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What Car? Reader Award: what new car are you most looking forward to?

Voting is now open for the 2020 What Car? Reader Award, here are the contenders.....

19 Nov 2019 23:17

Voting has opened for the 2020 What Car? Reader Award, sponsored by ALA Gap Insurance.

Reader Award contenders compilation image

The award allows new car buyers to select the upcoming model they are most looking forward to arriving in UK showrooms, with the winner set to be announced at the 43rd What Car? Car of the Year Awards, which will be held in January.

Drawn up by the experts at What Car?, the shortlist includes models from a range of vehicle classes, including SUVs, hatchbacks and electric cars.

The 12 nominees for the 2020 Reader Award are:

Slideshow story - please click right-hand arrow above to continue

Alfa Romeo Tonale:

Alfa Romeo Tonale

On sale Late 2020 | Price from £30,000 (est)

Underneath, the Tonale is closely related to the Jeep Renegade, but its styling naturally takes inspiration from the Stelvio, as well as older Alfa Romeo models; the 21in wheels, for example, are inspired by the 1960s 33 Stradale sports car, while the narrow, tri-part headlights look like those on the SZ and Brera coupés.

As Alfa’s first hybrid car, the Tonale will feature a plug-in system comprising a petrol engine at the front and an electric motor at the rear, with 30-miles of electric-only range expected. A similar set-up was recently revealed in the Renegade with 236bhp, but any Alfa Romeo version should have significantly more power.

Alfa Romeo Tonale: continued

Alfa Romeo Tonale interior

Much of the concept car’s interior styling will be toned down, but key elements, including the Alcantara-and-leather seats, backlit panels, steering wheel-mounted start button, 12.3in digital instrument display and 10.3in infotainment touchscreen will remain.

Expected to cost less than the Stelvio, despite being a plug-in hybrid, a £30,000 entry price would make the Tonale compete against the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and class-leading Volvo XC40.

Audi A3:

Audi A3

On sale: Early 2020 | Price from: £26,000 (est)

The new A3 will be slightly larger in all dimensions than the car it replaces, including having more space between its front and rear wheels in a bid to improve passenger and luggage space.

Inside, the new A3 will borrow its dashboard layout and design from the current Q3 family SUV. Expect to see an upgraded version of Audi’s now-familiar Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, as well as plenty of connected features and advanced self-driving capabilities.

In real terms, that means the new A3 should at the very least be able to tell you the price of fuel at petrol stations in your area, and control its own lane position, acceleration and braking on the motorway.

Audi A3: continued

Audi A3 interior

The new A3 will be offered with both mild and plug-in hybrid engine options, as well as conventional petrol and diesel units. Petrol options will include a 1.5-litre engine in both 128bhp and 148bhp forms, with a more powerful 187bhp 2.0-litre petrol further up the range.

The diesel engine line-up will feature a 2.0-litre engine in three states of tune, with power outputs ranging from 134bhp to 201bhp. Diesel versions of the new A3 could also be mild hybrids, receiving a new starter/generator system designed to improve fuel consumption by around 10% compared with today’s car. Gearbox options will be a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic. A selection of engines will also be available with Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system.

While today’s A3 starts from £25,015, we wouldn’t expect the new model to cost much more than £26,000 when sales begin.

BMW 4 Series:

BMW 4 Series

On sale Late 2020 | Price from £38,000 (est)

So far BMW has shown its new 4 Series only as a concept (pictured), but this is said to be 85% representative of the production car. And the huge front grille, which ensures there's no mistaking it for the 3 Series saloon on which it's based, will definitely be retained.

BMW 4 Series: continued

BMW 4 Series: continued

In fact, the design in general is intended to give it much more of a distinct identity than the current car; hence the more sculpted bonnet, thinner LED headlights and low, flowing roofline. "The aim is to position this car as more exclusive and upscale," according to BMW Design’s Stefan Woerns.

As with today's 4 Series, both rear and four-wheel-drive versions will be offered. And the two-door coupé will be followed by a four-door Gran Coupé and a convertible.

Fiat 500e:

Fiat 500e

On sale: Mid-2020 | Price from: £27,000 (est)

Fiat already dominates the city car market, with its 500 and Panda models accounting for a third of sales in Europe.

The aim with the all-new electric Fiat 500e is to consolidate that dominance and futureproof the cute city car so that it complies with current and future emissions restrictions. The 500e is the first step in Fiat’s abandonment of diesel; by 2022, the brand will have eliminated this type of engine from its portfolio.

Fiat 500e: continued

Fiat 500e: continued

Although the family resemblance will be obvious, the 500e is expected to have sleeker, more aerodynamic styling than the regular 500, with deeper indents at the bottom of the door panels and a small rear spoiler. It's also expected to be around 30mm longer, enabling it to stay in the city car class but providing more room for rear occupants.

Little detail has been provided about the 500e’s electric motor, but we expect its battery give a range of around 150 miles between charges. It’s also no surprise that Fiat acknowledges that the 500e will be pricier than the standard 500. Its thinking behind this lies in the fact that more than half of current 500 buyers don't buy entry-level models; instead, they typically pay around £20,000. It therefore reckons that a price of around £27,000 (before the UK Government's £3500 grant) shouldn't be too much of a stretch for them.

Jaguar XJ:

Jaguar XJ

With a history spanning back over 50 years, Jag’s flagship model is now being reinvented as a purely electric car that will take on traditional luxury saloons such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class as well as electric rivals including the Tesla Model S and upcoming Porsche Taycan.

Acting as both a style and technology showcase for Jaguar, the new XJ will retain its sleek profile but have a five-door layout, as opposed to today’s four-door car.

It will sit on new aluminium underpinnings that will eventually underpin multiple models from both Jaguar and Land Rover. Inside, Jaguar says it wants to create the most serene and calming car on sale.
The XJ will feature two electric motors – one on each axle, giving them four-wheel drive. And while Jaguar hasn't released any technical details yet, we know the company will be targeting a 0-60mph sprint time of less than five seconds and a real-world range of around 300 miles.

As of yet, we haven't heard anything surrounding pricing.
 

Land Rover Defender:

Land Rover Defender

On sale: Early 2020 | Price from: £40,000 (est)

Under the skin, the new Defender is closely related to the current Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. However it should be even more capable thanks to permanent four-wheel drive, hill-start assist, a Terrain Response system and Land Rover’s ClearSight Ground View technology, which displays the area under the bonnet on a dashboard-mounted screen.

Both a three-door 90 and five-door 110 version will be available, with lots of design nods to the classic Defender, including very short front and rear overhangs, squared-off wheelarches and so-called Alpine light windows set into the roof.

Those details sit alongside modern touches such as full LED lights and a square, body-coloured panel in the rear side glass. In addition, buyers will be able to choose from four design packs: Country, Urban, Adventure and Explorer – each adorned with different additional gear depending on the package.

Land Rover Defender: continued

Land Rover Defender

Inside, you’ll find exposed metal on the doors and a dashboard that’s more minimalist than those of other Land Rovers.

Luxuries like a 10.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, digital instruments and USB sockets on the front seatbacks will however still be present.

Another notable feature is the dashboard-mounted gear selector (all new Defenders use an eight-speed automatic gearbox), which leaves room for an optional central front seat that allows the 90 model to seat up to six people. The 110 is available in five, six and seven-seat configurations, with the latter swapping the central front seat for two that fold up from beneath the boot floor.

Land Rover Defender: continued

Land Rover Defender: continued

We won’t get to drive the Defender until later this year. However, we have had a passenger ride in a late prototype, on a test track that featured one pothole and bump after another, and here the ride was certainly impressive.

Initially, buyers will be able to choose from 296bhp four-cylinder and 396bhp six-cylinder petrol engines (badged P300 and P400 respectively), as well as 197bhp and 237bhp four-cylinder diesels (D200 and D240), which both average 37.2mpg and emit 199g/km of CO2.

The five-door 110 model will go on sale first, priced from £45,240, with the three-door 90 following shortly afterwards and likely to start at about £40,000. There will also be two Commercial models, costing from around £35,000 plus VAT, while a plug-in hybrid will join the range by next year, and a larger 130 model is being developed for launch in 2022.

Mercedes C-Class:

Mercedes C-Class

On sale: Late 2020 | Price from: £32,000 (est)

The new C-Class will be the first Mercedes to use new underpinnings designed to support a 48V electrical system, allowing for multiple hybrid variants. These include a plug-in hybrid with a zero-emission range of around 30 miles, while versions that can travel farther on electric power are planned for later.

You'll also be pleased to know that successors to today's C43 and C63 performance models are also planned, with the latter getting a 550bhp 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine.

There will even be technology that's due to make its debut on the next-generation S-Class luxury saloons luxury saloon (arriving in 2020), including a semi-autonomous system which will allow you to drive with your hands off the steering wheel (where legal) at speeds of up to 80mph for extended distances. The advanced radar and mapping systems necessary to support this will allow the C-Class to hunt for a parking space and enter it autonomously through a smartphone app – useful in a tight multi-storey car park, for example.

Mercedes C-Class: continued

Mercedes C-Class interior

Inside, the C-Class will take inspiration from 2017's Concept EQ, including large digital displays, almost no buttons and touch-sensitive areas on the dashboard.

As well as the saloon, estate and cabriolet models, the new C-Class will be available as a high-riding 'All Terrain' estate, in a similar vein to the larger E-Class All Terrain.

Despite it's new technology, we don't expect prices for the new C-Class to increase dramatically, with entry-level models likely to cost from around £33,000

Nissan Qashqai:

Nissan Qashqai

On sale: Late 2020 | Price from: £23,000 (est)

Facing everything from the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq to the Volvo XC40 and Audi Q3, the new Qashqai will have an aggressive look, inspired by this year’s iMQ concept car, a high-tech interior and electric power.

The iMQ concept has two electric motors that together send 335bhp to all four wheels. Instead of needing to be plugged in, it uses a small 1.5-litre petrol engine to keep its battery topped up. Importantly, though, this engine never directly drives the car.

It’s expected that as well as multiple hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the new Qashqai, Nissan will continue to offer conventional petrol and diesel models. A fully electric version is still under discussion. 
While the design of the iMQ concept will be toned down on its journey to production, the iMQ’s slim LED headlights and oversized grille are likely to be key features of the new Qashqai.

Nissan Qashqai: continued

Nissan Qashqai interior

Inside, expect to see improved material quality, plus a digital instrument display in place of analogue dials and at least one central touchscreen. The new Qashqai is also set to be more spacious than today's model, with greater head and leg room for passengers and more boot space.

The Qashqai has traditionally been priced slightly below its key rivals, so while prices will rise above the £20,195 of today’s car, we wouldn’t expect them to increase beyond £23,000.

Peugeot 2008:

Peugeot 2008

On sale: Spring 2020 | Price from: £20,000 (est)

Based on the same underpinnings as the latest 208 small hatchback, DS 3 Crossback and upcoming new Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot’s rejuvenated small SUV is a significant 14cm longer than the outgoing model, promising more leg room and boot space inside. Its standard LED lights, which curve down as part of the front bumper, will certainly help you to stand out on the road, as well as making the 2008 appear larger than it actually is.

Like the 208, DS 3 and Corsa, the 2008 is offered with not only a choice of conventional petrol and diesel engines but also, for the first time, fully electric power. The electric version, called the e-2008, is powered by a 134bhp electric motor that is supplied energy by a 50kWh battery pack, giving it an official range of 193 miles in the latest WLTP test. Charging the e-2008 takes up to eight hours using a 7.4kW home wallbox but will be much quicker using a rapid charger of the sort found at most motorway service areas.

Petrol engine options include 1.2-litre three-cylinder units in 99bhp, 128bhp and 153bhp forms. If you cover lots of miles, you can have a 99bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel instead. Gearbox options are a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.

Four-wheel drive isn’t offered on the 2008, but if you’re likely to need extra traction at times, you can specify Grip Control, which optimises the car’s traction control settings for slippery surfaces such as sand, snow or gravel.

Peugeot 2008: continued

Peugeot 2008 interior

The 2008’s interior looks suitably futuristic, with a small steering wheel, digital instrument panel and separate infotainment touchscreen (up to 10.0in) with ‘piano key’ shortcut buttons underneath.

Like the 208, the 2008’s high-mounted digital instrument cluster can project crucial information in enlarged ‘holographic’ form in front of it. It isn’t a gimmick, either; Peugeot says this can shorten a driver’s reaction time by half a second. Smartphone integration is provided by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and up to four USB ports can also be found inside the car, depending on spec. Driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, a self-parking system, fatigue warning and automatic emergency braking that can recognise pedestrians and cyclists.

Prices for the new 2008 are expected to rise substantially compared with today’s car, with around £20,000 getting you an entry-level model. Expect the electric e-2008 to cost more than its conventional counterpart – at least £25,000 is likely – but as a zero-emissions model, that car qualifies for the Government’s £3500 grant.

Toyota Yaris:

Toyota Yaris

Price from £15,000 (est) | On sale Summer 2020

With a more aggressive and prominent front grille and bumper, chrome detailing and slim LED headlights, the new Yaris certainly cuts more of a sporty, dominant shape than the outgoing model – something that should help it to stand out against rivals such as the big-selling Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, as well as the class-leading Volkswagen Polo.

The fourth-generation Yaris also sits on new underpinnings that are both stiffer and lighter than before, promising improved safety and sharper handling, even though the suspension is softer to help soak up the scars of city streets.

Engine options are limited to two for now: a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid, the latter offering at least 111bhp, compared with the current car’s 98bhp. In addition, Toyota says the Yaris Hybrid can drive on electric power alone for more than 80% of a typical urban journey – a figure helped by the switch to a new battery design that can store more energy than the old one. The hybrid can travel on electric power at speeds of up to 75mph and can cover close to four miles before the petrol engine kicks in.

Toyota Yaris: continued

Toyota Yaris interior

Inside, there’s a standard 8.0in infotainment touchscreen running an updated version of Toyota’s current software. It’s not the last word in terms of graphics or responsiveness, but it does at least include handy shortcut buttons to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. There’s also a wireless charging pad for your mobile phone, plus multiple USB connections.

There is also a (most likely optional) 10.0in head-up display that can put directions from the sat-nav, plus information such as your speed, directly in front of your eyes.

In terms of safety technology, every Yaris gets adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and a new centre airbag. We expect a modest increase on today’s starting price of £12,995. A figure closer to £15,000 seems likely; that would still make the Yaris cheaper than its Fiesta and Polo rivals.

Vauxhall Mokka X:

Vauxhall Mokka X

On sale Late 2020 | Price from £22,000 (est)

Why should you consider voting for the new Mokka X? Well, unlike today's Vauxhalls, it will feature a radical front-end design, dubbed 'Visor', which will eventually be used across the Vauxhall range. Said to be inspired by the eye-slot of a crash helmet, it sees the front grille stretched the full width of the car and the headlights incorporated within it.

Those who remember the Trans Am driven by Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit might be experiencing some déjà vu, and there’s a link to current Vauxhalls in the scythe-shaped daytime running lights.

Vauxhall Mokka X: continued

Vauxhall Mokka X: interior

The interior of the concept is mostly a flight of fancy, but the wide instrument panel – which does away with the need for a separate infotainment screen – is likely to become a standard Vauxhall feature.

Meanwhile, the wheels look huge at first glance, but actually have a modest 17in diameter which allows higher-profile tyres and the potential for improved ride comfort. The illusion is created by the rim extending over the tyre, although it remains to be seen whether this will go beyond the concept stage.

Volkswagen ID 3:

Volkswagen ID 3

On sale: Summer 2020 | Price from: £29,000 (est)

The ID 3 is the genesis of the electric ID sub-brand; after years of concept cars, bold statements about electrification and endless speculation, it’s the first ID-badged Volkswagen that you’ll actually be able to buy.

Similar in length to today’s Golf, but significantly wider and taller, the ID 3 has more space between its front and rear axles, because there’s no engine to work around.

Three versions of the ID 3 will be offered, each driven by a rear-mounted electric motor. This produces 148bhp in the cheapest version and 201bhp in the two pricier models, but the peak torque output is 229lb ft in all three. The entry-level car uses a 45kWh battery and has a WLTP-certified official range of 205 miles, while the mid-range model has a 58kWh battery that’s good for 261 miles. And for long-distance drivers, the 77kWh battery yields 342 miles.

Volkswagen ID 3: continued

Volkswagen ID 3: continued

If you’re charging the mid-range ID 3 from a rapid charger at its maximum rate of 100kW, you can add 155 miles in just half an hour. Owners will be given up to 2000kWh worth of free charging from Volkswagen’s We Charge network; there aren’t many of those charging points in the UK at the moment, but the firm has committed to installing them at 600 Tesco shops. Plus, Volkswagen will guarantee the car’s battery for eight years or 100,000 miles.

Inside the ID 3, there’s a 10in touchscreen infotainment system mounted high on the dashboard and angled towards the driver, along with a smaller digital display that takes the place of traditional instrument dials. 
Following the trend of reducing the number of physical buttons in cars, even the controls on the ID 3’s steering wheel are touch-sensitive.

As has also become fashionable, you can control some of the car’s functions using natural speech after prompting the system to listen by saying “Hello, ID”. What’s more, a head-up display can project augmented-reality sat-nav directions onto the windscreen.

Volkswagen ID 3: continued

Volkswagen ID 3: interior

Safety systems on offer include lane-keeping assistance, parking assistance and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Prices are expected to start from around £29,000 – with the mid-range model at £39,000 or so – before the Government’s £3500 grant. That's significantly more than the current Golf will cost you. Volkswagen will also offer a range of domestic wallbox chargers that it claims will be cheaper than those currently on the market.

Before long, the ID range will expand to include small and large SUVs, a retro people carrier and a luxury saloon.

So which is your favourite? You can vote on your favoured car by visiting www.wcreaderaward.com - voting closes on Monday 2 December 2019 at 5pm UK time.