Motor shows are important for manufacturers, because it allows their volume models to share the limelight with concepts and supercars. The Paris motor show had plenty to excite the regular car buyer, with hatchbacks, saloons and estates of all sizes making their public premieres.
Click the image above to launch our everyday heroes gallery.
Renault Clio 4
Renault revealed the fourth-generation of its Clio supermini at Paris, which it hopes will recapture the sales success that eluded the previous car. Longer wider and lower than the Mk 3 Clio, the new Clio draws heavily on the recent Fluence and DeZir concepts. The Clio 4 is underpinned by heavily modified architecture from the existing car.
In a push upmarket, the Clio 4 is offered with a range of personalisation options and an upgraded interior with a central touchscreen.
Mazda 6 estate
Following the saloon’s unveil at the Moscow motor show, the Mazda 6 estate was shown at Paris. It will go on sale alongside the four-door at the beginning of 2013.
Mazda’s Kodo design language has created a sleek load-carrier, whilst its SkyActiv engines and manufacturing promises class-leading efficiency. Using the unique i-ELOOP energy recuperation, CO2 emissions for the diesel could be as low as 105g/km.
With the saloon to cost from £19,595, expect the Mazda 6 estate range to begin at just under £21,000.
After four years on sale, Ford has given its best-selling supermini an overhaul. A new grille and headlights, inspired by the Evos concept, distinguish it from the outside.
The new range of engines will power the facelifted Ford Fiesta. Ford’s celebrated Ecoboost petrol will be offered in two power outputs (99 and 118bhp) and a 1.5-litre diesel with 74bhp; other outputs will follow. A 1.6-litre, 177bhp Fiesta ST will top the range.
Fresh technology for the revised Fiesta includes the Ford Sync multimedia system, Active City Stop and MyKey.
Paris saw the debut of the Vauxhall Adam, its riposte to the Citroen DS3 and Fiat 500. Utilising a shortened platform and engines from the Corsa, the Adam will cost from £11,255.
Its selling point will be the huge customisation potential offered. Between three trim levels (Jam, Glam and Slam), twelve exterior colours, three paint options for the roof and twenty wheel designs, Vauxhall claims over one million trim and colour combinations exist.
The Adam is the first Vauxhall to get the firm’s new ‘IntelliLink’ infotainment system. Orders are being taken now.
Kia’s new seven-seater is far more than simply a replacement for the old Carens. It marks the completion of Peter Schreyer’s design overhaul of the Kia range; the task is now to build on standards established.
Based on the Cee’d platform, the Kia Carens will rival the Renault Grand Scenic and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer. It alos uses the engines from the hatchback, which means 1.6-litre petrol and diesel powerplants with a range of outputs. It should reach Britain in 2013.
Dacia arrives in Britain in January, and it used the Paris show to exhibit a revised version of its likely best-seller, the Dacia Sandero.
A makeover both inside and out should aims to make the Sandero more appealing to British buyers. The interior plastics have been upgraded, whilst the front now more closely resembles the Duster.
The Sandero is still based on the B0 platform that underpins all Dacias. Prices are expected to start at under £7,000 in Britain.
Honda exhibited the fourth generation of its CR-V 4x4 at Paris. It will go on sale in Britain next month.
The new exterior gives the Honda CR-V a bolder appearance than before. The interior offers greater space and improved materials. Improved aerodynamics and increased sound-deadening contribute to a cabin that is twice as quiet than that of the outgoing model.
Initial engine choices will be limited to a 2.2-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol. A sub-100g/km 1.6-diesel should be available next year.
VW Golf Mk7
A lighter, longer, leaner VW Golf was a big draw at the VW Group’s opening evening at Paris. The seventh generation car is key to VW’s plans to becoming the world’s largest manufacturer.
The interior of the Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is typically plush, with a driver-focused dash. Every model will feature a touchscreen, which is colour on the higher spec cars.
Initial engine choices include 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrols and diesel units of either 1.6 or 2.0-litres. Later additions could see up to 12 engines feature.
After two generations of five-door only Leons, Seat has launched the third iteration of its Focus rival with two hatchback options and an estate.
Like its VW Golf and Audi A3 counterparts, the new Seat Leon is underpinned by the MQB architecture and powered by a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. Until the Ecomotive model, the most efficient Leon will be the 104bhp 1.6 TDI, which returns 73.4mpg and emits 99g/km of CO2.
Prices for the Leon start at £15,670, with orders being taken from October.
Audi A3 Sportback
Audi launched the five-door version of its A3 hatchback at the Paris show. The A3 Sportback will cost £620 over the equivalent three-door, meaning the range starts at £19,825.
The Sportback is 73mm longer than the three-door car, with 35mm of this in the wheelbase. Boot capacity improves by 15 litres, at 380 litres. Audi also claims “several more millimetres” of rear legroom.
The A3 Sportback is up to 90kg lighter than the old car, which means a 1.4TFSI weighs in at 1205kg.
Previously seen as the Ford Fusion, the European Ford Mondeo made its debut at Paris. It is due in Britain next year, with the estate expected in 2014. Its aim is to rejuvenate the waning family saloon market.
Ford will be introducing many new engines to the next Mondeo, including a hybrid drivetrain eventually. The 999cc Ecoboost petrol will be available, as will a 1.5 TDCI.
The styling overhaul evokes the Evos concept, with a wider front grille and angular headlamps.
Along with the related Hyundai i30 3-door, the Kia Procee’d was unveiled at the Paris motor show. It is significant for Kia as it will form the basis of its first dedicated sports model; expect a 200bhp Procee’d using the engine from the Hyundai Veloster Turbo next summer.
The Procee’d shares its wheelbase and independent rear suspension with the Cee’d, but sits 10mm lower to the road.
Prices are expected to be similar to the Cee’d. Kia expects the Procee’d to take around 12 per cent of Cee’d sales.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Mitsubishi will offer the first 4WD range-extender hybrid in the Outlander PHEV when it reaches Britain next year. By combining a 2.0-litre petrol engine with two electric motors, the Outlander is claimed to deliver up to 172mpg and 49g/km.
The Outlander PHEV can run on electric only (with a range of 35 miles), with the engine generating power for the electric motors or with the electric motors working in parallel with the engine.
Mitsubishi claims the same passenger and cargo space for the PHEV as other Outlanders.
Citroen DS3 Cabriolet
Set to rival the Fiat 500C and Mini Cabriolet, Citroen launched its open-roofed DS3 variant at the Paris motor show.
The soft-top car, which is due to go on sale in early 2013, features an electrically operated canvas roof that can be closed in 16 seconds at speeds of up to 74mph. A button in the DS3 Cabrio’s ceiling console opens and closes the roof to three positions – intermediate, horizontal and total. When the roof is open, an air deflector net is automatically erected to negate buffeting in the cabin.