Coming soon: 2019 BMW 1 Series and Vauxhall Corsa
Don't buy a new car until you've read this – our ultimate guide to the new models coming in 2019 and beyond...
BMW 1 Series
On sale September
The biggest change is the switch from rear to front-wheel drive, which is said to make the 1 Series lighter as well as improving space inside for passengers and luggage. In particular, expect the rear doors to be larger, allowing for easier entry and exit, while a longer overhang at the rear means a bigger boot is certain.
Elsewhere inside, the new 1 Series is likely to feature a digital instrument display and the latest version of BMW’s excellent iDrive infotainment system.
The new 1 Series sits on a new platform that is able to support hybrid and fully electric power sources as well as conventional engines. At launch, options will include 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol and diesel units, with the most powerful making around 240bhp. Plus, the 2.0-litre petrol is expected to come with 48V mild hybrid technology to increase efficiency.
Following in 2020 will be an M130iX hot hatch, which will be powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine with around 300bhp and send drive to all four wheels. Further off still are petrol-electric plug-in hybrid variants, which should be capable of travelling for at least 31 miles on electric power alone.
While both Audi and Mercedes sell saloon versions of their respective prestige hatchbacks in the UK, BMW has decided not to launch such a version of the 1 Series.
Prices should start from around £23,500, making the 1 Series slightly pricier than the A-Class, although it will stay closely matched to its rivals on PCP finance deals.
On sale Late 2019
However, the route to launching the all-new car has not been a simple one. Just as the new Corsa was nearing completion, Vauxhall was sold by General Motors to the PSA Group, necessitating a complete rethink.
So it is that the Mk6 Corsa will sit on the same underpinnings as the decent, if not startling, Citroën C3 and be offered primarily with the 1.2-litre Puretech petrol engine we recommend in a variety of Peugeot models in a range of outputs.
If that sounds a little cautious, bear in mind that Vauxhall has had freedom to develop the car in its own direction over the past two years, and that the British firm knows just how much rests on reinvigorating its best-selling model.
Adding further cheer, insiders promise striking good looks, as typified by the recent GT X Experimental concept (above), an interior with more pizzazz and better quality than the C3’s and all the signifiers of German precision and engineering that sibling brand Opel can deliver.
As such, they say that while the new Corsa will be no larger than the old one, albeit packaged better to provide more rear seat and boot space, it will be dramatically different in every other way.
What’s more, there will be an electric version of the car, called the eCorsa, in short order, with which Vauxhall is looking to offer a 250-mile range and competitive pricing.
With the three-door Corsa being dropped, prices are expected to start at around £13,500, although Vauxhalls have traditionally attracted generous discounts shortly after launch.