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The Practical Side Of The Geneva Motor Show 2011

Besides powerful supercars, there were also a lot of everyday cars for those of us who are far less financially well off, and need a new, safe and well built car.

Chevrolet revealed its Cruze hatchback, a car based on the General Motor’s Delta platform that is used on the Opel/Vauxhall Astra. The idea behind this car is to provide a more practical vehicle for the current Cruze line-up. Luggage space is said to be about 400 litres. With the launch of this new car, Chevrolet has also revealed that they will offer a variety of new engines for the Cruze, like a 161bhp 2.0litre diesel motor, that could potentially make it a competitive rival to the equivalently sized VW Golf.

Audi showed off its new RS3 hot hatchback, a car packing 335bhp, derived from a 2.5 litre five cylinder engine producing a meaty 450Nm of torque via a seven speed DSG gearbox. At the moment this is the current ruling King of hot hatchback due to its immense power and performance figures. The only car that rivals it in terms of performance is the BMW 1-series M.

Nothing new to report from Honda. They revealed a revised version of the Accord saloon and estate version, where improvements in CO2 figures are promised.

Hyundai revealed its new Veloster, a 3-door coupe to rival the VW Scirocco and the Renault Megane Coupe. I say 3-door because it has the same door arrangement as the Mini Clubman with a suicide door on one side of the car. It will be powered by either one of two 1.6 litre engines with 138bhp or 130bhp. Hyundai also revealed the i40, a car to rival the Ford Mondeo. The car will first reach showrooms in estate form, promising a high quality interior. The styling incorporates the new company nose, which is a bold,sculpted look, easily distinguishable from the Mondeo.

Mercedes showed off its 3rd generation SLK, which still incorporates a metal folding roof. The design is influenced by the SLS AMG supercar,with its new, bold grill and an overall less aggressive look. There will be a variety of engines on offer, such as a 184bhp 1.8litre and a 3.5litre V6 engine producing 306bhp. There is also the facelifted C-Class and the new C-Class Coupe that is rivalling the popular 3-series Coupe and the stylish Audi A5. The new coupe is also available with a variety of engines where even the naturally aspirated 5.5litre V8 is available.

Not much news from Peugeot. They revealed some special editions for the RCZ and the diesel-hybrid 3008. They also revealed the facelifted 308 which has lost 25kg in its overall weight.

Saab reveals an estate version of the 9-5 and a facelifted version of the 9-3.

Those were the range of family cars on show at the Geneva Motor Show. The cars written about in this column will be on sale within the coming months.

Mercedes SLK

Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai i40

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

Audi RS3

Saab 9-5 Estate

Peugeot 308