The top 5 cars we are looking forward to in 2012

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Last year car manufacturers announced a whole host of incredible cars set for release in 2012. Here are the 5 we are looking forward to the most:

5.Hyundai i30

2012 Hyundai i30

The current Hyundai i30 is a great car but in an incredibly competitive small family hatch segment it has not broken away from the pack. Hyundai hope to change this with the 2nd generation i30 which along with the i40 will be the brand's ambassador as well as quality benchmark.

The 2012 i30 has been made slightly wider and longer than the current model, this improved on interior space. The car is also lower which provides a lower centre of gravity and gives the car a sportier look. Under the hood there will be a range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from, with power output ranging from 89 bhp to 133 bhp.

When it gets released the i30 will be up against some formidable competition in the form of the Volkswagen Golf, the Opel Astra and the Ford Focus. It's a tough ask, but with improvements all-round as well as new styling and design, the 2012 Hyundai i30 might just make some waves.

4.Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric

More and more cars these days are going electric or at least hybrid. There is no doubt that the future will see this trend continue until electric cars become main stream. The Ford Focus Electric is currently only available in the States and only a limited amount will be made but it is the first fully electric production car the brand has produced and it will be pioneering their electric efforts.

The Focus Electric is powered by a high voltage lithium-ion battery which produces 23kWh and will have a driving range of around 160km, with a top speed of 135km/h. The standout figure is its fuel economy which should clock in somewhere around 2.4 L/100km. It also comes with a number of advanced technologies as well as software which integrates with your smart phone.

Ford is pushing the boundaries of electric cars and we are really excited about the Focus Electric.

3.Peugeot 208

Peugeot 208 South Africa

The eagerly anticipated replacement to the Peugeot 207 is almost upon us in the form of the 208. The Peugeot 208 will come as a 3-door or 5-door, with both versions looking particularly slick. The 208 is a huge 110kg lighter than the 207 even while providing more interior space.

The Peugeot 208 comes with a range of engines that have some impressive statistics. Fuel economy has been improved, CO2 emissions reduced and on almost all models there will be a touchscreen system that Peugeot have called the “Mobility Portal”. This interface is used to control the audio, the climate control, the navigation system as well as other features.

The 208 might be just what Peugeot needs to make a serious dent in the South African car market.

2.Toyota GT 86

Toyota 86 South Africa

Every now and then a really special car comes around that gets everyone talking. It’s not a very subtle car and it will no doubt come with a sizeable price-tag when compared to the other cars on our list, but that doesn’t stop it from taking the number 2 spot.

What makes the Toyota 86 so special though? Firstly the wait for the car to finally come out, which was first revealed in 2009, with such a long wait it almost seemed like the car was never going to see the light of day. Secondly, it has been developed in a joint effort with Subaru and comes with a number of odd choices, with the ultimate goal being a fun an exhilarating drive. The tyres are the same that are used on the Prius, the brakes are standard and there isn't a huge amount of grip going around corners. This however is part of the point though and it makes the drive all the more fun.

The Toyota 86 is summed up perfectly by Yoshi Sasaki who is the product planning boss on the GT 86: "Many of the rivals have turbos, big tyres and four-wheel drive, they have become sports cars that control their own behaviour – sports cars have become boring."

Best of all, it should be in South Africa in the 2nd half of 2012!

1.Volkswagen UP

VW Up

Volkswagen have proven time and time again, at least in South Africa, that they know how to make hatchbacks that people want to buy. The affordability and styling of the VW range of hatchbacks is what ensures the brand has produced the top 2 best selling passenger cars in SA for as long as we can remember, with the Vivo and Polo. Which can surely mean only one thing, an even cheaper Volkswagen hatch has to be an instant hit.

The Volkswagen UP aims to cut costs in its price as well as on the road, with impressive fuel economy. While VW are cutting costs at every corner, the car still maintains some impressive standards. The interior is quite spacious for a small car and you can still have air-con as well as a number of other features. The safety rating is no slouch either and has hit the mark with a 5-star rating.

The UP checks all the boxes that have made VW's previous hatchbacks so successful, its specifications are all impressive for what it is, the styling looks good and most importantly, it is aiming at being even cheaper than the Vivo. The VW UP is the car we are most looking forward to in 2012!

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