality of any Hyundai bar the flagship Genesis saloon. A five-strong engine range will comprise two 1.6-litre GDi petrols, one turbocharged, and three diesels, including a 1.7-litre unit with 113bhp and a 2.0-litre in 133bhp and 180bhp states of tune. Most will be front-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive will be an option on more powerful versions.
Price: from £26,995On 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 A4, BMW 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.
Price: £57,000 (est)On sale: summer
Jaguar's luxury saloon has been on sale for six years, so it's ripe for a visual makeover. Just don't expect too many changes, as our spy shot suggests, because the car's swoopy styling has aged well; small, subtle tweaks will be the order of the day. So there are chunkier air intakes, a more angular front bumper and different headlights. At the rear, the bumper is also more angular. Inside, Jag's new InControl infotainment system is also set to feature.
Price: £8,500On sale: April
The city car class is as busy as ever, with new offerings springing up all the time. Kia's Picanto has been a top choice for the past few years, but the brand has now seen fit to give it a refresh. The front and rear bumpers have been redesigned, plus there are a number of exterior styling packs, while a new navigation system with a seven-inch display will arrive later this year. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine is now Euro 6-compliant, but we predict there will be a faster, small-output turbo model by 2016.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
Price: from £32,395On sale: now (new engine: summer)
Land Rover launched the brand new Discovery Sport earlier this year, and while we were very impressed, the engine let the car down. Good news, though: the ageing 2.2-litre diesel will be replaced by a new 2.0-litre eD4 engine with two or four-wheel drive. CO2 emissions will be as low as 109g/km, and there'll be the choice of six-speed manual or nine-speed auto transmissions.
Lamborghini Aventador SV
Price: £285,80On sale: spring
The letters SV are applied only to Lamborghini's fastest cars, and the Aventador is the latest model to get the Super Veloce treatment. Power from the naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 has been upped to 740bhp, with the permanent 4WD system both keeping the car in check and helping it do 0-62mph in a mere 2.8 seconds.
Click through to the next page to see the second half of our list of the best new cars 2015.