Peugeot has introduced its 2.2-litre HDi turbo-diesel engine to the 406 coupe. Claimed to be as exhilarating to drive as the 2-litre petrol model, the diesel coupe is available in S trim for £22,295 and as the SE at £24,995, premiums of £2,300 over the 2.0. It falls into the lowest benefit in kind (BIK) bracket for diesels. The 106 also receives attention with a re-introduction of the Independence special edition. The 1.1-litre 3dr, £6,495 model gets the choice of four metallic colours, 'funky' interior trim, sunroof, opening rear quarter windows and a split rear seat.
The Toyota Previa gets a much-needed turbo diesel engine to run alongside the existing 2.4-litre petrol unit. The new 2-litre common-rail diesel produces 114bhp and is available in three manual gearbox versions from £21,450 – £1,500 more than the petrol version.
Hyundai has also added a 2-litre common-rail turbo-diesel to the Trajet MPV. It fills a gap between the slow 2-litre petrol model and the thirsty V6 and, at £16,499, is only £1,000 more than the similarly-equipped 2.0.
Vauxhall has relaunched the Vectra GSi as a more direct competitor to the new Mondeo Zetec S than the existing, but well-priced Vectra SRi. The 2.6-litre GSi is available as a saloon or hatchback for £18,595, £500 less than the Ford, and also as an estate for £19,495. It gets a 180bhp engine versus the 170bhp in the SRi and more sporting trim.
Alfa Romeo's sleek 5dr 147 goes on sale this month for a £500 premium over the equivalent 3dr model. The range starts at £13,675 for the 1.6 Turismo rising to £17,840 for the 2.0 Selespeed. A manual 2-litre 147 has also been introduced. Previously Selespeed only, the new 2.0 Lusso 3dr costs £15,740, with the 5dr costing £16,240.
Citroen has introduced a more powerful HDi diesel engine to its Xsara range. The 110bhp 2-litre unit offers a combined economy of 54mpg, and 0-62mph in 10.3s. Available in LX and SX trim, all models include aircon, ABS and four airbags, with the option of an adaptive automatic transmission. Estate models are also available. Prices start at £12,350 for the LX, £13,850 for the SX.
Ford has added two special editions to its Fiesta range. The £9,995 Fiesta Black, based on the 3dr 1.25-litre Fiesta, features aircon, CD player, electric front windows, front fog lights and black metallic paint. The 1.3-litre Fiesta Fun, costing £6,995, has power steering and a driver's airbag, and is available with 0% finance.
BMW's hybrid motorcycle, the C1, which is aimed as much at car drivers as committed two-wheelers, is the target of a second pricing initiative after its recent price cut. It is now available from £75 to £90 a month on low rate finance, with the low deposit also partly funded by assistance from BMW. The base C1 is £3,395, with prices rising to £3,920 for the Executive.