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THE BEST NEW CARS
A well-kept secret – but not for long With the current generation version of their Swift supermini, Suzuki have stayed true to the design principles that have long served them in the small car sector, low running costs, high quality and a spacious cabin being the highlights. For the latest model year, the design gets minor visual tweaks, the option of 4WD and a five-door bodystyle alternative for the top Sport hot hatch. As ever, there are three engines for customers to choose from. The Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine was carried over from the old Swift. With its 75bhp and meaty torque output it’s a tried and tested engine that usually works well in small cars but it’s the 1.2-litre petrol engine that will attract more attention. Thanks to an advanced variable valve timing system that controls the intake and exhaust valves on each cylinder to optimise performance, it’s
reassuringly high-tech. It also produces some 93bhp which is a lot for a 1.2-litre engine, along with 118Nm of torque. The 0-62mph trial takes 12.3s and the top speed is 103mph. Customers of the Swift Sport hot hatch get a 1.6-litre petrol unit good for 62mph in 8.7s on the way to 121mph. As for the 4x4 version, well it’s based on an ordinary 1.2-litre petrol variant and features a proven and simple fully automatic and permanent 4-wheel drive system which transfers additional torque to the rear wheels when required via a viscous coupling. Great for those living in rural areas who don’t want to stretch to a small SUV. For the range model update, all Swift models receive some minor styling refreshments including a re-designed front bumper and grille and silver detailing to the lower front bumper. For added safety and style, a neater LED-type high level
brake lamp has been added. But in both three and five-door hatchback forms, this remains a neat piece of design, with nice features like the curving bonnet and the blacked-out pillars that create a ‘floating roof ’ effect. Take a seat in the rear and you’ll find one of the bigger cabins in the supermini class but this car’s short tail means that bootspace isn’t quite as impressive and the stiffer body has necessitated a reduced-sized hatch opening through which the 204-litres on offer must be accessed. Fold the 60/40-split rear seats and this is extendable to 528-litres. Behind the wheel, though some of the plastics used are a little hard to the touch, you certainly don’t get a bargain brand feel. Though the steering wheel is reach-adjustable only on plusher models, you do get seat height adjustment so it’s pretty easy to find a comfortable driving position. Plus the deep windows and narrow pil-
lars mean you’ve a very good view of the road ahead. Does this Swift’s low key evolutionary approach in the supermini sector matter in a market full of higher-profile choices? Not really. Y ou don’t need to spend long with this improved version to realise that it’s a more
grown-up proposition than many of its rivals – and a very competitive alternative in its class. You come away from a drive in one thinking that Suzuki deserves a higher profile than it currently enjoys in the UK – but maybe that’s the way Swift owners like it.
£10,495 Request a Test Drive today: suzuki.co.uk/islington
Trowbridge Motor Park, Canal Road Trowbridge Wiltshire BA14 8RL 01225 753103 Official Fuel Consumption Figures for the Suzuki SX4 range mpg (litres/100km) and CO 2 emissions (g/km): Urban 32.5-42.8 (8.7-6.6), Extra Urban 50.4-60.1 (5.6-4.7), Combined 42.2-53.3 (6.7-5.3), CO 2 emissions 155-139 g/km. The above fuel consumption figures are based on an EU test for comparative purposes only and may not reflect real driving results. *VAT free offer available on selected SX4 models only: SX4 1.6 SZ3 available from £10,495, including customer saving of £2,100 to SX4 SZ5 4x4 available at £13,249 including customer saving of £2,650 equivalent to VAT amount of previous on the road price of £12,595 (1.6 SZ3) and £15,899 (1.6 SZ5 4x4). VAT equivalent reduction is not available on vehicle options or accessories. For full details contact your local participating Suzuki Dealer. Offer subject to availability for vehicles privately registered between 1st January 2014 to 31st March 2014 from participating Authorised Suzuki Dealers only. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. All prices and specifications correct at time of going to print. Model shown: SX4 SZ5 (metallic paint available at £430).
This isn’t a supermini that most of those who’ll settle for a Fiesta or a Corsa will ever consider. But it’s an alternative they should have tried before signing on the dotted line. Here’s an affordable car that doesn’t feel like one. And a well kept secret that doesn’t deserve to remain that way.
THE BEST NEW CARS
Skoda’s ordinary Rapid may be a five-door hatch but it’s not a very conventional one. Potential buyers uncomfortable with that will be far happier with this Spaceback variant, a car designed to go head-to-head with the Focus, Astra and Golf class leaders. Though a little smaller than its stablemate, it’s certainly more stylish and at last gives this Czech brand a really credible contender in this important sector. The Rapid Spaceback runs on a similar platform to the Rapid hatch, so there aren’t any great surprises regarding the way it drives. That means you get what looks like a fairly rudimentary chassis set-up with a simple strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear end. The chassis is a interesting though, using a front end that’s been modified from the VW Polo, while the rear chassis structure and suspension are identical to that which props up the posterior of the VW Beetle. It’s similar to
the Rapid hatch and shares its 2602mm wheelbase but measures 180mm shorter due to a reduced rear overhang. Skoda offers two diesel and four petrol engines, with the entry-level powerplant in the range being a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol unit that packs 73bhp. It’ll thrash its way to 60mph in 13.4 seconds. A more satisfying option is the rather brilliant turbocharged 1.2-litre TSI four cylinder unit (in 85bhp and 103bhp states of tune) while there’s a seven-speed DSG-gearboxed 120bhp 1.4-litre TSI at the top of the range that looks a little redundant but which is the only car in the range that can crack 10 seconds to 60mph. The 1.6-litre turbodiesel versions come in 89 or 104bhp guises, with a seven-speed DSG gearbox an alternative to the standard manual five-speeder in the lower-powered variant. The Spaceback’s bodywork is new from the B-pillars back and it’s a crisp piece of design
Reliability at a price you can afford work. The rear end features neat triangular insets either side of the number plate holder and if you choose the optional panoramic glass roof, it then combines neatly with a ‘prolong’ tinted rear screen for a contrasting look that works best on pale coloured cars. The Rapid hatch already had a huge luggage capacity, so losing a bit of that for the sake of a perter rear end doesn’t exactly mean you’ll have to travel light. This goes down from 550 to 415-litres, although rear passenger space hasn’t been affected. The luggage bay can be specified with a double floor to ensure that valuables are kept out of sight. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats and you get up to 1,380-litres of luggage capacity (down from 1490-litres in the standard Rapid). The Rapid Spaceback might at first seem an answer to a problem entirely of Skoda’s own making. People are comfortable with conventional hatchback shapes. Challenge them with something a bit dif-
ferent and it often becomes a niche seller or worse, ignored altogether. The Rapid hatchback is a good car but it’s different, refusing to fit neatly into the pre-defined categories many buyers expect. In contrast,
this Spaceback version will be a much easier sell. Although its angular shape doesn’t look immediately like a Focus or an Astra, customers can clearly see that those kinds of cars offer direct competition. It’s a solid piece of
design work too. The interior isn’t going to win any prizes for flair, but if you want to make a choice that’s supremely reliable and which is available at a good price, the Rapid Spaceback more than justifies its existence.
FABIA HATCH AT PLATINUM ŠKODA
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The ŠKODA Fabia Hatch SE 1.2 12V 69PS Available in Brilliant Silver metallic and Denim Blue metallic paint only, but hurry, limited stocks available and at this price, we wouldn’t want you to miss it.
› Manual Air Conditioning › Additional rear speakers › Category 1 alarm with tilt sensor
› Metallic paint › 15" alloy wheels › Temporary spare steel wheel
Lower Bristol Road Bristol BA2 3DN
0843 320 1621
*Price refers to the ŠKODA Fabia Hatch SE 1.2 12V 69PS model in Brilliant Silver metallic and Denim Blue metallic paint with a temporary spare steel wheel only, while stocks last. Available on new retail orders subject to availability before the 31 March 2014. Available for over 18s. Retail sales only. Prices and speciﬁcations are accurate at time of print. Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Model shown is Fabia Hatch SE 1.2 12V 69PS.
Official Fuel Consumption in mpg (litres/100km) for the Fabia Hatch SE 1.2 12V 69PS: Urban 38.7 (7.3), Extra Urban 62.8 (4.5), Combined 51.4 (5.5). CO2 emissions for the Fabia Hatch SE 1.2 12V 69PS 128g/km. Standard EU test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results.
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Citroen back doing what it does best The DS3 is a Citroen supermini and the first instalment in the manufacturer’s DS sub-range. We’re seeing a whole catalogue of Citroens taking the DS brand name that first appeared in the 1950s on one of the most iconic cars of the 20th century, and attempting to reimagine that model’s sense of progress and excitement for the modern era. It’s a big ask but if Citroen can replicate even a fraction of the furore that surrounded the original DS, it will be on to a winner. Beneath the avant-garde exterior of the DS3 is the chassis from the next generation C3 supermini. The car has been set-up to achieve Citroen’s trademark ride comfort but also high levels of manoeuvrability with a 10.3m turning circle. Providing the motive force are 90bhp and 110bhp 1.6-litre HDi diesels with the petrol
side of the equation accounted for by VTi variable valve timing units with 95bhp and 120bhp. At the top of the line-up is the impressive 150bhp THP turbocharged petrol engine. The engines will be mated with five or six-speed manual gearboxes as standard. Wow, the DS3 is quite a sight. The basic shape of the car is traditional supermini with gentle curves marking its extremities and the wheels pushed out to the corners producing a squat, purposeful stance. The real drama, however, is in the detail. From that ‘shark fin’ B-pillar and the contrasting roof panel to the vertical strips of LED running lights that flank the front grille and the distinct sill line connecting the wheelarches, the DS3 is ferociously unconventional. It has the look of a concept car but Citroen has built it and you can buy it. For a modern supermini,
the DS3 is relatively compact. It’s 3950mm long and 1710mm wide, which is similar to the Ford Fiesta, but Citroen has worked hard to maintain plenty of interior space. The manufacturer claims there’s room for five adults with legroom in the rear enhanced by the slender backs of the driver and front passenger seats. In the tail, the boot is 285-litres which is large for the
supermini class and 60:40 split rear seats give options for extending that capacity. The engines in the DS3 are familiar Citroen units and are known to be economical for their size and type. The HDi diesels will be the ones that drivers intent on saving fuel will gravitate towards and both feature DPFS particulate filters to further clean up their acts. The lesser of the two will
emit around 99g/km of CO2 and should return around 60mpg on the combined cycle. The DS3 is also equipped with a gearshift indicator that prompts drivers to change gear at the opportune moment for greater efficiency. By looking to its past and the unparalleled reputation it once had for forward thinking, Citroen is confident it can make inroads at the trendy
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end of the small car market. The DS3 evokes the extraordinary Citroen DS with extrovert styling and a focus on futuristic design. Citroen has also managed to furnish the car with a variety of high tech features and is presenting customers with a range of options to personalise their vehicles. Could this be a welcome return to Citroen doing what it does best?
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*Prices & offers apply to retail sales of qualifying Citroën models ordered & delivered 01/01-31/03/14 & include VAT, delivery to dealer & number plates, Government Registration Fee & 12 months’ graduated vehicle excise duty. Black/metallic/pearlescent paint optional at extra cost. Offers, prices & specification correct at time of going to press from participating Dealers. Terms & conditions apply. Please ask us for details. Subject to stock availability.
Official Government fuel consumption figures (Range): Urban cycle, Extra urban, Combined (litres per 100km/mpg) & CO2 emissions (g/km); Highest: New Citroën C3 VTi 120 automatic 9.3/30.4, 4.9/57.6, 6.5/43.5, 150. Lowest: New Citroën C3 e-HDi 70 Airdream EGS 3.6/78.5, 3.2/88.3, 3.4/83.1, 87. MPG figures are achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only, and may not reflect actual on-the-road driving conditions.
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Renault’s little Captur Crossover model shows the French company getting back to their imaginative best with a Clio-based design offering super-economical engines, some genuinely clever interior touches and no small dose of style. It’ll appeal to supermini buyers wanting extra versatility as well as family hatchback customers in search of something more interesting and affordable. And it’s the kind of car that’ll certainly drive sales in this segment. So what’s it like? Set off on your first drive and if you’re used to a supermini, the more commanding driving position will be welcome – unless you’re the kind of enthusiastic owner who realises that with extra ride height, you usually also get extra body roll through the bends. Renault appreciates this too, which is why the Captur features a ‘Roll Movement Intervention’ system, supposed to stop the body pitching about
through sharp corners. Under the bonnet, almost all Captur owners will find 90bhp beneath their right foot – unless they’re amongst the tiny minority who’ve opted for the 120bhp 1.2-litre Tce petrol model that’s offered only with a twin clutch 6-speed EDC automatic gearbox. Not prepared to pay the premium for that? No, I didn’t think you would be, which is why we chose to try the engine that most buyers will want, the 1.5-litre dCi diesel. In a comparable Nissan Juke, this same unit puts out another 20bhp, but most buyers won’t really notice the lack of those extra braked horses, given perfectly adequate performance figures here of rest to 62mph in around 13s on the way to a top speed of 106mph. On paper, that’s the same kind of pace you can expect from the mainstream petrol option, the three cylinder 0.9-litre Tce 90 unit: in practice, because that Tce engine gives you over 50% less pulling power than this dCi diesel, it is
as usual the black pump option that’ll feel the quicker day-to-day tool. Don’t get any designs on off-roading though. There’s no 4WD option and there won’t be for the platform this car rides upon hasn’t been designed to take it. In compensation, there’s a decent 200mm of ground clearance. ‘Passionate, practical and innovative’. Is that what this is? The answer depends, as usual, upon your point of view. The Captur’s certainly an eye-catching thing, especially when specified in contrasting colours and finished with the exterior trim Gloss Pack around the foglights and grille. Broadly speaking, this is a trap Renault has avoided here – provided your expectations in each of these areas aren’t too great. It doesn’t have 4WD, you can only just carry five people and you won’t want to drive it on its door handles. None of which will bother most buyers at the smaller end
Crossover with plenty of versatility
of the Crossover segment one jot. They’ll love the buying personalisation – and trendy touches like the removable seat covers and the clever apps you can download through the R-Link infotainment system.
At which point, class-leading running costs and versatile features like the sliding rear bench and the double-sided boot floor will come as a welcome bonus. True, this Captur faces increasing competition from a
growing band of very talented rivals. But it’s a model you must consider before buying any one of them. A cleverer Crossover. If you really want a car of this kind, then you’ll really want to try it.
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The ofﬁcial fuel consumption ﬁgures in mpg (l/100km) for the Renault range are: Urban 27.2 (10.4)–78.5 (3.6); Extra Urban 45.6 (6.2)–94.2 (3); Combined 36.7 (7.7)–88.3 (3.2). The range’s ofﬁcial CO2 emissions are 178–83g/km. EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008 test environment ﬁgures. Fuel consumption and CO2 may vary with driving styles, road conditions and other factors.
Terms and exclusions apply. New 4+ package applicable to new retail cars. Warranty 4 years/100,000 miles and routine servicing 4 years/48,000 miles (whichever comes ﬁrst); servicing package available to Renault Selections and lease ﬁnance customers only, alternatively can be purchased for just £299 (price shown valid when purchased by 31 July 2014). Visit renault.co.uk/4plus for full details. Finance provided by RCI Financial Services Limited, PO Box 149, Watford WD17 1FJ. For ﬁnance, conditions apply. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. You must be at least 18 and a UK resident (excluding the Isle of Man and Channel Islands) to apply for ﬁnance. *1 year’s free insurance is available to Renault Finance customers in the UK (excluding Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Northern Ireland) on any New Clio Dynamique MediaNav 1.2 16V 75. Visit renault.co.uk/insuranceoffer for full terms and conditions. †£2000 comprises up to £1000 discount offer and £1000 deposit contribution. Up to £1000 discount offer is available to private and small business customers on new Renault cars (with the exception of Twizy Z.E.) and is paid directly to the customer by the dealer. Payment can also take the form of a contribution towards a cash purchase or ﬁnance. £1000 deposit contribution is available to new Renault Finance customers when taking Renault Finance on a new Renault Clio, Captur or Mégane (excluding Clio Expression and Renaultsport). Visit www.renault.co.uk/offers for details. Rental stated is for Renault Lease. If you choose Renault Lease then you will not own the car. When you have paid the ﬁnal rental at the end of the contract, you can keep using the car and pay an annual rental equivalent to one monthly rental. Typical example: New Renault Clio Dynamique Medianav 1.2 16V, advance rental £1700 inc VAT (after £1000 deposit contribution) followed by 48 monthly rentals of £159 inc VAT, ﬁnal rental £4735 inc VAT. A ﬁnance facility fee of £149 is payable with the advance rental. Offers cannot be used in conjunction with other schemes or ﬁnance offers and are available on new cars shown when ordered by 24 March and registered by 31 March 2014. Please check with your local dealer for details. Cars shown may have optional metallic paint, available at an additional £495 (or £595 for i.d. paint), plus £300 for painted roof on Captur.
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E for efficiency and excellence The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a reputation for buttoneddown efficiency. It’s one continued by this vastly improved eighth generation version which retains a sensible side but dials up the desirability, aiming to offer a smarter, more prestigious approach to Executive class motoring than its closest German rivals. It does so with efficient engines, astonishing technology and comfort that makes you question the need for a larger luxury saloon. You’ll recognise it by its more curvaceous nose but beyond the smarter look lie the more important state-of-theart virtues this E-Class will need if it’s to continue to be its maker’s most profitable model. Though you can specify a 252bhp V6 diesel E350 BlueTEC model and a couple of top V8 petrol E63 AMG variants developing either 557 or 585bhp, most E-class models now have four cylinder power. Mainstream petrol models are these days based around a
2.0-litre turbocharged engine rather than the previous 1.8 – and rather a clever one too, with direct injection and twin scroll turbocharging. This efficient BlueDIRECT unit comes in two different states of tune, with even the base E200 offering 184bhp, good for 62mph in 7.9s on the way to 145mph. Beyond that, the pokier E250 has 211bhp and improves these figures to 7.4s and 151mph: not bad for a car able to return nearly 50mpg in normal use. That might make you think twice about choosing one of the 2.1-litre diesels that almost all UK E-Class buyers tend to want – but probably not for very long. There’s 30% more pulling power on offer from the two four cylinder CDI units, with the 400Nm available from the 170bhp E220CDI, enough to get it to 62mph in 8.7s on the way to 141mph. With 204bhp on tap, the pokier E250 CDI improves those figures to 7.5s and 150mph. Exactly the same turn of speed in fact as you’ll get from prob-
ably the most interesting variant in this revised E-Class line-up, the diesel/electric E300 BlueTEC Hybrid. Truly future-proofed executive motoring. Mercedes is usually careful not to meddle too fundamentally with the things that define its most popular products, especially when it comes to aesthetics. Here, it’s different. The traditional bonnet mascot’s gone, replaced by a larger brand badge in the centre of a more prominent front grille flanked by a redesigned pair of curvaceously flowing headlamps. These now operate within a single lens that incorporates flowing light elements intended to maintain the typical four-eyed look that has come to characterise this car. Slip behind the wheel and smarter materials with meticulous detailing serve to raise the perceived quality and functionality of this car. There’s a redesigned centre console too, with extra storage space making up for the fact
that the door pockets are as small as ever. As before, you sit quite low and you’d be excused for some initial confusion with all the stalks, paddles and buttons that need to be mastered on the nappa-leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel, along with the endless menus
of the standard COMMAND infotainment system whose 7” colour screen dominates the top of the dash. But you quickly adjust, not only to these but also to familiar E-Class anomalies like the foot-operated parking brake and the steering column-mounted gearstick.
And once you have, you’re set to more readily appreciate ergonomic design that’s just that bit more special this time around. Out back, the 540-litre boot in the saloon while the spacious estate version ups luggage capacity to a 695-litre total.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG Sport Only £2,969 Deposit and £299 per month*
Representative Example C220 CDi AMG Sport 36 Monthly payments* On The Road Price Customer Deposit Retailer Deposit Contribution** Optional Purchase Payment† Acceptance Fee
£299 £23,475.95 £2,969 £0,000.00
Purchase Activation Fee† Amount of Credit Total deposit Total Amount Payable††
£12,350.00 Representative APR £180.00 Fixed Interest Rate
£95.00 £20,506.95 £2,969 £26,358.00 5.9% 5.22%
Or save up to £8,345 ^ on a C220 CDi AMG Sport Edition with the Premium Plus Package Premium Plus Package Includes
•Limited availability •Choice of colours •New Registration
• COMAND Navigation system with • Lighting Package Bluetooth connectivity • DAB Digital Radio • Reversing Camera • Panoramic Glass Sunroof • Heated Seats
Call Mercedes-Benz of Bath today on 01761 568297 to book a test drive. Sytner Group Mercedes-Benz of Bath Foxcote Avenue, Peasedown St John, Bath BA2 8SF 01761 568297 www.mercedes-benz-sytner.co.uk Model shown for illustration purposes only. Finance campaign is available on above model ordered/credit approved between 1st January and 31st March 2014. Credit provided subject to status by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services UK Ltd, MK7 8ND. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. *Based on a Mercedes-Benz Agility agreement. Based on 10,000 miles per annum. Excess mileage charges may apply. **The Retailer contribution is towards the deposit and is only available with this finance offer. †Payable if you exercise the option to purchase the car. ††Includes optional purchase payment, purchase activation fee and retailer deposit contribution. Prices correct as of 1st January 2014. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other published Retailer offer. Terms and conditions apply. ^£8,345 saving is based on a £6,290 discount on RRP on a C220 CDi Sport Edition (RRP £30,170, offer price £23,880) and a £2,055 saving on RRP of the Premium Plus Package (RRP £4,550, offer price £2,495).
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the extra few hundred for one of the two petrol 1.4s that are notably less feeble. Is it equally important to go large when it comes to trim levels? When it comes to that, I’m not quite so sure. There are three main ones. From baseline ‘JAM’ (supposed to be what Vauxhall calls ‘fashionable‘), you can pay just under £1,500 more to go ‘GLAM’ (for a trim package that’s apparently more ‘elegant‘) or pay a further £500 on top of that for the top, supposedly ‘sportier’ trim level we tried – ‘SLAM’. Given though that this car is all about bespoke tailoring, I can’t help but think that a better approach would be to buy in at ‘JAM’ level, then individually select the options you actually want. At under 3.7m in length, this ADAM is actually shorter than many citycars and a full 300mm shorter than Vauxhall’s Corsa supermini. But there’s more to it than that. The tall height and the considerable width – it’s ac-
The ADAM is Vauxhall’s refreshingly different take on the small car sector. It doesn’t replace the brand’s conventional citycar and supermini offerings but it does offer a more stylish option that sits somewhere in between for buyers bored by the sight of BMW’s reinvented MINI on every drive and unmoved by Fiat’s funky 500. Here’s a fashionable alternative with an encyclopaedic list of options, bidding for individuality beyond the hatchback herd. The ADAM value proposition is based on a pretty simple trade of size against style. The idea is that, just as with a MINI or a Fiat 500, you should get a citycar-sized runabout (think tiny Ford Ka or Volkswagen up!) for the cost of something supermini-shaped (think Corsa or Fiesta), with compensation provided by a super-sized helping of style and desirability. Prices start at just over £11,000 for the base 1.2i 16v petrol version, but we’d find
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tually wider than a Corsa – positions it visually as a bigger car than it actually is. A clever trick, which also pays dividends inside. As in a Fiat 500, the high roof gives a spacious feel, something that here is further underlined by the greater width and glass area. But all the smoke and mirrors in the world can’t create space where there isn’t much and Vauxhall’s claim that this design can ‘comfortably seat four adults’ requires for fulfilment the directive that those in the front should be very short-legged indeed. And at the wheel? Well, as a buyer you’ll have used the enormous trim choice range to complete a decor finish that’s either restrained, wilfully extrovert or more likely, as in this case, a feel that’s somewhere between the two. Most models offer a dash dominated by the optional 7-inch LCD colour Intellilink infotainment system, one of the first to be able to communicate with both Apple and
Would you ADAM and Eve it?
Android devices and applications and operable either via the touchscreen itself or through steering wheel
16V ER 1.8I R U O T ZAFIRA ECH LINE )T (140PSv
switchgear. Out back, a prod on the rear Griffin badge reveals a 170-litre boot that lies
size-wise somewhere between slightly smaller shape of a MINI and the slightly larger one of a Fiat 500.
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WARRANTY 100,000 MILE
Platinum Trowbridge Platinum Motor Park Trowbridge BA14 OBJ
Platinum Chippenham 16-17 The Causeway Wiltshire SN15 3DA
Platinum Frome Manor Road Somerset BA11 4BN
Official Government Test Environmental Data. Fuel consumption figures mpg (litres/100km) and CO 2 emissions (g/km). Vauxhall range (excl. Ampera): Urban: 14.4 (19.6) - 76.3 (3.7), Extra-urban: 27.4 (10.3) - 91.1 (3.1), Combined: 18.0 (15.7) - 85.6 (3.3). CO 2 emissions: 373 - 88g/km.# On the road prices include number plates, delivery, Vehicle Excise Duty, ﬁrst registration fee and VAT. Offers are available for registrations between 17/12/13 and 01/04/14 subject to availability and are available to private individuals and small businesses 1-24 (purchase only). Savings shown are against list price at time of publication, for details refer to Vauxhall’s current price guide. All other sales categories are excluded; cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offers may not apply to all retailer stocks. UK-supplied vehicles only. Vauxhall Lifetime Warranty covers lifetime ownership of ﬁrst registered keeper, 100,000 mile limit. Terms and conditions apply. #Ofﬁcial EU-regulated test data are provided for comparison purposes and actual performance will depend on driving style, road conditions and other non-technical factors.
THE BEST NEW CARS
All grown up – but young at heart Bigger, better equipped, more efficient and with a punchier range of engines, the latest MINI moves the game on. The styling is much as before with only subtle differences being apparent to MINI anoraks but the cumulative effect of all those changes is that this is now a far better car than its predecessor. So what’s changed in the chassis and engine department? Everything, basically. The chassis is BMW’s clever UKL1 platform which will also underpin a number of front-wheel drive BMW models. The engines comprise three powerplants to begin with, with MINI One and Cooper S JCW models following in a second wave of model introductions. Then MINI dealers will await Countryman and Convertible variants. The Cooper and Cooper D engines are both three-cylinder 1.5-litre units. The petrol engine packs a healthy 134bhp, which improves the sprint to 62mph to a respectable 7.9 seconds. Go diesel and the
Cooper D’s 114bhp three-pot scuttles you to 62 in just 9.2 seconds. The Cooper S sees its 1.6-litre turbo lump replaced by a 2.0-litre turbo powerplant, peak power inching up from 181 to 189bhp. That trims the 62mph benchmark by a couple of tenths to 6.8 seconds. MINI customers also get to choose between three different six-speed transmissions. There’s a manual ‘box with a clever trick, being able to throttle blip on downshifts to mimic the action of a pro heel-and-toe downshift. We’ve seen this tech before in the Nissan 370Z and it smoothes your entry into a corner. There are also two automatic gearboxes on offer, a conventional auto and an optional sports auto which enables even shorter shift times, features rev matching on downward shifts and can be operated in manual mode using shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The suspension of the latest MINI has been extensively revised, both in design and in materials
used, with much of it built from aluminium to save weight. There’s also Variable Damper Control. Available as an option, it offers drivers a choice of two distinct set-ups, a more comfort-oriented response or a focused, sporty feel. The styling doesn’t look all that different and you might feel a bit short-changed at this latest car’s lack of head turning ability. It’s only when you park it next to one of the last ‘R56’ generation cars that you can see how the styling direction has evolved. Yes, it is a bit bigger, measuring 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 28mm, while the track width has been enlarged at the front by 42mm and at the rear by 34mm. So the longer, wider and only a little bit taller proportions give it a squatter, more purposeful look, helped by the more tapered glasshouse. LED headlights are offered as an option for both main and dipped
beam and they’re surrounded by an LED daylight driving ring. Roof rails are available for the MINI hatch for the first time. So what’s happened to the MINI hatch? It’s become bigger and better finished, the engines are peppier and more efficient plus there are a great many more high-tech options to select from. That said, despite changing so much under
the skin, it feels very much a case of as you were, MINI perhaps a little cautious of alienating either existing owners or potential new customers with something radical. Don’t let that make you think we’re underwhelmed by the MINI. It’s still a great hatch and the latest changes give it some legs to continue the success story, with exciting introductions planned on
the near horizon. The prices look very reasonable at the moment, but to get the best from this car, you’ll probably want to throw a few of those high-end options at it, so budget accordingly and take that into account when you’re calculating your cost of ownership numbers. The MINI might have grown up but it doesn’t look as if it’s lost its sense of fun.
We interrupt this neWspaper to bring you an important announcement MINI Cooper Paceman Representative example including PePPeR pack and MINI tlc. Term of agreement 47 monthly payments On the road cash price* Customer deposit Option to purchase fee**
48 months £249.00 £20,814.54 £2,440.35 £10.00
Optional final payment
Total amount payable
Total amount of credit
Contact Wellsway MINI to find out more or to book a test drive^
THE MINI PACEMAN. 4 LOUNGE SEATS. 4 METRES LONG.
Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3DR 01225 324900 www.wellswaymini.co.uk Official Fuel Economy Figures for the MINI Paceman Range: Urban 26.4-60.1 mpg (10.7-4.7 l/100km). Extra Urban 44.8-67.3 mpg (6.3-4.2 l/100km). Combined 35.8-64.2 mpg (7.9-4.4 l/100km). CO2 Emissions 184-115 g/km. Figures may vary depending on driving styles and conditions. Finance example is based on a MINI Select agreement for the model stated, a MINI Cooper Paceman with PEPPER Pack, MINI tlc and optional metallic paint, with a contract mileage of 32,000 miles and an excess mileage charge of 4.50p per mile. *On the road cash price is based on manufacturer’s recommended retail price and includes 3 year MINI Dealer Warranty, MINI Emergency Service, 12 months’ road fund licence, vehicle first registration fee, delivery, number plates and VAT. **Option to purchase fee and optional final payment payable at the end of the agreement if you decide to purchase the vehicle. Excess mileage charges and vehicle condition charges may be payable if you return the vehicle. Prices are correct at time of publication February 2014 and are subject to change without notice. Retail customers only. Finance is subject to status and available to over 18’s in the UK only (excluding the Channel Islands and Isle of Man). Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Advertised finance is provided by MINI Financial Services, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9UF. Offers available on orders placed between 01.02.14 and 31.03.14 and registered by 30.06.14. We commonly, but not exclusively, introduce customers to MINI Financial Services. This introduction does not amount to independent financial advice. ^Test drive is subject to status and availability. MINIstry of Finance is not connected to or endorsed by any government department.
THE BEST NEW CARS
The Dacia Sandero Stepway is inexpensive but doesn’t look it. It’s a supermini that’s been jacked up a bit to give a crossover look and seems to press all the right buttons for buyers who don’t want big outlay but require big value. In order to understand the appeal of the Sandero Stepway, know this. The basic Sandero supermini upon which it’s based has been designed to sell into many third world markets and as such is billed as having excellent ground clearance and “robust underbody protection for impressive performance on unpaved tracks”. If that’s not a great basis for building a jacked-up version with even greater abilities, I don’t know what is. Do remember that this isn’t a four-wheel drive car though, so there are limits as to what it can negotiate. For tougher stuff, you’ll probably need to buy Dacia’s Duster compact SUV. The entry-level 90PS 1.2-litre petrol engine will probably be
more than enough for most people and it’s a sweet little motor, the three cylinders making a characterful sound and driving the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. Alternatively, there’s a 90PS 1.5-litre diesel that isn’t the most refined unit we’ve come across but nevertheless makes all the right economy and emissions figures. The extra wheel travel seems to give the Stepway a marginally better ride quality than the standard Sandero and the 40mm raise in height hasn’t made body control noticeably worse. The Stepway is styled to look a bit more rugged without actually offering any four wheel-drive underpinnings. Think VW Polo Dune or Rover Streetwise and you’re not far off the mark. That stepped up ground clearance gives it a nicely chunky look and might well prove useful when bumping up and down big kerbs in
town. It also gets a redesigned front end and body features such as front and rear skid plates, fog lamps, two-tone bumpers, pronounced wheel arches, 16-inch Flexwheels rims, two-tone longitudinal roof bars and exclusive blue paint. Inside, there’s embroidered upholstery and grey overstitching for a bolder look. The Dacia Sandero Stepway deserves to do very well. It’s a much more interesting and, crucially, expensive-looking car than the basic Sandero hatch and although the craze for these 4x4-styled superminis might have been and gone, it’s still a vehicle that will find a ready market here in the UK. With its 40mm raised ride height, it will not only appeal to those looking for something a bit beefy-looking to drive in town, but older buyers might well appreciate not having to sit so far down into the vehicle. The pricing looks extremely good as well. For only a couple
The New Dacia Range * from £5,995
How to do budget cars very well indeed
of hundred pounds more than the most depressingly basic 60PS Volkswagen Polo, you can buy a range-topping Stepway with a 105PS diesel engine and goodies like cruise control, air conditioning, parking
sensors and a seven-inch touch screen. Think about that for a moment. Consider how insecure you’d need to be to choose the comfort blanket security of the Volkswagen badge over
that. Perhaps Skoda should have been Volkswagen’s Dacia, but it hasn’t really worked out that way. It’s become a bit too gentrified. The Stepway is a case study in how to do budget cars very well indeed.
TWO YEARS RUNNING
Dacia Sandero = from £5,995*
Dacia Logan MCV = from £6,995*
Dacia Sandero Stepway = from £8,395*
Dacia Duster = from £9,495*
Sandero shown is Lauréate 1.2 16V 75 from £7,995. Logan MCV shown is a Lauréate 1.2 16V 75 from £8,995. Duster shown is Lauréate dCi 110 4x2 from £13,495.
PLATINUM DACIA PLATINUM MOTOR PARK, NORTH BRADLEY, TROWBRIDGE BA14 0BJ 01225 759525 WWW.PLATINUMDACIA.CO.UK The official fuel consumption ﬁgures in mpg (l/100km) for the Dacia range are: Urban 27.2 (10.4)–65.7 (4.3); Extra Urban 40.3 (7)–80.7 (3.5); Combined 35.3 (8)–74.3 (3.8). The official CO2 emissions for the range are 185–99g/km. EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008 test environment ﬁgures. Fuel consumption and CO2 may vary according to driving styles, road conditions and other factors. *Prices shown include delivery to dealer, number plates, 20% VAT, 12-month Government road fund licence and £55 ﬁrst registration fee. Prices shown are Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Prices, which apply to new Dacia vehicles when ordered by 31 March 2014. Metallic paint available at an additional £495.
THE BEST NEW CARS
The default choice for a premium hatch BMW is never a predictable company. The styling of the latest 1 Series has proven controversial but if you value a quality drive over a pretty face, it’s the very first car you’d turn to. Now more efficient, more spacious and more luxurious, it looks set to continue its record of success. The 1 Series has always been distinguished by the quality of its driving dynamics and it’s good to see that BMW hasn’t been tempted to compromise on its principles. Although there has been rumour of four-wheel drive models for foreign markets, the UK selection is resolutely rear-wheel drive. The chassis balance remains as good as ever but a wider track than its predecessor (51mm at the front and 71mm at the rear) makes this car even more planted through corners. The engines have been given a refresh with a choice of two innovative four-cylinder petrol engines and three redesigned four-cylinder diesel
units. The turbocharged BMW 118i produces a maximum output of 170hp at 4,800rpm, punching from zero to 62mph in just 7.4 seconds, going on to a maximum speed of 140mph. The 116i also features a twin-scroll turbo, making a more modest 136bhp but will still zip through the sprint to 62 in a spry 8.5 seconds. Top of the petrol line-up is the 316bhp M135i hot hatch. The diesel engines will pick up the lion’s share of sales and have been thoroughly overhauled. At the foot of the range lies the 95bhp 114d. The 120d adds 7bhp to its predecessor’s output, taking maximum power to 184hp at 4,000rpm. Torque is also increased with an additional 30Nm available, equalling a substantial 380Nm between 1,750 and 2,750rpm. Both 143bhp 118d models and a 116bhp 116d are also available One consequence of running a transmission tunnel through a compact hatch has inevitably been rather compromised accommodation.
While this fundamental issue hasn’t gone away, BMW has loosened the 1 Series’ belt a little. It’s 83mm longer, 14mm wider and 30mm longer in the wheelbase than the car it replaces. This means that rear-seat passengers benefit from a further 20mm of legroom. In addition, there’s a good deal more storage space, with large front door pockets, two cup holders on the centre console and a roomy glove compartment. And there’s 30 litres more luggage space compared to its forerunner, taking the total to 360 litres. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats flat and this can be increased to a maximum of 1,200-litres. If previously controversial BMWs are anything to go by, the rather divisive styling of the latest 1 Series will get easier on the eye over time, whereupon buyers will learn to love it for its engineering and driving dynamics. It’s certainly hard to argue with the changes BMW has wrought. Aesthetics aside, the
faults with the old car were easy to identify. It was too cramped in the back, it didn’t ride smoothly enough and the interior finish didn’t match the class best. Consider that to do list ticked off.
Although much has changed, the 1 Series remains the default choice for those craving a premium hatch with uncorrupted steering, great chassis balance and brilliant efficiency. Many of the BMW’s
more subtle attributes are lost on a clientele drawn chiefly to its badge, but whatever your motivation for purchase, that warm and fuzzy feeling that accompanies making a smart decision is never too far away.
The Ultimate Driving Machine
AN ORDINARY CAR? OR A BMW 1 SERIES AT AN EXTRAORDINARY MONTHLY PAYMENT. BMW Select finance representative example: BMW 116i Sport 5-door Sports Hatch. Term of agreement
47 monthly payments
On the road cash price*
Dealer deposit contribution
Total amount of credit
Option to purchase fee^
Optional final payment^
Total amount payable
Rate of interest
Representative 4.9% APR
For more information or to arrange a test drive †, call us on 08430 221035 or visit www.wellswaybmw.co.uk
Lower Bristol Road, Bath, Somerset BA2 3DR
Ofﬁcial fuel economy ﬁgures for the BMW 116i Sport 5-door Sports Hatch: Urban 38.7mpg (7.3l/100km). Extra Urban 60.1mpg (4.7l/100km). Combined 50.4mpg (5.6l/100km). CO2 emissions 131g/km. Figures may vary depending on driving style and conditions. Offer available on selected new BMW 1 Series Sports Hatch ordered between 1 January and 31 March 2014 and registered by 30 June 2014, subject to availability. Finance example is based on a BMW Select agreement for a BMW 116i Sport 5-door Sports Hatch, with a contract mileage of 40,000 miles and an excess mileage charge of 5.70p per mile. *On the road cash price is based on manufacturer’s recommended retail price and includes 3 year BMW Dealer Warranty, BMW Emergency Service, 12 months’ road fund licence, vehicle ﬁrst registration fee, delivery, number plates and VAT. ^Option to purchase fee and optional ﬁnal payment payable at the end of the agreement if you decide to purchase the vehicle. Excess mileage charges and vehicle condition charges may be payable if you return the vehicle. Prices are correct at time of publication (February 2014) and are subject to change without notice. Retail customers only. Finance is subject to credit acceptance and available to over 18s in the UK only (excluding the Channel Islands and Isle of Man). Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Advertised ﬁnance is provided by BMW Financial Services, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire RG27 9UF. We commonly, but not exclusively, introduce customers to BMW Financial Services. This introduction does not amount to independent ﬁnancial advice. †Test drive subject to applicant status and availability.
THE BEST NEW CARS
car could well be a big beneficiary. There’s still no diesel engine offered and it’s probably a sound decision. Buyers of this type of car rarely rack up enough miles to make the incremental cost of buying a diesel work out versus the savings they’d see in fuel bills. The latest model has targeted improving refinement as a key priority. The suspension has been given a thorough working over to improve ride quality and reduce noise. The longer wheelbase and better quality relocated dampers will help here, improving body control over road imperfections. The key difference between this car and its predecessor is that whereas the old design was a model created largely for emerging markets and was built in India, the latest car is a little more tailored to European tastes. As with 95 per cent of Hyundai cars sold in Europe, this i10 has been designed and developed at the Hyundai Motor
Hyundai is looking for its i10 city car to step up from being merely branded good value for money to being considered best in class – or thereabouts. With smart styling, plenty of pace inside, strong equipment levels and a focus on refinement, it’s in with a genuine shot. Hyundai didn’t go big on choice when the first i10 was launched. Everyone got a 67PS 1.1-litre petrol engine and that was their lot. That engine was subsequently upgraded to a 1.2-litre powerplant and it’s this unit that carries over into the latest car, albeit mildly tweaked to offer better efficiency numbers and now developing 87PS, good for 62mph in 12.3s on the way to 106mph. Customers are also offered a 66PS 1.0-litre engine at the entry level which makes 62mph in 14.9s on the way to 96mph. Hyundai are probably keeping their fingers crossed for ‘Scrappage Scheme: The Sequel’ because the 1.0-litre
Koreans are vying for the top spot Europe Technical Centre in Rsselsheim, Germany, and is built at Hyundai’s factory in Izmit, Turkey. Understanding this is key to figuring out why Hyundai is doing so well across our continent. With the i10 now on stream, over 90 per cent of Hyundai cars sold in Europe are also built in the region. The company may be Korean, but to all intents and purposes, this is a European car designed for European customers. The Hyundai i10 might be an inexpensive car, but it’s also a hugely significant one. When conditions are tough, buyers increasingly look to limit their expenditure and often downsize their automotive choices. Into something like a citycar of this sort? Perhaps. There’s certainly more temptation to do so now that models of this kind offer the sort of fit, finish, refinement and equipment that we used to expect in a good family hatch. The i10 is a good example of
this trend, also offering tidy styling, plenty of space inside and low running costs. Add in a strong level of standard kit and a competitive warranty arrangement and
the i10 looks able to compete with the class best even when it’s pitched at much the same price as them. That’s a clear statement of intent from Hyundai. It’s evid-
ence of real confidence in their product and the Koreans are bullish about its prospects. After a first look, it appears their optimism may be well-founded.
New Generation i10
Inspiration comes from everywhere, but it’s what you do with it that counts.
PersonalContract Contract Purchase Representative New Generation Personal Purchase Representatve Example.Example. New Generation i10 SE 1.0 i10 Premium 1.2 24 Monthly
On the Road
24 MonthlyofPaymentsPrice of Payments £115.00 £99.00
Hyundai Deposit Amount of Customer Deposits Contribution Credit
On the Road Price Deposits
Hyundai Contribution ChargesDepositPayment £812.00
Total Amount Fixed Rate of Optional Final Payment Payable Interest £12,087.00 £5,152.50 3.04%
Excess Mileage Charge
TotalAgreement Amount Payable Mileage Annual Mileage Per Mile 2£10,011.50 years
Representative APR APR 5.9%* 5.9%*
Meet thecall New in Generation i10aattest our exclusive Please today for drive. Launch Event, 23rd to 26th January.
Manor Road, Marston Trading Estate, Frome BA11 4BN 01373 463351
www.platinumhyundai.co.uk London Road, Pewsham, Chippenham SN15 3RR 01249 655871 Fuel consumption in MPG (l/100km) for New Generation i10 range: Urban 35.3 (8.0) - 55.4 (5.1), Extra Urban 55.4 (5.1) - 76.3 (3.7), Combined 45.6 (6.2) - 65.7 (4.3), CO 2 Emissions 142 - 98 g/km. Fuel consumption figures shown are based on official EU test figures. These are to be used as a guide for comparative purposes and may not reflect all driving results.
Model shown is the i10 Premium 1.2 at £11,275 in Stardust Grey metallic paint at £455 included, plus optional 15” alloy wheels at £325 included. On the road (OTR) price shown includes customer saving discount where applicable, VAT where applicable, delivery, vehicle first registration fee, number plates and 12 months’ Road Fund Licence. *5.9% APR available on all New Generation i10 models. At the end of the Personal Contract Purchase there are 3 options: (i) Renew: Part exchange the vehicle, where equity is available, (ii) Retain: Pay the Optional Final Payment to own the vehicle or (iii) Return the vehicle. Terms and conditions apply. Finance subject to status. Applicants must be 18 or over. Guarantees/Indemnities may be required. Hyundai Motor Finance RH1 1SR. We can introduce you to a limited number of carefully selected finance providers. We may receive a commission from them for the introduction. All offers, finance and savings are subject to availability and are only available to private retail customers on new cars purchased and registered in the UK (excluding Channel Islands or Isle of Man), between 30th January and 31st March 2014, inclusive, sourced through Hyundai Motor UK Ltd or its authorised dealers. Offers are not available for customers under the Hyundai Affinity Programme. 5 Year Warranty terms and exclusions apply. Visit www.hyundai.co.uk/owning or ask our sales team for details.
THE BEST NEW CARS
Appealing to the heart and the head The urban environment is tough on small citycars, but few are better equipped to deal with it than Toyota’s Aygo. Around since 2005, it’s been much improved in recent times in the face of tough new competition, with a fresh range of models and the usual sharp running cost efficiency. In short, there’s plenty of life in it yet. First impressions are promising. You sit fairly high in the car and all-round visibility is good with only the thick C-pillars offering a blind spot. The driving position is good, the mirrors are clear and all of the controls are within reach. The steering wheel adjusts for rake, with the speedo binnacle moving with the column. Pop the key in, fire up the ignition and the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine settles back to a modest background thrum. Toyota reckons this is still the world’s lightest production engine, and the whole car weighs in at just 800kg, which means that the 67bhp you have available to you doesn’t feel as un-
derwhelming as it looks on paper. The spec sheet will tell you that this car will reach a top speed of 98mph and get to 60mph from standstill in 14.2s. What it won’t tell you is how nippy the car feels off the line, how it can change direction so quickly and how easy it is to park. It genuinely does feel idiot proof and if you specify it with the optional MultiMode semi-automatic transmission, you won’t even have to worry about a clutch pedal. It’s in town that this car excels. The turning circle is just 4.73m, so throwing a sneaky U-turn to bag a parking spot is simplicity itself. It also means you can nudge into the very meanest parking spaces. The modest width of the Aygo also means that you don’t get those heart-stopping ‘will-I-won’t-I” moments when negotiating city width restrictions. This car may have been around since 2005, but it still looks reasonably fresh. As ever, the wheel-at-each corner proportions look just right
and the facelifted front end isn’t trying too hard either. Echoing some of the features that characterise the larger Yaris supermini, there’s a wider front bumper, with integrated foglights at each corner and a big trapezoidal air intake. Optional LED daytime running lights set into the lower edge of the grille add further emphasis to the look. The upper front grille has been rendered more slender, while you might also spot a revised bonnet design, dark-tinted rear privacy glass for both three and five-door versions and 14-inch wheel trim designs. It looks less cutesy than before and a little more grown-up. There aren’t many companies that are as pragmatic as Toyota. It seems to come up with an eminently sensible solution to any given challenge and in the Aygo, it has a citycar that for years was the best choice in its class. And today? Well, it may not suit you if you’re one of those citycar buyers always after the
Yaris Icon plus
Alloy Wheels Air conditioning Bluetooth® Multimedia System
1 year’s FREE
To arrange a test drive contact us at: Platinum Bath Lower Bristol Road Bath BA2 3DN Tel: 01225 486200 www.platinum.toyota.co.uk
They’ll be more interested in running costs that are still top-class in this segment. And it’ll be a nice bonus that the Aygo is fun to drive in a way that seems to have been excised out of some of its newer rivals, cars which feel efficient but are often strangely joyless. The 1.0-litre engine still has real character, the interior still looks appealingly cheeky
and residuals remain right up there with the best. In other words here’s a Toyota that can still appeal to the heart as well as the head. It feels a little classier than its design stablemates. And it’s still one of the benchmarks in its class after years on the market. For a citycar of this kind, you can’t ask much more than that.
AYgo Mode 8 spoke 14" alloy wheels Front fog lamps LED daytime running lights Rear privacy glass
Yaris and AYgo at Platinum PLUS Yaris and AYgo available with
latest and greatest thing. If though, you put a bit of research into your buying decision, then this is a little runabout that starts to make all sorts of sense. It isn’t perfect of course. There could be more room, both in the boot and for those on the back seat. But that won’t be a deal-breaker for many buyers in this segment.
£159 £159 per month^
0% APR Representative*
Platinum Trowbridge Platinum Motor Park Trowbridge BA14 0BJ Tel: 01225 759550
Models shown are MY14 Yaris Icon plus 1.0 VVT-i 3 door at £13,070 and AYGO Mode 1.0 VVT-i 3 door £9,695. Offer excludes metallic paint extra £450 on AYGO, £495 on Yaris. Prices correct at time of going to press. *0% APR Representative only available on new retail sales of MY14 Yaris (excluding Active & MY13 Yaris), AYGO Move and AYGO Mode when ordered between 3rd December 2013 and 31st March 2014 and registered and financed through Toyota Financial Services, Great Burgh, Burgh Heath, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5UZ by 30th June 2014 on a 42 month AccessToyota (PCP) plan with 0-30% deposit. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s. Excess mileage over 30,000 charged at 8p per mile on AYGO and Yaris. Toyota Centres are independent of Toyota Financial Services. Terms and Conditions apply. †1 year’s free comprehensive insurance offer is subject to purchase being made via Toyota Financial Services on a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) only and is available on all new MY14 Yaris (excluding Active & MY13 Yaris), AYGO Move and AYGO Mode models when ordered and financed between 3rd December 2013 and 31st March 2014. Vehicles must be registered by 30th June 2014. All drivers must be aged 21 years and over. Offer is limited to the insured plus up to four additional drivers. The insured and all drivers must have held a full UK driving licence for a minimum of 2 years and had no more than 1 fault claim in the last 3 years. Offer only available to customers with no more than 1 minor motoring conviction in the last 3 years. Standard Toyota Motor Insurance Terms & Conditions apply (available on request) these will be confirmed in the policy document. Affordable finance through AccessToyota. 5 year/100,000 mile manufacturer warranty subject to terms and conditions.
Official Fuel Consumption Figures in mpg (l/100km); Yaris Range: Urban 41.5 (6.8) -91.1 (3.1), Extra Urban 60.1 (4.7) - 80.7 (3.5), Combined 51.4 (5.5) - 80.7 (3.5). CO2 Emissions 127g/km - 79g/km. AYGO Range: Urban 52.3 (5.4) - 55.4 (5.1), Extra Urban 70.6 (4.0) - 74.3 (3.8), Combined 62.7 (4.5) - 65.7 (4.3). CO2 Emissions 104g/km - 99g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results. These are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience.
THE BEST NEW CARS
With slicker exterior styling, a much-improved interior, more equipment and better value for money, Nissan’s latest MK4 Micra supermini has turned over a new leaf. Some would say that there was quite some scope for improvement and they wouldn’t be wrong, but the truth is that this vastly improved Micra has quietly morphed into a wholly respectable supermini contender. Of all the aspects of the original version of this MK4 Micra, the one that probably needed the least work was the way it went down the road. It was always good fun to drive and its light weight gave it some pretty nimble reflexes. The latest model doesn’t change a whole lot here, instead tuning the details. The big draw remains the DIG-S engine and this is really the model you need to be targeting. The heart of the Micra DIG-S is a direct injection engine teamed with a supercharger ˆ’ hence the car’s name: Direct Injection Gasoline-Su-
percharger. Although it has clearly been designed to cap emissions and fuel consumption, the lightweight, low-friction 1,198cc three-cylinder unit produces the power expected from a conventional 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine. With 98PS on tap, it’ll get to 60mph in less than 11 seconds and feels quicker. A five-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard but there’s also the option of a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic which makes town driving easier. You can also buy the Micra with an 80PS 1.2-litre normally aspirated engine should you wish to save around £1,500 model for model. There’s no diesel option. Whichever version you choose, you’ll find the suspension designed to be particularly compact at the rear, minimising intrusion into the boot area and Nissan has endowed the Micra with an unusually tight 4.5m turning radius. Also enhancing the ease with which this Nissan
If at first you don’t succeed... can be manoeuvred are electrically-assisted power steering, a large glass area and the fact that the nose of the car is visible from the cabin. The Micra’s most obvious changes are to the exterior. The entire ‘face’ has changed with a redesigned grille re-establishing a stronger link to Nissan’s corporate look with the familiar circular badge ‘held’ within a chromed extended V-shaped motif. The bonnet, wings, headlamps and front bumper are also changed. And where fitted, the front fog lamps have been given a bit more prominence with chrome edging. The rear features a resculpted bumper, LED tail lamps and a panel at the bottom of the tailgate. The fresher look is complemented by different 15 and 16-inch alloy wheel designs. The colour palette now includes pearl metallic Pacific Blue (a predominantly turquoise shade) and metallic Platinum Sage. These join the eight existing colours.
decessor. That was a car which was fun to drive, economical and reliable but which possessed next to no polish, no slickness and no reassurance that you’d bought a supermini able to duke it out with the class best. A heavily revised interior helps in that regard and the
The big question that hangs over this car is whether these changes are enough. Buyer behaviour can be a tough thing to change and it would take a very special car to divert customers from their Fiestas and Corsas. What this latest Micra does represent is a big step forward compared to its pre-
exterior styling changes do much to reinforce the perception of quality. The Micra’s chances aren’t going to be transformed overnight but this is now a car you could realistically recommend to somebody who doesn’t want to follow the crowd. I think Nissan would call that a result.
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Fuel economy ﬁgures for the New Note range mpg (L/100km). Urban – 46.3-65.7 (6.1-4.3), Extra Urban – 60.1-88.3 (4.7-3.2), Combined – 54.3-78.5 (5.2-3.6), CO2 emissions 92-119 g/km. New Micra range Urban – 42.255.4 (6.7-5.1), Extra Urban – 61.4-78.0 (4.6-3.6), Combined – 52.3-68.9 (5.4-4.1), CO2 emissions 125-99g/km. Offers valid until 31 March 2014 at participating dealers only. Prices include any customer savings Finance is available subject to status on eligible new vehicles in the UK. Finance provided by RCI Financial Services Limited, PO Box 149, Watford WD17 1FJ. You must be at least 18 and a UK resident (excluding Isle of Man and Channel Islands) to apply. Our dealership introduce customers to a limited number of finance providers including RCI Financial Services Ltd. Finance providers pay us for introducing you to them. Breakdown services provided by RAC Motoring Services and/or RAC Insurance Ltd. All prices include first registration fee and 12 months road fund licence. Information correct at time of going to print. Model shots shown are for illustration purposes only. Models subject to availability. Micra shown has metallic paint at £450 inc. VAT. Note shown has metallic paint at £450 inc. VAT. *One year’s free insurance is available on all qualifying New Micra and New Note grades excluding Visia grade. Free insurance is only available on selected Nissan Finance PCP and lease finance plans – offer not available to cash or HP finance customers. MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing, in accordance with 2004/3/EC and intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results. (Optional equipment, maintenance, driving behaviour, road and weather conditions may affect the official results). Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, The Rivers Office Park, Denham Way, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 9YS.
THE BEST NEW CARS
Go to the top of the class How did the Kia Sportage quietly develop from also-ran to front runner in the budget SUV stakes? By offering more of what people want, that’s how. This updated version of the 3rd generation car now packs in more equipment, tidies the styling, sharpens the dynamics a tad but keeps the same value, practicality and great aftersales care. The motto here seems to be ‘If it aint broke, give it a better stereo’. The oily bits haven’t changed too much with the latest revision. As before, you get a choice of four powerplants. There are 1.7 or 2.0-litre common-rail diesels with 113 and 134bhp respectively – or 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrols packing 138 and 161bhp. Performance is similar with the 2.0-litre units as both manage the 0-62mph trial in under 11s with the manual gearbox installed. The entry level cars have front wheel-drive, with upper
spec models getting all-wheel traction. The Sportage uses a part-time all-wheel-drive system which sends 100 per cent of power to the front wheels unless slippage is detected and it’s automatically diverted to the rear. There’s a Lock Mode for off-road driving which splits the available power 50/50 between the front and rear wheels, but it only operates below 25mph. All Sportage models have Hillstart Assist Control to help with uphill getaways and Downhill Brake Control to provide reassurance on steep descents. The latest car features Kia’s Flex Steer system on selected models. This allows the driver to choose between three different levels of power assistance according to preference and where the car is being driven. ‘Comfort’ mode provides increased help for parking or manoeuvring in tight areas, for example, while ‘Sport’ lessens the assistance for increased feel and stability at higher speeds.
There is also a ‘Nor mal’ setting. In addition to this, the windscreen glass has been modified to reduce the amount of noise entering the cabin. Talk about subtle. The exterior styling changes to the latest Sportage will have most of you scratching your heads, even with the old and new cars parked next to one another. Perhaps that’s a testament to the fact that the design has aged extremely well and still looks pin-sharp. I’m not going to be the one who accuses Kia’s design studio of laziness. The differences are a slightly smarter front grille, revised tail light clusters, revised alloy wheel designs and a shark fin antenna for some trim grades. Inside there’s a soft ‘nano’ paint finish on the dashboard and centre console, better illumination and soft-touch upper door trims. The door-mounted audio tweeters have been repositioned to enhance sound quality. Up-spec models also get a 4.2-inch TFT LCD supervision cluster
mounted between the recessed dials of the dual-bezel instrument display. The Kia Sportage has enjoyed a relatively low impact upgrade but, to be honest, it didn’t need much done to it. In the final year on sale, the only SUV to outsell the pre-facelift car in the UK was the Range Rover Evoque – which isn’t a direct competitor. By any account, the Sport-
age has carved an enviable niche for itself in the affections of British buyers. Of course, it’s taken quite some time to get there but its development has been steady and well planned. Ten years ago, the Sportage was built down to a price and felt it, but then ten years ago, the market leading entry-level Freelander emitted 248g/km and averaged 27.3mpg. That
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was the target the rest were aiming for. Just as SUV efficiency is almost unrecognisably improved these days, so is the Sportage. It’s now something to be proud of; which will blend into virtually any social situation. Prices have remained realistic and Kia can rightly expect this one to sit at the top of its class for some time yet.
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Allen Kia Redbridge House, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EW. Telephone: 01225 402 200 Fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the range of Kia models shown are: Urban 26.6 (10.6) – 47.1 (6.0), Extra Urban 41.5 (6.8) – 58.9 (4.8), Combined 34.4 (8.2) – 54.3 (5.2). CO2 emissions are 195 – 135g/km. MPG figures are official EU test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. 7 year / 100,000 mile manufacturer’s warranty. For terms and exclusions visit kia.co.uk or contact your local dealer. Prices correct at
time of going to press and specification is subject to change without notice. Models shown: Sportage ‘1’ 1.6 GDi Manual @ £17,495 On The Road (OTR) excluding optional metallic paint at £495; new Sorento ‘KX-1’ 2.2 CRDi Manual @ £24,695 On The Road (OTR) including £2,000 customer saving and excluding optional metallic paint at £535. OTR price includes VAT, number plates, delivery, 12 months’ Government Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and Vehicle First Registration Fee. Retail customers only. Subject to availability on vehicles registered between 01 January and 31 March 2014. *4.9% APR available on Kia Conditional Sale on Sportage and Sorento models. 10% minimum deposit required. Maximum term of 36 months. Offer not available in conjunction with any other offer. Finance subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. 18’s or over. Guarantees / indemnities may be required. Kia Motors Finance RH1 1SR. We can introduce you to a limited number of carefully selected finance providers. We may receive a commission from them for the introduction. Customer savings vary by model derivative. Ask your dealer for full details
THE BEST NEW CARS
Land Rover has given the Freelander 2 a premium overhaul, delivering even better comfort, convenience and driving enjoyment. New derivatives, colours, exterior design features, upgraded equipment levels and continued choice of refined and economical diesel engines, all contribute to make this 4x4 even better. When the Freelander changed to an all-diesel line up in 2008, at the time it was a very smart move. The slow-selling 3.2-litre petrol model was an environmental disaster and the introduction of the eco TD4_e model was a smart commercial move. The range remains all-diesel with a pair of engines to choose from – either 2.2-litre 150PS TD4 or 190PS SD4 with four-wheel drive. For extra economy, the 2.2-litre 150PS engine is also available in eD4 two-wheel drive form. The diesels were updated in 2011, a revised turbocharger improving response and increasing maximum torque by
five percent to 420Nm. They were also equipped with standard diesel particulate filters, reducing particulates by 80 percent. At the same time, NOx emissions were reduced by 28 percent and the response time of the Stop/Start system was improved by 22 percent. Other improvements aimed at improving efficiency included a revised shifting strategy on the automatics, low drag engine oils and revised bearing designs whilst noise levels were reduced by 2dB. The Freelander is at its very best when equipped with four-wheel drive and Land Rover’s excellent Terrain Response system for off-road driving. This clever set-up with different modes for the different terrains the Freelander could encounter goes a long way towards excusing the car’s lack of a proper low-range transfer case. This system acts almost like an off-road expert sat alongside you, selecting the best
traction mode for any given terrain type. It sniffs out grip where none seems to exist while all of the Freelander’s inherent all-terrain rightness (underbody protection, ground clearance, tight approach, breakover and departure angles) endows it with genuinely impressive off-road ability. The latest round of revisions haven’t done too much to the exterior of the car, that being addressed by some quite extensive updates during the previous facelift. The exterior changes this time round are limited to more contemporary lights front and rear using LED technology with a signature graphic in the front running lights. The grille and fog lamp bezels now sport a bright finish and there are paint detailing changes to the front grille surround, insert bars and fender vent to harmonise the different elements. There are also some additional paint finishes. The XS model gains all-new 17-inch alloy wheels.
Home-grown hero we can all support
It’s no great secret that many industry observers feared for Land Rover when they were sold by Ford to the TATA Group in 2008. Surely a company with no track record in managing a brand like this would drop the odd clanger along the way. Quite the opposite in fact. TATA’s stewardship of Land Rover and Jaguar has, to date, been impeccable. Big investments have been made, the right people have come on board, the product portfolios
have expanded tastefully and this latest Freelander is evidence of a very adept hand at the tiller. The latest car hasn’t changed radically. The cabin has been revised to offer a more contemporary feel and to keep up with rapidly changing technology. The plush HSE Lux model now becomes the poster child for the Made In Chelsea set. Otherwise it’s largely as you were, Land Rover bringing us a hugely capable vehicle that
will satisfy a broad swathe of ownership profiles. Most customers won’t test its wading depth or attempt to drag it out of a bath of mud while only one tyre has any traction, but rest assured, that’s what this car was built to handle. We get a little bashful of celebrating success in this country. Here’s one home-grown hero we should all get behind. ● Guy Salmon Land Rover, Pioneer Park, Whitby Road, Brislington, Bristol BS4 3QB; Phone: 0117 343 0004
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Official Fuel Consumption Figures for the Freelander 2 range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 32.5 (8.7) – 39.8 (7.1) Extra Urban 48.7 (5.8) – 52.3 (5.4) Combined 40.4 (7.0) – 47.1 (6.0) CO2 Emissions:185 – 158 g/km.
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The figures provided are as a result of official manufacturer’s tests in accordance with EU legislation. A vehicle’s actual fuel consumption may differ from that achieved in such tests and these figures are for comparative purposes only. †Finance is subject to status and only available to applicants aged 18 and over resident in Mainland UK and N.Ireland. Indemnities may be required. This finance offer is available from Black Horse Limited trading as Land Rover Financial Services, St William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH. This offer is available on new Freelander 2 models only, registered between 1st January and 31st March 2014 at participating dealers only. Picture shown is Freelander 2 HSE. On the Road Price from £33,905. Promotions are not available on used cars.
The Mazda3 moves into contention links the three generations of Mazda3, you’ll search in vain. None look anything like the other which doesn’t help in building a firm identity amongst buyers. Nonetheless, it’s hard to argue that the latest car is anything other than very sharp-looking. There’s the same beaky family face that’s sported by the Mazda6 and the CX-5, with a longer bonnet than before to lend the car a more dynamic, muscular look. The Mazda3 is a car that has, in the past, searched in vain for a hook with which to entice British buyers. It’s been one of those solid all-rounders that has little in the way of obvious shortcomings but lacked that compelling reason to buy one, especially in the face of much-improved Korean competition. The latest car looks a good deal more assured, with a vastly improved interior, a focus on improving efficiency and a really sharp exterior
styling job. Is it enough to punt the Mazda3 back into contention? The first signs are promising. Apart from the entrance of
newly-competitive cars like the Hyundai i30 and the Kia cee’d, this section of the market has felt a little moribund in recent years and a really
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strong contender from Mazda would be welcomed to shake things up a little. Fingers crossed but we’re quietly hopeful.
Retail sales only, subject to vehicle availability for vehicles registered between 01.02.14 and 31.03.14 at participating dealers. T&C apply. *0% finance available on all Mazda6 models with no minimum deposit on Mazda Personal Contract Purchase. At the end of the agreement there are 3 options: (i) Renew: Part exchange the vehicle, where equity is available, (ii) Retain: Pay the optional final Payment to own the vehicle or (iii) Return the vehicle. further charges may be made subject to the condition of the vehicle. finance subject to status. 18s or over. Guarantee/indemnity may be required. Mazda financial Services RH1 1SR. We can introduce you to a limited number of carefully selected finance providers. We may receive a commission from them for the introduction. Model shown: Mazda6 Saloon 150ps Sport diesel, oTR £25,195. Mazda6 Tourer 150ps Sport diesel. oTR £25,995. Models shown feature optional Soul Red Metallic paint (£660). oTR price includes VAT, number plates, delivery, 12 months’ road fund licence, first registration fee, 3 year or 60,000 mile warranty and 3 years’ European Roadside Assistance. ˚Test drives subject to applicant status and availability. details correct at time of going to publication and may vary, e.g. if list price changes. Not available in conjunction with any other offer unless specified
two 2.0-litre petrol units, as well as a 2.2-litre diesel. The 1.5-litre engine produces 99bhp and will go from rest to 62mph in 10.8 seconds, while the 2.2-litre diesel will cover the benchmark sprint in 8.1 seconds, thanks to its punchy 148bhp engine. Mazda reckons a less powerful diesel engine will eventually be offered to UK customers, but it may take quite a while. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is offered in two distinct flavours; one packing 118bhp and the other with 165bhp. Perfor mance? Think rest to 62mph in 8.9 seconds for the standard version and 8.2 seconds for the higher power version. Buyers of the 118bhp 2.0-litre petrol and the 2.2-litre diesel are also offered the option of a six-speed automatic. Those who loved the stealthy speed of the Mazda3 MPS hatchback will also have to sit and wait for further news. If you’re searching for some kind of visual DNA that
The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results obtained through laboratory testing. These are provided for comparability purposes only and may not reflect your actual driving results.
Judged purely on merit, the Mazda3 ought to be one of the top five superminis in this country but the sales figures paint a sorrier story. Undaunted by this, Mazda has gone back to the drawing board and developed a massively improved car. It’s just too good to ignore. The latest Mazda3 gets four engine options, all of which are designed around Mazda’s SkyActiv technology. You’re probably used to such nonsense buzzwords, but bear with this one because there’s real merit behind it. SkyActiv aims to improve efficiency by reducing weight and utilising smart functions such as capturing waste energy to power things like the air-conditioning when the car is stationary. It even extends to functions like an active shutter front grille which closes for better aerodynamics when the engine isn’t in immediate need of cooling. The engines comprise an entry-level 1.5-litre petrol and
The official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Mazda6 range: Urban 36.2 (7.8) - 60.1 (4.7). Extra Urban 57.6 (4.9) - 83.1 (3.4). Combined 47.9 (5.9) - 72.4 (3.9). CO 2 emissions (g/km) 136 – 104.
THE BEST NEW CARS
Thursday, February 20, 2014
THE BEST NEW CARS
Moving in the right direction The Peugeot 308 has evolved. The formula is much the same but the execution is miles better in this latest car with a focus on refinement, interior quality and efficiency. The best bit? This is now a model that exudes a certain self-confidence and, yes, desirability. The 308 has never really been a car for the hard charger and despite Peugeot getting us all a bit hot and bothered with its 270bhp 308 R Concept, this 308 is more about refinement and a relaxed gait. The suspension carries no great surprises, with a standard front strut and rear torsion beam arrangement. Peugeot has fitted rear trailing arms that allow greater longitudinal arc in the wheel travel. It sounds esoteric but it makes for a smoother ride when the rear wheels hit ridges or bumps. The electrically-assisted power steering is geared towards ease of use rather than detailed feedback but perhaps that’s just as well. It makes the 308 very comfortable around town in the sort of usage it will
mostly see. The petrol engine line up opens with an 82bhp, 1.2-litre three-cylinder, then there’s a choice of either 110 or 130bhp versions of this engine. The zippiest model is the 1.6-litre THP turbo with either 125 or 156bhp. Go diesel and you’re looking at a 1.6-litre turbodiesel, but there are various choices: the base 92bhp unit is cheapest but the 115bhp e-HDi variant is just as clean and frugal. Even more efficient is the ‘BlueHDi’ 120bhp unit. The same ‘BlueHDi’ badge is worn by the single 2.0-litre diesel on offer, which develops 150bhp. Transmissions are fairly standard fare, with five and six-speed manuals or a six-speed torque-converter automatic. The fact that this is an all-new model yet it still retains the 308 name should tell you something. That something is that the 308 badge now has some respectability, something that eluded the previous 307. The first generation 308 had morphed into
quite a good looking car and the latest model is even more handsome. The front end features a sculpted bonnet and sharky headlights but there’s a maturity, a confidence, about the styling. It’s not trying too hard. We like that. The interior is dominated by a 9.7-inch touchscreen and while some of the materials quality is a bit variable, sit in a Golf Mk 7 and you’ll come to a similar conclusion. There’s a small strip of buttons for locking, demist and hazard lights and then virtually everything else is controlled by the touchscreen, making for a very clean-looking interior. The 308 gets the tiny steering wheel debuted on the 208, but in this instance, it’s possible for shorter drivers to see the dials over the top of it. The contra-rotating rev counter is a neat touch, the oversized manual gear knob less so. Space all round is more than adequate and the 470-litre boot is excellent. The Peugeot 308 has developed in an interesting man-
ner. In many respects, it has quietly morphed into something very slick, something quintessentially French, despite being benchmarked against a Golf. If you enjoy flinging your car along the twistiest road you can find, a Focus will doubtless deliver a bigger hit. Having said that, the 308’s laid-back demeanour and long-legged loping gait,
attributes that hark back to classic Peugeots of the distant past, are actually qualities more in tune with the way we use cars today. You need to avoid the entry-level model to get the touchscreen-trimmed cockpit that really brings the interior to life, but aside from that, there aren’t too many caveats. The diesel engines are hugely
economical and the three-cylinder petrol units characterful and fun. Peugeot’s biggest challenge will come in delivering three-year residual values that will make this 308 as affordable to run as a Golf. That’s not the work of a moment, but if this 308 is anything to go by, the French company is certainly moving in the right direction.
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CHIPPENHAM MOTOR COMPANY Bumpers Way, CHIPPENHAM, SN14 6LF 01249 444000 www.cmccars.co.uk
The official fuel consumption in mpg (l/100km) and CO2 emissions (g/km) for the 308 range are: Urban 35.7 – 67.3 (7.9 – 4.2), Extra Urban 61.4 – 85.6 (4.6 – 3.3), Combined 48.7 – 78.5 (5.8 – 3.6) and CO2 134 – 95. MPG figures are achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only, and may not reflect actual on-the-road driving conditions. On the road prices quoted include delivery to dealership, number plates, 12 months’ Government Vehicle Excise Duty and £55 Government First Registration Fee.
THE BEST NEW CARS
Jaguar’s rising to the challenge The Jaguar XF was a great executive car when it was first launched in 2008 and an even better one when in Spring 2011, it was facelifted and at last included a four cylinder 2.2-litre diesel in the line-up. A sleek Sportbrake estate bodystyle followed, along with a more efficient 3.0-litre supercharged petrol option, yet still Jaguar continues to improve it, adding a cleaner, more fugal ECO2 version of the popular 2.2-litre 163PS diesel engine for the latest model year. When it was first launched, the Jaguar XF set new class standards in ride and handling. Since then, its rivals have closed the gap slightly but the tactility of the Jaguar still has the capacity to surprise and delight. What was lacking was a tempting selection of diesel engines. Since its introduction, we’ve seen a cleaner 3.0-litre diesel in 240 and 275PS flavours, then a four-cylinder 2.2-litre, good for either 163 or 200PS, depending on which state of tune you choose. It’s
the 163PS unit that has come in for the most recent eco-friendly changes. Though the focus is strongly on diesel power, the British brand has also in recent times introduced a supercharged 340PS 3.0-litre S/C petrol unit capable of rest to sixty in just 5.7s on the way to 155mph, this enabling the company to finally pension off the thirsty 5.0-litre petrol V8. A the top of the range, the 510PS supercharged V8 in the XFR super saloon continues, a car that can now be ordered in 550PS XFR-S guise form, in which from top speed is raised to a heady 186mph. For most, however, there’s more relevance in the performance of that 2.2-litre diesel. The entry-level 163PS XF will stop the watch at 9.8 seconds. But the 200PS version, which is actually just as clean and economical, manages it in a far more sprightly 8.5s, on the way to a 142mph maximum. With 450Nm of torque available from only 2,000rpm, there’s no shortage
of muscle with this engine, and the XF eight-speed auto transmission means you’re always plugged into the meat of it. Across the XF range, advances have been made in refinement with active engine mounts (diesels) and sound deadening material featuring on the car as well as redesigned wing mirrors to reduce wind noise. Inside, not much being wrong, there wasn’t a great deal to fix. The auto gear selector still rises into the palm of your hand on start up as the dashboard airvents acrobatically turn into position to greet you as you fire the ignition. If your only experience of XF motoring is of the original version, then in this model, you’ll appreciate the more supportive seats, the smarter satin-feel switches and the classier graphics on the central 7-inch touch screen that looks after most of the main dashboard functions. The Jaguar XF was a revelation in 2008 but in the intervening years, its rivals have
come back with ever stronger offerings. Hence the importance of the most recent changes – the addition of the Sportbrake estate, the 3.0 S/C petrol engine and, perhaps most importantly, the frugal ECO2 2.2-litre 163PS diesel. All of these build on a proposition that’s very difficult to ignore in this segment. Ride and
handling are brilliant, the steering superb, and this car’s sense of occasion is second to none. Other rivals offer more space and, if reducing carbon dioxide emissions is an overwhelming priority, the XF still comes up a little short. Otherwise it remains a formidable contender. Having two versions of the 2.2-litre
diesel is a smart and pragmatic move too, though from a pure driving point of view, we’d take the more powerful option. TATA Motors are clearly guiding Jaguar in a sympathetic and sensitive manner yet which isn’t shying away from the bigger challenges. That can only be good news.
MEANER. CLEANER. JAGUAR XF R-SPORT FROM £33,995* ON THE ROAD. With its muscular, dramatic body styling, the new XF R-Sport is sure to make an impression. And those sporty lines are complemented by a range of powerful, efficient engines. The R-Sport 3.0 litre V6 Diesel 240PS is capable of 0-60mph in just 6.7 seconds; alternatively, the 2.2 litre 163PS model achieves 57.7mpg and C02 emissions as low as 129 g/km. Whichever you choose, meaner looks and cleaner emissions come as standard. Contact us to book your test drive. HARTWELL, BRISTOL 809 BATH ROAD, BRISLINGTON, BRISTOL BS4 5NL
WWW.HARTWELL.BRISTOL.JAGUAR.CO.UK 0117 975 5200
HOW ALIVE ARE YOU? Official fuel economy figures for the XF range in MPG (l/100km): Urban 16.7–48.7 (16.9–5.8). Extra Urban 32.8–64.2 (8.6–4.4). Combined 24.4–57.7 (11.6–4.9). CO2 emissions 270–129 g/km. The figures provided are as a result of official manufacturer’s tests in accordance with EU legislation. A vehicle’s actual fuel consumption may differ from that achieved in such tests and these figures are for comparative purposes only. *On the road price is the manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price, plus First Registration Fee and Delivery Pack. £33,995 refers to XF 2.2 163PS R-Sport.