Top 10: New cars due in 2017

Plenty of new car launches are scheduled for this year. The ten listed below are worth getting most excited about, because they're all likely to have a significant impact on their respective market segments.

1. Citroën C3
Available: January

Proving that superminis don't have to be dull or anonymous, the C3 adopts several distinctive visual cues from the avant garde C4 Cactus.

Citroën C3 (2017) Front Side

Personalisation is also a key selling point. As well as Touch, Feel and Flair trim grades, there's a choice of nine main body colours plus three contrasting roof colours. The 2017 C3 only comes in five-door form, though.

2. BMW 5 Series
Available: February

Following a now familiar industry trend, the new 5 Series is slightly larger yet usefully lighter than before. Indeed, helping to reduce weight by up to 100 kg (220 lbs) are an aluminium boot lid and an instrument panel support made from cast magnesium.

BMW 530e iPerformance Saloon (2017) Side

The 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid features the range's most interesting powertrain. An electric motor and a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder petrol engine combine to give a total system output of 248 bhp (185 kW / 252 PS). The result is a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 6.2 seconds, 141.2 mpg (2.0 l/100km) on the combined cycle and a pure electric range of 29 miles (46 kilometres).

3. Mini Countryman
Available: February

Don't expect the 2017 Countryman (the largest vehicle ever produced by Mini, incidentally) to win any beauty contests. Nevertheless, this five-seat C-segment crossover does gain additional interior space and a plusher cabin ambience.

Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (2017) Front Side

Initially, customers get to pick from two trim grades and four engines, with prices listed from £22,465 to £29,565. An all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid is coming later on.

4. Nissan Micra
Available: March

Top marks to Nissan for deciding to give the 2017 Micra striking looks. There's also more room inside this B-segment contender, which will be assembled at Renault's factory in Flins, France.

Nissan Micra (2017) Front Side

An 88 bhp (66 kW / 90 PS) 0.9 litre, turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol unit is probably the engine to have, but a 74 bhp (55 kW / 75 PS) 1.0 litre normally-aspirated petrol or an 88 bhp (66 kW / 90 PS) 1.5 litre turbo-diesel are the alternatives.

5. Honda Civic
Available: first quarter

The five-door Civic hatchback is being built in Swindon and exported globally, so unsurprisingly Honda has tried to ensure that the car's dimensions and design appeal to as many markets as possible (including the United States).

Honda Civic Hatchback (2017 European Spec) Front Side

As a consequence of such a 'one size fits all' approach, the Civic's length and width have increased. A high-performance Type R variant – already revealed as a prototype – should be with us before the end of 2017.

6. Land Rover Discovery
Available: first quarter

Considering the current Discovery first appeared in 2004, a replacement was becoming overdue. At first glance, the fifth-generation model resembles a scaled-up Discovery Sport, albeit with a more prominent stepped 'alpine' roof.

Land Rover Discovery (2017) Side

Measuring 4,970 mm (16′ 4”) long, weight has been slashed by 480 kg (1,058 lbs) due to a switch to an aluminium monocoque body that still accommodates seven seats. A multi-mode Terrain Response 2 system, greater ground clearance and better wading ability promise impressive off-road credentials.

7. Škoda Kodiaq
Available: April

Four trim grades, five engines, manual or dual-clutch transmissions, front- or all-wheel drive and five or seven seats might make ordering the Kodiaq SUV a baffling experience for some people.

Skoda Kodiaq (2017) Front Side

In fact, the line-up consists of twenty-four different variants. Prices – which start at £21,495 and go up to £34,895 – reflect that situation.

8. Ford Fiesta
Available: third quarter

Despite being eight years old, the current Fiesta still tops the UK's new car sales charts thanks to a combination of decent driving dynamics, value for money and age-defying styling.

Ford Fiesta Active 5-Door (2017) Front Side

Wisely, Ford appears to be adopting a similar approach for the seventh-generation model. One notable change will be a broader selection of trim grades, including the luxurious Vignale and the crossover-inspired Active.

9. Vauxhall / Opel Insignia Grand Sport
Available: third quarter

In a sector where most drivers seemingly want a premium badge, the Insignia's replacement will have to be very good to attract buyers.

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (2018) Front Side

Compared to its predecessor, this five-door hatch has a longer wheelbase and a slightly lower roof line, but weight has dropped by up to 175 kg (385 lbs). All-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are going to be offered.

10. Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Available: fourth quarter

Nowadays, any brand with even semi-serious volume aspirations needs to build an SUV or a crossover. Hence Alfa Romeo's Stelvio, which is roughly the same size as a BMW X3.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (2018) Front Side

Only the halo Quadrifoglio version has been unveiled so far. It's powered by a 2.9 litre bi-turbo V6 petrol engine that delivers an impressive 503 bhp (375 kW / 510 PS) via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Q4 variable all-wheel drive and rear-axle torque vectoring are also part of the specification.

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