POINTS AND PLUGS:
26 | THE VOICE JANUARY 5 - 11, 2017
BY RODNEY HINDS, Motoring Editor
Jaguar Land Rover has opened its doors to female students to give them a deep insight into engineering and manufacturing careers. The students aged 15-18 have all applied for Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced and Degree Apprenticeship programmes and secured their places on the course after passing initial HR screening and psychometric tests. The new Citroën C3 is now available to order in the UK, with prices starting from just £10,995 OTR for the Touch trim level, from £13,045 OTR for Feel versions and from £14,795 for Flair models. Both went on sale on January 3. Some 3.6 million cars have been sold globally since the first-generation C3 was launched in 2002, including 200,000 in the UK alone.
An active bonnet reduces the risk of injury to cyclists
December saw new changes to the all-new Kia Sportage. The model, launched in February 2016, has had a huge 35,000 sold since then. As well as the introduction of a ‘GTline S’ model, a ‘KX-5’ version and a 1.7 DCT powertrain are now available. Audi continues its course of growth: The brand’s deliveries totalled 154,050 units in the month of November, a 4.3 percent increase compared with the same period in 2015. Demand rose sharply in Europe where two important new models, the Audi Q2 and the Audi A5, were recently brought to market. Across the entire portfolio, sales in the region increased by 9.5 percent to around 68,200 cars.
NEXT WEEK: The Wheel Deal tests drives the Skoda Yeti Monte Carlo
HERE HAVE been some 2.8 million Tiguan buyers since its original market launch in 2007, with more than 100,000 examples finding homes in the UK since it went on sale in the United Kingdom in 2008. The latest reincarnation should ensure that those stats are increased over the coming years. Trim levels start with S and a fairly long list of equipment, while SE and SEL get progressively more luxurious. For drivers who want their Tiguan to look and feel a bit sportier, the R-Line gets a more aggressive bodykit, unique alloy wheels and a sports steering wheel. There are plenty of optional extras, too, so it’s possible to adjust the Tiguan to suit your needs.
Tiguan can rule the SUV jungle
SUPPORT Among the options is Vienna leather upholstery which includes heated front seats. Driver’s seat with 12-way adjustment and adjustable lumbar support including heated windscreen washer jets comes in at £1,750. Keyless entry and electric tailgate – remote keyless entry and start with electricallyoperated tailgate opening and closing function, operated from driver’s door (£655) will add to your bill. The new Tiguan kicks off a comprehensive global SUV product offensive in which, by the end of this decade, Volkswagen will offer at least one SUV in each relevant market segment. Generous interior space of the new Tiguan offers more head room and up to 29 mm more rear knee room than previously. When the rear bench is folded the cargo space, at 1,655 litres, is 145 litres larger
Price range: £38,085 (test drive)
Car of the Week: Volkswagen Tiguan SE Navigation 2.0 TDI SCR 4Motion 150 PS 7spd DSG than before The best-selling model in the UK is likely to be the 2.0 TDI 150PS manual with 4MOTION, in SE Navigation trim. Tiguan sales generally are expected to be split roughly 50:50 between fleet and retail buyers UPWARD The Tiguan is the first Volkswagen model to be offered with an active bonnet which reduces the risk of injury to
pedestrians and cyclists by lifting 50mm upward in the event of an impact. All Tiguans are equipped with Volkswagen’s Composition Media infotainment system, which includes an eightinch colour touch-screen and Bluetooth telephone connectivity. SE Navigation upgrades this to the Discover Navigation system, which has branded points of interest and European navigation data
My test drive, in Ruby Red (£560) with Titan Black upholstery, ticked most of the boxes for me. The Tiguan continues to be built at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory and global headquarters; all concerned are doing a fine job. The name Tiguan is a portmanteau of the German words Tiger Iguana, it would be fair to say that it is a beast on the road.
New up!! Beats will be music to your ears FOR THE uninitiated Beats by Dr. Dre is the leading and popular audio brand founded in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Through its family of premium consumer headphones, earphones and speakers, Beats has introduced an entirely new generation to the possibilities of premium sound entertainment. The groundbreaking Dr Dre, the American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur, has now formed an unlikely alliance with car manufacturer Volkswagen.
Although unusual, the recent partnership will undoubtedly make the history books in German automotive history. First debuted in Geneva, the new up! Beats is a special edition take on the classically popular Volkswagen up!. From the 300W 8-channel amplifier to the subwoofer, digital signal processor and seven premium loudspeakers, plus much more – this car brings audio to life, on the move. Available with the sevenspeaker Beats Audio System (alongside the Polo), for crys-
tal-clear in-car audio; this up! features a bold grille and new wheels with a emphasised, central VW cap. If that’s not enough, the up! beats model also includes tinted glass, black mirrors and even a black contrast roof with the red paintwork finish. Just as refreshed on the inside, as it is on the outside. The 2016 up! interior combines cloth seating with leatherette sides, while the steering wheel has been updated and the option to coordinate the colour of the dashboard in-line with your
paintwork and interior choices, a one-off option, exclusive to this up!. So sit back and relax, place your smart-
phone into the cradle and feel the efficient power unleash beneath your feet.
Volkswagen up! Beats 1.0 BMT 75PS 3DR manual
JANUARY 12 - 18, 2017 THE VOICE | 27
The Ministry of Justice has announced a consultation on criminal driving sentencing, with a promise to jail killer drivers for life. The move has been welcomed by road safety charity, Brake, which has long campaigned for justice for families who have lost loved ones because of criminal drivers.
The London Motor Show is set to return to Battersea Park from May 4 -7. The event will have a range of exciting features and activities suitable for attendees of all ages. From virtual reality racing and the chance to meet motoring legends, to immersive simulator driving experiences, there is something for everyone. It will also feature over 150 brand new cars from major dealerships and manufacturers. Visit: www.thelondonmotorshow.co.uk
Skoda has belonged to VW since 1991
Car of the Week: Skoda Yeti Monte Carlo 1.2 TSI 110 PS DSG
Price : £22,645 (test drive)
A winning Yeti from Skoda
T THE risk of sounding like a parrot, Skoda have provided this correspondent with some magical vehicular moments and memories. This was the case yet again just prior to the Christmas break when I jumped into the Skoda Yeti Monte Carlo. Following its introduction to the Yeti line-up in 2015, the sporty Monte Carlo variant has proved extremely popular with buyers – prompting the Czech manufacturer to offer an even broader and more affordable range for 2016. Originally available with a 2.0 TDI 150PS diesel, the Yeti Monte Carlo range now features a 1.2 TSI 110PS petrol and 2.0 TDI 110PS diesel – with the former offered with an optional seven-speed DSG gearbox. The arrival of the two new engine options has the added advantage of making the Yeti Monte Carlo an even more affordable proposition, with the 1.2 TSI 110PS model starting
at just £19,700 OTR. Adding the DSG automatic gearbox increases the price to £20,800 OTR while the new 2.0 TDI 110PS diesel is priced at £21,045 OTR. All three new models are front-wheel drive and come with generous specification lists and a striking design package. This consists of 17-inch Origami alloy wheels finished in gloss black, bi-xenon headlamps with cornering function and dynamic angle control, black roof and door mirrors and black spoilers at the front and rear. In addition, all versions feature a black front grille, Monte Carlo badging and LED rear lights. Inside, standard equipment includes a three-spoke Supersport leather multifunction steering wheel, sports seats with Monte Carlo upholstery and Monte Carlo floor mats, instrument cluster and door sill trims. The new models join an already established line-up of Monte Carlo models that are available on the Citigo and Fabia ranges.
Inspired by Skoda’s rich sporting history, the badge first appeared in 1937 on the popular Sport Monte Carlo Coupe – a special edition model built to celebrate the brand’s success in the 1936 Monte Carlo Rally. The badge was re-introduced to the range in 2011 on the Fabia Monte Carlo. Skoda is looking to expand its in-demand Yeti Monte Carlo range with the addition of two new engines. Skoda has belonged to Volkswagen since 1991. The VW Group is one of the most successful automotive groups in the world. Skoda, in association with the Group, independently manufactures and develops vehicles, as well as components, engines and gear transmissions. Monte Carlo is a resort in Monaco that forms one of the four communes of the principality. It is famous as a gambling resort and as the terminus of the annual Monte Carlo automobile rally. It would be fair to say that the Group, via the Skoda Yeti Monte Carlo, has landed itself another winner.
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1739 | JULY 21 -
27, 2016 Britain’s
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1738 | JULY 14 -
Talented James Francis will join Britain’s elite at one the UK’s top of public schools
URING THEIR time at as Prince William and Eton, royals such former prime Prince minister David Harry and probably did Cameron not like James Francis from meet many young pupils Bromley, south That’s one of the reasons London. year-old has why the talented been praised 13 and friends by his teachers, after being family awarded a ship to the music scholarprestigious school which 18 prime ministers has produced and exerts the UK. a huge infl uence on James will swap home dad Kingsley, life three brothers with his mum Mercy, Berkshire college’s hallowed and one sister for the begin life as halls where a boarder. he will The teenager, who plays the and is a chorister,double bass, piano told The Voice: can’t wait “I to start, but I’m still adjusting to what has happened to me.”
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IT’S A KNOCKO
THE MENTORS CHANGING BLACK MEN’S LIVES
HE NAMES of tile and Alton Philando Casto the heart Sterling belong breaking roll of black call men whose lies will now famithan answers have more questions about why brothers, uncles their sons, killed by police and fathers were officers. Freddie Gray. Eric Garner. Reed. Michael Sarah Brown. Tamir On and on Rice. it goes. The anguish cans following felt by African Amerithe deaths and Sterling of Castile are wherever they felt by black people are in the world. To the Black Lives campaigners Matter who took to in protest the streets last simple message: week we have this The issue is we stand by you. painfully clear are black you – if you are far more be at the receiving likely to end of the use of force fatal by and serve you. those sworn to protect Here in the UK there have over 1500 been deaths in police or following police contact. custody number, the Of that vast majority African Caribbeans, have been despite our munity making up less than comcent of the 14 per population. it seems, Very rarely, are police officers ever brought to justice. The longer that policing remains, unjust and unfair the longer and resentment anger fester. And that poses of all backgrounds.a danger to people
1736 | JUNE 30 -
RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE PART
NEWS OF THE WORLD
Can we trust the media on immigration?
Joshua to emulatekeen The Greatest
BARKING MAD FOR SHAKESPEARE The directo r bringing the bard to East London
AST WEEK’S Brexit decision could put workers’ Brexit, while London, rights at Scotland and Northern Ireland risk and have be vulnerable negative backed staying a to repeal or in equality expertsimpact on race the EU. dilution. Experts have Since that The UK voted are warning. Brexit’s negative also warned of momentous fears have to leave the impact on the pean Union been expressed decision ture implementation Eurofuin that jobs of dum last week. a historic referen- could be affected as companies tions and human rights race relaslow down legislation. recruitment. The Leave The key role campaign won But experts per cent to the European of bodies such as by 52 have warned 48 Court of Justice land and Wales per cent with Eng- EU-guaranteed workplace that the the EU’s and Race Directives enjoyed voting strongly rights be could also affected. for minority by thousands of black ethnic employees and could SEE INSIDE ››
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GOING BACK TO HER ROOTS
UK singer Terri Walker heads to Jamaica
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JANUARY 26 - FEBRUARY 1, 2017 THE VOICE | 27
What does your car say about you?
BY RODNEY HINDS, Motoring Editor
jaguar and mercedes best conveyed ' ‘success’
SUCCESS: The Mercedes E Class Coupe
Nearly a third of drivers surveyed agree that life is too short to drive a boring car
EW RE- 25-34 (52 per cent) versus 45S E A R C H 54 year olds (32 per cent). In from Car- fact, 56 per cent of drivers said Gurus re- they’d want to buy a car that is veals atti- environmentally friendly. Irrespective of whether you tudes of UK drivers and want to buy an expensive car what their to flaunt your apparent wealth, car says about them, and un- or a less polluting vehicle to covers stereotypes associated showcase your social conscience, most drivers appear to with popular car brands. Whether you choose to drive buy cars for practical activities. Doing the grocery shopping a luxury sports car or an environmentally friendly hybrid, is among the top three considit’s clear that UK drivers be- erations when buying a car (73 lieve your car says something per cent), as well as visiting family and friends (74 per cent) about you. That’s according to new re- and days out/activities (73 per search conducted by CarGurus, cent). As part of the research, UK the online automotive site, that found ‘being seen in a nice car’ adults were shown a list of the is important to nearly half of most searched for brands on the driving population (42 per CarGurus and were asked to pick words that best described cent). Nearly a third of drivers their perception of someone (30 per cent) agree that life is who drives a car of that make. too short to drive a boring car and almost a fifth of men (19 per cent), admitted wanting to own a vehicle that demonstrated to other road users that they could afford an expensive car. At the other end of the spectrum, 43 per cent of drivers wanted a car that wouldn’t make them appear ‘flashy’ or a ‘show off’, parPRACTICAL: Nissan’s Pulsar ticularly those aged between Flashy - BMW Affluent - Land Rover Successful - Jaguar, Mercedes, Audi Practical - Ford, Nissan, Volkswagen Young - Mini, Fiat
According to the results, Jaguar and Mercedes best conveyed ‘success’ (29 per cent and 27 per cent), while BMW (the most searched for brand on CarGurus) was deemed to be flashy by 31 per cent of those surveyed. Land Rovers are said to convey affluence by 22 per cent of people, while a third of UK adults (33 per cent) believe Ford is for the practical person. Sarah Welch, spokesperson for CarGurus commented: “A car has always been a status symbol for some, but this exercise has demonstrated just how many car owners are concerned with how their choice of car influences other road users’ perception of them. “We’ve discovered that Ford and Nissan owners are seen to be pragmatic, while Jaguars and Mercedes exudes success.
It is exactly 10 years since the Nissan Qashqai crossover first went on sale, and the brand is planning to celebrate in style. The model pioneered the crossover segment. Customer events and media activities will be taking place across Europe to mark the occasion. With weather conditions this winter set to be more frightful than delightful for motorists, Insure The Box, global pioneers of telematics-based car insurance, is urging young drivers to take extra care in the challenging conditions. Analysis reveals that accidents increase by 20% amongst drivers during the winter months
JANUARY 19 - 25, 2017 THE VOICE | 27
www.voice-online.co.uk BY RODNEY HINDS, Motoring Editor
The vehicle brings you the essence of CitroEn design
Car of the Week: Citroen C4 Picasso Flair Puretech
below the C4 Picasso in Citroen’s burgeoning range. Using technology that creates a deep 3D effect, the stunning new rear lights are standard on new Citroën C4 Picasso. They’re a bold example of the car’s new design. To perfectly complement the new rich Lazuli Blue body colour, this impressive vehicle now features stylish black 17inch alloy wheels. There’s a host of engines to choose from. My evaluation car had the 3 cylinder inline transverse (1,199cc) with turbocharge and it moved like a dream. There is lots of space in the cabin which is helped by a gigantic centre console. There is no traditional gear stick and handbrake, rather you change gears via a lever that is just in front of the lever that control the windscreen wipers. The panoramic windscreen and thin A-pillars offer unparalleled visibility, although the multitude of controls on the steering wheel can be a touch confusing. The French manufacturer has used space creatively. The Citroën C4 Picasso’s boot capacity is a very generous 537
HONDA has unveiled a Black Edition of the Civic Type R (pictured). Commemorating the last of the current Civic Type R to come off the production line, this version is limited to the last 100 cars to come off the production line and Honda is expecting the version to become a true collector’s item.
Price range: £25,785 (test drive)
This Picasso is picture perfect
HEN THE new Citroën C 4 P i casso arrived on my drive I must say I was pleasantly taken aback. As far as Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) go, the Citroen C4 Picasso takes the crown in the beauty pageant. Its curvy lines and Lazuli Blue metallic paint was eye-catching. This latest C4 Picasso has shrugged off a previously dowdy image and now brings you the essence of Citroën design and technological innovation. You can see it in the bold dynamic lines and the unmistakable light signature both front and rear. Inside, new levels of comfort and versatility combine to create an engaging and inspiring place for all passengers. The latest C4 Picasso was the first car to be based on PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s EMP2 platform. This new technology helps reduce the car’s weight by 140kg to a total of just 1,252kg – the same as the smaller C3 Picasso, which sits
ŠKODA is celebrating a record-breaking 2016 with best ever annual new car registrations in the UK. A total of 80,372 cars were registered – up 7.6% on 2015 (74,692), giving the brand a total UK market share of 2.98% (2.84% in 2015). Every vehicle in the brand’s multi award-winning model range played its part in the success.
litres, but this grows to 630 litres when you fold the rear seats down. In addition, you can enjoy one of many useful innovations - the hands-free tailgate (available as standard on Flair). Approach the car with your hands full and all you have to do to get access to the boot is move your foot in front of the sensor mounted under the rear bumper and the tailgate will open or close. Loading just became hassle-free. Through the clear, smart phone inspired 7-inch Touch Drive interface, you can instantly access all the information offered by a new 3D navigation system: Citroën Connect Nav. With a comprehensive range of real time navigation details, the system includes an interactive map. For more safety it can be operated by voice control. There is much to admire about this French fancy including an active lane departure warning system, active blind-spot monitoring, an active safety brake and a useful speed limit recognition system. Yes, it’s expensive but it should prove worth it.
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26 | THE VOICE FEBRUARY 2 - 8, 2017
A spark of genius TOMTOM (TOM2) and Mappy have announced that they have extended their longterm relationship. Through this new agreement, Mappy has increased its access to TomTom traffic data from 10 countries to now the whole of Europe, matching its coverage access to TomTom maps.
THE Love Lock Tree in the grounds of Palace House at Beaulieu is to be opened for couples to add their own padlocks from Valentine’s Day. The steel and copper bonsai tree sculpture in the Victorian flower garden was commissioned by Jonathan Montagu and Nathalie Montagu Daoust as a symbol of their love for each other.
BY RODNEY HINDS Motoring Editor
The Niro has both a petrol engine and an electric motor�
Kia’s brand new Niro is a desirable family car with plenty of kit on offer
HERE’S A new sports utility vehicle (SUV) on the block. Looking quite a bit like a shrunken SUV, the Niro still has plenty of interior space for occupants, without too much intrusion from the hybrid powertrain and battery pack. Rather than selling the Niro on the basis of it being a hybrid first and foremost, Kia would rather you think of it as a great family car that just happens to use hybrid technology to get great fuel economy, making it cheaper to run. Its figures don’t quite match those of the popular Prius, but they’re still impressive given its crossover shape. Like the majority of hybrid models, the Niro has both a
Price range: £21,295 - £26,995
* A police campaign to catch drivers who break the law by using mobiles behind the wheel has been welcomed by road safety charity, Brake. The clampdown comes ahead of plans, announced last year, by the Department of Transport, to double the punishment for using a mobile phone while driving. * WHITE maintained its position as the UK’s most popular new car colour for the fourth year in a row in 2016 although figures show its popularity is starting to fade with demand falling -2.1%, the first drop since 2005.
Car of the Week: Kia Niro Price range: £21,295 - £26,995
petrol engine and an electric motor under its bonnet, with the Kia producing a combined output of 138bhp. RADAR
NEXT WEEK: AUDI A3 SPORTBACK REVIEW
There are some novel features on the all new Niro. They include the Adaptive Smart Cruise Control function (SCC). In simple terms a radar sensor behind the grille measures the distance to the vehicle ahead, and automatically maintains a safe distance by controlling speed, up to the speed set by the driver even if the driver does not accelerate or brake. The feature is available as a standard feature on the top of
the range ‘First Edition’. The piercing bi-functional lamps gives a high-tech impression projecting high beam and low beam from a single light source. Trim levels are easy to understand, with 1, 2, 3 and First Edition versions, which all get essentials like Bluetooth, alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, DAB radio and LED daytime running lights as standard. That’s impressive for an entry-level model, but the 2 does add desirable upgrades like a reversing camera, satellite navigation with traffic updates, tinted windows, halfleather upholstery and auto-
matic lights and wipers. The hybrid system has led to a few downsides, however, with stiffer suspension needed because of the extra weight of the battery pack and electric motor, giving the Niro a firmer ride, which is more noticeable when 18-inch wheels are fitted. EXCITED With light and rather numb steering, the Niro isn’t going to get you too excited when you get behind the wheel, despite its firm chassis and you can always feel its weight. For the statisticians, the Niro takes 11.1 seconds to get from 0-62mph and there’s lit-
tle extra performance to be gained by driving it hard. There’s plenty of adjustment for both the seat and steering wheel, meaning it’s easy to find a driving position that you’ll find comfortable. And thanks to the high roofline, head room shouldn’t be an issue even for the tallest of occupants. Instead, it’s best to enjoy the Niro as a leisurely family runabout and drive steadily to get the best economy. The Kia Niro might not set fuel-economy records for a hybrid or be the most fun to drive, but it’s a desirable family car with an impressive amount of kit.
FEBRUARY 9 - 15, 2017
THE VOICE | 27
www.voice-online.co.uk BY RODNEY HINDS Motoring Editor
Price: £39,465 (test drive)
Car of the Week: S3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro 310 PS
Another triumph by Audi Stunning S3 is a seriously swift set of wheels which can still offer practicality
K IT’S early in the year but already the stunning Audi S3 Sportback is one of my personal contenders for car of the year. The car looks good and moves like a thoroughbred racehorse. The S3 Sportback is hard to fault – it has a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that packs 300bhp and, with the help of the quattro 4WD, accelerates from 0-62mph in less than five seconds. Stick with the standard spec S3 and you’ll get a lowered sports suspension, progressive steering system, 18in alloy wheels, fine Nappa leather interior, heated front seats, and an aggressive bodykit on top of the A3’s S-line trim. On the road, the S3 Sportback feels very secure, while grip improves even further with the addition of Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive sys-
tem – although this option adds about £1,500, sees fuel economy drop by about 7mpg and road tax rise by a band or two. The S3 Sportback is capable of 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds, while the even more rapid RS3 manages 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds. While these are both quite expensive to buy and run, they’re seriously swift cars that can out-accelerate a Porsche Cayman, yet offer typical hatchback practicality at the same time. As you would expect from the German manufacturer, the S3 Sportback is well-made and beautifully appointed as the standard A3, but with added sports-car flair. The differences are subtle, mainly the body-hugging sport seats and the racy flatbottomed steering wheel, but they only add to the appeal of the already premium feeling interior.
The 5.8-inch screen that controls most of the car’s systems is very easy to navigate with the rotary dial positioned between the front seats. It also makes many buttons and switchgear redundant and the S3 has an uncluttered and easy to learn dashboard layout as a result. The S3 is expensive, no question about that but in this case you do get what you pay for. Should you be flush you can add to your bill with several notable extras including a Bang & Olufsen Sound System (£495); Audi Parking System Plus (£700); Technology Pack Advanced (£1,395); Matrix LED Exterior Lighting Pack (£895); Adaptive Cruise Control including pre-sense front with pedestrian recognition (£475). The whole package comes to a pretty penny but you’ll be more than happy with your investment.
The S3 Sportback is capable of 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds
• JAGUAR Land Rover has once again been named the largest automotive manufacturer in Britain, accounting for more than 30% of all domestic car production last year. The news follows an announcement from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) that UK car manufacturers set a new record in 2016, producing 1,727,471 vehicles. • INTERNATIONAL auctioneers Coys are putting under the hammer over 130 classic sports and racing bikes worth millions of pounds at their second international auction at the London Motorcycle Show on February 18. The show features everything on two wheels with all top manufacturers showcasing the very latest machines.
FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017
THE VOICE | 27
BY RODNEY HINDS Motoring Editor
The driving position remains excellent�
SURREY County Cricket Club and Kia Motors (UK) Ltd., have renewed their partnership for a further three years – extending Kia’s sponsorship of Surrey County Cricket Club and the Kia Oval until the end of 2020. This year will see the Kia Oval become just the fourth ground in the world to host its 100th Test when England take on South Africa on July 27.
Car of the Week: Superb Hatch SE L Exec 2.0 TSI 4x4 DSG
A Superb effort by Skoda M
OST PEOPLE know that I am a Skoda disciple and after a week’s evaluation of the Superb Hatch I have no reason to change my view on the Czech manufacturer. The Superb hatch comes with a powerful 276bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. It also comes with four-wheel drive, a six-speed DSG dualclutch automatic gearbox, and it’s available in either of the upper trim levels: SE L Executive or Laurin Klement. What impresses me most about Skoda is that you generally get an awful lot of car for your money. Superb is the perfect adjective for this vehicle; it looks the part, moves like a car much more expensive and ticks all the boxes in terms of practicality. Up front there’s loads of space for anyone tall, but it’s the vastness of the rear accommodation and boot that sets the Superb aside from most competitors. If space is your top priority, there really is nothing bigger in this class. It’s well appointed, featuring
an 8.0in infotainment screen, sat-nav, heated front seats (including electric adjustment for the driver’s seat), dualzone climate and adaptive cruise controls. It’s only when you floor the accelerator pedal that the engine’s additional performance really becomes apparent. There’s a momentary delay before it picks up, but then it pulls hard right to the limiter and delivers searing pace. It’s always refined, with a smooth but pleasingly hard-edged note when driven hard. The driving position remains excellent, with comfortable, part-Alcantara electric seats that have lots of adjustment. Don’t assume that choosing the Superb means getting a cheaper-feeling interior, either. While it might not look as special inside as an Audi A4, the Skoda is very well finished and comes with lots more standard equipment. Naturally, Skoda has paid no less attention to safety than they have the rest of the car.
Every model has an electronic traction and stability control system, automatic braking and a tyre-pressure monitoring system. There are ISOFIX mountings for two child-seats in the back, and as a result of all these features the Superb scored the maximum 5-star Euro NCAP crash test rating when it was tested in 2015. It’s not a car that will receive incessant praise for driver excitement, but it’s difficult to find a similarly priced alternative that beats it in terms of long-distance comfort and sheer space. The Superb is very well made too, so the car really does live up to its name.
A HIGH performance 2005 Ford GT, first owned by British racing driver Jenson Button MBE, will be offered at auction in a line-up of the finest classic and sports cars on the market at Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro Classic Car Sale. This very special Ford GT is one of five vehicles, out of only 101 supplied to Europe, that were marked ‘VIP’ by the Ford National Sales Company.
Published on Feb 16, 2017
The Voice newspaper test drives the cars we drive as well as those we would like to drive. The Wheel Deal is also full of tips and ideas for...