Best new cars of 2018: deals on nearly new cars

SUVs and performance models lead the charge of the best new cars for 2018

John Evans Dominic Tobin Murray Scullion
Mar 22, 2019

Big players like Ford and Volkswagen launched a hefty array of new metal in 2018 but small fries like Suzuki  and Subaru also waded in with new releases. There were fresh designs, pioneering technology features plus promises of more power and better fuel economy.

Leading the charge was a flood of new SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) and crossovers, including the electric Jaguar I-Pace, rugged Jeep Wrangler and practical Honda CR-V.

But plenty of family cars arrived, too, headed by a brand-new version of the Ford Focus, as well as a hi-tech Mercedes A-Class and Peugeot 508 with spectacular styling.

For those seeking some driving fun there was the affordable and zippy Ford Fiesta ST, as well as the Volkswagen Polo GTI and Renault Megane RS. At the other end of the price spectrum was the outrageous Ferrari 488 Pista and Mercedes-AMG's new four-door supercar.

Scroll down for full details of 2018's best cars, jump to the new cars for 2018 that are already on sale or take advantage of the new models by grabbing a bargain on one of the versions they replaced.

Under the picture of each car, we’ve highlighted how much 2018 models cost today as used cars. Bare in mind that some of these prices may be for the previous-generation model.

Jump to:
New small cars 2018
New SUVs and crossovers 2018
New family cars 2018
New sports cars and hot hatchbacks 2018
New electric cars 2018

      

New small cars 2018

2018 Audi A1

2018 Audi A1 deals from £12,672
Finance from £188 per month

Audi's formula of big car luxury in a city car has proven to be extremely successful, but it has been going on for nearly a decade. Which explains why a new A1 arrived in 2018.

Bigger outside and inside and brimming with new tech, it’s available only in five-door Sportback form and aimed squarely at the popular Mini. The cost of all these changes is reflected in still higher list prices than before, making the new, cheaper VW Polo a tempting alternative.
Audi A1 buying guide

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport

The old Swift Sport was eager as a puppy but as cheap to own as a stick insect. It put a smile on your face the second you turned the key. This new version builds on those qualities with a new, turbocharged petrol engine producing 138hp in a car weighing less than 970kg. It’s more comfortable too.

Launch prices were high but Suzuki slashed £1,500 off them to make the car more competitive.
Suzuki Swift buying guide

             

New crossovers and SUVs 2018  

2018 Seat Tarraco

The seven-seat Terraco is the largest SUV that Seat makes and is closely related to the Skoda Kodiaq. It’s available in two or four-wheel drive, a system that boosts the vehicle’s grip on slippery roads rather than turning it into a genuine off-roader.

There are two diesel and two petrol engines to choose from but the mid-power petrol is adequate for most occasions. If you’re buying the four-wheel drive version and plans lots of journeys fully laden, go with the most powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine.

2018 Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Rolls-Royce joined the SUV party at the end of 2018 with its highly anticipated Cullinan. Named after the largest diamond ever discovered, it costs £250,000 and is the first Rolls-Royce with a tailgate. It's also the first to be aimed at families, rather than just CEOs.

It has the same ultra-powerful 6.75-litre twin-turbo that's found in the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Despite its vast size, it’s surprisingly fun to drive but as you’d expect of a Rolls, also very quiet. The sat-nav controlled suspension ensures it’s prepared for corners ahead so that everyone arrives stirred but never shaken. If you want to go off-road, it’s as capable as anything from Land Rover.

2018 VW Touareg

2018 Volkswagen Touareg deals from £33,699
Finance from £458 per month

The main talking point of VW’s flagship, four-wheel-drive SUV is its new 'Innovision Cockpit', combining a 12.3-inch digital instrument display with an additional 15-inch touchscreen mounted on the dash. This system controls all of the car's major functions and pretty much replaces all the physical buttons on the dashboard.

At launch, the engines were exclusively 3.0-litre diesels but in four different power outputs. It has much in common with related cars the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga so is big and spacious, although offered with just five rather than seven seats. The upside is that everyone has plenty of room, while the 810-litre boot is one of the largest in the class.
Volkswagen Touareg buying guide

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe deals from £19,995
Finance from £286 per month

As before, the new Santa Fe comes with a choice of five or seven seats but has a roomier interior. Space in the second row of seats is good thanks to the car’s flat floor. Where fitted, the rearmost seats are roomy enough only for children but at least one-touch access make getting to them easier.

The Santa Fe builds on Hyundai’s SmartSense safety tech with family-friendly features such as Safety Exit Assist. This temporarily locks the car when sensing a vehicle approaching from the rear so that occupants can’t inadvertently open a door.

There’s one diesel engine (it’s a 2.2) but it’s powerful and offered in manual or automatic forms. Four-wheel drive is an option. The Santa Fe remains comfortable over bumps and potholes, and grips well in corners without leaning too far. Standard equipment is good but higher-spec versions are expensive.
Hyundai Santa Fe buying guide

2018 Honda CR-V

2018 Honda CR-V deals from £15,495
Finance from £231 per month

Honda's ageing CR-V had been soldiering on for several years, so its replacement couldn’t come soon enough. It’s bigger and roomier than before, and comes with a choice of two or four-wheel drive, and petrol or diesel engines, one of them an economical hybrid petrol. It also offers five or seven seats, although as often the case, don't expect those rearmost chairs to accept more than a couple of children.

The first thing that strikes you, though, is the improved interior quality. In most areas, the CR-V feels distinctly premium. It’s well laid out, too, although the entertainment system is a tad frustrating to use.

Don't expect driving thrills; the CR-V puts comfort and refinement above all else, which is no bad thing.
Honda CR-V buying guide

2018 Jeep Wrangler

Those seeking pared-back, off-road thrills should check out the new Wrangler. It’s important to know that it’s an off-roader first and an SUV second, so don't expect the ultimate in comfort. But thanks to its rugged build, long-travel suspension and four-wheel drive system, do expect it to go where no Nissan Qashqai would dare.

Removable doors (there’s a choice of two or four-door body styles), an adjustable windscreen and a powered fabric roof (you can choose from three types) are just a few of its features.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbo petrol or 2.2-litre diesel. Fitted to the top-spec Rubicon with its low-range gearbox the Wrangler is a formidable off-road vehicle. This version is very hardcore, though. For less demanding users, the comfort-oriented Sahara is the better choice.
Jeep Wrangler buying guide

   

2018 Dacia Duster

2018 Dacia Duster deals from £8,490
Finance from £135 per month

This SUV was given a heavy makeover in 2018, in the shape of a new look, fresh technology and a new interior but continues to be the bargain the original always was. That’s important because the brand isn't desirable enough to attract top prices.

Still, with standard-fit LED running lights, smart silver highlights on the exterior and larger 17in wheels on top-spec versions the new Duster has definitely moved upmarket. Inside, there are soft-touch materials, plus a dashboard angled towards the driver, just like you’ll find in a BMW. There’s also more safety kit. The new Duster is a roomy and comfortable car, and surprisingly good to drive. This bargain SUV just got a whole lot better.
Dacia Duster buying guide

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc

2018 Dacia Duster deals from £8,490
Finance from £135 per month

The name T-Roc is Volkswagen's way of signposting this small SUV as a car for young people who don't want a fuddy duddy hatchback - even if the price means that it'll be mostly middle-aged drivers who can afford it.

Smaller than the Tiguan and using the same mechanical parts as the Golf, the T-Roc offers reasonable fuel economy, with the practicality of a higher roof that's curved to make the car look sporty. The dashboard is straight out of the Golf but can be colour-matched to the exterior for a less grey look (VW promises some bold shades). There’s decent rear headroom thanks to a neat recess, while the boot is just a little bit bigger than that in the rival Audi Q2.
Volkswagen T-Roc buying guide

2018 Jaguar E-Pace

2018 Jaguar E-Pace from £27,000
Finance from £366 per month

The baby brother to the F-Pace is around the size of an Audi Q3 but looks sportier.

Not that it’s impractical. The interior is almost as roomy as an Audi Q5’s while the boot is a generous 577 litres, and has a low and wide opening. It’s powered by the usual array of petrol and diesel engines.
Jaguar E-Pace buying guide

2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2 deals from £20,886
Finance from £261 per month

It’s no Lamborghini Urus, but the BMW X2 is a more realistic prospect for most buyers looking for an SUV with a sporty design. A similar size to the current BMW X1, this new car is claimed to deliver agile cornering and rapid acceleration as soon as you put your foot to the floor.

The car’s curvier looks mean that it’s likely to be less spacious and practical than the X1. It’s more expensive too, with prices around £3,000 higher than the equivalent X1.

    

2018 Ford EcoSport

2018 Ford EcoSport deals from £11,995
Finance from £161 per month

The EcoSport has recently been Ford’s weakest link but it has been improved with a heavily revised version of the compact SUV.

Inside, the new Fiesta’s much-improved dashboard has found its way into the EcoSport. There’s more tech in the shape of Ford’s latest SYNC 3 voice-control system, plus an array of safety systems including a rear-view camera. There’s a new engine, too: an efficient 1.5-litre diesel in combination with four-wheel drive.
Ford EcoSport buying guide

     

2018 Volvo XC40

2018 Volvo XC40 deals from £29,000
Finance from £379 per month

Volvo’s recent SUVs have gone to the top of their class. Their comfortable ride, spacious interiors and minimalist, calming dashboards bring luxury and practicality to family travel.

Now the XC40 uses the same ingredients in a smaller package, designed for couples or young families. The central touchscreen, quality interior materials and high specification make it feel as upmarket as Volvo’s other models, and it also has a similar rugged shape, with smoothed corners. Designed to compete with the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, it’s priced at a premium.
Volvo XC40 buying guide

New family cars 2018

2018 Peugeot 508

2018 Peugeot 508 deals from £14,321
Finance from £229 per month

Saloons have fallen from favour in recent years as buyers turn to SUVs but even so, there are still plenty of good models to choose from including this, the new (for 2018) Peugeot 508.

It’s equally good looking inside with details borrowed from the car maker’s successful 3008 and 5008 SUVs, including the dynamic i-Cockpit that can change its appearance. Touchscreens and an electronic parking brake are standard while higher-spec versions get fake leather, a reversing camera, LED headlight and wireless charging.

The 508’s fastback styling means rear interior space is at a premium, however. Still, that won't bother many business users more interested in how the car drives. On that point, the 508 is impressive with agile handling and direct steering. It’s comfortable and refined, too. The best engine is the 158bhp 2.0-litre diesel, although if you don't do many miles or company car tax is irrelevant, check out the 178bhp 1.6-litre petrol.
Peugeot 508 buying guide

  

2018 Volvo V60

2018 Volvo V60 deals from £18,499
Finance from £275 per month

After safety, the next thing Volvo is known for is estate cars, which it badges ‘V’. The new mid-size V60 is a smaller version of the latest large Volvos and features the same sharply creased lines and a pared-down dashboard with its major functions incorporated into a large touchscreen.

At 529 litres, the boot is larger than rivals’ but at 1364 litres, the seats-down load area is actually smaller. On the upside, the V60 has plenty of safety equipment and some semi-autonomous driving functions. Helping to keep running costs down are a couple of diesel engines; the D2 unit in particular is capable of more than 70mpg. Meanwhile, for those buyers who can't bring themselves to buy an SUV, there’s the V60 Cross Country with four-wheel drive, raised suspension and chunkier looks.
Volvo V60 buying guide

 

2018 Audi A6

2018 Audi A6 deals from £22,000
Finance from £305 per month

From the outside you may struggle to tell the new A6 of 2018 from the old one but then evolution is always Audi’s way. Instead, you have to sit in the new car and drive it to appreciate just how far the model has moved on.

Everything has been turned up. It’s more elegant than before, more comfortable, roomier, and better to drive.

No less than three instrument displays project a sense that it’s also high tech. A mild hybrid system with every version boosts performance and economy. It’s as close to rivalling the BMW 5 Series that any A6 has ever come.
Audi A6 buying guide

2018 Ford Focus

2018 Ford Focus deals from £11,447
Finance from £166 per month

One of Britain’s favourite family cars was relaunched in all-new guise in 2018. The previous version was always good to drive but the new one caught up with rivals such as the VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra in the areas of interior space (especially in the rear) and technology.

A luxurious Vignale version is now offered, as well as a taller crossover version called the Active. This has more space between the bottom of the car and the ground to allow it to tackle rougher surfaces, or at least give that impression.

Trim levels are familiar from previous generations with Zetec (Quickclear windscreen, cruise control and Ford’s Sync 3 voice-controlled entertainment system) the pick for value. The petrol engines are economical so unless you do lots of miles or wish to reduce your company car tax bill, you won't need one of the diesels. Either way, the Focus is now even more fun to drive than before.
Ford Focus buying guide

2018 Kia Ceed

2018 Kia Ceed deals from £11,690
Finance from £172 per month

Kia helpfully dropped the apostrophe from the Ceed’s name (previous models were called Cee’d) when it launched the new version of the model in 2018. Pitched directly at the VW Golf and the new Ford Focus, it’s longer and wider than before, crucially, making it bigger inside, although the Golf is slightly roomier in the back. Neither rival can best the Ceed’s boot for size, though.

The Ceed has sophisticated suspension and steering that’s sharper and more communicative. However, ride comfort is only reasonable, with the car feeling a bit fidgety on rough urban roads.

All Ceeds have at least a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They also have alloy wheels and air con.
Kia Ceed buying guide

2018 Mercedes C-Class

2018 Mercedes C-Class from £16,680
Finance from £220 per month

To keep the C-Class saloon competitive in an age of SUVs, it was heavily revised in 2018. On went new bumpers and brighter LED lights, and in came more smartphone features, and new instrumentation with a choice of larger displays. The basic trim, called SE, became a little more luxurious (so more expensive), too. In fact, with features such as air con, a reversing camera, a new 10.25-inch entertainment screen with a sat nav, and a choice of driving modes, it’s the one we’d recommend.

At the same time, new engines were introduced including a 1.5 turbo petrol with mild hybrid technology for extra performance and economy. Diesel-wise, the new 2.0-litre engine is quieter than the old 2.2 unit that it replaces. The gearboxes are new, too.
Mercedes C-Class buying guide

2018 Hyundai i30 Tourer

2018 Hyundai i30 Tourer from £10,499
Finance from £166 per month

The Hyundai i30 estate is a sensible choice, offering more efficient engines and a quieter, smoother drive. Boot space is a competitive 602 litres and 1650 litres with the rear-seats down. It's not an exciting choice but it does have a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.
Hyundai i30 buying guide

  

2018 Subaru Impreza

Best known for the high-performance versions that resembled World Rally Championship cars, the Subaru Impreza has rarely been top of the list for most family hatchback buyers.

This doesn't look likely to change with the arrival of the latest version. It’s a rather bland-looking affair, while its engines can’t match the smooth and quiet motors that power rivals, such as the Volkswagen Golf.

On the upside, it has four-wheel drive while Subaru’s comprehensive EyeSight safety system is an option.

     

2018 Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer

Vauxhall is keeping faith with the traditional estate car in the shape of this, the Insignia Country Tourer. It’s a beefed-up model with a raised ride height, body protection and on-demand four-wheel drive, much like the Audi Allroad. Three engines are available including a 2.0-litre diesel producing 210bhp that comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

2018 Mercedes A-Class

Mercedes has moved its best-selling family hatchback further upmarket, with a hi-tech interior that has two screens sitting side-by-side and leaves the rest of the interior relatively clear of buttons.

Optional wood trip, massage seats and 64-colour mood lighting make higher-priced models in the new range more luxurious than the outgoing car. It's more practical too, with a larger boot. Outside are slimmer headlights and other small tweaks but the designers haven't changed too much of the best-selling outgoing car.
Mercedes A-Class buying guide

2018 Hyundai i30 Fastback

The Korean car maker will brighten its all-new, recently launched i30 range with this, the Fastback. It’s actually a five-door coupe with more flowing lines and a lower roof than the other model’s (so check that rear headroom). It’s a sporty car with firmer suspension and a lower ride height than its sister cars too.
Hyundai i30 Fastback buying guide

New sports cars and hot hatchbacks 2018

Ferrari 488 Pista

With its name including the Italian word for 'track', Ferrari's latest souped-up supercar is meant to put the knowledge gained from its racing cars to use on the road – and it succeeds.

In 2018, the mid-mounted engine was the most powerful V8 engine the company has ever made. At the same time, the car is 90kg lighter than the standard 488 GTB model, launched in 2015, while the gearbox changes a fraction faster (30 milliseconds).

2018 Renault Megane RS

2018 Renault Megane R.S deals from £23,950
Finance from £338 per month

For as long as there’s a Megane, there’ll be a sporty RS version. This latest one was launched in 2018, a year after the rest of the line-up. It was time well spent since it’s terrific fun.

And so it should be with brilliant rivals such as the Honda Civic Type R, VW Golf R and Hyundai i30N ready to take it on. It gets off to a good start, at least on paper, with 276bhp on offer from its 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine. An optional Cup pack adds a limited slip diff for improved grip and a revised suspension system. It also has four-wheel steering for extra cornering bite.

At first it feels a bit lacking but get it up to speed and it comes alive thanks to well-weighted steering. The same goes for the ride which can feel a bit lumpy at low speeds but smooths out the faster you go. The manual gearbox is awkwardly shaped and equally awkward to use. The better choice is the automatic version, albeit one that permits fast multiple downchanges under braking.
Renault Megane buying guide

2018 Cupra Ateca

Cupra is the new standalone sporting brand of Seat, and its first car was this, the Ateca SUV of 2018. You might think that an SUV doesn't belong in a list of sports cars and hot hatchbacks but with 296bhp on tap (it shares its engine with the mighty VW Golf R), it has enough power to frighten smaller and lighter pocket rockets. At the same, its SUV body means there’s enough space for the family, plus the dog.

Inside, the sort of sporty and upmarket materials you’d expect to find are all present. They include luxurious Alcantara, a type of man-made suede, a seven-speed automatic gearbox for quick and effortless changes and no less than six driving modes ranging from Comfort to Off-road (although the 19in wheels and sporty tyres don't look capable of leaving the tarmac). Four-wheel drive ensures there's always enough grip to keep the performance in check.
Cupra Ateca buying guide

Seat Ateca deals        

VW up! GTI

Volkswagen's smallest car has been given the GTI treatment - complete with throwback tartan upholstery echoing the first ever Golf GTI.

Expect 113hp on tap and a 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds, as well as fast steering and a slick six-speed gearbox.
VW up! buying guide

Volkswagen up! deals

2018 Audi RS4 Avant

2018 Audi RS4 deals from £58,350
Finance from £746 per month

Audi's fast estates are legendary for combining practicality with performance that bears comparison with a rocket. The RS4 is arguably the most famous version among enthusiasts.

    

2018 BMW M5

2018 BMW M5 deals from £60,911
Finance from £770 per month

No BMW line-up is complete without an M5. For the first time, it has four-wheel drive to help channel the 600hp produced by its twin-turbocharged V8 engine into forward motion.

Despite the weight of the car’s extra running gear, BMW claims it's lighter than the old model by some 40kg, a result of giving it aluminium body panels and a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic roof.
BMW 5 Series buying guide

2018 Hyundai i30N

This is Hyundai’s first hot hatch and with favourites like the VW Golf GTI and Seat Leon Cupra to choose from, it’s taking nothing for granted. Naturally, it’s done a few laps of the Nurburgring, where all self-respecting performance cars are given a workout, and returned grinning from ear to ear.

It’s powered by a 250bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine but there’s a performance pack that raises that to 275bhp, and adds a limited slip differential, which can increase grip in corners.

2018 VW Polo GTI

Volkswagen's Golf GTI might be the classic hot hatchback, but it's grown so big that it's no longer the compact and nippy car that it once was.

That's now the job of the Volkswagen Polo GTI (and the even smaller up! GTI). It promises acceleration that'll put a grin on your face; fun at legal speeds; plus Volkswagen build quality and comfort when you just want a relaxing drive.
Volkswagen Polo buying guide

2018 Lamborghini Urus

Keen to zoom across the countryside at 190mph? Lamborghini's supercar SUV can oblige. The new Urus is the first ultra-high performance car in this class and it will soon be joined by a Ferrari rival.

The claimed top speed of 190mph is delivered by a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which can move the car from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds. Lamborghini says that it's easy to drive in the city, comfortable on long journeys, capable of driving off-road, and can still provide supercar speed and grip on track. We'll soon find out if the car can deliver all-round performance without compromise.

New electric cars 2018   

2018 Jaguar I-Pace

The Jaguar I-Pace was the first electric crossover to take on Tesla’s Model X, although the Audi e-tron was hot on its tail. Without a conventional engine to accommodate, it’s roomier inside than its compact shape suggests.

EV sceptics wondered how many cups of coffee they would have to drink while waiting for its batteries to be recharged. Fortunately, not a lot, since Jaguar claims an 80% charge takes 45 minutes. The range for the four-wheel-drive SUV is up to 310 miles.
Jaguar I-Pace buying guide

2018 Audi e-tron

The all-electric e-tron is Audi’s answer to the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X, and about the same size as the car maker’s Q5 SUV. Its most striking feature, though, is how like a conventional car it looks.

Its electric motors produce a combined 402bhp but they have to since the e-tron is heavier than even its already heavy rivals. It’s certainly not as fun to drive as an I-Pace while its official range is 248 miles, or just 200 miles in the real world.

Audi has a wealth of experience in autonomous driving and driver assist features to call on from its other models and the e-tron is a major beneficiary. The dashboard is dominated by no less than five screens including two for the side cameras (there are no wing mirrors).

Hyundai Kona

When it launched the Kona in 2018, Hyundai taunted Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, the electric car company, with giant billboard advertisements proclaiming the model as the first small electric SUV.

Depending on the size of the battery it has a range of 200 or 300 miles based on the tough new WLTP performance tests, enough for most drivers on virtually all journeys. Both provide reasonably quick performance, too. The handling is safe and secure but not especially fun, which is fine since the Kona doesn't pretend to be a sporty hatchback. What it is, is a reasonably comfortable, family car that’s practical, competitively priced and, despite being an electric vehicle, reassuringly conventional looking.
Hyundai Kona buying guide

2018 BMW i3s

On the back of the i3 update (exterior styling tweaks, newer software) BMW has added a sporty new variant called the i3s. Intended to make the most of the electric motor’s instant thrust, it gains an extra 13 horsepower (hp), taking it to 181hp, for acceleration of 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds – around half a second quicker than the standard car.

Sports suspension is meant to improve agility when cornering. Think of it as the first model in a brand-new electric hot hatch segment.
BMW i3 buying guide

2018 Nissan Leaf

2018 Nissan Leaf deals from £22,590
Finance from £336 per month

The car that saw the electric revolution coming has been replaced by an all-new version. The new Leaf is less odd-looking than the old car and more aerodynamic. It’s available with a choice of two battery packs but even the standard one is good for a claimed range of 235 miles. In reality, you should expect between 150 and 180 miles but that's still twice as far as the outgoing entry-level cars. Despite the battery’s extra charge, it takes the same time to recharge to 80% – around 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, the electric motor is more powerful, with faster acceleration. Other improvements include an optional semi-driverless system that will take over driving in queuing motorway traffic at up to 62mph.
Nissan Leaf buying guide

    

   

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