‘BIG’ DOESN’T BEGIN to do the Frankfurt motor show justice. It’s like a small city devoted to all that’s shiny and new in the motoring world, and can lay claim to being the most important motor show in Europe.


There’s plenty in Frankfurt this year to tempt towcar drivers. I’m certainly looking forward to driving the new Mazda CX-5. A little brother to the CX-7 4×4, if it’s as good to drive as the larger car it should be very capable indeed. If you’re thinking of buying a Ford Kuga or Volkswagen Tiguan next year the CX-5 should be worth a place on your shortlist. It goes on sale in the spring, with prices expected to start at around £21,000.


The new Honda Civic should provide the likes of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf with some stiff competition when it arrives in January. Honda promises greater efficiency, better ride and handling and improved quality. The 2.2-litre diesel gets and extra 10bhp, but carbon dioxide emissions drop by 25g/km. Prices should start from around £16,000. We’ll find out if the Civic lives up to its on-paper promise soon.


If you need more space then the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is one of Frankfurt’s most interesting new models. It’s longer and wider than the current Zafira, which will continue to be sold alongside the new car. There’s not long to wait for the Zafira Tourer, since it goes on sale in November. Expect to pay at least £21,000.


There’s more detail on these cars and the other stars of the show over at Whatcar.com.