The BMW 5 Series

One of the best Executive 5 seater saloons currently in the market, the BMW 5 series, will go toe to toe with the Mercedes E-Class in the summer of 2016 with its lighter, stiffer chassis and improved fuel efficiency.

From the photos we have seen, BMW seem to have put styling changes quite low on the list with just a few tweaks here and there it is still very recognisable as a 5 series.

To keep the 5 Series as agile as BMW customers are accustomed to they have used more high strength steels, aluminium and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics to help stiffen the chassis but also drop the weight of the car by around 100kg.

BMW will still offer the ever-popular 2.0 Litre 4 cylinder engine in the 520d but the range will also include 3 cylinder petrol engines and a plug-in hybrid model which will allow the 530e to exceed 100MPG. The new 5 Series BMW is set to go sale in the summer of 2016 with an estimated price of £32,000.

Mercedes E-Class

The new Mercedes E-Class brings a sleeker design and revolutionary driving aids which take a big step towards autonomous driving.

Mercedes have done away with the sharp folds and creases that come with the current E-Class. Instead they have opted to use the panels for their top of the range luxury S-Class model to give the car a smoother and softer look.

The technology within the E-Class is second to none. The car is able to guide itself round motorway corners at an appropriate speed whilst maintaining a safe distance to the car in front. Sadly though you cannot just sit back and let the car do all the work, the drivers hands must stay on the wheel at all times. Mercedes’ Accident Prevention can spot potential hazards on the road and provide a visual warning and even evasive action. You can even have the car park itself from your smart phone and then have it lock once it is parked.

Mercedes are also expected to offer super-efficient plug-in hybrid models but they have not yet made an official announcement on this. Mercedes are clearly not going 100% green though with an all-new 4.0L Twin Turbo V8 engine on offer in the E63 AMG which could have an out-put of as much as 600BHP. The Mercedes E-Class will go on sale in the summer of 2016 alongside the BMW 5 series and has an estimated price of £35,000.

Fiat Tipo

The Fiat bring back the Tipo hatchback after 20 years since it was last in production. The Tipo will join the mid-sized car market and go against such cars as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and the Renault Megane.

The Tipo will have a very different look comparing it to the current range that Fiat offers. It will not be retro like the 500 or have a smooth rounded shape like the Fait Panda, instead it will have more of a similar styling that you would expect from a high end saloon. Creases and bold detailing will make the Tipo stand out from other rivals in the hatchback market.

The full range of engines for the Tipo has not yet been announced but we expect to see 1.4 and 1.6 petrol engines from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. We also expected to see 1.3 and 1.6 litre diesel engines on offer.

No official pricing has yet been released but sources have said that prices will start at around £15,000. More pricing and specs are expected to be released in March at the Geneva motor show. However, the earliest we expect the Fiat Tipo to go on sale is September 2016.

Renault Megane

Another possible Ford Focus rival is the new Renault Megane. Carrying on Renault’s recent change of design the Megane is the latest model to take on a new shape.

The new Renault Megane has taken on a much sportier look with it being lower and wider. The wheel base has also been increased by 28mm giving more room inside for both driver and passengers. This whole new look lets the Megane stand out against more design-orientated rivals.

In the way of engines, the Megane will come with a range of 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines to choose from. There will also be a sporty GT spec model available with a 202BHP 1.6L turbocharged engine. We could also see a Renaultsport version with a 300BHP turbocharged petrol engine sometime late in 2016. The New Renault Megane is set to go on sale in the spring of 2016 and cost somewhere around £16,000.

By Jamie Osborne