Best New Cars For 2014

Best new cars for 2014
The best new cars for 2014 are rounded up in this article, including the latest offerings from Lamborghini & BMW

There are plenty of new cars coming in 2014 to look foward to, so it might be worth holding out for a few months before you depart with your deposit. Luckily, to help you decide, we've created a handy guide that reveals 14 forthcoming releases you should know about.

Best New Cars For 2014

There are lots of never-before-seen models coming out, taking manufacturers into new territory. On top of all of the new names, you’ll also see a lot more of some of the most recognisable models on the road, with new versions of the Ford Mondeo and Nissan Qashqai imminent. So 2014 will be a big year for motoring – and whether you’re after a supermini or a supercar, there’ll be something new for you.

Best new cars for 2014

Nissan Qashqa

The first-generation, British-built Qashqai was not only a money-spinner for Nissan, but also set a trend in the industry. Yet with so many new rivals, the Qashqai MkII faces a harder time.

Its team of designers, working from Nissan’s design centre in Paddington, London, has done a great job, though, with plenty of sculpted, flowing lines and an aggressive front end. Yet the real key for this car, according to bosses, is the build quality, which is why particular attention has been paid to the interior materials. A much larger seven-inch touchscreen dominates the dashboard, while hi-end tech features such as 360-degree cameras, autobraking and park assist are all available.

Refinement is said to be much improved, giving the Qashqai a more grown-up feel, while the raft of new technology includes an electronic differential that brakes the inside wheel in corners to maximise grip.

And as most of the development work has been carried out on the roads around Nissan’s engineering base in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, we expect the Qashqai’s ride and handling to suit bumpy UK roads.

Prices: Qashqais start at £17,595 for the entry-level Visia, and prices rise to £27,854 for the 4WD 1.6 dCi in top-spec Tekna trim.

Range: While the old car came as a seven-seater, the new one is strictly for five. If you need seven seats, a new X-Trail arrives in July.

Best new cars for 2014

Ford Mondeo

Two years ago now, Ford pulled the wraps off the US-market Fusion at the Detroit Motor Show, promising it would come to the UK badged as our next-generation Mondeo.

But factory disputes got in the way, so we’re still waiting for it – and the car will finally arrive in the autumn, and it's one of the most hotly anticipated new cars in 2014.

Our early drives suggest we’ll get a car that feels more advanced and more upmarket. It also looks good, thanks to a sleek new grille and headlights similar to the latest Ford Mustang’s.

There will be a range of new engines, including a 1.5-litre turbo petrol and a 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost. Diesel options will be 1.5 and 2.0-litre TDCis, with at least one emitting less than 100g/km of CO2.

The Fusion is offered as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid, so it’s likely that we’ll see at least one of those options making it to the UK, too. To take the fight to the newly facelifted Insignia, Ford is fitting infotainment kit like MyFord Touch and SYNC, which will allow drivers to control almost all major functions by voice.

Safety tech like autobraking, fatigue detection and inflatable rear seatbelts will also be offered. Plus, in 2015, Ford is set to debut a new flagship Vignale version of the Mondeo.

Prices: Entry-level models will cost around £17,000 to match the Vauxhall Insignia. Flagship Vignale cars will be nearer £30,000.

Range: Ford will also offer an estate version of the Mondeo, with the same range of engines.

Best new cars for 2014

Audi Q7

The new Audi Q7 is significant for several reasons – for starters, it will debut a new three-dimensional grille (previewed by the Crosslane Coupe concept in 2012) that will be applied to all future Audi SUVs.

Our exclusive image shows how it will look, with a more sculptured frame around the traditional hexagonal grille. Yet despite being such a large car, the new Q7 will also kick off a trend for cutting weight significantly.

Based on a new platform known as MLB, it will be produced from a combination of steel and aluminium that should help to slash around 350kg from the kerbweight.

The Q7 will be the first in a wave of new large SUVs from the VW Group, all of which will be built in Bratislava, Slovakia. Others include the next VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, plus the new Bentley SUV.

The new Q7 will feature full LED headlights and 4G connectivity as options. Like the Range Rover Sport, a third row of seats will also be offered, while four, six and eight-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel engines will be fitted, along with a Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid.

Prices: The current Q7 costs from around £44,000, but the new car could start at under £40k, with a new four-cylinder diesel kicking off the line-up.

Range: Sporty S line spec will make up the lion’s share of UK sales. But the V12 TDI will be dropped,
and S and RS models are unlikely.

Best new cars for 2014
Best New Cars For 2014

Lamborghini Huracan

After 10 years on sale and endless special editions, Lamborghini is finally poised to release a successor to its 10-year-old Gallardo supercar.

It’s set to be called the Huracan, and we’ve already seen tantalising spy shots of the aggressive new shape as the car was being tested near the brand’s factory in Northern Italy and at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany. The styling is likely to keep the classic wedge shape of the Gallardo, but take several cues from the Aventador V12 flagship.

As in the car it replaces, the Huracan’s driving experience will be dominated by a mid-mounted V10, although here it will be tuned to delivered more than 600bhp.

The chassis will be shared with the next Audi R8, and is set to be key to a drastic reduction in weight, as it uses a range of ultra-light materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium. In fact, rear-drive cars could tip the scales at 1,300kg, giving the new Lambo a seriously intimidating power-to-weight ratio.

Rear-wheel-drive models will follow the four-wheel-drive launch cars, and this could help tempt buyers away from the likes of the Ferrari 458 and McLaren 12C. Plus, a slick new dual-clutch auto box should transform the driving experience.

The wraps are expected to come off the Huracan around the Geneva Motor Show in March, before it arrives in dealers in May or June, with a glamorous drop-top version set to follow in 2015.

Prices: Lamborghini is likely to stick closely to the price of the Ferrari 458, but there’ll be a big gap between two and four-wheel-drive Huracans, with the line-up starting at around £160,000.

Range: Only one specification will be offered, once buyers have decided which transmission option they want. But a long list of extras is expected, and plenty of special editions are set to follow in future.

Best new cars for 2014
The Hottest New Cars For 2014

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe

The S-Class Coupe was previewed as a concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this year, and it’s set to be revealed in full production form at the Geneva show in March.

The new model replaces the CL, and it will have a sportier look than the S-Class saloon, with a sweeping roofline and subtle boot spoiler.

We’ve seen spy shots of the coupé, which indicate the showroom model will retain the sculpted lines and elegant profile of the concept. In fact, a Mercedes insider has confirmed to Auto Express the show model was 90 per cent the finished product.

The S-Class Coupe will share technology from the saloon, including advanced safety systems such as the Magic Body Control system and 6DVision set-up, which monitors pedestrians and traffic. The high-quality finish will naturally be carried over, too.

Also borrowed from the four-door will be the engine range. The concept featured the 4.7-litre V8 found in the S500, which develops 449bhp and 700Nm of torque. There will be an AMG version with a 577bhp 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8, while rumours also suggest the Coupé will debut with Mercedes’ new nine-speed automatic gearbox.

The company has confirmed it expects to develop six new models from the S-Class. This Coupe will be the first, with an S-Class Cabriolet tipped to follow in its footsteps.

Prices: The S-Class Coupe won’t come cheap. Expect a starting price of around £75,000, which is around £13,000 more than for the cheapest S-Class saloon.

Range: Expect a similar range of engines in the coupe as you’ll find in the S-Class saloon, although the smaller four-cylinder and six-cylinder options are unlikely to feature.

Best new cars for 2014

Volkswagen e-Golf

When a giant brand like VW weighs into the electric car business, it’s a clear sign that battery power is here to stay. The new e-Golf follows hot on the heels of the e-up! city car, and although it’s not the first or even the most innovative electric family hatch, it could be the car that launches the technology into the mainstream.

Powered by a newly developed electric motor that produces the equivalent of 114bhp and 270Nm of torque, the car can match most petrol and diesel Golfs for acceleration.

It can drive up to 118 miles on a single charge – but expect a realistic range of around 100 miles. The batteries sit under the false boot floor and add 318kg to the kerbweight, although the electric Golf has also been streamlined to slip through the air as easily as possible.

Volkswagen is banking on the fact that most buyers who are considering an electric car don’t want to stand out from the crowd too much. So it’ll be hoping anyone put off by the wildly futuristic looks of the BMW i3 will be tempted by the more conservative – but still beautifully engineered – e-Golf.

Prices: Volkswagen has not yet confirmed prices for its electric family car, but has dropped strong hints that it will undercut the BMW i3, which costs £25,860 after the £5,000 grant.

Range: Just like the e-up!, the battery-powered Golf will come in just one trim level, but it benefits from a generous spec, including a huge eight-inch touchscreen display.

Best new cars for 2014

SEAT Leon Cupra

Our Car of the Year 2013 is cracking to drive whatever engine is under the bonnet, but we’re particularly excited about the hot Cupra version of the SEAT Leon, which is expected to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Under the bonnet will be a version of the 2.0 TSI engine found in the VW Golf GTI, tuned to 268bhp and sending power to the front wheels through manual or seven-speed DSG boxes.

The Cupra should outmuscle the 265bhp Renaultsport Mégane and 247bhp Ford Focus ST, although it can’t match the 276bhp Astra VXR. It should get all that power on to the road, too, as it’s available with the same optional front differential as the flagship Golf.

SEAT is planning to break convention with the Cupra, by offering it in all three Leon bodystyles. That means as well as the short-wheelbase, three-door SC version shown in our exclusive image, there will be a practical five-door model, plus an ST estate.

And for those wanting even more potent performance, a 300bhp Cupra R is also on the way. This will feature the same four-wheel-drive powertrain as the Golf R, and should be able to go from 0-62mph in five seconds – making it the quickest road car SEAT has ever produced.

Prices: The Cupra is expected to start from around £25,000 for the three-door SC with a manual box – that’s just over £1,000 less than for the equivalent Golf GTI. The top-spec Cupra R is likely to cost from around £29,000.

Range: If you want the ultimate blend of performance and practicality, look out for the Cupra ST estate. It’s proof that family cars can still be fun, and should make an intriguing rival for the Ford Focus ST Estate.

Best new cars for 2014

Jaguar F-Type Coupe

It's probably the best-looking Jaguar in a generation, and the F-Type Coupe promises to deliver even more driving thrills than the brilliant soft-top.

It carries over two engines from the Roadster – two supercharged V6s – while topping the Coupe line-up is a new F-Type R. This will use the same fettled V8 as the XFR-S supersaloon, sending 542bhp to the rear wheels and taking the two-door from 0-60mph in four seconds flat.

Better still, the Coupe has a much bigger boot than the F-Type Roadster – with a useful capacity of 407 litres – so it now works as a proper GT car for longer trips. The body is lighter and more rigid than the soft-top’s, which should make the newcomer even sharper to drive, and the R version also gets a torque vectoring system, which uses the brakes to send more of the engine’s power to the wheel with the most mechanical grip in a corner.

Another Jaguar technological first that should help the Coupe take the fight to Porsche is a set of carbon-ceramic brakes. These are a lot lighter than the standard discs, and are available as cost options on the R and V6S versions.

The F-Type Coupe isn’t due to go on sale until the spring, but with such an enticing combination of looks, improved practicality, sharper dynamics and even more power, it should be worth the wait.

Prices: While Porsche’s Cayman costs more than the Boxster roadster, the tin-top F-Type is about £7,000 cheaper than the convertible, with prices ranging from £51,235 for the entry V6 to £85,000 for the F-Type R.

Range: As with the drop-top F-Type, the engine you choose will decide what equipment you get with your Coupe. S models benefit from trim and performance upgrades like a sports exhaust.

Best new cars for 2014
Best New Cars For 2014

Renault Twingo

The all-new Renault Twingo will be quite a departure from the current city car. For one, it’ll only be a five-door, but with more muscular looks, and a lower, wider design previewed by the Twin’Run and Twin Z concepts.

Under the skin, it’s set to be just as radical, with a rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive platform developed in partnership with Daimler for the next-generation Smart ForFour (also due late in 2014). The Twingo will be longer than the outgoing car, and thanks to its new engine layout there should be more space in the cabin.

Despite its new, larger proportions, we’re still expecting to see a kerbweight of well under 1,000kg, combined with punchy power from Renault’s 900cc three-cylinder engine. Standard cars with around 65bhp will also be really efficient, promising economy of 70mpg and CO2 emissions under the 100g/km mark. Topping the range will be a turbo version with almost 90bhp.

Like the Fiat 500 and Vauxhall Adam, the new Twingo will offer buyers a lot more opportunities for customisation, so expect plenty of alloy designs, colour choices and trim options.

Prices: Renault will have to get close to the Skoda Citigo, so the Twingo line-up is likely to kick off from around £9,000.

Range: In addition to the standard Twingo, expect to see an all-electric version and a Renaultsport model.

Best new cars for 2014

BMW Active Tourer

The 2 Series Active Tourer will be the first-ever front-wheel-drive BMW when it arrives late in 2014. Despite sharing a name with the 2 Series Coupe, the Active Tourer will use a platform from the new MINI, called UKL1.

It’ll also be fitted with BMW’s new range of modular three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. The most efficient versions will manage nearly 80mpg, while sportier petrol models will accelerate from 0-62mph in about nine seconds. So far, BMW has showcased two concepts previewing the 2 Series Active Tourer, and both have used a 1.5-litre engine coupled with an electric motor. It’s a good bet, then, that we’ll see a hybrid version eventually.

The Active Tourer will major on practicality, with a higher, more MPV-like roofline than any BMW currently on sale, but it still features all the brand’s usual styling cues, like the double kidney grille and Hofmeister kink in the C-pillar.

Expect a high seating position combined with a large glass area for great all-round visibility. Technology found elsewhere in the BMW line-up will make its way into the Tourer, including a range of safety systems like lane departure warning and a head-up display.

Prices: The 2 Active Tourer will sit between the 1 Series and 2 Series Coupe in terms of price – expect it to cost around £20,000.

Range: As well as the five-door model, BMW is working on a stretched seven-seat version.

Best new cars for 2014

Fiat 500X

The latest member of the Fiat 500 family is set to be a small crossover, built to rival cars like the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.

Fiat has already shown us a clay model of what it’ll look like, but we haven’t yet seen the production car. As our exclusive image shows it’ll take many of the 500 hatch’s features and put them in a more muscular SUV-style body – that explains the black plastic cladding on the wheelarches.

Insiders have told us that Fiat sees the X as a 500 that will appeal to a male buyer, with nearly every other version having a mostly female audience. Despite its rugged off-road looks, we’re expecting the 500X to be front-wheel drive only.

As with every 500, there will be the opportunity for customers to make the X their own with a variety of trim, colour and wheel options. The 500X uses the same platform as the 500L MPV – Fiat calls this Small-Wide, and it’s basically an enlarged Punto chassis.

Engine choices will mirror the 500L’s, so expect Fiat’s two-cylinder TwinAir petrol, plus a four-cylinder 1.3 diesel. Fiat will build the newcomer at its plant in Melfi, Italy, which recently benefited from an £810million investment.

Prices: Expect entry-level cars to start from around £14,000, putting the Fiat on a par with the Renault Captur.

Range: If you want something a bit more rugged, sister brand Jeep will produce its own version of the 500X, offering more off-road ability.

Best new cars for 2014

Audi A3 Cabriolet

The Audi A3 Cabriolet will go up against the likes of the VW Golf Cabriolet when it arrives in showrooms next April. But unlike the Golf – which loses its roof yet keeps its gawky hatchback shape – the drop-top A3 now comes with a sleek new saloon-based body.

Apart from the more grown-up looks, the main benefit of this switch is that it frees up an extra 60 litres of boot space, taking the total to 320 litres with the roof in place. Putting the hood down might eat into boot space a bit, but the process couldn’t be easier. Pull a small switch in the centre console and it folds away in 20 seconds – and you can do this while you’re driving at speeds of up to 31mph.

We’ve already had the chance to drive the A3 Cabriolet, and were really impressed by its refinement with the roof up, as well as the build quality throughout. The diesels are more efficient, but with the top down the clatter from under the bonnet can detract from the experience – so we’d go for any of the silky-smooth turbocharged petrols.

The A3 Cabriolet isn’t cheap, but if you’re after a small convertible and have cash to splash, it’ll be the hottest thing to be seen in next summer.

Prices: The A3 ranges from £25,790 for the 103bhp 1.4 TFSI SE trim to £32,420 for the 178bhp 1.8 TFSI in sporty S line spec.

Range: Audi has already confirmed that a four-wheel-drive S3 Cabriolet will join the ranks later in 2014. This will feature a 296bhp 2.0 TFSI, while prices are expected to start from around £37,000.

Best new cars for 2014

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

The expansion of the new 4 Series range will continue next year, with BMW set to introduce a new four-door version of the sleek 3 Series-based coupe.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe will follow its 6 Series big brother, with a more rakish appearance and sportier approach than a regular 3 Series, but greater practicality than the standard two-door 4 Series.

We’ve yet to see any official images of the newcomer, but our spy pictures indicate that it will have a marginally wider track than the two-door model, as well as a lower ride height for a sharper drive. A sleeker roofline adds even more desirability.

Engines will be taken from the standard 4 Series, so the range will kick off with 420i petrol and 420d four-cylinder diesel power. More performance-focused models include the 430d, 435d and 435i.

An M4 Gran Coupe will also join the range, powered by the same new 424bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo as the imminent M4 Coupe and M4 Convertible.

Prices: Expect to pay a small premium for the Gran Coupé; prices should start at just over £30,000.

Range: Engines and trim levels will be carried over from the standard 4 Series, with a range of petrol and diesel power options available.

Best new cars for 2014
The Hottest New Cars For 2014

Lexus RC

Lexus is taking the fight to the BMW 4 Series with its attempt at a svelte two-door coupe in the shape of the RC. The name stands for Racing Coupe, and it leaves you in no doubt about what this car is designed to do.

The RC is 30mm longer, 30mm wider and 35mm lower than the IS saloon on which it’s based. The wheelbase has also been cut by 70mm to save weight and boost agility, although that will compromise rear passenger space.

Although essentially a more driver-focused and stylish alternative to the four-door compact exec, the RC takes its design inspiration from the LC-FF concept. The trademark spindle grille is wider and more aggressive than on any other model in the Lexus range and the two-part boomerang headlights remain.

Kicking off the range will be the RC 300h, which is fitted with the same 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor as the IS 300h. There will also be an RC 350, powered by a 3.5-litre V6, although that’s unlikely to be sold in the UK. Topping the line-up will be a V8 RC F, developing around 450bhp. Lexus is staying tight-lipped about this performance model, but we’ve already seen test mules with trademark stacked quad exhausts and bulging wheelarches.

The RC F will be the first model in the new coupe line-up to hit showrooms, towards the end of next year, with the hybrid version following shortly after.

Prices: Nothing official has been announced, but expect the RC to start from around £35,000.

Range: The hot V8-powered RC F will be the first model we get in the UK, followed by the eco-friendly hybrid RC 300h.

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