Our star cars from the 2018 Beijing motor show

BMW's new electric SUV, a fresh Mercedes-Maybach luxury concept and Lexus's Jaguar XF rival – here's our pick of the cars on display at the Beijing motor show...

Our star cars from the 2018 Beijing motor show

Our star cars from the Beijing motor show

Although primarily a stomping ground for Chinese car makers to showcase their latest models, the Beijing motor show is increasingly important to Western car brands. That's because of the sheer size of the Chinese car market; if a car becomes successful in China, it can be worth billions of pounds to its maker.

Many Western car brands, including Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen sell bespoke products for China, but several cars that have been revealed at this year's Beijing show are also coming to the UK. Among them is a concept foreshadowing BMW's first electric SUV, Lexus's new rival to the Jaguar XF and the saloon version of the new Mercedes-Bens A-Class.

Over the next few slides, we'll show you our favourite cars from the Beijing show floor.

BMW iX3

BMW iX3

BMW's 'i' sub-brand has been something of a slow burner, because although plans initially included a whole range of models, so far only the i3 electric hatchback and i8 hybrid coupé have surfaced.

The iX3 is a concept car that previews an electric SUV, which BMW will use to tackle the upcoming Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-tron in around 2020.

BMW iX3

BMW iX3

Power comes from an electric motor producing more than 270bhp, giving the iX3 a claimed range of 249 miles. And although BMW has yet to confirm as such, the concept's name suggests it will have the companys xDrive four-wheel drive set-up. Charging via a 150kW fast charger is claimed to take just half an hour.

BMW iX3

BMW iX3

Before the iX3 makes it to production, there will be another new electric model from the BMW group in the form of the Mini Electric, which is expected to go on sale in early 2019.

Read our full BMW i3 review >

Find a great deal on a BMW i3 >

Lexus ES

Lexus ES

Lexus will replace its Audi A6 and Jaguar XF-rivalling GS saloon with this new ES at the start of 2019. Although the ES has been around since the inception of the Lexus brand in 1989, this is the first version to come to the UK. It's claimed to be significantly more driver-focused than its predecessors.

Lexus ES

Lexus ES

Power options include a 215bhp 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain that's claimed to return 60.1mpg.

The ES features automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and high-beam assistance with two stages to avoid dazzling other drivers.

Lexus ES

Lexus ES

Inside, it has a 12.3in infotainment screen controlled by a touchpad on the centre console, plus smartphone connectivity.

Read our full Lexus GS review >

Find a great deal on a Lexus GS >

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury

Just as Mercedes has split off its performance models into the Mercedes-AMG sub-brand, so it has also done with the Maybach luxury badge. So far, Mercedes-Maybach has focused on offering even more luxurious (and expensive) versions of the S-Class saloon.

The Vision Ultimate Luxury concept car is the first SUV to bear the Maybach name. Its design attempts to combine the practicality of an SUV with the shape of a saloon.

In production form, Mercedes-Maybach's SUV is understood to be based on the new Mercedes-Benz GLS, which is due next year, and would be a rival to the Bentley Bentayga and upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury

Powering the Vision Ultimate Luxury are four electric motors – one for each wheel – that together produce 740bhp and provide a top speed of 150mph. The concept's claimed range is 310 miles, akin to that of the Jaguar I-Pace.

Charging for up to 62 miles of range takes just five minutes via a new 350kW charging system, although the car can also be charged via a conventional power socket or with a public charger. It can also be charged inductively by being parked over a special plate.

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury

No price has been given for the SUV, but Mercedes is believed to be eyeing up the Vision Ultimate Luxury's electric powertrain for use in a future all-electric contemporary of the S-Class, which would be called the EQ S.

Read our full Mercedes S-Class review >

Find a great deal on a Mercedes S-Class >

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

We saw the new A-Class Saloon in concept form last April, but the production version of Mercedes' new Audi A3 Saloon rival will go on sale later this year.

A long-wheelbase version of the A-Class Saloon (pictured) will go on sale in China, where its dimensions make it only slightly shorter and narrower than the C-Class saloon.

In the UK, the car's wheelbase will be 60mm shorter. The Chinese model offers five litres less space in its boot compared with the A3 Saloon, and that’s likely to be the same for UK cars.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

Inside, the A-Class Saloon's interior is identical to that of the hatchback and includes Mercedes' new MBUX infotainment system. Engine options have yet to be revealed but are likely to echo those of the hatchback. Expect the A-Class Saloon to command a small premium over its sibling.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

Despite the arrival of the A-Class Saloon, Mercedes is said to be readying replacements for both the CLA coupé and CLA Shooting Brake estate, as well as the GLA small SUV.

Read our full Mercedes-Benz A-Class review >

Find a great deal on a Mercedes-Benz A-Class >

MG X-Motion

MG X-Motion

MG currently offers two SUVs in the UK, the ZS and GS, and this X-Motion concept car previews a third model. It's likely to come to the UK following an initial launch in China and will sit at the very top of the brand's line-up.

MG X-Motion

MG X-Motion

Multiple engines are likely to be offered, but so far we only know of a 2.0-litre petrol with 221bhp. The X-Motion shares many of its parts with the RX8, a Chinese-market SUV produced by the Roewe brand.

MG X-Motion

MG X-Motion

MG's design studio is based at the marque's historic home in Longbridge, but the brand tends to launch new models in China first before bringing them to the UK. The Anglo-Chinese firm's next launch in the UK is likely to be an updated version of its 3 small hatchback, followed by a new 6 saloon.

Read our full MG ZS review >

Find a great deal on an MG ZS >

The best small cars for tall drivers

The best small cars for tall drivers

City cars and small hatchbacks combine low running costs with the sort of dinky proportions that make them easy to drive and park in town. However, small on the outside often means cramped on the inside, so if you're more than six feet tall, which small cars and city cars are spacious enough to let you get comfortable?

In this story, we count down the models that put the Tardis to shame while also providing all the equipment and comfort that buyers can expect these days. Plus, we name the ones that are best avoided if you're on the tall side.

Next: see the best small cars for tall drivers >

Related cars