Our pick of the best mainstream model launches at this year's event
From turbocharged superminis to hybrid SUVs and old-school sports cars
We'll tell you which three new motors we were less impressed with
Published: 12:07 EDT, 4 March 2016 | Updated: 19:06 EDT, 4 March 2016
This year's Geneva Motor Show turned into a hotbed of supercar and luxury vehicle launches, with a hive of new super-luxurious models from the likes of Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, McLaren and Rolls-Royce taking centre stage.
But for those of us without £2million in the bank to splurge on a new motor, these cars are nothing more than an object of desire.
However, there were mainstream cars unveiled at the show that should get you a little stuffy under the collar - we've listed the top 10 new models revealed at this year's Geneva Motor Show that should cause a stir.
Showtime: The 2016 Geneva Motor Show opened to the press on Tuesday will a full bill of new model unveilings - here are the 10 (or 11) cars we're most excited about seeing on the road in the next 12 months
There's little doubt that this year's show will be remembered for the ultra extreme hypercars and beautiful British sportcars unwrapped for the first time to the public - who'll be able to forget Bugatti's 1,500bhp Chiron and Lamborghini's bonkers Centenario?
But there were also some significant mainstream car launches that should provide plenty of excitement for those looking to buy a car in the next 12 months.
From hybrid SUVs to old-school sports cars and turbocharged city cars, there were reveals to suit all needs. We've listed our 10 favourites from the show - and three we were less inspired about.
Some think the Fiesta ST was wanting for power - now it has an extra kick, with an upgrade from 180bhp to 197bhp in the ST200
1. Ford Fiesta ST200
The current Ford Fiesta ST has won plenty of admirers with the fast-turning, sweet-handling chassis - we'd go as far as saying it's the best small hot-hatch you can buy today. However, some argue it could do with a bit more power.
That's where this latest model, the ST200, will fulfill the desires of these select people. Upping grunt from 180bhp to 197bhp, the swan-song for the soon-to-be-replaced Fiesta also gets new gear ratios to cut the 0-62mph time to 6.7 seconds.
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No prices have been announced, but expect to pay a £1,000 premium on the current range-topping £19,645 ST-3 model.
The one problem it faces is the Fiesta ST Mountune, created by Ford's tuning partner. The fast-Ford specialists will upgrade a standard Fiesta ST for £599 to increase power to 212bhp, shaving 0.3 seconds off the 0-62mph time of the ST200 - and it doesn't invalidate the manufacturer warranty.
Look beyond the Type-R-like design features and you're left with what could be a very practical family hatch
2. Honda Civic prototype
By Honda's own admissions, the Civic has become a little 'conservative' in design. New project leader for the 10th generation family-hatchback, Daisuke Tsutamori, told us the brand wanted to 'make the design more desirable for younger customers', hence why this prototype version of the 2017 Civic looks rather extreme.
But once you look beyond the luminous brake calipers, double exhaust and oversize mesh grilles, what you're left with is a more practical family hatchback than ever before.
With the larger Accord now killed off for the European market, the Civic has got bigger to fill this void. According to Honda, it's lower and wider than before to improve dynamics. However, the wheelbase has also increased by a claimed 30mm and the pillars have been thinned to improve interior space.
This boost in practicality could give the volume-selling Ford Focus and reigning European Car of the Year Vauxhall Astra a run for their money when it goes on sale in the UK next January. It will also be the first Honda to feature the brand's new turbocharged 1.0 and 1.5-litre petrol engines.
The car, which is a global model that will also sell in the US, is being built exclusively at the Swindon plant, which has received a £200m investment from the manufacturer as a result. Good news all round.
Porsche 911 purists will be fighting over the new R - with a manual gearbox and naturally-aspirated engine, it's the last edition in a dying breed
3. Porsche 911 R
As much as this feature is about affordable new cars for the future, the 911 R doesn't quite fit the bill with its £136,901 price tag. And once you bear in mind that production is limited to 991 cars globally, you might wonder how it's made it into our top 10.
But for 911 purists, this is a dream come true in a world of turbocharging and paddle-shift automatic gearboxes.
While the standard 911 has succumbed to emissions restrictions and had a turbo fitted - much to the horror of Porsche fans - the 911 R uses a naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six engine. In fact, it's the same one used in the track focused GT3-RS and generates 439bhp to produce a staggering 201mph top speed.
A 0-62mph sprint will take 3.7 seconds, and you'll have to be an integral part of the process because the R is only available with a manual gearbox - a driving enthusiasts dream.
And instead of being stripped down and fitted with a roll-cage like the race-ready GT3-RS, the 911 R has a fully-kitted interior, making it ideal for the road as well as the track. So, at a stretch, it could be an everyday car.
Audi hopes plenty of adaptable interior panels will help the Q2 appeal against rivals from BMW and Mercedes
Seat's Ateca will be available with the new three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine
4. Audi Q2 & Seat Ateca
SUVs are big business right now, so it's no surprise manufacturers are churning them out in all shapes and sizes these days.
This year's Geneva Motor Show saw the turn of the VW Group, with Audi revealing its Q2 and Seat showcasing the Ateca for the first time - both of which are classed as compact SUVs built on the same platform.
Audi hopes the Q2 will be a sucker-punch to the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA, and priced from around £22,000 it has a good chance. The German carmaker says it's aimed at a younger age group, which might explain the infinite number of customisation colours available for the interior panels.
The Ateca, which will cost £4,000 less than the Audi, has bigger fish to fry in terms of competition - it hopes to steal sales from Nissan's Qashqai - the best-selling SUV in the UK.
Entry models will come with a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine and there'll be a 1.4-litre, too. It will also be sold in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants, and there will be a choice of diesel units.
A classy operator: Volvo's are no longer just about size and safety - the V90 has a premium-spec interior you'd expect to find in cars twice the price
5. Volvo V90
Volvo is synonymous with mega-practical estate cars and the new V90 is set to become the most luxurious example we've seen yet from the Swedish brand.
It joins the recently released S90 saloon and XC90 SUV, sharing much of the same design language, including the Thor Hammer LED headlamps and front-end-encompassing oblong grille.
The rear of the estate has more profiled shoulder lines and a swooping boot lid - it helps Volvo do away with the hearse-like look to create a wonderfully stylish family wagon.
As well as a depth of engine choices, one of the biggest appeals will be the stunningly-finished interior. The minimalist dash is dominated by the portrait-mounted central touchscreen, which includes smartphone connectivity and Apple's CarPlay feature.
Obviously, being a Volvo, it'll be safe too - it comes with the brand's Pilot Assist II semi-autonomous driving system as standard, as well as the unique 'large animal detection' and run-off road mitigation features.
Prices are expected to start from around £33,000.
The 124 Spider uses the same platform as the fantastic Mazda MX-5. Throw Abarth's tuning expertise into the mix and this could be one of the surprise sports cars of 2016
6. Abarth 124 Spider
The Fiat 124 Spider has one major ingredient going in its favour - the Mazda MX-5. That's because it is built on exactly the same platform as the Japanese convertible, which is a fantastic place to start.
But now Fiat has let its performance arm, Abarth, get their hands on the sporty soft-top, and they've gone to town on the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, upping the power output from 138bhp to 168bhp to convert it into a totally different animal.
The Abarth version also gets stiffer suspension, beefed-up anti-roll bars and more powerful Brembo brakes to match the power upgrade.
You have the choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, while the interior has a few lashings of Alcantara but is otherwise undetectable from the standard Fiat and Mazda.
But if the striking colour scheme doesn't leave you open-mouthed, the price most definitely will. That's because it will go on sale in the UK for £29,565, which isn't cheap for a glorified MX-5.
Tiny in proportion; big on attitude: The VW Up is much-loved in the motoring fraternity thanks to its quality finish and nimble characteristics. The addition of a chirpy turbo should only make this city car even better
7. Volkswagen Up facelift
Okay, so the VW Up isn't new - it's a city car with a classy edge that's been on sale since 2012. However, this is the first time you'll be able to buy one with a turbo engine.
The 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI turbo has 89bhp and 160Nm of toque. A 0-62mph time of 10 seconds and a top speed of 115mph might not sound much, but this fun little kart-like car should be even more enjoyable to drive as a result.
With the additional performance over the existing range - which boosts power by 14bhp - you shouldn't lose out too much on efficiency, with VW claiming 64.2mpg on paper. In reality, we know this won't be the case, but you should be able to achieve around 60mpg if you're driving conscientiously.
The tweaked Up also gets a fresher face, LED daytime running lights as standard, a new rear light cluster design and a rear diffuser, which we imagine is for aesthetic purposes only. There's loads of customisation too, with 13 colours, nine sticker designs, three roof options and two interior shades to choose from.
Prices are expected to remain consistent - that means the entry-level model should be £8,945.
Expect the silhouette to be remain for the production model, though Vision S will be dropped and replaced with the Kodiaq moniker. Don't expect to see these enormous jagged-spoke alloy wheels on models in 2017
8. Skoda Vision S concept
While sister brands Audi and Seat showcased compact SUVs, Skoda previewed what its new seven-seat offroader will look like when it launches to the market in 2017.
The Vision S concept has a six-seat layout, however we expect to see this rise by one when the car goes on sale as the Kodiaq next year, sitting above the Yeti in the existing range.
At 4.7 metres long, 1.9 metres wide and 1.7 metres tall, think of it as a rival to the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The concept car features an all-new four-wheel drive petrol-electric hybrid powertrain that, on paper at least, provides 222bhp with a 1.4-litre petrol engine working in unison with two electric motors. As a result, Skoda says It can hit 62mph from a standstill in 7.4 seconds, but it emits just 45g/km of CO2. In electric-only model it will cover 31 miles, the Czech carmaker said.
We doubt this will be the power source on offer when the car does appear in production form for 2017, though it could undercut rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento on price, with the cheapest model predicted to ring in at £25,000.
Could this be the most handsome Toyota in recent years? It's the C-HR
9. Toyota C-HR
Could this be the most handsome Toyota in recent years? Pictures don't quite do the C-HR justice - in the flesh, it's a chiseled, rugged-looking beast.
However, despite the macho looks, the C-HR is exceptionally green. That's because it shares the same platform and powertrain with the latest Prius hybird, making this a stylish mid-size SUV with decent levels of efficiency.
It will go head-to-head with Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV and hybrid versions of the NX from sister-brand Lexus.
Using Toyota’s latest version of the 1.8-litre hybrid system - debuted already on the sharper-handling Prius - it's claimed to emit less than 90g/km of CO2. You'll also be able to have the C-HR with a conventional 1.2-litre turbo petrol motor.
Prices and launch dates haven't been announced, but expect to pay in the region of £30,000 when it does arrive.
Despite massive demand for Range Rover's Evoque Convertible, don't expect the production-ready Volkswagen SUV to have a retractable roof
10. Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze concept
Before the Range Rover Evoque Convertible arrived, people might have laughed this VW concept out of the show halls at Geneva. However, when this car does make production, expect there to be a fixed roof in tact rather than this soft-top preview.
The T-Cross Breeze - a name that certainly won't be retained for the actual model - showcases the design and proportions of Volkswagen's upcoming supermini crossover, expected to share a platform and engines with the next-generation Polo.
As well as doing away with the open-top design, the production version is expected to add a few other conventional touches, like two rear doors, though the dimensions should remain consistent, pitching the car against the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.
With the Polo likely to feature a more powerful version of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine featured in the updated Up, the same is expected to be offered for this crossover version.
According to reports, VW has registered the names 'Teracor', 'Tribue' and 'Terasun' in the past 12 months - all of these options sound infinitely better than T-Cross Breeze.
THREE NEW MODELS FROM THE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW WE'D QUESTION
Alfa Romeo Giulia
The executive saloon sector is dominated by the German brands. That's because the three main protagonists - the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-class - are genuinely brilliant cars.
The remainder of the large-car D-segment is in decline, with more buyers opting for SUVs.
For these reasons, we can't imagine the Alfa will appeal to many buyers, unless they want to get the most out of their AA membership - the brand is rated as one of the most unreliable, according to Warranty Direct's Reliability Index.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia has stiff competition from German rivals
Subaru XV concept
Only in concept form at the moment, Subaru previewed what the new XV mid-size SUV could look like.
And to be fair, it's pretty hard to distinguish it from the one that's already on sale, apart from the garish colour design.
The existing XV isn't a car we'd recommend - the turbo-diesel Boxer engine is loud and raucous - we'd even go as far as describing it as agricultural. We don't imagine many will be prized out of their Nissan Qashqais to convert to a the Subaru.
The squared-off wheel arches and sloping roof design is reminiscent of the XV already on sale
Rejuvenating a defunct model name can sometimes have fantastic results - nobody knows this better than Fiat, following the massive success of the 500 city car rebirth.
But while the original 500 was an icon, the Tipo, built during the late eighties and early nineties, is a much-forgotten model. Those who do recall it probably won't have fond memories.
Available in the UK as a hatch or estate, it'll be cheaper than a Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. The question is, would the financial saving be enough to encourage you to buy one?
The Tipo name is reborn for the UK market, with a hatchback and estate available. The saloon version for mainland Europe won't be offered here, though
Source : http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-3474902/Top-10-cars-launched-Geneva-2016-excited-about.html