Geneva 2014: The Underdogs

This year’s Geneva motor show certainly isn’t short of shiny new models to wow potential buyers. It seems as if all the top manufacturers have turned up with something new to try and steal people’s attention.  Some are doing this far better than others, such as the incredible new Renault Twingo, which has stolen much of the show. But what about those who are a little more quiet about their achievements. The unsung heroes, which might not be all new but are loyally soldiering on with a little bit of a facelift, or a nip and a tuck here and there.

I have a rule when it comes to buying cars. I never buy new.

When I say new, I don’t mean fresh off the factory floor, I mean fresh off the drawing board. It might be less of a case these days, but cars which are fresh off the drawing board, means they’ve generally not had time to iron out all of the kinks just yet. Something that can only happen once it’s been mass produced and used for a good few months.

Not only that, but what you tend to find is that cars which are running towards the end of their model life (have been knocking around for a while), Car manufacturers spend to put a bit more attention to detail in. Such as upgrading their spec, or spending that bit more on materials to give it a feeling of better quality. Obviously all of this is to try and increase sales, but these will be some of the best of that model that you can buy. Tried and tested, with more kit. Plus, you’re much more likely to get a better dealer discount, and pick up a real bargain.

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With that, the first stop is with the Suzuki Swift. The swift has been around for a little while now, and despite very few changes to it’s appearance it actually hasn’t dated very much. The swift is a well-proportioned car with a healthy set of engines available, and Suzuki is well known for their excellent level of reliability. Earlier this year Suzuki released details of their latest Swift Sport which comes with a pretty punchy 1.6VVT engine, and the latest model comes with an upgraded Sound and Sat-Nav system included. The swift now has a much more grown up feeling on the inside, with touches that make it feel like more of a quality item than the previous model. Not to mention What Car announced it as their hot hatch of the year 2014.

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Meanwhile at Kia, the Cee’d GT is now available for sale in the UK. Not to be confused with the ‘Pro Cee’d GT’ which is the 3 door variant. Kia has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years, and are really producing a cracking range of cars. Least of which, all come with a 7 year (100,000mile) warranty for total peace of mind.

The Cee’d GT goes head to head in the hot hatch market against such big boys as the Ford Focus STi, Renault Megane RS and Vauxhall Astra VXR. Like its brother, it’s offered with a 1.6 turbocharged petrol engine that puts out 201bhp, and still manages to achieve 38 MPG.

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Since moving their design centre to Germany, their cars have become much more… European in appearance, and the feel of the quality of the materials they use has increased. 10 years ago, Kia were just producing reliable cars. Today, they’re producing great looking, reliable cars and boy does the Cee’d GT look good. We hope to get our hands on one later this year to put it through it’s paces.

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