Weekly Wheelspin: the best of 2018, what’s coming in 2019 and Hyundai goes high-tech

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Author: | Updated: 04 Jan 2019 14:45

2019 is officially here and, fresh from our Christmas break, we’ve already been busy checking out the trends of 2018 as well as considering what we can expect to see over the coming 12 months.

Weekly Wheelspin 040119

If you’re short on resolutions, we’ve even got a few of those for you as well. Yes, here is 2019’s first wheelspin of motoring news.

In the headlines…

What with this being a three-day week, it hasn’t been the most action-packed in terms of new car news, but Mazda is kicking off 2019 with a bang courtesy of an updated CX-5. It’s currently the company’s most successful car in the UK, and it now benefits from a host of subtle tweaks that’ll help keep its popularity – notably an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities.

Mazda CX-5 2019 rear

Always an SUV praised for its dynamic ability, Mazda’s unremitting commitment to driver engagement has seen subtle tweaks to the CX-5’s suspension set-up to further refine its agile handling and comfortable ride quality. You can read more about it here.

Skoda Kodiaq vRS

Speaking of sport SUVs, list prices are now available for Skoda’s Kodiaq vRS. With order books now open, the 237bhp seven seater will cost from £42,870. Watch this space for lease deals – we’ll bring you the best rates as soon as they are revealed.

A slightly more stellar (but unfortunately one-off) car that was revealed this week is the BMW M850i Night Sky Edition. Following the launch of the standard coupe, the Night Sky was revealed to coincide with a an intense meteor shower that took place overnight from 3 to 4 January.

BMW 8 Series Night Sky side

It features inlays made from meteorite material that have been incorporated into various parts of the car, along with stunning  LED lights embedded into the upholstery. It might seem like a pointless PR exercise, but you can’t deny that interior is pretty awesome. If you want an 8 Series without the star-struck interior, you can find deals now by clicking here.

BMW 8 Series Night Sky

On social…

Tired of losing your keys? We’ve been able to unlock our phones with our fingerprints for a few years now, but could you imagine ever doing the same with your car? It’s not really a surprise, considering even entry-level models now feature a fob rather than a key. But unless you’ve got keyless entry you still have to press an irksome button to unlock the door.

The answer to a question nobody ever really asked? Enter Hyundai’s fingerprint tech, that will soon allow people to unlock and start their car with a fingerprint. It’ll be available on the 2019 Santa Fe and is likely to be released in selected markets during the first quarter of this year.

Features…

2018 was a turbulent year for the motor industry, although leasing still continued to flourish as more and more people choose personal contract hire as the way to finance their new vehicle. But what were the most popular cars?

We’ve been delving into our own data to bring you the definitive 18 cars of 2018 that were most favoured by lease customers. We also had time to tally up the top models for business users, too. Here’s what fleet managers are choosing.

Range Rover Velar business car 2018

Now, if you’re a regular reader of our newsfeed you’ll know that we drive our fair share of new models. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. But which were our personal favourites of the last 12 months? They might not top the list of popular leases, but here’s our team’s favourite cars of 2018.

Audi RS4 Avant

In some ways, 2018 felt like a bit of a holding pattern for manufacturers. While there was a great deal of exciting launches across different powertrains and body styles, it seemed that many were keeping their cards close to their chest regarding the next big move.

With this in mind, 2019 is a bit of a mystery for new car launches and we expect a lot of surprises along the way. From what we do know, you can expect a further push into the EV market by premium manufacturers, new faces looking to make their mark, as well as a few familiar favourites getting updated. Here’s what we’re most looking forward to in 2019

Honda Urban EV Concept unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show

And on that note…

We all start a new year with the best of intentions. Hands up if you’ve ever set a ludicrously ambitious resolution, only to realise you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?

New Year Resolution

So, instead of life-changing and aspirational ideas, we thought it’d be fun to have a look at some automotive-specific ones that are small enough to actually do, but big enough to make an actual difference. Here’s what made the list…

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