There has been a small queue of new cars this month. Some have been eagerly anticipated, like the Suzuki Jimny, others are intriguing twists on an existing model like the Audi A1 and there is an SUV take on an old favorite, say hello to the Ford Focus Active.
Brand New Cars: Suzuki Jimny
Nobody actually loved the old Suzuki Jimny, which was around for decades, it was cute and surprisingly capable off road, but really it was a bit of joke. It was the car you bought if you couldn’t afford a Defender, even though it was far more reliable.
The new Jimny looks like what the forthcoming Defender should be, which is why car journalists and designers like it. Whether the buying public does, is another matter. It may be cheap enough (from £15,000) to sell well. But is it practical enough? There isn’t much of a boot. Will the buying public still like it in a few years time because it will still look cool?
Brand New Cars: Audi A1
Audi makes quality cars and has found that people are eager to invest in their smallest and for them, their most profitable models. The new A1 Sportback gets much more interior space, new technology fit for the digital future and a raft of digital assistance systems. Prices start at £18,450.
The MMI radio plus comes as standard in the UK – it can be operated via the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, the smartphone-style touch screen display or via voice control.
There is a ton of safety kit including Audi pre sense front; the radar sensor recognises critical situations involving other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists ahead of the vehicle, even when visibility is poor such as in fog. It warns and, if necessary, initiates automatic emergency braking. All clever stuff but years down the line will need to be looked after properly; that’s the problem with complicated cars. Make sure you get an extended warranty when it turns three years old.
Brand New Cars: Ford Focus Edge
Because no one buys boring hatchbacks anymore, well they do, but not as many, Ford has finally caught up with everyone else and has its own range of SUVs. That stands for Sports Utility Vehicle and essentially it is a lookalike 4x4, but with some all terrain ability.
So their Active range is effectively a chunkier, high riding hatchback. Here is the Focus version with some off-road capability enhanced with new Slippery and Trail Selectable Drive Modes.
It is regarded as spacious, practical and designed for the ‘active lifestyles of adventurous families.’ It comes with powerful and fuel-efficient Ford EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel engines offered alongside advanced driver assistance technologies and eight-speed automatic transmission.
Because it is a Ford though it will be discounted, there will be fleet sales and it will be great value. Don’t buy an Audi SUV when the Ford one will be cheaper, just as well made and most important of all easier and more cost effective to repair.