In Depth

The best cars of 2017: Range Rover, Lexus and more

From luxury SUVs to fully-electric cars, here are all the details for this year's new models

The best new cars of 2016

23 November

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo hopes the looks of the Giulia can tempt potential buyers way from German rivals.

A stylish, rear-wheel drive saloon, the Giulia marks a bit of a re-birth for Alfa Romeo and forms part of an ambitious growth strategy that will also see an SUV in the coming years.

Four engine choices will be available from launch – the first being a 2.2-litre diesel available with either 148bhp or 178bhp. Petrol options will kick off with a turbocharged 2.0-litre with 197bhp, with the range topping 3.0-litre V6 Quadriogolio above it. Prices should start between £27,000 and £29,000. 

Unveiling the Giulia at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015, Alfa decided the best way to showcase the new saloon staple would be to debut it in top range trim. The 503bhp Quadrifoglio range-topper will battle the likes of the BMW M3, and is fitted with a Ferrari-developed twin-turbocharged V6.

Aston Martin DB11

Aston's next DB car sports a bold new design compared to the cookie-cutter cues used across the range for a decade, as well as a brand new engine.

The car's front end is significantly more sculpted and muscular compared to the 13-year-old look of the DB9. The grille is wider, with horn-shaped headlamps, and two bold lines run down the bonnet, which is now a front-hinged clamshell. There's also some clever aero work in the wheel arches.

Around the back, the shoulders are more pronounced, with a lip spoiler feeding between the taillights and two aluminium blades coming down from the roof to form the C-pillars. New alloy wheel designs complement the refreshed look.

A two-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12, boasting 600bhp and 516 lb-ft torque, lies under the bonnet and 0-62mph is dealt with in 3.9 seconds, with the DB11 going on all the way to 200mph. There's some interesting efficiency tech going on here, too – this V12 has cylinder deactivation capabilities to reduce CO2 emissions.

Prices start from £154,900 and first deliveries will be towards the end of this year.

Audi Q2

The smallest member of Audi's Q family of SUVs and crossovers is set to be on sale in August, priced around £22,000.

Audi has used the Q2 to debut some new styling cues in a bid to make the small crossover appeal to a younger market. As such, one particular area of design to take note of is the shoulder line – the company has raised it while squatting the windows and roof downwards so despite being small, the Q2 has some rather chunky looking proportions.

Auto Express reckons running costs ought to be low, with power coming from Audi's usual choice of 2.0-litre TDI diesels and 1.4 TFSI petrol units. A 1.0-litre version is to join the range at a later stage. It's tech heavy, too – Audi's Virtual Cockpit TFT display can be equipped, giving it some big car toys.

Bentley Bentayga

After Bentley's first attempt at an SUV, the EXP 9F concept we saw at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show was considered ugly by the motoring press, it's good to see that the production Bentley SUV looks considerably better. The design cues on the Bentayga are thoughtful. This is unmistakably Bentley.

The Bentayga will be the fourth model in the Bentley range and makes use of the Volkswagen group's large SUV platform. At £160,000 it's one of the most expensive SUVs ever.

Like most things wearing a Bentley badge, it uses a 600bhp twin turbo-charged W12 which propels all two and a half tonnes of Crewe's finest to a top speed of 187 mph. Autocar expects the Bentayga to be available with Diesel and Hybrid power plants at some point in the future.

BMW M2

BMW's new small M car – the M2 – is "simply outstanding" according to Top Gear. Priced from £44,070, the M fettled 2 series is a proper driver's car, and uses a turbocharged 3-litre straight six with 360bhp, mated to a manual gearbox as standard. 0-62mph is dispatched in 4.5 seconds and it reaches an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

You're not likely to see one on UK roads though – BMW has only allocated 500 examples for UK dealers.

Bugatti Chiron

This looks set to be a big year for supercar fans, with the introduction of Bugatti's Veyron successor: the Chiron.

Upping the ante over the Veyron is no mean feat, but the Chiron should deliver. It's powered by the same 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16 engine, but with larger turbochargers thrown in along with several other performance tweaks. As such, it has 1,479bhp – some 300bhp more than the outgoing Veyron Super Sport.

Top speed is electronically limited to 261mph, leaving space for faster Super Sport variants in the future, and despite several potential buyers already having signalled their interest, it officially goes on sale in autumn, priced from £1.9m.

Five hundred examples of the first Chiron variant will be made, with more than 100 having already found owners. According to Auto Express, one ultra-wealthy customer has laid down the necessary cash to reserve no less than six examples. Unlike the Veyron, it's a profitable project for the Volkswagen Group.

Fiat 124 Spider

Fiat will revive its iconic 124 Spider nameplate with its follow-up to the firm's cult Barchetta roadster from the last decade. However, lurking underneath the 124's bodywork are the underpinnings from a Mazda MX-5.

It doesn't quite match the range-topping 158bhp MX-5 just yet – when it launches, it will be using Fiat's 1.4-litre turbo MultiAir engine with 138bhp, although it will still be capable of 0-62mph in 7.5secs.

It goes on sale this summer and prices will start at £19,500 – a few hundred more than its Japanese rival.

Ford GT

Next year's Ford GT differs from its predecessor in one key area - the engine. Gone is the reliance on brute, naturally aspirated V8 muscle and in its place sits a 3.5-litre V6 Turbo rated at 592bhp.

Auto Express reports that only "a handful" will be coming to the UK, and globally only 250 will be produced per year, with Ford planning a production run of just 500 units.

As such, only Ford's best customers will be allowed to take delivery of the GT and the company has launched an extensive online application process, with questions ranging from what potential suitors have in their current collections to how active they are on social media.

Ford plans to enter a racing version of the car into the 2016 Le Mans 24 hours, marking 50 years since three Ford GT-40s placed first, second, and third in the 1966 edition of the race.

The GT is not the only exciting offering we expect from Ford next year, as the hotly anticipated Focus RS goes on global sale too.

Ford Focus RS

The third generation Focus RS was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015 and is now on sale, with the first drives of Ford's new hot hatch in.

The Focus RS is a four-wheel drive, 345bhp superhatch making use of a turbocharged 2.3-litre four cylinder engine lifted from the Mustang. It's capable of 0-62mph in 4.7secs, before punching on to a top speed of 165mph.

Early prices snuck under the £30k barrier, at £29,995, but buying one now will warrant a £31,000 price tag. However, price hike aside, that's still considerably less than many equally powerful super-hot hatchback rivals and Auto Express calls the Focus RS a "great value" performance car.

"It's agile and sporty in all the right places and offers massive acceleration", says the mag, adding that while the small boot and firm ride could put some people off, most will find the RS is a car that can be used every day, despite the huge performance on offer.

Hyundai Ioniq

A rival to the Toyota Prius, Hyundai's upcoming Ioniq will be offered with three different powertrain options. Buyers will be able to spec their cars as either a conventional hybrid or with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, alongside the option of a fully electric Ioniq. The plug-in car should be able to travel 31 miles on electric power alone, while Hyundai claims its fully electric creation will do 155 miles on a single charge.

According to What Car, the hybrid Hyundai should be a "premium product". In-car tech will feature strongly. There's a central infotainment screen mounted on the dashboard, as well as a wireless charging mat for smartphones, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Safety tech features, too – autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control also make the bill.

It'll go on sale towards the end of this year, with a price tag that starts at around £22,000.

Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar's debut SUV is out now, starting from £34,170 and set to rival other small, premium SUV offerings from the likes of BMW and its X3, as well as the Porsche Macan.

Taking on Jaguar's current design cues, such as the XJ/XE-inspired front end combined with the F-Type rear lights, this is probably one of the best-looking SUVs on the market and doesn't look a million miles away from the 2013 concept version. Jaguar elected to keep much of that car's handsome design after good feedback.

At the bottom of the range is a 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, returning 57mpg on a combined cycle. A larger, 3.0-litre diesel is available, too, with 296bhp. It'll do 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds, but economy is down to 47mpg.

Topping out the range is the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol, with 375bhp. First deliveries have begun.

Kia Niro

The Niro is an all-new compact crossover SUV, fitted with a hybrid powertrain and joining the Soul EV and Optima Hybrid as part of the firm's growing EcoDynamics sub-brand of low-emissions vehicles.

Design wise, all of the smaller, sportier crossover cues are there –sloping roofline, high shoulders and short overhangs, making the compact SUV seem sharp and handsome. Black plastic cladding on the wheel-arches makes the Niro a tad more rugged. In terms of size, the car sits between the Cee'd hatchback and Sportage crossover.

Power comes from a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a small electric motor for a total output of 138bhp. Kia promises the drivetrain delivers emissions as low as 89g/km CO2. Test-driving it, Auto Express managed 60mpg – not too far off Kia's claimed 73mpg.

The magazine adds that the starting price should be the biggest pull factor – they reckon an £18,000 price tag is on the cards when it goes on sale later this year.

Lexus LC 500

Lexus unveiled its stunning new 2+2 coupe at the Detroit Motor Show in January. The LC 500 is a production version of its LF-LC concept from 2012, which was swiftly followed by a hybrid version at Geneva in March. The car's angular, aggressive and wide stance has won huge favour with critics.

Starting with the conventional model, the LC 500 gets a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 producing 467bhp, mated to a ten-speed automatic gearbox sending power to the rear wheels. The LC 500h makes use of a 3.5-litre V6 mated to an electric motor, for a total power output of 354bhp.

Though revealed this year, it will be a while before the LC 500 hits the road – Lexus will release it in spring 2017, possibly priced from around £60,000 upwards.

Maserati Levante

Maserati launches its SUV later this year – and it could be the most important car in the firm's 102 year history. 

A sporty looking vehicle to go up against the likes of the Porsche Macan, the Levante will start from £54,335, with first deliveries this autumn. 

Its front end mimics the firm's Ghibli saloon, while the overall design makes use of the industry wide established tactic of a sloping roofline mated to a rising shoulderline, for a hunched appearance. Inside, the Levante gets a luxurious but sporty leather interior, featuring bucket seats and an 8.4ins touchscreen infotainment system.

Engine wise Maserati will offer the car with a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine producing 271bhp in the UK. However, Auto Express reports that Maserati could be preparing to bring new engine options to the UK.

The magazine claims that the firm could reverse its decision and offer the car with the turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol producing 430bhp too, introducing the engine as an option in November. Starting prices are likely to be more than £60,000. 

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The new E-Class is coming this year. First deliveries are expected in May and the car is priced from £35,935.

Mercedes has placed a heavy technology emphasis on its latest mid-sized executive saloon, not least strong S-Class styling cues inside and out. On all but the entry level car, the dashboard is cloaked in screens – two 12.3ins HD monitors make up the infotainment system, satnav, and instrument binnacle.

Many of the car's functions are handled through interacting with these screens via touch-sensitive buttons located on each side of the steering wheel and new safety and semi-autonomous features such as Drive Pilot headline a car that can be loaded with gadgets.

Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster

On the surface, it seems the 2016 Boxster and Cayman have had mild facelifts and that's it. Under the bonnet, however, are big changes and Porsche has switched how the cars stand in its range.

In the standard and S variants of the newly named 718 range, the cars ditch flat-sixes in favour of downsized, turbocharged four-cylinder units. Purists may bemoan the switch, but there's no doubt that both cars now have more grunt. The entry level engine is a 2.0-litre, developing 296bhp and 280lb-ft torque, while S cars get a 2.5-litre chucking out 345bhp.

The facelift sees both cars get a slightly revised air intake setup at the front and similar small alterations at the back.

The Cayman is now cheaper than the Boxster, starting at £39,878 to the convertible's £41,739 price tag.

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

 

"It had to happen – on top of the regular SUVs we've had coupe-SUVs and performance SUVs, so surely a convertible SUV is a natural next step?" says Auto Express of the Evoque drop-top's introduction.

The convertible Evoque first appeared at last year's Los Angeles Motor Show and is on sale now, priced from £47,500 – a £5,200 premium on the hard-top version that has become a sales staple for Jaguar Land Rover.

The Evoque will use a full-length metal-folding top opposed to a simpler fabric canopy and despite its target market, should still possess the off-road abilities expected of its badge.

Seat Ateca

Seat jumps on the crossover bandwagon with the Ateca, another Volkswagen group entry to take on the likes of the Nissan Qashqai in what's become a seriously popular segment.

It's going to come in at a cheaper price than the Qashqai. The Ateca goes on sale in September with a price tag starting from £17,990 and will come with the usual range of VW group diesels and petrols. A 115bhp 1.0-litre petrol will be the entry level car, mated to a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, although models with all-wheel drive systems and DSG gearboxes will become available.

In the cabin, the Ateca will ape the firm's Leon hatchback.

Skoda Kodiaq

Skoda has confirmed that its upcoming large SUV will be called the Kodiaq, with a sale date either this winter or possibly early 2017 being touted.

It is set to sit on Volkswagen's large MQB platform and a concept car revealed at this year's Geneva Motor Show previewed the vehicle in near-production form. A full reveal of the finished road car will take place in Paris in the autumn. Prices are expected to start from as little as £24,000 – a big undercut against key rivals.

Tesla Model X

It's been a tricky birth for Tesla's all-electric SUV. Supply issues mean that a car that should have launched last year is still a few months away for the vast majority of its adopters. The Model X is coming for good in 2016, though.

It's a seven-seater with "Falcon wing" rear doors and the option of a 762bhp electric motor, good for a 0-62mph dash in 3.2 seconds and a range of 250 miles.Auto Express expects the price tag to be the same as the company's other offering - the Model S – when it makes it to UK shores, so £50,000 - £80,000.

Toyota C-HR

Toyota will release its stylish, coupe-inspired crossover this summer. The design of the C-HR – which stands for Coupe High Rider - is one of its outstanding features, says Auto Express. "Style conscious and eco aware families are the target", as the car will come with a hybrid powertrain option alongside a petrol with the choice of an all-wheel drive system. The hybrid will be a 1.8-litre mated to an electric motor for CO2 emissions lower than 90g/km. The accompanying petrol will be a 1.2-litre unit, producing 114bhp.

A special version of the crossover will take part in the 2016 Nurburgring 24-hour race as part of the promotional campaign.

Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen's second generation crossover is on sale now, with a brand new look and new engine options top of the bill.

This Tiguan sits on Volkswagen's MQB platform and is 2.3ins longer than the outgoing car, as well as 1.3ins lower. Combined with the revised design, taking cues from the current Golf and Passat, the overall look is chunkier and more purposeful.

There are two engine options from launch, both 2.0-litre units but one diesel and one petrol. The petrol unit gets 178bhp and is mated to Volkswagen's 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, as well as a seven-speed DSG gearbox. The diesel power unit comes with a manual gearbox driving only the front wheels, but can be fitted with the same systems as the petrol.

At the moment, prices start from £25,350 for the cheapest diesel option, but two more engines looks set to join the line-up – both smaller diesel and petrol options, which could start from £23,000.

Honda NSX

After an 11-year absence filled with concept cars and canned projects, the beloved NSX moniker returns in 2016.

The new NSX features a mid-engine, 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 delivering 573bhp and 476lb-ft of torque. While Honda has yet to reveal a 0-60mph time, Evo says they "aren't denying the 2.9sec claims that have been floating around".

Incorporating hybrid elements has allowed the firm to place two electric motors over the front axle, which, combined with the petrol engine, send power to all four wheels. The motors are attached to a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is geared to hit a top speed of 191mph.

Critics have already got behind the wheel of the NSX ahead of its launch towards the end of this year. Auto Express says it provides something new by offering a "tech-heavy hybrid-powertrain", but its engine sound is "rather dull and dreary below 4,000rpm".

Prices start from £137,950, which is around £30,000 more than its closest rival, the BMW i8

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