10 NEW CARS FOR 2017
2017 is already shaping up to be a brilliant year in motoring. Emerging trends seen in 2016 will become dominant this year, with all the major brands raising their games almost by the month.
Expect to see the continued rise of SUVS and crossovers, further progress with electric and electric-hybrid engines and an explosive growth in the amount and kind of technology loaded into everyday vehicles.
This tech will include improved connectivity and wifi, but also the relentless rise of semi-autonomous cars. Full self-driving is some way off, but a half way point towards it is on the cusp of being achieved
There are a plethora of brilliant models in the pipeline, and there isn’t space to write about them all. Here, in no particular order, we bring you ten to watch for in 2017.
A revamped version of the seventh generation Golf will be on sale on forecourts shortly. It will get a new external look across the range, including LED headlamps, but it’s inside where things are really happening.
Expect innovations like gesture control, a much larger infotainment screen on the centre of the dashboard and lots of new driver assists.
There will be little change under the bonnet – with VW opting to retain the current diesel, petrol, electric and electric-hybrid powerplants.
Peugeot has completely redesigned its 5008 model, heralding a switch from a people carrier-type vehicle to a more proper SUV approach.
That’s not to say they’ve sacrificed space – the new model is actually roomier inside than the old one.
It’s a real looker, too, plus it’s got seven seats (the rear two can be removed), with the middle ones folding flat to give a massive load space.
Also, the 5008 gets Peugeot’s innovative new i- Cockpit design with eight-inch central touchscreen.
Subaru’s lovely-looking BRZ sports car gets a facelift for 2017, with a new external look, engine upgrades, improved suspension and new technology. There’s also a new track driving mode.
The cabin gets a quality makeover, including Alcantara leather. Like its Toyota GT86 sister, the new BRZ gets a LCD multi-function display in the instrument panel that includes a G force meter and lap timer.
MERCEDES E-CLASS COUPE
Even slicker, roomier and more efficient than its predecessors, the 2017 cars are also laden with technology.
There are some very tasty E 220d and E 350d diesels around, plus a very fast AMG petrol ver- sion. 2017 sees the arrival of coupe and cabriolet models to complete the range.
Skoda’s popular Octavia has been rather overshadowed by the larger Superb of late, but it will come back into focus in 2017 with a major facelift.
Exterior changes will modernise the Octavia and bring it more in line with the Superb and the new Kodiaq SUV.
Inside, expect a better quality cabin and enhanced connectivity including Apple Carplay.
Later in the year, Vauxhall’s dependable Insignia saloon will get a major revamp to sharpen up its exterior design.
The first new model, known as the Insignia Grand Sport, is expected to be roomier thanks to an elongated wheelbase, plus the cabin will get a major overhaul, with better quality materials, more technology and driver assists. The word is the car will be much lighter, too, so should be even more fuel-efficient.
BMW 3 SERIES
A whole new generation of BMW’S most successful ever model is expected later in the year.
The seventh generation car will almost certainly borrow the carbon-fibre construction seen in the current 7 Series and come laden with technology and driver assists.
There will be a new series of engines, a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric version.
On sale from this week, the C3 has been given a complete makeover borrowing looks and more from the popular C4 Cactus. For those who don’t like the ‘Airbumps’, however Citroen is also offering models without them.
A new seven-inch colour display has been added to the dashboard, and there’s lots of connectivity Apple Carplay and Mirrorlink.
You also get Citroen ConnectCam – which records driving and accidents.
Early in 2017, the new Fiesta will hit forecourts. It will feature sharper new styling, and a more upmarket cabin that is said to include a new infotainment system with touchscreen display.
The car is expected to move upmarket, although size isn’t expected to change much.
The Qashqai has dominated the crossover charts for years now, so it will be interesting to see what the 2017 mid-life refresh looks like.
Expect styling improvements to help it battle against the likes of the new Seat Ateca and even newer Toyota C-HR.
Also, the smart money is on the introduction of more semi-autonomous driving technology already hinted at by Nissan and called “Piloted Drive 1.0”.
Ford Fiesta ST