Motor shows are full of the zaniest creations to ever come from car manufacturers, but it’s mass-market models that have caught our attention from the Geneva motor show this week. While the 2015 Swiss show has been home to its fair share of super-powerful hypercar concepts and camouflage-painted oversized 4x4s, it’s the more affordable machinery that you will soon be able to go out and buy.
Here we round up some of the most appealing models starring in the Geneva exhibition, to give you an idea of what you can expect to see in your local showrooms over the next few months – from affordable superminis to highly-strung performance models.
Ford Fiesta rival: Hyundai i20
Hyundai’s i20 is gunning for the Ford Fiesta – the UK’s most popular car. With sharp styling on its side, a long list of standard equipment, competitive prices and the option of three and five-door models, the i20 should become a popular choice with car buyers after an affordable supermini.
Five engines will be available in the new car, with three petrol units and two diesels. Petrol car buyers can opt for 74bhp and 84bhp 1.2-litre units or a 99bhp 1.4-litre model, which is also available with an automatic gearbox. Those after a diesel, meanwhile, can choose from a 74bhp 1.1-litre model or a 89bhp 1.4-litre version.
Prices for the new car start at £10,695, with PCP finance rates starting at an affordable £152.45 per month. Helping to lower the lifetime costs for owners, resale values are predicted to be strong, while the spacious interior should make the i20 a sound small family car option as well as being an affordable car for younger drivers.
Off-road estate: Volkswagen Passat Alltrack
The brand new Volkswagen Passat may have only recently gone on sale, but the German company has just unveiled the latest addition to the range – the Alltrack off-road estate. With four-wheel drive, a 27.5mm increase in ride height, chunky plastic body cladding, and silver trim, the Alltrack has much more attention-grabbing styling than its siblings plus mild off-road ability.
Several punchy turbocharged petrol and diesel models will be available, offering a decent dose of power, while claimed economy varies from 38.2mpg to 58.9mpg. This should prove to be a capable towing machine too, with all bar the least powerful petrol being able to tow a 2,200kg load.
Practical compact car: Honda Jazz
The new third-generation Jazz may have grown in size over its predecessor, but it still offers way more interior space than its compact dimensions would suggest, with a large boot and plenty of passenger space on offer.
The Jazz also maintains Honda’s ‘Magic Seat’ system, which lets you flip the seats forward to create a flat boot floor or you can fold the base and seat back upwards, to allow you to fit in large heavy loads, such as oversized plant pots. With a new 1.3-litre petrol engine economy and acceleration should be better than the previous Jazz.
Upmarket seven-seater: BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer
Families after an upmarket seven-seater people carrier now have a new option in the form of the Gran Tourer. Following the five-seater Active Tourer – BMW’s first foray into MPVs – the Gran Tourer boasts a large, practical interior, partly thanks to a shift to front-wheel drive – a big departure for BMW, which has made its reputation with rear-wheel drive machines.
Prices range from around £24,000 to £32,000 with buyers able to choose between two turbocharged petrol motors and three diesels. The most powerful diesel engine is available with four-wheel drive, while most economical of all is the 216d, which has a claimed fuel economy figure of 68.9mpg.
Powerful hot hatchback: Honda Civic Type-R
A tranche of rapid family cars has been released in recent years and the latest to the party is the Honda Civic Type-R. Competing with powerful versions of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Renault Megane, the latest high-performance Civic gains a turbocharged engine unlike previous versions, which should give it sports car matching pace thanks to the substantial 306bhp on tap.
With the ability to keep going all the way to 167mph this is one fast hatchback. Separating it from the four-wheel drive VW Golf R and Ford Focus RS, the Honda has to channel all of its power through just the front wheels, which should make for an exciting driving experience.