New car sales are at their highest for a number of years and 2014 looks set to continue this trend with the entry of some exciting cars. With so many new and revisited models making their debut it could make choosing your next car a difficult decision. Whatever segment you are buying in there will be an abundance of options and here’s our rundown of the key contenders coming to a showroom near you:
Upcoming cars to salivate over
There is nothing more exciting than a never seen before sports car rolling off the production line for the first time. For the manufacturer it is a tense time as they wait to see whether the furore around the concept car at a Motor Show will materialise into solid sales or flop and leave them in danger of diluting their brand and losing customers. Here are a few of the brand-new models that we will be getting behind the wheel of in 2014:
Alfa Romeo 4C
You are not a petrol head until you have owned an Alfa and the 4C might just be the one to get. Launched at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the 4C is truly something special to observe; it’s a diminutive and beautifully-crafted coupe that looks a bit like a cross between a crazy-horse Zonda, Stratos and an old-school Lotus Exige; unsurprising given that it was styled mostly in a wind tunnel.
It’s an important vehicle for Alfa Romeo being the car that reinstates its credentials on US shores. From the sound of most reports the 4C’s engines will deliver raw performance and produce a rip-roaring soundtrack that you will never get bored of. Combine this with exceptional handling and a sweet ride forged on the fiercest of Italian race tracks and you probably have the most anticipated car of 2014.
This signals a fresh attack on a new segment for Maserati; bringing the luxury car maker into the sights of the superb BMW 5-Series and class-leading Jaguar XF in the executive class. Styling-wise it beats both easily with it boasting formidably muscular looks as well as the subtle curves and swooping roofline to match.
As with most Maserati cars it is all about the bone-shaking performance that ensures they remain the luxury car of choice for the rich of pocket. However, the ride will undoubtedly be compromised, but the smile put on your face when you push down and look around you at the plush and classy interior more than makes up for it. If you are following your heart in the luxury market then the Maserati Ghibli will win you over with its Italian charisma, but for everything else then the Jag, Merc and Bimmer is a safer bet.
Celebrating its 50th year in production was not enough for the Ford Mustang; instead it did what all humans would do when turning a ripe old age and booked up a soiree across the world to show off. That’s right; the American icon has booked its flight and will be available in Europe for the first time since 1979.
You can expect brash muscle car looks that epitomises the American showstopper; offering a butch grille at the front; a European shell-like bonnet and swooping roofline; as well as retro lights on a sharp rear. Forget that though as the performance is the vital component and yes there will be rip-roaring V8 and a more calming 2.3l turbo-charged Diesel, but why would you want such a thing?
Interesting new models
These are the cars that will be playing second fiddle to the more stellar arrivals, but they are no less intriguing as the majority of us are more likely to own one of these. They can sometimes signal the way a market is moving as we saw with the SUV segment beginning to totally dominate the sales charts this year. Here are some of the newcomers looking to shake up the competition in 2014:
- BMW X4 – BMW has copped plenty of stick for its first forays into the SUV market due to manufacturing less than alluring vehicles to look at and drive. It seems that the German carmaker has learnt its lesson with the X4 looking far sleeker with standout design that more than matches its’ main rivals from Audi and Mercedes. Being more of a fashion statement than anything else means practicality is not great, but the handling and dynamism should be on more of an even par with its marque siblings
- Range Rover Evoque Convertible – The waiting list for an Evoque has never really stopped growing and now there is another reason to add your name to the bottom. The world’s first premium SUV convertible is what it has been pegged as and represents Land Rover trying something new. The Evoque Convertible, based on the Coupe will not lose any of its height, ride or distinctive shape according to the manufacturer and will undoubtedly be hugely-popular, but is it one glitzy step too far?
- Fiat 500L – Fiat can now rival MINI for taking a charming small car and making it so big it’s beyond all recognition. Their Fiat 500L will definitely be more practical, but it will surely lose a bucket load of its vigour and charm that has made it a modern icon. Expect small MPV style space, but nothing extraordinary, so if styling is more important then the 500L should still keep its core followers as there is nothing quite like it in the market
- Ford Ecosport SUV – The popularity of small SUVs was always going to push Ford into the market at some point. Their offering is the Ecosport that boasts the award-winning 1-litre Ecoboost engine that has sold over a quarter of a million examples. It will do what every Ford does and drive well, be easy-to-live-with, safety-conscious as well as being surprisingly spacious and practical for such a small and inexpensive SUV
- Jaguar F-Type Coupe – So far the F-Type’s beauty is only available as a convertible, which is fine by many as you can see and hear more of its quality as you drive. However, 2014 looks set to welcome a closed roof option that will make it more practical which will make the F-Type even more desirable, if that is even possible
It is a time of trepidation and excitement when a model is reincarnated, because it can occasionally improve the car and sometimes ruin it. This is a chance a car maker has to take when revitalising a star performer of its garage or risk losing sales to a competitor. Next year sees the rebirth of some popular models that will be hoping to maintain their grip on the market in which they sit and here they are:
- Mazda MX-5 – Introducing the undisputed two-door roadster champion that is going back into training and hopefully coming out the other side in better or as good condition as before. The new styling takes its cue from the Mazda6’s grille, but stays true to its traditional looks. Built in conjunction with Alfa Romeo; there’s a new cleaner and turbo-charged 1.3l engine, but let’s just hope the Italians bring their flair performance and keep the handling on a par with the last one
- Ford Mondeo – The best mainstream car bar none is back in a new guise for 2014. Looks-wise it gets the Aston Martin-style front grille and shell-shaped bonnet, just like the Fiesta. Technology inside and out will no doubt improve with a range of new safety features and infotainment and connectivity advancements. The biggest change though will be an all-new hybrid engine that will make this economical long distance cruiser even cheaper to run
- Audi TT – The German car maker’s design icon is back once again in 2014 sporting a much more chiselled, defined and sharp appearance but the same slopping roofline. The Audi TT will be given a thorough once-over inside the cabin to again push the boundaries of quality yet again; delivering even finer materials, better build quality and more technology than you can shake a stick at. However, it’s the performance that Audi wants to improve most with promises to make it lighter for increased agility. This dramatic weight-shedding will also enable it to perform with more vigour and deliver lower fuel consumption in one swift hit. It will be popular, but if Audi gets the improvements right it could be a bit special
- Nissan Qashqai – One of the cars that revitalised the Japanese car maker’s fortunes is set for a refresh in 2014. Whether it can hit the heights of its predecessor and get anywhere close to its two million sales is yet to be seen. But it will benefit from more performance and all-new driver assist technologies that Nissan claim will make the Qashqai the easiest car to park in the world and up there with the best crossovers in terms of dynamism
- Kia Soul – Kia’s funky Soul is back and quirkier than ever. The unique styling is well and truly in force, but the ride comfort, refinement and versatility of space inside the cabin has improved even further. This pushes the Kia Soul into a new level of competitiveness to make to make it a viable and unique family hatchback option at last
New electric cars
Electric and Hybrid cars are the future, but with the amount of them coming to market you could argue that they are already here. 2014 looks set to rev up the shift to electric cars with so many ready and waiting in the wings to make the technology more practical and efficient. Here are the cars that are earmarked to make 2014 the year of the electric car:
- BMW i3 – Probably the most anticipated electric car to date, the BMW i3 has caused a fair amount of ruckus. It has already bagged countless awards and is subject to a humongous waiting list for a test drive. Built on an aluminium framework the i3 is being billed as the ‘Mega City Vehicle’ ideal for economic in-town driving. Despite its electric power train everything else is very BMW indeed; offering remarkably good agility for a tall car, enviable off-the-line performance and beautifully crafted and refined interior. There’s no doubting that the BMW i3 has brought this segment into a new dawn
- VW e-Up! – VW took its time in watching the city car market come to life before jumping in and trumping the rest of the crop with its VW Up! Now they have added a electric version of their class-leading city car to hoover up even more of the sales. It’s just as good as the petrol and diesel versions in terms of interior refinement, perky performance and fun driving experience. The only downside is its potential range as is the case with all of these electric cars, but for short bursts of city driving then you can do far worse than a VW e-Up!
- Chevrolet Spark EV – Chevrolet regularly sits at the bottom of customer satisfaction polls, but the US car maker is trying to make it big with its electric version of the Spark. Looks-wise it has been spruced up a touch, however there’s little to differentiate from the petrol model. Power-wise though it is impressively quicker than it’s traditional rival with plenty of guts from a 130 horsepower 110 kw electric motor; so the ability is there, but the worry is that the badge will destroy its potential in Europe
What happens to these models is yet to be seen, but there is certainly a bumper stock of new options to choose from when picking your next car in 2014. Remember though, getting a good cash payout when selling your current car may help you get behind the wheel of your dream car rather than settling for second best; so come to WeWantAnyCar.com for the best deal.
Trust us, sit back, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride in 2014!
Content by Sophie Carvana