Top six premium cars to debut in 2016

By James Whitbourn, 23 Dec 2015 Car Advice

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Top six premium cars to debut in 2016

It’s no surprise given the upmarket tastes of the average Australian new-car buyer that about half the multitude of new models destined for our shores in 2016 are from premium brands. Here are the highlights.

1. ALFA ROMEO GIULIA

Alfa Romeo’s gorgeous Giulia will give buyers a desirable Italian alternative to the usual German medium size car choices, such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. We’d expect to see the Alfa mid-sizer match these key rivals with small and medium petrol and diesel turbo engines, and front- and all-wheel-drive versions.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

2. AUDI A4

The next-gen A4 doesn’t look very different to the old one, but despite the evolutionary restyle, it is a brand new model with redesigned underpinnings and suspension aimed at making it sportier and more comfortable to drive. It will bring a lot of advanced driver assistance systems when it arrives in May.

Audi A4

3. MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS COUPE AND CONVERTIBLE

The new coupe and convertible version of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class will give buyers a welcome alternative to the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5. They look set to deliver the terrific interior quality and enjoyable steering and handling of the luxurious C-Class sedan and Estate.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

4. JAGUAR F-PACE

Jaguar will give SUV buyers a fresh alternative with the arrival of its F-Pace. The new luxury model based on the brand’s medium-sized XE will be powered by a small turbo four-cylinder or a bigger supercharged six-cylinder which should make it a smooth, effortless drive.

Jaguar F-Pace

5. TESLA MODEL X

Californian brand Tesla’s first Sports Utility Vehicle, the electric Model X, will arrive around February. The battery-powered SUV will be roomy, sporty and five-star safe. It will have a range of about 400km and, like the brand’s Model S, a lot of power.

Tesla Model X Front Side

6. RANGE ROVER EVOQUE CONVERTIBLE

We’re not sure if a convertible version of Range Rover’s Evoque SUV is a car to get excited about or ridicule (it’s probably the latter) but it’s an important car to know about because it will probably sell well and, as a result, is unlikely to be the last of the drop-top premium sports utility breed.

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Other arrivals

Mercedes’ C450 Sport is an exciting C-Class version for those shopping for a sporty medium car. It will bring a powerful bi-turbo V6 engine and a new-to-the-model all-wheel-drive system in March.

Jaguar will introduce a second-generation version of the XF, and will add to its to its XE sedan range with coupe and Estate (wagon) versions. 

A new, BMW X4-like swoopy-roofed version of the regular Mercedes GLC-Class will be called the GLC Coupe. 

In a costlier realm, he Rolls-Royce Wraith will lose its roof in the translation to the Dawn convertible, and the Bentley Mulsanne will drop its top to evolve into Azure-replacement the Grand Convertible. 

Finally, Japanese premium brands Lexus – with a new ES (February), a GS F, a convertible version of the RC, and a bigger new RX series SUV – and Infiniti – with its Q30 compact hatch (Feb), QX30 compact SUV (mid-year) and new Q60 (due in the fourth quarter) – will give buyers much more choice in 2016.