Alfa Romeo launches the award winning 147 in February at an entry price of £12,985, £500 more than the outgoing 145 1.6. The new model gains aircon, traction control and six airbags instead of two. That makes the price look a good one compared to its key rivals.
Audi has introduced its revised A3 with prices cut by around 4%. That means the base 1.6 3dr is £625 cheaper at £14,605, while the 1.8T Sport is down £845 to £18,355. BMW's 5 Series range has been expanded with the addition of a 'budget' sports model. The 525i Sport takes the £26,690 SE as its base and adds M-Tech suspension, alloys, body kit, cloth Alcantara sports seats and leather steering wheel for an additional £2,970.
Ford has replaced its 1.4-litre Puma with a 103bhp 1.6, which runs alongside the original 1.7. The revised car gets a £300 price rise to £12,295, £700 less than the 1.7. Nissan has a raft of new year offers which run alongside the recently revised set of prices until the end of March. Depending upon the model chosen, free insurance is available on the Micra and Almera Tino, while 0% finance is offered on Micra, Almera, Tino, Primera and Terrano II. Bristol, creator of hand-built executive saloons to rival Bentley, has revised its Blenheim 3 for 2001 with uprated engine and changes to the interior and exterior styling. The price has risen by £5,875 to £139, 825.
Hyundai has added a welcome boost to the Trajet full-sized MPV range with the new 2.7 V6. Priced £19,999, the £3,500 premium over the under-powered 2-litre also buys automatic transmission, side airbags, alloys, sunroof and leather interior.
Rover has introduced a wide range of Impression special editions aimed at the private buyer. The 25 comes with 1.4 16v 84bhp engine and adds 15-inch alloys and remote locking to the base model. But it costs £400 less at £8,675 or £9,175 for the 5dr. The Impression S adds aircon, CD tuner and electric front windows for another £920. The 45 Impression is a broader, 11-model range, with a choice of 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and turbo-diesel, starting at £11,495 for the 103bhp 1.4 5dr.
Skoda has launched a four-wheel drive version of the Octavia estate. Fitted with the powerful 1.8 Turbo engine, it features the same 4x4 system as the Golf 4Motion, increased ride height and a host of electronics to provide better traction and braking. The price is £16,200.