New cars for 2012 - Part 3 - SUVs: Mercedes - Vauxhall

Article 7 of 15 See all
  • New cars coming in 2012
  • Small family cars to MPVs revealed today
  • More throughout the week
Mercedes M-Class
What is it? Latest incarnation of Mercedes’ luxury 4x4
Price from £45,000 (est)
On sale April

An all-new version of Mercedes’ plush SUV goes on sale in April, with a new chassis and construction, cleaner, more refined engines and a refreshed cabin.

There'll be an updated 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine with much-improved fuel economy and CO2 emissions, but Mercedes has added an even greener version: the 2.1-litre, four-cylinder, twin-turbo diesel ML250. It has 201bhp and returns an excellent 47mpg and 158g/km.

The handling still doesn’t match the BMW X5’s; the steering isn’t quite as communicative and there’s a little more body roll. Nor is there a seven-seat option. However, these are unlikely to be deal-breakers for many buyers.

Instead, the majority of customers are likely to be impressed with excellent refinement, particularly from the V6. The cabin feels luxurious and beautifully finished. The ride is extremely composed, too; this is a capable, comfortable cruiser. Indeed, think of it as a more soothing rival to an X5 and it will have real appeal.

Subaru XV
What is it? Subaru’s crack at the Nissan Qashqai market
Price from £21,000 (est)
On sale March

For a company known for its four-wheel-drive models, Subaru has been slow to enter the compact SUV market dominated by the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga.

The four-wheel-drive XV is based on the latest Impreza, which is already on sale in some markets and may go on sale in the UK in the winter.

The XV has a raised ride height and body cladding for a tougher look, and uses the Impreza’s mechanical parts. Buyers will have a choice of new 1.6- and 2.0-litre horizontally opposed boxer petrol engines, as well as the existing 2.0-litre diesel unit.

All petrol-engined models will come with a stop-start system to improve fuel economy, while a CVT gearbox will be available as an option. Standard safety kit will include a driver’s knee airbag and stability control.

Prices are said to be on a par with the Nissan Qashqai’s.

Vauxhall Corsa SUV
What is it? Supermini-sized SUV to rival the Nissan Juke
Price from £14,000 (est)
On sale November

Nissan invented the supermini-sized SUV niche when it launched the Nissan Juke in 2010. Now it’s Vauxhall’s turn; its version appears in November.

The as-yet-unnamed model will use a new platform that is also likely to underpin the next Corsa and a new Chevrolet compact SUV. Spy shots show a high-roofed design, with a similar look to the current Vauxhall Meriva.

Sources have told us that the car has been tested on UK roads and that both front- and four-wheel-drive versions will be available.

New cars for 2012 - Part 3 - SUVs coming in 2013

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