N-P of new cars

The best cars for 2013, including the facelifted Peugeot RCZ to the all-new Porsche Panamera Sports Turismo

Nissan 370Z  On sale: Early 2013Price: From £28,000 (est.)

Three years after it launched, Nissan’s muscular coupe has received a light facelift. The tweaked front end has a new bumper with vertical LED lights, plus a more rounded central air intake. Under the skin, the updated 370Z is identical, so it sticks with the 322bhp 3.7-litre V6, which powers the two-door from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds.

Nissan Juke Nismo  On sale: Early 2013Price: £24,000 (est.)

The feisty Juke Nismo is powered by a 197bhp 1.6-litre turbo engine and features an aggressive front bumper, side skirts, Nismo front grille and red mirror caps. There’s also a roof-mounted spoiler, while sports seats and a suede steering wheel and gearlever provide a racy feel inside. It will be offered in two and four-wheel drive and has firmer suspension, sharper steering and 19-inch alloys.

Nissan Leaf  On sale: Spring 2013Price: From £21,000 (est.)

From the spring, European-spec versions of the electric Leaf will be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant – and the savings in shipping costs will be passed on to UK buyers. A new entry-level model is expected to start at £21,000 after the £5,000 Government grant has been deducted.

Peugeot 208 GTi  On sale: May 2013Price: From £18,000 (est.)

Ever since the 205 GTi was discontinued in the nineties, Peugeot has been struggling to recapture the magic that made the legendary hot hatch such a hit. So will the new 208 GTi reignite the flame? It has the power to do it – under the bonnet is a 197bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine – and Peugeot also promises a wider track, retuned suspension and weightier steering. It doesn’t quite look as sharp as the 205 GTi, but we’ll answer the all-important question of how it drives ahead of its UK launch in May 2013. Just before then, the company will introduce a special GTi Limited Edition, with extra equipment. Only 29 are coming to UK showrooms – that’s one for every year since the 205 GTi was launched – and each will cost £20,495.

Peugeot 208 XY  On sale: Spring 2013Price: From £16,000 (est.)

THE 208 XY is for those who prioritise comfort over speed. Outside, there’s plenty of chrome and gloss black detailing, plus 17-inch alloys, while inside there’s a panoramic roof, air-con, cruise control and Nappa leather. Three 1.6-litre diesels and two 1.6-litre petrols are on offer, plus three and five-door bodies.

Peugeot 2008 Concept  On sale: Summer 2013Price: From £14,000 (est.)

The 2008 is Peugeot’s answer to the Nissan Juke. We first saw it as the HR1 concept at 2010’s Paris Motor Show, but the car you see here is pretty much what it will look like when it arrives in June next year. And the 2008 will be the first model to get Peugeot’s new 110bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo engine.

Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4  On sale: NowPrice: From £26,995

Peugeot’s 200bhp four-wheel-drive hybrid crossover is now more economical than ever. Tweaks to the engine software have cut CO2 to just 91g/km and boosted fuel efficiency to 80.7mpg in the most economical model, which features low-rolling-resistance tyres.

Peugeot RCZ facelift  On sale: Spring 2013Price: From £22,000 (est.)

Revisions bring the RCZ coupe in line with latest Peugeots like the 208 and 508. That means a new nose, including a smaller central air intake on the bumper, LED daytime running lights in a claw pattern, and classy chrome. There will also be more scope to personalise the car, with more exterior colours, plus a choice of new alloy wheel designs. The interior is largely unchanged, as is the engine range, which includes the 1.6 THP petrol with either 200bhp or 156bhp, or the 163bhp 2.0 HDi diesel. Due at the end of next year is a hot RCZ R, which gets lowered suspension and a limited-slip diff to handle the 260bhp delivered by the uprated 1.6 THP engine.

Porsche 911 Carrera 4/4S  On sale: December 2012Price: From £77,924

The new Carerra 4 and Carrera 4S add four-wheel drive to the 911’s list of talents. Prices start at £77,924 for the Carrera 4 – £6,000 more than the 2WD Carrera – and the 4 and 4S are a bit thirstier, but they cut the 0-62mph time by three-tenths and four-tenths of a second respectively.

Read our verdict >> 

Porsche 911 GT3  On sale: Mid-2013Price: From £90,000 (est.)

It's the start of a new era for the lightweight Porsche 911, with the old GT3’s motorsport-derived flat-six replaced by a 450bhp version of the Carrera S’s 3.8-litre engine. A PDK auto is likely to be the only transmission option, too. As before, the interior will be partially stripped out, and there’ll be a bodykit, including a large fixed rear wing.

Porsche Cayenne Diesel V8  On sale: January 2013Price: £58,243

The new 4.2-litre twin-turbo diesel in the Cayenne S produces 378bhp and a whopping 850Nm of torque, which eclipses even the 700Nm of the flagship Turbo model. It isn’t as fast as the Turbo, with 0-62mph taking 5.7 seconds, but that’s two seconds quicker than the V6 diesel Cayenne. Top speed is 157mph.

Read our verdict >> 

Porsche Sports Turismo  On sale: 2014Price: From £65,000 (est.)

Porsche has never shown a concept that hasn’t made production, so let’s hope the Panamera Sports Turismo continues this tradition. It’s essentially a Panamera estate, with the obvious benefit of greater luggage space than in the standard supersaloon. Plus, the new nose hints at the look of next year’s facelifted Panamera. The Sports Turismo features a plug-in version of the existing Panamera Hybrid’s drivetrain – combining a 328bhp 3.0-litre V6 with a 94bhp electric motor. This promises to take the car from 0-62mph in less than six seconds while returning 80mpg economy and emitting less than 82g/km of CO2. The powertrain will debut on the facelifted Panamera next year.

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