January isn’t usually a busy month for most. Let’s face it, we’re still reacquainting ourselves with office life after a very Merry Christmas, with a stretched January pay packet meaning that most of us have had a pretty boring month spent in front of the telly watching Reg Holdsworth being chucked out of the Big Brother house and moaning about the new Cadbury’s Cream Egg.
Well the same can’t be said of the motor industry, with January 2015 gearing up to be one of the busiest months yet for car releases, with the launch of the new Skoda Fabia, Hyundai i20, Audi A3 e-tron and the Volkswagen Passat getting the year off to a splendid start.
All four cars are taking their respective marques to a new level of cool, with the kind of facelifts that would still grab the attention of the paparazzi at a Renée Zellweger premier (just checked out some recent online pics of her in a canoe…….still looks nothing like her).
Hyundai i20 – Launch: This weekend baby!!
We’re also rather looking forward to introducing you lucky lot to the new Hyundai i20 this weekend (24-25 January) at our dealerships on Scotswood Road, Newcastle and Kirkstall Road, Leeds and excitement is already building.
With a great choice of engines and extrovert styling inside and out (there’s LED front lights and a ‘floating roof’ for starters!) Hyundai is taking on all comers and taking its evolution from a plucky little brand to a real competitor up a notch. Materials are improved, the dashboard has been completely redesigned and it also comes in a very nice brown colour. Well I like brown anyway. Then again I’m constantly being told I’m weird by my colleagues.
The launch is a pretty big deal here at Benfield, with Newcastle burger restaurant The Fat Hippo serving meatalicious burgers this Saturday (24th January) at Benfield Hyundai Newcastle and Pizza Fella on hand at Benfield Hyundai Leeds to serve up the pepperoni and cheese.
You’ll also have the chance to win an iPad mini simply by taking the car for a test drive.
Check out the video below, which shows Franchise Manager Colin Twist checking out (or rather salivating over) the new Hyundai i20 when it was dropped off at our Scotswood showroom recently.
Skoda Fabia – Launch: Next Weekend!
The new Skoda Fabia has taken another stab at the Top Gear Cool Wall after well and truly proving its detractors wrong as an aspirational thoroughbred over recent years.
The What Car? car of the Year 2015 has taken its inspiration from the questionable behaviour of Doctor Frankenstein, borrowing components from the Audi A3, Seat Leon, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf, with everything from engines to infotainment systems taken from these already celebrated cars.
The new Fabia features features a longer and wider inside, a bigger boot (the biggest in its class Skoda say), much improved engines in all areas – most notably in efficiency – and modern safety equipment as standard.
Sounds good doesn’t it? Well, we’re all over the new Fabia here at Benfield , with an official launch planned next weekend (31st Jan – 1st Feb) at Benfield Skoda Newcastle and Benfield Skoda Harrogate.
Those dropping into Benfield Skoda Newcastle on Saturday will also be well fed with The Fat Hippo back to flip burgers on the day serving meatalicious burgers on the day. Very big and very tasty I’ve heard.
As Craig Revel Horwood would say, Fab-u-lous. (Sorry).
Audi A3 e-tron
Oh, so these two beauties weren’t enough for you? You want more new car launches in your life? Well how does the Audi A3 e-tron sound? I thought so. Taking home the prize for What Car? Electric Car of the Year 2015, the Audi A3 e-tron is the undisputed king of the plug in hybrid and gets around the issue of a limited range fully electric drive with aplomb giving you 30 miles of fully electric joy before the 1.4 litre petrol engine kicks in.
Performance isn’t compromised either; a 0-60 time of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 137mph means you still get a beast of a hatchback while saving yourself money in the long term. I mean figures like 176 mpg are just insane and mean that you may well be able to do Route 66 without having to stop at so many tumbleweed ‘gas’ stations – possibly ran by the hysterical ancestors of the family from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (sorry if any Americans are reading this. If any are though, hi, thanks for joining us, we love Americans).
For those of you interested in taking a look at what possibly could be the perfect hatchback, the new Audi A3 e-tron is already at our Audi showrooms at Newcastle, the Silverlink, Stockton and Sunderland.
Released earlier this month, VW are aiming high with its new Passat; BMW 3 Series high in fact, with lighter materials, a more streamlined design and a fully digital instrument panel resulting in a huge leap into upmarket territory.
The car is targeted at those VW loyalists looking to stay with the badge while looking for a car with the prestige looks and feel of a CEO company car. The fact that it shares a lot of its tech with the new Audi TT is also a sure fire way of getting pulses racing, something that was rarely said when assessing previous iterations. Running costs should steady the heart however, with VW promising a 20% improvement in fuel economy.
Joys of Spring
As if that little lot wasn’t enough, Spring has a number of big hitters revving their engines in anticipation for launch. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s been under the surgeon’s knife and is about to take off the bandages.
Audi A1: Revamped grille, new paint options, new 3 cylinder engine range, new multi-media display.
Kia Rio: Restyled grille, new front bumper and fog lights, new alloy wheels, new optional audio-video navigation system.
VW Polo Bluemotion: Eco version of the recently face-lifted Polo. CO2 emissions of sub-85g/km expected.
Citroen C4: Styling changes include LED strips, 3D look tail lights, range of new economic engines.
Honda Civic: New infotainment system as option, updated rear lights, redesigned bumpers, sport trim available.
Well there you have it. Hope that was enough to whet your appetite. For cars at least, we’re still all on our January diets. Right?
Chris Knox (aka the Benfield Blogger) brings you regular blogs on an array of diverse subjects; from motoring industry news and reviews to the latest goings on at Benfield Towers, as well as what gets him riled up on the road.