The ’19 plate has arrived, but what’s on offer?
by Helen Jackson |
posted 01 March 2019
The latest ‘19 registration plate has arrived today, and the motor industry finds itself rallying slightly after falling sales blighted dealers last year. Jonathan Crouch from Car and Driving shares what’s on offer.
The new cars segment-by-segment:
The key news here is that if you want something more premium in a supermini, Audi has now released the second-generation version of its A1 Sportback.
The big announcement here is the arrival of Toyota’s all-new Corolla, which replaces the previous Auris model. Skoda has a stronger contender in this segment too, in the shape of its new Scala hatch. And Mazda is just about to launch a new generation version of its popular Mazda3. And the new Ford Focus, introduced last Autumn, has spawned a lifestyle-orientated variant, the Focus Active.
If your family would like a mid-sized MPV with a premium badge, Mercedes hopes that its new third-generation B-Class will fit the bill. If you need something a bit more affordable in this class, you might be interested in three new van-based models based around a shared design, the latest version of Citroen Berlingo, the Peugeot Rifter and the Vauxhall Combo Life.
This is the real market growth area at present, but contenders often tend to be quite pricey. An exception is the latest version of the Suzuki Jimny. If you want something more suited to a tarmac life, Skoda’s new Kamiq may appeal, as might the revised versions of the Fiat 500X and the Jeep Renegade. Or the little SUV it shares its mechanicals with, Volkswagen’s new T-Cross. The French DS brand is also about to launch its new DS3 Crossback.
If you need a family-sized crossover, there are revised versions of the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar on sale, both benefitting from fresh diesel and petrol engines. If you want something slightly larger in the mid-sized segment, there’s an all-new (and now all-hybrid) version of Toyota’s RAV4. The Ford Edge has been substantially revised. Citroen also enters this segment with its C5 Aircross.
If you value a premium badge, Audi has an all-new version of its Q3, Lexus has its new UX and there’s an all-new Range Rover Evoque. If you want seven seats in a car of this kind, you might want to consider SEAT’s new Tarraco. And if you want something sporty in this part of the segment, recent arrivals include the Audi SQ2, the Skoda Kodiaq vRS and the SEAT-marketed Cupra Ateca. If you want old-school off roading capability, the new ‘XL’ series Jeep Wrangler will provide it.
BMW’s new generation X5 aims to resume leadership of the large SUV segment, but close competition will come from an all-new version of the Mercedes GLE.
There’s plenty to talk about here. We’ll start with hybrids; Toyota’s Prius has been heavily revised for 2019 and now includes the option of 4WD. And its closest competitor Hyundai’s IONIQ has already been comprehensively updated in hybrid, full-electric and plug-in forms. There’s a new hybrid version of the Honda CR-V too. As for full-electric models, well there’s Kia’s new e-Niro, which shares engineering with Hyundai’s Kona Electric. Further up-market, Audi has launched its new all-electric E-tron large SUV, to go directly up against the new Mercedes EQC, out later this year. By then, we should also see Tesla’s 3 Series-sized all-electric Model 3 (at last).
Mid-Sized Executive models
Volvo is just about to launch an all-new version of its S60, the saloon version of the V60 estate launched last year (now also on offer in lifestyle-orientated Cross-Country guise). There’s a heavily revised version of the Ford Mondeo too. Or, if you want something a little smaller but more stylish, there’s a new generation of the Mercedes CLA four-door coupe. But the really big news in this segment is the introduction of an all-new version of the popular BMW 3 Series.
Full-Sized Executive models
Mercedes has revised its E-Class range with new Plug-in petrol and diesel variants. Lexus will be launching its new ES against both these models soon. In the larger Luxury saloon segment, the big news is the arrival of a heavily revised version of the BMW 7 Series.
Fancy something sporty? Renault’s ripsnorting Megane R.S. Trophy could suit. Or, if you’re buying on a budget and want a roadster, there’s a revised version of the little Mazda MX-5. If you can afford more, there’s a new generation version of the BMW Z4 in the showrooms, a car which shares its engineering with the new Toyota Supra GR. Offering sporting luxury are coupe and Convertible versions of the new BMW 8 Series. And supercar buyers will want to consider a much-improved version of the Audi R8.
Ford has heavily revised its Ranger pick-up.
Overall, it’s hard to remember when there was a wider choice of new models for a registration plate change. Research your chosen car carefully, make time for more than the odd test drive and enjoy the buying process.