Cars to watch for this summer

  • Our pick of the cars to look out for in summer 2014
  • Smaller vehicles seem to be the order of the day
  • Find out when you can expect to read our reviews

There are some very important cars due for launch over the summer months. Parkers will be among the first publications on the planet to drive them, so watch out for full reviews as they’re launched.

In this article we explain which ones we’re looking forward to, why, and when you can expect to read about them on the website.


Citroen C4 Cactus

What is it?

While you may think it looks a bit strange, we’re very excited about the C4 Cactus. It’s a completely new model – so ignore the C4 bit in the name – and there are some radical developments here. The ‘Airbumps’ on the sides of the vehicle serve to keep the paintwork protected in car parks, while the front seats have been designed to moniker a living room sofa rather than a car seat. You also get a top-opening glovebox, made possible by locating the passenger airbag in the roof-lining. Thanks to lightweight design it promises to be cheap and fun to drive, too.

Read the review: June 20th

Vital stats: 91mpg, 82g/km BlueHDi version, 358-litre boot, 200kg less weight than C4


Toyota Aygo / Citroen C1 / Peugeot 108

What is it?

A trio of city cars based on a shared platform, this isn’t the first time these three firms have worked together. The previous version of all three cars was the result of such a tie-up, offering practical low-cost motoring in a modern package.  They use the same 1.0-litre petrol engine in each model, while a variety of styling cues serve to differentiate them from one another. Pricing is going to be key for this new car – it needs to compete in a world where the VW Up, Skoda’s Citigo and the SEAT Mii are already locked in a battle with Hyundai’s i10 for the value-motoring victory spoils.

Read the review: June 19th (Aygo), June 20th (C1), June 25th (108)

Vital stats: 1.0-litre engine means sub-100g/km, should be very cheap


MINI Paceman / Countryman (pictured)

What is it?

A pair of MINI models gets an update for 2014. Rather than being an all-new car like the latest MINI, the Countryman crossover and its two-door Paceman relative are tweaked to keep things current. A new front grille design is the most notable change, while the car’s mechanical parts have been made more efficient too so it’ll be cheaper to run. You also get more equipment thrown in, and all versions now come with air-con, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and tyre pressure monitoring as standard.

Read the review: July 4th

Vital stats: One D and Cooper D models will do 67.3mpg, Cooper S does 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds.


Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate

What is it?

As the name suggests, it’s an estate version of the new C-Class we drove late last year. As is often the case with new cars, it’s slightly bigger than the out-going model and is set to be a whole lot more efficient too. The cabin mirrors the saloon’s, and we can only tell you that’s great news because that’s one of the new car’s party pieces. It’s a beautifully comfortable car to spend time in.

Read the review: July 17th

Vital stats: from around £28,000, three engines available at launch – two diesels, one petrol


Renault Twingo / Smart ForTwo

What is it?

Another collaboration hoping to make waves in the small car sector is the Renault/Mercedes tie-up with the all-new Twingo and Smart ForTwo. It’s a rear-engined car that’ll be built on one platform but spread across the two brands. It’ll be five-door-only, and thanks to mounting the engine nice and low over the rear axle, we’re expecting a cleverly designed cabin with plenty of practical touches. It’s bound to be cheap to run, too; that was always a USP of the Smart brand.

Read the review: August 29th (Twingo)

Vital stats: four colours available, should be sub-£10,000


Toyota Yaris

What is it?

Toyota’s Fiesta-rivalling Yaris gets a major facelift for 2014. Company car drivers will be pleased with a hike in efficiency meaning lower company car tax. The firm also promises a more refined drive, having done significant work on noise, vibration and harshness. The Hybrid version also gets a re-think, with CO2 emissions dropping from 79 to 75g/km.

Read the review: July 17th

Vital stats: two petrol, one diesel, one hybrid. All sub-100g/km CO2 emissions.