new '66 reg - what's new - brand a-z

alfa romeo the italian brand is about to launch its most important car for years, the bmw 3 series-sized giulia model, which looks a strong and elegant contender. if you can't quite stretch to it, then the company would also like you to consider a recently facelifted version of its bmw 1 series-sized giulietta model. the brand has also recently introduced an open-topped version of its desirable 4c coupe, the 4c spider. this car features a lift-out panel over the cabin and a new titanium exhaust to counteract any weight gain. one to watch: giulia saloon is alfa's most crucial car in decades.

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ASTON MARTIN Aston Martin is about to introduce its new luxury sportscar, the DB11, which uses a new 5.2-litre V12 turbo engine. This is the first truly all-new Aston production car since the Vanquish in 2012. Aston Martin has also revived the Lagonda name for a new, limited numbers saloon. Improved versions of the Vanquish and Rapide S now use an eight-speed automatic gearbox. ONE TO WATCH: The DB11 heralds a new model and new tech for Aston Martin.

AUDI Big news for Audi is the launch of the new Q2 small Crossover, a key rival for cars like Honda's HR-V and Jeep's Renegade as well as top versions of car's like Nissan's Juke. The other important all-new launch for Ingolstadt is that of the second generation A5 coupe, which is lighter, sleeker, more efficient and more hi-tech than before. There's also plenty else that's new at your local Audi Centre. The A3 range has been fundamentally revised and gets the clever 'Virtual Cockpit' instrument display we first saw in last year's TT sportscar. Luxury SUV buyers get the market's first high performance plug-in model, the SQ7 TDI. And wealthier folk can try the open-topped R8 Spyder. ONE TO WATCH: The new Q2 small Crossover will become one of the company's most profitable models.

BENTLEY

The Bentley Bentayga may split opinion about its looks, but there's no doubting its ability on and off-road. There's also a facelifted version of the company's top Mulsanne saloon. A more traditional addition to the range is the new Grand Convertible that shares much of its style and underpinnings with the Mulsanne saloon. The Grand Convertible will arrive towards the end of 2016.

ONE TO WATCH: The Bentayga may not be the prettiest luxury SUV of its kind, but it's massively capable on- and offroad.

BMW

BMW continues its introduction of Plug-in hybrid technology across its range. There's a plug-in version of the 2 Series Active Tourer - the 225xe - and the 3 Series saloon - the 330e. The brand also has its X5 xDrive 40e and, most recently, its 740e and 740 xDrive Le luxury saloon models. There's also a new run-out version of the M5 executive sports saloon, the M5 Competition Edition.

ONE TO WATCH: The 330e is a good choice is you want a compact executive saloon that's both sporty and efficient.

CITROEN

Citroen is gradually re-inventing itself as a maker of interesting cars. The C4 Cactus crossover model began that trend - and is now available in special edition 'Rip Curl' and 'W' guises. Far more important though, is the launch of the third generation version of the company's C3 supermini. It looks sassier and there's even a built-in camera that can record road accident situations or send video clips of your travels to your friends.

MPV buyers meanwhile, get revised versions of the company C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso models, plus a super-large new Space Tourer model at the top of the range.

ONE TO WATCH: The new C3 returns Citroen to its innovative roots.

DACIA

Dacia has given its popular Duster a mild makeover, so there is an updated front grille and headlights, as well as some small changes to the dash design. There's also a new 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine.

ONE TO WATCH: Revised Duster is hard to ignore with its more frugal 1.2 turbo petrol engine.

DS

The DS brand is slowly growing following earlier introductions this year which saw the new DS3 and DS4 models arrive to join the existing DS5.

ONE TO WATCH: The DS4 Crossback is an interesting option if you want something a little different to a standard Qashqai-class Crossover.

FIAT

Fiat is reviving the Tipo name in 2016 with its VW Golf rival. It gets Fiat's existing petrol and turbodiesel engines. The compact 500 citycar was revised in 2015 with 1,800 changes and now can be ordered in sportier-looking '500S' guise. The Italian brand has also entered the pick-up sector with the Mitsubishi L200-derived Fullback model.

ONE TO WATCH: The Tipo is a keenly-priced alternative to usual Focus-class choices.

FORD

Ford has plenty that's new in its showrooms at present. Having launched the sporty Focus RS and Mustang models earlier this year, the brand is following up with the sportiest-ever Fiesta, the Fiesta ST220. If you can't quite stretch to that, there are more dynamic-looking 'ST-Line' versions of the Fiesta and Focus available. Plus 'ST-Line' trim is also available on the brand's Kuga family SUV.

Talking of SUVs, there's plenty that's new with Ford in that market sector. The brand's smallest SUV/Crossover offering is the EcoSport and this model has been lightly revised, the key change being the addition of a 1.0-litre 140PS engine at the top of the range. At the other end of Ford's SUV line-up is the all-new Edge, a car that provides a high-value alternative to models like Audi's Q5 and BMW's X3.

ONE TO WATCH: The Edge is arguably the most class-competitive large SUV Ford has yet brought us.

HONDA

Honda's key current introduction is a supercar, the second generation NSX. It boasts a petrol V6 and electric motor that combine to give 550bhp. More important for the brand though, is the all-new Civic family hatch that debuts early next year.

ONE TO WATCH: New NSX promises to give its European rivals a run for their money.

HYUNDAI

Hyundai has facelifted its i10 citycar and added a new perky 1.0 T-GDI petrol turbo engine into its i20 supermini line-up. There's also an i30 Turbo Edition hot hatch model, plus a new automatic 1.7-litre CRDi diesel option for the strong-selling Tucson SUV line-up.

ONE TO WATCH: The i20 1.0 T-GDI introduces three cylinder eco-power into the Korean company's supermini line-up for the first time.

JAGUAR

The Jaguar F-PACE is now on sale after much pre-launch fanfare. It's a key car for Jaguar as it opens up the lucrative SUV market. The F-PACE takes Jaguar into direct competition with the Audi Q5, BMW X4 and the Mercedes GLC Coupe. Lovers of fast cars will find the F-type SVR to their liking as it is lighter than a standard F-type and has a 567bhp version of the supercharged V8 engine.

ONE TO WATCH: A 200mph F-type elevates Jaguar into a very rarefied club of sportscars.

JEEP

Jeep's Cherokee is the cleanest and most frugal it's ever been, with help from a ninespeed automatic gearbox. It's also generously equipped, but not as good to drive as a BMW X3. At the affordable end of the spectrum is the Renegade. It shares much of its underpinnings with the Fiat 500X, so there are 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines, as well as a choice of two- and four-wheel drive.

ONE TO WATCH: Renegade has all of Jeep's usual qualities coupled to a more youthful and funky style.

KIA

The key news from Kia is the launch of its new Niro small crossover hybrid model, the first petrol/electric contender in this segment. It slots in below the new MK4 model Sportage, a family-sized Crossover launched earlier this year and now selling strongly.

Also new for new reg is an estate version of the company's Mondeo-sized Optima. And Optima fans also get the option of Plug-in petrol/electric technology for the first time. At the bottom of the Kia model range, the Picanto citycar and Rio supermini line-ups have been lightly revised and now include air conditioning on all models.

ONE TO WATCH: Much improved Optima now has greater appeal to fleet drivers.

LAND ROVER

Land Rover has finally laid the Defender to rest and a replacement is not due until 2018. In the meantime, Land Rover has the new Evoque Convertible, which is based on the three-door model and has a fabric roof. Engines are the same as the hard-top models and Land Rover promises the convertible will be just as able off-road as its fixed-top stablemate. A new Discovery will replace the current model at the end of 2016. It will use aluminium to be lighter and hybrid power is a likely option, but it will retain seven seats and its brilliant all-round ability.

ONE TO WATCH: A convertible Range Rover sounds wrong but looks very right.

LEXUS

Lexus has broadened its coupe range. The RC is the same overall body shape and style as the V8-powered RC F but comes with more affordable engine options. Meanwhile, the new Lexus GSF uses the RCF's same V8 engine but offers a more practical four-door bodystyle.

ONE TO WATCH: Sleek RC could be a surprise contender for upscale coupe buyers' custom.

MAZDA

The improved Mazda3 family hatch offers a smarter cabin and improved media connectivity. It slots in above the new generation Mazda2 supermini launched last year and now available in limited-run 'Red Edition' guise. Selling strongly is the Mazda5 sportscar, now available in 'Icon' special edition guise.

ONE TO WATCH: MX5 is a good looker and it drives very well too.

MERCEDES-BENZ

A new E-Class is big news as this model accounts for a fifth of all Mercedes' sales globally. It's the seventh generation of E-Class and further refines the company's saloon look as used on the C- and S-Class models. For the '56 reg, the key news is that this car is now also available in Estate guise too.

Mercedes has also just introduced a smart Cabriolet version of its C-Class. And a sporty Coupe version of its GLC luxury compact SUV.

ONE TO WATCH: New E-Class Estate has Audi, BMW and Jaguar rivals firmly in its sights to outdo them for comfort and class.

MG

The new MG GS Crossover offers just about everything you get from a Nissan Qashqai but for a lot less cash. It's also well equipped and quite decent to drive.

ONE TO WATCH: MG GS is a low-price alternative to family-sized Crossover rivals

MINI

A new MINI Convertible brings the latest third generation looks and style to the open-top model. It has a larger boot than the previous model for greater practicality. Expect a new second generation Countryman model to debut in the Autumn too.

ONE TO WATCH: New Countryman has distinctive looks and style with reasonable practicality.

MITSUBISHI

The latest version of the L200 pick-up keeps Mitsubishi near the front of this keenly contested market. It has a 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine that delivers improved economy and emissions. The recently revised Outlander family SUV continues to sell strongly, especially in PHEV Plug-in form. Plus there's a new citycar, the Mirage Juro.

ONE TO WATCH: The L200 remains a tough, dependable workhorse.

NISSAN

Nissan's N300 Navara pick-up is new and now uses more car-like suspension than rivals. There's a choice of two and four-wheel drive models, reflecting the desire for some buyers to only use this car on-road. The Leaf electric car has been revised and now has a longer range thanks to a more powerful battery. This means it can travel up to 155 miles between charges.

ONE TO WATCH: More battery power and a longer range make the Leaf a more appealing prospect.

PEUGEOT

Peugeot is introducing a second generation version of its 3008 family Crossover, a car with classier looks, more efficient engines and greater media connectivity. This slots in just above the recently revised 2008, a smaller Crossover model now being re-branded as an 'SUV' but actually offering much the same kind of package it did before, albeit in a smarter, better-equipped guise. For MPV buyers, the brand has its new large Traveller MPV, surely big enough for any family.

ONE TO WATCH: The 3008 is a much more effective Qashqai crossover rival.

PORSCHE

Porsche has introduced four cylinder turbocharged engines for the latest versions of its Boxster and Cayman sportscars, these now re-badged the '718 Boxster' and '718 Cayman'. These changes distance these cars a little further from the iconic 911 line-up, which was itself re-positioned with all-new engines at the beginning of this year. The brand is also about to launch a new generation version of its Panamera luxury five-door model.

ONE TO WATCH: New smaller engines for the Boxster and Cayman still offer plenty of power and performance.

RENAULT

An all-new Megane has just gone on sale in the UK in the Focus-class gamily hatch segment. It comes with stylish looks and a range of engines that offers everything from frugal to fast. There will also be a new Renaultsport hot hatch version, but not until 2017. Earlier than that will be the introduction of a sporty Grand Coupe two-door Megane model. The Megane also provides the underpinnings for Renault's two new MPV models, the five-seat Scenic and the seven-seat Grand Scenic. Both will be in the showrooms soon.

ONE TO WATCH: New Megane is an accomplished car that will have its rivals worried.

ROLLS-ROYCE

Rolls-Royce added the Dawn to its range in 2016 and it's selling strongly amongst the super-wealthy. It's essentially a convertible version of the Wraith and shares this model's engine and styling.

ONE TO WATCH: The Dawn revives an old Rolls name and much of the style of a bygone age.

SEAT

SEAT's big news is the launch of its first crossover model, the Ateca. It runs on the same underpinnings as Volkswagen's MK2 model Tiguan and, apart from a slightly smaller boot, offers just about everything you get in that VW for a significantly lower price. Elsewhere in the SEAT range, the Alhambra large MPV range has been lightly revised, with a revised trim structure and upgraded media connectivity.

ONE TO WATCH: The Ateca crossover will rejuvenate the SEAT brand.

SKODA

Skoda dealers have a Crossover model to talk about - the all-new Kodiaq, a car due to arrive towards the end of this year. In the showrooms now is a new 1.0-litre TSI version of the Octavia family hatch. And a potent 280PS 2.0 TSI petrol turbo version of the Superb. You can also now get a 4x4 version of the quick Octavia vRS hot hatch.

ONE TO WATCH: Octavia vRS 4x4 is one of the most able and practical hot hatches.

SMART

The Fortwo and Forfour use the same basic engine and gearbox. A new Fortwo Cabrio model broadens the appeal of these city cars.

ONE TO WATCH: Smart Fortwo Cabrio is a good bet for city driving in style.

SSANGYONG

The SsangYong Tivoli is a smaller crossover style of car and moves the Korean firm into the mainstream, especially in new lengthened XLV form. It's good to drive and provides more than ample interior space in a car that is well equipped and keenly priced.

ONE TO WATCH: The Tivoli XLV is a good example of the crossover breed at a competitive price.

SUBARU

Subaru has lightly updated its Forester 4x4 estate and XV crossover models. Both cars get a minor facelift and improved media connectivity. Both are also slightly smarter inside too. Otherwise, the cars' core attributes still remain, namely tough build quality and a capable Symmetrical 4x4 system.

ONE TO WATCH: The Forester's Symmetrical 4WD will keep you going when rivals would falter.

SUZUKI

Suzuki is breathing new life into its Baleno name with an all-new supermini bearing this name. It uses the Celerio's direct injection 1.0-litre petrol engine. In the Crossover sector, the brand now offers the Vitara, lately improved with the additional option of a pokey but efficient 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine.

ONE TO WATCH: The Baleno is a low profile but efficient high value supermini well worth checking out.

TOYOTA

Toyota has just introduced a new generation version of its Prius hybrid, while at the other end of the efficiency scale, there's also a new generation version of its Hilux pick-up too. The brand has also introduced an all-new Proace van in recent times and is offering it in people carrying MPV form as the 'Proace Verso'. The Mirai is a much more radical approach to family transport. Its hydrogen power limits where it can be used as the fuel is not widely available, but this fuel cell car is a bold step towards the future.

ONE TO WATCH: The new Prius is better to drive and sleeker than before.

VAUXHALL

Vauxhall has thoroughly updated its Mokka crossover and re-badged it the 'Mokka X'. The car gets a pokier 1.4-litre petrol turbo engine option and more technology, including Intellilink media connectivity. The same infotainment system is also used in the facelifted version of the Zafira Tourer 7-seat MPV that is just reaching the Griffin brand's showrooms.

ONE TO WATCH: Mokka X now looks a more credible small crossover than before.

VOLKSWAGEN

If there's such a thing as a 'premium' example of a citycar, then Volkswagen's little Up! Model is probably it. The Wolfsburg brand has revised this car for the current market, adding in a clever three cylinder 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine at the top of the range to give it a little more zip. Also lightly facelifted it's the brand's iconic Beetle model. There's Plug-in petrol/electric technology for the company's Mondeo-class Passat - and the same engine will also be used in the company's forthcoming Tiguan GTE.

ONE TO WATCH: New Up! Is smarter and perkier and now has the option of turbo power.

VOLVO

Volvo is back in the executive saloon market with its S90 that goes on sale alongside an estate model, the V90. Further down the range, the V40 premium hatch has received a facelift and now features efficient 'Drive-E' engines across the range.

ONE TO WATCH: S90 promises to make Volvo a much bigger player in the executive saloon sector.