Buying a new car this November? Drawing up a shortlist and lining up some test drives? These are the latest new cars in the showrooms this month.
For £2000 trade-in against your old banger:
Price: from £9395
What’s the catch? Needing to have owned the trade-in vehicle for 90 days.
Remember the 2009 scrappage scheme? It push-started new-car sales which had suffered a record fall during the recession. In return for a no-quibble £2000 part-exchange value for their old motor, around 300,000 drivers were encouraged to trade-in their banger for a new car.
Vauxhall is now bringing a version of the scheme back. Any driver who has owned an old car for at least 90 days is entitled to part exchange it for £2000 towards their new Vauxhall. The Corsa is the latest model in the car maker’s showrooms, and with the scrappage fee discounted, prices would start from the equivalent of £7395. That’s seriously good value for money for a supermini as well-respected as the Corsa.
For a sporty car that’s a well-kept secret:
Skoda Octavia vRS 230
Price: from £26,150
Did you know? Skoda customers are happier with their cars than Volkswagen drivers.
Think Skoda, and you may well think ‘sensible’. But the Volkswagen-owned car maker has a secret army of more than 30,000 dedicated followers who swear by its sporty but stealthy Octavia vRS performance models. You can see why. The go-fast Octavia is understated, has a spacious interior and makes for an exceptionally practical family car, yet with a hot engine under its bonnet it goes like the clappers.
The latest vRS 230 model is the quickest yet. It can accelerate from 0-62mph in a brisk 6.7 seconds, and comes with a new electronic differential that enhances the car’s hold of the road when cornering and accelerating.
As if that wasn’t reason enough, Skoda came third in this year’s Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. More than 60,000 drivers took part, and VW didn’t make it into the top 20 when it came to manufacturer ratings.
For families with a thirst for adventure:
Volkswagen California Beach
Price: from £37,657
Essential option: Chiller box for sausages and bacon.
The simple pleasures of canvas under the stars can wear a bit thin when it’s pouring with rain or you have to drag equipment down from the loft when you want to explore the great outdoors.
That’s where the Volkswagen California Beach comes in. It’s a family car, tent, bedroom and kitchen all rolled into one. Admittedly it’s expensive, but the California’s reputation for holding its value is the stuff of legend, so it can work out cheaper to run than many other large family cars over time.
The all-new, sixth generation model would be at its best when fitted with the 2.0-litre 150PS TDI engine, which costs from £39,734. It will pull a fully-laden California Beach without labouring, and there’s a host of tempting options that will turn any field or layby into a home from home.
For SUV drivers wanting an affordable plug-in hybrid electric car:
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Price: from £29,249 (including Government grant)
Secret to a successful school-run: Can run on electric power with zero emissions for short trips.
If you own an SUV and do round trips of under 25 miles, switching to a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV could see petrol bills slashed altogether. The Outlander, a plug-in hybrid petrol-electric car, can travel as far as 32 miles on a single charge of its battery.
Admittedly, faster roads or steep hills might need the assistance of the petrol engine. But on the whole, it’s possible to drive on electric power alone, as the battery will run the motors up to 74mph.
With no road tax to pay, exemption from the London Congestion Charge and the potential for fuel economy of up to 156mpg – plus seriously low company car tax rates (BIK) of just five per cent - it can reduce the cost of motoring for a lot of drivers. Little wonder it’s the best-selling ultra-low emission vehicle in the UK, with about 1000 bought every month.
For the height of luxury and latest technology:
BMW 7 Series
Price: from £64,530
Hottest high-tech feature: Gesture recognition.
There are gadgets and gizmos galore throughout the new 7 Series, the poshest luxury saloon that BMW makes. Fans of Minority Report or gaming consoles with motion sensing hardware will be most taken with the BMW’s gesture recognition. This allows the driver to operate certain functions of the car’s infotainment system with a hand gesture.
Admittedly, it’s only the most simple of tasks that can be manipulated, such as adjusting the volume of the audio system or answering the phone, but you’ll be the only driver able to perform such a party trick – for now, at least.
Of equal significance is the carbon fibre core at the centre of the 7 Series that helps cut weight, enhance the driving experience and improve the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The entry level 730d model is likely to be the most popular. Its 3-litre diesel engine delivers 60mpg and interestingly there’s a new option to choose: four-wheel drive or xDrive in BMW language which takes the price up to £67,260.