Best new cars for 2018

18 Jan, 2018 3:25pm

SUVs and superminis are set to triumph over the rest of the automotive world as we run down the best new cars due in 2018.

The past 12 months saw all-new versions of some of the biggest names in the automotive industry, such as the Ford Fiesta and Land Rover Discovery, march into dealers. The new metal shows no sign of letting up though, so we're taking a look at the best new cars for 2018.

We’ve rounded up the most interesting and exciting new cars for 2018, and a trend that is set to continue is the arrival of more SUVs and crossovers.

The industry has recognised buyers’ appetites for these types of cars, and more will continue to come in all shapes and sizes throughout the next 12 months. If you’re in the market for a plush SUV, then the new Mercedes GLE 4x4 will be worth taking at a look at.

Best new cars for 2019 and beyond

Meanwhile, if you want to maximise value for money, then the new Dacia Duster could be the budget car of 2018. New SUVs don’t stop there, either, with the Volkswagen T-Cross, Citroen C5 Aircross and electric Jaguar I-Pace all on the way.

Or if you fancy something with a little bit more performance, it’ll be worth waiting for our verdict on the new Aston Martin Vantage before you put down a deposit for a Porsche 911.

To keep you up-to-date with all the main cars to look forward to this year check out our list of the best below, or scroll further down for our comprehensive rundown of the best new cars for 2018...

10 of the best new cars for 2018

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The best new cars for 2018

Alfa Romeo ‘5 Series’ rival

Price: From £35,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2018

The impressive Giulia has revived Alfa Romeo’s fortunes in the compact executive saloon sector, and now the Italian brand is looking for a similar turnaround against the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class.

Its as-yet-unnamed four-door will use a platform developed from the Giulia’s – much as Jaguar does with the XE and XF – so it will be offered with the same engines and should deliver a similar driving experience.

If the car lives up to the styling of our exclusive preview image, the new, larger Alfa will offer the same catwalk looks as its smaller brother, too.

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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Price: £66,000 (est)
On sale: Summer 2018

Alfa Romeo signalled a statement of intent by first revealing its groundbreaking SUV in hot Quadrifoglio guise. However, while the standard petrol and diesel cars are available to order now, we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the super-quick QF version.

New Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio review

Power comes from the same 2.9-litre petrol V6 twin-turbo as found in the top-spec Giulia, and with 4WD and 500bhp-plus on tap, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio promises to be a front-runner in the high-performance SUV sector. It’ll do 0-62mph in less than four seconds.

Alpine A110

Price: £50,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

Legendary French sports car marque Alpine is back, and while its new A110 sports coupe has been doing the motor show circuit for some time now, the production car won’t hit dealers until later this year. The lines are inspired by the classic A110 of the seventies, but under the skin it uses Renault’s latest 1.8-litre turbocharged engine.

New Alpine A110 review

This is the same unit found in the new Megane RS, albeit with less power. The 249bhp unit should offer plenty of poke, however, as the lightweight Alpine is geared towards nimble handling rather than outright performance.

Aston Martin Vantage

Price: £120,900
On sale: Now

With a range that starts from £120,900, the new Vantage has taken a major step up in price over its predecessor. First deliveries are due in the coming months, but this increase is unlikely to deter buyers from snapping up what’s set to be one of the most exciting cars to ever wear the Aston Martin badge.

At the heart of this two-seater is a twin-turbo V8 from Mercedes-AMG, tweaked by Aston to produce 503bhp and 685Nm of torque. It’s fitted with an eight-speed auto that sends drive to the rear wheels, and means the Vantage can accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and will keep going to 195mph.

The new car sits on an adapted version of the DB11’s aluminium architecture and tips the scales at 1,530kg. That weight is distributed in a 50:50 split, while adaptive dampers and a new electronic rear differential should ensure that the Vantage is as enjoyable to drive as it is to look at.

The neat exterior styling carries over to the cabin, where Aston has mixed first-rate British craftsmanship with German technology.

Audi A1

Price: From £15,000 (est)
On sale: Winter 2018

The all-new second-generation A1 will be based on the same MQB platform as the latest Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo. Compared with the current car, that means it’ll grow in length by about 90mm, as well as sitting on a longer wheelbase to free up more interior space for passengers and luggage.

Our exclusive image shows that the styling of the new supermini will evolve from the current car, with sharper LED headlamps and wider rear lights. Inside, the A1 will be offered with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dials and an updated MMI infotainment system.

Power will come from the VW Group’s latest engines, including both 1.0 and 1.5-litre TFSI turbocharged petrol units with power outputs ranging from about 90bhp to 150bhp. It’s likely the firm will also offer a replacement to the scintillating S1 hot hatch with quattro four-wheel drive, and it could even launch a plug-in hybrid A1 to take on the BMW i3.

Audi A6

Price: From £35,000 (est)
On sale: Spring 2018

The all-new Audi A6 is set to use some of the firm’s latest tech in a bid to tempt buyers away from the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class.

Underpinning the new car will be the MLB platform from the recently launched A8; this should make it around 100kg lighter than the current A6, as well as allowing for a 48-volt electrical system and electric turbocharging.

This will maximise fuel economy and allow for autonomous driving systems seen on the A8. The saloon – previewed in our exclusive image – will be joined by Avant estate and chunky Allroad versions, all of which have been styled by Audi’s new design boss Marc Lichte.

Expect to see new details such as revised daytime running light signatures and extra bonnet creases, as in our image. Inside the A6, the physical controls for the MMI infotainment system will make way for a pair of touchscreens.

Audi e-tron SUV

Price: £60,000 (est)
On sale: Summer 2018

Audi says it has held back on launching a fully electric vehicle until the battery technology became available to facilitate a range of more than 300 miles from a single charge. That time has apparently now arrived as shown by the company preparing its e-tron SUV to go on sale this summer with a range of up to 310 miles.

While we won’t see the car in production form until the Geneva Motor Show, it’s likely the design will bear some resemblance to the e-tron Quattro Concept first seen at 2015’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Prototypes spotted on test appear to share the concept’s profile, which is lower and sleeker than other Audi SUVs’. But the show car’s oversized grille will be slimmed down for production.

No matter what the e-tron looks like, Audi’s decision to make its first electric car an SUV rather than a saloon pitches it into competition with the Tesla Model X and forthcoming Jaguar I-Pace. And this is set to be the first of three battery-powered Audis due to hit the road by 2020.

Audi Q3

Price: £30,000 (est)
On sale: Autumn 2018

With the launch of its all-new Q3, Audi will replace the oldest model in its current line-up. The second generation of its compact SUV will use a version of the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which should make it lighter and more economical than the outgoing car, despite also being longer and wider.

As previewed in our exclusive image, the exterior styling will be a subtle evolution of the current car’s with a larger grille similar to that seen on the new A8. But it’s inside the Q3 where there are more significant changes, with more passenger space and a larger boot, plus a dashboard design packed with Audi’s latest tech such as the Virtual Cockpit TFT digital instruments.

From launch, the Q3 will use Audi’s four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, to be joined later by a plug-in hybrid that combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor. This will give a pure electric range of about 30 miles and CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km.

Audi Q8

Price: £55,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

Audi’s new flagship Q8 SUV will showcase plenty of cutting-edge tech within its coupé-style body. Its shape was previewed by the Q8 Sport Concept at the start of 2017, but while it has a more rakish look than the Q7, it’ll be more practical than coupé-SUVs such as the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE.

High-level autonomy and plug-in hybrid drive are both going to feature, and a super-high-performance RS Q8 is in the pipeline, too.

Audi SQ2

Price: From £32,000 (est) 
On sale: 2018

One thing missing from Audi’s Q2 crossover line-up is a hot model, but this will be rectified when the wraps come off the new SQ2, which our spies have spotted on test.

It will feature 2.0 TFSI turbo petrol power, and is likely to match the S3 hot hatch with 306bhp. As with other S-badged Audis, quattro four-wheel drive will be standard and six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch gearboxes will be offered. The SQ2 will get the usual raft of subtle styling updates as well, with silver trim and larger wheels hinting at the car’s potential.

Bentley Flying Spur

Price: From £140,000 (est)
On sale: Mid-2018

With the new Bentley Continental GT now on sale, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the range is updated. The four-door Flying Spur, which shares its underpinnings with the luxury coupe, has already been spotted on test ahead of its arrival in 2018.

As with the GT, the Flying Spur is likely to launch with Bentley’s all-new W12 engine. It will pack 626bhp and 900Nm of torque, linked to an auto box and four-wheel drive. We can expect a V8 and hybrid tech, but all cars will have plenty of performance in a typically bespoke Bentley package.

BMW 3 Series

Price: £27,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2018

A mild facelift helped the BMW 3 Series stay near the front of the compact executive saloon pack when it arrived in 2015, but an all-new model is due in showrooms next year. Our exclusive image shows that the car will share styling cues with models such as the recently launched 5 Series saloon and forthcoming Z4 roadster, while the technology on board is expected to filter down from the flagship 7 Series.

Expect weight-saving features and a variety of efficient-yet-powerful three and four-cylinder petrols and diesels, while the latest autonomous tech will feature as well.

BMW 8 Series

Price: From £65,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2018

BMW is bringing back the 8 Series after a break of almost 20 years, as it prepares to take on the Mercedes S-Class Coupe. A gorgeous design study of the new 2+2 was previewed at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, holding its own even among some of the world’s most stunning cars.

The concept is thought to be close to production form and is likely to use the same platform as the latest 7 Series luxury saloon. Its interior will boast much of the same tech, too, including gesture control for the iDrive-based infotainment system. Expect a range of petrol and diesel engines from launch that will include six-cylinders and V8s.

In time it’s possible that 6.6-litre V12 and plug-in hybrid ‘e’ versions will be launched. Following the Coupe will be larger Gran Coupe and Convertible.

BMW i8 Roadster

Price: From £124,730 
On sale: January 2018

It’s been a long time coming, but BMW’s hi-tech supercar finally loses its roof in 2018. The brand first teased the idea back in 2012 with the i8 Spyder concept.

The introduction of the i8 Roadster also gives BMW the opportunity to add some revisions to the plug-in hybrid, so there will be a subtly different look and efficiency gains from the petrol-electric drive system. To keep weight down and take up as little space as possible, the roof is a compact fabric targa set-up. That will help the roadster to deliver performance and range on par with the existing coupe’s.


Price: £33,980 
On sale: November 2018

If you like the idea of a compact BMW SUV but want a sportier design than that currently offered by the X1 then fear not: the new X2 is on the way.

Sharing the same platform as the MINI Countryman and the X1, the production X2 closely resembles the concept displayed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

It boasts a sloping roofline and narrow side windows to give it a more coupe-like appearance than BMW’s more mainstream SUVs. The drivetrains are also familiar to X1 owners. There will be the option of front-wheel drive or xDrive four-wheel drive, and a choice of six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic gearboxes to go with the four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. A high-performance X2 is also believed to be in the pipeline.


Price: From £40,000 (est)
On sale: Mid-2018

The new BMW X3 has already been revealed, and the X4 coupe-SUV will quickly follow. Our spies have caught it on test, and it’s clear that the X4 will again add a rakish roofline to the X3’s boxier body.

Under the skin, it’ll use the same CLAR platform as its sibling, which will save weight and hopefully boost its performance, while an M-division-tuned version is also on the cards. It’s expected that all UK models will come with xDrive four-wheel drive as standard, while the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid from the 330e could feature, too. A smaller X2 will launch in 2018 as well.


Price: From £70,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

While the X5 has served BMW well as its guiding light in the SUV class, it has been outflanked in recent years by larger, more luxurious rivals. Step forward the X7, which, the recent concept suggests, will bring the looks of the 7 Series limo to the class.

The seven-seater will be packed with modern tech from its executive cousin, while BMW’s reputation for building efficient cars means the X7 should deliver low running costs for a premium product.


Price: From £35,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2018

The BMW Z4 will return to its roots in 2018 when it ditches the current car’s heavy folding metal roof for a fabric hood, much like the first-generation used when it arrived in 2002.

This will reduce weight and allow for cleaner styling at the rear of a car that is set to closely resemble the Z4 concept first shown at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Design cues that look set to be carried over include a wider interpretation of the kidney grille, necessitating that the front lights be stacked on top of one another, rather than placed side by side as with other BMWs.

The cabin gets two digital screens for the iDrive infotainment system and dials, with information switchable between the pair.

Power for the rear-wheel-drive sports car comes from a range of four and six-cylinder petrol engines, linked to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Citroen C5 Aircross

Price: £20,000 (est)
On sale: Winter 2018

Citroen’s use of hydropneumatic suspension to achieve exceptional ride comfort can be traced back to the fifties and the legendary DS. With the launch of the new C5 Aircross nearly 70 years later, the French firm is now ready to unveil its next innovation in suspension design, known as ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushion’.

This replaces hydropneumatic with a new design of suspension strut that includes secondary dampers in place of traditional bump stops. The idea is to eradicate the kind of jolts that can be felt over harsh surfaces, producing what Citroen describes as a ‘magic carpet ride’.

Combine this with double-glazed windows, and it should ensure that the C5 Aircross is among the smoothest and quietest mid-size SUVs to drive. It’ll also be one of the most striking to look at, because it will pick up many of its styling cues from the recently launched C3 Aircross. The platform used underneath is the same EMP2 structure found on the Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X.

As with those cars, the Citroen will be offered from launch with a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine and 1.6 and 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesels, but these will be front-wheel drive only. A plug-in hybrid that incorporates 4WD and has an electric range of about 30 miles will follow later.

Dacia Duster

Price: From £10,000 (est)
On sale: Summer 2018

Five years after it first arrived in the UK, the Duster has undergone a comprehensive redesign ahead of its arrival in dealers here in the summer. Dacia has moved the windscreen forward by 100mm to boost interior space, raising the height of the bonnet and widening the wheelbase to give a tougher stance. There’s also a sleek new grille and light design with LED running lights, plus more aluminium accents than before.

Changes under the skin are more modest, with upgraded 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines from the current Duster being used, as well as the option of two or four-wheel-drive and manual or auto boxes.

Buyers of top-spec cars can expect a more modern infotainment system, with a reversing camera, and improved safety kit. That includes curtain airbags and blind spot monitors, while autonomous braking will be part of an optional safety pack. These updates should help the car improve on the current Duster’s three-star Euro NCAP score.

Anybody hoping for the versatility of a rumoured seven-seat model will be disappointed to hear that company bosses have confirmed it was just that: a rumour.

DS 7 Crossback

Price: £30,000 (est)
On sale: March 2018

With the launch of the DS 7 Crossback, the PSA Group is set to elevate the reputation of its premium brand. The newcomer uses a stretched version of the Peugeot 3008’s EMP2 platform and an Active Scan suspension system to monitor road conditions and adjust the adaptive dampers to give the smoothest ride possible.

This Audi Q5 rival will initially be offered in a special-edition La Premiere specification that’s packed to the rafters with equipment, including two 12-inch infotainment displays, ‘Art Rubis’ leather upholstery and 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.

Buyers can initially choose between a turbocharged 222bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel, both hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The petrol unit takes the DS 7 Crossback from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and returns 39.2mpg in EU fuel tests, while the diesel promises a 9.4-second sprint and 58.8mpg. A plug-in hybrid will follow in 2019.

Ferrari Portofino

Price: From £160,000 (est)
On sale: Early 2018

It’s time to say farewell to the Ferrari California T, because it’s being replaced by the striking new Portofino.

The basic philosophy remains the same: front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive, folding hard-top and 2+2 seating, but the Portofino promises greater thrills. It gets a 592bhp twin-turbo V8 – 40bhp more than before – a redesigned chassis and a more aerodynamic shape, so it’ll cover 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and hit a 199mph top speed. Despite the expected price tag, it will be the cheapest way into Ferrari ownership.

Ford EcoSport

Price: From £16,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

With two updates in three years since the EcoSport was launched, Ford must be hoping it gets things right this time around. There’s a new face, updated tech and four-wheel drive is now offered at the top of the range.

The engines have been upgraded as well, with Ford’s 1.5 TDCi diesel available alongside the 1.0 EcoBoost petrol. Additional tech includes cruise control with a speed limiter and a Bang & Olufsen sound system, although the side-hinged tailgate remains.

Ford Fiesta ST

Price: £19,000 (est)
On sale: Spring 2018

The new Fiesta ST takes over from one of Ford’s all-time great hot hatches. We already know the eighth-generation Fiesta on which it’s based is a fantastic small car, offering more tech than ever without sacrificing handling fun. The ST is set to build on this with a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo in place of the old four-cylinder 1.6.

Despite being smaller, the new engine produces an extra 17bhp to take the total to 197bhp. Ford claims the ST will get from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds, two tenths quicker than the car it replaces. The new engine features cylinder deactivation, helping cut CO2 emissions to just 114g/km.

Cleaner and greener it might be, but the new ST still looks the part with its lowered ride height, aggressive bodykit and exclusive 18-inch alloys. Inside, there are Recaro sports seats and Ford’s new SYNC3 infotainment.

Ford Focus

Price: From £18,000
On sale: Spring 2018

When the original Ford Focus took over from the Escort in 1998, it changed the way people thought about family cars. Its edgy styling was challenging without impinging on practicality, and the model’s independent rear suspension set-up gave it a ride and handling balance far beyond the class norm.

It’s this kind of impact Ford is hoping to recapture with the Focus Mk4, while at the same time also improving upon the interior space of the outgoing car. To do this the company has put Brit Darren Palmer in charge of the project. As the man who oversaw development of the latest Fiesta, he knows how to make a Ford sparkle from behind the wheel, so hopes are high for the Mk4.

Meanwhile, to address the issue of interior space Ford has increased the wheelbase of its Global C platform, freeing up room for passengers and their luggage, while a decluttered dashboard will also make the Focus feel more contemporary.

In terms of styling, we can expect an evolution of the current model, as previewed in our exclusive image. An Active version of the Focus with a raised ride height and plastic body cladding will follow later.

Ford Mustang

Price: From £35,000 (est)
On sale: Early 2018

One success of Ford’s global model strategy was the introduction of the Mustang to the UK in 2016. It had already been on sale in US showrooms since 2014, which is why this update is coming around so soon.

There are new lights front and rear, Ford’s latest infotainment system and a ‘Quiet’ exhaust mode. The V8 model now gets 443bhp, up from 412bhp, while the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine’s output drops to 286bhp, although Ford claims because it’s now more responsive, it’s also a little quicker. Both engines will be available with a 10-speed auto gearbox, too.

Honda CR-V Hybrid

Price: £28,000 (est)
On sale: Autumn 2018

Diesel has been given the boot for the next version of the CR-V, which will instead be offered either with a 1.5-litre petrol engine or Honda’s new hybrid powertrain.

The compact hybrid set-up uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine and two electric motors, one for driving the wheels and the other acting as a generator. The system, known

as i-MMD (Intelligent Multi Mode Drive), is innovative in that it uses a single fixed-gear ratio to connect moving components rather than a conventional gearbox, saving space. The CR-V hybrid can drive in pure EV mode at low speeds, as a hybrid – with the internal combustion engine providing power to the electric generator motor, which in turn powers the electric drive motor – or with the petrol engine driving the wheels directly at higher speeds. In this third setting the electric drive motor can also provide a helping boost of power when required.

Hyundai i30 Fastback

Price: £19,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

Hyundai’s range expansion continues apace with the introduction of a third bodystyle for the i30 range.

Alongside the standard hatchback and Tourer estate, the i30 Fastback brings sportier coupe-style looks to the South Korean brand’s line-up. It’s still a five-door model, like the hatch, but the Fastback is designed to appeal to buyers who want something with sportier looks, but can’t stretch to the 248bhp i30 N hot hatch.

There won’t be a hot version of the Fastback at first, because it’s intended as a more luxurious alternative to the standard hatch. The roofline is 25mm lower than it is on that car to give a more swooping silhouette.

As you’d expect, the Fastback’s cabin design is identical to its hatch and estate siblings’, and can be specced with an eight-inch touchscreen system, which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Hyundai NEXO

Price: From £30,000 (est)
On sale: November 2018

Hyundai has been plugging away at developing its own hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle – and the ix35 FCV brought the technology closer than ever to full mainstream production reality.

The next step in the manufacturer’s steady progress is the NEXO, a dedicated fuel-cell model. It was revealed at CES in Las Vegas, and maximises packaging options, increasing the potential range to nearly 500 miles while delivering more power (and lowering the price).

Infiniti QX50

Price: From £35,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

Low sales volumes mean you’re unlikely to see an original QX50 on the road, but Infiniti hopes to make a bigger impact with the next generation.

The BMW X3 rival is bigger and more spacious than its predecessor, and its bold lines attracted lots of attention when it was officially revealed at the LA Motor Show in November last year.

Infiniti’s new 2.0-litre turbocharged variable compression petrol engine will also make its debut in the QX50. The motor is designed to deliver the economy of a diesel with the power of a large-capacity petrol unit.

Jaguar I-Pace

Price: £55,000 (est)
On sale: Summer 2018

The launch of the I-Pace is proof that Jaguar is on the hunt not only for SUV buyers, but also those ready to make the leap to electric motoring.

Looking at the stats associated with the I-Pace, you can see why people might be tempted. For a start, it’s fabulously quick, with a 0-62mph time of around four seconds. This is possible thanks to its two electric motors that push 700Nm of torque through all four wheels to give improved traction.

Arguably more important for those nervous about swapping from petrol or diesel to electric power is having a decent range from a single charge. Thanks to its 90kWh lithium-ion battery, the I-Pace is said to be capable of more than 300 miles in one hit, which should address any such concerns, as will the fact that a fast charge from flat to 80 per cent capacity takes a competitive 90 minutes.

An all-new platform has allowed Jaguar to optimise how the battery and electric motors are packaged, which results in more space for passengers and their luggage. As such, those in the rear seats will have lots of room to stretch out in, while the boot capacity exceeds 560 litres.

Jeep Wrangler

Price: £35,000 (est)
On sale: Summer 2018

With a history that can be traced back to the original wartime Willys Jeep, the Wrangler is one of the last bastions of dedicated off-roading. But while the next generation has inherited a look evolved from its predecessors, mixed with cues from concepts like the Switchback, it is utterly modern underneath.

New Jeep Wrangler review

That initially means the usual run of petrol and diesel engines, although a hybrid drivetrain is also on the table. Whatever powers the new model, the Wrangler’s unstoppable off-road ability is sure to remain intact.

Kia Cee’d

Price: From £16,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

It’s all change for the Kia Cee’d, because the third generation of the manufacturer’s family hatchback gets a new design-led look, previewed by the Proceed concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Indeed, the Mk3 Cee’d will spearhead a design revolution for the brand, and the show car’s distinctive nose will also adorn the new five-door. However, the concept’s name suggests that the slow-selling three-door Pro_cee’d is set to be replaced by a more dramatic Sportwagon that is closer to a shooting brake than a conventional estate.

Kia Sorento

Price: From £29,000 (est)
On sale: Early 2018

Before an all-new Sorento appears in a couple of years’ time, the current car is being treated to a facelift. The update is rather mild and features new bumpers and LED lights, while a sporty looking GT-Line model has been added to the line-up.

There’s revised equipment inside, including an eight-inch infotainment system, plus extra safety kit in the form of a Driver Attention Warning tiredness alert system. The 2.2 CRDi diesel remains, although it can now be had with a more efficient eight-speed auto.

Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster

Price: From £251,462
On sale: Early 2018

The evolution of the Aventador continues, with the roadster version of the latest Aventador S. It gets the same raft of revisions as the coupe, including active suspension, four-wheel steering and the trick new EGO driving mode, while the removal of the roof means you can hear that 730bhp V12 in all its glory.

Acceleration is slightly slower than in the coupé due to the added 50kg of weight, with a three-second 0-62mph time, but the 217mph top speed remains the same. The roof is made up of two removable solid panels that are stowed in the boot.

Lamborghini Urus

Price: From £165,000 (est)
On sale: Spring 2018

Lamborghini has revived the spirit of the huge LM002 with the new Urus – what it calls its “super sport utility vehicle”.

Under the skin is an Audi-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 powerplant, which develops 641bhp and propels the SUV from 0 to 62mph in 3.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 190mph.

The car’s platform is shared with the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne, but the Urus delivers performance that shames them all, while featuring a typically outrageous Lamborghini interior design.

Land Rover Discovery SVX

Price: From £100,000 (est)
On sale: Mid-2018

Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicles department has got its hands on the Discovery, and produced this. The SVX is a dedicated off-road version of the seven-seat SUV, which is powered by a 518bhp 5.0-litre V8.

It features rugged extras such as a raised ride height, knobbly off-road tyres, and active centre and electronic rear-locking differentials. Also fitted is a new anti-roll bar system aimed at improving wheel articulation off road.

Lexus LS

Price: From £72,595 
On sale: Now

In the past, if you’d been in the market for a luxury car, chances are the Lexus LS would be low on your list. Toyota’s luxury division aims to change that with the all-new version.

As the company’s flagship model, the LS sets the benchmark for quality, whether it’s the exterior with its oversized spindle grille and almost coupe-like roofline, or the sumptuous interior, which has been inspired by Omotenashi, the Japanese art of hospitality. As such, it is designed to give the LS a softer, more inviting look than its German rivals, with plenty of wood, glass and leather on show.

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Among the technological highlights are an incredible 24-inch head-up display that Lexus says is the largest in a production car, plus the world’s first intuitive pedestrian detection function. This not only spots a person in the vehicle’s path, but can apply the brakes and operate the steering to avoid an impact, while keeping the car in its lane.

Under the bonnet, the LS features the same multi-stage hybrid system as the LC coupé, which should ensure the Lexus is quick, quiet and very efficient for a vehicle of its size.

Mercedes A-Class

Price: £20,000 (est)
On sale: Autumn 2018

It’ll be a case of evolution when the new Mercedes A-Class arrives next year, because, as our exclusive image shows, it will build on the hatchback style of the current car.

Underpinning it will be an updated version of the MFA platform, which will result in the new A-Class being much better packaged than its predecessor, in order to give it more interior space and a larger boot, with a wider opening.

At the same time the current 2.1-litre diesel engine will make way for the new and much smoother 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit from the E-Class. It is also likely we will see a new 2.0-litre petrol engine and a plug-in hybrid A-Class, with a pure-electric range of about 30 miles to take on the Audi A3 e-tron.

Meanwhile, hot hatch fans will relish the news that the AMG-tuned A 45 will return with even more power to go head to head with the new Audi RS3. Expect in the region of 400bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, channelled through a four-wheel-drive system.

Mercedes C-Class

Price: From £29,000 (est)
On sale: Mid-2018

While Mercedes is aiming to fill every niche in the SUV sector, it’s not ignoring the rest of the range, because there’s a facelift due for the popular C-Class compact executive saloon.

This is expected to sharpen the looks – but not by a huge amount, as our spy shot shows – and replace the ageing 2.1-litre diesel with the latest 2.0-litre engine, plus introduce some tech from the larger E-Class. Expect the update to cover every C-Class model, including the Coupe, Cabriolet and Estate, while the frugal plug-in and rapid Mercedes-AMG cars will get a revamp, too.

Mercedes CLS

Price: From £57,510 
On sale: Summer 2018

The original CLS pioneered the large four-door coupe concept, and it has since been emulated by Audi and BMW. The new Mk3 car benefits from the same tech found in the E-Class on which it’s based, so it boasts plenty of gadgets and semi-autonomous features, while the engine range has been carried over, too.

Mercedes GLE

Price: From £53,000 (est)
On sale: Autumn 2018

Our exclusive image previews how the Mercedes GLE is set to take on a softer look when the all-new model arrives later in 2018. It will add a more contemporary feel to a car that has been on sale in more or less the same form since 2011, when it was still known as the M-Class.

It’s not just the styling that’s changing, because the GLE will also sit on a new platform and use the latest range of Mercedes engines. At the core of the line-up will be the latest 2.0-litre diesel from the E-Class, to be joined by six-cylinder petrol and diesel units from the recently revised S-Class.

The new platform will also allow for a plug-in hybrid to slot into the range at a later date, while at the other end of the spectrum, an AMG version will return with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in place of the current car’s 5.5-litre engine.

Inspiration for the interior will be drawn from the E-Class, most notably because it will be offered with the same pair of widescreen displays for the digital dials and infotainment system. The result should be an SUV that looks as classy on the inside as it does on the outside.

Mercedes-AMG GT four-door coupe

Price: From £90,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

The flagship Mercedes-AMG GT coupe has gone from being a standalone model to its own brand in quick succession, and the next model to be launched will be a four-door coupé to rival the Porsche Panamera and upcoming Audi A7.

Previewed by the AMG GT 4 Door concept, the new luxury grand tourer will get the same nose and drive system as the coupé and roadster, but adds a longer body with room for four adults inside.

The cabin will be well appointed, while standard and more powerful S models are likely to make the grade, both using Mercedes’ 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.

If the concept is anything to go by, hybrid models are also in the pipeline; the concept was presented as a hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show, wearing the German marque’s new EQ Power+ branding.

Nissan Juke

Price: From £15,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

Booming sales can’t hide the fact that the Nissan Juke is no longer a front-runner in the small crossover class that it invented, so the Mk2 can’t come soon enough.

The next generation should address issues with boot and passenger space in the current car, while our exclusive image shows that styling cues from the recently launched Micra will give it a fresher look.

Power comes from the same range of small petrol engines as in the Micra, plus a hybrid version is also on the cards.

Nissan Leaf

Price: From £26,490
On sale: Early 2018

The world’s best-selling electric car has undergone major changes for its second-generation model, not least to improve its range. The new Leaf uses a more powerful 40kWh lithium-ion battery pack that Nissan says will allow you to cover up to 235 miles.

Despite the step up in claimed range, the Leaf can still be recharged in about the same time as the outgoing car, so plugging into a fast charger for 40 minutes will take you to about 80 per cent capacity.

The Sunderland-built Leaf also features Nissan’s new e-Pedal. This switchable system allows one-pedal driving, whereby releasing the accelerator is enough to slow the car to a stop. Nissan ProPilot gives the car some autonomous driving capability, too. This will initially be in slow-moving motorway queues, but by 2020 Nissan expects the system to be capable of negotiating city traffic, if regulations allow.

Peugeot 508

On sale: Late 2018

Peugeot has seen sales of its large saloons tumble over the past decade, as buyers opt for SUVs or premium models from Audi, BMW or Mercedes.

It’s a trend that has been felt by other makers, too, and the likes of Renault and Honda have abandoned the segment altogether. However, Peugeot believes a car such as the 508 is crucial if it is to achieve its goal of being regarded at the high end of the mainstream brands.

Our exclusive image provides a preview of how Peugeot hopes to achieve this by giving the 508 a much sleeker appearance that takes inspiration from the recent Instinct concept car. Displayed at 2017’s Geneva Motor Show, the Instinct features a shooting brake-style body and distinctive vertical light spears at the front corners of the car. While the former won’t be transferred to the 508, the LED light strips might well make the cut.

As with the 3008 and 5008 SUVs, the saloon will use PSA’s EMP2 architecture and i-Cockpit layout. Plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions of the 508 could follow in time as Peugeot attempts to move the car away from more conventional rivals.

Porsche Cayenne

Price: £55,965
On sale: April 2018

When the original Cayenne launched in 2003, Porsche purists despised it. Fast forward 15 years and the car significantly outsells conventional models such as the 911 – as buyers continue to lap up crossovers and SUVs.  
For the third-generation Cayenne, Porsche is adopting the VW Group’s MLB platform as found on the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga.

The luxury 4x4 also uses the same active anti-roll bar technology powered by 48-volt electrics. Similar in size to the outgoing car, the latest Cayenne gets an interior based on the Panamera, with a totally new infotainment system and haptic buttons.

From launch, buyers can choose between a 2.9-litre turbocharged petrol V6 S model, with 434bhp, or the flagship Turbo, with its 542bhp 4.0-litre V8.

Porsche Macan

Price: From £47,000 (est)
On sale: Early 2018

Booming sales for the Macan mean that Porsche doesn’t need to do much to keep its smallest SUV on top. The mid-life facelift proves the point; it seems as if the Macan will only get a subtle update in line with the new Cayenne Mk3.

Our spies have caught a lightly disguised prototype hiding revised lights front and rear, while Porsche’s latest tech will appear under the skin, including the new PSCB tungsten carbide-coated brake discs first seen on the Cayenne. There may even be a power boost for the flagship Turbo model to help it fend off the upcoming Audi RS Q5.

Range Rover PHEV

Price: From £47,000 (est) 
On sale: Spring 2018

Such is the level of luxury evident in a Range Rover that it’s not easy to think of ways to improve it. Unless, that is, you can make it even quieter. Land Rover looks set to achieve just that with the launch of the P400e plug-in hybrid, complete with a 13.1kWh lithium-ion battery to give a full-electric range of up to 31 miles in official tests. After this (or, more realistically, about 25 miles in normal driving), back-up arrives in the form of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

New Range Rover PHEV review

Combined with the electric motor, this gives the Range Rover P400e a total power output of 339bhp along with 640Nm of torque, which carries it from 0-60mph in 6.4 seconds. Official economy, meanwhile, stands at 101mpg, with CO2 emissions of 64g/km.

Whether you achieve such figures will depend on how often you carry out the three-hour rapid charge needed to replenish the battery. Driving style will also play a large part, but it’s reassuring to know that by placing the electric motor within the gearbox, engineers have ensured there are no compromises when it comes to off-road performance.

Renault Alaskan

Price: From £23,000 (est)
On sale: March 2018

Another addition to the double-cab pick-up truck ranks in 2018 will be the new Renault Alaskan. Like the Mercedes X-Class, the new French model uses the Nissan Navara as its base, while the Renault-developed 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel will come in two power outputs.

As with the Navara, the Alaskan will be available with manual or auto gearboxes. The top-spec models will be generously equipped and a one-tonne payload will suit most commercial users’ needs. Renault will offer buyers the option of a seven-inch sat-nav system and 360-degree camera.

Renault Megane RS

Price: £29,000 (est)
On sale: Spring 2018

It takes a certain amount of bravery to bring a new hot hatch to market with a 40bhp power deficit to the class leader. But Renault is doing exactly that with the new Megane RS, as it attempts to regain class honours from the Honda Civic Type R.

The Mégane’s 276bhp comes from a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol engine which is shared with the new Alpine A110 sports car. However, like the Civic, it sends its power to the front wheels. The Megane RS can be had with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, and all versions will come with a four-wheel-steering system that’s designed to maximise high-speed stability, while also improving manoeuvrability at low speeds.

Those after an even sportier drive will be able to specify an optional Cup pack that adds a limited-slip differential, plus retuned springs and dampers for even sharper handling. We can expect a car in this configuration to attempt to set a new lap record for a front-wheel-drive production car at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany in the coming months.

To succeed it will need to make full use of the aerodynamic upgrades Renault has applied to the Megane’s five-door bodyshell. Among the tweaks is a Formula One-style blade in the front bumper and an aggressive rear diffuser with centre-exit exhaust.

SEAT large SUV

Price: From £23,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2018

A third SUV from SEAT is on its way, just as soon as it has a badge. Bosses organised an online contest to christen the new large Skoda Kodiaq-based model, but stipulated that it needed to be named after a location in Spain to avoid any Boaty McBoatface controversies.

The model will be branded either Alboran, Aranda, Avila or Tarraco, but whatever it’s called, it will share the Kodiaq’s seven-seat layout and versatile interior.

Our exclusive image shows that SEAT’s sharp exterior design will feature on the Spanish marque’s new SUV.

SEAT Ateca Cupra

Price: From £32,000 (est)
On sale: Summer 2018

Another performance SUV hits the market in 2018 in the shape of the Ateca Cupra. As the name suggests, the Cupra uses the same 2.0 TSI turbo petrol engine as the Leon Cupra, so we can expect 300bhp, and it will be hooked up to SEAT’s 4DRIVE four-wheel-drive system.

Prototypes caught testing by our spies have shown that the Ateca Cupra will benefit from the usual set of sporty additions, including bigger wheels, low-profile tyres and a sports exhaust, while Brembo brakes and adaptive dampers will help deliver an entertaining drive.

Subaru Impreza

Price: From £20,000 (est)
On sale: January 2018

The latest Impreza hatchback is destined to arrive in the UK in early 2018, having already been on sale in the US for some months. It uses the same Subaru Global Platform as the latest XV and gains a 25mm longer wheelbase compared with the last car’s, giving more room for passengers and luggage.

To help the Impreza stand out in a crowded hatchback market that includes the Ford Focus and VW Golf, Subaru is equipping all versions with symmetrical all-wheel drive, a Lineartronic CVT box and either a 1.6 or 2.0-litre boxer petrol engine.

All models are also fitted with the firm’s EyeSight safety system, as already seen on Lineartronic versions of the Outback and Levorg. This includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, and uses two cameras to monitor the road ahead for hazards.

Suzuki Swift Sport

Price: £16,000 (est)
On sale: June 2018

Suzuki is adopting a turbocharged engine for the third generation of its Swift Sport junior hot hatch. The 1.4-litre BoosterJet four-cylinder should give the 970kg Swift more than enough performance to shine. Peak power stands at 138bhp, representing a rise of only 4bhp over its predecessor. But torque climbs by 70Nm to 230Nm, which is sure to mean much better in-gear acceleration.

New Suzuki Swift Sport review

The six-speed manual box is taken from the old Swift Sport, which is no bad thing. Yet it sits in a roomier car that’s packed with equipment including a seven-inch infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Compared with a regular Swift, the Sport has uprated brakes and suspension, more aggressive looks, 17-inch polished alloys, dual exhausts, sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Price: From £38,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

It’s an old stager on the new car market, but the Land Cruiser gets more updates for 2018. There’s a new look with revised lights and a different grille that gives it a smoother appearance, while the revamp has added 60mm to the car’s already sizeable length.

Inside, Toyota’s eight-inch Touch 2 infotainment touchscreen is added, plus the 4x4’s dashboard has been redesigned with fresh switchgear, a new instrument panel and a new steering wheel.

The Safety Sense suite of driving aids is also fitted to the Land Cruiser, bringing adaptive cruise, lane keeping, pedestrian detection and auto main beam.

In terms of engines it’s as you were; that means a 2.8-litre diesel for the UK, with other markets getting additional 2.7-litre and 4.0-litre V8 petrol options.

Toyota Gazoo Racing Supra

Price: £50,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2018

Our exclusive image previews how the Toyota Gazoo Racing Supra could look when it goes on sale as a competitor to the Porsche 911, BMW M4 and Jaguar F-Type. The Porsche Cayman rival is also being used as a launch pad to make Gazoo Racing a sub-brand.

The Supra’s history can be traced back to the late seventies, but the car’s popularity in the UK blossomed in the nineties, with modifiers extracting huge power from the Toyota’s easily tuned six-cylinder engines.

We’re expecting the same cylinder count for the new Supra, while the BMW Z4 alongside which it is being developed will also be offered with four-cylinder motors. The Supra will be a fixed-roof coupe; the Z4 will be a convertible.

TVR Griffith

Price: £90,000
On sale: Late 2018

TVR is back, with a new 500bhp sports car that revives the legendary Griffith name first used by the British brand in 1964. The new “British muscle car”, as boss Les Edgar describes it, is based around a carbon-composite structure to minimise weight.

This appears to have worked, too, because at only 1,250kg the Griffith is around 300kg lighter than rivals such as the Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type Coupe. Power comes from a Cosworth V8 that drives the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

The engine makes do without turbos and produces 500bhp, giving what is said to be a sub-four-second 0-60mph sprint time and a top speed of more than 200mph. TVR is equipping the Griffith with ABS and programmable traction control, and downforce is taken care of by the completely flat floor – ruling out the need for a giant rear wing or aggressive splitter.

Vauxhall Insignia GSi

Price: From £29,000 (est)
On sale: 2018

While we wait to see whether there will be a VXR version of the Insignia, Vauxhall has taken the opportunity to introduce a milder performance version of its family car.

The GSi gets a 257bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol – although the Sports Tourer estate version can also be had with a 198bhp BiTurbo diesel and four-wheel drive. The model features adaptive dampers and torque vectoring tech.

On the outside there’s a sporty looking bodykit, while the cabin also gets a racy makeover and the suspension has been tweaked to deliver sportier handling.

Volkswagen T-Cross

Price: From £17,000 (est)
On sale: Late 2018

When you consider how many small SUVs are now available to buy, it’s perhaps surprising that no single model stands head and shoulders above the rest. Volkswagen is aiming to change that with the launch of the T-Cross.

Based on the new Polo, the T-Cross is set to be VW’s smallest SUV, sitting below the T-Roc, Tiguan and Touareg. Our exclusive image previews how it will take sporty cues from the recently launched T-Roc, including its full-width grille and swollen wheelarches.

Technical details are yet to be released, but we do know that the T-Cross will use the smallest version of the VW Group’s MQB platform, which in turn suggests the engine range will include the Polo’s 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo petrol, 1.5-litre turbo petrol and 1.6-litre diesel.

The option of manual or DSG dual-clutch gearboxes on the T-Cross isn’t unusual in the class. However, VW could also give buyers the option of 4MOTION four-wheel drive, in addition to the standard front-wheel-drive layout, to help set the newcomer apart against the competition.

Volkswagen up! GTI

Price: From £13,750 
On sale: February 2018

It’s being peddled as the spiritual successor to the original Golf GTI, and the up! GTI promises good things if our first encounter with it is anything to go by.

Power comes from a massaged version of the three-cylinder TSI already in the up!, with its 113bhp output giving the car a 0-62mph time of around 8.8 seconds. That’s not particularly quick, but the up! is set to deliver fun handling in corners, while a subtle makeover means the GTI doesn’t shout about its performance. It will be a small car with a big price tag, however, costing around £17,000.

Volvo XC40

Price: £27,095
On sale: Spring 2018

Volvo’s stylish new XC40 borrows plenty of technology from its larger 60 and 90-series cars and will go head to head with the Jaguar E-Pace and Range Rover Evoque.

All versions of the new baby SUV get a nine-inch portrait touchscreen and a 12.3-inch TFT display for the instruments, while wheel sizes range from 17 to 21 inches. The XC40 is the first Volvo to use the new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) the marque has developed in conjunction with its Chinese owner, Geely.

To begin with, the XC40 will be offered with three petrol and two diesel engines, manual or automatic gearboxes and with front or all-wheel drive.

A plug-in hybrid XC40 is expected to join the range at a later date, along with all-new three-cylinder engines.

Which car are you most looking forward to in 2018? Let us know in the comments below...

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