2014: Bring on the three new car releases we’ve been waiting for

For those of you clued-up in the art of petrol head, 2014 is likely to have some sort of new motoring significance for you. It may be that your much awaited family car has had a revamp, a long-standing favourite has been tweaked to further perfection, or perhaps you’re just feeling slightly put-out by the fact a recent purchase pales in comparison to the late 2014 model.

Either way, the forecast for 2014 is looking rosy, with huge sellers, much-loved models and eco-warriors coming into their own in the New Year. Bring on the new releases – 2013 was a long, long year to wait…

Mazda MX-5

Release date: Officially unconfirmed

The ultimate budget, baby, brilliant roadster, the MX-5 is a triumph in desirability. Fun, functional enough for everyday use (and reasonably priced enough for a ‘Sunday car’), the iconic MX-5 is keeping its soul for 2014 – even if Alfa Romeo did help out a little.

Search for ‘2014 Mazda MX-5’ and the results are tantalisingly sparse. Aside from a few predictions about what the new model will look like, the reviews and 360 degree images are frustratingly thin on the ground.

What we do know, however, is that the new version will be lighter (less than 1000kg), and although it harnesses Alfa Romeo technology, the design won’t have any nuances with the brand. As for the price? Understandably, no one seems to know, but estimates hover around the £20,000 mark.

The release date seems unsure, with motoring.co.uk stating February 2014 but many other sources even speculating a release as late as 2015. So our advice is this – if you’re really keen, pop along to your local dealer and register interest early. Or alternatively, leave with an existing model…

Nissan Qashqai

Release date: January 2014

Fun, stylish, practical, family friendly, excellent value… it’s no surprise that Nissan’s Qashqai has performed so well across the world, it’s almost impossible not to love with its never-ending pleasing qualities.

Ranging from £17,595 – £27,845, the new model Qashqai is beautifully tailored to the drivers needs, with 4 trims (The Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium &Tekna) and a choice of engine sizes (1.2-1.6).

The higher spec Tekna range is no doubt tempting with its rear-view camera display, touch screen, glass roof, start ‘button’ and full parking sensors, but even the basic models offer a good selection of features with Bluetooth, air conditioning, cruise-control and hill-assist start.

If you’re opting for a family car, the Qashqai should also appeal to the sports-car lover in you; it’s lower and lighter than the existing model, so automatically looks sleeker.

BMW 2 Series

Release date: January 2014

The new 2 series is very much what it says on the tin; a cross between the 1 series and the 3 series in styling. Which begs the question of why? Are there enough people out there who want a 1 series with just a little extra room?

Yes, scepticism regarding the appeal of the 2 series exists, but basically the point is thus: the 2 series is a coupe version of the 1 series, and in Auto Express’ words “it’s just like the 4 series is to the 3 series”.

So now we understand what BMW are trying to do, what does the 2 series have to offer? BMW are opting for a sportier approach over the 1 series, with higher-powered engines in diesel (4 cylinder) and petrol (4 cylinder, turbocharged) available.

They’ll even be a pure track car produced – the M235i. Aside from the racing credentials, for popping to work, the shops or any of the other places us non-race driver folk go, the standard 2 series will be offered in 3 specs; Sport, Modern or M Sport. A convertible version is also in the pipeline, estimated to be on sale in around 6 month’s time.

So now we’ve tempted you (or more likely confused ourselves…), get down to your local dealer, squeeze them for the best deal possible and then make us insanely jealous of your new purchase. You can guarantee one thing, you’ll be one of the few models on the road… at least until November anyway…

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