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19 October 2016



I T ’ S F I N A L LY C O M I N G

SCOOPInsidestoryonLandRover’s greatestchallenge Fear not: it’ll be even better off road than the old one

Established 1895



BUYI N G US E D N I SSAN 350Z FO R J UST £4 K 19 October 2016 | Seat Ateca

WHAT’S THE FASTEST LOAD LUGGER? We head to the test track – via B&Q

BEST-EVER SEAT ROAD TESTED Why Ateca is now the SUV to beat


Issue 6225 | Volume 290 | No 3 ‘We have assembled in Bedford and started buying scenery’


NEWS Land Rover Defender Advanced tech confirmed Alfa Romeo Stelvio Driving dynamics will be key VW Golf cutbacks Fewer Mk8 variants planned Lamborghini Huracán Superleggera Spied testing BMW i5 New electric SUV to follow i8 Roadster

8 12 15 16 18

TESTED Audi R8 Spyder Folding-roof supercar driven in UK BMW 740Le xDrive Petrol-electric luxury saloon Citroën C3 Puretech 82 Likeable 1.2 supermini Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI Ecomotive SE ROAD TEST

22 26 27 30 COVER STORY

FEATURES Vauxhall Maloo vs rivals Pick-up, estate and SUV Herbert Diess interview VW boss looks to future Cars for £100 a week Hero cars you can afford

40 48 52


OUR CARS Ford Focus RS Hardcore hot hatch joins fleet Volvo XC90 Plug-in hybrid SUV signs off BMW i8 Enjoying a drive to Spa-Francorchamps Audi A4 Gear selector gaiter keeps coming adrift

64 66 69 71

EVERY WEEK 21 28 Motorsport We drive the eRally Renault Zoe 60 Your views The police should embrace the F-Pace 62 Matt Prior Hypercars: where on earth will it all end? 90 Steve Cropley Why classic car rental is a great idea Subscription offer Free ValetPro Exterior Kit

DEALS James Ruppert Do your bit with a British-built car Used buying guide Nissan 350Z examined Used car intelligence Five muscle cars for £10,000 Road test results Autocar’s data archive New cars A-Z All the latest models rated Classifieds Cars, number plates and services


72 74 77 79 82 88






The original car magazine, published since 1895 ‘in the interests of the mechanically propelled road carriage’ EDITORIAL Tel +44 (0)20 8267 5630 Email Editor Matt Burt Editorial director, Automotive Jim Holder Editor-in-chief Steve Cropley Deputy editor Mark Tisshaw Head of video, features Matt Prior Managing editor Allan Muir Production editor Melanie Falconer Reviews editor Will Nightingale Chief tester Matt Saunders New cars editor Rory White Deputy reviews editors Nic Cackett, Vicky Parrott Senior reviewer John Howell Reviewers Alan Taylor-Jones, Neil Winn, Doug Revolta News editor Rachel Burgess Consumer editor Claire Evans Used car editor Alex Robbins Senior staff writer Sam Sheehan Content editor Darren Moss SEO manager Jon Cook SEO executive Oliver Hayman Senior digital reviews editor Mark Pearson Digital reviews editor Hemal Mistry Chief sub-editor Tim Dickson Production assistant Kris Culmer Group art editor Stephen Hopkins Art editor Sarah Özgül Deputy art editor Michèle Hall Junior designer Laura Bajorunaite Chief photographers John Bradshaw, Stan Papior Photographers Luc Lacey, Will Williams Videographers James Holloway, Mitch McCabe Picture editor Ben Summerell-Youde Editorial assistants Jimi Beckwith, George Hawkins



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North America: Autocar, ISSN number 135589X, is published weekly by Haymarket Media Group, Bridge House, 69 London Road, Twickenham TW1 3SP, United Kingdom. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named Air Business Ltd, c/o Worldnet Shipping Inc, 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. Subscription records are maintained at Haymarket Media Group, Bridge House, 69 London Road, Twickenham TW1 3SP. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent.

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HOW MUCH ARE you willing to spend on a new car? Leafi ng through some back issues of Autocar recently, my head was turned by ‘£100 a week heroes’, an article from 10 years ago that explained how to buy a sports car for a regular payment of a ton every seven days. I think £100 per week is a lot to spend on anything, but others argue that it’s only the price of a half-decent restaurant meal for two, so we were inspired to see just what that will buy you in today’s new car market. As Andrew Frankel points out on p52, you can get a Ford Focus RS or Audi TT Roadster on your drive for a reasonable deposit and less than £100 per week. That’s quite a tantalising proposition. I assumed I’d have to put functioning internal organs on eBay to fund an RS purchase. When the original article was written in 2005, the focus was very much on taking out a £20,000 personal loan and spreading the repayments over five years at around £100 per week. These days, the personal contract purchase (PCP) is king and enables keen motorists to access a wider range of vehicles than ever before. So have you secured a winning proposition for less than £100 per week? Is that even a reasonable sum to spend on a motor? Let us know.

Matt Burt Editor

Autocar magazine is also published in China, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. Autocar is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think we haven’t met those standards and want to make a complaint, contact For more information, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit



ADDRESS Autocar is published by Haymarket Consumer Media, Bridge House, 69 London Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3SP, UK Tel +44 (0)20 8267 5000 Editorial director Mark Payton Strategy & planning director Bob McDowell Managing director David Prasher Chief executive Kevin Costello

S Tempted by these? Plenty more on p52

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS European editor Greg Kable Used car correspondent James Ruppert Senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel Senior contributing editor Richard Bremner Contributing editor Mike Duff Special correspondents Mauro Calo, Jesse Crosse, Hilton Holloway, Peter Liddiard, Julian Rendell, Richard Webber

© 2016, Haymarket Media Group Ltd. Autocar, Motor, Autocar & Motor are registered trademarks. Circulation enquiries: Frontline Ltd, Midgate House, Midgate, Peterborough PE1 1TN (01733 555161). Repro by Haymarket Pre-Press. Printed by William Gibbons, Wolverhampton. Registered as a newspaper with the Royal Mail. Member of the ABC. ISSN 1355-8293. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form except by permission. The publisher makes every effort to ensure contents are correct but cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Unsolicited material is submitted to Autocar entirely at the owner’s risk; the publisher accepts no responsibility for loss or damage. With regret, competitions and promotional offers, unless otherwise stated, are not available to readers outside the UK and Eire.







Our road testers heap high praise on the new Seat Ateca, p30

Sam Sheehan assesses a rallyprepped Renault Zoe, p60

Nic Cackett compares hot pick-up with rapid SUV and fast estate, p40



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New Defender to be most high-tech Land Rover yet Rugged new 4x4 will get even more advanced off-road tech than latest Discovery


he new Defender, Land Rover’s forthcoming replacement for the much-lamented 67-yearold icon that finally went out of production late last year, will make use of technology even more modern than that adopted by the recently launched, all-new Discovery when it finally hits the market


at the beginning 2019. Land Rover, which over the past 20 years has cleverly adapted conventional antilock braking and traction control systems to pioneer Hill Descent Control and Terrain Response for its strong-selling 4x4 models, is determined to make the new Defender the world’s most capable

off-road vehicle. It is also understood to have further electronic enhancements for the chassis systems under final development in time for Defender production to begin. The forthcoming off-roader, whose major engineering is complete, is currently being tested in prototype form at secret locations around the

world. Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth told Autocar at the recent Paris show that he had been testing Defender mules, which were very promising, and that the styling, also complete barring a few details, looked “fantastic”. Compared with other recent Land Rover models, which have sold well from the

beginning, Land Rover has appeared to struggle with the business case for the new Defender. This is probably why the project has been delayed, why production of the outgoing model was extended at least twice and why there will be a three-year gap between the old car’s demise and the launch of its replacement.


Land Rover is determined to make the new Defender the world’s most capable off-road vehicle a

Some years ago Land Rover bosses cited 2015 as the ideal launch date for a new Defender, which begins the third part of the firm’s ‘three-pillar’ model strategy. Bosses have always said the company’s future will depend on three families, or pillars, namely Defender, Discovery and Range Rover. The nub of the delay, according to industry watchers, is concern that sales of the old Defender have rarely reached 20,000 per year in recent years, well short of a modern economic level for profitable production. The idea of killing

the Defender plan altogether has also been discussed at times but dismissed. Under the circumstances, the company is understandably reluctant to discuss production levels of the new Defender, but it’s clear that 50,000-plus sales a year will be needed in order to make the nextgeneration model successful. This accounts for clear signs by Land Rover’s designers of throttling back on design ‘toughness’ for the latest Discovery, in turn leaving plenty of space in the line-up for a new family of Defenders.

Old Defender is likely to be beaten by new one on off-road ability

Crucially, Speth confirmed in Paris that the new Defender would be based on the aluminium architecture of the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery, meaning it can share the all-aluminium body shop and final assembly procedures of these models. However, Speth also confirmed that the Defender’s structure would need “a lot of different elements” to deliver the extremes of strength and durability customers will expect of Land Rover’s most capable off-roader. ◊



Land Rover intends to expand the Defender’s appeal by producing civilised and hardcore versions a

IMAGE “It was one of the saddest moments of my career to end production of the old Defender,” Speth said. “So we are working very hard to give it an authentic successor.” However, despite the authenticity aims, it is clear Land Rover intends to expand the Defender’s market appeal by producing both civilised and hardcore versions of its new

model in order for it to be sold as a do-it-all vehicle in the way the old Defender never was. Despite the riddle of the business case, Land Rover bosses know they need the Defender and say it will develop into a family of models. The Defender is certain to share the two wheelbases of the Range Rover — 2922mm and 3120mm in standard and long-

Mk5 Discovery’s softer styling makes space for a new Defender 10 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 19 OCTOBER 2016

wheelbase guises respectively — but its overhangs are likely to be shorter, especially at the rear, and its ground clearance and arrival, departure and break-over angles will give it greater off-road agility than any other Land Rover. The overall length of the different models is likely to be around 200 to 300mm less than the Range Rover’s

4999mm and 5199mm lengths, which will make the Defenders smaller and more manoeuvrable than their siblings. There’s no word on a three-door model, but given the likely 4.7-4.8m length of even the shorter version, Land Rover may decide against it. The Defender’s possible low volume and low prices relative to its aluminium siblings mean

Last of the old Defenders rolled off the line in January this year

it will most likely be built at Land Rover’s new Slovakian plant, announced at the end of last year, where manufacturing costs will be lower than in the UK. JLR has previously said production in the Slovakian facility, which will be able to make the firm’s aluminium models, will begin before the end of this year at an “initial capacity” of 150,000 vehicles a year, but those who have seen the new complex believe it will eventually make far more than that. Production plans may swell further if Britain’s exit from the EU results in tariff barriers for UK-made models. Speth said the first model to be built in Slovakia would be “something we know how to make already” — possibly the Jaguar F-Pace. Confirmation of aluminium construction for the new Defender gives plenty of clues to its mechanical layout. A


Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s head of design, has proved time and again that he has the Midas touch when it comes to both respecting heritage and reinventing for the future. Few design teams, if any, have got it so consistently right in modern times, be it redefining established market leaders (Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery Sport) or smashing open all-new sectors (Evoque and, yes, Evoque Convertible). Yet with the Defender, McGovern and his team face their biggest challenge yet. The goal is no less than reinventing an icon, giving it broad enough appeal to triple sales from where the old vehicle left off without denting the credibility of a car that, even in its current absence, is the anchor of the Land Rover brand. Be in no doubt that, even in these days of booming soft-roader sales, the roughand-tumble, all-terrain, go-anywhere abilities of the

Defender are what underpin Land Rover as an authentic, heritage-laden 4x4 brand. A hardcore Defender legitimises Land Rover’s branching out into ‘lifestyle’ sectors, as has been done so successfully with the Evoque and, to a degree, the new Discovery. For a parallel, look only to Jaguar, whose bosses knew well that the F-Pace and its imminent extended SUV family would never wash without first being underpinned by the F-Type. Can it be done? The target of 50,000 sales a year is modest — few other cars would be developed for such volume gains — but it remains a tall order to retain the cult appeal of a 67-yearold design while adding enough modernity to draw in new buyers. That the launch date has already been put back several years, and the DC100 concept quietly swept aside, shows how hard the task is. Even so, if past form is a guide, McGovern and co will find an answer.

McGovern has form when it comes to fulfilling tough briefs

New Defender will be shorter overall than the Range Rover longitudinal front mounting for the engine was always considered likely, along with a separate transfer case offering high and low-ratio gear sets, but until now the fact had never been confirmed. The suspension is likely to be a version of the Discovery/Range Rover’s all-independent set-up, with steel springs, as used in entrylevel versions of the outgoing Discovery 4, given that Defender drivers are predicted to put a low priority on the adjustable ride height that’s possible with air springs. The new Defender looks certain to use four-cylinder versions of JLR’s modular Ingenium engines, made at the new — and already expanding — factory near Wolverhampton. But while the outgoing Defender had only one engine option, a diesel, uncertainty over the future

demand for and manufacturing costs of diesels in Europe, plus a clear preference for petrol in the US and Asia, make it probable that the Defender will be offered with both kinds of engine. As with the Ingeniumengined Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, the new Defender is also expected to be offered with a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. Two years out, there’s no word on prices, but Land Rover has been good at charging for ‘premiumness’ and has become used to hiking its prices with little penalty. Experts predict a starting price of around £35,000 for the Defender, with most examples selling for £40,000-plus. Anyone who wants a cheaper model than that will have to wait for the rumoured ‘baby’ Land Rover, which isn’t expected for three years at least. STEVE CROPLEY

THE DEF ENDER TH AT WASN’ T There was a time, back in 2011, when we thought Land Rover’s DC100 concepts — revealed in three-door hardtop and open-top guises — might be the new Defender. The company allowed us to think it held strong clues. Most at Autocar liked it, especially when they let us drive it on the beach in Los Angeles, where we enjoyed its compactness and modernity. But the DC100 wasn’t the new Defender. It finished up showing what the Defender would not be. While we approved, the Defender faithful emphatically did not. They reckoned it too slight, too small and simply not imposing enough to rule as the new icon. Looking

back, especially with the extra insight brought by last year’s end-of-Defender celebrations, they were right. One thing the DC100 did, though, was to demonstrate that a move towards a greater breadth of function was in the minds of the model’s creators, led by

design director Gerry McGovern. However, having been roundly criticised once, McGovern and his team have shown us no more ideas, although there have been plenty. The next one we see will be real and, partly thanks to the DC100, you can bet it’ll look like a true flagship. SC

The DC100 concept of 2011 fell foul of customer expectations


Alfa SUV ‘big on dynamic appeal’ Stelvio promises to stand out for its handling; on sale next year, with a 500bhp-plus V6 range-topper


lfa Romeo’s first SUV will have driving dynamics to rival the likes of the Porsche Macan when it goes on sale next year, according to the company’s CEO, Reid Bigland. Although no technical specifications for the mid-sized SUV — rumoured to be called the Stelvio — have yet been released, Bigland confirmed that it is being engineered for driving enjoyment. “The reason people will buy our mid-sized SUV is because they will get blown away by the driving dynamics,” he said. “Every car Alfa Romeo makes must stand apart for that reason, and this car will not disappoint.” Alfa’s SUV has been spotted testing in light camouflage ahead of its debut early next year. The development car was the first to be seen in public without heavy cladding and revealed its lengthy bonnet and coupé-like roofline for the first time. It’s thought the Stelvio will share its 2.2-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol engines with the Giulia saloon, most likely available in various states of tune. The twin-turbocharged

Stelvio test car has a coupé-like roofline and a long bonnet


A L FA R O M E O S T E LV I O 2.9-litre V6 from the rangetopping Giulia Quadrifoglio is also set to feature in the Stelvio, with as much as 503bhp. Such a range-topping model would be angled directly at the Macan.

The Stelvio will be built upon Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new modular platform, which will also give rise to a new executive saloon to rival the likes of the BMW 5 Series. This will be followed by two

more SUVs, one larger than the Stelvio and one smaller. Two further ‘speciality’ models will then complete Alfa Romeo’s current product plans. Bigland said the arrival of SUVs in Alfa Romeo’s line-up

reflects market demand. “The whole world is gravitating to SUVs,” he said. “A few years ago, an Alfa SUV would have been sacrilegious, but now it makes perfect sense.” SAM SHEEHAN

Skoda’s new small SUV to take fight to Nissan Juke SKODA HAS CONFIRMED that its long-rumoured new baby SUV has been given the green light and will be in showrooms as soon as 2019, where it will join the Kodiaq and next year’s all-new Yeti. “We are already working on the car,” said Christian Strube, Skoda’s technical development chief. The small SUV is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 architecture, which will also underpin the next Fabia and VW Polo. Although different in concept and execution, the new SUV should, in effect, fill the space vacated by the slowselling Roomster, which will not be replaced. Details of the small SUV are scarce, but with the Yeti increasing in size to become a


fully fledged rival to the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, this frees up space for a fun and funky SUV to take on models such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.

The platform provides for both front and four-wheel drive, but no decision has been made yet about the availability of all-wheel-drive models. Engines will most

likely be small-capacity turbo petrol and diesel engines, with any electrified versions some years down the track. Skoda’s electrification plans start with a plug-in

Supermini-sized SUV could be in showrooms in 2019


Superb, which will also be seen in 2019. That will be followed by an all-electric SUV now scheduled for release in the same year, a little earlier than previously thought. Strube confirmed that a plug-in hybrid version of the Octavia will be built, along with a plug-in Kodiaq that’s currently being prepared for the Chinese market but may well go on sale in Europe, too. Skoda’s plans also include vRS high-performance models. Currently, the only vRS on sale is the Octavia, available in petrol and diesel forms with outputs of up to 227bhp. But Skoda is seriously considering vRS versions of the Superb and Kodiaq, with power outputs nearer the 300bhp mark for all-wheel-drive models.


Zotye SR9 (on left) shows marked similarities to Macan

Chinese car maker accused of copying Porsche Macan CHINESE CAR MAKER Zotye Auto is again under fire for a copycat design, in this instance for a new SUV called the SR9 that closely resembles the Porsche Macan. Although Porsche threatened legal action when the SR9 was shown as a concept in 2014, the German maker has yet to officially sue for copyright infringement, according to officials at the firm’s HQ in Stuttgart. Autocar’s comparison pictures reveal the extent of Zotye’s plagiarism. As well as aping the overall

proportions and silhouette of the Macan, the SR9, which costs from £12,300 and is offered with a Mitsubishisourced 187bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, also features similar shut lines and exterior detailing. The SR9’s interior also bears a striking resemblance to the Macan’s. Zotye is well known for its plagiarism of successful car designs. The Yongkangbased car maker currently sells the SR7, which is heavily reminiscent of the Audi Q3, and the T600, which is styled to resemble the Audi Q5.

SCG OO3S is powered by an 800bhp twinturbo 4.4-litre V8

Other copycat models within its range include the Damai X5, a close take on the Volkswagen Tiguan, and the recently unveiled Damai X7, a clone of the Volkswagen Crossblue Coupé concept. Zotye Auto was founded in 2005. Its first model was the RX6400, a compact SUV bearing a close resemblance to the Daihatsu Terios R. Copycat designs are less prevalent in Chinese car design these days but do still occur. A high-profile ongoing case is that of the Range Rover Evoque and LandWind X7.


Even the SR9’s interior (above) apes that of the Porsche (below)

US RACING PROTOTYPE TO GO ROAD LEGAL IN 2017 A road-going version of US supercar maker Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus’s SCG 003 racing prototype is set to make its public debut at the Geneva motor show next March. The SCG 003S — the brainchild of American businessman James Glickenhaus — features a carbonfibre monocoque and is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 that produces about 800bhp. Cornering loads in excess of 2g are expected, Glickenhaus claims, along with a 0-62mph time of less than 3.0sec a top speed beyond 217mph. Production will be strictly limited.



Ford has released four performance kits for the Mustang. They’re available on both the 5.0 V8 and 2.3 Ecoboost, but there’s no word on UK sales. Ford has also temporarily halted Mustang production due to supply outweighing demand in the US.

Germany has moved closer to banning petrol and diesel car sales, according to German media. All 16 federal states reportedly want to ban the sale of fossil-fuelled cars by 2030, echoing a notion first expressed by Germany’s deputy economy minister.









Spy photograph suggests estate will not be axed

Golf SV could be dropped from the revised line-up

Golfrangefacescost-cuttingcull VW plans to reduce the number of Mk8 Golf variants to make it more cost-effective newly developed MEB platform on which the Paris motor show ID concept was based — will put further pressure on the company’s profitabilty. “One of the biggest hurdles we still have to take is a new deal with the unions,” said Diess. “I am looking for higher productivity and to restructure the value chain to focus on new technology. We are talking, and I hope we can have an agreed plan to have a fix in place by 2020.” Diess is also reported to have accelerated VW’s plans to launch more SUVs, which are more profitable and have a wider global appeal than other bodystyles. This is expected to include a Polo-based Nissan Juke rival, a Golf-based SUV to sit below the Tiguan and a large seven-seater aimed at the US and Asian markets. “We will add some higher-contribution products as we prepare for 2020 onwards, when we will have a clear indication of our future,” said Diess. JIM HOLDER



Profit margins have long been a source of angst at VW. The boardroom was at war over fractional returns but unsure how to maintain the variety and quality of production, or its Germanycentric manufacturing base, if it were to instigate ways of closing the gap on rivals. Figures from Bloomberg suggest VW’s operating profit margin for the first half of 2016 was 1.7%. While that was affected by the scandal, it was down only from 2.0% and compares with group stablemates Seat and Skoda at 2.6% and 9.3% respectively, Ford’s 7.7% and the PSA Group’s 6.8%. PSA can perhaps give VW most encouragement. It had recorded successive losses when Carlos Tavares joined in 2014, but he sold part of the company to Dongfeng and instigated reforms that led the firm back to profit.



Nissan has priced its facelifted GT-R Nismo at £149,995 ahead of deliveries early next year. The figure is almost double that of the standard GT-R’s £79,995 price. Tweaks include a 30bhp power boost, thanks to new turbos honed in GT3 racing.

BMW is to rebadge the 5 Series GT as the 6 Series GT in its second generation, indirectly replacing the slow-selling 6 Series GranCoupé. The styling of the new liftback, spotted testing in Beijing, will be quite distinct from that of the 5 Series.

PSA has outperformed all expectations since. But the pursuit of profit usually comes at a cost. VW’s part-state-owned structure may present Diess with harder negotiations than Tavares faced — but France’s tough unions proved flexible when faced with the real threat of oblivion. VW’s crisis is deeper still, so Diess will be hoping for similar.

V W ’S PROF I T vs R I VA L S 2016 first-half operating profit margin 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0






Source: company reports

Diess: simplification is key

more cost-effectiveness into our company,” said Diess. “We need to be more agile and more innovative, and this is one example.” The current Golf is available in hatch, estate, convertible, Alltrack and SV bodystyles. Diess did not specify which were likely to be cut, but the recent decision to stop selling the convertible in the UK — traditionally one of the stronger markets for open-top cars — is believed to give an indication of the plan to focus on core models in future. Diess is said to have pushed engineers and managers to reduce the expense of the MQB architecture on which the Golf sits, believing it has been over-engineered for the price points of the vehicles it underpins. It is also possible that the powertrain line-ups will be rationalised, with a greater emphasis expected on new mild hybrid 48V powertrains. Diess’s push to raise margins is also believed to be a result of growing concerns that the firm’s £1.5 billion investment in a far-reaching electric car strategy — based around the

Per cent


he new Volkswagen Golf, which is due to be unveiled next month before going on sale next year, will not be available in as many variants as it is now, as the scandal-hit firm focuses on increasing profit margins, boss Herbert Diess has revealed to Autocar. VW’s operating profit margins are famously slim and dipped to 1.7% in the first half of this year. Diess has already signalled his intent to turn that around, both by renegotiating labour and supplier deals and by reducing the complexity of model line-ups. “We need to simplify the product offering of the next Golf and have fewer variants, because we have got to get


Test car has a fixed wing and raised twin tailpipes



F1-spec carbonfibre for Huracán Superleggera model gets race-bred carbonfibre body and track-focused aero


amborghini is working with German motorsport carbonfibre specialist Becker Carbon on the development of its 2017 Huracán Superleggera. The Italian car maker’s trackfocused model will be revealed at the Geneva show in March, featuring carbonfibre body panels and a more carbonfibreintensive structure. The car will benefit from Becker Carbon’s experience of supplying Formula 1 and Le Mans teams

with parts to significantly undercut the Huracán LP610-4’s 1422kg kerb weight. The bodywork will also produce more downforce. Test mules for the new lightweight model have been spotted with the exterior of a regular Huracán, but the latest development car sports a large, fixed rear wing, different intakes and a raised, twin-exit exhaust system like that of the Huracán GT3 racer. The freer-flowing exhaust

will allow the mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10 to breath more easily. The engine will also have new fuel injection technology that mixes multi-point injection with stratified injection, as first used on the limited-run Huracán Avio, to produce modest output gains over the standard car, which produces 602bhp and 413lb ft. This will help the four-wheeldrive Huracán Superleggera trim the regular car’s 3.2sec 0-62mph sprint time and

possibly extend its 202mph top speed, although this will depend on the car’s final aerodynamic set-up. While the use of active aerodynamics can negate the effect of increased aerodynamic drag at high speeds, the Superleggera’s track focus is likely to result in the use of more conventional fixed aerodynamic aids, meaning its outright top speed could be curtailed. Rivals such as Audi’s R8 V10

Plus are offering increasingly advanced competition for the Huracán. The R8’s 5.2-litre V10 engine produces the same peak power as the standard Huracán, but the Audi has a higher top speed, at 205mph. McLaren’s 675LT, meanwhile, produces 666bhp from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 engine, while the Ferrari 488 GTB’s twinturbocharged 3.9-litre V8 makes 662bhp. SAM SHEEHAN

NextEV’s electric LaFerrari rival to get 1340bhp-plus NEXTEV’S NEW HYPERCAR has been spied testing in the UK, revealing the sleek shape and race-grade aerodynamics of the electric two-seater. Set to be unveiled next month, it is the first in a series of models planned by NextEV, whose profile has been raised by its participation in the Formula E championship. The Chinese-based EV start-up, headed by former Ford of Europe president Martin Leach, has indicated that the hypercar will set new standards in EV performance. Speaking earlier this year, Leach said the car’s drivetrain

would produce more than one megawatt of power, which equates to 1341bhp. NextEV’s hypercar will rival the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari, along with the upcoming Aston Martin AM-RB 001 and Mercedes-AMG hypercars. Reports suggest power could reach 1360bhp, but this is yet to be confirmed. There are also suggestions that the coupé will hit 62mph in less than three seconds and exceed 186mph. NextEV is remaining tightlipped on volumes and pricing, but the hypercar is expected to cost close to £1 million.

Electric hypercar will be unveiled next month



Toyota and Suzuki are exploring a future of joint research and development. The two companies announced that environmental, IT and safety technologies would be the focal points of the collaboration, but a deal isn’t yet set in stone.

Lexus has revised the CT200h range with two new trims: Sport and Executive Edition. Sport brings privacy glass, while Executive Edition gets cruise control and both get sat-nav. Each costs £23,745, which is £1750 more than base S specification.



New Countryman to go hybrid M

ini has confirmed that its second-generation Countryman will be offered in hybrid form alongside three and fourcylinder petrols and diesels when it arrives next year. The petrol-electric SUV will be Mini’s first hybrid car ahead of other alternatively powered models, including a fully

electric version of the Cooper hatchback due in 2019. The Countryman hybrid will share its platform and drivetrain with the BMW 225xe plug-in hybrid, with a 1.5-litre combustion engine mounted up front and the electric motor sited within the rear axle. It offers four-wheel drive in hybrid mode and rear-wheel

Countryman hybrid will focus on fun, not efficiency

drive in pure electric mode, with combined system outputs of 221bhp and 284lb ft and a 0-62mph time of 6.7sec. Mini is yet to reveal figures for the Countryman, but sources suggest they will not vary too much from those of the 225xe. The hybrid Countryman has been engineered to provide an electric range of at least

25 miles. It has three driving modes (Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Save Battery), with the 7.6kWh lithium ion battery programmed to provide full electric drive up to 50mph in Auto eDrive mode and up to 78mph in Max eDrive. The battery lives beneath the rear seats, suggesting that the fuel tank will be smaller than that of the regular model. The charging socket for the battery is located in the left-hand front wing. No charging time details have been revealed, but BMW quotes 3hr 15min on standard mains and 2hr 15min with a highpower wall box for the 225xe. Mini suggests that the hybrid Countryman is focused on fun rather than efficiency. “We want to convince customers of the benefits of hybrid drive,” said Peter Wolf, head of Mini brand management. “As far as the chassis and suspension are concerned, nothing changes from the conventionally driven variant.” The hybrid Countryman is not the first Mini model to possess electric propulsion capability. That distinction goes to the limited-volume Mini E offered to private customers for short-term lease in 2009. GREG KABLE

Mercedes-AMG plots hardcore C63 Coupé MERCEDES-AMG IS working on a hardcore version of the C63 Coupé to rival the BMW M4 GTS. The C63 R, spied undergoing tests at the Nürburgring in Germany in near-production form, wears a large rear wing and a prominent front spoiler, suggesting it will produce enough downforce to enhance track performance and hinting at a more powerful version of the C63’s ‘hot-vee’ twinturbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine under the bonnet. The most powerful C63 on sale at the moment is the C63 S, which produces 503bhp from its 4.0-litre V8. However,

the hardcore 577bhp AMG GT R demonstrates that significantly more power can be extracted from this engine. Like the GT R, the C63 R will shed some weight through the use of carbonfibre parts. A titanium exhaust system is also thought to be a possibility. The result should be a car that’s both significantly quicker off the line and faster through corners than the C63 S, which reaches 62mph from rest in 3.9sec. The M4 GTS manages the same benchmark sprint in 3.8sec, suggesting the new Mercedes-AMG model will have the edge on performance.




WONDERING WHAT Ulrich Hackenberg, former VW Group engineer who left the company last year in the wake of Dieselgate, is up to? A former colleague bumped into him recently in a DIY shop near Ingolstadt, where he said he was spending time looking after his classic car collection. Hackenberg was buying screws. DEMAND FOR THE Seat Ateca is likely to outstrip supply, according to Seat UK boss Richard Harrison. “We’ve got limited supply,” he said. “We’re fighting with the factory for more cars, but the positive is that demand will keep residual values high, which makes the Ateca even more appealing.”

REPORTS THAT BMW’s board missed the Paris show to hold an emergency meeting on the firm’s EV strategy have been dismissed. “Our board meeting is at the same time each year; it was the same situation two years ago,” said head of sales and marketing Ian Robertson. “There’s always strategy to discuss, but the meeting was business as normal.” INFINITI IS “STILL studying” plans for a new flagship, according to design boss Shiro Nakamura. The brand has been analysing the possibility for some years, but Nakamura’s tone suggests that a flagship is still some years away.



The Skoda Kodiaq will cost from £21,495 when it goes on sale in November, undercutting the Nissan X-Trail by £900. Seven seats are a £1000 option on lower-spec cars, but touchscreen infotainment and DAB are standard on all models.

Toyota is to recall 4633 Prius models to rectify a parking brake fault. A total of 340,000 cars are being recalled globally for the half-hour repair, which involves the fitment of parts to prevent water and debris damaging the brake cable.


BMW starts work on new i5 SUV BMW i8 Roadster, expected in 2018, will be followed in 2021 by a new electric SUV

BMW i8 Roadster will be the next new i model, then i5

Future Fords will be ‘more tailored to each region’ THE ‘ONE FORD’ policy, under which the same basic models are sold in all regions around the world, “has peaked”, according to the company’s global design chief, Moray Callum.

Focus will be replaced by a car more tuned for different regions


Speaking to Autocar, he said the approach isn’t being abandoned, but new models will be “more tailored to each region”. Of the One Ford policy, introduced by previous Ford boss Alan Mulally,

Callum said: “It was the right approach at the time.” One Ford prompted the development of the Mustang as a global model, the launch of the Fiesta in the US and the arrival of the Brazilian

Ecosport crossover in Europe, as well as the disposal of the Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and part-owned Mazda brands from Ford’s portfolio. The One Ford strategy was also partly responsible for returning Ford to financial health following the 2008 financial crisis. Callum said the next Focus will diverge a little from the original philosophy. “It’s an entry-level model in the US, but not in Europe,” he said. “They will be visually similar but there will be less content for the US model.” As well as a reduced level of standard equipment, the US Focus could feature less sophisticated suspension, given that the need for strong driving dynamics is less vital in this market and at this price point. Callum also talked about Ford design. He described

the design language as “post-kinetic”, but said it was still being used. “For Ford, it means cars that are fun to drive and great to look at,” he added. “We won’t change it dramatically. It will just evolve.” What it evolves into probably won’t have a label. “I’m not into names,” he said. Spy pictures of the imminent next Fiesta have revealed a car that appears to have evolved quite modestly. However, Callum said: “There will be more of a step change in style after the Fiesta.” Of the Vignale sub-brand, Callum said: “There will be no stand-alone model for the foreseeable future.” But he added: “New models are being designed with Vignale requirements in mind, so they will be better differentiated.” That includes the next Fiesta, which will have a Vignale edition from launch.




BMW i5 SUV is strongly tipped to be the firm’s next all-new all-electric model, but it is not scheduled for launch until 2021. Earlier this year, Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management at BMW AG, revealed that the next BMW i product would be launched in 2021, dubbing it ‘i Next’. But he declined to elaborate beyond describing the future model as the “new spearhead of innovation and technology”. Now sources have suggested that BMW has settled on an SUV bodystyle for its next model, reasoning that it is a shape with global appeal in a segment with booming sales and greater profit margins than hatchbacks or saloons. In addition, an SUV bodystyle more easily accommodates the bulky battery pack without compromising proportions. Without commenting on the bodystyle, Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, confirmed the firm was waiting until 2021 for its next major launch so it could take advantage of “the next big steps in electric motor, battery and autonomy”. He said: “We are at the very early stages of i, but already we’re coming up to our 100,000th registration. Just as with M, there are opportunities that take time to build up, from i cars to i Performance

A U D I B R A N D S D E D I C AT E D E L E C T R I C M O D E L S ‘ E-T R O N ’ Audi boss Rupert Stadler has said the firm’s first dedicated electric car will carry the name ‘e-tron’ without any specific model designation in a move evoking the naming of its original Quattro. Previewed by the e-tron quattro concept (pictured) at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, the new SUV is one of three electric models planned by the end of 2020. Commenting on the decision not to link the model to an existing product line or launch under a subbrand, Stadler said: “It is comparable to the first Audi Quattro, which was known simply as the Quattro. In the long term, the name e-tron will stand for a pure-electric driveline structure.” Stadler confirmed that the e-tron name will subsequently appear in

products to i kit, such as an electric scooter. “We conceived the i brand to work for the long term. The electric car market is emerging but we see enough to be confident that consumers are understanding what it is about. What’s more, 80% of i customers are new to BMW.” Robertson added that the

combination with Audi’s more traditional model names, such as A6 e-tron. Stadler also hinted that Audi is working on a Tesla Model S rival, as exclusively reported by Autocar. He said: “It makes sense for the Audi brand to be positioned in the top premium segment with this driveline technology.” However, he quashed suggestions that it may replace the company’s longplanned A9. Instead, it is expected to form part of the

lessons learned from the i3 and i8 continue to give BMW an advantage over its opposition. He said: “The beauty of those cars is that they give us a competency in the field of electric cars and lightweight technology — not just in people, but in manufacturing, too. We are way ahead in the

three initial electric models, possibly badged A8 e-tron. The third model is believed to be an SUV with what Stadler calls a “space concept vehicle” twist. He said: “We are presently experiencing an upward swing in the demand for such electric concepts, primarily in large megacities. They would be well suited with ranges of 350km to 450km [218-280 miles]. The subject of space is an important one.”

manufacturing of lightweight carbonfibre, for instance.” Between now and 2021, the i8 Roadster will be launched — most likely in 2018. No details have been confirmed but sources say it will share the coupé’s powertrain and closely reflect the i8 Roadster concept first revealed in 2012. JIM HOLDER


The current Juke’s look won’t be carried over to the new model

The next Nissan Juke will not be a straightforward update of today’s distinctive look, according to Nissan design boss Shiro Nakamura. “We don’t want the same design,” he said. “We want to go a step further. Its spirit is challenging; it needs to be like that again. Otherwise it’s not a Juke.” A concept version of the new Juke will appear at some point next year, followed soon after by the production model, which is being co-designed by Nissan in Japan and its design studio in London.


The UK’s first autonomous trial in a public space has taken place in Milton Keynes. Autonomous pods with a 15mph top speed took to the pavements and negotiated journeys around a 0.6-mile pedestrianised area of the city, using software technology created Oxford University developers. The trial initially involved test drivers only but was then

extended to give lifts to members of the public, albeit with trained pilots behind the wheel in case of glitches. Project director Neil Fulton suggested the pods could be used in the future to transport the ageing population, as the autonomous revolution is poised to mobilise those currently without personal transport.




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Steve Cropley NEWS


VSCC’s Welsh Trial was a grand day out, even as a spectator

SATURDAY One of my friends, a busy architect, texted me today, disappointed because an old BMW he’d arranged to rent from one of the classic car clubs had conked. The owners had taken it straight back and given him a modern to drive home. While I understood his annoyance, I couldn’t help thinking how much more sense it made to rent this car than own it: you’re not saddled with the eye-watering purchase price and when it goes wrong, an expert gets drafted in to fix it.

TUESDAY Another day, another conversation in a filling station with someone curious to know more about my handsome Kia Sportage. People love this car on sight, and that’s undoubtedly why it has become the best-selling Kia in Britain. The previous Sportage was the first Kia to benefit from the skills of master designer Peter Schreyer, who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his arrival in Korea. It’s also the first Korean car I know to benefit from the ‘don’t care what it is, I want one’ syndrome, the best passport ever to modern showroom success.

TUESDAY To its credit, Vauxhall regularly sends us one of its classic collection to play with. Today was my chance to go around the town in the last ever Victor, a 1975 model. Surprises were its poke and torque and its well-balanced, miniCadillac styling. Bad bits were the need for choke management (you forget how primitive it was) and the requirement to wrestle its unassisted steering at parking speeds. But if you want a vehicle that makes other drivers glad to see you on the road, this is it.


People love the Sportage on sight. That’s why it’s the best-selling Kia in Britain THURSDAY


Great fun to drive Gordon Murray’s tiny threeseat T25 prototype again, now refined and repainted as the Shell Concept Car. It’s around 15% lighter and better aerodynamically and its ex-Smart engine has been titivated by Osamu Goto, Murray’s old F1 engine partner, to slash friction and boost torque. From the central driving seat, it felt much as it did in 2011 (I was allowed a comically inadequate two laps of Millbrook’s urban driving course), but you could literally hear how free-running the engine is, its bores now using a friction-beating coating and

AND ANOTHER THING… After sojourns in other cars, I regularly return to our faithful Vauxhall Astra SRi diesel, which I originally picked up from the end of the Ellesmere production line. As the miles creep upward, it never fails to please us all with its discreet poise and comfort.

Vauxhall Victor turned heads but was a chore to park its sump full of clever Shell oil as thin as water. Gordon talked about how much he and the team have learned from this second chance to refine an already efficient car. “We pushed hard,” he said. “But we were surprised at the results. We’d never have achieved this in just one step.”

SUNDAY To Presteigne, just over the Welsh border, to catch up with friends who moved there from London a year ago. They timed their picnic invitation with the Vintage Sports Car Club’s annual Welsh Trial, held nearby, so we had a joyous time catching up, munching delicious crusty sarnies, recounting old war stories and watching drivers punting their pre-1931 sports cars – mostly Austin 7s and Model A Fords – up grassy hillsides. Hard to design a more carefree day. My late neighbour and legendary Autocar staffer Steady Barker used to refer to the VSCC as “the greatest motor club in the world”, basing his view on the friendliness of members, the quality of cars and the fact that the club had “something going on” practically every day of the year. I was invited to join 25 years ago, and for want of a suitable car I’ve never competed in one of their events, but I’d never think of not belonging.







AUDI R8 SPYDER Open-top supercar hits UK roads with a 533bhp naturally aspirated V10. Is the driving experience improved for being roofless, or compromised?



If you accept that it reduces the purity of the driving experience, then the R8 Spyder is fabulous


Four-wheel drive gives a surefooted feel, but there’s scope to bring the rear end into play when you want


arn fine car, the Audi R8 Coupé. Really, it’s among the best supercars you can buy, rubbing shoulders with the pantheon of greats from Maranello, Sant’Agata, Stuttgart and Woking. However, these supercars are rarely so super when you lop the roof off and turn them into cabriolets, so has this act of apparent brutality sullied the mighty R8? In an attempt to maintain the structural rigidity of the fixed-roof R8, the composite central tunnel and rear bulkhead have been retained, but that bulkhead has been modified

to accommodate the Spyder’s folding roof. The aluminium spaceframe that extends forward from the bulkhead also has thicker box sections in the sills and around the windscreen, making this car 50% stiffer than the old R8 Spyder – but it still has 40% more flex than the current coupé. The complete soft-top mechanism alone weighs 44kg, so the Spyder has a carbonfibre engine cover. Under it, you’ll find one of the very best engines available today: the delicious, naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10. Its 533bhp matches the coupé’s

Square-bottomed wheel isn’t to everyone’s taste, but everything else is likely to be 24 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 19 OCTOBER 2016

at the same 7800rpm and adds 15bhp to the old car’s tally. Cylinder-ondemand technology lets it run on five cylinders (it swaps between alternate banks of the vee), and along with both direct and indirect injection and an ability to freewheel when off the throttle, it’s as efficient as possible. The R8 Spyder can get you from rest to 62mph in 3.6sec. That’s half a second down on a Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, which has the same power but weighs less. But it’s the 0-124mph time, picked off in 11.8sec, that really addles the brain – both to think about and to experience – and the R8 Spyder won’t stop accelerating until the speedo reads 197mph. So it’s supremely fast, then. More pertinent, though, the R8’s power is delivered the old-school way: the absence of artificial boost means an absolutely predictable throttle response. Plant your foot and the torque doesn’t wallop you like a turbo-charged Frisbee to the temple after a brief pause. No, the V10 responds immediately but progressively, building and building, before finally switching to warp somewhere around 6500rpm. But the point is that you are never surprised by it, which is a good thing when there’s 398lb ft on tap. Aided by its well-judged four-wheel drive system, the Spyder makes for a supremely tractable car, yet it’s no

less playful or dramatic as a result. And we haven’t mentioned the noise yet: no other supercar – bar the Lamborghini Huracán that shares this engine – sounds this good. The distinctive sound of a V10 is the result of two separate sound waves, one low, the other an octave and a third higher, and there’s no better way to hear it than in an open-top R8 through a tunnel. It’s delicious and intoxicating, and that’s before you factor in the whip-snapping cracks on the overrun. So, yes, the Spyder is heavier than the coupé, at 1795kg to 1670kg, and yes, you feel that 40% reduction in stiffness via a slight shimmy through the steering column here and an occasional wobble of the rear-view mirror there. But avoid the adaptive steering and this is still a car with a phenomenal front end that weights up beautifully as you carve between apexes. The four-wheel drive lets you play with the rear end when you fancy but digs in and grips when the weather turns nasty. Essentially, it’s a friendly partner to the experience rather than a frustrating intrusion. The magnetic dampers are an interesting option, but based on our drive in the UK, complete with its rigidity-testing bumps, cambers and curves, on mechanical springs and dampers, we probably wouldn’t bother with the upgrade. Audi says it


Beneath that mid-mounted engine cover is a magnificent V10 that sounds all the more heroic when the roof is down has merely tweaked the suspension rates to counter the weight increase rather than softened everything off, as is usual for wobblier convertibles. Whatever, by the standards of the performance available – heck, even by family hatchback defaults – the body control is sublime. The ride is slightly, but only slightly, more questionable, and the pitter-patter of the motorway or lumps and bumps of a B-road can be tiresome in all but Comfort mode. That, though, is why Comfort mode is there.

Can you drive from Macclesfield to Monaco, roof down, and still have half a hairdo left for dinner at Café de Paris when you arrive? Yes, you can. Erect the glass rear window, which acts as a wind deflector, and the side windows, and even at speeds commonly regarded as hair-raising, your bouffant will remain largely intact. Raise the roof, which takes 20sec, and the Spyder is nigh-on as cosseting as the coupé. There are just two criticisms. Firstly, for those over six feet tall, the

installation of the roof mechanism limits how much the driver’s seat can be reclined. As a consequence, it’s not possible to get as comfortable as you can in the coupé. The same roof installation also removes the spacious secondary luggage area behind the seats, so you’re limited to just the 112-litre boot. If you accept that by choosing this drop-top version of the R8 you’ll reduce the purity of your driving experience, then the R8 Spyder is fabulous.

It’s not as pin-sharp as the fixedroof version but it’s not far off, and to compensate, you can traverse the Continent basking in sunshine and render any stretch of open road, or even a traffic jam through an underpass, absolute heaven. And given that this could well be the V10 engine’s final innings, it may well be your last chance to enjoy naturally aspirated automotive nirvana. Don’t miss out. JOHN HOWELL


AUDI R8 SPYDER Doesn’t quite match the dynamic sparkle of the R8 Coupé but makes up for it with its open-air V10 magic

AAAAC Price Engine Power Torque Gearbox

Folding roof, which closes in 20sec, adds weight and reduces rigidity; storing it also limits how far the driver’s seat can recline

£129,990 V10, 5204cc, petrol 533bhp at 7800rpm 398lb ft at 6500rpm 7-spd dual-clutch automatic Kerb weight 1795kg 0-62mph 3.6sec Top speed 197mph Economy 24.1mpg (combined) CO2/tax band 277g/km, 37% RIVALS Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, Jaguar F-Type 5.0 SVR Convertible



BMW 740LE XDRIVE BMW shows what its plug-in hybrid tech can do in a luxury saloon


ince the release of the revolutionary i8 in 2014, BMW has been striving to remain at the forefront of both plugin hybrid and pre-impregnated carbonfibre technology – and the BMW 740Le xDrive, as seen here, represents the vanguard of those developments thus far. The 740Le is essentially two cars in one: an electric car with a 28-mile zero-emissions range, as well as a continent-crushing cruiser with searing straight-line performance. It’s a compelling combination. In the name of downsizing, BMW has based the powertrain around its excellent turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, retuned to produce a substantial 265bhp and 295lb ft. It’s mated to a specially developed eightspeed automatic transmission that is fitted with a 111bhp electric motor, and the combined reserves of 322bhp and 369lb ft are channelled to all four wheels, allowing this 7 Series to cover 0-62mph in just 5.3sec. It’s a clever powertrain and the driver has a choice of two eco-focused driving modes: Auto eDrive, which

shuffles power between the petrol engine and battery like a traditional hybrid, and Max eDrive, in which the car runs purely on electric power until it reaches 87mph. In addition, three adaptive chassis settings affect the way the hybrid transmission works. Comfort mode gives a smooth power delivery by balancing the outputs of both power units, while Sport enables the electric motor and petrol engine to work together for maximum performance and Eco Pro is designed to maximise the electric range. In addition to its 28-mile electric-only range, the 740Le promises combined fuel economy of 113mpg. As long as the car has charge, the 740Le will pull away in complete silence. It’s a serene experience that feels perfectly in tune with a car of this type. Depress the throttle pedal farther and the electric motor powers the BMW up to B-road speeds with minimal effort. It’s an impressively flexible electric unit and endows the 740Le with a level of low-speed refinement that its diesel-powered siblings can’t hope

to match. Air suspension fitted to both axles also does an impressive job of smoothing out undulating surfaces and isolating rear passengers from the outside world. Switch the adaptive chassis settings from Comfort to Sport and, although the 740Le is far from being an engaging driver’s machine, there’s fun to be had hustling it down a country road. The steering is direct enough, the four-wheel drive system provides heaps of traction and the chassis has an intrinsic balance. But like all plug-in hybrids, the 740Le is not without fault. We’re pretty confident that you could get near the claimed 113mpg figure if you drove carefully and charged the BMW every time you stopped, but that’s not realistic. On our recent journey from London to Paris, for example, we averaged only 34.2mpg. If you’re a high-mileage driver, a diesel still makes more sense. Depleting the battery also leads to another problem. With no electric shove, you’re left with a two-tonne car powered by a rather gruffsounding 2.0-litre petrol engine.

In addition, the 740Le’s 420-litre boot is 90 litres smaller than you get in the standard diesel or petrol 7 Series. That’s because the lithium ion battery pack now sits under the rear seats, forcing the fuel tank back and above the rear axle. If you’re covering lots of miles on a frequent basis, you’ll rarely see the benefit of the electric motor. But then a price difference between the 740Le xDrive and a 730Ld xDrive of only £130 makes that pill significantly easier to swallow. Ultimately, the 740Le xDrive is a truly brilliant technical achievement that provides almost all of the benefits of an electric vehicle with very few of the downsides. If this is the future of luxury travel, we’re ready for it. NEIL WINN


BMW 740LE XDRIVE Successfully blends low emissions with luxury and strong real-world pace, but it’s a niche proposition

AAAAC Price Engine

It will run on electric power only up to B-road speeds; inside, you appreciate the low-speed refinement and hush 26 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 19 OCTOBER 2016

£74,880 4 cyls, 1998cc, twin-turbo, petrol, plus electric motor System power 322bhp System torque 369lb ft Gearbox  8-spd automatic Kerb weight  2000kg 0-62mph  5.3sec Top speed  155mph (87mph in EV mode) Economy  134mpg (combined) EV range 28 miles CO2/tax band  49g/km, 11% RIVALS  Jaguar XJ 3.0 V6 Diesel LWB, Mercedes-Benz S300h 


CITROEN C3 PURETECH 82 Non-turbo three-cylinder petrol engine powers distinctive-looking new supermini


bstract design can be hit or miss, but on whichever side of that divide you fall, you have to agree that the new Citroën C3’s avant-garde looks add some froth to a sea of samey superminis. Old and new are literally welded together here, with the new C3’s funky body sitting on the PF1 platform of the previous car. It has been modified at the front to be kinder to pedestrians and toughened up around the B-pillars and front seat mountings to be kinder to you in a side impact. This, of course, adds weight, so the rest of the chassis has been lightened where possible, keeping the kerb weight roughly on a par with the outgoing model’s. Instead of gunning for the Ford Fiesta’s crown of best-handling supermini, Citroën has gone back to its roots. The springs and dampers have been softened and more suspension travel added in the pursuit of improved ride comfort. There’s new tech, too. The world’s first OEM dash cam is standard on this top-spec Flair trim, recording 30 seconds of video before and after an impact. Naturally, where there’s a camera there’s a social media opportunity, so you can also download an app that lets you take pictures and videos and then share them with friends. For now, there are three petrol engines, with this 81bhp 1.2 Puretech sitting in the middle of the line-up.

Cabin has a pared-back look but works well; Puretech 82 model has enough pace for town use It’s perky around town, but you need to rev it hard on faster roads. Without a turbocharger to boost its mid-range, peak torque arrives at just under 3000rpm, and you need at least that dialled up to join motorways with any vigour. Unfortunately, with only five gears to work with, engine noise at 70-80mph gets a touch wearing after a while, and the gearbox’s long, loose throw isn’t exactly thrilling, either. You’d expect a supermini to handle well in town, and the C3’s light steering, allied to its tight turning circle, makes it a handy urban prowler. The ride is good at low speeds, but the occasional bump on our mainly smooth Spanish test route caught it out. The softness engineered in to the suspension makes things mildly amusing at higher speeds. Body roll is pronounced, and because

the seats offer next to no side support, you find yourself clinging on to the steering wheel to avoid plunging head first into your passenger’s lap. The faster you corner, the more you notice the steering’s numbness, but its gearing is decent, so the C3 is easy to place. If you’re tall, you’ll find one of the best driving positions of any supermini, with loads of space in the front and a proper range of seat and steering column adjustments. The back seats are tight, though, even by Fiesta standards, with head room the most pressing issue. Still, the boot is a good size. The dashboard is best described as spartan, but that’s exactly the look Citroën wanted. The cabin works well, with enough neat touches, such as the leather strap door pulls and classic DS instruments, for you to forgive the hard, recycled plastics.

` The C3 doesn’t top the class, but that doesn’t have to stop you from liking it or wanting one


Flair-spec models, such as our test car, encourage you to express your individuality with mix-andmatch roof and body colours. The Airbump side strips, meanwhile, are a keep-or-remove option that can be highlighted with an extra splash of colour. Citroën’s new infotainment system is standard on this trim, too. It’s much easier to operate than the PSA Group’s previous clunky efforts. Don’t bother with the optional £500 sat-nav, though, and instead use the standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto function to mirror your smartphone’s nav on to the 7.0in touchscreen. The new C3 isn’t as sharp to drive as a Ford Fiesta; nor is it as spacious as a Skoda Fabia or as plush as a Volkswagen Polo. It is different, though, and most people seem to agree that Citroën has done a good thing with the styling. The C3 doesn’t top the class, but that doesn’t have to stop you from liking it or, indeed, wanting one. Although this Puretech 82 is cheap to run and fine around town, anyone frequently venturing farther afield should go for the pricier but pokier turbocharged Puretech 110. JOHN HOWELL


CITROEN C3 PURETECH 82 FLAIR Not a class leader, but funky looks and a swish cabin give it appeal. Needs the turbo petrol engine, though

AAABC Price Engine Power  Torque Gearbox Kerb weight 0-62mph Top speed Economy CO2/tax band RIVALS

£14,795 3 cyls, 1199cc, petrol 81bhp at 5750rpm 87lb ft at 2750rpm 5-spd manual 980kg 13.0sec 104mph 60.1mpg (combined) 109g/km, 18% Ford Fiesta 1.0T Ecoboost 100, VW Polo 1.2 TSI 90





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SEAT ATECA Can Seat’s first SUV impress, even with the heavy burden of expectation? MODEL TESTED 1.6 TDI ECOMOTIVE SE


Price £21,900


Power 114bhp Torque 184lb ft 0-60mph 10.5sec 30-70mph in fourth 13.7sec Fuel economy 50.2mpg CO2 emissions 113g/km 70-0mph 47.7m

ROAD TEST t seems hardly five minutes ago that the perennial Seat-related question was not a matter of shiny new product but whether the Spanish car maker could possibly hope to survive its seemingly endless non-profit status. Last-chance survival plans and borrowing endof-line Audi machinery have featured in the manufacturer’s recent past, as has filling its Martorell factory with Q3 production in an effort to finally make it a cost-effective operation. Now, though, the future looks suddenly bright. The firm actually claimed a wafer-thin profit for


last year, evidence that its latest business plan was on the right track – a track leading inexorably to this, the proclaimed light at the end of the tunnel: the Ateca. It’s possible to overstate the importance of the introduction of a crossover into some manufacturers’ line-ups, but probably not in Seat’s case, where the chronic lack of anything SUVshaped meant that the brand was virtually absent from half of the current car market. The Ateca plugs that hole in style. Closely related to the Volkswagen Tiguan and the upcoming secondgeneration Skoda Yeti, this Spanish interpretation of the SUV looks mildly sensational and, with a very small petrol engine aboard, can be had for less than £18,000. That makes it cheaper to buy than the equivalent entry-level Nissan Qashqai, the car Seat is obviously hoping to blow from the water. While harbouring that same ambition has not resulted in a host of other manufacturers overcoming Nissan’s superstar, recent group testing has already revealed the topspec Ateca to have all the makings of a new class leader. Now, though, we descend into the fleet-biased nitty gritty: road testing the car not with the more powerful engine and drivetrain to which Nissan doesn’t really possess an answer, but with the far more modest front-wheel drive/small diesel combination that it most certainly does. The mid-spec 1.6 TDI SE model we have here starts at £21,900 – practically the same money that buys you a Qashqai 1.5 dCi Acenta. Game on.



It is to the Ateca’s good fortune that the current generation of Leon has always been considered something of a looker since its launch in 2013 – because, rather conspicuously, that car is the design inspiration here. A ‘big brother’ is the description apparently favoured in Martorell, and that’s largely the way it transpires in the metal, with the crossover sporting a similar quota of sharp lines and high shoulder creases. There is a sibling relationship with the Tiguan, too, that car being the first SUV outing for the omnipresent MQB platform underneath both it and the Ateca, but this association is kept firmly under wraps. For one, the Ateca is noticeably shorter than the largerscale VW, and for another, it’s decidedly more sporty-looking. This, of course, is no accident. ◊


Trustworthy, capable handling z Right-sized interior zThrusting appearance WE DON’T LIKE

Engine not as efficient as class best z DAB tuner missing from entry-level cars z Ride slightly inferior to that of AWD versions

z Our test Ateca’s full-LED headlights came as a £820 option. Seat claims a 40% improvement over those fitted to the current Leon in terms of luminance.

z Above the poverty-spec S model, the Ateca gets colour-coded folding door mirrors. Their positioning helps them to visually accentuate the car’s shoulder line.

z The chrome grille frame is standard across the Ateca range; a double chrome exhaust and chrome window surrounds are the preserve of the range-topping Xcellence model.

z Wheel size increases progressively with trim choice: the S gets 16in alloys, the SE has 17s and there are 19s on the Xcellence. Our test car added optional ‘Dynamic’ machined bi-colour rims.

z Unlike the headlights, the rear clusters feature LED lights as standard. Their distinctive shape is considered to be essential to the stance of the Ateca’s back end.

z The ‘welcome’ puddle light — typically a chintzy feature of pricier SUVs — is part of the LED headlight pack. It projects the car’s name onto the ground whenever the doors are unlocked.

z These black roof rails are standard on the SE, while the Xcellence gets aluminium versions. The S has to make do with none.

z The Ateca’s boot release is a regular button, not built into the Seat badge. A remote under-bumper ‘virtual pedal’ is an option on SE and Xcellence cars.

Leon’s design inspired that of the Ateca 19 OCTOBER 2016 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 31

z Drive Profile dial isn’t quite as satisfying to twirl as we’d like but is better than stabbing at buttons on the dash. The 4x4 version adds two more functions.

z Hi-res display between the dials is appealing — but not standard on the SE. It’s part of the Navigation upgrade and is meant mostly for relaying directions.



In keeping with the rest of the interior, there’s often a nagging feeling that you’re not getting quite as slick an experience from Seat’s menu interface as you would Volkswagen’s, despite the fact that it’s mostly just a retread of the same software. SE trim has the Media System Plus set-up, meaning it gets the 8.0in colour touchscreen with the proximity sensor that changes the display options depending on how close your hand is. Voice control, Bluetooth audio streaming and eight speakers are included (all are missing


from the 5.0in Touch system that features in entry-level cars) but DAB is not. For that, you’ll either need to fork out an additional £525 for the Navigation system (as ticked on our test car), or else opt for the SE Technology trim, which has it built in to the higher sticker price. Aside from its cut-price nature, the set-up, which is another modular piece of MQB kit, is a solid piece of tech. Don’t expect any problems connecting your phone, finding your way about or getting a DAB signal — as long as you’ve paid the premium.

z Upper portion of the dashboard is a carryover from the Leon, but the centre console gets a broader cubby offering easier access to the USB and 3.5mm sockets.

ROAD TEST Δ Being a tiny bit sportier is Seat’s long-standing raison d’etre, and the firm says the identity extends to the slightly different way its crossover has been tuned. We’ll come to that later, but in hardware terms the Ateca adopts the established MQB characteristics. There is a choice of two petrol engines (the three-cylinder 1.0 and four-cylinder 1.4 TSIs) and two diesel lumps (the 1.6 TDI tested and the 2.0 TDI, available in both 148bhp and 187bhp configurations). Most drive the front wheels exclusively, although both the larger oil-burners come with the option of a Haldex clutchbased four-wheel drive system, with those models also benefiting from the more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension already tested in the Tiguan. Without a driven rear axle, all other Atecas make do with a cheaper torsion beam at the back. Trimming niceties from the bottom line does at least tend to help with a car’s kerb weight. The lightest Tiguan clocks in at 1490kg; Seat claims 1280kg for the three-pot model. Our test car, fully fuelled, recorded 1408kg on our scales – almost exactly the same as the Qashqai 1.5 dCi tested two years ago. All versions currently come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, save the 2.0-litre diesel,

which gets a seven-speed DSG dualclutch automatic, either as an option or standard if you opt for the higheroutput version. And except for the entry-level model, all Atecas receive Seat’s Drive Profile dial, which (as the suspension is passive) is generally limited to tweaking the throttle and electric steering feel – although in the all-wheel-drive versions it adds Snow and Off-road modes.



The necessary positioning of Seat as a brand has left some of its products feeling short-changed inside. The Ateca’s slightly starchy, unadorned cabin is much like those of its stablemates – notably the Leon – and explicitly less affluent in appearance than the equivalent Volkswagen. Nevertheless, while there is precious little to get excited about while looking at the predominantly matt black dashboard, there is nothing significant to grumble about, either. The Ateca is built in the same Czech factory that turns out the Skoda Superb and Yeti and inherits a similarly durable build quality. In keeping with most MQB products, everything is where you’d expect to find it and functions impeccably. Marginal infractions are observable – Seat’s new Drive ◊

z Up front, rather appropriately, the Ateca feels like a tall Leon, which is to say it’s well-sized, functional and probably a little too soberly finished for its own good.


a mm

5101604 litres

m 0m


m 100


Kerb weight: 1365kg 2638mm


Typical leg room 750mm



1030m m

m max






Predictably fine. No version of the MQB platform is cursed with outsized A-pillars, and while the svelte door mirrors aren’t huge, there’s no problem with the rearward view, either.

We had no chance to test them, but experience suggests the optional allLED units are effective enough to make their £820 price seem reasonable.

z The Ateca’s greatest advantage over the Leon is in the rear. Even if you don’t use the extra head room, there’s no doubting the greater sense of airiness it affords.

circle: 10.8m Turning 1576mm


60mm 170mm

Width 1020-1280mm

Height 500-790mm Centre

Length 850-1680mm 1541mm


W H E E L A N D P E DA L ALIGNMENT Well-spaced pedals are another telling MQB family attribute; don’t expect to mistake brake for accelerator, ever.

z It’s irritating that the rudimentary double boot floor requires a tick even with SE trim, but otherwise the space is easily enough to manage family-sized loads.


Δ Profile wheel could do with being a bit less flimsy, for example – but you need to go looking for them. Generally speaking, with its legibility, ease of use and ergonomics beyond reproach, the Ateca is exceptionally good at making you feel right at home. It is also acutely well sized. Being slightly shorter in the wheelbase than the Tiguan does not prevent the Ateca from providing ample, family hatchback levels of rear leg room. The sense of space is amplified further by the amount of rear head room available, with the car’s bearskin-swallowing roofline being what really distinguishes the Ateca’s cabin from the otherwise similarsized Leon. It is significant enough to be the feature most likely to sway any parents torn between the two. That and the well-proportioned boot, which, with a 510-litre capacity, is not only 130 litres larger than the Leon’s but also 80 litres more generous than a Qashqai’s. Seat doesn’t quote a total load capacity, but the near-flat space appears suitably commodious once the 60/40

split seatbacks are flopped forward by the two pull handles in the boot. Storage options elsewhere inside are less impressive (the glovebox is pitifully small) but the larger cubby in the centre console and roomy door bins are decent enough.

fatal due to the engine’s tendency to wilt when not being subsidised by its turbocharger. Given that this tends to occur at 40mph in the predictably long final ratio, it can make economical driving seem a bit more tiresome than in the more giving 2.0-litre variant. But as it revs keenly enough and comes furnished with the snappy gearchanges of the Volkswagen Group’s six-speed manual ’box, it’s rare that you feel yourself getting grouchy with the quality of progress. Such a reaction is best reserved instead for the amount of noise the engine generates. The core strength of the current Qashqai is its striking refinement, the cabin being very well isolated from the combined racket of road and engine. In the Ateca, it’s less easy to disassociate yourself from the background drone, and while it never becomes so unruly as to disrupt quiet conversation, its presence is audible at idle and downright insistent at higher revs. Our noise meter recorded a 3dB penalty at 70mph versus the 1.5dCi Qashqai we drove in 2014 and a 6dB difference at big crank speeds



Any suspicion that Volkswagen’s downsized 1.6-litre diesel engine might not be quite up to the job of satisfactorily lugging around a shapely new crossover prove largely unfounded. The Ateca’s venerable 1.6 TDI may not qualify as spring chicken, nor particularly accelerate like one, but a life cycle pockmarked by tweaks and updates means that the unit’s performance is never less than dutiful – an impression corroborated by a recorded 10.5sec 0-60mph time that is a full second quicker than advertised. As is the case in this engine’s other applications, wide throttle openings are required to keep up a modest head of steam; sagging much below 2000rpm is generally

in third. Although not ruinous, the highish noise level is a chink in what is otherwise convincing armour.



Sequestered as they are between proper SUVs and peppy hatchbacks, compact crossovers’ default dynamic characteristic is usually to be neither one thing nor the other, resulting in something that is neither desperately tall and pillowy nor precisely nimble or engaging. That has clearly suited the target buyer, but we’ve tended toward faint praise for the segment as a whole and long bemoaned the absence of anything resembling a driver’s car. The Ateca doesn’t entirely resolve that, but it comes closer than any before in plugging the gap between soft-roader aesthetic and handling aptitude. Fundamentally, it makes this leap by taking a familiarly short, logical step and seeking to do nothing more than drive like a hoisted-up Leon. The trick here is that Seat has made the frequently proclaimed intention work. Rather than adopt the slightly

T R AC K N O T E S On Millbrook’s Hill Route, the Seat was everything we have come to expect from the MQB platform: confident, astute and practically foolproof — and yet gently involving, too. Disguising its tall-sidedness is the contemporary crossover’s trick, and the Ateca plays it well. Driving the Ateca to seven-tenths, a layman might notice little difference between it and a Leon. Beyond that, the Ateca is undoubtedly more testing of its suspension, brakes and stability control, but it leans, stops and corners with only slightly less verve. Switch the traction control off and the experience is little different, partly because grip is broad enough to make its breaching something of an effort with a 1.6-litre engine, and partly because the stability control is unswitchable. Slightly less obtrusive it may be with the traction control off, but as the system is reasonably subtle when left to its own device, the requirement for disabling it is largely redundant.

z Sharp incline to T6 exposes the 1.6 TDI’s lack of puff; the chassis could carry more pace through the left-hander than this engine can deliver.


T4 T3

T6 T1

z T2 provokes the standard frontdrive reaction of understeer, but the Ateca is astute enough to marginally tighten its line, given the chance. T7




AC C E L E R AT I O N Seat Ateca SE 1.6 TDI (18deg C, dry) Standing quarter mile 18.2sec at 76.6mph, standing km 32.8sec at 97.7mph, 30-70mph 10.3sec, 30-70mph in fourth 13.7sec 30mph




















Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi (7deg C, dry) Standing quarter mile 18.1sec at 77.2mph, standing km 33.2sec at 96.6mph, 30-70mph 11.1sec, 30-70mph in fourth 14.6sec 30mph





















60-0mph: 2.9sec 30mph-0


9.1m 0


8.9m 30mph-0



24.7m 20m

47.7m 30m

23.5m 50mph-0


46.0m 70mph-0


The Ateca comes closer than` any before in plugging the gap between soft-roader aesthetic and handling aptitude


bigger-skin feel that VW has grafted onto the Tiguan’s platform, the smaller Ateca takes full advantage of carrying less weight on its simpler, mildly stiffer chassis. Its positive feel is complemented by the credible heft and directness of the electric steering, in turn delivering much the same assured driving style we’ve credited to practically every MQB derivative since its introduction. Certainly the Ateca remains a crossover – a fact obvious enough in its body movements – but there is easily enough Leon in its adroit turn-in and abundant grip to keep you interested in pushing on. The relationship between the two is redolent of the blood tie between the Jaguar XF and F-Pace – and that’s meant as praise from the top drawer. Only the sneaking suspicion that the torsion beam rear axle is striking obstacles at speed with slightly less sympathy than the multi-link set-up would gently inhibits the front-drive version’s appeal. That’s forgivable, though, given the all-wheel-drive car’s premium, and in all honesty it barely dents the lasting impression of the first-rate compromise struck here in the cooking model.



Two factors keep the Ateca reasonably priced. One is the state of the market: Seat is rather late to the game, so there are many household names already jockeying for attention and coaxing buyers from

their Renault Kadjars, Ford Kugas, Kia Sportages and, yes, Qashqais, and a compelling reason to buy an Ateca is required beyond its sharp looks and shrewd drive. The other consideration is the positioning of the Tiguan. With it occupying VW’s traditional upmarket place in the mainstream, Seat’s offering – as ever – can be quietly acknowledged as the more affordable understudy. Thus the Ateca’s four trim levels – S, SE, SE Technology and Xcellence – start at £17,990 and inch beyond £30k by the time you’ve added paint to the range-topping 2.0 TDI. The entry-level model misses out on the 8.0in touchscreen and Bluetooth so is likely to be ignored, but the as-tested SE trim includes them and adds 17in wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors and dual-zone climate control into the bargain. The Technology version incorporates bigger wheels and sat-nav, while Xcellence brings more styling bling. The 1.6 TDI will underpin the Ateca’s fleet quota, where its failure to replicate the 1.5 dCi Qashqai’s 99g/km (or even 103g/km) will have been noted. Nevertheless, a 113g/km output still puts it near the head of the field and is easily efficient enough to assuage most buyers as they weigh up its other advantages. Not least of those is the 50.2mpg that was returned during True MPG testing – a surefire sign that the Ateca’s respectable kerb weight has helped to offset the less friendly aerodynamics of a crossover’s taller profile. ◊

z Direct, nicely weighted steering combines with a relatively firm chassis and low kerb weight to create a convincing facsimile of the Leon in the way the Ateca drives.


DATA L O G S E AT AT E C A 1 . 6 T D I ECOMOTIVE SE On-the-road price Price as tested Value after 3yrs/36k miles Contract hire pcm Cost per mile Insurance/typical quote

£21,900 £24,775 £14,150 £179.51 37.9p 11E/£417

EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST 17in alloy wheels LED DRLs and tail-lights Electrically folding door mirrors Cruise control Dual-zone climate control Rear parking sensors Drive Profile Media System Plus Navigation system (inc 3D maps, hi-res driver’s display, two SD slots and DAB tuner) Convenience pack (inc rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and auto headlights) Full LED headlights Tinted rear windows 17in ‘Dynamic’ bi-colour alloys Ambient LED interior lighting Double boot floor Options in bold fitted to test car = Standard


£170 £820 £180 £340 £150 £115

R A N G E AT A G L A N C E ENGINES 1.0 TSI 1.4 EcoTSI 1.6 TDI 2.0 TDI

POWER 114bhp 148bhp 114bhp 148bhp

FROM £17,990 £21,015 £20,175 £27,425

TRANSMISSIONS 6-spd manual 6-spd automatic (2.0 TDI 4Drive only)

50 litres

T E C H N I C A L L AYO U T The Ateca shares its MQB platform with the VW Tiguan and upcoming Skoda Yeti and is built in Skoda’s Czech factory. The high-strength steel architecture, with transverse front-mounted engines and a choice of front or Haldex-based four-wheel drive, is by now familiar. Front MacPherson struts and a rear torsion beam feature on front-drive models, with a multi-link back axle gracing the all-wheel-drive versions.


C H A S S I S & B O DY


Construction Weight/as tested Drag coefficient Wheels Tyres

Front, transverse, front-wheel drive Type 4 cyls in line, 1598cc, diesel Made of Aluminium block and head Bore/stroke 79.5/80.5mm Compression ratio 16.2:1 Valve gear 4 per cyl Power 114bhp at 3250-4000rpm Torque 184lb ft at 1500-3250rpm Red line 5200rpm Power to weight 88bhp per tonne Torque to weight 142lb ft per tonne Specific output 71bhp per litre


TRANSMISSION Type 6-spd manual Ratios/mph per 1000rpm 1st 4.11/5.2 2nd 2.11/10.2 3rd 1.36/15.8 4th 0.97/22.1 5th 0.73/29.4 6th 0.59/36.4 Final drive ratio 3.647:1





Front MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar Rear Torsion beam, coil springs, anti-roll bar

Front Rear Anti-lock

ABS, ASR, ESC, XDS, brake assist Euro NCAP crash rating 5 stars Adult occupant 93%, child occupant 84%, pedestrian protection 71%, safety assist 60%



Type Electromechanical, rack and pinion Turns lock to lock 2.7 Turning circle 10.8m

Idle 45dB Max rpm in 3rd gear 75dB 30mph 62dB 50mph 65dB 70mph 68dB

E M I S S I O N S & TA X





MPH 0-30 0-40 0-50 0-60 0-70 0-80 0-90 0-100 0-110 0-120 0-130 0-140 0-150 0-160

MPH 20-40 30-50 40-60 50-70 60-80 70-90 80-100 90-110 100-120 110-130 120-140 130-150 140-160



Town Rural Motorway Average Urban Extra-urban Combined

47.3mpg 61.7mpg 44.1mpg 50.2mpg 60.1mpg 68.9mpg 65.7mpg

Tank size Test range

50 litres 552 miles

TIME (sec) 3.8 5.4 7.8 10.5 14.1 19.0 25.2 35.6 -

2nd 3.1 4.2 -

3rd 5.1 4.6 5.1 6.4 -

4th 6.7 6.8 7.0 7.8 10.0 16.4 -

5th 9.8 10.6 11.8 13.8 -

6th 16.1 14.0 16.5

312mm ventilated discs 272mm solid discs Standard, with brake assist



27mph 82mph 114mph

5200rpm 5200rpm 3879rpm







53mph 114mph 114mph*

5200rpm 5154rpm 3135rpm *claimed

RPM in 6th at 70/80mph = 1925/2200 THE SMALL PRINT Power-to-weight and torque-to-weight figures are calculated using manufacturer’s claimed kerb weight. © 2016, Haymarket Media Group Ltd. Test results may not be reproduced without editor’s written permission. For information on the Ateca, contact Seat UK, Delaware Drive, Blakelands, Milton Keynes MK14 5AN (0500 222 222, Cost-per-mile figures calculated over three years/36,000 miles, including depreciation and maintenance but not insurance; Lex Autolease (0800 389 3690). Insurance quote covers 35-year-old professional male with clean licence and full no-claims bonus living in Swindon; quote from Liverpool Victoria (0800 066 5161, Contract hire figure based on a three-year lease/36,000-mile contract including maintenance; Wessex Fleet Solutions (01722 322888).

CO2 emissions Tax at 20/40% pcm

113g/km £80/£161

Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI SE


Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI SE Value (£1000s)


Steel monocoque 1300kg/1408kg na 7Jx17in 215/55 R17, Hankook Ventus Prime 3 Mobility kit

15 10

Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCI Acenta

5 0 New

1 year

2 years

3 years

4 years

z The Ateca’s new-car buoyancy makes mincemeat of already soft Qashqai values.

R OA D T E S T N o 529 1

Read all of our road tests




MATT SAUNDERS There’s one more trim level we didn’t mention: the First Edition, a high-spec version of the Ateca that’s limited to 200 units in the UK at launch. As we went to press, there were just five examples left.

The new class leader for all the right reasons — desirability included


ollowing the VW Tiguan’s successful debut, we expected much of the Ateca. Frankly, much is needed of it if the brand’s aspirations of steady profitability are to come true. Happily, Seat’s first crossover is an assured accomplishment, instantly establishing its place in a popular, margin-rich segment while also surpassing second and third-generation rivals to boot. Its success ultimately brings to mind the introduction of the VW Up. The likeable city car – also offered as the Seat Mii – didn’t reinvent the class or prove particularly innovative; instead, it shrewdly met buyer expectations in the key areas of practicality, usability, appearance and fuel economy, then neatly exceeded them when it came to the chronically undervalued business of actually driving it. By adopting the same approach, Seat has produced an SUV we both like for the sake of useful comparison and admire full stop. With a family in tow, we’d not only choose it over a Nissan Qashqai but would also be inclined to buy it ahead of a Leon. Which really says it all.


NIC CACKETT If you fit the ‘50plus, wealthy homesteader’ mould to which Seat expects to sell the Ateca, consider the 1.0 TSI. Only 6g/km more than the 1.6 TDI for the same power and a lower price.

S P E C A DV I C E The 1.6 TDI does a fair job, but we’d be inclined to recommend the 2.0 TDI if you’re endlessly ferrying a family around. Fourwheel drive is nice to have but in no way essential to the Ateca’s gratifying driving style.







JOBS FOR T H E FAC E L I F T SEAT ATECA 1.6 TDI ECOMOTIVE SE £21,900 Well rounded, attractive and fine value. Adept and assured driving manners clinch it. AAAAB

NISSAN QASHQAI 1.5 DCI ACENTA £22,360 A wise, appealing choice, but the Ateca nicks it in practical ways — and dynamically. AAAAB

SKODA YETI 2.0 TDI SE L £21,935 Just about to be replaced, although advancing old age doesn’t prevent the Yeti from still being likeable. AAAAC

RENAULT KADJAR 1.5 DCI DYNAMIQUE NAV £22,095 Not quite as compelling as a Qashqai but cheaper and helpfully different to it. AAAAC

V E R D I C T S O N E V E RY N E W C A R , P 82

MAZDA CX-3 1.5 SKYACTIV-D SE L NAV £20,995 Probably the best of the baby crossovers, although it needs petrol power to really shine. AAABC

z Improve refinement, especially of the 1.6 TDI. z Rethink the somber dashboard. Taking a leaf from Skoda’s book wouldn’t hurt. z Offer the multi-link suspension with non-4WD models. The premium would be worth it.







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DASH â&#x20AC;&#x2122;N 40 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 19 OCTOBER 2016


’ CARRY The 537bhp Vauxhall Maloo is one of the quickest load luggers you can buy. But does it do a better job than an Audi RS6 or a Range Rover Sport SVR? Nic Cackett finds out PHOTOGRAPHY STAN PAPIOR


ar journalism, in case you were wondering, is a mostly sedentary job. Long hours, yes; exciting, occasionally. But it is generally accomplished while either sitting behind a steering wheel or laptop, or standing next to a car at a fuel station eating a sandwich. As preparation for any kind of manual labour, it is about as effective as watching Man vs Food from a hospital bed. This much I reflected on last month as B&Q bag of shingle number four made its ungainly way from shelf to trolley via cantilever crane made entirely of yours truly. Why do I need 15 bags of tiny rocks? Well, I don’t. In fact, they’re strewn about Autocar premises even now, violating fire legislation and tripping up elderly photographers. No, what we need is 300kg of old-fashioned ballast: stackable, slideable and, crucially, affordable. And 20kg bags of shingle, it turns out, are as easy on the wallet as they are exceptionally hard on one’s back. We need this because in the B&Q car park, drawing absolutely no attention at all among the builders’ vans and bemused DIYers, is an indefatigable 1676bhp of Aussie, Brit and Bavarian packhorse. Granted, only one actually fits the description – and it’s because of Holden’s (or Vauxhall’s, if you prefer Luton’s pretence) freakish Maloo pick-up that we’ve assembled in Bedford and started buying scenery. We’ve seen HSV’s modified V8-powered ute before, of course, except now, in numbers so small that you’re unlikely to run out of body parts counting them, Vauxhall intends to import this, the R8 LSA. The letters are significant, because they designate the fitment of a supercharger to General Motors’ 6.2-litre V8, meaning that the Maloo now dispatches a gargantuan 537bhp to the rear wheels. That figure is significant, too. Not only is it more than you get in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, but it’s also very nearly as much as the 542bhp twin-turbocharged V6 that Jaguar installed in a humble Ford Transit back in 1989 when it needed somewhere to surreptitiously test the drivetrain that would eventually power the XJ220. To almost equal the output of a supercar test mule pretending to be a commercial vehicle is remarkable. Strewth, it’s downright commendable. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that it’s the quickest


Maloo has the lowest payload, despite its pick-up bodystyle

` You don’t want 15 bags of pebbles entering the cabin at head height a

way of shifting, say, 300kg of shingle in 2016. Because while the Australians have spent their spare time marvelling at the potential of the humble sheep-carrier, the Old World has busied itself force-feeding other formerly utilitarian options: namely, the 4x4 and the estate car. Among 4x4s, none has the gross weight capacity or the expressiveness of the 542bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 of a Range Rover Sport SVR, and in the estate category, the zenith is comprehensively owned

Cackett didn’t think to bring the cars to the bags instead 42 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 19 OCTOBER 2016

by Audi. The RS6 Avant, in its latest Performance guise, is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that develops a barely feasible 597bhp – more than Lamborghini entrusts the rear wheels with in a Huracán LP580-2. Now, you might think that a payload turf war between the three is rendered moot by the sheer size of the Maloo’s rear deck, but that isn’t quite the full story. For one, the pick-up’s plastic-lined load space is hindered in height by its hydraulic hood, and two, its total capacity is limited to around 00kg by the constraints of the modified spension beneath. The RS6, on its standard ir springs and with the seats down, would anage over 100kg more than that. In the SVR, imilarly equipped, you could potentially stow 00kg of shingle if the mood took you. We’ve settled on 300kg because that’s the mount you could conveniently fit into the oot of either the Audi or Range Rover without owering the rear seats. That’s important, ecause what you don’t want when testing -100-0mph is 15 bags of unsecured pebbles ppearing in the cabin at head height. Also, e’re going to time the cars’ performance two p, which puts us in the 500kg ball park in any case. We’ve picked 0-100-0mph because although this is primarily an examination

of old-fashioned brawn, it would surely be nice to know that – unlike, say, a B&Q trolley – your V8-powered juggernaut is as proficient at stopping as it is getting explosively under way. And I do mean explosive. The RS6 is the only car here even vaguely interested in keeping its horse head count under a bushel, and even its closed-valve waffle gives way to a 117dB rasp when prodded at idle. That ought to be news to anyone who actually owns an RS6, because the cabin is so well insulated that its falsetto drawl often appears to be coming from the car in front. At low revs, it barely makes any sound at all, although you know it’s there because something of clearly remarkable proportions is making its near two tonnes of plush fixtures and blistered arches move about like it was a gnat’s rucksack. Persist with the accelerator in any of the early cogs on its automatic gearbox and the RS6 sluices forward with the kind of preposterous shunt that has your chest groaning at the effort of keeping your neck attached. Despite this memorable quality – on a par with the Tesla Model S P90D for its savagery – the Audi manages to seem less overtly antisocial than the SVR, which records a pain-threshold-threatening 125dB on the noise meter. Such outrageousness is apparently part of the Special Vehicles in-your-face manifesto, where the supercharged V8 is as much


443bhp Power difference between the Maloo and a 1.6 CDTi Vauxhall Vivaro van

739kg Payload difference in the Vivaro’s favour

Maloo is rapid but not quite able to keep up with the RS6 torch bearer as engine. In the full-sized Range Rover, the 5.0-litre unit is all distant thunder and catatonic waft. In the SVR, it is unashamedly (mortifyingly) centre stage, all theatric snarl and hot-exhaust pop. The car is a pulsating antidote to the bland theme-park whoosh of most other fast SUVs: not agile, lithe or particularly pointy, but massive, brutal, fast and silly. Not to be outdone on any of those counts, the Maloo’s pushrod powerhouse sends the meter needle to 129dB – somewhat surprising for an engine that doesn’t automatically go in for the SVR’s early-onset histrionics. Most of the time, on the road, it hardly feels as though it is doing any real work at all – certainly not in a blood-curdling, tank-draining kind of way. Instead, like watching a professional darts player sink a yard of ale, it very purposefully and assuredly guzzles skyline. Geared like a boring machine through a rugged six-speed manual (an auto is also available), the Maloo seems like it’s at a perpetual fast canter, but if you watch other traffic or – God forbid – the speedo, you soon come to realise that you’re accumulating speed like a tachyon particle. Little of what the R8 does is sophisticated, but to lump it in with the sort of pick-ups common in the UK is unfair. The Maloo is essentially a car underneath (specifically the Holden Commodore), and on independent rear suspension and passive springs, it rides with rambling, heavyset confidence – one specifically unafraid of its engine’s drawn-out clout or its inevitable focus on the rear axle. Placing 300kg on top of it drops the arches by about an inch and a half and reduces the ◊

Each is capable in corners, but the Maloo offers added rear-drive entertainment 19 OCTOBER 2016 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 43


` The Maloo manages 5.0sec to 60mph and 0-100-0mph in 15.6sec a Δ back end’s tendency to slip laterally, although the chassis is sufficiently well sorted for you to miss its low-speed playfulness. Amusingly, the Maloo comes with launch control. It’s wired directly into the car’s Performance mode. Select first gear, open the throttle wide and promptly come off the clutch. Easy. Amazingly, though, it doesn’t really need it. Even with the electronic aids switched off and a club foot on, the Maloo pounces forward – with wheels spinning, admittedly, but in a mix of flamboyance and exertion and not in an uncontrolled squandering of 495lb ft of torque. The traction being developed is admirable. Better still, its whereabouts is tangibly fed back through the pedals and is therefore pleasingly exploitable. Unencumbered on Millbrook proving ground’s mile straight, with a very warm clutch and a brimmed tank, the Maloo manages 5.0sec to 60mph and 0-100-0mph in 15.6sec. Under load, helped along by a first cog that’ll have you doing 50mph alone, the pick-up is just 0.8sec slower in the sprint, and a little over 2.0sec slower in

getting back to nought. So by the time you hit 100mph, each additional 100kg is adding around half a second to the pick-up’s time. Under braking, despite some ingratiating messiness and the unsettling noise of a load redistributing itself, the Vauxhall is just 0.2sec later in returning to a standstill. Managing to outrun a Honda Civic Type R to 100mph while lugging enough stone to pebble-dash a small house is rousing, and with the SVR carrying more than 400kg of additional weight before we even think about loading it up, it’s hard to see the Range Rover turning its fourwheel-drive benefit into a significant advantage. Wrong. Although the SVR refuses to replicate its maker’s 4.5sec-to-60mph claim, it still manages 4.7sec, and 16.1sec for 0-100-0mph. It does this without launch control, but without a hint of wheelspin, either. And with its eight ZF ratios stacked like dominoes, the V8 spinning quicker and no delay required for upshifts, the Range Rover romps through the challenge like a silverback crashing through bamboo. Turn the gorilla into hod-carrier, though, and

it’s a slightly different story. With ballast and passenger aboard, the SVR is still 0.5sec quicker to 60mph than the pick-up – but by 100mph, the lighter, longer-geared Maloo has reeled it all the way back in, and because the Range Rover takes almost 5.5sec of pitching to shudder to a halt, the Maloo stops 0.2sec quicker, too. Round two to the Aussie. Round three, though, lasts precisely 3.4sec, the absurdly small slither of time it takes for the RS6 to bludgeon its way to 60mph. That’s without the ballast, of course, but 13.1sec to do 0-100-0mph is absurdly quick for a two-tonne car. Even 15 shingle bags and a colleague to the good, it is the best part of a second quicker than the empty SVR to 60mph. To 100mph, it’s 3.0sec ahead of the Maloo. It even gains an extra 0.5sec advantage over both in the braking. The Audi’s ability to snatch a bit at the steering wheel, bite, blurt and then tumble into a wormhole is probably unrivalled among fivedoor equivalents. Or to put it another way, if we generously call 300kg three extra occupants, the RS6 owner could rest assured knowing that each ◊

Range Rover Sport’s 542bhp supercharged V8 is big on drama; supercharged 6.2-litre V8 in the Maloo dispenses 537bhp; Audi’s twin-turbocharged V8 puts out a mighty 597bhp 19 OCTOBER 2016 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 45



0 - 60MPH 0 -100 - 0MPH 0 -100MPH 3 0 -70 M P H


5.0sec 15.6sec 10.5sec 3.7sec


AU D I R S 6






5.8sec 17.8sec 12.5sec 4.3sec

4.7sec 16.1sec 11.0sec 4.1sec

5.3sec 17.9sec 12.5sec 4.7sec

3.4sec 13.0sec 7.8sec 2.8sec

3.4sec 14.1sec 9.0sec 3.3sec

LSA only increases the Maloo’s oddball charm. A very physical prospect to drive — which is absolutely as it should be

Maloo is lighter than the SVR and mostly quicker when laden


Δ additional rugby-playing passenger is only going to worsen his passage to the national speed limit by just 0.1sec. That’s staggering, and testament to the overboost-enabled 553lb ft of torque that its V8 is apportioning between the axles from 2500rpm. So it’s the quickest, which by the rules of the day makes it the best. No arguments about that – and were my house at one end of a runway and my place of work (or shingle outlet) at the other, it would be a sensational place to sink the best part of £90k. Which is not to suggest that the car has a problem with corners. It doesn’t. Moving the steering wheel away from the straight-ahead barely seems to concern the drivetrain. Problem is, it barely concerns you, either. Compared with either rival, the quiet, cosseting RS6 is as distant as Sydney. Perhaps that’s for the best. Its performance wouldn’t be nearly so road applicable if the chassis telegraphed the effort of containing it. But it does mean that by the time you’ve slowed to a half-sane speed for fear of rear-ending a tractor, the Audi is about as compelling as an email spam folder.



No more introverted than the Maloo; goes like a Paris-Dakar car and could shift a Highland bull Like the exterior styling and its V8, there’s nothing shy or retiring about the SVR inside

You’ll pay £30k-£40k less for a Maloo LSA than its rivals here, and it shows in the cabin


Quicker than a 911 Carrera even with a boot full of shingle, it’s an Exocet missile with seats

RS6 presents its driver with a picture of calm, ordered good taste and a sense of quality My soft spot is reserved instead for the Maloo: second place when stashed with rocks, almost a Caterham Seven lighter than the SVR anyway and practically half its price, at £55k. “Making the motoring world a happier place” is the description we cooked up for it a few years ago, and the LSA’s blood rush only amplifies the sentiment. True, the fact that it resists pigeon-holing is due in part to its limitations (the payload restrictions make it a less than brilliant pick-up), but that hardly curtails the nuts and bolts fun that can be had simply tooling around in the thing. Its singular weirdness means it swerves the entitled sense of bling that afflicts the SVR, and although its peculiar niche is absolutely more Cadillac-sized than Ford Mustang, outwardly it takes itself no more seriously than a Foster’s commercial. The Range Rover’s own knowing sense of outlandishness is complicated by its habit of projecting driver enthusiasm as more impatient sneer than happy grin. Too often, the V8 feels like it’s supercharging the negative aspects of

the brand image alongside the performance, contemptuously ridiculing everything not up to its scale, volume or speed. What saves it from obnoxiousness is the roundedness of the experience from behind the ideally weighted steering wheel. Unlike the RS6 or the Maloo, the SVR doesn’t feel like it has been modified to suit a big engine; it

RATING Price Engine Power Torque Gearbox Kerb weight 0-62mph Top speed Economy CO2 emissions

feels like it was built around one – built big and tall and heavy and tangible so that you feel the V8’s almighty tempo in every surge, sway, lean, yaw and lurch. Double the shingle and although it would be slower still, none of what makes the SVR great would diminish one jot. Thriftless labour-saving comes in no more likeable format. L

Range Rover Sport SVR

Vauxhall Maloo R8 LSA

Audi RS6 Performance

AAAAA £95,150 V8, 5000cc, supercharged, petrol 542bhp at 6000rpm 502lb ft at 3500-4000rpm 8-spd automatic 2333kg 4.5sec 162mph 22.1mpg (combined) 298g/km

AAAAC £54,520 V8, 6162cc, supercharged, petrol 537bhp at 6150rpm 495lb ft at 3850rpm 6-spd manual 1869kg 4.6sec 155mph 18.5mpg (combined) 363g/km

AAAAC £85,085 V8, 3993cc, twin-turbo, petrol 597bhp at 6100-6800rpm 516lb ft at 1750-6000rpm 8-spd automatic 1950kg 3.7sec 155mph 29.4mpg (combined) 223g/km


‘This is a company of honourable people’ As Volkswagen dusts itself down in the wake of the emissions scandal, Jim Holder at last meets Herbert Diess, the man responsible for restoring the firm’s reputation PHOTOGRAPHY LUC LACEY

Diess with the electric ID concept that will be a key part of VW’s future 48 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 19 OCTOBER 2016

HERBERT DIESS INTERVIEW China’s demand for EVs is helping to fuel VW’s strategy







Damage from the emissions scandal is still being repaired he security is discreet but notably present, the office down a pure white corridor of Volkswagen’s Paris show stand. Inside, it’s cool, calm and ordered. Standing before me is the man I’ve been asking for a year to speak to, tieless, smiling and welcoming. You’d never guess he faces one of the biggest challenges in corporate history – but, charged with restoring VW’s fortunes, that is exactly what is confronting company chairman Herbert Diess. Perhaps the weight on his shoulders has been lifted for now by the reveal of the ID concept, VW’s take on the electric car of 2020. With a target range of 260 real-world miles, clever packaging that offers the space of a Passat in a Golf-sized footprint and a predicted price in line with the equivalent diesel, it offers an enticing view of the future that even the arch VW sceptic – of which there are now many – must pay heed. The ID represents much more than just a new car: it’s a statement, both of intent and a path to a brighter future. Having come through the darkest days of the emissions scandal, and notwithstanding more dark days to come, it’s as clear a signal as VW could give that it intends to come back fighting, not just as a new, improved version of itself but as a reinvented version of itself. “To be honest, the company we are becoming is a bit closer to my style,” Diess says, before turning


apologetically to the PR minder. “To be completely honest, the company could be described as a bit overstated in former years. Now, humility is a word I choose to use. This is not a company of criminals. It is a company of good, honourable people. What happened was morally wrong, but we are prepared to change and prove there is a reason for customers to stick with us. But we have a lot of work to do to restore faith.” For some, there will be no apology that is strong enough. Nor is it lost on me that Diess is available to talk only now that he has a positive story to tell. But he’s sincere and prepared to look you in the eye as he acknowledges, albeit carefully and as briefly as he realistically can without being accused of trying to brush over the subject, the errors of the past, the tumultuous emotions he went through as the scandal unfolded and the scale of the problems ahead. “Disbelief, shock – I experienced the same emotions as people watching the story unfold,” he acknowledges. “But when you are responsible for a company that you believe is honourable and trustworthy to its core then you have to regroup, to look forward. It will take time; comparisons with car companies that have experienced big scandals in the past suggest at least two years, but I think three to four. But this is a brand that has a lot to offer. We’ve had a lot of negativity; now I hope we can turn a corner.” It’s no coincidence that the ◊

` The brand has a lot to offer. We’ve had a lot of negativity; now we can turn a corner a


VW is targeting a 260-mile real-world range for the ID

4 years Diess believes it will take this long for VW to put the emissions scandal behind it and restore its reputation

Δ family of production electric vehicles the ID will spawn will start to come on stream from 2020, when Diess’s ‘four years of pain’ prediction is up. Given the minuscule sales of electric vehicles in the past four years, it seems an unlikely technology on which the world’s largest car maker (on a group level) should be pinning its hopes for the future. Diess and his army of experts, though, see things very differently. “Time is changing everything,” he shrugs. “It’s evident that VW’s slow

By 2020, EVs will cost no more to make than conventional cars 50 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 19 OCTOBER 2016

start with electro-mobility was the right strategy, but there are strong indications that by 2020 we’ll be at a tipping point, where the costs of manufacturing can be comparable to conventional cars, the infrastructure will be in place and so on. Get it right and the electric car can be very desirable in a few years’ time. “Combine that with growing market demand – notably in China, where we are strong with a 14% market share and where there is enormous pressure for electric

vehicles – and you get the motivation to push. And at that point you must ask if you are there to play or there to do the best you can. If the conditions are right and the demand around the world is good enough for one million electric car sales a year, which is what we are predicting, then there’s a case for making the bespoke platform, which is what we’re doing. We think that if you use a platform designed to take all kinds of powertrains, you are too compromised; eventually you will not be able to compete.” That sounds like a not-so-subtle dig at the opposition (who in many cases are just as happy to hit back that they don’t have to wait until 2020 for their ground-breaking electric cars, which they’re selling today), but Diess also implicitly hints that the threat from newcomers to the car

industry, such as Apple, Google and Dyson, is what keeps him up at night. “I fear new companies more than the existing ones,” he says. “Starting from new, with an architecture designed for electric propulsion, opens so many possibilities. There’s none of the complexity of integrating powertrains, testing every component in every way in every condition. None of it. The cycles they will be able to build to will be shorter. How much shorter I have an idea but won’t say – but much faster than those of traditional car companies.” Cracking electro-mobility is a challenge facing the entire industry, but Diess’s to-do list doesn’t end with the Dieselgate fallout and the need for a game-changing EV strategy. He cites Europe and China as the only major regions where VW is strong,

` Diess’s to-do list doesn’t end with the Dieselgate fallout and the need for an EV strategy a

HERBERT DIESS INTERVIEW for instance, but sees an onslaught of SUV launches, starting with the new Tiguan but expanding to include a new Touareg, a US-only large SUV and a smaller, Polo-based SUV, as having global appeal. By global, he includes the US, despite the brand’s post-scandal reputation there. “In fact, our reputation is recovering there faster than in Europe,” he says. “With the products we have coming, I am certain we can take advantage of the opportunity in the US.” And there’s more. Diess is on a strategy to turn around VW’s famously slim profit margins and has been locked in a battle with Germany’s unions for months over labour productivity and pay issues, while looking for “simplifications” elsewhere, probably leading to the cull of some cars. “The next Golf range will have fewer variants,” he says. “We have to get a greater focus on cost-effectiveness and be more agile and innovative in our thinking. Combined with the SUVs, which are high-contribution models, these things give us clear goals and open the opportunity to invest around ¤2 billion into the new world.” Finally, Diess must lead VW into the new world being outlined by VW Group boss Matthias Müller. That means decentralising control – giving regions more control over strategy and products and creating platform ‘super-managers’ who will be given the freedom to act more entrepreneurially in future. It all sounds simple as a philosophy, but enacting it across a group with more than 600,000 employees is a mammoth task – especially for a firm that has previously been so famously German-centric in its approach. “The company was very functional and very hierarchical,” says Diess. “That will change.” If the scale of the task ahead daunts Diess, he neither shows it nor shirks from acknowledging that no amount of good work in the future will restore VW’s reputation unless the Dieselgate fallout is first sorted. He’s also strong in his conviction that European customers won’t get compensation. “The situation in the US is much more complex,” he says. “We can’t provide a fix that generates the same fuel consumption, noise or vibration levels. In Europe it is a 15-minute update with guarantees of the same figures.” Even so, he is contrite in his apology: “We must fix the problems and behave well. Then we must convince people of the qualities of our current engines. Studies show they are among the very cleanest in the real world. We face a time in the shadows while we fix that, but if we can emerge from that, we have good product coming that will allow us to compete with premium brands at accessible prices. There are lots of arguments to buy our cars. I’m confident we’ll emerge from this with a company that will be better.” L

W H Y V W D E S I G N S H AV E T O C H A N G E The ID concept has stayed true to early design sketches

WHEN I MEET Volkswagen design boss Klaus Bischoff in a windowless room at the Paris show, he’s been on duty for six hours, talking to hundreds of journalists about the ID concept. He says he’s not tired. “I could never get tired talking about design,” he says with a touch of defiance. Bischoff has been at VW for 26 years and head of VW brand design for a decade. His first project was the development of the Mk3 Golf, starting in 1989. It was a rocky project, with the final production cars lacking some of the production precision of its evergreen predecessor. By the time the Mk3 Golf was in production, VW was going through a period of serious financial stress. Bischoff is arguably a veteran of bad times, then, but like many other VW bosses, he will only refer to the Dieselgate scandal in the most glancing manner. But while the ID is taking all the attention, Bischoff still has to oversee VW’s huge range of conventional cars. While the ID is one model line, he remains responsible for the next Golf, which is arguably financially much more important, as well as everything from city cars to big SUVs. When asked what will happen with VW’s conventionally powered models, Bischoff looks serious. “They will be more progressive, more elegant, more expressive and

unique,” he says. “Nobody,” he adds, looking under a furrowed brow at his PR shadow, “could say that about the old Tiguan.” He talks about the stance and standing of the new model, the big wheels and the ‘face’ formed by the LED running lights. It’s true: the new Tiguan does make the old version look very tired and apologetic. As with the latest Passat, VW’s new design language casts its cars as much wider and much more imposing. The crispness of the panel pressings and the linear strips of brightwork are designed to accentuate VW’s expertise on body fit and finish. But Bischoff’s lines about cars that are “emotional and progressive” are also a direct acknowledgement that selling conventional cars to often hard-pressed global consumers will become increasingly difficult. New cars have to look just that: fresh, modern and very striking. They have to reflect the money being spent, no matter what the showroom price (as Nissan’s new Micra amply demonstrates). Perhaps it’s no surprise that US sales of chunky SUVs and crossovers are booming while sales of conventionally styled cars are collapsing. We’re in the era of no-apology, in-your-face styling. HILTON HOLLOWAY

Bischoff (on left) says future VWs will be more elegant


£100 PE R WE E K

You might be surprised at the sort of new car you can put on your driveway for £100 per week or less, once you’ve laid down a deposit. Andrew Frankel picks out 15 top choices


YOURS FOR £100 A WEEK NEW CARS ne hundred pounds. What will that get you these days? A tank of diesel for your large SUV, most (but not all) of a one-way anytime train fare from London to Cardiff or, if the papers are to be believed, the fine for outstaying your welcome in a McDonald’s car park. Or were you prepared to pay as much on a weekly basis and stump up a deposit of varying size, £100 is all you need to park a fine new car outside your house, ideally suited to whatever your heart desires or head requires your daily driver to be. Think about that: think how easy it is to blow that amount on a Saturday night once you’ve had a few drinks, dinner and a taxi home. And you won’t even wake up with a hangover. The truth is, the way we buy cars has been changing for some time now. Today, fewer and fewer people subscribe to the old model of walking in to a showroom and buying a car outri ht with either their own or the


bank’s money. Instead, they choose to pay a deposit and a weekly sum and then, after a fixed period of time, give the car back and choose another. These personal contract purchases (PCPs) are popular because the sums involved are low relative to a hire purchase agreement, because you’re not buying the car bit by bit. They’re also flexible, so at the end of the deal you have the choice of returning the car, trading it in or buying it outright for a pre-agreed price. But what to get? This guide to just some of the cars that can be yours for £100 per week will give you an idea or two. Bear in mind, though, that these are just some of literally thousands of deals. For instance, almost all those offering PCPs will provide a sliding scale balancing the initial deposit against repayments. So if you’re cash rich but income poor, you might fancy paying a lot up front to minimise the repayments and, naturally, it works the other wa too. ◊

` Think how easy it is to blow £100 on a Saturday night a

£83 That’s the weekly payment for a MercedesBenz GLC220d SE on a 36-month/30,000-mile PCP contract after a £6651 deposit


Fun cars


Focus is easy to drive fast, even in these conditions


as a small increase in torque steer actually help lend character to the car, while the cut-down springs and different damper settings provide a new level of surefootedness, even in the wet. But where it really reverts to the old school is what happens when you enter a corner just fast enough to warrant trailing the throttle into the apex. In a instant, the expected understeer vanishes and you can literally feel the inside rear wheel part company with the road. Then, once it has bitten as far into the apex as you want, you just need to reapply the throttle to rocket away again. It doesn’t require much skill and it does provide bucketloads of fun. As much as the BRZ on the same road? Probably not, but rare is the front-drive hatch that can come close the levels of driver involvement offered by a properly balanced reardrive coupé. Different suspension settings mean its GT86 sister is even more, er, expressive on the limit, but we fractionally prefer the BRZ approach, which still provides as much oversteer as you’d ever want on a public road with a little more traction away from the apex. If ever there was a car to remind you that it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going as long as you’re having fun, this is it. The BRZ may be slow in a straight line – and, yes, we’d prefer it to be a little quicker – but there’s still more pure driving pleasure to be had here at entirely legal speeds than you’d find in most cars at speeds that could land you in a whole heap of trouble. And all, let’s not forget, for £100 per week.







£5000 £385.11* R E N AU LT C L I O R S 220 T R O P H Y




£3500 £385.00 * 12,000 miles

(Based on a 36-month contract and a 10,000mile-a-year limit unless otherwise stated)

RARELY WILL A PCP appear to be better value than when offering this much fun for such a small weekly outlay. To our way of thinking, the Ford Focus RS is the most entertaining hatchback on sale, with the vastly improved Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy not as far behind as the difference in their deposits suggests. As for the Subaru BRZ, it could have as easily been a Toyota GT86, two of the most indulgent, purest-handling cars any amount of money can buy, let alone £100 per week. On wet Welsh mountain roads, where we drove these three, the Ford’s monstrous 345bhp potential, deployed via the medium of fourwheel drive, provided for point-topoint pace that made the other two look like pedal cars by comparison. What was so impressive about it was not the pure pace but how easily accessible it proved to be. This is not a remotely difficult car to drive quickly even in compromised conditions, and despite its reputation for being a drift king, it’s actually quite economical with the space that it uses on the public road. Indeed, it will only indulge the hooligan side of its nature if you delve into its sub-menus and select the appropriate drive modes and then provoke it when you drive. It is not conceivably something you could stumble across by accident. As for the Clio, with its Trophy chassis, 20bhp hike and quicker shifts and steering, it is now getting back towards the territory we have always expected hot Renault hatchbacks to inhabit. Faults such


` To our way of thinking, the Ford Focus RS is the most entertaining hatchback on sale a All three provide a rewarding level of driver involvement

You can feel it when the Renault Sport Clio lifts a rear wheel 19 OCTOBER 2016 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 55

SLC (on left) is an easy-going car; TT is more fun to drive

THERE’S A WIDER range than you might imagine for the outlay. Cars that caught our attention were Mercedes-Benz’s recently revised SLC (née SLK), the all-new Audi TT Roadster and the class-defying Range Rover Evoque Convertible. Of the three, we’d probably choose the TT. With a new lightweight hybrid aluminium and steel structure, a smart new interior and a chassis tuned for more than merely 50 shades of understeer, this third generation is, for the first time, coming close to being as good to drive as it is to be seen in. The Evoque is a curious car. Heavy, visually less attractive than its crossover sisters, expensive and with much reduced luggage space, it is nevertheless very well engineered, still pleasant to drive and guaranteed to suck all the attention off whichever pavement you happen to be passing. There’s nothing else quite like it out there, which adds to its appeal. The SLC, meanwhile, is an easygoing, laid-back kind of convertible for those who care to cut a dash but don’t demand any kind of ultimate driving experience. The value here comes not from how it handles on the limit, but how it feels in your hands and how you feel in its.











£12,500 £398.95 M E RCE D ES - B E NZ S LC200 S PO RT



(Based on a 36-month contract and a 10,000mile-a-year limit unless otherwise stated)



Open-top Evoque requires a £12.5k deposit to qualify


Electric and hybrid cars

Outlander PHEV’s appeal includes very low running costs















(Based on a 36-month contract and a 10,000mile-a-year limit unless otherwise stated)

THERE ARE SOME great deals to be done here, not least because electric and plug-in hybrid cars haven’t exactly taken off as anticipated and still represent an inconveniently niche corner of the market. But if one of these cars suits your lifestyle, take advantage of the deals to be done. You could, for instance, have a BMW i3 for £100 per week plus a sensible deposit and drive what remains by far the best electric compact car on the market. The deal looks especially appealing once you consider that it also includes the range-extender motor, which provides anxiety-free everyday motoring. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) has been a runaway success, not because it’s an outstandingly great car in its own right but because there’s nothing else quite like it out there and its running costs are very low. Or there’s the Nissan Leaf, the first truly credible all-electric car on sale. True, it was eclipsed by the i3 the moment the BMW went on sale, but the deals are extraordinary: you can have one for £100 per week without even paying a deposit.

Leaf can be had with no deposit; i3 REX is an anxiety-free EV 19 OCTOBER 2016 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 57

Discovery Sport (on right) and GLC are desirable choices

GIVEN THEIR HIGH list prices, huge image and the mass of metal available for your money, you might think premium SUVs would be far from the menu of the £100 per week shopper. But as our examples here show, if you can wear a chunky deposit, you can drive a new prestige off-roader for far less than logic might initially suggest. The choice is wide, but we’d start with the Jaguar F-Pace, complete with new Ingenium 2.0-litre diesel engine. This is an extraordinary effort for Jaguar’s first SUV, especially as it’s not based on an existing platform from sister brand Land Rover, and a poke in the eye for those who said ‘Jaguar’ and ‘SUV’ could never sit comfortably in the same sentence. In the F-Pace’s class, only the Porsche Macan is better. Land Rover’s Discovery Sport is now so good that you’ll scarcely believe there’s old Ford architecture underpinning it. Good to drive, comfortable and available with seven seats, the Sport advances the case of the old Freelander from which it’s derived by several leagues. It’s pricey but worth it. The same can be said for the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Merc is playing catch-up in this market, having taken the short-sighted decision to ignore the right-hand-drive mid-sized SUV market with its GLK predecessor. But the attractive, beautifully built GLC, with its class-leading cabin, is making up the ground fast.


F-Pace 2.0D is £90 a week if you make a sizeable deposit















(Based on a 36-month contract and a 10,000mile-a-year limit unless otherwise stated)
















(Based on a 36-month contract and a 10,000mile-a-year limit unless otherwise stated)


Think of the Kadjar as a Qashqai in distinctive clothing

Crossovers YOU WILL KNOW these cars are all the rage these days, blessed with (or blighted by, depending on your perspective) the ability to offer at least something of almost everything that anyone ever needed a car to have. They are among the most popular cars on sale these days. As a result, PCP deals are common and comparable, so make sure you pick the one that suits you best. We’ll start with the Nissan Qashqai, the car that near enough jump-started the entire crossover sector and the one whose runawaytrain sales figures made all the others realise they had little choice but to follow its lead. We think it still makes a lot of sense in a now crowded marketplace, with its good looks, robust (British) build and a level of driver involvement that’s better

Qashqai: the original and, many buyers still say, the best

than average in an admittedly rather underachieving category. Or there is a rather new kid on the block in the form of the Qashqai’s alter ego, the Renault Kadjar. Based on the same underpinnings as the Qashqai but not yet so ubiquitous, it offers you a better chance of standing out from the crowd for no notable loss of talent across all abilities. But perhaps your eyes are lifting skyward, towards the premium brands and something a little different. BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer redirects the crossover theme more in the MPV direction and with notable success, thanks to an excellent range of engines, versatile interior and the class-leading ride and handling you might expect from a BMW, even one with front-wheel drive based on a platform developed for Mini. L

BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer offers a more MPV take

P E R S O N A L C O N T R AC T P U R C H A S E : H O W T O G E T I T R I G H T Q Always work out the entire cost of the plan, including not just what you’ll be paying each month but also the deposit. Remember also that PCPs frequently last for as little as two years or as long as four. QThe size of the initial deposit and amount paid each month are inextricably linked; the less you pay for one, the more you’ll pay for the other. Make

sure that the plan you choose is the right one for you.

it may be cheaper and better to take out an HP plan instead.

then get clobbered for every additional one they cover.

Q Companies offering PCPs must also allow you to buy the car outright at the end of the contract period and for a sum agreed at the time of the contract guaranteeing its future value. However, this has the effect of turning the PCP into a hire purchase (HP) agreement and, in such cases,

Q Beware excess mileage charges. Have a good idea about how many miles you’re likely to drive each year, and if the plan doesn’t cover that with space to spare, take care. PCP companies make a huge amount of money from people who don’t have a realistic approach to mileage and

Q Check what is and isn’t covered. Most include road tax and some include servicing. Few include wear and tear. How much will it cost you if you return the car with scratched paint or damaged alloy wheels? Q Remember that if you plan to keep the car, or even want

to retain that option, it may still make more sense to buy it outright if you can afford to, especially with lending rates at their current historic lows. Q As in all important deals, don’t be seduced by the idea of a shiny new car wearing the latest plate until you have done all the maths, checked the small print and made sure the deal makes sense for you.


SETTING THE STAGE Thanks to a British company, an all-electric junior rally series is on the horizon. Sam Sheehan heads to Wales to find out more PHOTOGRAPHY LUC LACEY


WATCH THE VIDEO ingle-seaters have Formula E, touring cars will soon have Electric GT and bikes have MotoE. But so far rallying has had nothing to bring to the electric table. A few independent electric entries into events such as the Dakar Rally have shown the potential of electronfuelled rallying, but no electric-only series exists. That could soon change, however, because a small British company wants to lead the way by establishing the world’s first electric rallying championship. Fife-based eRally already has support from UK motorsport’s governing body, the MSA, and it hopes to offer electric rally cars to compete in junior rallying in the next year or two. The key to securing this future comes in the form of a Renault Zoe, which has been transformed



into a prototype electric rally car by the eRally team. Company founder and ex-British Rally Championship driver Ellya Gold headed up the project, with input from Formula 1000 junior rally series chairman Tristan Dodd and Stavtec Rally Prep, based near Aberdeen. On a damp morning at Glan-yGors kart track in north Wales, we meet Gold to find out why the eRally Zoe could be the catalyst electric rallying needs to get off the ground.

T O R Q U E A DVA N TAG E Because of the high torque levels of electric motors, EV powertrains are very well suited to rallying, even before any modifications are made. “The Zoe is very much still under development, so the powertrain is completely standard,” says Gold. “Renault has produced it with a big safety margin, though, so there’s a lot more to come from it.” Gold says torque is king on a rally stage, so the Zoe’s instantly available

` This would make a fine tool for a rally hopeful to cut his teeth in a

162lb ft will be useful in competition. A more conventional junior rally car, such as a 1.0-litre Peugeot 107, is close to 100lb ft down on this, illustrating the Zoe’s advantage. “We’ve stripped something like 100kg out of the cabin, so the car weighs just over 1300kg,” says Gold. “It’s definitely quicker than standard now, but the infotainment is still in there, as is all of the wiring to go with it, so it can go faster still.”

L O W C E N T R E O F G R AV I T Y Another natural feature of an EV is its low centre of gravity. With batteries stored in the floor, the majority of the Zoe’s mass is located just above the wheel line, giving it surprisingly good agility. “We’ve fitted competition suspension and competition tarmac rally tyres to the car, and it handles really well,” says Gold. “It’s been set


GORDON SHEDDEN The Honda Yuasa Racing driver came from behind at Brands Hatch to win his third BTCC title

Roll cage and missing trim aside, the car is standard

up to be quite forgiving and neutral, so you can really enjoy driving it.” The biggest disadvantage of a floor packed with batteries is a raised seating position. Even with a pair of proper racing buckets fitted, the seating position is comparable with that of a regular road hot hatch. But let’s not forget I’m a fully grown man; slip a 14-year-old into the same seat and they’d probably welcome the more elevated driving position.

suppliers. It does, of course, feature a stripped-out interior with a full roll cage, buckets seats and harnesses, but aside from that and the chassis mods, much of the car is as it was when it left the factory. As such, eRally reckons it could build other Zoes for as little as £10,000. “This assumes we get a series sponsor on board to subsidise the costs, but we’re working hard to achieve this,” adds Gold.

CHEAP BUILD AND RUNNING COSTS If you peeled back the stickers and ignored the competition wheels, the eRally Zoe could easily be mistaken for a bog standard car. Like regular petrol-powered Formula 1000 junior rally cars, it wears standard bodywork, so spare parts can be bought from the mass market rather than specialist (read: pricey)

E ASY TO D RIVE Setting off in the eRally Zoe is a remarkably simple procedure. Most competition cars require the flicking of several switches before the engine can be started, but in the eRally Zoe, you use the original Renault key card and dashboard start button. Glan-y-Gors is a narrow, technical track that rewards late braking and smooth lines, and the Zoe makes

achieving both incredibly easy. The Zoe is agile but not snappy, zippy out of corners but not lightning fast down the straight and ultraconsistent, and even after a dozen laps I can see this would make a fine tool for a young rallying hopeful to cut his or her teeth in. “Once we remove the traction control and ABS, it’ll be even more fun to drive,” says Gold. “We also want to add adjustable regenerative braking to better train drivers how to make the most of electric power.” Even in this early demonstrator, it’s clear the potential for electric junior rallying is there. With the consumer automotive market readying itself for an electric future, really it’s only a matter of time before electric rallying is born. And thanks to eRally’s efforts, Britain could soon find itself at the forefront of the movement. L

In the final race, you had to overtake Sam to win the title. What was the plan? “When one of your challengers is right in front of you on the grid and the other one is right behind, you have to just get your head down and see what happens. In the race he was slipping and sliding a bit and I knew I had to get on with it and make it count.” At the midway point of the season you were ninth in the points. How difficult has it been to fight back? “There has to be an easier way to win a championship than this. We were shocking at Croft and I thought it was lost, but we stuck to the task and I’ve given it everything. The Civic Type R has been great. We’ve been tweaking it all the time, trying to get the best out of it.” How does this championship feel compared with your titles in 2012 and last year? “The first one was phenomenal; last year was a rollercoaster of emotion. This year it didn’t feel like I was going to win it until I was a lap from home. Then it was a release of emotion. I’ve risked everything this year, been on the edge more often than not, but every one of those bold moves has been necessary.” Do you think you’ll be able to pull off a fourth crown next year? “We’re going to have to make this car even faster for next year. The Subaru has been strong, the BMW and the Ford are there as well; we have to get on with it and improve massively over the winter.”



Smooth lines and late braking come easily in the Zoe

For the second year in succession you won the title at the final race. How stressful was it? “I was actually really relaxed, because I didn’t think it was going to happen. With Sam Tordoff ahead on points, with the ballast and reversed grids and so on, I thought it was going to be really difficult.”

YO U R V I E WS WRITE TO Discovery going soft?


Steve Cropley is bang on with his comments on the new Land Rover Discovery (News, 5 October). Not only is this Land Rover losing its rugged looks, but the company is also moving from distinctive, individual models to a range of similar-looking cars of different sizes. What a shame. I fear for the Defender.

Mark Peaker Hong Kong

By design or coincidence?

Steve Butterworth Via email

Paris motor show picks The new Land Rover Discovery looks a bit ‘samey’ in relation to the rest of the range, although the Discovery 4 is finally looking dated. The launch might be helped by a heavy-duty variant with a winch and so on. The Honda Civic Type R looks menacing, but in your Paris show report you featured it adjacent to the new Hyundai RN30 concept, which rather made the Honda look puny. The Renault Trezor looks awesome, a cross between the Pink Panther car and a modern-day ‘Silver Arrow’ Mercedes-Benz. The only blemish on it was the Renault badge; surely this must be an Alpine. Ben Marshall West Yorkshire

My Paris favourites I attended the Paris show, my first international motor show. The effort put into the event was awesome. In no particular order, my favourite cars were the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Peugeot 3008, Mercedes E-Class, Vauxhall Astra, Toyota Prius and Peugeot 308, which demonstrates that Peugeot is back in the game. My bottom five is the Kia Cee’d, Vauxhall Corsa and Suzuki Baleno for sheer boringness, the Renault Clio for its Airfix interior quality and the Land Rover Discovery for its loss of distinctiveness. Simon Thompson Saintfield

More door furore I agree with Richard Penna on the look of the leading door edge on the Aston Martin DB11 (Your Views,

Having done a few thousand miles in my new F-Pace, I hope Jaguar and the police can see its potential as a police car. It has enough room for burly cops and all their kit, it handles well without being tiringly firm an the 3.0-litre diesel is fast enough and economical Four-wheel drive offers all-weather and some off-road ability, while the 500mm wading depth and the raised driving position rounds off the car’s abilities. Plus, and this should clinch it, it’s about as British as a car can be these days.

Letter of the week wins this ValetPRO exterior protection and maintenance kit worth £58.95

5 October). It looks like a badly stretched Jaguar F-Type Coupé. Said 007 to Q: “I am not driving that! How about a McLaren 570S?” Philip Lunn Tunbridge Wells

Goodbye halo The next-gen Civic Type R looks astonishing. Honda’s apparent determination to retake the frontdrive production car record at the Nürburgring has left the car looking cartoon-like – and not in a good way. Could this be the ultimate halo model? I wouldn’t be seen dead driving it, let alone owning one. Like most addictions, Honda’s track fixation looks to be ultimately ruinous (like the Type R’s ride). More grown-ups are needed in the design and product planning departments.

Lack of Brex appeal So many media sources have fallen for the delusional ‘we can have our

I couldn’t help but notice the uncanny, if not weird, similarity between the ‘winged motif’ forming the dashboard of the BMW i8 and the nose of the Honda NSX in your comparison test (‘Back With the Future’, 28 September). The common shape almost hints at some universal significance. What does it mean? If it’s about aero, what’s it doing inside the cabin? Or is this about brand identity lost in a current trend? With internationally minded regulations, markets, parts suppliers and, crucially, design schools, it’s no wonder cars and their components are starting to look rather alike. Richard Liebowitz Falmouth, Cornwall

It seems that a swoopy flourish is all the rage inside and out, Richard – MB

Steamy windows I recently bought a two-year-old BMW X5 M50d (yes, the bling one,

Richard Chandler Northwich, Cheshire

It’s only a concept at the moment, Mike, albeit a thinly veiled one. The final design could change – MB



Cop a load of this

Mike Spencer Via email

Alfa Giulia: a Paris highlight for Simon

hotels, a 1988 Jaguar XJS convertible, which purrs along nicely in the cooler months and is the dog’s favourite, and a new 2011 Mercedes M350 for the grocery run, with reliable air-con for the humid months of summer.

cake and eat it’ message that it was a relief to read your editorial warning of a possible downside to a hard Brexit (Comment, 5 October). The fancy icing conceals an unpalatable filling. The UK will not be negotiating with German motor manufacturers but with a bloc of 27 different countries. According to figures published by The Times, 44% of our exports are to the EU while 8% of theirs are to us. Or, to slice it another way, while our exports to the EU amount to 12.5% of GDP, EU exports to the UK amount to only about 3% of their GDP. The leaders of our motor industry have every reason to fear that pulling off a good deal will be anything but a piece of cake. Andrew Stronach Sevenoaks, Kent

Hong Kong garage Being crammed into a tiny space and deprived of distance driving doesn’t mean having to have dull cars. My three cars in Hong Kong are a fully maintained 1990 Bentley Turbo RT, which still draws photo attention when pulling up outside

LETTERS Cartoonish Honda Civic Type R is a step too far for Mike




but it is de-badged, which helps a bit), and it is an astonishing piece of engineering. However, during a severe overnight storm it dropped all its windows and opened its panoramic sunroof, completely flooding the interior. I woke up to find a very expensive swimming pool, complete with underwater speakers, on my drive. BMW suggested the keys, in a bag indoors, must have shifted and operated the remote roof feature. I applaud BMW’s concentration on the things that matter most, but how is it that an engineering team capable of wringing 376bhp from a 3.0-litre diesel can produce a key fob so vulnerable to accidents? Having dismantled and dried the car (at considerable expense), our extremely helpful local dealer disabled the feature for free. If, like us, it’s something you’d never use, I’d recommend other BMW owners consider it. Tim Overton Via email

Vexed by tech I read your comments on in-car tech with interest (Comment, 28 October). I do not believe in-car tech is particularly distracting, provided it works. My Porsche Macan is fabulous but let down by poor in-car tech. The sat-nav occasionally sends me on a random detour, or to the wrong destination. It refuses to play half my music – wrong format, I’m told, but the music plays in Audis and Jags just fine. I also have the full surround camera system fitted, and at times when reversing, the screen shows me the forward-facing camera. I know these are real First World Problems, but they are enough to sway my future car buying. At least Porsche acknowledges the camera problem, so I’m waiting for a software fix – date unknown. Not good enough.

Britain’s Best Driver’s Car Eleven of this year’s most engaging cars compared on road and track FIRST DRIVE


Richard King Via email

Thanks for your input, Richard, and to all who have written on the subject. Keep your thoughts coming in – MB

Audi S5 Sportback

How to rally with Elfyn Evans

Practical liftback version of the new A5 assessed in hot turbo V6 guise

Young Welsh star’s top tips for forest fun in a rally-spec Ford Fiesta


Audi SQ7 Open and shut case: key fob issue caused Tim’s X5 to flood

Does Ingolstadt’s potent SUV provide sufficient fun to justify its £71k price? SUBSCRIBE or see p28 19 OCTOBER 2016 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 63



BMW i8









FORD FOCUS RS We’ve finally got our hands on a Focus RS to find out if this fast Ford can live up to its five-star road test billing in day-to-day use veryone loves a fast Ford, right? Indeed, this year has arguably been the year of the fast Ford, with a glorious return to Le Mans, the arrival of the Fiesta ST 200 and the addition of right-handdrive Mustangs to the UK line-up. For enthusiasts, Ford and its Ford Performance sub-division are very exciting brands right now. But it’s the Focus RS that’s of the most interest, for a number of reasons. On top of following its two iconic predecessors (plus all manner of legendary classic fast Fords), the Focus RS also enters a fiercely competitive sector. For around £30,000, rivals include the Honda



Civic Type R, Seat Leon Cupra 290, Audi S3, Volkswagen Golf R, BMW M135i and Peugeot 308 GTi 270. All are great cars, packing more technology, speed and enjoyment into the C-segment than would have been thought possible a decade ago. Much has been said already about the Focus RS’s advanced fourwheel drive and torque vectoring, attributes that helped it to earn a five-star road test rating. On top of that, it brings adjustable dampers, launch control and a 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine making 345bhp. To pack all this into a £30,000 car is remarkable, so it will be fascinating to explore each and every part of it as a longer-term prospect.

First things first, though, because ours isn’t quite a £30,000 car. Having been launched at £29,995, the base retail price for an RS is now £31,250 (or £31,000 when this one was registered). On top of that, our car comes with a few choice options that will most likely be added by many buyers. Most obvious is the Nitrous Blue paint, a £745 option that gives a much more vibrant look. The RS can appear a little plain in grey or black, and certainly so in the company of its brutish predecessors, so expect to see a lot of the Mk3 RSs in blue to restore the visual drama. In addition, we have matching painted brake calipers (£100), the Luxury Pack (including power

mirrors, rear parking sensors and cruise control) for £1000 and the £1145 Recaro front seats. Previous experience suggests the seats are very supportive but mounted too high, so it will interesting to see how that manifests itself day to day. You’ll also notice the black forged wheels, which add another £595. To these eyes they’re another musthave, suiting the car better than the standard wheels. Both are 19in in diameter, a size that still seems rather barmy on a Ford Focus. That lot makes this RS a £35,000 car, which is a somewhat pricier proposition but still competitive, given the performance. An Audi RS3, remember, with barely another

Torque vectoring and all-wheel drive give the RS incredible pace

There’s a sense of aggression to the RS, from the way it rides to the way it sounds a

These 19in forged black alloys are a £595 option and an aesthetic triumph

Gripes include a lowrent dash and seats that are set too high

20bhp and a less advanced fourwheel drive system, is £40,000 before any options are added. Given the demand for the Focus RS, we’ve had to wait quite a while to get hold of one. It also means this car already has just under 11,000 miles on the clock. Still, at least we don’t have to worry about running it in… Because when you have three months with a Focus RS, it really is imperative to drive it at every opportunity. Inevitably it will be compared with its contemporaries and will most likely find its way onto a track on occasion, but it also

needs to work day to day on the road. Can it feel special at ordinary speeds? And as a more mature hot hatch than the Focus RS has ever been, can it still entertain on those cheeky B-road blasts that define the modern fast Ford? Initial impressions are largely positive. These will be investigated more thoroughly over the coming weeks, of course, but there’s no doubting the Focus’s tremendous speed and thuggish character. There’s a sense of aggression and purpose to the car, from the way it rides to the way it sounds. Certainly it feels like a more serious prospect

The 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine makes 345bhp — and won’t need running in

than the relatively soft ST, as you would expect. Early downsides? The seats are most certainly set too high, although there are rumours of a dealer-fit option to address that – and being perched so high up means you spend less time looking at the low-rent dashboard. Interestingly, Ford has already introduced an updated Sync 3 infotainment system that supersedes the £465 Sync 2 in this car; we’ll aim to try a car so equipped to see how they compare. The boot seems a little pokey, too. Despite all that, there’s strong demand for the Focus’s key, to the point that it will be out of my hands by the time you read this. Whoever’s

behind the wheel looks set to have a great time, though – but just how great we’ll aim to answer soon. MATT BIRD

TEST DATA FO RD FO CUS RS Price £31,000 Price as tested £35,135 Options RS Recaro seats £1145, Luxury Pack £1000, Nitrous Blue paint £745, 19in forged black alloys £595, Ford Sync2 multimedia system £465, painted calipers £100, door edge protectors £85 Economy 30.6mpg Faults None Expenses None



T8 XC90’s ride was noticeably better than earlier D5’s

VOLVO XC90 T8 Is Volvo’s plug-in hybrid SUV a viable solution for frugal executive motoring? We’ve spent the summer finding out he ‘test best’ economy figure on the factsheet to the right tells you how best to use a Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid. ‘Infinite mpg’, it says, which is an achievable, if unlikely, state of affairs in which to find a seven-seat luxury SUV. Certainly it’s unlikely if you use an XC90 T8 like we have been for the past 8000 miles. The T8 – which has a petrol engine and an electric motor – replaced a D5 diesel XC90, in which we’d covered nearly 18,000 miles while returning 37mpg. Do short journeys in a T8 and its plug-in hybrid system, which suggests an electric-only range of 25



miles, means you can do rather better than the mid-30s to the gallon you’ll get in the D5 – which is how it comes to get a 49g/km CO2 rating and sits in vehicle excise duty band A. Short journeys, though, aren’t really what an XC90 excels at. So let’s get it out of the way: worst case, if you don’t charge the T8 at all, is that you’ll see between 29mpg and 31mpg from its 2.0-litre petrol engine, which is both turbocharged and supercharged. Which ain’t bad for a 2.2-tonne SUV but hardly deserving of a 49g/km CO2 rating. That, though, is the way of things until a new vehicle testing regime arrives, and it’s no surprise that a

multinational conglomerate has optimised its car to the rules just like everyone else. And if you have, say, a short weekly commute to a station but want to be able to do longer drives at weekends, the T8 is a viable, frugal, one-family-car option. Around town, where speeds are low and there’s plenty of easing off the gas to regenerate the battery, an electric-only range of high-teen miles is achievable, after a charge on a domestic socket that takes about 3hr 45min. But most of my drives are long ones, so I didn’t do much plugging in during the T8’s time with us. My commute gets me onto higher-speed roads quickly, and

even in the Pure driving mode, which locks the T8 into electric power wherever possible, the 86bhp electric motor frequently gets augmented by the petrol engine above 60mph – in which case the battery lasts long enough to give the petrol engine pre-charged assist for as much as 25 miles. Thereafter, battery reserves only come from decelerative regeneration and the average economy gradually slips, from nowt, to 50mpg on a 70-mile drive and eventually down towards the 30s. So you pick your XC90 variant carefully. What you get in the rest of the T8 package are the same things you get in other XC90s.


Seven full-sized seats came in handy for road testers’ lunch runs


Airy, well-crafted cabin is a great place to spend time

The spacious boot proved useful for a number of reasons


If your commute is short but you do longer weekend drives, the T8 is a viable option a This is the first Volvo of a massive regeneration of the company’s range. It was launched barely more than a year ago, but since then the S90 and V90 have arrived too, all using the same modular platform. Lessons learnt in development of the S/V90 mean some detail improvements have already been put onto the XC90. This T8 rode with a little more composure than the early D5 we ran and seemed to have less road noise. Volvo’s Sensus infotainment set-up has also been mildly refined, although it still feels ‘new’. There are few obvious foibles, but it did crash on me a couple of times. The time-honoured ‘turn it off and back on again’ IT solution worked, but internet forums suggest it wasn’t a problem exclusive to this car. The system, though, like the rest of the XC90’s interior, is worthy of the car’s executive price tag and status.

Volvo may be owned by a Chinese company, but the Swedes have been given their head in terms of design and style. The cabin is light, airy and exquisitely well put together. And it’s spacious. The seats in the middle row are the same size as the pair, fitted as standard, in the boot, making the XC90 the kind of car parents should be wary of buying unless they want to be the default nomination for the kids’ football or birthday party duties – or a road tester’s lunchtime trip to M&S/KFC. I drove it one up to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and only half-filled the back with camping gear – which doesn’t sound like much of a boast but, well, I didn’t want to travel light: tent, double mattress, gazebo, mountain bike, two-hob stove, a couple of Swedish torches, fold-up sofa, that sort of thing. Off-road experts will tell you wet grass is one

TEST STARTED 20.7.16 Mileage at start 465 Mileage at end 8023 PRICES List price then £64,555 List price now £64,555 Price as tested £70,725 Dealer value now £60,000 Private value now £61,500 Trade value now £63,000 OPTIONS Metallic paint £1000, Park Pilot/360deg camera £1000, winter pack with head-up display £950, Apple CarPlay £300, laminated side windows £750, upgraded leather £700, massage front seats £650, blind spot assist/cross-traffic alert/ rear collision mitigation £500, power side bolsters £200, power front seat base £120 CONSUMPTION AND RANGE 134.5mpg Claimed economy Fuel tank 50 litres Test average 31.1mpg Test best Infinite mpg Test worst 29.5mpg Real-world range 342 miles TECH HIGHLIGHTS 0-60mph 5.3sec Top speed 140mph Engine 4 cyls, 1969cc, supercharged and turbocharged, petrol, plus electric motor Max power 316bhp at 5700rpm Max torque 295b ft at 2200-5400rpm Transmission 8-spd automatic Boot 314-1868 litres Wheels 9.5Jx20in Tyres 245/45 R20 Pirelli Cinturato Weight 2296kg S ERVICE AND RUNNING COSTS £848.51 Contract hire rate 49g/km CO2 Service costs None Other costs None Fuel costs £1270 Running costs inc fuel £1270 Depreciation £7725 Cost per mile inc dep’n £1.19p Faults Occasionally erratic infotainment system PREVIOUS REPORTS 27 Jan 2016 (D5), 10 Feb, 24 Feb, 23 Mar, 6 Apr, 27 Apr, 11 May, 1 Jun, 22 Jun, 20 Jul (T8), 3 Aug, 17 Aug, 7 Sep, 21 Sep, 5 Oct, 19 Oct

of the hardest things to traverse, but the T8 dealt with it well, with minimal obvious electronic shuffling of power; the engine sends drive to the front wheels, while the electric motor powers the rear. The batteries sit down the middle of the car where a propshaft would usually be. That’s why the T8 is a 2.2-tonne (rather than two-tonne) SUV, and why its towing limit is 2400kg rather than the diesel XC90’s 2700kg. Another thing to ponder, then, if you’re wondering which variant to opt for. But one thing is certain: any is an extremely pleasant place in which to spend a lot of time – either in one internally combusted go or several electrically charged hits. MATT PRIOR



EMERGENCY POWER Run out of fuel? There’ll be sufficient electric charge to limp you to a petrol station.

DIALS Right-hand dial brilliantly shows remaining electric/petrol range and what systems are running.

PILOT ASSIST Semi-autonomous driving — radar cruise with lane keep assist — works, if a bit clumsily, and reduces fatigue.


RIDE QUALITY Ride is more settled than the earlier D5 we ran but grumblier than you’d hope of a £65k executive SUV.

OVERSIZED DOORS They’re long and wide, so you park in a space where you think you’ve got plenty of room — but you haven’t.




BMW i8 Our hybrid sports car proves ideal for a lonely drive to Spa very September I jump in a car and head to Belgium to compete in the Spa Six Hours. And for the past five years, me, various relatives and a bloke called Chris Harris have raced a 1965 Ford Falcon, a safe old bus that is both lighter (about 1100kg) and more powerful (around 460bhp) than it looks. The route to Spa is dull, but I’ve always enjoyed it, not least because Harris provides weapons-grade banter all the way. But this year he was committed elsewhere, so I faced the drive with just an i8 for company. Happily, I love travelling alone. In fact, and with very few exceptions, I prefer it. Go alone and you leave when you want, listen to what you


The Kia excelled as Matt’s walking holiday transport

want, drive how you like and get there without anyone requesting a loo, coffee or, God forbid, meal break. So I rose at 3am, was out of the country before most had even woken up and at Spa for an early lunch. And apart from its refusal to communicate with my iPhone unless connected via a genuine Apple cable, the i8 was superb. I wondered how Belgium’s coarse motorways would resonate through the carbonfibre structure, because road noise is very surface-dependent in the UK, but it was fine. It rode beautifully, bettered 40mpg and proved again that you don’t need 16-way adjustable seats as long as you have a fundamentally sound driving position and a decent chair, both of which it has. Once there, I introduced it to my brother, who’d hoofed across from another part of the UK in his Alpina D3 daily driver. He emerged from the i8 looking satisfyingly thunderstruck and announcing he’d seen the future. For once, the race went well, and the following morning the i8 whisked me and a mild hangover back to Wales with so little fuss that I barely remember a thing about it. And that’s the joy of this car: if there is another out there that is as good at rewarding you when you want to drive and as unobtrusive when you need to relax, I’ve not driven it. ANDREW FRANKEL

TEST DATA BMW i8 Price £104,540 Price as tested £108,615 Economy 43.2mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 28.9.16

The i8 returned over 40mpg on the drive to Belgium


KIA SPORTAGE No need to hedge our bets on the narrow country lanes of the Lake District


MY REASONS FOR choosing our Kia Sportage for a recent holiday in the Lake District speak volumes of the car’s merits. The week of mountain walking with my parents is now an annual event; previously we’ve used a Toyota Auris Hybrid, Subaru XV, Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Octavia. I need a car that’s comfortable and frugal enough for the motorway trek from the south, sufficiently roomy to swallow three people and luggage and robust enough that we don’t feel too guilty about chucking our walking gear into the boot after scaling a Wainwright or two. The high-riding Kia offered an added advantage, because while driving I could peek over the dry-stone walls that line many Lakeland lanes. It can be hard to prepare for an area where glorious sunshine can give way to lashing rain over the course of an hour, so we needed to pack plenty of gear. Consequently, a vehicle with a 60/40 split rear seat and a good-sized boot was necessary. So the Sportage was almost perfect, bar some minor quibbles. Steve Cropley recently remarked on

the driver’s seat’s “less than perfect cushion and low backrest shape”. After completing the 311-mile return trip from Keswick to Basingstoke in one stint, I agree: the backrest left me struggling to get comfortable. Another issue relates to the satnav. I know the route by heart but put it into the sat-nav to gauge our remaining distance. I didn’t need the voice instructions, so I turned them off, but when starting the car after a pitstop at Knutsford Services, the female voice sprang back into life. Why can the sat-nav remember my route while the ignition is off but not my voice guidance preference? Solving this, I admit, might be a case of RTFM (reading the flippin’ manual), so if any owners have found a solution, I’d love to hear about it. MATT BURT

TEST DATA K I A S P O R TAG E 2 . 0 C R D I K X-3 Price £27,000 Price as tested £27,000 Economy 39.7mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 28.9.16






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Vauxhall Astra MILEAGE 13,569

LAST SEEN 28.9.16

A 150-mile round trip to Winchester proved once again how perfectly set for family touring the Astra is. There was ample space for four plus bags, fuel economy hit 59mpg and the compact dimensions made it a doddle to park in this ancient town’s tightest spaces. The Astra isn’t unique for having these qualities, but it’s a long time since Vauxhall was so close to the best. JH


AUDI A4 Detaching trim detracts from the appeal of our saloon’s cabin ot so long ago it was easy to choose between Germany’s big three prestige brands. You bought a BMW if driving pleasure was your top priority, a MercedesBenz if you were more interested in comfort and an Audi if you wanted to spend your time in one of the classiest cabins around. Then things got confusing. BMW started making front-wheel-drive MPVs, while Mercedes started pushing its AMG Line trim, with the big wheels and stiffer suspension that brought a firmer ride. Only Audi stayed true to its traditional strength, with all of its cars featuring interiors built to the highest standards. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. Don’t get me wrong: the materials in the A4 feel extremely plush from carpet level upwards, while the crisp on-screen graphics and beautifully damped switchgear add to the feeling that no expense has been spared. However, after less than


MILEAGE 11,185


Gearlever gaiter keeps coming loose three months, the gear selector gaiter has started coming loose, revealing the mechanicals beneath. And while you can click it back into place, it quickly works free again. This is far from the end of the world and could happen in any car, but it’s still disappointing, given Audi’s reputation. About the same time that the gear selector started doing its striptease, I got a tyre pressure warning on the dashboard, and sure enough the nearside rear tyre was pretty underinflated. Yet, with little visible sign of it and a long motorway ONE ISSUE WHEN carrying six or seven people in the Discovery Sport is that you have to leave the retractable load cover behind. That won’t be a problem for most owners, but we managed to misplace ours for several weeks while the car bounced from one member of staff to another. There were four possible culprits. Vicky Parrott, the last person to drive the car before I noticed anything was amiss, swore blind that the cover wasn’t there when she collected it. The other three suspects also pleaded ignorance at first. Then, just as I was finding out how much a new cover would cost, picture editor Ben Summerell-Youde found it in his flat, stuck in a corner behind a bookshelf.

journey planned for the next day, there’s a good chance that I wouldn’t have noticed if it weren’t for the tyre pressure monitoring system. It’s not really something I’ve given much thought to before, but I’m realising just how important such safety systems are and that they should really be a legal requirement. As a bonus, while I’ve heard many people complain of getting continual warnings after they’ve had a flat, the A4’s system is easy to reset through the MMI infotainment screen. STEVE HUNTINGFORD

TEST DATA AU D I A4 3.0 TD I 218 SPORT S TRONIC Price £34,700 Price as tested £41,450 Economy 46.2mpg Faults None Expenses Tyre inflation 50p Last seen 14.9.16

Nissan Leaf MILEAGE 4035

LAST SEEN 21.9.16

I’m continuing to enjoy the Leaf’s stream of power and distant, eerie whirring noise. What annoys me are the cables. They’re hard to squeeze into the cases provided, so I often give up and chuck them loose into the boot, where they look a mess and get tangled up with the buggy. I’ve resorted to a plastic bag — not as neat, but quicker and easier. VP


Having returned the load cover to its rightful place, we had to leave it behind again last week when we used the Discovery Sport to ferry six road testers and me from Anglesey circuit to Betws-y-Coed. This time it could easily have been me who forgot to retrieve it, but someone reminded me in time. It might have been Ben (pictured), trying to make amends… ALLAN MUIR

TEST DATA L A N D R O V E R D I S C O V E RY S PO RT H S E TD4 180 AUTO Price £39,400 Price as tested £42,222 Economy 33.2mpg Faults None Expenses 4.5 litres of Adblue £31 Last seen 28.9.16

Suzuki Baleno MILEAGE 3212

LAST SEEN 21.9.16

I’ve praised the Baleno’s Tardis-like boot, and although the deep space takes loaded shopping bags and luggage easily, on Saturdays I long for a flat load floor, on which to sit my seven-year-old after his football matches. It’s awkward putting on and taking off shin pads, socks and football boots when his legs are dangling out the side of the car. MH



Qashqai is a sales hit, so there are lots of used ones around

KEEP IT IN THE UK FAMILY Do your bit for the economy by buying a British-built car, advises James Ruppert couple of weeks ago a Parisian car show took place and, more to the point, there was a PR event beneath the Eiffel Tower that involved a bunch of British-made motors. Built in Blighty, by overseasowned companies. However, the truth is that most people aren’t bothered where a car comes from, as long as it does a job, it looks good on the drive and they can afford it. The fact that building cars means jobs is great, and maybe that’s enough for some. Certainly, some local authority buyers should be reminded of that fact. But while we’re on the subject, let’s see what’s available for those who do want to go and buy British. Building cars in Britain that originally came from abroad all started in the north-east of England with Nissan, whose Qashqai is the


perfect example of the British car. It rides high, it is hatchback familyfriendly and we love it. Prices for a 2007 example start at just under £3000, which buys a 1.6 petrol in basic Visia spec. The mileages are a solid six figures, which proves that they do last the distance. Up your budget to £7000 and all of a sudden you can get 2011 Visia 1.6 with 50,000 miles from a dealer. Then there is Honda. I don’t think it has ever made a bad Civic, just some dull-looking ones. I love the eighth-generation model, built from 2005 to 2011, with its spacecraft escape pod looks. Then there’s the bonkers Type R version, known to the fan boys and girls as the FN2. Around £4000 buys a 2007 example, in red, obviously, and a hot hatch has never looked better. Until you see a black one, of course. For similar money, the previous generation is around


I don’t think Honda has ever made a bad Civic, just some dull-looking ones a 72 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 19 OCTOBER 2016

in some numbers, and a tidy 2005 example would look the part. Brit-built Toyotas are great, too. The Avensis may be a huge lump of company car, but it is fantastically efficient. I’d buy a 2009 1.8 TR saloon or, for more space, a 2010 2.0D TR estate with twice the mileage, at 120k. Both are around £5400. There is a whole tranche of manufacturers that we are missing here, although peculiarly British car lovers will always have a soft spot for

the dying days of MG Rover. Today, a 2005 Rover 75 4.6 V8 Connoisseur SE is seriously good value at just below £8000. You might like to dream that it will be double or triple that money in a few years’ time. Meanwhile, the only vehicle you can park underneath the Blackpool Tower with straight face would be a TVR. A mid-1990s super-pretty Chimaera 4.0 or 5.0 in the £10k to £12k bracket could make you proud to buy British.

Civic Type R (FN2 generation) is £4k for a 2007 example




Pantera-bly good value MILE AGE 153,299

BMW 530D SPORT I have something called PDC — Park Distance Control — which irritatingly beeps at you when you approach an inanimate object, or a pedestrian walks behind or in front. In Shed 7, it worked perfectly; in Shed 5, not so much. Now, though, it screeches whenever I engage reverse and thereafter serves no useful purpose at all. That may explain why there’s a scrape on the rear bumper. I traced the area of wiring that controls it with the help of the online community of E39 5 Series owners. Whereas they usually want to fix it, I’ve decided to unplug it. PDC, RIP. READER’S RIDE

A 1970s supercar that isn’t a six-figure sum? Well, actually, De Tomaso Panteras usually are. But this one is £58,888 and it’s a 1974 car that appears to have been subject to lots of fairly recent work. That seems like a good enough reason to buy, not least because if the classic marketplace continues at the current rate, this is going to look like a giveaway.


Now you see it, now you don’t The most overlooked hybrid in history is probably the original aerodynamic Honda Insight. The really boring Civic version is also forgotten because it looks invisible, but I’d have one and delight in the petrol savings and utter invisibility of it all. This 2011 example is a dealer car and has all the toys that an SE should. With 62,000 miles and priced at a smidgen over £6000, it makes all sorts of real-world sense.


Welcome to the Animal kingdom

Hyundai Grandeur (XG30) Liam Cawley has a 2001 Hyundai Grandeur, the Aussie version of the XG30. “Mine has cloth upholstery — better than leather in a hot climate,” he says. “It was supplied new to its first owner in New South Wales and brought to the UK with the owner in 2007. I paid £700 for it recently and had it trailered up from Devon to Durham. It has a complete history from day one in Australia to date and is a 3.0 V6 auto. To drive,

it’s super-smooth and in perfect order. It’s garaged now, too, so hopefully she’ll survive a few north-east winters. It has done 77,000 miles. I haven’t spent a penny on it yet, but the wheels deserve a pro refurb.”


Builders, farmers and real blokes drive Animals. This one is, to be precise, a Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab TD-flavoured Animal. Quite often you have to watch out for the VAT trap, which adds 20% extra. Thank goodness that isn’t applicable here. It is a poncey utility vehicle with side steps, leather, alloy wheels and air-con, along with 83,638 miles. So at £5950, it’s a middle-class working-class wannabe.




3.5 V6 The engine that’s fitted to all 350Zs, but later ones needed a power bulge in the bonnet

THE QUICK AND THE ZED The Nissan 350Z is rapid, entertaining, highly tunable and yours for as little as £4000. Just make sure you know what to look out for. John Evans is your guide he Nissan 350Z is one of those models the genuine petrolheads in the big car companies manage to slip past the suits from time to time. Among the Almeras and the Micras, it stood out like a sore thumb. A good sore thumb. On paper, the ingredients were mouth-watering: a two-door, two-seat coupé with a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engine driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox (there’s a rare automatic, too), multi-link suspension, rack and pinion steering and Brembo brakes behind 18in alloy wheels. On the road, they made a lip-smacking dish, this magazine describing the Zed as “superb” and “so fundamentally correct”.



So, reasons for buying one ticked, what are we looking at? Actually, a model that, although it ran for only six years, received some fundamental changes and dropped a couple of catches along the way. It arrived in October 2003, priced at £24,000 and touting 276bhp and 268lb ft, which enabled 0-62mph in 5.7sec. Standard kit included climate control, sports seats and traction control. For £2500 more, you could have it in GT spec (Rays alloys, leather, cruise and a Bose audio system). The engine was codenamed DE. Two years later, Nissan released a special edition called the GT4, named for the Gran Turismo 4 PlayStation game. Fewer than 200 came to the UK, but they’re significant because they were powered by an

uprated version of the V6 DE engine, occasionally referred to as the Revup. It produced 296bhp and 260lb ft and the 0-62mph sprint fell to 5.6sec. It’s generally regarded as a step backwards, though. There were oil consumption issues and a few warranty claims for replacement engines. The motor subsequently spread to the rest of the line-up, including the new Roadster, which arrived in 2005. Perhaps as recompense, the Zed was facelifted with a new front bumper and refreshed centre console in 2006. However, the following year, another seismic shift occurred under the Zed’s bonnet with the arrival of a much-revised version of the 3.5 V6, codenamed HR (High Response). It wielded 308bhp and 264lb ft, enough

to propel the Zed from 0-62mph in 5.5sec. It was around 80% all new and required a power bulge in the bonnet to accommodate it. The good times were here again. By now, even standard models had Rays lightweight alloys, bi-xenon headlights and Bluetooth. GTs had leather, as before, plus a 3D sat-nav. All this talk of equipment begs mention of the grey-import Fairlady. Japan’s version of the Zed is best bought in S or ST spec, otherwise it isn’t really in the game. Like the UK car, it’ll stand modifying and could be a cheaper route to the Zed life. It’s possible to gain another 30bhp with an exhaust and induction kit and a remap, all for around £1000. So modified Zeds are out there. Just be sure the work has been done properly.

USED CARS This example is in prime condition but check for rust


‘W’ brace at the rear. Roadster’s roof won’t fold on a cold day.

G R E G R A M S E Y, W Y N YA R D M O T O R C O “I’ve sold about 10 350Zs in the past five years and I never hesitate if a straight car comes up. I don’t want aftersales issues and I’ve had none with the Zeds. I wouldn’t buy one for myself. It’s a bit too raw and hardedged. Of course, that’s its appeal to enthusiasts. It feels really connected to the road. There’s a big aftermarket scene because they’re so tweakable. Prices for good Zeds are bottoming out as they get rarer. Buy a good one, garage it and it’ll hold its value.”

Early 350Zs with the 276bhp DE engine emit 273g/km CO2 . Fortunately, because they were registered before 23 March 2006, road tax is £295. Zeds registered after this date attract a charge of £515.

Buyer beware…

How much to spend

Q C L U T C H A weak point. Expect it and the dualmass flywheel to fail at around 60,000 miles. Cost: around £1000.

£ 4 0 0 0 - £6 5 0 0 Wide range of early Zeds (03-reg to £295 road-tax 06-reg) at all mileages. Sprinkling of roadsters, too. Look out for Cat C write-offs. Some Japan-spec Fairlady Zeds.

Q G E A R B O X Manual gearbox is noisy in neutral at idle but not a problem. Gearboxes in DE and Rev-up cars had synchro issues. Q T R A N S M I S S I O N Rear diff mounting rubbers can fail. Upgrade to SuperPro bushes. Q S U S P E N S I O N Rear drop links go at around 60,000 miles, as do rear bushes on front compression ‘banana’ arms. Front bushes can go west, too. Replace all bushes with polyurethane ones.

Q T R I M Check for corrosion causing paint bubbling on the GT4’s Rays alloys. Driver’s seat side bolsters can wear.

Also worth knowing

£675 0 - £ 8 0 0 0 Mid-miles 2006 GTs and roadsters, and earlier cars optimistically priced. £ 8 2 5 0 - £9 0 0 0 Very clean, 2007 coupés and roadsters in abundance, plus some immaculate earlier cars. £92 5 0 - £ 12 , 0 0 0 Only the best, low-mileage cars, with prices topping out at £12,000 for genuine last-of-line 2010 minters.

Q B R A K E S A N D T Y R E S All models have strong, gutsy Brembo brakes. Budget rubber is not a good sign. You want to see OE Bridgestones or other premium brands. Q E N G I N E Can use a lot of oil (up to two litres per 1000 miles) but doesn’t burn it. Oil gallery gaskets can fail (when warm, healthy oil pressure at idle is 15-30psi), but not terminally. On all cars, check the oil filler for fresh top-up spills.

Mostly sound inside, but the driver’s seat bolster can wear


The HR wielded 308bhp and 264lb ft, enough to propel the Zed from 0-62mph in 5.5sec a

Q E L E C T R I C S The two fan motors can die at about 80k miles. Window motors can fail. Q B O DY Underbody corrosion is becoming a problem on older cars, especially the

One we found N ISSAN 350Z , 2 0 0 4 /0 4 , 5 4 K , £6 5 9 0 This is at Wynyard Motor Co. What caught our eye is its classy, unmarked silver finish, retrimmed cream leather interior, black alloys and full service history with all jobs itemised.





With thanks to: Jeremy Horsham of Horsham Developments (, Mark Gill ( and Greg Ramsey (

An expert’s view










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MUSCLE CARS FOR £10,000 Our test on p40 proves muscle cars aren’t dead, but mighty motors can also be bought for much less cash, as Alex Robbins explains Chevrolet Corvette C4

TVR ‘Wedge’

This wouldn’t be a proper crop of muscle cars without something American, and the C4 Corvette is about the most muscular bit of Americana you can get for this sort of money. Granted, it has less power than some modern hot hatches, but the fibreglass body keeps weight down. Go for a 1992-on car with the 300bhp LT1 engine, or ideally a 1996-on manual with the LT4 engine and an extra 30bhp. Pay around £7k for a tidy LT1 example with lots of history, and keep an eye out for electrical niggles — especially with the ignition system.

Those love-or-loathe looks are why the Wedge TVRs are so cheap these days; certainly, they still look like a bit of a bargain next to the admittedly more comely Cerbera. The Wedge was as rough and ready as they come, too, but if you can live with its flaws you end up with a seriously quick V8-powered roadster for relatively little outlay. It’s uncouth to drive, of course, but you wouldn’t want it any other way, would you? Prices start as low as £2000 for a project 350i, but a clean, cherished 450SE with a heap of history will cost you closer to £9000.

Jaguar S-Type R Beneath the S-Type R’s mock-Tudor looks lies a brilliant performance saloon offering relaxed cruising for when you aren’t in the mood for fun and great steering and a responsive chassis for when you are. High-mileage cars cost as little as £4k, while tidy, low-mileage examples go for less than £6k. Watch for noisy suspension and check that the headlights self-level when switched on. Audi S8 Why shout about your muscle car when you can whisper about it? Discretion is the name of the S8’s game, and while four-wheel drive won’t allow 0much hooliganism, the sheer pace and grip the S8 can offer should make up for that. The aluminium bodywork is fragile, so dents and dings are common, and gearboxes can fail without warning, requiring a costly rebuild, so it’s worth keeping some cash aside. You can pick up a good, driveable example with average miles and good history for upwards of £5000.


3 Vauxhall Monaro Who’d have thought Vauxhall would bring us the definitive modern muscle car? The lairiest Monaros are out of our budget, but the plain-Jane original made 328bhp, which is more than enough to smoke the rear tyres. Suspension parts need frequent replacement, and check fourth and fifth gears; if they don’t work, it could mean a rebuild. We found a historied, low-mileage 2004 car for under £9k.





 *&" " # (" *& &   (% (% &#% " " #! % % % % ##   (% % "   (%&% *&" %" " *# " ' (#  !  ""      #" !  #      "  #     

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% # %" ) "% &% # ) # % %#   &# " (""%*!   !   !

""""#"    "#  %# 




*! &"% % % %  "%!



"     !


1475 13.10.10 940


ALPINA B3 Biturbo 4dr saloon AAAAB B3 Biturbo 155 4.7 10.3 3.8 6.8 2.9 404 443 41.5


1610 29.8.13

ARIEL Atom 0dr open AAAAB V8 170 3.0 5.7 1.9 3.7 2.55 475 268 16.4 21/37 Nomad 0dr open AAAAA Nomad 125 4.5 12.7 3.9 7.7 3.10 235 221 26.7 —/—





ASTON MARTIN V8 Vantage 2dr coupé AAAAC V8 Roadster 175 5.2 12.0 3.6 7.9 GT8 190 4.6 10.4 3.6 6.1 DB11 2dr coupé AAAAB Launch Edition 200 4.0 8.4 3.0 10.1 Rapide 4dr saloon AAAAC Rapide S 190 5.3 11.3 4.3 8.3

2.7 380 302 26.0 17/22 2.6 440 361 25.3 19/29

1713 25.4.07 1530 12.10.16

2.6 600 516 46.2 24/34


3.03 550 457 33.6 19/23


1990 20.3.13

AU D I A1 3dr hatch AAAAC 1.4 TFSI Sport 126 8.4 22.4 8.9 12.8 2.2 S1 155 5.9 14.4 5.2 5.4 2.6 A3 3dr/5dr hatch AAAAC 2.0 TDI Sport 134 8.9 25.9 11.4 10.8 2.7 S’back e-tron 138 7.9 20.9 6.6 8.5 3.0 RS3 S’Back 155 4.1 10.3 3.7 7.7 2.8 A4 4dr saloon AAAAC 2.0 TDI S line 147 8.4 22.2 7.3 11.2 3.1 A5 2dr coupé/convertible AAAAC 3.0 TDI quattro 155 6.4 16.6 5.9 8.0 2.7 A6 4dr saloon/5dr estate AAAAC 2.0 TDI SE 141 8.9 24.1 7.7 9.3 2.8 3.0 TDI SE 155 7.2 20.3 6.4 3.9 2.9 RS6 Avant 155 3.7 8.7 3.1 12.8 2.4 A7 Sportback 4dr saloon AAAAC 3.0 V6 TDI 155 6.7 18.7 6.5 *4.0 2.8 A8 4dr saloon AAAAC 4.2 V8 TDI 155 5.0 13.0 5.4 *3.4 2.5 TT 2dr coupé/convertible AAAAC 2.0 TFSI S-line 155 6.6 14.5 5.0 6.5 2.5 Q3 5dr SUV AAABC 2.0 TDI SE 132 8.3 25.5 8.1 *11.5 2.7 RS 155 5.0 12.6 4.5 8.3 2.8 Q5 5dr SUV AAAAC 2.0 TDI SE 125 9.9 34.2 10.2 9.9 2.8 Q7 5dr SUV AAAAC 3.0 TDI S line 145 6.2 17.6 6.2 *3.8 — R8 2dr coupé AAAAC V10 Plus 205 3.1 6.7 2.6 5.7 2.8

Mpg test/touring


Torque (lb/ft)

Power (bhp)

Braking 60-0mph





Top speed



M4 155 4.1 8.8 3.2 6.1 2.4 425 406 34.0 5 Series 4dr saloon/5dr GT/5dr estate AAAAC 530d SE 155 6.4 16.1 5.4 *3.3 3.0 241 398 48.1 ActiveHybrid5 155 5.6 13.5 5.0 10.5 2.6 335 332 40.4 M5 155 4.3 9.0 3.6 6.4 2.8 552 502 38.2 6 Series 2dr coupé/convertible AAAAC 640d M Sport 155 5.3 13.1 4.6 *2.7 2.6 309 464 42.1 650i cabrio 155 5.6 12.4 4.5 7.8 2.6 402 442 38.5 7 Series 4dr saloon AAAAC 730Ld 153 6.4 17.1 6.0 8.2 3.1 261 457 50.2 i3 5dr hatch AAAAC 1.3 Range Extd 93 8.1 — 7.6 *4.9 3.4 168 184 — i8 2dr coupé AAAAB i8 155 4.5 10.6 3.7 3.3 2.8 357 420 33.3 Z4 2dr convertible AAABC sDrive35i 155 5.1 12.3 4.2 *2.5 2.8 302 295 29.0 X1 5dr SUV AAAAC xDrive20d xLine 136 8.2 24.2 8.0 11.8 2.8 187 295 35.1 X3 5dr SUV AAAAC xDrive20d SE 130 8.4 27.4 8.7 10.7 3.15 181 280 33.5 X4 5dr SUV AAABC xDrive30d 145 5.9 16.9 5.8 11.1 2.6 255 416 43.7 X5 5dr SUV AAAAC xDrive M50d 155 5.7 15.3 5.2 9.5 2.9 376 546 40.5 M 155 4.2 9.8 3.5 10.2 2.8 567 553 42.3 x6 5dr SUV AAAAC xDrive35d 147 7.3 21.2 7.1 *4.1 2.6 282 428 34.0

Weight (kg)

A L FA R O M E O Mito 3dr hatch AAABC 1.4 Cloverleaf 136 7.9 21.1 6.9 7.3 2.7 168 184 23.2 36/42 Giulietta 5dr hatch AAABC 2.0 JTDm 135 8.4 22.3 7.7 7.9 2.7 168 258 34.8 40/57 4C 2dr coupé/convertible AAACC Spider 160 5.1 12.4 4.0 5.8 2.97 237 258 29.6 32/44




36/46 27/33 19/28

1830 31.3.10 1925 23.5.12 1975 29.12.11

33/45 22/29

1840 2085

2.11.11 6.4.11




294wh/m 1390 22.1.14 50/40 26/34

1615 10.6.09 1625 14.10.15





1895 27.8.14

28/34 21/26

2265 13.11.13 2350 13.5.15


2275 11.6.08

Veyron 2dr coupé AAAAB Super Sport 268 2.6 5.0 1.7

148 236 30 48/59 201 258 30.7 45/49 362 343 34.2 26/37

C AT E R H A M 1355 26.9.12 1540 31.12.14 Seven 2dr roadster AAAAC 143 4.1 9.8 3.1 4.4 3.3 260 200 22.8 24/26 1595 10.6.15 CSR 260 160 100 8.4 — 8.7 7.6 4.8 80 79 16.7 39/45 145 3.8 9.2 3.2 5.7 2.7 310 219 21.2 25/29 1940 4.11.15 620S


175 280 34.4 44/55 201 295 39.9 34/46 552 516 40.0 20/28 241 369 42.9 31/40

1755 25.7.07


346 590 53.1


2130 16.6.10

227 273 30.1


1305 26.11.14

175 280 35.8 33/46 306 310 32.4 32.4 168 258 29.8 29/37 268 443 47.6 32/36 602 413 26.8 15/23

5.9 2.6 1183 1106 40.6 12/18

44.8 18/21 48.2 20/25

1175 20.6.12 1539 8.10.14

*4.5 2.6 236 399 38.8 30/34

2040 29.8.12

2470 2375

4.4.12 1.6.11


100 20.9 39/48


148 251 34.2 43/49






187 36.1


148 273 34.7 44/52

1430 27.11.13


20.3 32/38




3 5dr hatch AAABC 2475 7.8.13 BlueHDi 120 118 9.9 32.2 9.4 11.1 3.1 118 4 Crossback 5dr hatch AAACC 2745 21.9.11 BlueHDi 120 117 12.0 48.8 12.3 18.0 2.9 118 5 5dr hatch AAABC 2440 18.5.16 2.0 HDi 160 134 9.1 26.5 8.7 11.0 2.9 161

210 36.4 59/67

1150 23.3.16

221 36.7 49/50


251 40.1

1660 18.4.12



FERRARI 488 GTB 2dr coupé AAAAA 488 GTB 205 3.0 5.9 2.0 3.7 2.43 661 561 28.9 —/— F12 2dr coupé AAAAB F12 Berlinetta 211 3.0 6.5 2.3 5.4 2.2 731 509 29.7 13/18


1395 27.5.15

46/62 50/53 26/35 31/37

1450 19.3.14 1610 1.4.15 F I AT 1530 23.4.14 1595 15.6.16 Panda 5dr hatch AAAAB 1.2 Easy 102 14.6 — 15.3 19.9 3.0 68 103 14.6 — 15.8 16.0 3.0 84 1450 24.12.14 4x4 TwinAir 500 3dr hatch AAAAC 130 7.5 20.1 6.4 7.0 2.8 158 1535 22.2.12 Abarth 595 108 11.7 — 13 15.3 3.3 84 1735 21.11.12 500 Twinair 1615 17.7.13 124 Spider 2dr roadster AAABC Lusso Plus 134 7.3 20.9 7.1 7.2 2.8 138 1585 18.9.13

42/56 41/57 43/54 50/57 28/37

Weight (kg)


Mpg test/touring


Torque (lb/ft)

Power (bhp)

Braking 60-0mph



199 33.1 59/63 325 27.3 28/37

1343 28.1.15 1599 4.5.16

236 35.6 37/48

1705 17.11.10

258 39.5 44/46

1725 26.8.15

236 26.7 40/45



258 38




391 35.1


1720 24.2.16




251 31.6


1707 13.3.13

332 37


1949 27.7.16

347 32.4 28/35

2265 10.10.12



8.3 3.6 175 140 22.6 28/-



7.9 12.2 — 148 258 38.7 38/55 5.0 6.7 2.7 306 295 27 32/37

1480 1378

11.1.12 5.8.15

2.6 4.3 2.7 573 476 35.8 25/32

1725 5.10.16

10.4 11.2 —


H O N DA Civic 5dr hatch AAABC 2.2 i-DTEC EX 135 8.3 24 Type R GT 167 5.5 13.4 NSX 2dr coupé AAAAB NSX 191 3.3 7.3 HR-V 5dr SUV AAABC 1.6 i-DTEC SE 119 10.5 34.9 CR-V 5dr SUV AAABC 2.2 i-DTEC EX 118 9.7 31.3



221 34.4 56/57

5.9 2.5 148 258 32.4 36/45


1806 24.10.12

HYU N DAI i10 5dr hatch AAABC 1.0 SE 96 14.7 — 16.2 i20 5dr hatch AAAAC 1.4 SE 114 12.2 42.4 12.1 i30 5dr hatch AAABC 1.6 CRDi Active 115 11.7 38.3 11.5 i40 5dr estate AAABC 1.7 CRDi 118 12.2 41.4 12.5 ix35 5dr SUV AAABC 2.0 Premium 112 10.9 40.9 11.1 Santa Fe 5dr SUV AAAAC 2.2 CRDi 118 9.0 27.6 9.2

19.9 2.9 65


20.0 44/51



17.3 3.0 99






14.8 2.8 109 192 22.5 49/60

1360 14.3.12

12.3 2.9 114

192 29.4 44/51






37.5 36/43



9.2 2.9 134 236 29.1 *5.5 2.7 194 311

Q30 5dr hatch AAABC 1.6t Premium 124 9.4 26.4 9.1 15.5 2.85 120 148 31.6 35/39 Q50 4dr saloon AABCC 2.2 Premium 143 8.7 25.0 8.7 5.1* 3.0 168 295 42.5 49/59 Q70 4dr saloon AABCC 2.2 Prm’m Tech 137 9.6 28.6 9.6 15.8 3.2 168 295 40.8 39/45

1436 17.2.16 1750


1896 25.2.15

JAG UAR F-Type 2dr convertible/3dr coupé AAAAB V8 S cabrio 186 4.0 9.4 3.4 8.0 2.8 488 460 V6 S coupé 171 4.9 12.1 4.2 12.7 2.7 375 339 XF 4dr saloon AAAAB R-Sport 2.0 136 9.4 26.1 9.0 16.1 2.9 178 318 XE 4dr saloon AAAAB R-Sport 2.0 147 7.6 19.0 6.9 13.3 2.7 197 206 XJ 4dr saloon AAAAC 3.0D LWB 155 6.3 16.5 6.6 *3.6 2.7 271 443 F-Pace 5dr SUV AAAAC 2.0d AWD 129 9.2 30.9 9.7 7.4 — 178 318

46.8 19/29 36.2 24/33

1655 12.6.13 1594 11.6.14


1595 2.12.15


33.8 30/49



43.5 28/36









BMW 1 Series 3dr/5dr hatch AAABC 116d ED Plus 124 10.2 30.0 10.0 17.3 — 114 199 37.7 2 Series 3dr coupé/convertible AAAAB 220d SE 143 7.8 20.9 7.3 8.8 2.9 181 280 39.6 220d C’vble 140 8.5 24.7 8.4 9.0 2.1 187 295 34.5 M235i 155 6.3 14.7 5.7 5.4 2.7 322 332 28.1 M2 155 4.4 10.3 3.6 6.2 2.6 365 343 33.7 2 Series Active Tourer 5dr MPV AAAAC 218d Luxury 129 8.9 26.5 8.7 12.1 3.0 148 243 40.4 3 Series 4dr saloon/5dr estate/5dr hatch AAAAB 320d Sport 146 7.7 20.9 7.6 9.7 2.6 181 280 36.2 330d Touring 155 5.5 14.2 5.1 8.8 2.6 255 413 45.2 318d Sport GT 130 9.5 28.6 9.5 12.4 2.7 141 236 36.5 4 Series 2dr coupé AAAAC 435i M Sport 155 5.5 13.2 5.2 6.3 2.7 302 295 28.2

570 11.10.05 490 20.11.13 610 9.3.16


Sandero 5dr hatch AAACC 1.2 75 Access 97 15.3 — 17.6 23.0 3.0 74

44.5 18/26


C H RYS LE R 300C 4dr saloon AAACC 3.0 Executive 144 7.3 21.1 7.5

C3 5dr hatch AAABC 1710 16.11.11 1.4 VTR+ 114 10.8 41.9 11.0 14.4 2.9 1655 1.1.14 C4 5dr hatch AAACC 2.0 HDi Excl. 129 8.5 25.2 7.9 9.2 3.15 1880 14.1.09 C4 Cactus 5dr hatch AAACC 1.6 BlueHDi 100 114 11.8 41.2 11.7 7.2 2.9 2245 12.8.15 C4 Grand Picasso 5dr MPV AAAAC 2.0 BlueHDi 130 10.1 30.1 9.6 12.5 2.9 1555 30.12.15

BENTLEY 27.4 18/27 34.9 7/15



Camaro 2dr coupé AAAAC 155 5.6 12.4 4.5 12.2 2.7 426 419 43.3 23/29 1675 4.5.11 6.2 V8 1805 19.10.11 Corvette 2dr coupé AAAAC 181 4.4 9.4 3.3 11.7 2.3 460 465 48.4 22/33 2010 3.7.13 Stingray 1940


1090 15.10.08 1163 15.5.13


1165 10.11.10 1390 28.5.14

187 295 37.1


94 21.9 34/41 177 26.5 32/41

G I N E T TA G40R 2dr coupé AAAAC 2.0 140 6.3 17.2 6.1



120 148 30.2 34/43 228 273 25.6 30/39

Continental GT 2dr coupé/convertible AAAAC GTC V8 187 4.5 10.8 3.9 *2.7 2.8 500 487 GT 198 4.6 10.9 4.2 *2.4 2.5 567 516 Flying Spur 4dr saloon AAABC W12 200 4.5 10.4 3.6 8.4 3.0 616 590 Mulsanne 4dr saloon AAAAC 6.75 V8 184 5.7 13.7 4.8 *2.8 2.6 505 752 Bentayga 5dr SUV AAAAB W12 187 4.9 11.6 4.4 8.7 3.0 600 664


B-Max 5dr MPV AAAAB 1.0T Ecoboost 117 11.6 39.0 11.1 11.0 2.8 118 Fiesta 3/5dr hatch AAAAC 1.4 Zetec 109 11.9 43.4 11.9 21.8 2.7 95 ST-2 137 7.0 17.0 6.0 7.1 2.6 180 Focus 5dr hatch AAAAC 1.5 TDCi Zetec 121 10.9 36.3 10.9 10.3 3.35 118 RS 165 5.3 13.9 5.3 6.9 3.5 345 Grand C-Max 5dr MPV AAAAB 2.0 TDCi T’ium 124 9.2 28.6 8.8 11.1 2.8 138 S-Max 5dr MPV AAAAC 2.0 TDCi T’im 123 10.5 32.0 10.4 13.9 2.5 148 Grand Tourneo Connect 5dr MPV AAAAC 1.6 TDCi T’ium 103 13.2 — 13.9 19.1 2.9 114 Mondeo 4dr saloon/5dr/estate AAAAC 2.0 TDCi 130 10.0 28.8 9.4 12.7 3.1 148 Mustang 2dr coupé AAAAC 5.0 V8 GT F’back 155 5.2 11.6 4.2 9.4 2.7 410 Ecosport 5dr SUV AABCC 1.5 TDCi 99 14.3 — 15.2 14.4 2.7 89 Kuga 5dr SUV AAAAC 2.0 TDCi 122 10.9 44.2 11.8 7.4 2.6 161 Edge 5dr SUV AAABC 2.0 TDCi 131 9.7 27.6 9.2 5.6* 2.6 207 Ranger 5dr pick-up AAABC 3.2 TDCi 109 10.8 35.7 10.7 9.8 3.2 197


237 368 35.7 32/43

147 23.6 35/41


» 30 -70 M PH Indicates overtaking ability through the gears » 50 -70 M PH Recorded in top gear (*kickdown with an automatic) and demonstrates flexibility » FU E L ECO N O MY Prior to 7.1.15, figures are touring, recorded over a set road route, and test average. From 7.1.15 on, figures are average and extra-urban, to the What Car?/True MPG standard » B R AKI N G 60 - 0 M PH Recorded on a high-grip surface at a test track » M PH/1000 R PM Figure is the speed achieved in top gear Make and Model


Weight (kg)

Mpg test/touring


Torque (lb/ft)

Power (bhp)

Braking 60-0mph





Top speed

Make and Model

No one produces as thorough a judgement on a new car as Autocar. As well as acceleration, braking, fuel economy and noise tests, we carry out benchmark limit-handling tests, setting lap times if appropriate. But we don’t just drive at the track, essential as it is for finding the limits of performance; we also drive on a wide range of roads. We aim to produce the most complete, objective verdict in the business, so you can be sure how good a car is. Where we have tested more than one model in a range, the rating is for the range overall; where a model within the range meets our coveted five-star standard, it is highlighted in yellow.


Facts, figures, from the best road tests


Make and Model


Top speed


Renegade 5dr 4x4 AAABC 2.0 M’jet 4x4 L’d 113 10.8 37.6 11.2 10.0 3.5 138 258 34.0 41/53 Cherokee 5dr 4x4 AABCC 2.0 140 4x4 Ltd 117 12.3 43.4 13.0 13.8 2.7 138 258 34.7 39/43

1502 28.10.15 1846 24.6.14

KIA Picanto 5dr hatch AAAAC 1.0 1 95 13.8 — 14.9 Carens 5dr MPV AAABC 1.7 CRDi 2 112 12.9 51.2 13.9 Rio 5dr hatch AAABC 1.4i 2 114 11.4 39.1 11.5 Optima 4dr saloon AAACC 2 1.7 CRDi 125 10.5 35.4 10.4 Niro 5dr SUV AAABC 1.6 GDI DCT 2 101 9.7 30.0 9.5 Sportage 5dr SUV AAABC 1.7 CRDi ISG 2 109 12.1 46.4 13.1 Sorento 5dr 4x4 AAABC 2.2 CRDi KX-4 128 9.3 28.6 9.4

24.4 3.2 68





15.2 2.8 114

192 31.7


1581 29.5.13

19.1 3.0 107 101

23.3 40/50

10.6 3.2 134 239 31.9







12.8 3.5 139 108/125 31.9 49/50

1500 31.8.16

16.8 3.3 114

207 34.4 50/51



197 325 35.2 35/39



*5.7 —

L AN D ROVE R 1525 25.5.16 1630


75 22.2 39/49 107 20.8 37/44

1020 25.4.12 1050 17.4.13

170 23.9 34/39 107 22.9 35/39

1035 26.2.14 1070 24.11.10

177 24.9 34/38

1050 28.9.16

Discovery Sport 5dr SUV AAAAC HSE Luxury 117 8.9 27.6 9.0 11.8 2.4 188 Range Rover 5dr SUV AAAAB 4.4 SDV8 135 7.0 19.0 6.7 *3.8 2.9 334 Range Rover Evoque 5dr SUV AAAAC 2.2 DS4 121 8.4 30.8 9.5 *5.7 3.1 187 Range Rover Sport 5dr SUV AAAAB 3.0 TDV6 130 7.8 22.5 7.5 12.2 3.1 255 SVR 162 4.4 10.3 3.8 12.6 2.6 542

310 47.2 34/37

1863 18.3.15

516 41.8

2625 12.12.12


310 37.3 30/36


442 43.1 502 41.8

33/42 22/19

2115 2.10.13 2335 15.4.15



1720 21.8.13

LEXUS IS 4dr saloon AAABC IS300h 143 8.1 20.2 7.3

*4.3 2.7 220 163 —


16.2 2.9 207 187 34.4 26/32 *5.6 2.7 194 na

12.9 2.9 471 391 39






1765 18.2.15


14.3 2.9 134 118 24.7 39/42 7.2 2.5 243 184 24.7 27/32

900 26.5.10 920 29.6.16

6.8 2.4 345 295 34.8 21/26

1430 30.3.11

5.5 2.5 345 295 27




M A S E R AT I GranTurismo 2dr coupé AAABC 4.2 GT 177 5.6 13.0 4.9 *2.8 2.8 400 339 32.1 18/27 GranCabrio 2dr cabriolet AAABC 4.7 V8 175 5.1 11.9 4.5 11.2 2.4 433 362 32.1 17/22 Ghibli 4dr saloon AAABC Diesel 155 6.5 17.2 6.0 5.1 2.7 271 443 43.3 31/40

1975 2.2.08

3.1 89

1050 22.4.15

3.0 148 280 29.7 46/60

1470 4.12.13

2.9 113




1480 23.1.13

2.7 173 309 35 3.3 129 111 —

24.5 46/49

104 199 34.8 59/60

2.3 148 280 34.9 24/55



MG 3 5dr hatch AAABC 1.5 3Form Spt 108 11.4 41.5 11.6 19.6 2.8 105 101 22.2 37/41 GS 5dr SUV AAACC 1.5 TGI Excite 118 8.9 25.5 8.3 12.4 2.8 164 184 29.3 29/38

1440 1468 —

1715 1715 1595

1535 14.5.14

1395 20.7.16




1675 27.3.13 1810 16.4.14

MORGAN 1230 22.8.12 520



Weight (kg)

Mpg test/touring


Torque (lb/ft)

Power (bhp)

Braking 60-0mph







11.0 2.9 145 258 33.0 41/49



9.4 2.8 296 300 27.6 23/31

1534 25.6.14

7.3 2.8 12.9 2.9

11.2 3.0 128 236 32.8 42/48 9.9 2.4 326 270 30.5 26/34 5.3 2.5 478 434 28.1



Swift 3/5dr hatch AAABC 1.2 SZ4 103 11.6 37.2 11.1 18.7 1508 29.7.09 Celerio 5dr hatch AAABC 1.0 SZ4 96 12.9 — 14.3 25.0 1775 6.5.09 Baleno 5dr hatch AAABC 1.0T B’jet SZ5 124 9.8 29.5 9.7 11.2 SX4 S-Cross 5dr SUV AAABC 1.6 DDiS SZ4 111 10.0 32.6 10.1 8.9 1305 14.10.09 Vitara 5dr SUV AAABC 1.6 SZ5 112 9.5 29.8 9.5 15.5 1550 13.8.14

1080 1160

18.7.12 11.2.15

13.9 3.0 114

199 38.5 48/59



5.8 2.57 161

255 32.3 32/46

11.8 3.2 114

199 32.7 49/59

2.5 296 280 25.8 26/36 2.5 345 310 25.8 28/29

Aygo 5dr hatchback AAABC 1.0 VVTi 99 13.9 — 15.2 24.1 1180 19.6.13 Yaris 5dr hatchback AAABC 1.33 TR 114 11.5 43.6 10.9 19.6 1580 11.11.09 Verso-S 5dr hatchback AAACC 1.3 T Spirit 106 12.1 38.5 11.7 19.2 1547 27.1.10 GT86 2dr coupé AAAAA 2.0 manual 140 7.4 18.8 6.8 10.6 Auris 3/5dr hatch AAACC 1.6 T Spirit 117 9.9 30.7 9.4 13.4 1340 23.9.15 Prius 5dr hatch AAAAC Business E’tion 112 11.1 32.0 10.7 *6.4 1335 8.6.16 Mirai 4dr saloon AAAAC 111 10.1 36.5 10.2 *6.5 1430 10.8.16 Mirai

2.4 493 339 24.2 20/28

1495 19.8.15

2.9 414 369 36.4 27/31

1535 20.1.16

9.5 2.1 148 251 32.2 44/50 9.8 3.1 107 192 28.1


2.5 380 310 25.5 28/—

2.3 874 944 2.5 493 567 2.4 394 406

2.9 69


2.9 87


2.8 89 100 2.8 197 177


3.0 67


22.4 54/57

2.9 110

125 26.3 50/55


2.57 118

236 35.1


1290 30.10.13


24.3 49/47

1075 29.4.15





835 25.3.15 3.8.16

T OYO TA 3.0 68


22.5 49/63


2.9 98


23.7 42/51

1065 28.9.11

2.9 98







2.6 197 151

23.5 30/45



2.7 122 116

20.0 30/37



3.1 121


1400 16.3.16

3.3 152 247 22.5 44/62

1400 27.4.16


Adam 3dr hatch AAACC 1.2 Jam Ecoflex 103 14.3 — 15.3 20.8 2.8 Viva 5dr hatch AAABC 106 13.0 — 14.1 19.0 — 41.2 28/44 1740 22.10.14 1.0 SE A/C Corsa 3/ 5dr hatch AAABC 45.0 20/28 2045 20.9.09 1.4T SRi VX-Line 115 11.7 45.1 12.1 15.3 2.9 VXR 143 7.2 18.3 6.4 7.8 2.4 35.7 22/31 2000 4.6.14 Meriva 5dr MPV AAABC 1.4T 140 SE 122 9.4 28.3 8.7 13.1 2.6 Astra 5dr hatch/estate AAAAC 1.6 CDTi 136 SRi 127 8.8 25.7 8.8 8.6 2.6 24.9 14/765 30.11.11 ST CDTi B’tbo SRi137 8.4 22.2 7.7 8.1 2.6 Insignia 5dr hatch/estate AAAAC 2.0 CDTi 160 135 9.1 25.3 8.4 10.3 2.7 Zafira Tourer 5dr MPV AAABC 20.8 42/52 865 29.10.14 2.0 CDTi 165 129 10.4 36.8 10.2 14.3 3.2 Mokka 5dr SUV AAABC 7.8 250Wh/m 1468 31.7.13 1.4T 118 10.0 30.6 9.4 13.7 3.0 VXR8 4dr saloon AAAAB 23.8 38/47 1009 6.3.13 GTS 155 4.8 10.2 3.7 7.4 2.5 20.8 32/37 1204 23.10.13









20.3 49/55



99 148 34.8 37/42 202 181 23.8 29/34

1176 19.11.14 1280 6.5.15

138 148 25.5 31/37


134 236 33.4 55/58 158 258 33.7 57/59

1350 30.9.15 1435 13.4.16

158 258 36.1



1655 19.11.08

163 258 37.7 38/46

1805 15.2.12

138 148 26.1


1350 28.11.12

577 546 34.9 18/25

1882 30.4.14


3.1 271 266 27





2.3 129 140 22.1

1457 16.9.09



2.3 108 192 35.0 52/69

1380 21.10.15

R O L L S - R OYC E 2.7 453 531 38.7 8/17 2.9 453 531 38.7 7/18

2485 2.4.03 2495 27.8.08

2.6 563 575 46.0 18/23



2.9 624 590 45.9 15/27

2435 21.5.14

2.9 563 575 47.7


*3.6 2.4 178 184 21.3




1172 21.10.09

9.6 2.9 181 280 35.6 47/54 7.1 2.7 276 258 27.2 28/36

1350 4.9.13 1441 26.3.14

*7.0 3.0 168 258 30.5 35/40


14.0 2.9 114

1300 19.10.16

184 36.4 50/62



22.3 —/—








184 32.3 46/56 118

411Wh/m 2108 11.9.13 420Wh/m 2200 20.4.16

1680 25.5.11

2.8 108 192 33.9 47.2

Fabia 5dr hatch AAAAC 1.2 TSI 90 SE-L 113 12.6 46 12.5 15.0 3.4 89 Octavia 4dr saloon/5dr estate AAAAC 1.6 TDI SE 121 11.6 43.0 12.5 13.6 2.7 104 Rapid 4dr saloon AAABC 1.2 TSI 114 11.3 45.5 11.5 14.2 2.9 84 Superb 5dr hatch/estate AAAAB 2.0 TDI SE 135 8.8 24.9 8.2 11.2 2.8 148 Yeti 5dr SUV AAABC 2.0 TDI 140 119 10.7 39.1 11.2 12.3 2.7 138


Model S 4dr saloon AAAAB Performance 130 4.7 11.7 3.7 2.2 2.7 416 443 8.7 P90D 155 3.5 9.1 3.0 1.9 2.9 525 713 8.5

9.1 2.9 81 87 21.2 41/45 6.7 2.9 205 221 25.6 41/42

Fortwo 3dr hatch AAACC Prime 96 11.2 — 11.4 12.3 3.2 89

3.0 93


S KO DA 1490

Top speed

1465 21.3.12





10.1 2.7 145 258 34.7 39/51


Ibiza 3/5dr hatch AAAAC Cupra 1.4 TSI 140 7.0 19.6 6.3 Leon 3/5dr hatch AAAAC SC 2.0 TDI FR 142 8.0 22.1 7.5 Cupra SC 280 155 5.9 13.6 4.4 Alhambra 5dr MPV AAAAC 2.0 TDI 170 DSG 127 10.5 38.3 11.2 Ateca 5dr SUV AAAAB 1.6 TDI SE 114 10.5 35.6 9.3

1425 14.9.16

21.0 2.6 168 184 31.9

Phantom 4dr saloon AAAAC Phantom 149 6.0 14.7 5.3 *3.0 2dr Coupé 155 6.1 15.5 5.9 *3.4 2310 2.5.12 Ghost 4dr saloon AAAAC Ghost 155 4.9 10.6 3.9 *2.3 2455 24.7.13 Wraith 2dr coupé AAAAB Wraith 155 4.6 10.0 4.5 *2.1 1815 8.8.12 Dawn 2dr convertible AAAAC Dawn 155 5.2 11.6 4.2 *2.4 1150 25.12.13

221 33.2 45/58


XV 5dr SUV AAACC 1307 12.11.14 2.0D SE 120 8.9 29.1 9.5 Levorg 5dr estate AAACC 115 117 19.5 36/46 1230 3.11.10 GT 1.6i L’tronic 130 8.4 24.6 7.9 197 184 23.8 31/39 1295 22.5.13 Forester 5dr SUV AAACC 2.0d XC 118 9.9 36.5 10.5 107 207 8.76 320Wh/m 1545 27.4.11 WRX 4dr saloon AAACC STi Type UK 159 5.4 13.3 5.1 109 192 35.0 49/56 1365 19.2.14


1845 10.2.16

1320 25.11.15

Plus 8 2dr roadster AAACC 4.8 V8 — 4.9 11.1 4.0 8.3 3.2 390 370 36.0 24/32 3 Wheeler 2dr roadster AAAAA 3 Wheeler 115 8.0 29.9 7.7 5.1 3.56 80 103 21.3 30/-


12.7 3.0 7.2 2.5

Twingo 5dr hatch AAABC 1495 29.2.12 Dynamique 94 17.6 — 19.1 29.4 Zoe 5dr hatch AAABC 1700 23.7.14 Dynamique 84 12.3 — 13.9 9.1 Clio 5dr hatch AAAAC 1525 26.6.13 0.9 TCE 113 13.4 — 13.9 19.1 1555 18.11.15 RS 200 Turbo 143 7.4 20.9 6.9 9.1 Mégane 3dr hatch AAAAB 1780 24.6.09 275 Trophy-R 158 6.4 14.0 5.0 6.4 New Mégane 5dr hatch AAACC 1775 13.4.11 1.5 dCi Dyn S Nav 116 11.1 35.2 11.1 13.2 1980 9.1.13 Scénic 5dr MPV AAAAC Grand 1.4 TCe 121 11.0 34.8 10.4 9.2 1975 16.10.13 Kad jar 5dr SUV AAAAC 14.6 17.2 2070 3.12.14 1.5dCi D’qe S Nv 113 14.5 —

148 243 34.9 51/52

ASX 5dr SUV AAABC 1.8 DiD 3 124 10.0 28.8 10.1 8.6 2.8 148 221 29.6 49/57 Outlander 5dr SUV AAABC 2.2 DiD GX5 118 10.2 32.9 10.1 11.1 3.07 147 265 34.7 38/45 PHEV GX4hs 106 10.0 30.5 9.5 6.2 3.0 200 245 — 44/38

208 3/5dr hatch AAACC 1.2 VTI Active 109 14.2 — 14.5 GTi 30th 143 6.5 16.1 5.8 308 3/5dr hatch AAAAC 1.6 e-HDI 115 118 10.1 32.6 10.4 508 SW estate AAAAC 2.0 HDi 163 138 9.6 28.6 9.7 2008 5dr SUV AAABC 1.6 e-HDi 117 10.7 37.8 11.5 3008 5dr SUV AAABC Sport HDi 150 121 9.4 29.1 9.1 5008 5dr MPV AAAAC 1.6 HDi 110 114 13.0 22.0 13.2

1475 7.11.12 1555 14.8.13

1235 2.4.14 1160 20.2.13



Tivoli XLV AAACC ELX auto 107 12.0 44.5 12.6 7.9 3.1 113

13.1 2.9 108 192 35.7 50/57


189 221 26.4 35/54 215 192 23.6 34/45

134 162 31.0


1036 9.10.13

SR3 SL 2dr roadster AAAAC SR3 SL 161 3.4 8.4 3.7 4.8 2.7 245 265

MINI Mini 3dr hatch AAAAB Cooper S 146 6.9 17.1 5.9 6.7 2.5 JCW GP 150 6.6 14.9 5.2 5.6 2.4 Clubman 5dr hatch AAABC Cooper D 132 8.6 25.9 8.2 10.0 2.9 Convertible 2dr convertible AAAAB Cooper 129 9.2 25.4 8.8 12.4 2.7

22.6 45/53 21.8

Old Cayman 2dr coupé AAAAA GT4 183 4.6 10.0 3.5 6.0 718 2dr coupé/roadster AAAAB 30.3.16 Boxster 171 5.4 12.2 4.3 5.2 Cayman S 177 4.8 10.5 3.9 4.8 30.7.13 911 2dr coupé AAAAB GT3 RS 193 3.4 7.8 2.8 6.9 7.5.14 New 911 2dr coupé AAAAB Carrera S 190 4.5 9.4 3.4 7.3 918 Spyder 2dr coupé AAAAA 4.6 V8 214 2.6 5.3 1.9 2.2 3.6.15 Panamera 4dr saloon AAABC 4.8 Turbo 188 4.0 9.2 3.4 13.5 29.7.15 Macan 5dr SUV AAAAB Turbo 165 4.7 11.8 4.3 7.9 6.7.16

MERCEDES-BENZ A-Class 5dr hatch AAABC A 200 CDI Sport 130 8.9 28.3 9.0 10.1 2.5 134 221 37.1 48/58 A 45 AMG 168 4.2 11.5 4.3 4.5 2.8 355 322 38.1 27/37 B-Class 5dr MPV AAABC B 200 CDI Sport 130 9.4 28.8 9.6 11.9 2.7 134 221 37.8 20/52 C-Class 4dr saloon/5dr estate AAAAC C 220 Bluetec 145 8.1 22.9 8.1 11.7 2.8 168 295 42.4 41/51 CLA 4dr saloon/5dr estate AAABC 220 CDI Sport 143 8.3 23.1 8.0 4.8 2.9 168 258 37.3 44/54 200 CDI S’t S’Brk 134 10.1 29.7 9.6 11.9 3.4 134 221 33.5 53/59 E-Class 4dr saloon/5dr estate/2dr convertible AAAAC E 250 CDI auto 149 7.7 20.3 7.4 *4.4 2.9 201 367 34.8 36/42 CLS 4dr saloon/5dr estate AAAAC 350 BlueEff. 155 6.5 16.0 5.7 *3.3 2.5 302 273 37.6 29/38 350 CDI S’Brake 155 7.0 18.5 6.4 *3.8 2.9 261 457 39.6 36/43 S-Class 4dr saloon/2dr coupé AAAAA S 350 Bluetec 155 7.3 19.0 6.8 *3.9 2.7 255 457 45.6 34/44 S 63 AMG coupé 155 4.5 9.6 3.4 6.8 2.7 577 664 42.8 22/25 GLA 5dr SUV AAABC 220 CDI SE 134 8.1 23.8 7.8 4.7 2.65 168 258 36.4 40/48 GLC 5dr SUV AAAAC GLC 250d 143 7.8 23.5 7.8 15.7 3.2 201 369 46.9 39/43 M-Class 5dr SUV AAAAC ML 250 130 8.8 28.4 9.3 11.0 2.9 201 368 36.2 38/41 GL 5dr SUV AAAAC GL 350 AMG Spt 137 8.3 24.8 8.2 5.0* 2.6 255 457 37.7 28/33 SL 2dr convertible AAAAC SL 500 155 4.3 9.9 3.6 6.5 2.7 429 516 39.6 10/24

81 81


1575 13.6.12

MERCEDES-AMG C63 4dr saloon AAAAB C63 155 4.4 9.7 3.4 7.5 2.7 469 479 38.1 19/25 GT 2dr coupé AAAAC S 193 3.6 7.8 2.8 5.5 2.5 503 479 34.7 20/29 SLC 2dr convertible AAABC SLC 43 155 5.5 12.3 4.2 12.7 3.0 362 384 40.4 27/33


1275 22.7.15

MCLAREN 570S 2dr coupé AAAAA 3.8 V8 204 3.1 6.4 2.2 10.2 2.6 562 443 36.5 23/37 650S 2dr coupé/roadster AAAAB 3.8 V8 Spider 204 3.2 6.3 2.2 5.9 2.5 641 500 35.4 18/24 P1 2dr coupé AAAAA P1 217 2.8 5.2 2.2 6.0 2.3 903 664 36.0 19.6/—

18.7 3.0 79 20.3 2.9 79


109 27.9 51/55

199 31.3


2085 14.7.10 M600 2dr coupé AAAAB M600 225 3.5 6.8 2.5 4.7 2.45 650 604 29.9 18/25 1835 12.3.14

MAZDA 2 5dr hatch AAAAC 1.5 Sky’v-G SE 114 10.4 38.0 7.0 20.2 3 5dr hatch AAAAC 2.2 SE-L 130 9.0 26.6 9.1 9.9 5 5dr MPV AAACC 1.6D Sport 111 12.5 — 13.4 11.1 6 4dr saloon/5dr estate AAAAC 2.2 Sport Nav 139 7.9 21.2 7.1 7.9 MX-5 2dr roadster AAAAB 1.5 SE-L Nav 127 8.4 24.8 7.9 14.7 CX-3 5dr SUV AAABC 1.5D SE-L Nav 110 10.3 34.7 10.3 10.3 CX-5 5dr SUV AAABC 2.2 Sport Nav 126 9.4 28.0 9.1 9.7

Micra 5dr hatch AABCC 1.2 Tekna 105 11.6 — 12.3 Note 5dr hatch AAAAC 1.2 Acenta Prm 106 12.6 — 13.4 Pulsar 5dr hatch AAACC 1.5 dCi n-tec 118 10.9 35.5 10.8 Juke 5dr SUV AAABC Acenta 1.6 111 10.3 41.6 9.9 Nismo 1.6 134 6.9 17.2 6.0 Leaf 5dr hatch AAABC Leaf 91 10.9 — 11.4 Qashqai 5dr SUV AAAAB 1.5 dCi 2WD 113 10.8 39.2 11.1 X-Trail 5dr SUV AAABC 1.6 dCi 2WD 117 11.2 39.7 11.7 370Z 2dr coupé AAAAC 370Z 155 5.4 12.8 4.7 GT-R 2dr coupé AAAAB Black Edition 193 3.8 8.5 3.6

Make and Model


Weight (kg)

Mpg test/touring


Torque (lb/ft)

Power (bhp)

Braking 60-0mph





Top speed

NISSAN 1450 23.3.11

LOTUS Elise 2dr roadster AAABC 1.6 127 6.7 21.1 7.1 Cup 250 154 4.7 11.9 4.5 Evora 2dr coupé AAAAC Evora S 2+0 172 4.5 11.3 4.0 Exige S 2dr coupé AAAAB Exige S 170 4.1 9.6 3.7

Make and Model

Power (bhp)



Weight (kg)

*7.0 2.7 134 105/153 —

Torque (lb/ft)

Mpg test/touring

Braking 60-0mph


CT200h 5dr hatch AAACC SE-L 112 11.1 37.2ff 11.4 GS 4dr saloon AAABC GS250 144 9.2 26.0 9.0 NX 5dr SUV AAACC 300h 112 9.7 30.4 9.1 RC F 2dr coupé AAACC RC F 168 4.8 10.7 3.9





Top speed

Make and Model



1230 10.4.13




251 37.2 47/54



236 34.5 36/46

1545 7.10.09

Up 3/5dr hatch AAAAC 1.0 High Up 106 13.8 — 14.7 18.6 2.8 74 Polo 3/5dr hatch AAAAC 1.4 TSI BlueGT 130 7.5 22.2 7.1 8.0 2.9 138 Golf 3/5dr hatch AAAAB GTI Perf DSG 155 6.5 16.4 5.9 8.9 2.8 227 GTI Clubsport S 165 6.1 12.7 4.9 5.5 2.5 306 2.0 TDI 134 9.6 27.6 8.6 11.7 2.9 148 R 155 4.8 12.0 4.3 6.5 2.9 296 e-Golf 87 10.5 — 11.0 7.0 2.7 113 GTE 138 7.7 18.2 6.1 7.7 2.5 201 Scirocco 2dr coupé AAAAB 2.0 TSI GT 144 6.7 17.0 6.1 7.9 2.7 197 2.0 TSI R 155 6.5 13.7 4.9 5.9 2.7 261 Passat 4dr saloon/5dr estate AAAAC 2.0 TDI 190 GT 144 8.7 23.6 8.1 13.1 3.2 187 GTE 140 7.6 19.0 6.1 7.8 3.3 215 Touran 5dr MPV AAAAC 2.0 TDI 150 SE 128 9.9 29.3 9.7 13.6 3.2 148 Tiguan 5dr SUV AAAAB 2.0 TDI 150 SE 127 10.4 33 9.6 12.4 3.2 148 Touareg 5dr SUV AAAAC 3.0 V6 TDI SE 135 6.9 19.8 6.8 *3.9 2.7 236 Caravelle 5dr MPV AAAAC 2.0 BiTDI Exec 126 11.6 36.1 11.7 10.2 3.2 201


20.5 44/59


7.12.11 13.2.13

184 28.1



258 280 236 280 199 258

32/38 29/36 44/56 34/29 244Wh/m 44/45

1402 10.7.13 1285 24.8.16 1390 16.1.13 1495 9.4.14 1585 10.9.14 1599 20.5.15

34.4 26.9 37.4 27.1 7.6 7.6

207 20.6 29/39 258 26.3 28/34

1390 10.9.08 1400 24.2.10

295 37.9 45/52 295 32.3 38/43

1614 1722

4.2.15 7.9.16

251 37.0 54/60



251 40




406 38.5 32/37



332 22.7 38/45

2386 23.12.15

V O LV O V40 5dr hatch AAABC D3 SE Lux 130 8.9 26.6 8.7 S60 4dr saloon AAAAC D4 SE Nav 143 7.6 20.4 6.9 S90 4dr saloon AAAAC D4 Momentum 140 8.2 22.1 7.9 V60 5dr estate AAABC D5 SE Lux 143 8.1 21.0 7.1 Polestar 155 5.3 13.1 4.6 XC60 5dr SUV AAAAC D5 SE Lux 118 9.5 30.5 9.5 XC90 5dr SUV AAAC D5 Momentum 137 8.3 23.9 8.3

10.2 2.8 148 258 36.5 46/52

1545 15.8.12

9.2 3.0 179 295 39.4 46/59



11.1 2.6 187 295 40.1




8.2 2.7 202 310 39.2 32/48 9.0 2.6 345 369 34.8 26/32

1700 8.12.10 1834 15.10.14

*5.8 2.9 182 295 33.6 17/36

1930 26.11.08

*5.0 —

2009 17.6.15

222 347 33.6 37/39

ZENOS E10 0dr roadster AAAAB S 140 4.3 11.2 4.1

5.3 2.9 250 295 33.9 21/23



.(< *$5$*(9$& 32Î&#x2013;176 










A-Z For full reviews of every car listed here, visit our website, STAR R ATI NGS E XPL AI N E D CCCCC 0-20% Inherently dangerous/ unsafe. Tragically, irredeemably flawed. BCCCC 20-35% Appalling. Massively significant failings. ACCCC 35-50% Very poor. Fails to meet any accepted class boundaries. ABCCC 50-60% Poor. Within acceptable class boundaries in a few areas. Still not recommendable. AACCC 60-65% Off the pace. Below average in nearly all areas. AABCC 5-70% Acceptable. About average in key areas, but disappoints. AAACC 70-75% Competent. Above average in some areas, average in others. Outstanding in none. AAABC 75-80% Good. Competitive in key areas. AAAAC 80-85% Very good. Very competitive in key areas, competitive in secondary respects. AAAAB 85-92% Excellent. Near class leading in key areas, and in some ways outstanding. AAAAA >93% Brilliant, unsurpassed. All but flawless.

ABARTH 595 3dr hatch £15,090-£21,640 Good value hot hatch and great fun to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 T-Jet Competizione 595 Convertible 2dr open £17,090£23,640 Open-top hot hatch has a softer ride than the tin-top car AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 T-Jet C Competizione Biposto 695 3dr hatch £33,055 Fastest Abarth has merit as an entrylevel track car, but a firm ride spoils its otherwise convincing dynamic ability on public roads AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 T-Jet 124 Spider 2dr open £29,565-£31,605 Only a mildly tuned upgrade of Fiat’s standard car but it’s a revelation, albeit one that comes with a hefty price tag AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4T Multijet

A L FA R O M E O Mito 3dr hatch £12,960-£20,500 Likeable hatch is well-equipped, good looking, cheap to run and practical, but dynamic flaws make it a class also-ran AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 TB Twinair 105 Progression Giulietta 5dr hatch £18,700-£28,735 Long in the tooth, but styling and dynamic verve still have the power to seduce. Not rounded enough, nor quite expensive enough to the touch AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 TB Multiair 150 Super Giulia 4dr saloon £29,180-£59,000 Alfa is taking the fight to the Germans with its good-looking saloon. Lacks the finesse of its rivals and is only available as an automatic. However the V6 Quadriofoglio is a compelling car AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2d Multijet 180 Super 4C 2dr coupé/spider £52,505-£59,505 Flawed, but the best current Alfa by miles. Rewarding to drive, if not the last word in finesse AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.75T Spider

ALPINA B3 4dr saloon/5dr estate £57,450- £58,950 Has fallen behind on the power stakes. Still a niche proposition AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: B3 Biturbo B4 2dr saloon/convertible £58,950-£62,950 Less well-mannered than an M4. Better on the road than the track AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: B4 Biturbo B5 4dr saloon £81950 Huge pace and better suited to the autobahns than B-roads AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: B5 Biturbo B6 2dr coupé/convertible £96,950-£113,613 A ballistic coupé and convertible, but more at home on the autobahns AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: B6 Biturbo

B7 4dr saloon £115,000-£123,782 A luxury saloon without a huge amount of power — an S-Class AMG challenger AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: B7 Biturbo LWB AWD

Rapide S 4dr saloon £150,749 There may not be room in the back for top hats, but the Rapide is the most elegant four-door sports car in the world AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.9 V12 S

D3 4dr saloon/ 5dr estate £47,950-£49,950 An intoxicating mix of performance and fuel economy AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: D3 Biturbo

A1 3dr hatch £14,530-£25,600 Audi’s answer to the Mini. Fun and refined AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 TFSI 150 S Line

D4 2dr coupé/convertible £50,950-£54,950 Precise dynamics with added Alpina kudos and a great engine AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: D4 Biturbo

A1 Sportback 5dr hatch £15,150-£26,335 Rear doors add convenience to an attractive package AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 TFSI 150 S Line

D5 4dr saloon/5dr estate £56,950-£59,950 A rapid, usable and cheaper alternative to an M5 AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: D5 Biturbo

A3 3dr hatch £19,365-£33,840 Outstanding cabin quality, peppy engines and low costs of ownership make it eerily good for more disinterested drivers AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: 2.0 TDI 150 Sport, 2.0 TSI 310 S3 quattro

XD3 5dr SUV £56,450 Alpina’s first SUV is a triumph. Hugely fast, capable and desirable AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 XD3

ARIEL Atom 0dr open £30,572 Superbike-fast lightweight mentalist is as exhilarating as they come. Less usable than some but no less marvellous AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 i-VTEC 310 Nomad 0dr open £na If there were simply a list of our top five favourite cars, the Nomad might just top it. A revelation and a riot AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 2.4 i-VTEC 235

ASTON MARTIN Vantage 2dr coupé £88,747-£96,244 What the Vantage lacks in agility it makes up for with pomp, presence and grunty V8 power. V12 S version is very special AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.9 V12 S Vantage Roadster 2dr open £97,744-£105,244 Drop-top suits the Vantage’s relaxed nature AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.9 V12 S DB9 2dr coupé £140,062-£165,949 As attractive-looking as ever but also showing its age. V12 is disarming; handling is equally so. A bit unrefined AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.9 V12 GT DB9 Volante 2dr open £152,942 Open-top version of the handsome DB9 is just as charming AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.9 V12 DB11 2dr coupé £154,955-167,070 The stunning replacement for the attractive, if long in the tooth, DB9 AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 5.2 V12 Vanquish 2dr coupé £196,005-£199,000 Dazzling exterior beauty and a warm, expressive motive character are the big Aston’s selling points. Plays the cruiser very well AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.9 V12 Vanquish Volante 2dr open £200,050-208,005 A dazzling cruiser at heart with infinite head room AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.9 V12


A5 Cabriolet 2dr open £35,690-£47,045 No spring chicken but still appeals for its looks. Little more practical than smaller options. Lower-powered, steel-sprung trim is best AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.8 TFSI 177 S Line A6 4dr saloon £32,995-£57,215 Perfect choice for anyone looking for a smart office cubicle on wheels. Supremely constructed but a bit soulless to drive AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 TDI 218 SE A6 Avant 5dr estate £35,095-£86,420 A capable stress buster; BiTDI engine is a giant-killer AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 BiTDI 320 SE quattro

A3 Sportback 5dr hatch £19,985-£35,930 All of the above but with five doors and a usefully larger boot AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: 2.0 TDI 150 Sport, 2.0 TSI 310 S3 quattro

A6 Allroad 5dr estate £46,505-£56,480 Rugged 4x4 A6. Even more pricey AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 TDI 218 quattro A7 SPORTBACK 5dr hatch £46,865-£92,060 Curiously droopy looks don’t flatter an otherwise impressive machine. Packed with gadgetry. Excellent engines; a bit remote to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.0 TFSI 560 RS7 quattro

A3 Saloon 4dr saloon £24,235-£36,480 Undercuts the case to own an A4 very effectively indeed. Upmarket interior and unexpectedly good to drive — if a bit shy on space AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 Sport A3 Cabriolet 2dr open £26,875-£40,670 Compact, affordable, usable and refined, with strong performance and composed handling AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 Sport A4 4dr saloon £26,350-£44,000 High quality and competent; leaves the dynamic finesse to its rivals AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TFSI 252 Sport quattro A4 Avant 5dr estate £27,880-£45,400 Classy, demure and very tech savvy Audi estate AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 190 Sport Ultra

A8 4dr saloon £63,520-£99,265 Doesn’t convince across the board, but there’s no denying that the brand’s strengths make for a convincing limousine AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.2 TDI 385 SE Exec quattro Q2 5dr SUV £22,380-£32,720 Another small SUV from Audi, with the intention of being the stepping stone between the A3 and the SUV range AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 TFSI 150 S Line Q3 5dr SUV £26,150-£49,185 Typically refined and competent but feels more A3 than SUV AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 S Line

A4 Allroad 5dr estate £37,725-£39,630 The classy and demure estate gets a rugged makeover making it a capable 4x4 A4 AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 190 New A5 Coupé 2dr coupé £30,700-£4700 Refreshed A5 gets a sharper look and a refreshed interior and carrys the fight to the 4 Series and C-Class coupé AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 TDI 286 S Line A5 Coupé 2dr coupé £31,910-£44,870 Good-looking coupé is showing its age now AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 190 S Line

A5 Sportback 5dr hatch £30,035-£44,070 Refined four-door coupé is short on charm and finesse AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 190 S Line

Q5 5dr SUV £33,710-£52,300 Appealing combination of Audi brand allure with affordable SUV practicality. Nothing special to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TFSI 230 S Line quattro Q7 5dr SUV £48,455-£70,970 Biggest Audi is typically remote and unengaging to drive but fast and light on its feel. Cabin is both huge and brilliantly classy AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 TDI 218 SE TT 2dr coupé £27,585-£41,050 TT is still doing what it always did well: serving up plenty of pace, style and usability for the money. Now better to drive, too AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TFSI Sport

LOT U S E VO R A 4 0 0

‘An enhanced and more likeable Evora. Crucially, it’s easier to live with, too’ M O R E AT AU TO C A R.CO.U K


‘A contentious five-star car. Power and absurd peacock pomp are the kickers’ M O R E AT AU TO C A R.CO.U K

TT Roadster 2dr open £29,215-£42,800 Plenty of pace and driver reward, as well as Audi-brand prestige and design-icon style AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TFSI S Line R8 2dr coupé /spyder £119,520-£134,520 Usable but no less involving or dramatic for it. V10 is brutal AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.2 FSI 540 V10

BAC Mono 2dr open £111,168 An F-22 Raptor for the road — only better built AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: Mono 2.3

BENTLEY Continental GT 2dr coupé £140,355-£168,355 Audi-sourced V8 is so good that it completely reinvigorates the Conti. Cabin is as lavish and sumptuous as you’ll find AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.0 V8 S Continental GT Convertible 2dr open £154,455-£185,255 Lavish and sumptuous convertible AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.0 V8 S Mulsanne 4dr saloon £229,415-£252,055 If the Phantom is best experienced from the back seat, the Mulsanne is best sampled from the front. Uniquely torquey, laid-back V8 AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.75 V8 Speed Flying Spur 4dr saloon £142,855-£161,580 Undoubtedly luxurious and with a lovely interior, but misses the class mark on rolling refinement and tech sophistication AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.0 W12 Bentayga 4dr SUV £160,255-£229,555 Bentley’s first attempt to crack the luxury SUV market AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.0 W12

BMW 1 Series 3dr hatch £20,875-£31,875 Strong on performance and economy but not as good as it could be AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: M140i 1 Series 5dr hatch £21,460-£32,405 Still looks clumsy from some angles, and not as fine-handling as the feeder BMW ought to be. Strong on performance and economy AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: M140i 2 Series Coupé 2dr coupé £23,040-£44,070 A proper compact coupé now. Could be better equipped AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: M2 2 Series Convertible 2dr open £26,730-£38,535 Better than 1-series forebear, but still lacks truly distinguishing premiumbrand qualities AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: M240i

2 Series Active Tourer 5dr MPV £23,010-£34,405 BMW’s front-drive hatch is a proper contender AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 220d Sport 2 Series Gran Tourer 5dr MPV £25,010-£34,770 Brings a proper premium brand to the table but appeals for more reasons than that. Third row seats are not adult-sized AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 220d Sport 3 Series 4dr saloon £25,160-£59,605 Beats the rival Jaguar XE on cabin space and engine range; doesn’t quite measure up on handling finesse. Still a talent, mind you AAAAB TESTERS’ PICKS: 320d M Sport, M3 3 Series Touring 5dr estate £26,590-£42,355 There are more practical estates on the market, but the 3 Series Touring’s handling and performance make it one of the most enjoyable options AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 320d M Sport 3 Serie GT 5dr hatch £30,405-£43,415 Hatchback practicality meets 3 Series talent. Duller but decent AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 320d M Sport 4 Series 2dr coupé £30,260-£60,065 More of a talented GT than brilliant B-road steer AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: 420d M Sport, M4 4 Series Convertible 2dr open £35,025-£63,360 Mixes creditable, sporting driving dynamics with fine engines and usable back seats. Balanced and complete AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: 420d M Sport, M4 4 Series Gran Coupé 4dr saloon £30,260-£45,745 A prettier 3 Series. Very good — but not better AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 420d M Sport 5 Series 4dr saloon £33,380-£73,985 Performance, efficiency, handling, practicality, desirability and value rolled into one. Excellent AAAAB TESTERS’ PICKS: 520d M Sport, M5

to spend time in AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 640i SE 6 Series Gran Coupé 4dr saloon £59,535-£95,665 Back doors prove to be a brilliant visual coup AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 640i SE 6 Series Convertible 2dr open £65,435-£98,215 Great engines and interior. More GT than sports car AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 640i SE 7 SERIES 4dr saloon £63,350-£80,330 Rules on in-car entertainment and diesel powertrain sophistication; otherwise too bland to stand out AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 730d M Sport X1 5dr SUV £27,440-£36,720 Pick of the premium brand bunch, but doesn’t rule the class as BMWs do elsewhere. A bit unrefined and ordinary-handling AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: xDrive 20d M Sport X3 5dr SUV £33,945-£46,050 A close match for the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Jaguar F-Pace on practicality and on-road dynamism, with better engines and better equipment levels AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: xDrive20d M Sport X4 5dr SUV £37,545-£50,645 A downsized X6 is respectable enough, but the cheaper X3 is a better option AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: xDrive20d M Sport


Camaro 2dr coupé/convertible £31,755-£46,480 An affordable American muscle car, but LHD only and less usable and deft-handling than the class standard. Charming and fierce nonethelessAAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.2 V8

1 Volkswagen Golf From £17,600 Expensive it may be, but there’s enough class here to make the asking price look reassuringly precise. A cut above. AAAAB

CITROEN C-ZERO 5dr hatch £16,995 Well-engineered electric city car. Too expensive AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 49kW C1 3dr hatch £8495-£11,925 Slightly better priced than its Toyota sibling but less visually charming AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech 82 Feel C1 5dr hatch £10,555-£12,775 As above but with rear doors AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech 82 Feel C3 5dr hatch £11,580-£17,565 Comfortable and well priced but not much fun AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech 82 Edition

X6 5dr SUV £56,515-£93,100 The world’s first off-road coupé, but appearances make it difficult to love AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: X6M

C4 5dr hatch £15,195-£20,850 Good looking but lacks the polish of the latest rivals AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 100 Flair

i3 5dr hatch £32,330-£35,480 Our favourite high-end small car of the moment happens to be an EV. With a generous budget and modest miles in mind, it could revolutionise your motoring AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: i3 94Ah EV Range Extender

C4 Cactus 5dr hatch £12,990-£20,495 Interesting and novel but flawed to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech 82 Flair



CHEVROLET Corvette 2dr coupé/convertible £62,470-£93,240 LHD only and less usable and defthandling than the class standard, but disarming and inimitable. Serious engine for the money AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.2 V8 Z06 3LZ

X5 5dr SUV £44,575-£90,200 Accomplished and luxurious but no longer the standard-setter on SUV handling. Comfortable and capable; avoid the blingy M50d AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: xDrive30d SE

i8 2dr coupé £104,540-£112,535 If BMW’s plug-in hybrid is what the future of the sports car looks like, we welcome it. A visual knock-out; not quite mind-blowing to drive — but close AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5


Seven 2dr open £18,995-£49,995 360R is the sweet spot in the revised range, its remapped Duratec giving just the right hit of performance AAAAB TESTERS’ PICKS: 0.7 160S, 2.0 360

C3 Picasso 5dr MPV £16,575-£18,640 Soft-handling, square, quirky. Not up to Citroën’s latest standards on cabin finish or handling AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 100 Edition C4 Picasso 5dr MPV £19,635-£27,660 Plushness and an improved dynamic make for a better car AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Exclusive S&S

5 Series Touring 5dr estate £35,620-£51,270 Excellent car made more practical. 520d is the best AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 520d M Sport

CT6 4dr saloon £69,990 Sharp-looking big saloon is a replacement for the CTS, but still needs a diesel AACCC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0TT V6 AWD Platinum

5 Series GT 5dr hatch £49,475-£60,475 Fine cabin but only seats four. Poor ride and steering AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 520d M Sport

CTS-V 4dr saloon £75,415 Supercharged Chevy V8 serves up 640bhp; handling lacks distinguishing finesse AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.2 V8

Grand C4 Picasso 5dr MPV £21,935-£29,360 Alternative approach to MPV design produces something fresh and unusual, as well as comfy, spacious and quietly upmarket AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Exclusive S&S

6 Series Coupé 2dr coupé £59,535-£93,265 Munich’s big GT comes in two-door, four-door and drop-top guises. All feel heavy and just a little bit ordinary

Escalade 5dr SUV £81,380-£94,740 Cadillac’s luxury SUV, but it remains large and ungainly. AACCC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.2 V8 Premium

Berlingo Multispace 5dr MPV £13,995-£19,325 Likeable, practical van-based MPV AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 100

2 Ford Focus From £14,000 Has a blend of ride and handling that rivals can’t match. One of the UK’s most popular cars for all the right reasons. AAAAC

3 Seat Leon From £16,200 As always, a Golf in cheaper Spanish drag. Margins are cleverly engineered to show, but this is the best Leon yet. AAAAC

4 Mazda 3

From £17,000 As ever, it seems, the Mazda aces driveability and efficiency but fails to totally convince in an all-star class. AAAAC

5 Peugeot 308

From £15,000 Classy all-round appeal of the latest 308 is all new. A bit tight on space but a serious contender nonetheless. AAAAC

DACIA Duster 5dr SUV £9495-£16,795 The crossover value champ. Basic in entry-level trim, but family transport comes no cheaper AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 16v 115 Ambiance Prime 2WD Sandero 5dr hatch £5995-£10095 A clever budget prospect, but its limitations are unavoidable AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 Ambiance Prime Sandero Stepway 5dr hatch £8495-£11,395 More expensive — but still limited AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 TCe Laureate Logan MCV 5dr estate £6995-£11,095 Lacks its stablemates’ charm but retains their cheapness AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 Ambiance Prime

DS 3 3dr hatch £14,395-£25,495 Premium-brand philosophy and adventurous aesthetics appeal, as do strong engines, but those more focused on dynamics will prefer the less expensive Mini Cooper AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 100 Prestige S&S 3 CABRIOLET 2dr open £18,595-£25,295 A zesty car that remains fun to drive despite removing its roof. Not as composed as some of its rivals AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 100 Prestige S&S 4 5dr hatch £20,045-£26,045 Jack of all trades, master of none. Nice styling AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Prestige 4 Crossback 5dr hatch £22,295-£27,045 A more rugged form of the DS 4 doesn’t make it any better AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech 130 S&S 5 5dr hatch £27,950-£35,970 Design marvel. Shame it doesn’t function so well AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 150 Elegance

FERRARI California 2dr open £154,360 New turbo V8 returns entry-level Ferrari to a competitive mark. Heavy but slick and rewarding AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.9 V8 T 488 GTB 2dr coupé £182,864 Calm ride mixed with explosive performance AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 4.5 V8 488 Spider 2dr open £204,391 The complete supercar. Minus roof. A world-class head-turner AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 4.5 V8 F12 Berlinetta 2dr coupé £238,993 Thrilling like only a front-engined V12 Ferrari could be. Crushing performance and unparalleled drama, albeit highly strung AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 6.3 V12 tdf GTC4Lusso 2dr coupé £230,430 V12 Ferrari with four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer plus room for extra passengers. What’s not to like? AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.3 V12

F I AT 500 3dr hatch £11,050-£15,350 Super-desirable, super-cute city car. Pleasant, if not involving, to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 Twinair 105 Lounge 500C 2dr open £13,700-£19,830 Roll-top cabriolet is a better drive than the hatch AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 Twinair 105 Lounge 500L 5dr MPV ££13,665-£22,465 A costly option but has the style to fill out some of its missing substance AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.3 Multijet Lounge

500X 5dr hatch £14,295-£26,315 Familiar styling works rather well as a crossover. Drives okay, too AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 Multiair 140 Cross Tipo 5dr hatch/estate £12,995-£19,995 A 90s reboot, but without the flabby and uninspiring nature. The new Tipo is a decent car to drive and has ample space inside AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 Twinair Lounge

Grand C-Max 5dr MPV £21,295-£28,865 Mid-sized Ford handles well, and can be had in five- or seven-seat versions. Good value, good to drive AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDCi 150 Titanium S-Max 5dr MPV £25,895-£37,045 Better looking and better to drive than most but not quite the classleader its predecessor was AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDCi 150 Zetec

Panda 5dr hatch £9510-£18,260 May not have quite kept pace with its rivals on equipment and value but still sells robust, practical charm better than most AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 Twinair Lounge

Galaxy 5dr MPV £27,845-£38,045 Huge seven-seat MPV. Easy to place on the road. Not cheap AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDCi 180 Titanium

Punto 3dr hatch £11,485-£13,260 Spacious and characterful supermini. Still heavily dated, though AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 Pop+

Tourneo Connect 5dr MPV £16,545£21,245 Ford’s van-based MPV is practical and spacious AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 TDCi 120 Zetec

Qubo 5dr MPV £11,695-£15,695 Fiat’s take on a versatile van-based MPV AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 Active

Grand Tourneo Connect 5dr MPV £19,945-£23,495 Van-based seven-seater offers huge carrying capacity and better dynamic manners than you’d expect AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 TDCi 120 Zetec

Doblo 5dr MPV £13,775-£19,940 Outdated MPV kept afloat by new engines AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 95 Easy Air 124 Spider 2dr open £19,545-23,295 The 124 name revived through a shared platform with Mazda AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 Multiair 140

FORD KA+ 5dr hatch £8995-£10,295 Besides the plus added to the name, the Ka gets two extra doors and signals a breath of fresh air for the range AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 Zetec Fiesta 3dr hatch £13,545-£22,895 No longer a class-beater in every regard, but so far ahead of the curve on ride and handling that it’s unassailable AAAAB TESTERS’ PICKS: 1.0T 100 Ecoboost Zetec, 1.6T Ecoboost ST-3 Fiesta 5dr hatch £14,145-£18,495 As above, but even more useful with rear doors AAAAB TESTERS’ PICKS: 1.0T 100 Ecoboost Zetec, 1.5 TDCi 75 Titanium Focus 5dr hatch £16,445-£31,250 Still appeals for its ride and handling, though not as much as perhaps it should. Spacious, stylish and wellpriced. AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: 1.0T 100 Ecoboost Style, 1.5 TDCi 120 Zetec Focus Estate 5dr estate £17,545-£29,245 Well-mannered and comfortable, but a Skoda Octavia carries more AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: 1.0T 100 Ecoboost Style, 1.5 TDCi 120 Zetec Mondeo 5dr hatch/saloon £21,795-£32,745 Does what great Fords always have: massively over-delivers on practicality, value and handling. Cabin low-rent in places, but otherwise excellent AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0T Ecoboost 240 Mondeo Estate 5dr estate £22,945-£30,360 A vast and enjoyable estate. Reasonably priced AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDCi 180 Titanium B-Max 5dr MPV £15,345-£19,795 Sliding back doors, responsive handling and keen value give supermini-sized B-Max some convincing selling points AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 105 Titanium X Powershift C-Max 5dr MPV £19,195-£27,395 As fun to drive and easy to live with five-seat MPV AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6T 182 E’boost Titanium X SS

500L MPW 5dr MPV £19,205-£21,705 Loses some of its charm as it gets bigger, but has seven-seats AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.3 Multijet Lounge


Tourneo Custom 5dr MPV £32,635-£36,950 A Ford Transit developed to haul people about AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDCi 130 Zetec L2 Ecosport 5dr hatch £15,045-£17,995 Pumped up Fiesta is okay, but developing-world origins show through AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0T Ecoboost 125 Zetec Edge 5dr SUV £29,995-£40,250 Mid-sized US-developed SUV joins Ford’s fleet to take on the crossover market AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDCi 210 Sport AWD Kuga 5dr SUV £20,845-£34,445 Bigger,bolder and sharper-looking than its predecessor but still in possession of taut, responsive handling. Not brilliant over rougher terrain AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDCi 150 Zetec Ranger 5dr SUV £17,876-£27,776 Ford’s UK pick-up gets a US-style facelift. A rugged beast AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2 TDCi 160 XL Double Cab Mustang 2dr coupé/convertible £31,745-£40,745 American muscle built for the UK AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.0 V8 Fastback

G I N E T TA G40 2dr coupé £29,950 A balanced, affordable and finelooking thing. Closed cockpit is a nice touch; some of the finish not quite up to snuff AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: G40R

H O N DA Jazz 5dr hatch £13,495-£17,705 Not the most compact or vivacious car in the segment, but cleverly packaged. Handling decent; engines could be better AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.3 i-VTEC SE Navi Civic 5dr hatch £16,470-£32,300 Gets expensive if you want a high equipment level, but frugal diesel engine merits attention. Quirky but spacious with it AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: 1.6 i-DTEC Sport Navi, 2.0 i-VTEC Turbo Type-R Civic Tourer 5dr estate £18,585-£27,035 Versatile, comfortable and frugal; only its price marks its scorecard AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 i-DTEC SE Plus Navi HR-V 5dr hatch £18,495-£26,055 Cleverly packaged and comfortable crossover. Bland performance and forgettable, though AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 i-DTEC SE Navi


‘Goes straight onto our most-wanted list. Handsome, practical and pleasant’ M O R E AT AU TO C A R.CO.U K


‘The E10 is already special. A Focus RS engine makes the R properly compelling’

Cee’d 5dr hatch £15,105-£23,610 Another looker from Schreyer but dynamically forgettable AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi 134 GT-Line ISG


CR-V 5dr SUV £22,755-£36,210 Tardis-like SUV stalwart has lots of space for five and a big boot. Frugal and easy to drive AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 i-VTEC SE Plus 2WD

HYU N DAI i10 5dr hatch £8995-£13,045 Prioritises maturity over the liveliness of its forebear, but the resulting car is practical and wellpriced AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 SE i20 5dr hatch £10,995-£17,700 Appealing budget supermini combines decent performance and equipment with good practicality and low running costs AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 84 Premium SE i20 COUPE 3dr hatch £13,025-£16,200 As above, in sleeker coupé form. Lacking dynamically AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 84 Sport i30 5dr hatch £15,295-£23,105 As good as we’ve come to expect but not one inch better AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi 110 SE Nav i30 Tourer 5dr estate £16,995-£24,795 As good as we’ve come to expect and more practical AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi 110 SE Nav i40 4dr saloon £19,695-£27,595 Useful, inoffensive and well-priced. No fireworks here AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.7 CRDi 141 SE Nav i40 Tourer 5dr estate £20,945-£28,945 A practical estate but still rather dull and ordinary AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.7 CRDi 141 SE Nav Genesis 4dr saloon £50,705 Only available with a petrol V6 and only at close to £50k. Ambitious but quite a long way out of its depth AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.8 V6 GDi RWD ix20 5dr hatch £14,145-£16,845 Usable high-roofed hatch is short on flair AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi 115 SE i800 MPV £24,845-£26,845 Van-based MPV is surprisingly decent and easy to drive. Lots of seats if you need ’em AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.5 CRDi 136 SE

QX50 5dr SUV £34,500-£42,600 Focused on-road SUV. Drives well; very little interior space AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.7 V6 QX GT QX70 5dr SUV £43,770-£55,270 Big, powerful SUV. None of the finesse of the X5 or Land Rovers AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.7 V6 GT Premium

ISUZU D-Max 4dr pick-up £17,942-£32,342 Impressive towing and payload ability; let down by agricultural engines AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.5d 4x4 Single Cab

JAG UAR XE 4dr saloon £29,775-£44,995 Baby Jag tops the pile thanks to outstanding driver appeal. Poised and engaging but refined with it. Not as roomy as some AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0i 340 S XF 4dr saloon £32,300-£49,995 Outstanding ride and handling and a rich, pleasant cabin. Not as roomy as some; four-cylinder engines disappoint AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 V6 380 RWD Auto XJ 4dr saloon £58,690-99,370 No one else mixes dynamism and refinement like Jaguar. It makes the XJ a rare blend — although not as spacious or cosetting as some AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.0 V8 XJR F-Type 2dr coupé £51,775-£110,000 A full-blooded assault on Porsche’s back yard, with noise, power and beauty. As characterful as any Jag, ever AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 5.0 V8 SVR AWD

QX30 5dr hatch £29,490-£33,370 Infiniti’s first hatchback gets a higher-riding, more rugged look AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2d 7CT AWD Premium

Optima Sportwagon 5dr estate £22,295-£29,595 Looks the part but it’s engine and finish are well off the European estate pace AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.7 CRDi 2 ISG Venga 5dr MPV £11,995-£18,570 Versatile interior, but firm ride and high price disappoint AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi 114 3 ISG Carens 5dr MPV £18,195-£27,150 Nicely up to scratch now but no class leader. Good value, without feeling at all cheap or austere AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi 114 3 ISG Niro 5dr SUV £21,295-£26,995 Kia’s first fully hybrid car launched in the UK is a solid attempt, but lacks the refinement of others on the market AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 GDi 2

Sorento 5dr SUV £28,795-£40,950 Kia aims to move upmarket with this smart, nicely appointed sevenseater. Plenty of car for the money AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2 CRDi KX-1 ISG


Wrangler 3dr SUV £31,840-£36,435 Heavy-duty off-roader lacks on-road manners AABCC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.6 V6 Rubicon

Q70 4dr saloon £33,750-£47,700 Big Infiniti has a spacious cabin but limited practicality in the broader sense. Daimler diesel engine is quite coarse and slow AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2d Premium Tech

Optima 4dr saloon £21,495-£33,995 Looks the part but is well off the European saloon pace AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.7 CRDi 2 ISG

F-Pace 5dr SUV £35,020-£52,300 Credible first SUV effort handles like a proper Jaguar. Deserves a better engine; ticks all the boxes for refinement, handling and ease of use AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0d V6 300 S AWD Auto

Santa Fe 5dr SUV £31,850-£38,295 Another big Korean with lots of space on offer for not a lot of cash. Slick, comfy and likeable, if a bit expensive to own AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2 CRDi Premium 7st

Q50 4dr saloon £29,320-£47,625 Credible compact saloon competitor with some novel touches AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2d Premium Tech Auto

Soul 5dr hatch £12,805-£29,995 Looks divide opinion. Better value now, but still hardly the best option AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi Connect

Sportage 5dr SUV £18,000-£31,650 Good ride, handling and usability. Looks good and is decent value AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 CRDi 134 GT-Line AWD

Renegade 5dr SUV £17,495-£28,595 Middling compact crossover with chunky looks but no obvious charm AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 Multijet II Longitude

Q30 5dr hatch £20,550-£32,330 Infiniti’s first hatch uses a lot of the Mercedes A-Class blueprint AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2d Premium Tech Auto

Procee’d 3dr hatch £17,495-£23,310 Slightly smaller and a more dynamic looker, but still not one to remember AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi 134 GT-Line ISG

F-Type Convertible 2dr open £57,260-£115,485 Serious money, but a serious car with a likeable wild side AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.0 V8 SVR AWD

Tucson 5dr SUV £18,995-£32,700 Classy, roomy cabin and predictable handling. Very competitive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 CRDi 185 SE Nav 4WD


Cee’d Sportwagon 5dr estate £17,595-£23,430 Another looker, this time slightly bigger but also forgettable AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CRDi 134 GT-Line ISG

Wrangler 5dr SUV £33,510-£34,910 Heavy-duty and large off-roader is rather cumbersome AABCC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.6 V6 Rubicon Cherokee 5dr SUV £26,345-£40,150 Hamstrung by poor UK spec. Uninspiring, but roomy and practical AABCC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0d Longitude+ Grand Cherokee 5dr SUV £45,050-£69,865 The best Jeep. Comfortable and well-equipped AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 V6 CRD Overland

KIA Picanto 5dr hatch £8545-£12,595 Nice drive and cabin, but overshadowed now by rivals AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 SE Rio 5dr hatch £10,945-£17,445 Looks great and is well-priced but nowhere near its European rivals AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 CRDi 3

KTM X-Bow 0dr £57,345-£70,717 Eccentric looks, sharp handling Expensive AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TFSI RR

LAMBORGHINI Hurácan 2dr coupé/spyder £162,000-205,000 Junior Lambo mixes usability and drama skillfully. Chassis and steering need work, but two-wheel-drive LP 580-2 is the best one yet AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.2 V10 LP 580-2 Aventador 2dr coupé/spyder £260,040-£315,078 Big, hairy V12 Lambo has astonishing visuals and performance. Handling could be sweeter; oddly, roadster beats coupé in that respect AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.5 V12 LP750-£4

L AN D ROVE R Range Rover Evoque Coupé 3dr SUV £33,000-£51,200 Dripping with desirability; poised and capable on road and off it. Not exactly practical, though AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 eD4 SE Tech 2WD Range Rover Evoque 5dr SUV £35,000-£51,200 As above but slightly more practical AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 eD4 SE Tech 2WD Range Rover Evoque Convertible 2dr open SUV £47,500-£52,400 Loses its roof but retains 4WD AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TD4 HSE Dyn Convertible Discovery Sport 5dr SUV £31,095-£46,510 Seven seats, lots of space, fine on the

NEW CAR PRICES road and good off it, too — plus new found desirability AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TD4 SE Discovery 5dr SUV £47,505-£56,005 Beginning to look and feel like an outmoded hulk, but the Disco still handles well and could be all the car you’ll ever need AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 SDV6 Landmark Range Rover Sport 5dr SUV £59,700-96,900 Now bigger and better: a cut-price Range Rover rather than a jumpedup Discovery. Expensive to buy and run, but justifies it AAAAB TESTERS’ PICKS: 3.0 SDV6 HSE Dynamic, 5.0 V8 SVR Range Rover 5dr SUV £76,350-£166,400 Whether outside the Dorchester or atop Ben Nevis, the Rangie envelops you in a lavish, invincible sense of occasion AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 5.0 V8 Autobiography

LEXUS CT 5dr hatch £21,245-£29,745 Hybrid-only hatchback has a pokey cabin and curiously mismatched motive character traits. Alternative but flawed — and pricey with it AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 200h F Sport

GranCabrio 2dr open £98,970-£125,675 Fantastic looks and soundtrack, average chassis AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.7 V8 Sport

B-Class 5dr hatch £22,170-£32,965 A slightly odd prospect, but practical and classy AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: B 200 d SE

GLA 5dr SUV £25,260-£45,555 Not the most practical crossover but good looking and very decent to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: GLA200 AMG Line

Quattroporte 4dr saloon £70,510-£115,980 Now a full-sized executive limo, with some (but not much) added Maserati-brand flair. Off the pace in several key areas AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.8 V8 GTS

CLA 4dr saloon £25,395-£43,515 Facelifted CLA still suffers from divisive styling AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: CLA 200 d Sport

GLC 5dr SUV £35,580-£47,875 Not exactly exciting to drive, but does luxury and refinement better than anything else in the class AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: GLC250d

Levante 4dr SUV £54,335 Italian flair and good looks applied to an SUV body AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0D V6

MAZDA 2 5dr hatch £12,195-£17,395 A very grown-up and well-made supermini. Drives with charm and vigour; engines aren’t brilliant AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 90 Sport 3 5dr hatch £17,095-£23,995 Uncomplicated handling dynamism teamed with strong practicality and punchy, efficient diesel engines. Too sporty for some tastes AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 165 Sport Nav 3 Fastback 4dr saloon £17,395-£22,795 Refined and dynamically satisfying in saloon body style AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 120 Sport Nav

IS 4dr saloon £28,995-£36,750 Sleek junior exec, well made and interesting. Still a left-field choice AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 300h F Sport

6 4dr saloon £19,795-£27,995 A compelling mix of size, economy and performance. Interior a let-down AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 165 Sport Nav

GS 4dr saloon £33,495-£69,995 Restrictive engine range limits GS’s appeal, but outstanding refinement and cabin quality make amends to a point AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.0 V8 F

6 Tourer 5dr estate £22,425-£28,895 Attractively styled but average to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2D 150 Sport Nav

LS 4dr saloon £99,995 Immutably built Lexus flagship is quiet and gadget-packed but not genuinely talented or special. Hybrid model worth relatively little on CO2 tax AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 460 F-Sport

CX-3 5dr SUV £17,595-£24,695 Another supermini SUV with a sporting bent. Petrol models much better than diesel. Both quite pricey but nicely appointed AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 120 Sport Nav

NX 5dr hatch £29,995-£42,995 Some good ideas but dramatically off the pace to drive AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 300h F Sport RX 5dr SUV £39,995-£57,995 Low flexibility, but hybrid option makes a degree of economic sense AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 450h F Sport RC 2dr coupé £34,995-£67,995 An also-ran in the segment, although the V8 RC-F packs plenty of alternative character and handles well enough AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 5.0 V8

LOTUS Elise 2dr open £29,900-£45,600 If you want a delicate, vivid and unfettered drive, none does it better; if you want a daily driver, shop elsewhere. More powerful S worth the extra AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.8 250 Cup Exige 2dr coupé £55,900 Sharp, uncompromising track car. Unforgiving on the road AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 3.5 V6 Sport 350 Evora 2dr coupé £72,000-£79,900 The ride and handling put nearly everything else in its shade. Shame the interior quality doesn’t match the price AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.5 V6 GT4 3-Eleven 0dr open £68,750-£97,083 Hardcore track car has a broad enough talent to be driven on the road AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.5 V6 410 Road

M A S E R AT I Ghibli 4dr saloon £49,860-£65,325 Bologna’s attempt at an exotic saloon has a certain allure – but it’s pricey, under-powered and poorly finished in places AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 V6 S GranTurismo 2dr coupé £82,910-£119,485 Not short on richness or desirability, and well capable of stirring the soul. Material quality and fit and finish not what it should be, though AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.7 V8 Sport

CX-5 5dr SUV £23,195-£30,995 Offers powerful diesel engines and strong performance mixed with low emissions. Crisp handling AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2D 150 Sport Nav MX-5 2dr open £18,495-£23,695 Brilliantly packaged, brilliantly priced and even more vibrant and perfectly poised to drive than the original. The 2.0 is worth the extra outlay AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0i Sport Nav

CLA Shooting Brake 5dr estate £26,375-£44,365 Facelifted and equally appealing AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: CLA 250 AMG 4Matic C-Class 4dr saloon £29,295-£67,450 Merc ramps up the richness with outstanding interior plushness and curvaceous good looks. Engines and dynamics not quite as refined, though AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: C220 d SE, C63 AMG C-Class Estate 5dr estate £29,495-£68,650 Decent practicality and fantastic interior. Only okay to drive AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: C220 d SE, C63 AMG C-Class Coupé 2dr coupé £31,585-£77,540 Nice balance of style, usability and driver reward AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: C200 d Sport, C63 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 2dr open £36,200-£78,295 Nice balance of style, usability and driver reward AAABC TESTERS’ PICKS: C 220 d Sport, C 63 AMG CLS 4dr saloon £47,000-£87,025 Original added-desirability fourdoor. Almost as refined to drive as it is to behold. Shooting Brake is a car of rare elegance AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: CLS 63 AMG S CLS Shooting Brake 5dr estate £48,580-£87,525 Handsome and practical estate AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: CLS63 S AMG E-Class 4dr saloon/5dr estate £34,440-£55,695 A wee bit pricey, and less sporting than key rivals. Four-pot diesels a bit sluggish. Estate version supremely practical AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: E350 d SE, E63 S AMG

GLE 5dr SUV £50,075-£95,215 The ML replacement isn’t inspiring to drive but it has a classy interior AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: GLE250d GLE Coupé 5dr SUV £61,350-£97,235 A SUV with coupé looks. Destined to be outrun by the X6 AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: GLE450

GLS 5dr SUV £69,110-£102,350 The impending replacement for the GL-Class AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: GLS350d AMG Line SLC 2dr open £30,495-£46,360 Another small convertible edition with all the Mercedes charm AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: SLC300 AMG Line

570GT 2dr coupé £154,000 A supercar-slayer for a new age with added touring ability. Blisteringly fast and exciting AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 3.8 V8

S-Class 4dr saloon £72,900-£183,560 So long in the legs that continents flash by mid-stride. Has a businesslike opulence. Still the best luxury car in the real world. Calm, advanced, rewarding AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: S500 AMG Line L

5dr hatch 5dr hatch £14,675-£22,575 Mini charm in a more usable package, but still not as practical as rivals AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 Cooper

MERCEDES-BENZ A-Class 5dr hatch £19,990-£40,695 Desirable and attractive but lacking a distinguishing drive. Avoid sportier trim levels AAABC TESTERS’ PICKS: A 200 d SE, A45 AMG 4MATIC

V-Class 5dr MPV £45,490-£52,335 Expensively appointed mini bus — with matching price tag AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: V220 d Sport


‘The distilled essence of what makes a car fun. With added mud’ M O R E AT AU TO C A R.CO.U K

2 Bentley Bentayga

From £160,200 Bentley’s first attempt at making an SUV is versatile, genteel and luxurious, with a silken edge. AAAAB

MG 3 5dr hatch £8399-10,499 Neatly tuned and nice sporty style. Breaks the mould of sub-£9000 superminis AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 3Form

3dr hatch 3dr hatch £14,075-£23,155 Three-pot engines and cleverly redesigned interior make the Mini a superb choice. Pricey to buy but worth the money AAAAB TESTERS’ PICKS: 1.5 Cooper, 2.0 John Cooper Works

S-Class Cabriolet 2dr open £110,120-£192,805 As above, with the option to open it up to the elements AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: S63 AMG

From £310,200 BMW built a phenomenal Rolls-Royce when it took over in 1998. Wonderfully made and knowingly aristocratic. AAAAB

AMG GT 2dr coupé £98,915-£111,495 Million-dollar looks and a railgun V8, but uncompromisingly firm chassis undermines its every-occasion, anyroad usability AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.0 V8

E-Class Cabriolet 2dr open £42,045-£49,800 Refined and sophisticated four-seat cabriolet AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: E200 AMG Line Edition

650S SPIDER 2dr open £218,305 More of the same although noisier — and better for it AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 3.8 V8

Rolls-Royce Phantom

SL 2dr open £73,810-£173,315 Big, luxurious drop-top is classier than a royal stud farm. Few cruisers feel more special for the money AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: SL400 AMG Line

570S 2dr coupé £143,305 A supercar-slayer for a new age. Blisteringly fast and exciting, with handling appeal far in advance of its price AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 3.8 V8

S-Class Coupé 2dr coupé £98,050-£185,480 Heavyweight contender. Continentsmothering luxury AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: S 63 AMG


G-CLASS 5dr SUV £88,800-£150,975 Massively expensive and compromised, but with character to spare AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: G63 AMG

540C 2dr coupé £126,055 The affordable end of McLaren’s spectrum AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.8 V8

650S 2dr coupé £198,055 McLaren’s mainstay goes from convincing to utterly compelling. Better day to day than a Ferrari 488 but not as special AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 3.8 V8

S U P E R - L U X U RY

GLC Coupé 5dr SUV £40,580-£43,245 A SUV with coupé looks. Destined to be outrun by the X4 and only available with a diesel engine AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: GLC250d

E-Class Coupé 2dr coupé £38,635-£46,430 Big, laid-back, genuine four-seat cabrios are rare birds, particularly when they’re as refined and sophisticated as this one AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: E400 AMG Line Edition



GS 5dr SUV £14,995-£19,495 MG’s first attempt at a small SUV is an attempt to re-establish the brand AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 TGi Explore

3 Bentley Mulsanne From £229,400 If the Phantom is best experienced from the back seat, the Mulsanne is a flagship best flown from the front. AAAAC


Convertible 2dr open £18,615-£26,635 Open-top fun but compromised on practicality and dynamics AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 Cooper

4 Mercedes-Maybach S600

From £165,700 Doesn’t have the badge allure to rule its class like the regular S-Class, but equally superior in terms of function. AAAAC

Clubman 5dr hatchback £21,375-£29,345 Cheery and alternative Mini ‘six-door’ takes the brand into mainstream territory. Not as rounded as some, but usable and likeable nonetheless AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 Cooper Countryman 5dr SUV £17,125-£29,010 Big, but still more funky than useful AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 JCW Paceman 3dr coupé £19,125-£29,600 Two-door Countryman is a Mini too far for us. Tough to like AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 Cooper S

5 Rolls-Royce Ghost From £227,000 The ‘affordable’ Rolls rounds out the silly-money list, narrowly trumping the Flying Spur with its superior cabin. AAAAC 19 OCTOBER 2016 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 85


BMW i3

Mirage 5dr hatch £11,499-£13,499 Straightforward hatchback. Not for the likes of us AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 MiVEC Juro

‘A city car of the future, built for today. Flawed — but inspired, too’ M O R E AT AU TO C A R.CO.U K

ASX 5dr hatch £15,249-28,399 Decent engine, but otherwise an unexceptional crossover AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 MiVEC ZC-M 2WD Leather Shogun 5dr 4x4 £29,634-£40,299 Has its appeal. Needs more chassis finesse, but still charming AABCC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.2 Di-DC SG2 SWB Barbarian Outlander 5dr SUV £24,799-£45,499 Creditable effort from Japan’s SUV specialists offers a lot for the money. Still feels cheap in places: PHEV a boon for fleet users AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 PHEV GX3h+ £35249 L200 5dr 4x4 £20,998-£30,238 L200 pick-up is a practical, efficient and muscular workhorse AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.5D Series 4 4Life Single

MORGAN 3-Wheeler 0dr open £31,140-£34,955 The eccentric, characterful and deftly brilliant Morgan is a threewheeled testament to English creativity AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 1.9 115 Sport 4-4 2dr open £29,995 Has its appeal, but not as rewarding to drive as it could be AACCC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 Plus 4 2dr open £38,100-£43,200 Needs more chassis finesse, but the Plus 4 charms nonetheless AABCC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 2 Seater Roadster 2dr open £48,000-£55,140 More advanced, but pricey and needs better brakes AACCC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.7 V6 Plus 8 2dr open £73,494 Old V8 charm lives on, but there’s no ignoring the high price AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.8 V8

NISSAN Micra 5dr hatch £7995-£13,455 Running costs are low, but it’s below average overall AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 n-tec Note 5dr hatch £10,995-£17,895 It lacks a bit of verve, but objectively the Note is entirely fit for purpose AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 DIG-S Acenta Pulsar 5dr hatch £13,995-£23,015 Undeniably fit for purpose, but its appeal goes no deeper than that AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 DIG-S Acenta Leaf 5dr hatch £26,180-£31,880 Comfortable and still the cheapest way into the EV world AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 24kW Acenta Juke 5dr hatch £14,320-£24,610 High-riding, funky hatch is a compelling package. High CO2 figures AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 DIG-T 190 Tekna Qashqai 5dr hatch £18,545-£27,310 The defining modern crossover. Second-gen version better in all areas, most notably fuel efficiency, space and refinement AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 dCi 130 N-Connecta X-Trail 5dr SUV £21,995-£32,110 There aren’t many cheaper routes into a seven-seat SUV. Bit of a lightweight on power and 4x4 capability, though AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 dCi n-tec 2WD NV200 Combi MPV £20,297-£21,067 Van-based multi-seat vehicle is flexible and economical AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 dCi 90 Acenta 7st E-NV200 Evalia MPV £28,527-31,869 Battery-powered people-mover is world’s first seven-seat EV MPV AAABC

TESTERS’ PICK: 80kW Tekna Rapid Navara NP300 5dr 4x4 £23,635-£31,845 A tough pick-up happy both on the road and off it AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.3 dCi 160 Acenta King Cab 370Z 2dr coupé £27,860-£38,050 Old-school, profoundly mechanical and quite hairy-chested. An Austin Healey 3000 for our age — but meaner AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.7 V6 Nismo GT-R 2dr coupé £79,995-91,995 The monstrously fast Nissan has been tweaked and sharpened to close the gap on charismatic rival in the market AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.8 Track Edition

NOBLE M600 2dr coupé £248,184-£277,309 Deliciously natural and involving; a bit ergonomically flawed. Outrageous pace and handling AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.4 V8 Sport

PEUGEOT iOn 5dr hatch £16,995 Good electric powertrain, comically expensive AABCC TESTERS’ PICK: 47kW

Partner Tepee 5dr MPV £15,645-£20,030 Likeable, practical van-based MPV AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 100 Active RCZ 2dr coupé £24,200-£27,500 Classy, interesting, fun coupé. Peugeot has got its mojo back AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 HDi 163 GT


Clio 5dr hatch £11,815-£22,425 An attractive, stylish and fairly practical, and does the French tradition credit. Fluent handling; cabin cheap in places AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: Renault Sport 220 Trophy

Leon ST 5dr estate £19,225-£32,785 Good-looking and responsive hatchback-turned-estate AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 290 Cupra

Captur 5dr hatch £14,745-£21,885 Jacked-up Clio is among the better downsized options. Cabin space and value better than the class norm. Stylish and fluent-riding AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.5 dCi 110 Signature Nav Megane 5dr hatch £16,950-£25,850 Stylish and refined but bland. Nothing exceptional AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 TCe 115 GT Line Nav

718 Boxster 2dr open £41,739-£52,617 Our idea of drop-top perfection is also an outstanding sporting twoseater. Exceptional to drive, whether cruising or hurrying AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 718

Kad jar 5dr SUV £18,795-£28,495 Fine value, good cabin space, decent to drive and fine-looking. Not quite as classy as its Nissan sibling, but not far away AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 dCi 130 Signature Nav 2WD

718 Cayman 2dr coupé £39,878-£50,756 Scalpel-blade incisiveness, supreme balance and outstanding driver involvement. Very practical too — for a two-seater AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 718


911 2dr coupé £76,412-£145,773 Delivered on the eve of a sixth decade, the 991 is as brilliant and distinctive as any before it. Still more than worthy of its iconic status AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: Carrera S

Wraith 2dr coupé £237,471-278,223 An intimate, involving Rolls-Royce. Less grand than its rangemates, but often in the measures that make it great in other ways AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 6.6 V12 Dawn 2dr open £264,055 Essentially as above, but de-tuned and in an elegant convertible form. AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 6.6 V12

911 Cabriolet 2dr open £85,253-£154,614 The best Porsche doesn’t lose any of its charm without its roof AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: Carrera S

Ghost 4dr saloon £224,943-£260,823 ‘Affordable’ Rolls is a more modern, driver-focused car than its bigger brother. Still hugely special. Ride just a little bit unsettled at times AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.6 V12

108 5dr hatch £10,485-£13,985 Five-door version is less appealing than its Citroën and Toyota siblings AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech Allure Top

Panamera 5dr hatch £79,715-£113,075 Technically brilliant but lacking a bit of soul and visual allure. V6 diesel is an outstanding long-distance car AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.8 V8 Turbo PDK

Phantom 4dr saloon £320,175-£373,743 BMW built a sublime Rolls-Royce when it took over in 1998. Still the greatest and most aristocratic limo money can buy AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 6.8 V12

208 3dr hatch £12,365-£22,665 A big improvement for Peugeot, if not for the supermini class AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech Allure S&S

Macan 5dr SUV £43,553-£68,073 Spookily good handling. A sports utility vehicle in the purest sense AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 3.6 V6 Turbo PDK

Phantom Coupé 2dr coupé £349,311 Luxury in abundance, but in a sportier form AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.8 V12

208 5dr hatch £12,965-£18,915 As above, with added five-door practicality AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech Allure S&S

Cayenne 5dr SUV £52,689-£119,720 Agile, capable, desirable. V8 diesel makes the line-up more varied. Not as practical as some, but a classy cabin and mostly good fun AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 4.2 V8 S Diesel Tiptronic S

Phantom Drophead Coupé 2dr open £369,687 Extreme luxury with a removable roof AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.8 V12

108 3dr hatch £8495-£13,585 Sister car to the Aygo — and distant second to most city car rivals AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 PureTech Allure Top

308 5dr hatch £15,930-£28,890 No name change, but the classy allround appeal of the latest 308 is allnew. A bit tight on space but a serious contender nonetheless AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 THP 270 GTi by PS 308 SW 5dr estate £18,315-£27,815 Estate body style enjoys the classy appeal of the hatch AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Allure 508 4dr saloon £23,650-£31,500 Competent and likeable package, although it lacks any real spark AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Allure 508 SW 5dr estate £24,905-£37,550 As good as the saloon, only better looking AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Allure 2008 5dr hatch £13,970-£20,920 Efficient and well-mannered but facelift doesn’t improve the shortness on space and style AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Allure 3008 5dr MPV £21,110-£25,160 Cleverly packaged Peugeot offers just enough SUV DNA to make the difference, but is really in need of its facelift. Good value AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Allure 5008 5dr MPV £23,130-£27,030 Another mid-sized five-plus-twoseater. The 5008 feels its age but still offers a slicker and more engaging drive than many AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Allure


Toledo 5dr hatch £17,195-£19,995 Makes practical sense but leaves no other lasting impression AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 TDI 115 Style Alhambra 5dr MPV £24,885-£36,130 A cheaper, plainer and less desirable sister for the VW Sharan. Spacious, versatile and decent to drive AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 SE Ecomotive Ateca 5dr SUV £17,990-£29,990 Seat’s first attempt to take on the SUV market — and it’s good AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 TDI 115 SE Ecomotive

S KO DA Citigo 3dr hatch £8275-£10,770 Czech take on the city car is more plain than some but well finished and strong to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 60 SE Citigo 5dr hatch £8625-£11,120 As above, with added rear-door practicality AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 60 SE Fabia 5dr hatch £10,750-£18,025 A touch derivative design-wise, and no class-leader on handling or cabin space, but strong claims everywhere else AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 TSI 110 SE Fabia 5dr estate £12,630-£18,910 A touch derivative design-wise, and no class-leader on handling or cabin space, but strong claims everywhere else AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 TSI 110 SE Rapid 5dr saloon £16,505-£19,110 Essentially a Fabia in saloon form, so likeable if slightly dull AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 TSI 110 SE Rapid Spaceback 5dr estate £13,675-£18,520 Estate shape makes most sense of Rapid’s skinny body AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 TSI 110 SE Sport Octavia 5dr hatch £16,660-£27,990 Almost too big to qualify as a hatchback, the Octavia does comfort and practicality like no other. Good engines, too AAAAC TESTERS’ PICKS: 2.0 TDI 150 SE L, 2.0 TSI 230 vRS

Octavia Estate 5dr estate £17,880-£29,410 Class-leading amount of space S E AT and practicality. Comfortable, too Mii 3dr hatch £8440-£11,265 AAAAC PROTON Not as desirable or plush inside as the TESTERS’ PICKS: 2.0 TDI 150 SE L, Savvy 5dr hatch £7995 Up, but damn near as good to drive — 2.0 TSI 230 vRS Compromise in quality isn’t worth and well-priced with it AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 60 SE the saving AACCC Superb 4dr saloon £19,060-£34,305 TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 Style Technology Another commendable Czech value option big on quality and space, small Satria Neo 3dr hatch Mii 5dr hatch £8795-£11,995 on price AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 220 SE £8495-£9495 As above, but in more usable fiveL DSG Best Proton yet but still unjustifiable door form AAABC AACCC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 60 SE TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 GSX Technology Superb Estate 5dr estate £20,260£35,505 Gen-2 5dr hatch £9195-£11,195 Ibiza SC 3dr hatch £10,000-£18,900 Even more commendable than Hugely disappointing despite price A sharp-looking coupé that handles above thanks to huge estate boot ACCCC well. Cupra needs a manual AAABC AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.3 GLS TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 TSI 110 FR TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 220 SE L DSG RADICAL Ibiza 5dr hatch £12,210-£15,735 SR3 2dr open £58,200-£66,958 Yeti 5dr SUV £17,210-£27,545 Sharp-looking five door hatch lacks Spectacular on the track; not so the verve of the Ford Fiesta AAABC One of the first to successfully TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 TSI 110 FR good on the way home AAABC miniaturise the crossover formula. TESTERS’ PICK: RSX Spacious, useful, unpretentious and Ibiza ST 5dr estate £12,910-£18,035 genuinely cheery AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 110 SE RXC 2dr coupé £94,500-£117,500 Rivals are more practical, but that Designed for pounding around a doesn’t impact on its fun nature SMART track. Not for the open road AAABC AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.7 V6 TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 TDI 105 FR Fortwo 3dr hatch £11,125-£13,810 Pricey two-seater has lots of urban R E N A U LT Leon SC 3dr hatch £17,400-£31,485 appeal but out of town performance Twizy 2dr hatch £6895-7795 and handling isn’t as rounded as As ever, a Golf in cut-price Spanish Zany solution to personal mobility. others AAACC clothing — except slightly crisperTESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 Proxy Suitably irreverent and impractical looking and better-handling. Worth AAABC considering AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: EV Dynamique TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 290 Cupra Fortwo Convertible 2dr open £13,265-£15,950 Zoe 5dr hatch £17,795-£20,245 Leon 5dr hatch £18,230-£31,790 A similar story in open-top form as Far more practical zero-emission Ditto above, but here in more for the hatch AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 Proxy solution. Attractive price AAABC conventional five-door form TESTERS’ PICK: Dynamique Nav AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 290 Cupra Twingo 5dr hatch £9545-£13,595 Handsome, unusual rear-engined FO R D F I E STA ST city car — but not the class leader AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 TCe 90 Dynamique Energy

‘Our reigning hot supermini provides enormous fun for the money’ M O R E AT AU TO C A R.CO.U K

Forfour 5dr hatch £11,620-£14,930 Four doors gives the Smart more mainstream practicality. Still expensive, though AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 0.9 Proxy

S S A N GYO N G Tivoli 5dr hatch £12,950-£19,500 Trails the Duster as the best-value small crossover — but not by much AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6d EX Tivoli XLV 5dr hatch £18,250-£20,500 Tivoli on steroids - grown in size for more practicality and is joined by a range of personalisation options AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6d 4x4 Korando 5dr hatch £15,995-£22,495 Good for a Ssangyong, poor by class standards AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2d EX 2WD Korando Sports 4dr pick-up £17,337-22,977 A rugged-looking pick-up, but lacks all of the finesse shown by its nearest rivals AABCC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0d EX 4WD Rexton W 5dr SUV £22,995-£28,995 Rugged seven-seater makes short work of mud. Asphalt more tricky AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2d EX Turismo 5dr MPV £18,995-£24,995 Incredibly ungainly but offers huge real estate for the money AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.2d EX

SUBARU Impreza 4dr hatchback £17,495 Appealing hatchback, but feels a tad old-fashioned AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6i RC WRX STI 4dr saloon £28,995 Appealing and behind the times all at once AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.5 STI XV 5dr SUV £21,995-£26,995 No-nonsense crossover doesn’t quite make enough sense AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0D SE Levorg 5dr estate £27,495 Impressively practical but only available with an auto ’box and one trim AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6i GT Auto AWD Forester 5dr SUV £25,495-£30,995 Solid, spacious and wilfully unsexy AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0i XE Outback 5dr estate £27,995-31,495 Acceptable in isolation but no benchmark AABCC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.5i SE Lineartronic BRZ 2dr coupé £22,495-£25,495 The GT-86’s half brother looks just as good in Subaru blue. Cheaper, too AAAAA TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0i SE

SUZUKI Celerio 5dr hatch £6999-9799 Pleasing to drive, cheap to buy and decent to sit in, the Celerio is a no-nonsense option — and very likeable for it AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 Dualjet SZ3 Swift 3dr hatch £8999-£14,149 Cute looks and rewarding handling. Sport is excellent fun AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 Sport Swift 5dr hatch £9499-£14,649 Cute looks and rewarding handling, even in this more practical form AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 Sport Baleno 5dr hatch £13,249-£15,599 Suzuki’s family-sized hatchback makes use of clever little engines AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2 Dualjet SZ5 Jimny 3dr 4x4 £12,499-£15,279 The smallest four-wheel-drive Suzuki is looking dated AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.3 SZ4 Vitara 5dr SUV £14,499-£22,849 Utterly worthy addition to the class; drives better than most AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 Boosterjet S

NEW CAR PRICES SX4 S-Cross 5dr SUV £14,999-£24,349 Not a class leader, but a very worthy crossover. Refreshed look gives it a new lease of life AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 SZ-T Allgrip

TESLA Model S 5dr hatch £53,880-£114,580 Genuine 300-mile range doesn’t just make the Model S a standout electric car; it feels like the future of luxury motoring AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: P90D AWD Model X 5dr SUV £64,480-£117,580 Genuine 300-mile range doesn’t just make the Model X a standout electric car; it’s a luxury seven seater with falcon doors AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 90D AWD

T OYO TA Aygo 3dr hatch £9135-£13,245 Impactful styling does a lot to recommend it. Strong on infotainment but not as refined or practical as some AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 x-pression Aygo 5dr hatch £9535-£14,345 As above, but with rear doors AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 x-pression Yaris 3dr hatch £11,750-£13,920 Good space and value but not a class leader AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 VVT-i Icon Yaris 5dr hatch £12,350-£18,095 Stylish interior but ultimately a scaled-down version of bigger Toyotas AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.33 VVT-i Icon £14265 Auris 5dr hatch £16,390-£25,140 Disappointingly average. There are many better rivals AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2T VVT-i Design Auris Touring Sports 5dr estate £17,490-£26,240 Nothing wrong, but nothing exceptional AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.2T VVT-i Design Prius 5dr hatch £23,600-£27,355 Better all-round compared to its predecessors AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.8 VVT-i Business Edition Prius Plug-In 5dr hatch £33,450 Plug-in hybrid Prius is clever and appealing in its own right AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.8 VVT-i Plug-In Prius+ 5dr MPV £27,050-£31,300 Expensive and ugly. Bigger though AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.8 VVT-i Excel Avensis 4dr saloon £19,300-£27,085 Nothing wrong, but nothing exceptional. Good spec AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.8 V-matic Business Edition Avensis Tourer 5dr estate £20,480-£28,890 Good spec but an unexceptional estate otherwise AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.8 V-matic Business Edition Verso 5dr MPV £18,925-£26,095 One of Toyota’s better niche models is unburdened by a hybrid powertrain and offers decent space, a respectable drive and a keen price AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 V-matic Icon 7seats Proace Verso 5dr MPV £26,050-£35,400 One of Toyota’s niche models is unburdened by a hybrid powertrain and provides decent competition to the Vivaro and Transit equivalents AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0D 180 Family Compact C-HR 5dr SUV £20,995-£27,995 Coupé-shaped crossover aims to bring the fight to Nissan and the Juke. Thus far its seems to hit the right notes AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.8 Hybrid Excel RAV4 5dr SUV £23,755-£32,975 A solid option, but ultimately outgunned by Korean competition AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 D-4D Icon

Land Cruiser 5dr 4x4 £36,465-£55,465 A real go-anywhere vehicle. Available with seven-seats AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.8 D-4D Active Hilux 5dr 4x4 £22,955-£35,265 A real go-anywhere vehicle with the added practicality of being a pick-up AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.5 D-4D Active Double Cab GT86 2dr coupé £22,705-£28,695 Who knew Toyota had another dynamic masterstroke in it after the Lexus LFA? Almost as much fun as a limited budget can buy. Splendid AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 Aero

VA U X H A L L Viva 5dr hatch £8745-10,145 Plenty of space for the money but lacking equipment and youthful joie de vivre AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 75 Ecoflex SE Adam 3dr hatch £12,110-£19,045 Certainly looks the part, but there are better superminis ahead of it AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4 150 Rocks S Corsa 3dr hatch £9745-£18,630 Very refined, stylish and practical, but its engines aren’t so good AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0T 90 Ecoflex SE Corsa 5dr hatch £13,250-£19,200 A more practical version of the Corsa, which is refined and practical AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0T 90 Ecoflex SE Astra 5dr hatch £15,445-£22,965 Good handling and nice engines but its working-class roots still show through AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0T 105 Ecoflex Tech Line Astra Sports Tourer 5dr estate £16,735-£24,255 More composed and practical than the hatchback AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 CDTi 160 BiTurbo SRi Insignia 5dr hatch £17,439-£32,404 Nearly as good as a Mondeo. Inert steering AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 CDTi 170 Ecoflex SRi Insignia Sports Tourer 5dr estate £19,669-£33,704 Hugely spacious but no fun to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 CDTi 170 Ecoflex SRi Meriva 5dr MPV £13,410-£22,395 Clever Flexdoors make sense for young families. Nice to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4T 140 Exclusiv Zafira Tourer 5dr MPV £18,615-£29,580 Looks upmarket but feels less so on the inside. Some clever packaging features make good use of what space there is. Ordinary to drive AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4T 140 Exclusiv Vivaro Combi MPV £23,623-£25,216 Vauxhall people-mover based on its popular van AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 CDTi 90 Ecoflex SWB Mokka X 5dr hatch £19,655-£26,765 Compact and competent but short on persuasive quality just like the Mokka AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.4T 140 Design Nav VXR8 4dr saloon £55,550-£56,220 Charismatic Vauxhall is more brutish and unsophisticated than some. Unbeatable on horsepower-perpound, though AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 6.2 V8 Maloo LSA

V O L K S WA G E N Up 3dr hatch £8995-£11,350 VW’s city car is no revolution — just a trademark effort to beat its rivals on finish, refinement, desirability and economy AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 60 Look Up Up 5dr hatch £9395-£25,280 Ditto above, with added five-door convenience AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 60 Look Up

Polo 3dr hatch £11,525-£20,370 Still the sensible choice in a lot of ways: usable, refined, easy-going, desirable and very solidly built AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 TSI 110 SE L

Touareg 5dr SUV £43,935-£49,895 An unusually straightforward sort: comfy, capable, refined and obedient-handling. Five seats only AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 3.0 V6 TDI 262 SE

Polo 5dr hatch £12,155-£21,000 And even more useful with five doors AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.0 TSI 110 SE L

Amarok 5dr 4x4 £25,419-£35,931 Volkswagen quality of build and interior matched to a rugged exterior AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 BiTDI 180 Trendline

Golf 3dr hatch £17,625-£33,100 A little expensive it may be, but there’s enough quality here to justify the expense. Classiness democratised AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 220 GTI Golf 5dr hatch £18,280-£35,820 As above but in the five-door form most buyers are likely to opt for AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 220 GTI Golf Estate 5dr estate £18,980-£34,455 And even more practical in loadlugging body style AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 300 R 4Motion DSG Golf SV 5dr MPV £19,255-£27,610 MQB platform gives the Golf proper MPV proportions. Still no C-Max, though AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 SE Jetta 4dr saloon £19,155-£25,055 Big boot, pleasant dynamics and good pricing. A bit dull AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 SE Beetle 3dr hatch £16,820-£25,390 Huge improvement, but the Golf hiding underneath is a superior car AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 Sport Beetle Cabriolet 2dr open £19,775-£28,545 Huge improvement and quite chic in open-top form AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 110 Scirocco 2dr coupé £21,040-£34,390 A complete coupé. Entertaining, practical and stylish AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TSI 280 R Passat 4dr saloon £22,680-£40,180 Lands convincing blows with quality, usability, smart looks and civilised manners. A touch too conservative to be entertaining, though AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 SE

V O LV O V40 5dr hatch £21,950-33,775 Not perfect, but a handsome, wellpackaged, pragmatic and likeable car: rare commodities in the class AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 T3 R-Design S60 4dr saloon £22,395-31,625 New frugal four-pot diesel has given Volvo’s middleweight a new lease of life. Determinedly understated, mature and laid back AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 D4 SE Lux Nav V60 5dr estate £23,075-£52,270 Mature and appealing cabin, nice looks and smooth drive. Too small AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 D4 Cross Country Lux Nav S90 4dr saloon £32,555-£42,055 The new mid-size executive car ready to take on the Germans AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: D4 Inscription V90 5dr estate £34,555-£44,055 The new luxury Swedish saloon in a more practical estate form AAABC TESTERS’ PICK: D4 Inscription XC60 5dr SUV £32,685-39,890 Refreshing car design from Volvo, made more competitive by its engine revolution. Not quite as spacious as some but has useful features AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 D4 R-Design Nav XC90 5dr SUV £46,850-£64,555 Cleverly packaged, smartly styled, competitively priced and pleasing to drive. As close a thing to a classleader as Volvo has had in a long time AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 D5 Inscription AWD

VUHL 05 2dr open £59,995-£89,995 Mexican track day special has a pleasingly pragmatic and forgiving chassis. Turbo engine isn’t the most characterful AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: RR 2.3 Ecoboost

Passat Estate 5dr estate £24,230-£41,730 Smart-looking and civilised estate WESTFIELD AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 190 SCR GT SPORT 2dr open £20,588-£28,745 Entry-level Westfield. Sport Turbo is very quick and fun but no Caterham CC 4dr saloon £25,475-£33,515 Loses a name and adds some flair but AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 1.6 Sigma 155 never compels AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 184 GT Sport Touran 5dr MPV £22,270-£31,535 The medium-sized people-carrier done conservatively — but done very well. Refined and wieldy, with excellent infotainment options AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI SCR 150 SE Sharan 5dr MPV £26,680-£36,660 Full-sized seven-seater offers outstanding versatility and space with tidy handling and VW-brand desirability AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 SE

W H AT ’ S C O M I N G W H E N

ZENOS E10 0dr open £26,995-£39,995 The latest in a long line of English mid-engined marvels. Earns its stripes immediately; expect a dedicated following AAAAB TESTERS’ PICK: 2.3 R

B E N T L E Y B E N TAYG A D I E S E L | J A N 2 0 17 The oil-burning Bentayga is set to be Bentley’s first diesel-engined production car. The luxury SUV will be powered by a triple-charged 4.0-litre V8 that makes 429bhp and 664lb ft while returning a claimed 35.8mpg combined, along with CO2 emissions of 210g/km. Order books are open now. Price from £135,800 O C TO B E R 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia, Aston Martin DB11, Caterham Seven Sprint, Ford Ka+, Hyundai Ioniq, Infiniti Q60, Mazda 3 facelift, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate, Mitsubishi Shogun Sport, Suzuki SX4 S-Cross facelift, Toyota GT86 facelift, Volkswagen e-Up facelift N OV E M B E R 2016 Audi A5, Q5, R8 Spyder, S5, Dacia Logan MCV facelift, Sandero facelift, Sandero Stepway facelift, Kia Carens facelift, Optima Sportswagon, Soul TGD-i, Koenigsegg Regera, Mercedes-AMG GT R, Nissan GT-R Nismo, GT-R Track Edition, Noble M600 Speedster, Renault Grand Scénic, Scénic, Zoe facelift D EC E M B E R 2016 Lamborghini Centenario, Mini Clubman JCW, Tesla Model X E A R LY TO M I D -2017 Alpina B5 Touring, D5 Touring, Alpine A120, Audi RS1, RS3 saloon, BMW 5 Series Touring, 5 Series saloon, M4 facelift, M5, X2, X3, Bristol Bullet, Bentley Bentayga Diesel, Citroën C3, C3 Picasso, Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T, LaFerrari Aperta, Fiat Panda facelift, Ford Ecosport facelift, Fiesta, Focus RS500, Honda Civic, FCV Clarity, CR-V, Hyundai i10 facelift, i30, Isuzu D-Max, Jaguar F-Type R Convertible facelift, XF Sportbrake, Jeep Compass, Kia Picanto, GT, Rio, Lamborghini Aventador facelift, Land Rover Discovery, Lexus IS facelift, LC500, SC, Mahindra e2o Plus, Mazda CX-5, MX-5 RF, Mercedes-AMG C63 R, E63, GT Roadster, GT C Roadster, S63 facelift, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé, E-Class All Terrain, E-Class Cabriolet, E-Class Coupé, GLA facelift, MG small SUV, Mini Countryman, Nissan Micra, Qashqai facelift, Peugeot 3008, 5008, Porsche Panamera, Panamera Sport Turismo, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, Range Rover Sport Coupé, Renault Captur facelift, Koleos, Seat Ibiza, Leon, Skoda Kodiaq, Octavia facelift, Superb facelift, Smart Fortwo EV, Fortwo Cabriolet EV, Forfour EV, Spyker C8 Preliator, Ssangyong Rexton, Subaru BRZ facelift, Levorg facelift, Impreza, Suzuki Ignis, Swift, Vauxhall Insignia, Meriva replacement, Volkswagen e-Golf facelift, Golf R, Polo GTI, Tiguan LWB, Touareg, Volvo S90 R-Design, V90 Cross Country, V90 R-Design L ATE 2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi A8, BMW X2, Z4, Borgward BX7, Great Wall Steed 6, Hyundai i30N, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, Mercedes-Benz pick-up truck, Mitsubishi crossover MPV, Porsche 911 GT3 facelift, Seat Arona, Tesla Model 3, Vauxhall Insignia VXR, Volkswagen CC

Caddy Life 5dr MPV £19,759-£26,316 Rugged workhorse built to supplement the Touran and Sharan AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 Caravelle 5dr MPV £37,686-£55,362 Rugged workhorse built to carry people AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 204 SE SWB California 5dr MPV £38,214-£55,790 Rugged workhorse built to carry people and put them up for the night AAACC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 Tiguan 5dr SUV £22,510-£36,375 An improvement on the previous generation, but is it a winner? AAAAC TESTERS’ PICK: 2.0 TDI 150 SE Nav

K I A C A R E N S FA C E L I F T | D E C E M B E R Kia’s seven-seat MPV gets design tweaks to its bumpers, grille and foglights, while inside there will be a choice of a 7.0in or 8.0in touchscreen. An ‘Eco Pack’ will be offered with the 1.7-litre diesel model, reducing CO2 emissions from 117g/km to 109g/km. Prices across the Carens lineup will increase by £900 or so. Price from £19,000 (est)

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150 BM


777 HM


26 JRC


190 LR


I50 RG


430 W


A I5 A .......................................£75,000 A 79......................................£70,000 999 AB ...................................£9,800 2663 AB.................................£5,500 ACD 560 ................................£2,800 AJ 9 ....................................£120,000 AM 69 ..................................£23,000 K99 ANA................................£1,000 64 AS ...................................£24,000 400 AT ...................................£8,800 850 AT ................................... £7,000 I68 ATP ..................................£1,500 I0 ATS ....................................£6,500 ATS 50 ................................... £7,500 I AXG ...................................£13,000 AXT 8N ..................................£4,995 B II B ......................................£125,000 700 BA ................................... £7,500 68 BB ...................................£10,500 I0 BG....................................£19,000 I0I BH .....................................£9,000 III BJP .................................... £7,500 I50 BM ...................................£8,000 600 BMC ...............................£5,500 6 BMH..................................£15,000 I90 BMW................................£3,700 BN 66 ...................................£15,500 BOB 964................................£8,800 D20 BOS ...............................£1,200 I40 BP ....................................£6,500 333 BXS ................................£1,000 C 879 CEH ................................£2,800 2 CFG ....................................£8,800 MI2 CFD ................................£1,500 2II CH...................................£15,000 II CLS .....................................£5,000 CLS II ..................................... £7,500 N2 CLY ..................................£1,800 COB 8IE ................................£8,500 COL 374 ................................£4,500 SI5 CPH....................................£850 CSE 289 ................................£2,500 2I9 CTR .................................£1,500

D 262 D ..................................... £7,800 DAMIION .............................£15,000 II DCP ....................................£4,200 D3EAN.................................£40,000 I20 DG ................................... £7,000 474 DGM ...............................£3,500 X3 DJO ..................................£1,500 750 DL ...................................£6,500 42 DM ..................................£25,000 2 DOG..................................£30,000 98 DS ...................................£18,000 400 DS...................................£8,800 A9 DSD.....................................£950 I00 DVO .................................£3,600 DW 2I ...................................£35,000 E C4 EGC ................................. £7,500 93I ELC.................................. £1,400 206 ELY .................................£2,300 EI0 TTT..................................£2,500 ETM 800................................£3,800 2I3 EMM ................................£2,800 EMW 520...............................£2,500 G7 ENG .................................£2,800 EP 3582.................................£2,500 EPII ATE ................................£1,000 ERR IK .................................£12,000 F I9 F ....................................... £47,000 UKI5 FAB...............................£4,500 LA55 FAT...............................£4,500 550 FB ...................................£9,800 RI2 FCS ....................................£650 862 FDT.................................£1,800 FDZ 483....................................£900 FJ I0 .....................................£25,000 FP 23 .....................................£8,500 R555 FRY..............................£1,000 FUN IT ...................................£3,800 G I7 G.......................................£52,500 22 G .....................................£50,000 GAC 88I .................................£3,000 I20 GC ................................... £7,500 6 GCD ....................................£4,800 GE 4768.................................£2,600 II GEM..................................£15,000 I GFX......................................£8,500 I GGX .....................................£9,500

II GGX ....................................£5,500 250 GH ..................................£9,000 GIL 2 ....................................£30,000 20 GJS...................................£6,800 IIII GK...................................£12,000 400 GP ..................................£9,500 37 GR.....................................£9,500 H 340 H ...................................£15,000 97 HB ...................................£10,000 I50 HB....................................£8,000 HEN I7 ...................................£5,200 38 HGB..................................£5,800 3959 HJ .................................£1,300 R9 HJH ..................................£1,200 HJR IN ...................................£1,300 777 HM .................................. £7,000 HN 4626 ................................ £1,400 II HNS ....................................£5,000 AD02 HOD ...............................£850 R8 HRD .................................£1,200 HSK 288 ................................£1,200 HU5ICAN...............................£4,500 HU59 CAN ............................£4,500 I0 HXH ...................................£1,900 J JAG 8T.................................£12,000 RI00 JAG ...............................£5,500 JB 887..................................£13,000 II JCD .....................................£5,500 JCG IG...................................£1,800 4 JCK ...................................£10,000 I0 JDJ.....................................£3,500 II JDJ......................................£4,000 WI8 JEM ................................£1,300 624 JGC ................................ £1,495 JJW 624.................................£5,500 JOD I7S .................................£4,000 24 JRC ...................................£6,800 JW I86I ..................................£3,800 K K48 JRP ...................................£600 KAT 6V...................................£5,500 K794 KAB.................................£600 KCT 96I..................................£2,000 KEN I7P .................................£2,800 KH 9064 ................................£2,800 35 KL......................................£9,800 660 KO...................................£4,800 3 KOR ....................................£5,500

I KRL ....................................£19,000 8 KRL .....................................£6,800 KRL III ....................................£5,800 4 KSG ....................................£8,800 66 KXK ..................................£1,500 L 56 L ......................................£38,000 I000 L.....................................£9,500 S9 LCW ....................................£800 LEE 782 .................................£3,500 400 LH ...................................£9,500 222 LP ...................................£6,000 I90 LR .................................... £7,000 L2 LTY ......................................£950 RII LVE......................................£950 LXS 40 ...................................£2,200 LYN 554Y ..............................£4,500 M I3 M ......................................£55,000 92 M .....................................£38,000 II MCF ....................................£8,500 MDS I7................................... £7,000 2I ME....................................£15,000 MEJ 2...................................£12,500 AI0 MFC ................................£1,300 60 MG ..................................£25,000 V8 MGB .................................£3,500 50 MGL ..................................£5,500 X7 MHB ....................................£950 MIB 8409 ..................................£600 MKE I ...................................£75,000 MKS I ...................................£35,000 S29 MLE................................... £450 WI MLW ................................. £1,995 866 MMB ...............................£2,800 MUB I ...................................£12,000 N 79 N......................................£23,000 S330 NCK ................................ £700 T444 NDV.................................£600 NFG 20 ..................................£2,800 II NMS ....................................£5,000 66 NSX ..................................£3,500 84 NT ..................................... £7,500 70 NXN ..................................£1,900

O O 49 .....................................£55,000 7 OF .....................................£21,000 55 OFB ..................................£4,500 I6 OG .....................................£8,800 30 OJ ..................................... £7,500 6 OOO .................................£30,000 OOO IX ..................................£8,800 N5 OOO ................................£5,000 Y7 OSH .................................£1,800 I00 OT ..................................£20,000 I OTO ...................................£22,000 III OTX ...................................£1,500 I0 OU....................................£20,000 I000 OW ..............................£20,000 7 OZ .....................................£80,000 P P I00.....................................£65,000 PAM I32Y...............................£1,200 450 PAT .................................£3,500 PAT 228 .................................£5,500 P6 PBR ..................................£1,000 PCY I.................................... £17,000 PE 50 ...................................£22,000 362 PG...................................£3,600 PHC 7 ....................................£6,800 PIL 2003 ...................................£800 7584 PJ..................................£1,800 EI0 PLA ....................................£900 507 PMY................................£2,800 X5 PNE ..................................£1,600 PP II .....................................£55,000 X6 PPD .....................................£600 PRE 35E................................£2,000 73 PS ...................................£18,000 I996 PS ..................................£5,500 I00 PXP .................................£2,500 R R80 RAK ...............................£1,200 R777 LLY...............................£3,000 7 RBR ....................................£5,500 BI RBW .....................................£950 CI7 RDS ................................£2,300 J30 REP ................................£1,300 P99 REY...................................£600 RFW 9....................................£9,800 RGC 943 ...............................£1,800 RHA 77 ..................................£5,000


REJ 3 ...................................£10,800 I9 RMS...................................£8,500 P90 RNR .................................. £700 ROO2 ERT............................£2,400 I965 RR ...............................£20,000 RTL I ....................................£75,000 RTL 2 ...................................£55,000 I2 RTP....................................£3,000 S 3 SAC...................................£14,000 SAM 293................................£8,800 MII SBB .................................... £700 I SBX ....................................£13,800 T8 SCS ..................................£1,500 J33 SEA ................................£1,000 SEJ I50 ..................................£3,300 SEZ 5692 ................................. £150 SHII RLS..............................£15,000 40 SJX ................................... £1,700 I3 SLK ....................................£5,500 2 SLR ...................................£24,000 I28 SM ................................. £11,000 22 SMR..................................£6,000 SNO 30..................................£3,500 50 UND ..............................£130,000 SPD 346 ................................£3,500 SOP 853 ................................£3,200 S4 SPY ..................................£4,500 208 SR.................................£10,000 4 SXM ....................................£4,800 T 6 T ..................................... £265,000 THE 800T ............................£15,000 I828 TJ ...................................£1,900 TKJ 46 ...................................£3,500 94 TL...................................... £7,000 I50 TL.....................................£6,000 78 TR .....................................£8,000 TRI3 MPH..............................£5,500 TRN I....................................£29,000 TSE 6 .....................................£5,500 TUR80G ..............................£18,500 G35I TVR ..............................£1,000 TVR 653X..............................£1,000 U I UDY....................................£23,000 I UEE......................................£8,500 M66 UFC ...............................£1,800 UNA 332 ................................£3,500 7 UNO....................................£4,500

RI0 UNO ................................£1,200 500 UOX................................£1,300 USA 3I8 .................................£5,500 L5 UST...................................£2,000 V VER 73X ................................£2,000 P2I VGB.................................£1,200 VJI I50 .......................................£950 VJV 306 .................................£1,800 7 VJX......................................£3,800 935 VPD ................................£1,500 VSN I....................................£28,000 VVC 2...................................£10,000 W 925 W...................................£10,200 WBK 598 ............................... £2,100 92 WM ...................................£8,500 52 WR .................................. £11,000 I7 WRF...................................£2,800 WWK 92 ................................£5,500 I WWW ..............................£115,000 I0 WWW ................................£9,500 500 WXW ...............................£1,100 X 28 X......................................£30,500 333 X....................................£15,000 I XAD .....................................£9,500 I XBC....................................£15,500 4 XCG ....................................£4,800 8 XDR ....................................£5,000 4 XFJ......................................£4,500 40 XKY ..................................£1,800 50 OXH ..................................£1,500 I00 XS ....................................£8,000 4 XX .....................................£45,500 I XXG ...................................£13,000 XXX 4...................................£18,000 Y I4 Y .......................................£35,500 444 Y ...................................£10,000 II YPB.....................................£3,000 YI0 YDS.................................£2,300 II YLP .....................................£3,000 YSX 88...................................£2,000 I YTA ......................................£9,000



On retention £8500 T: 01843 227585

On retention for 1 year £650 01189 781901

TU12B0 S




TURBO S - Porsche -

AVENTADOR - Lamborghini -

GOODBYE - Supercar -

LUXURY - Lifestyle -

ha5 4 wag

na54 ufo

e7 ufo


HAS A WAG - Footballer -

NASA UFO - Spacecraft -

ET UFO - Track Toy -



m555 bye

you 848e









a pioser





bm04 zzz

ACE 123







01273 922215

For Sale by Public Auction 19th November @ 1.30pm

DS 154

Estimate £10,000-£15,000


Estimate £1,000-£1,500


Estimate £1,000-£1,500

For further information contact: Thomas R Callan Ltd Est 1933 Auctioneers and Valuers, 22 Smith Street, Ayr, Scotland, KA7 1TF Phone: 01292 267681 Email: Web:

MU51C MC Private Sale £12,000 All sensible offers considered 07771 580035




ENJOYED THIS ISSUE? Head to to find even more of the latest news, reviews, opinion, galleries and videos

The AM-RB 001 will take hypercars to a whole new level


Honda NSX vs McLaren 570S Video: Honda’s potent new hybrid supercar takes on its British rival

Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy ars are fast, right? Fast cars are fast, I mean. Cars like the McLaren 570S, which is supercar fast despite being called a ‘Sports Series’ car. It has a rival in the Audi R8, which, by any stretch, is a supercar too. As is the new Honda NSX. Horsepower is in the 500-andsomething realm. All day long, these cars are supercars. At least, they were. But just as the Volkswagen Polo got so big that there was room for the Up beneath it, so, too, has the supercar class changed, defining itself as a faster niche again. A Super Series McLaren, for example, is the 650S, which is likely to be replaced, and relatively soon, by a car that more closely resembles the even more powerful 675LT. That will continue to go head to head with Ferrari’s 488 GTB, the archetypal mid-engined supercar, and the Lamborghini Huracán. These cars, you understand, are now ‘normal’ supercars. They’re the Polo-class cars that have left room for the Ford Ka and Up beneath them. Brake horsepower? Six hundred, at least, plus another 50, as a rule.


McLaren 570S is a sports car in the new hierarchy



Hypercars with 800-900bhp aren’t all that hyper any more, are they?

Renault’s newest pocket rocket driven on British roads for the first time

a Above those is a supercar class that doesn’t have a name. Beyondsupercars such as the Lamborghini Aventador and Ferrari F12 – cars with V12 predecessors whose power outputs, 20 years ago, started with a four. Today they begin with a seven, which will soon become an eight. And then there are your hypercars – the McLaren P1, Aston Martin Vulcan, LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder and so on, at 800-900bhp. Only they’re not that hyper any more, are they? Because soon there will be the Aston AM-RB 001 and something similarly extreme from MercedesAMG, both with Formula 1 design and inspiration and 1000bhp and, look, when is this all going to end? Because at the other end of the scale, using cars is getting more difficult. Ten, 15, 20 years ago, you’d find a nice, quiet stretch of road in the middle of nowhere and although the speed limit was ostensibly 60mph – and although neither your correspondent nor this magazine would ever have condoned breaking it – you might have had a quick look around and if no one was about, stretched a car’s legs up to, I don’t know, 80-something. It’s not right, it’s not big, it’s not clever, but there you go. Today’s cars are so much faster,

and their capabilities so much higher, that unless you are an idiot on the road, you’ll use far less of a car’s potential than ever before. Besides, today everyone has a camera phone. An increasing number of people have a dashboard camera. Everyone has access to YouTube and anyone can be a publisher in an instant. It is safest to assume your driving is always being recorded and it’s very difficult to argue – certainly I’m not going to – that this is anything other than a good thing when it comes to road safety. It is why doing track days is fast becoming essential if you want to have any idea of what your sports car is actually like. But a circuit isn’t the only place for a road car. So, cars, here’s the deal, which shouldn’t need repeating but does: you’ve got 60mph in which to impress me. That’s not an unusual limit for anywhere in the world, and a road-going sports car’s job is to engage and entertain below that limit. Some cars – even those with ludicrous physical capabilities – can do precisely that. More on which, not by coincidence, next week.

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Blog: Mull Rally A co-driver’s view of what it’s like to compete in the “best rally in the world”

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