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Image courtesy of Christmas Stock Images

Image courtesy of Christmas Stock Images

Yesterday we took a look at five of the cars that Auto Express are tipping us to want when it comes to 2014 cars

Here’s part two of what Auto Express think are 14 forthcoming releases that you should know about and consider before you buy or LEASE a new car as part of your New Year treat.


The Nissan Qashqai - Due in February

We know already about Nissan’s follow-up to their first-generation, British-built Qashqai when it was officially launched at the back end of last year to the sound of heraldic trumpets so you don’t need that much information here.

Apart from the fact that it will be available at the end of February.

Admittedly it has a lot to live up to when you consider the success of the Qashqai Mark I, but by all accounts the designers at Nissan’s design centre in Paddington, London, have really pulled the stops out; not only with the look of the car but with the quality of it – inside and out.

Looking good from the outside: feeling good on the inside.

Especially on the inside with the addition of top notch technology like the larger seven-inch touchscreen, 360-degree cameras, autobraking, park assist and other bits of new technology that makes the new Qashqai seem all grown up rather than the big boy’s toy that it got a reputation for.

Drive-wise you can expect a lot of consideration for the UK’s bumpy roads and a lot more grip when cornering thanks again to a tad more electronic differential.

February’s Qashqai has only 5 seats though. If you want more, the seven-seater X-Trail will be here in July.


The Audi A3 Cabriolet ( Due in  April) and The Audi Q7 - Due October

The new Audi Q7 is planned to be the first in a wave of new large SUVs that the VW Group have planned, all built in Bratislava in Slovakia. (Other cars include the next VW Touareg, the Porsche Cayenne and the new Bentley SUV.)

But let’s concentrate on all that could be coming from Audi’s new Q7, featuring for the first time a new three-dimensional grille first seen on the Crosslane Coupe concept back in 2012 – a feature of all future Audi SUVs.

And the new Q7 signals a determination from Audi to look at the weight of their cars and cut them dramatically with this new model being produced from a combination of steel and aluminium that will take around 350kg from the car’s kerbweight.

So; it’s lighter, sportier...and what else?

Well it has full LED headlights, technology like 4G connectivity as an option and other options like a third row of seats, and when it comes to engines there is a choice of four, six and eight-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel.

It is expected that the S line model will make up the majority of UK Sales as V12 TDI models are being dropped, and it is unlikely that there will be S and RS models.

Earlier in the year, around April, you’ll find Audi up against cars like the VW Golf Cabriolet as it releases its own Audi A3 Cabriolet. But Audi feel that they have a bit of an edge over the Golf, with the Audi now featuring a sleek new saloon-based body that looks just as good with the roof down as up.

Does that make it look more grown-up? Audi think so, and they have made it more so with the addition of an extra 60 litres of boot space with this shape switch, making the total boot space now increased to 320 litres.

And, speaking of looking good; drivers of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet will find the 20 seconds of foldaway time (even at 31mph) pretty impressive and cool (in more ways than one at that speed!)

Available in both petrol and diesel versions, there will be a four-wheel-drive S3 Cabriolet available later in the year too that will feature a 296bhp 2.0 TFSI.

Impressed? I thought you would be.


SEAT Leon Cupra - Due March

The SEAT Leon picked up the Auto Express Car of the Year award in 2013, and the car bible is enthused by the arrival of the Cupra version of the car, likely to make its debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show.

Utilising a version of the 2.0 TSI engine that the VW Golf GTI uses, tuned to 268bhp and powering the front wheels via manual or seven-speed DSG boxes, it is expected that the SEAT Leon Cupra will be more powerful than its nearest rivals (the Renaultsport Mégane and Ford Focus ST.)

SEAT seem to have a lot of faith in the Cupra as they are breaking with their very own convention by making it available not only as a short-wheelbase, three-door SC version, but also as a five-door model and an ST estate; the latter showing that family cars can be not only practical but fun as well – and a bit of a challenger to the Ford Focus ST estate too!.

If you want a bit more power and performance, SEAT are preparing the launch of a 300bhp Cupra R which will be using the same four-wheel-drive powertrain as the Golf R, and will be able to accelerate from 0-62mph in 5 seconds, making it SEAT’s quickest ever road car.

From VW

VW e-Golf  - Due Spring

You would think that when VW decides to weigh in with an electric car that that is a sign that battery-operated cars are here to stay – and when they decide to introduce a second one in addition to the already released e-up! city car, then that is just more confirmation.

You can call it bandwagon-jumping if you like, but it’s to the advantage of the consumer because when VW release a car, you know that quality is going to be there, and it will also send a signal to the populace that electric cars are very likely to be here to stay – and prosper.

Matching most of the petrol and diesel VW Golfs for acceleration courtesy of the newly developed electric motor producing the equivalent of 114bhp and 270Nm of torque, the VW e-Golf claims to be able to drive up to 118 miles on a single charge – but in all honesty you can expect it to do around 100 miles thanks to the batteries under the false boot floor.

Volkswagen have made the VW e-Golf NOT to stand out, hoping that those drivers put off with the futuristic and Jetson-like BMW i3 will consider their more conservative electric version of the future – but be aware that, because it is a Volkswagen, the engineering behind it is uncompromising and beautiful.

And the technology behind it, and inside it, is – as expected – generous and, well, very VW!

For news on some of the more expansive Auto Express tips for 2014, including the Jaguar F-Type Coupe, Lamborghini Huracan, Lexus RC and Mercedes S Class Coupe, pop back here tomorrow)