Most exciting cars of 2012

2011 was an exciting year for car releases with the likes of the multiple award-winning Range Rover Evoque stealing a lot of the limelight.

2012 is also expected to be an exciting year for car releases as there are a range of models from different segments being released all year round.

Below is a list of the top ten most exciting releases of 2012 which will soon be in Perrys dealerships near you.

Kia Optima

Kia has already earned itself a reputation in the small/city car segment with its new 2012 Kia Picanto and Rio models, so the long awaited release of the Optima saloon will be slightly out of Kia’s comfort zone.

But that’s not to say it can’t handle the competition of the Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia. The Optima will broaden Kia’s market appeal and hopefully bring in new customers, primarily businesses.

The interior of the new Optima is a lot like other saloons but its main difference is probably its exterior styling. Unlike many other saloons the Optima has a sporty appeal with a distinctive front end and bonnet which make it look more aerodynamic.

The Kia Optima is out in January 2012.

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Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

The Zafira Tourer has got everything going for it in terms of family car qualities.

It has seven seats and plenty of interior space, 1,860-litres to be exact, so functioning as a family car is no problem for the Zafira Tourer.

Its seating also benefits from Vauxhall’s Flex7 arrangement which allows the seats to be easily manipulated to suite you and your passengers.

Other passenger friendly features include a panoramic roof which allows a great view of surrounding scenery and plenty of cubby holes and storage compartments.

Emissions for the Zafira Tourer are also impressive and stand at just 137g/km; it also returns mileage of 54mpg.

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is set to be released in January 2012.

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Fiat Panda

Fiat’s new Panda is now in its third generation and goes into the city car market with its roomy interior.

The Panda’s interior storage space ranges from 225-870 litres, which when added to the fact that it returns over 70mpg, means it is a worthy competitor for other city cars like the Fiat 500 and Kia Picanto.

Also, the Panda’s five-door accessibility means it is easier for passengers to get in and out as well as packing stuff in the back, which is great for a city environment.

The Fiat Panda is expected to arrive sometime in spring 2012.

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Peugeot 208

Peugeot’s new 208 supermini is set to replace the 207 model in the range which has become a little out of date. With this new model Peugeot has taken into account competition in the market, specifically Citroen’s DS3 model.

The 208’s design is largely based on the Peugeot 308 model and incorporates more of a premium approach in terms of interior design (much like the DS3) which includes things like an elevated instrument panel and a large touch screen.

The 208 also has a new frugal engine which emits CO2 emissions of just 87g/km thanks to help from a new e-HDI micro-hybrid system.

The Peugeot 208 is expected to arrive sometime in spring 2012.

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Citroen DS5

The main highlights of the DS5 are its style and engine.

A lot like the other DS range additions (DS3 and DS4) the DS5 offers an up market and premium feel. Its exterior boasts a coupe like roof, thanks to chrome inserts on the low rear end, and a sporty aerodynamic shape.

Inside the DS5 the driver’s seat acts more like a cockpit as there are switches and dials over head and a centre console which sits low down in the cabin.

It uses the same diesel-hybrid engine setup as the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 crossover model and emits sub 100g/km of CO2 emissions, which puts it in the lowest band of road tax. However it still produces an impressive 200bhp.

It also offers all-wheel drive – a first for a sub-100g/km car. The Citroen DS5 is expected to arrive sometime in spring 2012.

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Renault Twizy

The Twizy is Renault’s electric addition to the ‘urban mobility’ market and is essentially a ‘buggy’ to help you get to work in busy city areas.

The Twizy is designed simply get you from A to B, but even though this is the case there are still three available trim levels: Urban (£6,690), Colour (£6,950) and Technic (£7,400).

The Twizy has 57Nm of torque and has a top speed of 50mph. With a full electric charge the Twizy can travel up to 60 miles.

Safety features of the new Twizy include a three-point seatbelt in the front with additional lateral restraint, three-point seatbelt in the rear, front airbag and immobiliser and steering lock.

The Renault Twizy is expected to arrive in March 2012.

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Vauxhall Ampera

The Ampera is without doubt economical, which is reflected in the fact that qualifies for the Plug-in Car Grant, zero congestion charge and road tax exemption.

This is thanks to the Ampera’s frugal 1.4-litre petrol engine, which helps to recharge the electric battery when charge runs low.

This hybrid-like engine setup has the ability to run on electric power alone for up to 50 miles before the petrol kicks in to charge the battery. Overall this extended-electric powertrain returns a massive 175mpg and has CO2 emissions as low as 40g/km. The Ampera can also travel up to 310 miles before it needs to be re-charge or refuelled.

But the Ampera isn’t just frugal; it’s also surprisingly stylish and comes with a premium specification and five-door hatchback practicality (although it seats four).

The Vauxhall Ampera is expected to arrive sometime in spring 2012.

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Renault Fluence ZE

The Fluence ZE is the first electric saloon in its segment and bridges the gap between four-door saloons and environmentally friendly cars.

The Fluence’s offers an engine with 70kW of power, which is equivalent to about 95hp. This engine gives the Fluence a range of 100-120 miles off a single charge which gives you quite a distance, especially with charge points around the country increasing in their numbers.

But as well as having a ‘green engine’ the Fluence ZE also has the luxury qualities of a saloon which includes features like an on-board computer displaying battery and fuel consumption, integrated satellite navigation system, climate control and cruise control.

The Renault Fluence ZE is expected to arrive sometime in summer 2012.

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Seat Mii

One of the most important factors of the Seat Mii is its surprisingly low price of just £7,500, which is nearly a whole £2,000 cheaper than the average city car price of £9,100.

The Mii also has an extensive range of interior equipment which with city cars is always an advantage.

This equipment includes a portable sat nav system as well as an Eco-trainer system, which lets you know how to drive more economically.

According to Seat the Mii’s equipment levels are more generous than that of the Volkswagen Up! and Skoda Citigo.

The Seat Mii is expected to arrive sometime in summer 2012.

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Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 has been carefully manufactured to compete with the current market and offers both SUV qualities, like that of the Ford Kuga, and luxurious elements, like the Range Rover Evoque.

Its new economical Skyactiv technology has been turning heads since it was revealed as it adds three new engines with expected emissions of under 120g/km, which for a car its size is very impressive.

The new Skyactiv technology is also part of the CX-5’s new responsive handling and steering on the road as it adds a more rigid and solid body.

The Mazda CX-5 is expected to arrive sometime in summer 2012.

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