The Paris Motor Show has opened its doors this week, greeting thousands of car fans over the next week.
Being one of Europe’s biggest car events, nearly every manufacturer is out in force, packing their glitzy show stands with the latest automotive exotica and futuristic concept cars.
That’s all very well, but you can’t actually drive a futuristic concept car, nor will most of us ever be able to put down a deposit on the latest Ferrari hypercar (the limited edition 458 Speciale A, if you’re asking). Here at Motors.co.uk, we like to keep things real, so we’ve rounded up the best cars at the show that not only don’t cost a fortune, but that can actually be used as cars, being fitted with four seats, conventionally opening doors and a boot large enough to accommodate more than just the boot lid.
So, if you’re in the market for a new car, here’s what you should be keeping an eye out for at a showroom near you:
A budget hachback isn’t what you’d normally consider to be one of the most highly anticipated cars of the moment, but the new Skoda Fabia has what it takes to shake the hotly contested supermini market to its core. It keeps the traditional Skoda touches of practicality and spaciousness, but has a raft of new personalisation options, to compete with more ‘hip’ rivals like the Mini Cooper. The Fabia will be offered with a range of six new cutting edge engines, the most frugal of which has projected fuel economy of 91mpg, and CO2 emissions of 82g/km, meaning free road tax under the current rules. It arrives in UK showrooms early next year, with prices starting from £10,600.
Search for a used Skoda Fabia here
Honda Civic Type-R
While Lamborghini stunned the Paris halls with its new Asterion hybrid Concept, those seeking more real-world performance thrills were drawn to the Honda stand to gawp at the new Honda Civic Type-R. While it is officially only a concept for now, take our word that this is what an all-new production model will look like when it arrives. Beefing up the already eye-catching looks of the Civic with an aggressive body kit and huge rear wing, the Type-R will come with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine developing close to 300bhp. It’ll do without an automatic gearbox, too, instead being fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, which Honda says is to ‘maximise driver enjoyment’. Bravo.
Search for a used Honda Civic here
The need for seven seats once spelled motoring misery for parents. However, Ford has long been the champion for dads that like to drive, and the new S-Max, revealed yesterday, claims to up the ante even further, with a sporty drive and a plusher cabin. Interior clutter has been reduced, thanks to revised switchgear, while the seats now fold and recline in more ways than you’ll know what to do with. There’s even the option of four-wheel-drive for the first time, should your school run take you deep into unchartered territory (or it snows). Want one? You’ll need to part with at least £25,000 when the S-Max reaches the UK next summer.
Search for a used Ford S-Max here
Audi TT Roadster
Being a relatively affordable, premium two-seater sports car, the Audi TT has long proved to be a sales success, so Audi hasn’t messed with the recipe for the new one. The new model has a sharper look, with angular headlights and a reprofiled grille design, but overall keeps the same pebble shaped silhouette as the outgoing car. It’s on the inside that things have moved forward – the traditional dials have been replaced with a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit screen, which can be programmed to show anything from your speed to a widescreen sat nav display. There are even digital heater controls built into the air vents themselves. A sporty TTS version, developing 306bhp, will head the lineup in due course. Order books open in November.
Search for a used Audi TT here
Arguably one of the most important cars announced this year, the XE marks a return to the compact executive saloon market for Jaguar – a space it hasn’t occupied since the much-maligned X-type shuffled off in 2009. This time the big cat is ready to take on its rivals from Germany; the XE is made from an advanced cocktail of lightweight materials and will be the first car to receive Jaguar’s new ‘Ingenium’ engines, which boast credible performance and efficiency. Being a Jaguar, the XE has also been set up to provide a thrilling drive, and will make even the most boring of commutes an event. That said, we’d wager the XE will sell on its look alone.
Search for a used Jaguar here.