Exciting year for new car buyers

Shane O’Donoghue looks at the great range of new cars entering the market across all categories

Exciting year for new car buyers

Shane O’Donoghue looks at the great range of new cars entering the market across all categories

A-to-Z guide to new cars for 2020

In terms of motoring, there were no drastic new measures announced in Budget 2020, which should help reassure new car buyers that it’s ok to go ahead and choose a car that suits them.

Yes, there are incentives to go electric, but those that need an efficient new diesel for long-distance driving are not unfairly penalised. In short, old diesels are bad, but new diesels are fine.

We suspect that this clarification will help boost new car sales in the coming months, especially as it comes at the same time as the realisation that we’re unlikely to get a ‘No Deal Brexit’ now. That’s all very good timing, as there’s a wealth of exciting new vehicles on the way. Some of the following we’ve been explicitly told about by the car makers, but we’ve had to dust off our crystal ball for others. One thing’s for sure: it’s going to be an interesting year, no matter which pump (or charger) your car refuels at.

Alfa Romeo

At the time of writing, Alfa Romeo’s parent company, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, is in talks with the PSA Groupe (Peugeot, Citroen, etc.) to merge and create a new automotive giant. If that goes ahead, then every new model across the two conglomerate’s groups will be up for review.

And already it appears that Alfa’s planned GTV sports coupe (based on the rear-drive Giulia saloon) has been canned. No matter what happens, the Giulia saloon and Alfa Stelvio SUV will come in for a round of modest model year updates for 2020, so watch out for those, but of more importance to Alfa’s bottom line is the introduction of its Tonale, a compact crossover set for introduction next year.

Audi

Audi has already had a busy year and some of the cars we saw revealed in the past few months will be hitting Irish shores soon — such as the 600hp RS 6 Avant, the sleek Q3 Sportback SUV and the quirky A1 Citycarver (a supermini in hiking boots, essentially).

There’s a lot more to come that we have yet to see, including three new all-electric ‘e-tron’ models. The e-tron Sportback is set to be a sportier looking version of the current Audi e-tron SUV, while it will be followed to market by the more affordable Q4 e-tron and, at the other end of the affordability scale, the gorgeous e-tron GT.

For the traditionalists, the V10-engined R8 sports car gets a rear-wheel-drive variant. Perhaps eclipsing all of those in terms of importance to Audi’s sales will be a brand-new A3 hatchback, which we expect to make its world debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show.

BMW iX3, just one of the company’s hotly anticipated new models.
BMW iX3, just one of the company’s hotly anticipated new models.

BMW

Audi’s compatriot, BMW, has been just as busy. We’ve already seen the new X6 SUV (in regular and ‘M’ flavours), 2 Series Gran Coupe, M2 CS and 8 Series Gran Coupe, all set to hit the Irish market in the year ahead.

BMW has also confirmed that an all-electric version of the X3 SUV, called the iX3, will be launched in 2020. Rumours suggest that the BMW 5 Series range and the 6 Series Gran Tourer will come in for mid-life updates next year, while the 4 Series Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe will be replaced by brand-new cars based on the still relatively new BMW 3 Series.

Citroen

Citroen, part of the PSA Groupe mentioned above, will move forward with electrification next year, and we believe that an all-new C4 C-segment hatchback will lead the way for the brand. It has also revealed a plug-in hybrid version of the C5 Aircross, with a 50km electric range.

Cupra

We never expect Cupra, a sporting brand spun away from its parent, SEAT, to become a big player in Ireland, but its next new product (and the first developed specifically for Cupra) is interesting.

It’ll take the form of a very sporting SUV with coupe-like styling and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The concept previewing it is called the Formentor, but we’re not sure if that name will make it through to production.

DS 3 Crossback, a highly distinctive car which is hotly anticipated by Irish motor enthusiasts.
DS 3 Crossback, a highly distinctive car which is hotly anticipated by Irish motor enthusiasts.

DS

We’re still waiting for the unusual DS 3 Crossback to arrive in Ireland. It’s a highly distinctive alternative to the Range Rover Evoque — and it will be available in fully electric ‘E-Tense’ format when it does go on sale.

Fiat

Early in 2020, we’ll see a modestly updated version of the evergreen Fiat Panda. Later in the year, Fiat will attempt to update its iconic 500 model. Rumours suggest that it may go fully electric.

Ford

Ford is embracing its American background next year. The famous Bronco badge will be rejuvenated for a retro-styled SUV or, possibly, a range of Bronco-branded SUVs.

It’s not clear yet if these will reach Europe, but don’t bet against it, especially after Ford has committed to selling the Mustang here. Speaking of which, spy shots of prototype cars suggest that the Mustang may get a hybrid powertrain in 2020.

Sticking with the Mustang theme, Ford will unveil a brand new high-performance electric SUV in just a couple of days — possibly called the Mach-E — with Mustang-inspired styling and a 600km range between charges.

We expect a Tesla-matching price tag… Back in the real world, Ford will be electrifying its regular SUVs, too, and there’s an all-new Kuga on the way, including a plug-in hybrid variant.

Following that is a new Ford Puma. Those that remember the Fiesta-based coupe of old may not approve of the new Puma’s crossover design, but we’re promised an interesting driving experience, nonetheless.

Honda e spearheads the Japanese company’s new ‘e’ branding. The Honda e is a small but stylish electric city car with a relatively small battery pack in a bid to reduce weight.
Honda e spearheads the Japanese company’s new ‘e’ branding. The Honda e is a small but stylish electric city car with a relatively small battery pack in a bid to reduce weight.

Honda

Electrification is the name of the game at Honda next year — and heading that up is the diminutive Honda ‘e’, a small but stylish electric city car with a relatively small battery pack in a bid to reduce weight. That car spearheads the Japanese company’s new ‘e’ branding, which will include ‘e: HEV’ for hybrid models. First of those looks to be a substantially redesigned Honda Jazz.

The eye-catching Hyundai i10, which also delivers great performance.
The eye-catching Hyundai i10, which also delivers great performance.

Hyundai

Hyundai’s news for the start of 2020 is the launch of a new-look i10. It’s always been one of the best city cars on the market; now it’s also one of the best-looking.

Jaguar

It has been rumoured for some time that Jaguar will replace its aging XJ luxury saloon with an all-electric model, so watch out for that next year. On top of that, we know that the F-Pace SUV and F-Type sports car are both due midlife facelifts.

Land Rover

It’ll be a big year for Land Rover in 2020, because the all-new Defender comes to market, in a variety of forms. It’s one of the most-hyped cars of recent times. Indeed, its arrival takes the limelight from a comprehensively updated Discovery Sport model.

Lexus

The only new Lexus that we know of for sure is an updated RX SUV, available in five- and seven-seat guises. Big news is the adoption of a new infotainment system, which should remove one of the few negative aspects of this luxurious hybrid.

Mazda

Mazda is busy rolling out its advanced SkyActiv-X petrol engine to the line-up and, brand-new to the market is the CX-30 crossover. It sits between the existing Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 models, offering buyers plenty of choice. Following on from that will be the very quirky MX-30, Mazda’s first electric car that, as the name suggests, hopes to mix aspects of the company’s sports cars with its new electric powertrain.

In time we expect this model to come with a petrol-powered range extender option.

Mercedes

It’ll be an endless year of new model introductions for Mercedes. We’ve already seen what its plug-in hybrid compact models will look like, alongside the battery-powered EQV people carrier, the huge GLS SUV and the new GLE Coupe.

Next up will be the GLB, a compact SUV with up to seven seats. It will be followed by an all-new GLA crossover, then a new electric car built on the same platform to be called the EQA. Later in the year we may get our first glimpse of an all-new S-Class saloon, plus a significant update for the Mercedes C-Class.

MINI

MINI’s new models next year sit at opposite ends of the automotive spectrum from each other. The MINI Cooper SE is the firm’s production-ready electric car, promising to mix driving fun with zero emissions. Meanwhile, the new MINI John Cooper Works GP hot hatch focuses solely on the former, thanks to a feisty 306hp petrol engine and a wild body kit.

Nissan

We’ve already seen the new Nissan Juke, which will hit the Irish market shortly with more space and slightly less divisive styling than before. It’s assumed that Nissan will replace its top-selling Qashqai with a new model later in 2020, as well.

Opel

It’s taken Opel time to get back up to speed after it joined the PSA Groupe a couple of years ago, but now there’s a steady stream of new models coming through. The Zafira Life is a large people carrier based on the same underpinnings as the Vivaro commercial vehicle, but the biggest news will be the launch of the next-generation Opel Corsa hatchback. It’ll be available as a purely electric vehicle, too. Later in 2020 we expect to see a new interpretation of the Mokka X SUV.

The striking Peugeot 208. Most new Peugeot models will get plug-in hybrid technology in 2020.
The striking Peugeot 208. Most new Peugeot models will get plug-in hybrid technology in 2020.

Peugeot

Peugeot Ireland has just confirmed pricing for its striking new 208, including the promising battery-powered e-208. Hot on its heels will be a new 2008 crossover, offered in conventional and electric forms from the start. Most of the rest of the Peugeot range will also get plug-in hybrid technology next year.

Porsche

The super-expensive, all-electric Taycan is grabbing all the limelight over at Porsche this year, and it will spawn a more rugged looking ‘Cross Turismo’ variant. Back in the rest of the range, expect plenty of new 911 derivatives, such as a track-focused GT3 mode, plus a facelift for the Panamera gran turismo.

Renault

A substantially revised Renault Zoe electric car is about the hit the market, with extended range and high-speed charging capability. After that we’ll see the introduction of a new and more upmarket version of the popular Renault Captur crossover.

SEAT

If you want to know what’s coming from SEAT in the year ahead, look closely at what its parent, Volkswagen, has already revealed. So, using the underpinnings of the VW Golf 8, for example, will be a new generation of the SEAT Leon hatchback. More topical, perhaps, will be SEAT’s new electric car, following on from the ‘El-born’ concept car of this year and sharing its platform with the Volkswagen ID.3.

Skoda

Skoda’s stylish new Octavia was revealed only last week and it replaces what was already Skoda Ireland’s most successful model. Saying that, the new Kamiq crossover, already on sale here, may vie for that position. In terms of electrification, there’s a plug-in hybrid version of the (recently updated) Superb on the way, plus an all-electric Citigo and, next year, an upmarket electric vehicle previewed by the Vision E concept car.

Tesla

The promising Tesla Model 3 has finally gone on sale here, but we’re slow to predict when any other new models might arrive. We do know that the American company is working on an SUV to sit below the Model X in the range (and possibly called the Model Y), while it has also previewed a high-performance sports car called simply the Tesla Roadster.

Toyota

Boldly, Toyota is moving most of its passenger car range to purely hybrid power next year, headlined by a modestly revised version of the C-HR crossover. Big news comes in the shape of an all-new Yaris supermini, with an even more efficient hybrid powertrain than before.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen is in the midst of launching arguably its two most important cars of recent times. The first up is the ID.3, an all-electric hatchback set for big sales numbers. It’ll spawn a whole range of ‘ID’ electric cars in time, including, we believe, an ID.4 compact crossover — to be unveiled in a matter of months.

Just as important, though, is an all-new version of the Volkswagen Golf. There won’t be an electric version this time, but it can be had as two different plug-in hybrids, along with the usual array of petrol, diesel and high-performance options. Of less significance, but one for enthusiasts, is the new VW T-Roc R, using the Golf R’s powerful engine and four-wheel drive.

Volvo

Volvo has already revealed the XC40 Recharge, an all-electric version of the compact SUV. Apparently it does over 400 kilometres on a full charge and has over 400hp to put through its four wheels. Sounds promising. We expect Volvo to replace its aging V40 hatchback at some stage in 2020, too, featuring plug-in hybrid technology.

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