In a time when a lot of Brits are looking to tighten the purse strings rather than splash the cash on luxuries like exotic holidays and new houses; the number of new cars being bought in the UK has hit its highest level for more than a decade.
This April saw the most new cars registered with the DVLA since 2003 with close to 190,000 models being bought as fears over Britain’s possible exit from the European Union have prompted many to get their hands on foreign models before any potential price increase that may follow the EU referendum next month.
Year-on-year the number of new models bought in the UK was up 2 per cent, putting the new car market up by more than 4 per cent in the year to date compared to 2015, and this trend could be set to continue as manufacturers start to release their new models for 2016.
New cars for May 2016
Over the next few months we will see new family hatchbacks from Ford, Volkswagen and many more; along with new luxurious supercars from the biggest names in the industry including Ferrari.
In this particular feature we’re going to take a look at three of the latest releases onto the new car market, with models from Audi, Smart and Volvo; assisting you in your search for a new car for summer 2016.
As a model the Audi S5 has been around for almost a decade now; but as with most Audi models it’s improving with age and experience. Famous for their styling and innovation, Audi continue to develop one of the most popular cars in their range to give it a new lease of life.
While many manufacturers simply add a new piece of technology to their latest models, or perhaps offer customers a new choice of interior; Audi know what works and what the customer wants – and they give it to them in abundance.
The 2016 Audi S5 looks as pleasing on the eye as it is to drive. The steering couldn’t be more perfect and responsive, allowing drivers to take the bends with ease; while the 333bhp super-charged V6 engine provides effortless performance, barely breaking into a sweat as you eat up the miles.
In terms of the interior, the cabin is spacious and luxurious; and Audi have kitted it out with everything you could possibly need for comfort, style and practicality. You get a multi-function steering wheel, climate control, electric windows, electric handbrake, cruise control and a handy, well-placed cup holder in the centre console.
From a safety perspective you get the best of Audi’s famous parking system plus along with front and rear head-height side airbags, as well as driver and passenger airbags.
The Audi S5 at a Glance
- Supercharged V6 engine, generating 333bhp
- Top speed of 153mph
- 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds
- Automatic stop-start engine, helping to create combined fuel efficiency of 35.8mpg
- Prices start at £43,790
The Smart ForTwo Cabriolet
All Smart cars seem to divide opinion. You either love their quirky look or you despise them, and the new Smart ForTwo Cabriolet is set to continue this trend. Made for city driving with their fast and responsive handling, the Smart range has always stood out from the crowd, and the economic engines have made them particularly popular in and around London and other major UK cities.
In an attempt to get away from the city drivers and reach those in the country, Smart have taken the practical ForTwo and created the soft top Cabriolet. It retains the same size as the hard-top, but enables you to feel the wind in your hair this summer for an extra few thousand pounds.
You still get the sharp 1-litre and 0.9-litre engine options and both manual and automatic gearbox choices; making the only major innovation the electric roof. Customers get a wide range of choice when it comes to paint and interior styling; while the roof is only available in black as standard, with red and blue options coming at an extra cost.
So how fast and responsive is the convertible roof? Well, it takes 12-seconds from the moment you flick the electronic switch on the dashboard to go from fully closed to fully open – which is quite good – and Smart have also revealed that the new model gives a “partial opening” option, although it remains to be seen just how beneficial this would actually be considering the size of the car…
The Smart ForTwo at a Glance
- 1-litre and 0.9-litre engines available, generating 70bhp
- Top speed of 94mph
- 0-60mph in 15.5 seconds
- Prices start at £15,550
The Volvo V90
Volvo have been given a rough deal in the past with many believing that their cars were designed with efficiency, safety and practicality in mind over styling and performance. After being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, we’re now able to see the full details – and looks – of the latest Volvo estate, the V90, that attempts to change those opinions.
The Swedish firm have tried and tried to change minds for several years now and with each model you feel as though they’re getting that little bit closer. Still more famous for their estates and four-wheel drive models than their sporty hatchbacks, the Volvo V90 is an adaptation on the popular S90 saloon.
It doesn’t differ too greatly in terms of styling when compared to the saloon and SUV “siblings”, and takes on the identical headlamps, grille and in-your-face Volvo branding. If anything the styling is actually significantly different to previous Volvo estates with the sloping roof helping it to look more like a BMW than a Volvo.
Initially there will only be two diesel engines available in the UK, but both are particularly efficient and environmentally friendly (as you would expect from Volvo). Both use 8-speed automatic gearboxes, with the smaller D4 engine achieving 62.8 mpg and the larger D5 reaching 57.6 mpg, so both are kind on the environment as well as your wallet.
The interior – in true Scandinavian style – is well thought out. The minimalist design still features plenty of luxuries making it seem as though there is more inside than there actually is. For style and comfort you get great leather seats.
Owners get a touchscreen sat nav as standard along with Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay. As you’d expect from an estate there is plenty of head and leg room, along with great storage capacity in the boot.
The Volvo V90 at a Glance
- 2-litre diesel engines available, generating 187 and 250bhp
- 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds (D4) and 7.2 seconds (D5)
- 8mpg (D4), 57.6mpg (D5)
- Prices start at £34,555
For more news on the latest new cars to hit the UK market, plus product guides and top tips from our expert team of writers, come back to the Euro Car Parts blog soon. Should you need any new car parts to clean, repair, maintain or improve your beloved motor, order online from our vast product range or visit any of our UK stores.