If you feel like this year’s absolutely whizzed by, you’re not alone. Yup, it’s that time again already and we’re not referring to the once a year horror of having to swallow down some brussel sprouts and pretend you like them. That particular Bushtucker-Trial-rivalling challenge will be here soon enough, but in the meantime it’s that moment each winter when we take a quick look at new cars that’ll be appearing in showrooms and on UK roads in 2017, focussing on smaller and more Carrot-friendly ones.
Kia Rio (January)
Available only as a 5-door, the new Rio looks sharp and sculpted and will stand out in the dark by its unique LED light signatures at the front and back. In what you will see is a trend if you read the rest of this blog, this Korean ‘supermini’ has been eating lots of Weetabix as it’s actually grown in all directions, meaning more room for driver and passengers. These days it’s rare to find a car that doesn’t have a touchscreen for connecting your iPhone or Android up to, and the cool thing about the new Rio’s screen is that it ‘floats’ above the driver-angled dashboard. A couple of slightly different 1.4-litre diesel engines and a petrol lineup of 1.0-litre, 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre engines will be offered, along with Red Pack, giving you black faux leather with red trim and glossy panels.
Suzuki Ignis (January)
If you’re someone who has an eye for adorable retro styling and likes sitting high up in something chunky and tough that gives you a good view of the road ahead, Suzuki bringing back the Ignis name could be your answer. Inside, you won’t be amazed to learn that there will be a touchscreen, but what does help make the Ignis stand out is door and dashboard panels in a different colour. It’ll also offer something many similar cars don’t, which is 4×4 for added reassurance in the winter, and something called a mild hybrid engine is expected to be offered promising wallet or purse-friendly running costs. In addition to the 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine, we’re really hoping the 1-litre Boosterjet will be available for the Ignis as well, because it’s brilliant [read our Baleno road-test to find out more].
Nissan Micra (March)
Previous versions of this compact car have been perfectly okay for getting from A to B but they’ve never exactly had the looks to turn heads. The all-new Micra for 2017 changes all that, looking positively modern, sleek and sporty, far more so than some of its boring rivals. Two engines that each produce 89bhp will be available to choose from – a 1.5-litre diesel and a 0.9-litre petrol, which will be the one to go for unless you frequently drive from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Even the cheapest trim gets an eye-catching two-tone interior and music lovers might fancy upgrading to the Bose sound system. Costs have been cut by ditching electric windows in the rear, and the boot although being quite practical is said to be a bit rugged, but the area in which the new Micra is surprisingly said to shine is in the way it handles, thanks to Chassis Control.
Ford Fiesta (April+)
Next year will see fairly major changes made to this supermini that always tops UK car sales charts. The 7th generation Fiesta for 2017 is set to be slightly larger, more expensive and posher than the uber-successful version it’ll replace. This is partly because Fiesta rivals like the Polo, Fabia and i20 have moved upmarket so Ford can’t afford not to follow them, allowing the new Ka+ to shout about it now being Ford’s cheapest car. The new Fiesta will feature wider, meaner headlights, horizontal instead of upright rear lights, and an open-mouthed grille like on the Focus and other models. More economical engines are almost certainly in the pipeline. Inside, it’s likely to be made of higher-quality materials, offer more room and feature a large touchscreen powered by Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. The two Fiesta images below are copyright Auto Express.
Top-secret cars we can’t tell you about yet
Other small city or ‘supermini’ cars likely to be launched or tweaked in 2017 that haven’t been confirmed by their manufacturers so we better keep our lips sealed for now include:
- FIAT Panda
- Kia Picanto
- SEAT Ibiza
- Suzuki Swift
- Volkswagen Polo
Tips for young or newly-qualified drivers buying new cars
If you’re in the nice position of being able to look for a brand new car in 2017, perhaps because your parents have given you some money after graduating or landing a good job, what kind of things should you look for to keep your insurance premium down?
- Engine: smaller engines are usually cheaper to insure. Petrol is normally best unless you drive a lot of miles.
- Brand: it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that cars with badges like Dacia, Citroen and Kia are typically more affordable to insure than something like an Audi A1.
- Safety: go for the safest car possible, looking out for things such as AEB, which stands for Autonomous Emergency Braking, as well as features including lane departure warning systems, and sat nav software that tells you the speed limit for most roads you’re on.