With Christmas rapidly approaching, 2015 is nearly upon us. While the end of the year can be a quiet time for car companies, many have been busy beavering away creating enticing models that are set to arrive early in 2015.

Here we’ve rounded up some of the machines we’re most looking forward to in 2015. The options vary from long-awaited large cars to strong value superminis and even oversized 4x4s, all of which offer performance, economy and equipment gains over their predecessors.

Ford Mondeo

The current Mondeo may be very long in the tooth by car standards, first arriving back in 2007, but the new model is finally about to arrive. With a choice of hatchback, saloon and estate versions and numerous petrol and diesel engines, buyers should have no problem finding one of these sharply-styled models to suit their needs and budget.

There will also be a hybrid Mondeo for the first time, which uses a petrol engine allied to an electric motor for improved fuel economy and free car tax under current rules. However, it’s the diesel versions that look set to make the biggest impact. Most economical of all is the 1.6 TDCi 115, which returns 78.9mpg – very impressive for this size of car. Spend a little more though, and the 2.0 TDCI 180 sprints to 62mph in a brisk 8.3 seconds, but is still capable of a frugal 64.2mpg.

Prices for the new Mondeo are set to start at £20,795 for the entry-level 1.6 TDCI 115 diesel, rising to around £27,500 for the most powerful automatic 2.0-litre 240 petrol estate.

Skoda Fabia

A good supermini must offer strong value and distill the feeling of a larger car into a smaller package. And this is exactly where the Fabia comes in. The Fabia has long been an affordable supermini, but the new car adds an added level of refinement, plus much more striking styling.

Even the entry-level model – which is available from £10,600 – includes useful kit like a digital radio, Bluetooth so you can connect your phone to the car, electrically-adjustable and heated door mirrors, plus a full complement of airbags. Even if you opt for a well-equipped and nippy 1.2 TSI 90 SE you’ll get change from £13,500, along with 60mpg fuel economy and car tax that costs a mere £20 per year under current rules.

Mazda 2

The new 2 may not be able to compete with the Fabia on the entry price front – with prices starting at £11,995 – however, it does offer punchy acceleration and good economy compared to its Skoda rival. The 2 also has sharp styling on its side and, Mazda promises, sharp handling too.

The 2 looks set to impress those after a diesel as well; the 1.5-litre 105 diesel manages to match the Skoda 1.4 TDI 105 diesel in acceleration terms but matches the lower-powered Fabia 1.4 TDI 90 when it comes to fuel economy. All things considered, anyone looking for a stylish but affordable supermini would be well advised to take a look at the 2 in 2015.

Audi Q7

At the other end of the size scale is the mammoth Audi Q7 off-roader. This huge seven-seater should offer a huge amount of interior room along with all-weather grip, thanks to the standard-fit four-wheel drive system.

What buyers of the new Q7 will get that the last version was missing, however, is strong economy and performance, thanks to a crash diet, which has seen the car shed as much as 325kg. Even the more powerful diesel available at launch is capable of 47.8mpg, though it can zoom to 62mph in a rapid 6.3 seconds.

Volkswagen Polo GTi and BlueMotion

The new Polo may have been on sale for a number of months, but Volkswagen has just announced the arrival of two new models; the performance-oriented GTi and the economy-focused petrol BlueMotion.

The new GTi shares the sporty styling and performance of its big brother, the popular Golf GTi, scooting to 62mph in a quickfire 6.7 seconds, though it can still return affordable fuel economy of 47.1mpg. As for the BlueMotion, this green machine should be able to chalk up economy of 68.9mpg, though it can accelerate from a standstill to 62mph in a none-too-shabby 10.1 seconds.

Pictures: Manufacturers