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BRITTA

TAINS
BIGGEST
S
STST
T-SELLING
L CAR
LY
CAR
CA
AR MAG
MAG
MA
BRITAINS
GGEST-SEL
ING WEEKLY
EEKLY

W K TE
NE O BET
LO &

EXCLUSIVE FIRST TEST

ER
GG
BI

27
2 May-2
y 2 June 22015
15
| 2
2.90
No. 1,372
1,
0

VOLVOXC90
VS DISCOVERY

THE CAR NEWS


W WEEKLY
WS
L
LY

Super Swede eets b illia t Brit in SUV shoot-out

PLUS

BMW CSL

HOMMAGE
The stunning concept that
proves BMW can do sexy

Hottest-ever Golf

New
N R400 rewrites hot hatch history

395
BHP

Super-stylish
Superb estate
First look at Skodas classy
new wagon

PLUS The ultimate guide to summer car festivals

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Contents

News | New Cars | Features | Tests | Products | Buying cars | Sport

Newsweek
COVER BMW CSL Hommage

COVER Skoda Superb Estate

10

Diesel of the future driven

12

Classics going extinct

15

COVER Fastest ever VW Golf

17

Call to cut drink-drive limits

18

Secrets of Fords GT revealed

20

Famous name revived as classic is celebrated on new concept


Ofcial pictures and details of stylish new wagon

We try hi-tech Bosch engine that will cut emissions signicantly


Shock gures reveal how few legendary cars are left in UK
Sensational new 395bhp Golf R400 spied undisguised

Rest of UK should follow Scotland, says Police Federation


We get the inside line on 2016s most exciting new supercar

Features
Big summer of motoring

42 Judgement day for the new Volvo XC90 as it squares up to Land Rovers Discovery

Your ultimate guide to this years best festivals for car fans

New cars
Porsche 911 GT3 RS

30

Facelifted DS 5

32

Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate

34

Fuel cell Hyundai

36

Alfa 4C Spider

38

The denitive verdict on 493bhp racer for the road


New exec ditches Citroen badge, but is it a class leader?
First UK drive as ultimate C-Class wagon blasts off
Hydrogen ix35 points to the future but costs 53,000
Is drop-top any better to drive than disappointing coup?

Road tests

10 Classy Skoda Superb Estate revealed 30 Storming Porsche 911 GT3 RS driven

Online
this week

COVER New XC90 vs Discovery

42

Flex machines

50

Our cars

60

Volvo and Land Rover seven-seaters go head-to-head


New Kia Venga takes on Nissan Note and Ford B-MAX
Its time to say farewell to the groundbreaking BMW i3

Products
New on the shelves

64

Tyre pressure gauges

66

Picnic hampers tested

68

Fantastic Project CARS game leads round-up of great gear


Two top buys head-to-head. Plus books and DVDs

8 BMW celebrates CSL with Hommage

First drive verdict


BEST
SUMMER on new BMW 640d
SUMME
CAR
AR SHOW
SHO

GUIDE
Pagee 26
P
Pag

THE 6 Series Gran Coupe


now claims almost half of
all 6 Series sales globally.
Well be getting behind the
wheel of the popular 64,875
640d in the UK this week,
now powered by a new sixcylinder twin-turbo engine.
Developing 309bhp and
630Nm of torque, its enough
for the 640d to hit 0-62mph in
5.3 seconds, while returning
54.3mpg. How will the
newcomer fare on UK roads?
Log on to read our verdict.

For more visit

20 We reveal the design secrets of Fords stunning new GT


www.autoexpress.co.uk

autoexpress.co.uk

26

Which should you have in the boot of your car this summer?

Buying cars
RAV4 buyers guide

72

Best auto superminis

74

New car prices

78

Toyota SUV makes a great used choice from only 5,000


Experts pick top buys from Ford, VW and Honda for 8,000

All the info you need before you head to the showroom

Regulars
Consumer news

24

Sport

88

Get Auto Express every week

89

Back chat

90

Watchdog solves your problems, plus you have your say

Drivers back F1 revamp, plus latest news

How to net a great deal on your favourite magazine

Mike Rutherford on worlds most protable car companies

27 May 2015

Renault CLIO
Restart your heart

Model shown is Renault Clio Dynamique S Nav TCe 90 available from 169 per month

3.9%
APR
representative
From 149 per month

Clio Dynamique representative example


36 MONTHLY
PAYMENTS
OF

TOTAL
AMOUNT
OF CREDIT

TOTAL
AMOUNT
PAYABLE

CUSTOMER
DEPOSIT

FINANCE
FACILITY
FEE

149

10,272

14,620

2,903

99

DURATION

CASH
PRICE

37 months 13,675

OPTIONAL
FINAL
PAYMENT

FIXED
INTEREST
RATE P.A.

DEALER
DEPOSIT
CONTRIBUTION

OPTION TO
PURCHASE
FEE

5,605

2.88%

500

149

3.9%
APR

REPRESENTATIVE

The official fuel consumption gures in mpg (l/100km) for the Renault Clio Dynamique S Nav TCe 90 are: Urban 50.4 (5.6); Extra Urban 72.4
(3.9); Combined 62.7 (4.5). The official CO2 emissions are 105g/km. EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008 test environment gures. Fuel
consumption and CO2 may vary according to driving styles, road conditions and other factors.
Finance provided by RCI Financial Services Limited, PO Box 149, Watford WD17 1FJ. Subject to status. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. You must be at least 18 and a UK resident
(excluding the Isle of Man and Channel Islands). Terms and conditions apply. Visit renault.co.uk for full details. Offers cannot be used with other schemes or nance offers and are available on
featured new vehicle when ordered between 1 May 2015 and 30 June 2015 and registered between 1 May 2015 and 30 September 2015. Offer based on 6,000 miles per annum excess mileage of
8p per mile inc VAT. Participating dealers only. CLIO DYNAMIQUE S SHOWN MONTHLY PAYMENT BASED ON 4,071 TOTAL DEPOSIT FOLLOWED BY 36 MONTHLY PAYMENTS OF 169 AND
OFP OF 6,430. 500 deposit contribution EXCLUDES EXPRESSION. Clio shown has optional Flame Red Renault i.d. metallic paint, available at an additional 595. Excludes Expression models.

This week

Visit autoexpress.co.uk for all the latest new cars news


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Road test editor: James Disdale


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IVE been looking forward to driving the new


Volvo XC90 in the UK since last summer, when
it was first revealed at a huge event in Sweden. I
loved it when I drove it on the launch in Spain, and
you can now read how it fares over here on Page 42.
Its an important car for Volvo the first of a
new breed under Chinese ownership. But Ive
written enough about that car on this page
over the past year. This time, Im going to
concentrate on the car it has to beat in its
first UK test: the Land Rover Discovery.
The current Disco, like the XC90s predecessor,
has been around a while. In Discovery 3 form
we first saw it in 2005. Its been tweaked and
fettled and was reborn as Discovery 4 in 2010,
but its essentially the same car. And its been
absolutely fantastic from day one.
Just like the Defender, the Discovery was
brilliantly conceived. It fits its brief as a familyfriendly, upmarket, stylish, all-terrain vehicle
perfectly. In fact when it comes to ferrying my
own family around, I cant think of many better.
Ive often referred to it as the best car in the real
world, telling many people to buy one, but on the
proviso that it might go wrong continual poor
showings for reliability in our Driver Power
satisfaction survey illustrate this perfectly. But
theyre so good, Ive always thought it worth
taking the chance and hoping you get a good one!
The Discovery is now on its farewell tour the
smaller Discovery Sport gives a big clue to what
an all-new full-size Discovery will look like
when we eventually see it next year.
Until then the current Disco carries on. And what
tougher adversary for the
new XC90 to take on? If
it can beat the Discovery,
the new Volvo is a very
special car indeed.

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27 May 2015 7

Top story
First for news every week

BMW claims the Hommage is one of


the lowest cars it has ever produced

Carbon fibre beauty points to ultimate version of M4 Coup


Combines classic styling with i Division materials and tech
Jonathan Burn

Jonathan_Burn@dennis.co.uk
@Jonathan_burn

BMW has taken the wraps off a


sensational new concept at the
exclusive Concorso dEleganza Villa dEste
show in Italy. Called the 3.0 CSL Hommage,
its a spiritual successor and design tribute
to the iconic 3.0 CSL from the seventies.
The 3.0 CSL Hommage CSL stands for
coup, sport, lightweight makes use of
the sophisticated modern day technology
and materials BMW has begun to use in
its i Division production cars. Crafted from
lightweight carbon fibre, the newcomer is
believed to be based on the M4 and uses
a six-cylinder in-line engine with eBoost.
Despite the advances in technology,
the Hommage sticks to the recipe of the
original CSL. The interior has been stripped
back to the bare essentials, with the focus
on reducing overall weight. The seventies
models aluminium bonnet, boot and wings
have made way for carbon fibre versions.
Designers have been heavily influenced
by aerodynamics, but the Hommage retains
many classic styling cues from the legendary
racer with which it shares a name. BMWs

trademark kidney grille dominates the nose,


and adopts the more upright style of BMWs of
old. Slender laser and LED headlights merge
with the pronounced grille, with the stylised
X-graphic a nod to the headlamp stickers
used on the brands long-distance race cars.
BMW claims the Hommage is one of the
lowest cars it has ever produced a result
of the carbon fibre front splitter closing the
gap between the road and the front end.
To further reduce drag and increase
aerodynamic efficiency, traditional wing
mirrors have been replaced by cameras.
Viewed in profile, the fixed rear spoiler
extends beyond the C-pillar, where theres a
BMW logo on each side, in keeping with the
original. Black 21-inch alloys fit snugly into
the flared arches, while the LED tail-lights
continue seamlessly into the tall rear wing.
The interior is stripped of all luxuries, and
puts its lightweight design on show. Where
the cabin of the old 3.0 CSL was trimmed in
wood, the Hommage uses only a decorative
strip of wood on the instrument panel; the
rest is made entirely out of carbon fibre.
Bucket seats with matching Golf Yellow
stitching, as well as the six-point harness
and fire extinguisher, hint at the cars racing

OFFICIAL

Newcomer gets big alloys and side-exit exhaust, while mirrors make way for cameras

BMW revive

Seventies classic reborn in new two-door stunn


WING IN

Massive rear
spoiler pays
tribute to the
seventies car,
but here its
made of carbon
fibre plus it
incorporates
LED lighting

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage

Top story
BMWS OTHER
PAST MASTERS
WHILE BMW is usually forward-thinking
with its design, this isnt the first time
its paid tribute to its past. Here are a
couple of other bold reinterpretations
of its back catalogue from recent years.

BMW 328 HOMMAGE

Designed to mark the 75th anniversary of


the lightweight 328 sports car in 2011, this
was made from carbon fibre coupled with
a stripped-out, but leather-lined cabin.

BMW M1 HOMMAGE

This reimagining of the iconic supercar


sparked rumours of a new M1 when it
was revealed in 2008. However, design
cues can be seen in the current i8.

es its legendary 3.0 CSL

ner that hints at hotter M4 Coup


pedigree. BMW isnt giving much away about
the Hommages performance, but did confirm
its powered by a six-cylinder in-line engine
which also features eBoost technology.
While the brand is staying tight lipped
as to what eBoost is, its no secret BMW
has been experimenting with performance
upgrades, as seen with the water injection
system on the M4 GTS Coup, which will be
used as a safety car in top-line MotoGP bike
racing. Audi showcased electric turbos in the
rec
recent TT Clubsport Turbo Concept, so BMWs
sys
system could revolve around the same idea.
While the Hommage vehicles BMW has
pro
produced for the Concorso dEleganza over
the years dont normally make production,
the company said: Our Hommage cars
not only demonstrate how proud we are of
our heritage, but also how important the
pas
past can be in determining the future.
This could point towards the re-emergence
of the CSL name in BMWs current product
ran
range. It could first find its way on to a more
foc
focused M4 Coup in the near future.

ww
www.autoexpress.co.uk

Stripped-out interior has lots of carbon fibre, with lightweight bucket seats and minimalist dash. Wood insert references 3.0 CSL
27 May 2015 9

News
Jack Rix

Jack_Rix@dennis.co.uk
@jack_rix

EXACTLY one month ago (Issue 1,369),


we got behind the wheel of the all-new
Skoda Superb hatch, and were impressed
by its civilised road manners, gargantuan
boot and luxurious rear passenger space.
But Skoda is already looking to extend its
lead over rivals with the even bigger Estate
model, revealed here for the first time.
Its a significant car for the brand, perhaps
even more so than the hatchback in the UK,
because across its lifespan, the outgoing
Estate accounted for around 70 per cent
of Superb sales here. This time, the ratio is
expected to shift slightly, as Skoda says
the hatchs bigger boot and more stylish
design will boost its popularity, but it will
still be 60:40 in the load-luggers favour.
When it comes to practicality, though,
the Estate is unsurpassed this side of a Ford
Transit. With the rear seats in place, boot
space has grown by 27 litres to 660 litres
thats 60 litres more than in a Mercedes
E-Class. Skoda is yet to release the exact
capacity with the rear seats folded, but
expect it to be just under 2,000 litres, rising
from the 1,865 litres in its predecessor.
Up to the B-pillar, the hatch and Estate
are identical, but the higher, extended
roofline means theres more headroom to
go with the latters business-class levels of
rear legroom. At the back, the new, steeply
raked screen and sharp LED tail-lights
give the Estate a sportier look than youd
expect from a car measuring 4,856mm
in length 23mm more than the hatch.
The engine line-up will mirror the hatchs,
yet CO2 emissions are expected to rise by
1g/km due to the added weight. So, petrols
will range from a 123bhp 1.4 TSI to a 276bhp
2.0 TSI 4x4, while diesels stretch from a
118bhp 1.6 TDI to a 187bhp 2.0 TDI 4x4.
Estate prices are expected to start from
around 1,200 more than for the hatch, so
the entry-level 1.4 TSI will cost 19,890. Trim
levels will comprise S, SE, SE Business, SE L
Executive and Laurin & Klement, with one
unique option: a full-length panoramic
roof with an electric-opening front section,
which is likely to set you back 800. The order
books open in mid June, with first deliveries
at the same time as the hatch, in September.

Boot space has grown


by 27 litres to 660 litres
thats 60 litres more than
in a Mercedes E-Class

New Skoda Supe


Joins impressive hatch in range
Offers class-leading practicality

OFFICIAL

INTERIOR

Estate will get


the same highquality cabin
as the hatch
(below), with
an eight-inch
touchscreen
dominating
the dashboard

10 27 May 2015

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Skoda Superb Estate

News

NEW BIG SUV SPIED

And Skodas Santa Fe


rivals up and running
Automedia

erb Estate is go
Higher, extended roofline of the
Estate means theres more rear
headroom than in the hatch

SPIED

SKODA is clearly thinking big, because the next thing on


its busy agenda is a seven-seat SUV. Caught by our spies
testing at Germanys Nrburgring, the car is covered with
a stretched Yeti body, keeping its design under wraps.
Look closely, and its obvious theres something much
bigger underneath the flared wheelarches, for example,
are there to accommodate the new SUVs wide front
and rear tracks, while a lengthened rear door is proof
of a longer wheelbase, needed for three rows of seats.
Expected to be based on the largest version of the
VW Groups MQB architecture (already seen on the
Volkswagen CrossBlue concept), the new Skoda will
take on the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento in the
growing large SUV market, which continues to steal
customers away from traditional seven-seater MPVs.
Although the car was originally believed to on track
for a debut at Septembers Frankfurt Motor Show, our
latest information says it wont actually be revealed in
full production trim until the Paris show in September
2016, with a concept appearing earlier next year
possibly at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Caught by our spies testing on


the Nrburgring, the new SUV is
covered with a stretched Yeti body
www.autoexpress.co.uk

27 May 2015 11

News

Boschs diesel breakthrough

We drive hi-tech car thats

Behind wheel of Golf with Bosch tech that cuts diesels emissions
James Batchelor

James_Batchelor@dennis.co.uk

@JRRBatchelor

DRIVING a diesel is about to get a lot


more exciting and kinder to the
environment thanks to Bosch.
The tech giant has created a highly
efficient mild hybrid engine that aims to
improve the reputation of diesels currently
under attack from new legislation and Auto
Express has had an exclusive first drive.
While the car has all the hallmarks
of a Golf GTD, Boschs prototype is no
normal Volkswagen. Instead of a 2.0-litre
turbodiesel engine packing 181bhp and
380Nm of torque, under the bonnet lies a
brand new diesel engine. The 1.7 litre fourcylinder turbo has 148bhp and 340Nm but
its far more technical than that. Its fitted with
Boschs Boost Recuperation System (BRS).
The company says the set-up aims to
close the large gap between conventional
stop/start and hybrid drivetrains, improving
CO2 emissions by 15 per cent. It combines
brake energy recuperation and torque boost
with stop/start and coasting functions.
Bosch has also fitted a 48-volt generator
(rather than a standard 12-volt set-up)
and a drive-by-wire clutch called eClutch.
Once on the move, apply the brakes
and the engine shuts down to coast along.
The real development, however, is that the
car recoups the braking energy and sends
it through the 48-volt generator to the

DIESEL
HISTORY

0.25kWh lithium-ion battery. Put your foot


down, and the recouped energy is sent to
the BRS which then effectively becomes
an electric motor giving a surge in torque.
Unlike most other stop/start systems, the
engine kicks back into life with no vibrations
or noise and that was even the case when
we were coasting along and then planted our
foot on the throttle. The eClutch is also a big
step forward, as it prevents the possibility of
stalling in busy nose-to-tail city driving. Stop
and then pull away in first or second gear,
and you dont have to use the clutch it
glides away just like an automatic.
Theres no word on the incremental
cost, but the BRS mild hybrid diesel will be
incorporated by mainstream manufacturers
within the next two years and is a logical
way for mega cities like London to achieve
stringent nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions
levels. We are sure this system will be the
solution to making the diesel far cleaner and
liked again by people who are afraid these
engines are bad for cities, said Dr Michael
Krueger, senior vice president diesel systems.
By 2017/18, London is targeting a cut in
harmful NOx emissions by 40 per cent from
2005s levels and its believed this type of
diesel will help achieve that. But the view at
Bosch is that London and other mega cities
will need a scrappage scheme to get old
diesels off the roads. Boschs prototype Golf
could be the type of diesel hatchback youll
be incentivised to buy in the next few years.

1893 Rudolf Diesel

invents diesel engine.


First examples were
large, run at low revs

1943 Common-rail

diesel (CRD) engine was


invented and patented by
American Clessie Cummins

OFFICIAL

It looks like a Golf GTD,


but as our man Batchelor
found, Bosch prototype
uses hi-tech mild hybrid
to slash NOx emissions

Car recoups brake energy and


sends it through the generator
to give a surge in torque
1978 Mercedes 300 SD becomes
the first passenger car to use
turbodiesel technology. It was
only on sale in US and Canada

1989 Audi among

direct-injection diesel
pioneers. It was fitted
to the 100 2.5 TDI

Stripped-out Brit supercar is ready to fly


Jonathan Burn

Jonathan_Burn@dennis.co.uk
@Jonathan_burn

DEVELOPMENT of the Elemental Rp1, a


new lightweight track-biased road car
from the Surrey maker, is in its final stages,
and Auto Express has had a closer look.
The Rp1 project began eight years
ago, as the brainchild of former McLaren
engineers and Ford designers. Their brief
was to create something to rival the likes
of the Lotus Elise and Ariel Atom.
It started as an afterhours project, said
design manager Guy Colborne. Initially we
were only going to build one car, possibly
two, for us to use personally, but it soon
attracted interest. Production costs started
to fall and tooling became more accessible.
The name stands for Race Project 1, with
the car based around an exposed lightweight

12 27 May 2015

OFFICIAL

STRIKING

New two-seater
is based around
carbon-composite
tub, with carbon
fibre body, while
power is from
a choice of
Ford engines

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Boschs diesel breakthrough

s set to save diesel

News
news
inbrief

Back to Black for


Porsche specials
PORSCHE has launched new Black
Editions of its 911 and Boxster. As the
name suggests, both get pure black
paintwork, a black interior and black
detailing inside and out. There are also
20-inch alloys and extra standard kit.
The new models are based on entrylevel versions: the 911 (above) gets the
Carreras 3.4-litre flat-six engine and the
Boxster has the 2.7-litre unit. The 911
Black Edition range starts at 75,074,
while the Boxster kicks off at 46,164.

HI-TECH

Mild hybrid setup called BRS


helps recoup
brake energy,
and Boschs Dr
Michael Krueger
shows our man
how it works

2006 Audi makes


history by winning
Le Mans 24 Hours
race with R10 TDI

Nissan goes for gold


on GT-Rs birthday

2012 Peugeot first to

combine diesel, hybrid


and four-wheel drive in
Europe with 3008 HYbrid4

NISSAN is celebrating 45 years of


the GT-R with a new gold edition
of its supercar-slaying coup.
The badge debuted on the Skyline
saloon in 1970, and the new model is
set apart by a Champagne Gold paintjob
and 20-inch forged aluminium wheels.
A plaque marks the anniversary and
the build number of the car, too.
The bold special will be built in
extremely limited numbers, and
just five examples will be coming
to the UK, each priced at 79,780.

F-Type lines up to
support record bid

Elemental tech chief Begley (left) talks our man Burn through Rp1s lightweight design
carbon-composite and aluminium tub. All
the body panels are made from carbon
fibre, with a glass fibre body optional.
Following final tweaks for production
models, the Rp1 should weigh less
than 600kg around 300kg lighter
than a Lotus Elise. It begins to generate
downforce at 60mph, while 200kg of
downforce is generated at 100mph.
Powering the car is a Ford-sourced
2.0-litre EcoBoost engine with 280bhp and
440Nm of torque enough for 0-62mph

in 3.1 seconds. Buyers will also be offered


a smaller 1.0-litre EcoBoost, developing
between 160bhp and 180bhp. Both will
be linked to a six-speed sequential box
operated via steering wheel paddles.
Production will start in October
and prices are yet to be confirmed,
but technical director John Begley told
us it will cost between a 37,200 Elise
and a 110,000 BAC Mono. Given the
extensive use of carbon fibre, expect a
final figure around the 60,000 mark.

JAGUAR has unveiled the official Rapid


Response support car for this summers
Bloodhound SSC land speed record bid.
The one-off F-Type R AWD (below) gets
a special union jack livery, blue and
orange paint and tangerine wheels.
Prior to helping Bloodhound in its
attempt to hit 1,000mph, the unique
542bhp F-Type will make its debut at
the Coventry Motofest on 30 May.

27 May 2015 13

Extinct cars

News

Hundreds of classic cars close


to being wiped out in the UK
Figures show how few examples of legendary cars on road Citroen DS, Aston DB1 at risk

OFFICIAL

LEGENDARY

Figures show just


five examples of
Citroens stunning
DS Pallas are now
left in the UK

Renault lifts lid on


new budget Kwid
OFFICIAL

Tall, slim Kwid gets Renaults familiar, aggressive face

Joe Finnerty

Joe_Finnerty@dennis.co.uk
@AE_Consumer

MORE than 600 models in the UK are


on the verge of extinction, including the
first-generation Aston Martin, according to
data from the Department for Transport.
The statistics updated to the end of
2014 reveal that 638 types of car are down
to 10 or fewer examples in the UK, and 222
of those have just one model licensed.
Included in that list is the Aston DB1
the first sports car to be built by the brand
under David Browns ownership in 1948.
And there are only five examples of 1965s
Citroen Pallas the luxury version of the DS,
which gives its name to the new posh brand.
There are also only five examples of Land
Rovers 127 one of the original iterations
of the Defender, adapted for ambulance and
military use. And the UK has just one version
of another big off-roader: the Hummer H1.
More popular classics facing extinction
include the Lotus Cortina and Vauxhall
Magnum predecessor to the bigselling Cavalier. There are still 5,458
Cavaliers on the road, but thats a
drastic fall from 20 years ago when
1.5 million were in circulation.
A similarly big faller is the Ford
Sierra. Back in 1994, there were more

CLEANING UP
Latest A3 features
a 1.6 diesel and
emits 89g/km CO2

www.autoexpress.co.uk

ENDANGERED
From big seller in
the eighties, Ford
Sierra (above) is
a rare sight, with
fewer than 4,000
left, and only
one Hummer H1
(below) is now
licensed in Britain

than one million Sierras on UK roads, but


now there are only 3,765 examples.
The figures highlight the rarity of some
newer models in Britain, too. Just one Lexus
LFA had been registered at the end of 2014,
as had nine Porsche 918 hypercars and
-Bows.
20 of KTMs outlandish X-Bows.
the
Breakdown firm RecoverMe analysed
y
h
les,, and also found
data on 30 million vehicle
eingg brought
some old classics were be
g backk
to life. There was just one Daimler XJ6 in
ear
early 2014, but another had
h been restored
by the end of the year. The
Th Bristol 404 was
ext
en are now around.
extinct in 1994, but seve
dingg director of
Robin Reames, found
Rec
RecoverMe, said: We risk
r losing part
p of
the history and diversity
sity of what makes
Bri
resting.
British roads so interes
g Theres
som
something special about
abo classic cars.

RENAULT has taken the wraps off a new supermini


crossover called the Kwid. Its the production
version of a radical two-door SUV concept first
revealed at last years Auto Expo in Delhi, India.
The Kwid takes styling cues from the latest
Twingo, albeit in a tall, slim, more value-focused
package. It gets the aggressive Renault family face,
curvy side panels and a neat rear end, but theres
no rear wiper and the door locks are exposed, giving
away its back-to-basics philosophy. It also has a
raised ride height and rugged wheelarch inserts.
Inside, many elements are borrowed from current
Dacia cars, including the touchscreen infotainment
system, dashboard layout and ventilation controls.
Unfortunately, its destined for emerging markets
only, and will initially be sold in India, priced from
just three Lakhs (around 3,000) later this year.
There are no plans to bring it to Europe, but Dacia
has previously hinted its planning a 5,000 city car
to sit under the Sandero, and this could fit the bill.

Chunkyy Kwid borr


rrows its
dash layout
y from
m Dacia

Ultra-efficient Audi A3 promises 83mpg


AUDI has introduced a new fuel-sipping Ultra
version of its A3. Its the most efficient model in
the range, claiming 83.1mpg and 89g/km of CO2.
The new car is powered by a 109bhp 1.6-litre
TDI diesel, and achieves these figures thanks to
lowered suspension, low-rolling-resistance tyres

and longer gearing from its six-speed manual


box. Plus, the low emissions will tempt company
car buyers, as they mean a Benefit in Kind rating
of just 16 per cent. The A3 Ultra is priced from
20,865, and is available to order now as a
saloon (right) or five-door Sportback.

27 May 2015 15

News
Spies catch scorching R400
Set to go on sale next year
Jonathan Burn

Jonathan_Burn@dennis.co.uk
@Jonathan_burn

DEVELOPMENT on the fastest ever


VW Golf is officially underway,
after our spies caught the 395bhp
Golf R400 testing for the first time.
First unveiled as a concept at last years
Beijing Motor Show, the R400 will become
the most powerful hot hatch on the market,
having been approved for production by VW
development boss Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser.
Its set to feature a heavily revised version
of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo used in the
standard Golf R, and could arrive next year.
Although there is little to mark the R400
prototype out from the R, look closely at
our spy shots and youll notice beefier
brakes hiding behind larger alloy wheels.
A wider front track and fixed rear spoiler
are also clues that theres some serious
power beneath the bonnet.
If the production model is to follow where
the concept left off, VW will extract a further
100bhp from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo.
The power hike is likely to come from a new
set of pistons, a larger intercooler and a new
exhaust, with 395bhp and 450Nm of torque
the expected result. Four-wheel drive and
the six-speed DSG gearbox will remain from

SPIED

Fastest-ever VW Golf
on road with 395bhp
the R400 concept, as will the performan
mance
figures, with the car set for a 0-62mph time
ti
of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 174mp
4mph.
Its not yet known whether the R400 will
w
be a series production car or a limited build,
bu
but given the near-production-ready look
k
of the prototype, a debut at Septemberss
Frankfurt Motor Show could be on the carrds..

SHOW STAR

R400 was revealed


as a three-door at
Beijing last year;
five-door in spy
shots gets the
same wider track

Automedia

O FIVE
TOP

S HATCHES

This is the current hot hatch league table, based on


power and the Golf R400 will leave them all trailing

306 316
BHP
BHP

Fixed rear spoiler and new quad exhaust system hint at new flagship Golfs potential

Honda
Civic Type R

Ford
Focus RS

322
BHP
BMW
M135i

SEAT switches on to in-car tech


SEAT has revealed its future in-car
connectivity and infotainment tech, fitted
to a Leon X-Perience. Created through
a collaboration with electronics giant
Samsung, the system will appear first on
the new Ibiza this summer via a special trim
level called Connect that comes with a free
Samsung A3 phone. It will then be rolled out
to the Leon, Alhambra and Toledo ranges.
The tech allows you to set up a profile
on the mobile app, with personal settings
activating automatically, such as engine
profile, cabin temperature, window height or
the song you want on from your music library.
You can connect your phone to the car
using MirrorLink, while gesture control
lets you set a specific movement on the
touchscreen to a task. For example, swiping
an L can be set to send someone a text to
say youre late, and show them your location.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

CUSTOMISE
Infotainment
set-up lets you
tailor cabin
temperature,
engine profile
and window
height via app.
Plug in phone,
and settings
are applied
automatically,
as SEATs Victor
Banos (left)
showed us

355
BHP

MercedesAMG A 45

362
BHP

Audi
RS3

72,000 for most


powerful Lotus
JUST edging the new VW Golf for power
is Lotus most potent production model
ever, the new Evora 400, which will cost
from 72,000 when it hits showrooms.
The Evora 400 (below) develops
400bhp and 410Nm of torque from its
3.5-litre supercharged V6. It comes with
a limited-slip diff, air-con and sat-nav.
Options include a six speed automatic
box (2,000), an Alcantara and leather
g
y
p
9
deliveries will be made this summer.

227 Mayy 2015


20 5 17

News

Drink-drive call

Top cops call for drink-drive limit


to be cut across whole of the UK
Joe Finnerty

Joe_Finnerty@dennis.co.uk
@AE_Consumer

SENIOR police officers have called for


the drink-drive limit to be reduced
across the whole of the UK, following
the lead taken by Scotland in 2014.
Cops at the Police Federation want a
50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood limit
in England, Wales and Northern Ireland,
as is the case north of the border.
The current 80mg per 100ml limit is the
highest in Europe, and while the number of
drink-drive-related casualties and accidents
has fallen steadily since 1979, officers want
more done especially in the face of further
funding cuts under the new Government.
Police Federation spokeswoman
Victoria Martin said: Were now seeing the
consequences of the cuts, with more people
dying and becoming seriously injured on
our roads, some as a result of drink-driving.
We would like to see a lower drink-drive
limit as most other European countries
have, as well as Scotland, which
saw a marked reduction in failed
breathalyser tests as soon as the
law was changed last year. We would
also like to see road safety back on
the national and local agenda.
Martin admitted that one of the
biggest problems now was women
drink-driving. As part of our No Drink,
No Doubt campaign at the end of last
year, Auto Express highlighted how the
conviction rate for women was on the rise.
Weve seen a steep decline in men
drink-driving over the years, with targeted
advertising campaigns, which is great, but
women dont seem to be getting the same

Police Federation wants Scotlands 50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood limit adopted across the country

Brits back tiered


drink-drive limits

CONFUSION

Drink-drive limit is
lower north of
border

NO
DRINK
NO
DOUBT

OUR
CAMPAIGN

We highlighted
the rise in women
drink-drivers in our
campaign last year

We have a worrying trend


with females flouting the
drink-drive limit, adding to
drain on police resources
VICTORIA MARTIN Police Federation

message, said Martin. It seems we


have a worrying trend with females still
flouting the drink-drive limit, sometimes
scarily unaware, putting themselves and
others in danger as well as adding to
the drain on police resources.
Responding to the idea of lowering
the drink-drive limit, David Bizley, the
RACs chief engineer, said nine out of 10
motorists believed different limits across
borders was a recipe for confusion.
He added: The Government says that
tackling drink-driving in England and Wales
is a priority, but the simple question is now
this: with a significant weight of opinion
behind a reduction in the limit, are there
any solid reasons to oppose one?

HALF of UK adults back tiered drinkdrive limits, with more stringent


measures imposed on young and
novice drivers, according to a study.
Germany, Spain, Italy and Holland
all impose lower restrictions for
those whove just passed their test,
and some sort of tiered system is in
place on roads in a third of the world.
Insurer Direct Line, which carried
out the survey, found just 14 per
cent of respondents agreed with
the current drink-drive laws in the
UK, and 36 per cent support a zerotolerance policy as operated in
the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Direct Lines Gus Park said: The
fact that most people aged 18-34
support a zero-tolerance approach
to drink-driving, or lower limits for
less experienced drivers, shows
a commitment from the younger
generation for tighter restrictions.

Special Defenders up for cup


Vauxhall in U-turn
on hot Adam name
IN a surprise U-turn, Vauxhall has ditched the
Grand Slam name for its 148bhp hot Adam city car
(above), and revealed it will simply be called the Adam S.
The change will take effect immediately, and any cars
already delivered will require no changes as they already
wear S badges. A Vauxhall spokesman claimed the move
is aimed at making it clearer for customers, as the UK
is the only place where the Grand Slam name was used.

18 27 May 2015

LAND Rover has created a one-off Defender


in partnership with the Rugby World Cup.
Developed by JLRs Special Vehicle
Operations (SVO) division, the 110
Station Wagon will carry the Webb Ellis
trophy on a 9,000-mile, 100-day tour
around the UK ahead of the tournament,
which kicks off on 18 September.
The special Defender, which was floated
down the River Thames inside a giant rugby
ball for its grand unveiling, has been kitted
out with a toughened glass trophy cabinet
to protect the cup. Other additions include
a raised air intake, an aluminium sump
guard and 16-inch off-road tyres.
Inside, its based on the Defender
Autobiography Edition, with black windsor
leather seats and gold contrasting stitching.
Power comes from the standard 2.2-litre
diesel, linked to a six-speed manual box.

ON TOUR

Special Defender to
tour UK ahead of
Rugby World Cup

www.autoexpress.co.uk

News

Ford GT exclusive

Bold design secrets beh


EXCLUSIVE We head to Fords Michigan HQ to nd out how supercar was born

Jim McCraw

THE jaw-dropping Ford GT supercar, first


revealed as a concept at Januarys Detroit
Motor Show, is already testing on public
roads ahead of its 2016 launch. But the
tale behind this reinvented American icon
goes back a little further, so we visited
Fords headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan,
to get the full behind-the-scenes story.
The Ford GT project was so secret that it
was designed by a tiny team of people, not
in one of the many studios in the vast Ford
Design Center, but in a windowless basement
corner room protected by a padlock.
From the beginning, the brief was to make
something different to the 2005 GT, which
used aluminium and magnesium components
and a 550bhp 5.4-litre supercharged V8. An
early decision was made to construct it from
lightweight carbon-fibre structural and body
panels, with a rear-mounted, twin-turbo
3.5-litre V6 producing more than 600bhp.
This new engine couldnt be further from
an old-school V8. Stephen Russ, director of
global engine engineering, explained that
the GTs ECU processes 3,000 signals from
50 sensors around the car and uses 28
microprocessors running 10 million lines
of code (an F22 military plane uses two
million lines, and a Boeing 787 six million).

Ford talks us through GTs transformation


from 2D sketch to 600bhp-plus production car

CONCEPTS

Secret

Only a handful of people were aware of the


program. These included top management,
like chief designer Moray Callum, exterior
design chief Craig Metros and global interior
design boss Amko Leenarts, plus the Ford
Performance team, including director Dave
Pericak and chief engineer Jamal Hameedi.
Standing at the entrance to the design
bunker surrounded by sketches and scale
models, Callum told us: This room housed
one of the first mills that ever came into
Ford Motor Company. We took this space,
moved everything out of it and refurbished.
Not only did the space have to be different,
but the process had to be different, too.
We mixed a couple of young designers
with more experienced ones. We wanted
fresh ideas from the youngsters, but knew
we needed the experienced guys to get
the car done in a record time of 14 months.
Callum said the team used the traditional
method of doing a two-dimensional sketch of
the car and moving on to scale models carved
from foam using mathematical data. This
lightweight foam made it easier to move the
models outside to view them in natural light.
Plus, he added that the ducting and
venting on the body, the flying buttresses
and the teardrop shape of the fuselage
behind the cockpit were all tested and

SHAPE

From detailed
sketches, team
moved to scale
models carved
out of foam

proven in the wind tunnel. Ford Performance


chief engineer Hameedi talked about the
breathtaking shape of the car: The tapering
fuselage comes from a Formula One or
an LMP1 car. They all have a taper, which
sets up a very clean air path to the rear
wing, and thats what were doing here.
He added that the team worked hard to
not only get a low coefficient of drag (Cd),
but a low CdA figure, too. This is the Cd
multiplied by the frontal area of the car
an indicator of the aero drag that must be
overcome to achieve both speed and stability.
One of the goals was to have a small
greenhouse [upper section of the body] to
get a world-class CdA number, Hameedi
said. Air coming around the surface does
not detach. Its been carefully crafted and
designed to have clean laminar flow.
Elizabeth Baron and her team used
Fords virtual design studio to build a

GT project was so secret that it was designed by a tiny


group of people in a windowless basement corner room
20 27 May 2015

complete interior and exterior of the GT from


computer data that engineers and designers
could get into and sit down in. There they
could explore the spatial relationships in the
narrow cockpit by donning a special stereo
viewing helmet and using a wand and a
flashlight to look at elements in detail.
Amko Leenarts, who led the interior
design, said: When you have a special
package, and this was a special package,
engineering and design have to go hand-inhand. In this car, there was no big centre
console with a big shifter, because we had
to be as lean and efficient as possible.
We designed it so the steering column
and pedals come to the driver. Because of
the hyper-small space, we needed to carve
out a lot of space from the dash to get a
lightweight feel. When you get into the car,
you get an immediate feel of raciness. All
the functions are on the steering wheel.
Whether or not the Ford GT will be raced
in international competition, a subject
that Hameedi dodged, it will be the most
sophisticated, fastest and most expensive
car ever to wear the famous blue oval badge.

Ford GT exclusive

hind new Ford GT


We mixed young designers with more experienced ones
we wanted the youngsters fresh ideas, but needed the
experienced guys to get the car done in 14 months

News

Mat
Watson
Mat_Watson@dennis.co.uk
@mat_watson

MORAY CALLUM Ford chief designer

Videowatch
WE have two amazing
g Audis at
a
autoexpress.co.uk/videos
oss this
week. One drives itself, and you
can drive the other very fast...

SECRET

Design chief
Callum (far
right) led a
small team
working on
new GT in
secret site at
Fords HQ

Audi RS4 Avant vs


Mercedes-AMG C 63

ITS the battle of the ultimate highperformance estates. On paper, the


new Mercedes-AMG C 63 (driven
on Page 34) has the edge, as its
4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 delivers
469bhp and 649Nm of torque.
But while the Audi RS4 Avant
trails in terms of outputs, it sends
its 444bhp and 430Nm to all four
wheels. Could this be the deciding
factor in our head-to-head?

Chevrolet reveals quicker


and greener new Camaro
INTERIOR

Everything from
the roofline to
the multifunction
steering wheel
has been tailored
to give GT sporty
feel customers
will demand

READY TO GO

Show car debuted


at Detroit after just
14 months, and GT
is being tested on
public roads ahead
of launch in 2016

AS Ford readies its new GT, arch rival Chevrolet


has pulled the wraps off a lighter, faster and
more economical new Camaro. While the brand
has officially pulled out of the UK market, iconic
cars such as the Camaro and Corvette are still
available to British buyers in left-hand drive.
The new model makes extensive use of
aluminium, which helps shave 90kg off its
predecessors kerbweight. Its also 57mm
shorter and 20mm narrower, plus new engines
include a 275bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder
enough to take the Camaro from
0-62mph in under six seconds.
An all-new 335bhp 3.6-litre
V6 has also been introduced,
while the Camaro SS gets the
full-fat 455bhp 6.2-litre V8. All
engines can be had with either a
six-speed manual transmission
(with Rev Match tech) or eightspeed Hydra-Matic automatic.

We hit rush hour in


self-driving Audi A7

POWER

New engines for


Camaro range
in power from
275bhp to
455bhp, while
interior is as
sporty as ever

WEVE already been aboard an


autonomous Audi RS7 as it lapped
a race circuit at high speed. But this
is the next stage: we took a trip up
the German autobahn in a selfdriving A7 during normal rush hour
traffic for what was perhaps the
ride of our life. This was a glimpse
of the future, and we liked it!
You can watch
any of our videos
on your phone
Simply scan
this QR code.

27 May 2015 21

Watchdog
We get behind the stories that affect you

James Allan
and family
are now in
courtesy car

Joe
Finnerty
Finance packages and high
sales targets for new cars
are causing industry harm

Secret history of used


approved Citroen MPV
CASE STUDY Used C4 Grand Picasso fails after 1,500 miles and it transpires it was a rental car
Joe Finnerty

BUYING a car second-hand always


carries a degree of risk, but one way
to reduce concerns is to go through a
manufacturers approved used scheme.
These schemes offer piece of mind and
car-maker backing for second-hand buyers,
but James Allan, from Wistow, Leics, found
it wasnt quite that simple. After just a
month of ownership, his Citroen C4
Grand Picasso was back in the garage.
James bought the 2014 model from
Bristol Street Motors, Leics, with 17,500
miles on the clock. But only 1,500 miles
later, the MPV needed to be recovered.
The clutch had started shuddering and
was accompanied by a bad smell. James
said: The dealership diagnosed a burnt
out clutch and said it was so bad it could
only be driver error. They wanted to
charge 1,800 to repair my nearly new car.
James wasnt happy as hed covered
so few miles in the short time hed owned
the car. He added: To wear out a clutch
so comprehensively would have taken a
very concerted effort on our part.
When James checked the V5C document,
he found the Citroen had previously been
run by Avis as a rental car a fact James had
not been told. He said: Allowing dealers to
sell potentially worn out ex-rental cars and

24 27 May 2015

BAD START

James was irate


after his used
approved MPV
suffered burnt
out clutch after
only 1,500 miles

Allowing dealers to sell


worn out ex-rental cars
makes the approved
scheme redundant
expecting second owners to pick up the tab
makes the approved scheme redundant.
We didnt think James should be
paying for the work so soon after
purchase, either, especially as Citroens
used scheme promises a vehicle with a
genuine history, a clean bill of health and

no hidden problems. So, we contacted


Citroen to investigate. A few days later, a
spokesman told us Citroen and the dealer
would cover the costs and provide a
courtesy car while he waited. The
spokesman said: We are sorry Mr Allan
has been inconvenienced in this way.
This offer has been made as a
gesture of goodwill. It is important to point
out this issue was not covered under the
manufacturers warranty as there was no
evidence of a manufacturing defect.
James concluded: Thank you very
much for your help on this. Its much
appreciated, and Im delighted.

THE number of nearly new


cars on sale has almost doubled
in the past six months, apparently
conrming how makers and dealers
are pre-registering in larger numbers.
Theres been plenty of speculation
about this practice for a while now,
but this is the rst evidence that
all is not as it seems. With new
car registrations rising month
after month, it seems obvious
pre-registering has been prevalent.
The amount of sub-one-year-old cars
sold in the UK during March 2015 was
91 per cent higher than in October
2014. Its true, the numbers of this
type of sale traditionally spike in these
months, with early PCP returns ahead
of new registrations. However, as
Rupert Pontin of Glasss Guide said,
its much higher than expected.
Demand for this type of car is
falling, too, thanks to attractive
new car nance packages. Secondhand dealers are struggling to shift
stock of late-plate vehicles. If sales
or more accurately pre-registrations
continue to rise, what will happen
and what should be done?
If manufacturers insist on
setting high sales targets, dealers
will continue to pre-register. Its
great for industry and factories
to be churning out car after car,
but well end up in a situation
where the UK becomes a car park
of unsold models. The simple
answer is to reduce sales targets.
For car buyers, though, its not all
bad. With so many pre-registered cars
on the market, youll be able to score a
great deal on a barely used, nearly new
model. That is, of course, if you can
resist the temptation of a zero per cent
nance offer for that shiny, new car.
Joe_Finnerty@dennis.co.uk
@AE_Consumer

Well end up in a
situation where the
UK becomes a car
park of unsold models
www.autoexpress.co.uk

Inbox

New figures highlight concern


over teen fatalities in cars

What do you think?

Contact Lawrence Allan


mail@autoexpress.co.uk

@AutoExpress

Write to: Watchdog/Letters, Auto Express, Dennis Publishing,


30 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JD

HOT TOPIC DIY car maintenance

Teen road death rate


revealed in new data

FROM: N Bennett IVE always changed


halogen lightbulbs myself, for the simple
reason that the glass mustnt be touched
by hand. With bulbs requiring convoluted
hand positioning to avoid contamination,
I cant imagine mechanics wanting
to or caring much in some cases.

FROM: Aidrian Walsh I BELIEVE if you


arent able do simple things such as
changing your own essentials or topping
up the fluid levels, then you deserve to
be charged up to 70 for someone else
to do it. It amazes me how many drivers
have trouble with the simplest tasks.

DIY DEBATE
Readers are
divided on the
merits of doing
simple car
maintenance

Shock figures confirm teen accidents are still disproportionate


Joe Finnerty

MORE than four teenage


passengers a week were killed
or seriously injured in 2013 in
cars driven by 17 to 19-year olds.
Recent figures show that twothirds of teenage passengers
killed or seriously injured were
also in cars driven by under 25s.
Previous research found
teenage drivers make up only
1.5 per cent of full licence holders,
but are involved in 12 per cent
of all accidents where someone
is killed or seriously hurt.
The RAC Foundation, which
released the statistics following our
investigation into whether 16-yearolds should be allowed to drive
(Issue 1,368), said while figures
were dropping, it wasnt because
young drivers were being safer.
The road safety charity said
the cost of learning to drive and
owning a car meant the number of
teenage licence holders was falling,
resulting in less accident risk.
Professor Stephen Glaister,
director of the RAC Foundation,
said: The casualty figures dont
cast blame for accidents, but given
the disproportionate number of
young drivers involved in accidents,
the conclusion must be that many
teenagers are being killed by the
inexperience of their friends.
It is a great disappointment
that successive governments
have failed to tackle an issue
that is causing so much pain.

Useful
Contacts
www.autoexpress.co.uk

INSURANCE

INSIDER

Graeme Trudgill

Executive Director at British


Insurance Brokers Association
(www.biba.org.uk)

DO you know if youre covered for


driving other cars (DOC)? If not, youre
not alone. The extension isnt standard
under all policies, but when it applies,
it allows the policy holder to drive
cars that arent owned or hired by
them, providing, of course, they
have permission to use the vehicle.
It usually provides only third-party
insurance, so adding yourself as a named
driver to get accidental damage, fire and
theft cover might be wise. Its not an
exact science, though, as Adrian Flux
will offer comprehensive DOC cover.
Reading your insurance certificate may
not provide enough information, either,
so heres a quick checklist to ask your
insurer before you take to the road:
Am I old enough? The extension
normally doesnt apply to under 25s
and sometimes not to under 30s, either.
Does cover extend to Europe or just UK?
Is it emergency cover only, or can I use
it for sharing the driving on a long trip?
Will it be valid if driving a small van?
Does it apply only to the policy holder,
or to named drivers, too?
Is my job acceptable?
The most important thing to remember
is, dont make any assumptions about
your cover check before you drive.

THE following provide help


with motoring problems.
Some services are free,
others charge a fee or
operate on premium-rate
lines (p), while some offer
advice for members only (m).

Legal
AA: 0906 010 1300 (p)
RAC: 0870 5533 533 (m)
Which?: 01992 822 800
Consumer Direct:
0845 404 0506
Local Trading Standards
Local Citizens Advice Bureau

Join the debate at www.autoexpress.co.uk


Manufacturers should
be forced to make basic
safety essentials, such
as swapping lightbulbs,
easy to perform. Nicko

It never ceases to
amaze me how complex
cars are now. Commonsense should dictate that
it should be simple. les

We need rules on
making these things easier
without the need to visit
a bank manager first.
Land Rover are the best

Audi should look at


Skoda for styling tips

Why waiting for a


facelift is a good idea

FROM: Paul Baimbridge The VW Group


should take the designer responsible for
Audi and introduce them to whoever
created the new Skoda Superb a
car with flair and style. Its time for a
real design shake-up at Audi, rather than
simply adding minor details to its cars.

FROM: Bobby Parker WHY would anyone


buy the first evolution of a new car when
mid-life refreshes always seem to bring
about improvements such as engine
tweaks and better interiors? Why be
the guinea pig? It seems common-sense
to me to wait for a refreshed model.

Cleaner cars dont


impress the tax man

UK drivers not ready


for self-driving cars

FROM: Michael Westrup YOU state that


the new Jaguar XE (Issue 1,368) emits
99g/km of CO2 on the 163bhp model,
which will please the tax man. Surely
its the opposite. The tax man would
be pleased by higher emissions, so he
can grab more revenue! As cars become
cleaner, he needs all the money he can get.

FROM: Jack Taylor YOUR article about the


self-driving Audi A7 on the autobahn
(Issue 1,369) laid bare the issues we will
have here in the UK. My main concern is
lane discipline. Adding an extra lane
would cost huge amounts, but be ignored
by 80 per cent of drivers, just like they
do to the current empty lane on the left.

Used car inspections


AA: 0800 085 3007
RAC: 0800 085 2529
Technical advice
AA: 0870 606 1619 (m)
Driving licences
DVLA: 0300 790 6801

Car registration/history
HPI: 01722 422422
AA: 0800 316 3564
DVLA: 0300 790 6802
RAC: 0800 975 5867
Traffic information
AA: 09003 401100 (p)
RAC: 09003 444999 (p)

Problems with dealers


Motor Codes:
0800 692 0825
RMIF: 0845 839 9205 (m)
Scottish Motor Trade
Association: 0131 331 5510
Problems with makers
Motor Codes: 0800 692 0825

Financial problems
Financial Ombudsman:
0800 023 4567
Safety concerns/recalls
Vehicle and Operator
Services Agency (VOSA):
0117 954 3300

27 May 2015 25

Insidestory
Tackling the motoring issues that matter

BIG SUMMER
OF MOTORING
Make some dates in your diary as we round up the top car shows
and events for petrolheads this summer, in the UK and in Europe

Scottish
Car Show

Mark Nichol

AS the temperatures rise, thoughts turn to holidays and family days out.
And what better way to enjoy the summer sunshine and the great outdoors
than with the sights, sounds and smells of a glorious British motoring event?
Motor shows have changed dramatically over the years. Theyre no longer
stuffy affairs held in giant halls with static displays; theyve now become allencompassing, family-friendly celebrations of cars old and new, with plenty of
other attractions, including live entertainment, competitions and more. Weve
rounded up the best that summer 2015 has to offer in the UK and further afield.

Kop Hill Climb

CarFest (North and South)

Where: Oulton Park, Cheshire; Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire


When: 31 July-2 August (North); 28-30 August (South)
Entry: From 60 Contact: carfest.org

SEPT

Where: Kop Hill, Princes Risborough, Bucks


When: 19-20 September Entry: From 5
Contact: kophillclimb.org.uk

19

ITS one of Englands oldest hill climbs having been used since 1910
and although it started as a competitive event, the Kop Hill Climb
has become a fun-packed family day out with hundreds of historic
and exotic cars and bikes
taking part each year,
surrounded by exhibitions
and entertainment.
Side events include a
Soapbox Challenge, a raffle
for a Porsche 911 ride up
the hill, a terrifying wall of
death ride and a funfair for
the kids. Its all for charity
and run by volunteers.

The Big Welsh Classic Car Show

Where: Margam Country Park, Port Talbot When: 20 September


Entry: From 7 Contact: leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk
THE name says it all this is set to be Wales
biggest classic car event, raising money for
organiser Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
This brand new show will see hundreds of
classic and military vehicles hit Margam Park.
Organised with the Historic Endurance
Rallying Organisation (HERO), the show will

26 27 May 2015

feature over 700 cars, with 26 provided


by HERO and some used for rides around
Margam Park in exchange for a charity
donation including a 1933 AC March
and a 1992 Lancia Delta Integrale.
The family-friendly event will also host
activities for kids, including a treasure hunt.

THE brainchild of radio presenter and Ferrari enthusiast Chris Evans, CarFest is
a fun family festival underpinned by a love of cars with a quarter of proceeds
going to Children In Need. Its now in its fourth year and split into events in the
north and south of England, with the three-day camping festivals best
described as Glastonbury with cars. The live music line-up includes
The Boomtown Rats, Texas, Paloma Faith and Will Young, while
theres plenty of organic festival food and an air display to enjoy.
Oh, and there are cars, too, with a wide range of production and
racing models taking to the track, including historic F1 racers, hot
rods, rally cars, Japanese
retro and supercars, and
even two generations
of the Batmobile.
For little ones,
theres a driving
school, football,
a stunt school,
interactive art displays
and a funfair, while
more grown-up kids
can have a go in
bulldozers and tractors.

JULY

31

SEPT

20
Big Welsh
Classic
Car Show

Inside storyJULY

19

Scottish Car Show


how

JULY

24

Where: Royal Highland


Centre, Edinburgh
When: 19 July Entry: From 10
Contact: scottishcarshow.com

ORGANISERS call the Scottish Car Show


a grassroots event theres no official
manufacturer involvement, just 1,600-plus
owner cars, most of them modified.
But the one-day spectacular isnt just for
the tuning community; theres something
for everyone. Drift and supercar taxis are

Silverstone Classic

Where: Silverstone, Northamptonshire


When: 24-26 July Entry: From 40
Contact: silverstoneclassic.com

AUG

Lotus Festival

THOUSANDS of heritage display cars and three


days of non-stop racing, featuring more than
1,000 historic racers, underpin the Silverstone
Classic. But thats not all. Status Quo will perform
live and you can take part in all manner of driving
experiences, from off-road to drifting. Mike Brewer
is hosting a live car clinic, too tweet a question
in advance using the #SCASKMIKE hashtag.
Plus, theres a funfair and millions of
pounds worth of classic cars due to go on
sale at the Silverstone Classic auction. Fancy
staying over? Silverstone offers posh camping
or compact Snoozebox hotel rooms.

available
ilable all d
day, and
d whil
while an extravagant
xtr gant
stunt show with cars and bikes will entertain
all, theres also an activity zone for kids.
The Army will be in attendance with a
range of vehicles, and theres live music
as well including the Rolling Drones,
a pipe band that plays modern hits.

Where: Brands Hatch, Kent When: 15-16 August


Cost: From 12 Web link: lotus-festival.com

15

THIS celebration of Britains most charismatic


sports car marque covers the entirety of Lotus
60-year history. Organised by fans, it comprises
a packed racing programme, while showgoers
can mingle with fellow owners and enthusiasts,
as well as buy from the merchandise stands.
Show and Shine will display the bestpreserved models in the UK, plus you can even
enjoy a passenger ride in a Sunbeam rally car.

JUNE

25

CarFest
Silverstone

Goodwood Festival
al of Speed

Where: Goodwood, West Sussex When: 25-28 June Entry: From 51 Contact: goodwood.com

Kop Hill Climb

Lotus Festival
Goodwood
Festival of Speed

FAST and Fearless: Racing on the Edge is the theme


as this years Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrates
a whole host of racing milestones, including the 60th
anniversary of Sir Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinsons
historic victory at the 1955 Mille Miglia for Mercedes,
plus 50 years since Hondas first grand prix win.
Moss will drive an iconic Mercedes 300 SLR up the
famous Goodwood hill climb, while MotoGP legend
Valentino Rossi will do so on his current Yamaha racer.
At least five F1 teams, including Mercedes and
Ferrari, will hit the hill with their current drivers, and

a raft of touring cars from the incredible eighties era is


set to appear, too. Back in the present, the 1,800bhp
Koenigsegg Regera will do the hill climb, as will the
brand new Mazda MX-5 making its UK debut. And
for something more leftfield, a pack of infamously
unsuccessful F1 cars will appear in the new, tonguein-cheek Fearless but Flat-Broke category.
As all of this is going on, spectators can soak
up a petrol-infused, family-friendly atmosphere
that includes autograph stands and a mini hill
climb for kids to race around in box karts.

27 May 2015 27

Inside story

Berkshire Motor Show

JULY

Where: Prospect Park, Reading, Berks


When: 5 July Entry: From 2 (charity donation)
Contact: berkshiremotorshow.co.uk
RAISING money for the Child Lung Foundation,
the Berkshire Motor Show is a relaxed family
day out, with the likes of circus entertainers,
chainsaw carvers and a funfair to enjoy.
Cars are covered at the more unusual end of the
spectrum, with participants bringing along their
own classics, hot rods, modified cars and standout
custom models like the Black Pearl pirate van.
Theres even a tug-of-war contest planned
and you dont get many of those at motor shows.

Berkshire
Motor Show

CarFest

Dunsfold
Wings &
Wheels

Goodwood
Revival

SEPT

11

Goodwood Revival

Where: Goodwood, West Sussex When: 11-13 September


Entry: From 50 Contact: goodwood.com

Dunsfold Wings & Wheels

KNOWN as motorings best fancy dress party, the


Revival is staged entirely in period clothing and
will once again explore racing and car culture

Where: Dunsfold Park, Guildford, Surrey


When: 29-30 August Entry: From 22
Contact: wingsandwheels.net

from the past. As ever, hundreds of seminal


vintage road and track cars will race around the
Goodwood circuit, while this years main event
will be a tribute to legendary racer and engineer
Bruce McLaren and will include a parade of
more than 20 cars pertinent to his career.
A highlight will be the Lavant Cup race,
which is exclusively for drum-braked Ferraris
this time around, with hundreds of millions
of pounds worth of cars taking part. Under13s get into the Revival show for free.

THE high-octane Wings & Wheels event takes over


Dunsfold Park for the August Bank Holiday weekend,
and promises pulsating air and motor displays.
The huge park is used to full effect, including a Red
Arrows show, classic car and supercar
areas, a stunt show, a retail village
and all kinds of activities for the kids
from a fairground to aviation and
race simulators, plus bouncy castles.

AUG

29

VLN Endurance
Championship

Where: Nrburgring, Germany


When: March-October 2015 (10 races)
Entry: From 15 per race (grandstand)
Contact: nuerburgring.de

...And what about abroad?

THE VLN Endurance Championship comprises 10


one-day race events, each organised by a different
motorsport club and contested by everyone from
amateurs to pro
factory teams.
Its free to
watch from
the perimeter
of the famous
Nordschleife
circuit, and is
a great day out.

FANCY taking advantage of a cheap flight or an easy Channel Tunnel ride and
heading to Europe? Here are three of the Continents top motoring events...

Le Mans 24 Hours

Where: Circuit de la Sarthe, France


When: 13-14 June Entry: From 75
Contact: 24h-lemans.com
THE iconic Le Mans 24 Hours is an event any
serious motoring fan must see in the flesh at
least once. With track action from cuttingedge race cars, a festival-like atmosphere and
huge road trip potential, its the perfect long
weekend break
for petrolheads.
Nothing can
quite prepare
you for the noise
from both
the campsites
and the track.

28 15 April 2015

MAR
TO
OCT

JUNE

13

Nrburgring
Spa-Francorchamps

Belgian GP

AUG

21

Where: Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium


formula1.com
ula1
When: 21-23 August Entry: From 135 Contact: fo

Le Mans

ONE of the most celebrated circuits in the world, Spa-Francorchamps promises


plenty of excitement when the F1 circus arrives in August although at up to
600 (427) per person for the weekend, plus travel, it takes commitment. With
the season past the halfway point by then, will Mercedes still be dominating?

www.autoexpress.co.uk

The connected SUV has arrived.

FORD ECOSPORT

SYNC with Voice Control


Its the compact SUV that lets you voice control
your smartphone on the move.
ford.co.uk/EcoSport

Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Ford EcoSport range: urban 34.9-57.7 (8.1-4.9), extra urban
53.3-64.2 (5.3-4.4), combined 44.8-61.4 (6.3-4.6). Official CO 2 emissions 149-120g/km.
The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008), are provided for comparability
purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. Ford SYNC is optional, at extra cost .

New cars

Visit autoexpress.co.uk for the latest new cars and drives

32

NEW DS 5

Its the first model to get


standalone DS branding,
but is exec a contender?

Porsche911GT3RS
FIRST DRIVE Latest race car for road promises to be most extreme yet

Kyle Fortune

AS the saying goes, racing improves


the breed and if theres one company
that genuinely takes that mantra to the
road, its Porsche. While the 911 GT3
homologates its GT3 R race car, the GT3 RS
really blurs the boundaries between the
race track and the road. However, the new
car unlike previous RS models is a lot
more distinct from the standard GT3.
Firstly, theres more power, as the 3.8litre flat six has been increased to 4.0 litres.
Thats achieved by a longer stroke, via a
different camshaft constructed from the
same exotic, repeatedly heat-treated, highstrength steel youll find in Porsches 919
WEC Le Mans prototype race car.
And the engine upgrades dont stop there
theres a redesigned dry-sump lubrication
system, a lighter valve train with new valve
springs, a revised camshaft, lightweight
cylinder heads and a variable resonance
induction system. The net result is more

30 27 May 2015

power and torque than in the GT3, with a


peak output of 493bhp, increased by 25bhp,
and torque up from 440Nm to 460Nm.
Porsches GT boss Andreas Preuinger adds
that at the 193mph maximum speed, the
ram-air effect of the new induction system
adds at least 10bhp to the maximum power.
Unlike its predecessor, the 4.0-litre
engine, combined with the seven-speed
PDK paddleshift transmission (theres no
manual option), is civilised at times, but
decisive and quick when you up the pace.
And its difficult not to as the 4.0-litres
huge flexibility makes it quick at low revs
and otherworldly as it chases the lower, but
still stratospheric, 8,800rpm red line it
covers 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds and hits
100mph in 7.1 seconds. Do that and the

noise is incredible, speed sensational and,


when you find a corner, turn-in immediate.
This is helped by revised RS-specific
rear axle steering settings. The front axle
feels more tied-down than any other 911,
allowing entry speeds as high as you dare,
while the rear offers huge grip. Despite all
that rubber on the road, the RS is playful,
but it happens at greater speeds than its
GT3 relation, and requires quicker reactions.
With the GT3 RS borrowing its wider body
from the 911 Turbo, induction air for the
engine is channelled via the rear wing inlets
rather than over the roof and engine lid.
Visually the GT3 RS wears its intent with
overt styling, and all of it is functional. The
front wings feature vented tops to improve
airflow and downforce without any increase

The GT3 RS delivers downforce of 345kg 80 per


cent of what Porsche achieves with its GT3 R racer

Huge wing helps keep


RS pinned to road, and
the pace is ferocious

34

MERCEDES-AMG C 63
First UK drive of 469bhp
Estate thriller that has
Audi RS4 Avant in sight.

NEED TO
KNOW

36

The 911 GT3 RS


lapped the
Nrburgring in
seven minutes
20 seconds thats
13 seconds faster
than the old model

FUEL-CELL ix35

Verdict on pioneering
hydrogen Hyundai as it
points to a green future.

38

ALFA 4C SPIDER

Mid-engined supercar
flips its lid for summer,
and we take the wheel.

40

VOLKSWAGEN CADDY
Van-based five-seater is
a fine alternative to the
usual MPV suspects.

Essentials
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Price:
Engine:
Power:
Transmission:

0-62mph:
Top speed:
Economy:
CO2:

131,296
4.0-litre 6cyl petrol
493bhp
Seven-speed twin-clutch
auto, rear-wheel drive
3.3 seconds
193mph
22.2mpg
296g/km

ON SALE Now

PRACTICALITY A roll cage can

be bolted in behind the front seats


as a no-cost option although this
means the only storage in the GT3 RS is
the 125-litre front luggage compartment

AERODYNAMICS Massive rear


wing is a nod to the GT3 RSs racing
intentions; clever front wings improve
airflow and ensure that, despite the
rear spoilers size, theres no extra drag

Carbon-fibre bucket seats from 918 are options. Despite the focus, creature comforts
include climate control, seven-inch infotainment touchscreen and MP3 compatibility

in drag, despite that huge rear wing. All the


aerodynamic trickery allows the GT3 RS to
deliver downforce of 345kg
80 per cent of what Porsche
achieves with its GT3 R racer.
With aero borrowed from the
track, an engine with 919 components
and materials, plus a wheel and tyre
selection thats the same as on
Porsches 918 Spyder hypercar,
the GT3 RS is a far more
extreme evolution than
even the fabled 997 RS 4.0.
Despite the weight of the wider
Turbo-derived body and larger
wheels and tyres fitted under
it, the RS is around 20kg lighter
than the standard GT3. Thats
achieved by replacing the rear
windows with polycarbonate, plus
fitting a lightweight rear bumper, a bootlid
and front wings constructed from carbon
fibre and less sound deadening. Theres

even a magnesium roof which is lighter


than carbon fibre, and were told the 1mm
thick panel is incredibly difficult to make.
Its worth the effort, though, dropping 1kg
at the RSs highest point, which benefits the
centre of gravity. Purists can opt for a lighter
lithium-ion battery for 1,538, while the
6,248 ceramic brakes are a must-have
option for those taking it to the track.
Its inconceivable that a GT3 RS owner
wouldnt spend some time on a race circuit,
yet for all its obvious focus, its not overly
compromised as a road car. Despite the
massive tyre and wheel package and lack
of rubber bushing in much of the firm
suspensions specification, the RS
rides with remarkable composure.
Its a more demanding car to drive than
a GT3, but rewarding at the same time. The
RS achieves its greatness without robbing
itself of everyday usability. At 30,000
more than the GT3 it looks like a bargain,
assuming you can get hold of one.

Verdict
THE 911 GT3 RS is a bigger step
up from the GT3 than any other
RS model that has gone before it.
Its more engaging than the GT3,
but with a character of its own.
Despite the track-focused feel,
its not too compromised when
used on the road, although that
Turbo-derived body does make
it feel quite wide. To really enjoy
it, you need a race track, but
with an RS thats the point.

27 May 2015 31

Newcars

DS 5

Essentials
DS 5 Prestige BlueHDi 150
Price:
Engine:
Power/torque:
Transmission:

0-62mph:
Top speed:
Economy:
CO2:

29,560
1.6-litre 4cyl diesel
148bhp/370Nm
Six-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
10.6 seconds
127mph
68.9mpg
105g/km

ON SALE Now

STYLING At the front, theres a tonedt d-

down grille and, most importantly,, no


Citroen badges just a chrome DS logo
l
to reflect the fact that the premium brand
b d
now stands as a company in its ow
h
own right

Rear passengers
as ever in DS 5, but slopingg roofline eats into
g get
g as much legroom
g
headroom. Still,
throughout, plus
ll we cant fault
l the quality
l y of the leather
l
l engineers
have fitted softer dampers, so the ride is much smoother wherever youre
sitting
y

EQUIPMENT Standard kit is generous

on the DS: Bluetooth, parking sensorss and


Mirror Screen all feature. But giving yoour DSS
a personal touch by adding bold leaather
h
watch strap seats, for instance is pricey
p

James Batchelor

James_Batchelor@dennis.co.uk

@JRRBatchelor

THE original Citroen DS might have


launched 60 years ago, but it laid the
blueprint for what a luxury French car should
be: quirky, innovative and unique. As the
first new product from a now standalone DS
brand, the updated DS 5 should be just that.
DS aims to rival Audi, so is this car a step
in that direction? We drove the top-spec DS 5
Prestige, which is powered by a new 148bhp
1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel and can go from
0-62mph in 10.6 seconds. Plus, it claims
68.9mpg economy and CO2 emissions of
105g/km, giving it a Benefit in Kind rate of
19 per cent for company buyers and free
road tax for the first year. A good start...
This Prestige is expected to be the best
seller, and while the engine is a little loud
on full throttle, its brisk enough and keen to
rev. All the other units in the range (118bhp
1.6 and 178bhp 2.0-litre diesels, a 162bhp
1.6-litre turbo petrol and the 197bhp 2.0
Hybrid 4x4) have been tweaked to comply

32 27 May 2015

with Euro 6 emissions,, while the dim-witted,,


robotised manual gearbox has been ditched
in favour of a slicker six-speed automatic.
The old DS 5 had all the style of a typical
French limo, yet didnt offer the comfort to
match. This time around, DS has opted for
softer damper rates. As a result, the car
floats and glides over bumps, although not
at the expense of lurching body roll. Speed
bumps and potholes still crash through the
cabin, but overall its a big improvement.
Its backed up by a hydraulic steering
system thats meaty and accurate enough
and is on par with the more comfort-oriented
Ford Mondeos set-up, if not Audi sharp.
At the front, theres a brand new grille
that does without any Citroen badges,
instead proudly wearing the DS logo. A
chrome surround leads into stylish new
headlamps that include halogen or xenon

bulbs and LED daytime running lights


nd
lights, and
there are Audi-like scrolling indicators in
the front bumper. At the back, the chromed
Citroen has made way for the DS badge.
Apart from this, the design team has
left the DS 5 untouched, so the distinctive
chrome sabre on the front wing, floating
roof and characteristic curves and creases
remain. Our only complaint is that the
simpler grille design is at odds with the
rest of the extrovert exterior its smart,
but not as cohesive as an Audi.
On the inside, the boldly styled
dashboard, with its aircraft-inspired
switchgear, is just as wacky as before, but
now has 12 fewer buttons. Functions like
navigation and media are now controllable
through the touchscreen in the centre of
the dash, adding some sense to the
slightly haphazard arrangement of the

NEED TO
KNOW

DS range will
grow to six cars
by 2020. Expect
new DS 3, DS 4
and DS 5 models
as well as SUVs
and saloons
in that time

Inside, the boldly styled dash, with its aircraftinspired switchgear, is just as wacky as before
www.autoexpress.co.uk

DS 5

Newcars
Caption to go in space here
please Caption to go in space
here please caption here

DS5

FIRST DRIVE Fresh exec is rst car


to wear standalone DS branding. Can
it really threaten the class leaders?

Performance
0-62mph/top speed
10.6 seconds/127mph

controls. Mirror Screen, which allows you to


connect your smartphone, is now standard.
Elsewhere, its business as usual,
with good-quality soft-touch plastics,
lovely metal finishes and characterful
roof-mounted switchgear. The problem
is, it all feels a bit claustrophobic,
especially in the rear, where the
sloping roofline means space is tight.
The boot is a good shape, with 465
litres of space (just 325 litres in the
Hybrid model) but thats still down
on the capacities in the Mondeo (544
litres) and Volkswagen Passat (586 litres).
The new DS 5s trim line-up has been
slimmed down. Theres now the choice of
Elegance and Prestige (and for a short time,
a special 1955 edition), with prices ranging
from 26,795 for the Elegance THP 165
petrol to 34,890 for the Prestige Hybrid4.
Theres also a large options list to
dive into, but even the entry-level
Elegance model comes well equipped.
It makes the DS 5 appealing on the right
road, if some way off rivalling Audi.

Running costs
68.9mpg (official)
70 fill-up

Verdict
HOWEVER sceptical you are about
the chances DS has of competing
with established premium brands,
the 5 is a big improvement over
the old model. Suspension tweaks
mean it rides more like a big French
car should and is a step in the right
direction for the brands aspirations.
The future looks promising; its just
a shame DS hasnt launched an allnew model, instead choosing to
update a car that has never wowed
UK buyers. Still, this is what the
DS 5 should always have been.

27 May 2015 33

Newcars

Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate
Steve Sutcliffe
mail@dennis.co.uk

MercedesAMGC63Estate

WEVE already driven and been mostly


blown away by the new Mercedes-AMG
C 63. But that was on another day and,
more importantly, in another country,
on roads that are very different from
the ones we have here in the UK.
So having now driven it on home soil
as well, the crunch questions are: is its
ride quality flexible enough to work on
a UK road? Is its new turbocharged V8
engine a sincere replacement for the
old thumper of an atmospheric V8 that
powered the previous C63 with such
gusto? And is it really worth the premium
that Mercedes-AMG is attempting to
charge compared with rivals from
Audi (RS4/5) and BMW (M3/4)?
The Estate version we try here
costs 61,260 before a single
option has been specified. By
comparison, the equivalent
RS4 costs 56,595, while the
saloon C 63 is also several grand
more than the M3 at 60,060.
The good news is the C 63
backs up its lofty price tag with a
fairly dazzling array of not just
on-paper appeal, but on-road
ability as well. Its new 3,982cc
twin-turbo petrol engine
produces more power and torque
than any of its closest rivals 469bhp
and 649Nm, or 504bhp and 700Nm if you
opt for the pricier S version.
But the even better news is that,
despite being turbocharged, this new
V8 engine is still bursting with personality
and suffers from virtually no lag whatsoever
to a point where if you werent told
that it is turbocharged, you probably
wouldnt guess. And the ride quality,
indeed the entire chassis, steering
and suspension system, also works
beautifully back here in the UK as well.
Its also fast with a capital F, with
Mercedes quoting a 0-62mph time of
just 4.2 seconds even for the regular

FIRST DRIVE 469bhp twin-turbo powerhouse storms into the


UK and impresses with its blend of muscle, class and practicality
Pace is devastating, but C 63 feels
more grown-up than M3

34 27 May 2015

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate

Newcars
Essentials
Mercedes-AMG
C 63 Estate
Price:
Engine:
Power:
Transmission:

0-60mph:
Top speed:
Economy:
CO2:

61,260
4.0-litre V8, twin-turbo
469bhp
Seven-speed automatic,
rear-wheel drive
4.2 seconds
155mph
33.6mpg
196g/km

ON SALE Now
Dynamic Drive offers
myriad options. Rear
space is generous
Estate model. Go for the S saloon and
that drops to four seconds dead with zero
to 100mph coming up in well below ten
seconds. All versions are restricted to the
inevitable top speed of 155mph.
As youd expect from any new AMG,
there are numerous different set-up
alternatives that can be selected manually
via the cars dynamic drive programme.
But in this instance, you can tailor the
programmes individually to suit your needs,
or the terrain beneath. So you can select
any combination you fancy when it comes to
the cars throttle, steering, gearchange and
ESP system responses. No two C 63s will
be the same, in theory, when on the move.
The gearbox is an uprated version of
the previous C63s not-so-brilliant sevenspeed MCT (multi clutch transmission),
and in this instance it has been much
improved, with sharper downshifts and
creamy smooth upshifts (or thumping
hard ones if you select Sport +). Either
way, it works far better than before.
One slight disappointment is the cars
kerbweight. At 1,785kg for the Estate model
you see here, or 1,715kg for the saloon,

INTERIOR C 63s interior is as


beautifully finished as the rest of
the range. Highlights include the
tablet-like screen, bulls-eye vents
and bank of solid-feeling switchgear

the C 63 is almost 200kg heavier than an


M3. This has obvious knock-on effects, not
only when it comes to pure agility the C 63
definitely feels like a bigger machine to
muscle about on a UK road but also on
emissions, fuel consumption and even
tyre wear in the fullness of time. Then again,

the C 63 does feel like a bigger and more


grown-up kind of car compared with the
latest M3, period. Its cabin is both richly
appointed, especially so for a Mercedes,
and has an extra whiff of maturity to it
beside the racier-feeling M3. The
moment you climb inside the C 63, you

PERFORMANCE Race Start mode,

as shown on digital screen between


dials, helps rear-wheel-drive wagon get
off the line with maximum traction.
Acceleration feels explosive in any gear

NEED TO
KNOW

With 490 litres


of space with
the seats up, it
matches RS4
Avant fold the
rear seats and
its 1,510 litres

Verdict
THE big boot is a bonus, but its the
driving experience that counts most
in a car like this. And in just about
every measurable capacity, the C 63
thrills like a 469bhp estate should.
Its a little heavier and softer than a
BMW M3 (not available as an estate)
but still sensational to drive.
You dont even have to go fast to
appreciate the plush interior and
crackling exhaust note. If ever a car
could be worth 60,000, this is it.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

27 May 2015 35

Newcars

David Vivian

FOR 51,500 you can have an Alfa


Romeo 4C with a fixed roof, and now a
further 8,000 gets you a 4C Spider with
a roll-up fabric top that stows in the boot.
Both have mini-supercar proportions
and styling to make you go weak at the
knees, but why such a significant price
hike? Aside from the extra equipment
and wind-in-your-hair thrills, Alfa Romeo
claims to have rectified the coups jittery
road manners with the 4C Spider. But
does it justify the extra cash?
On paper at least, Alfa appears to
have addressed the somewhat erratic
character of the coup. Tinkering with
the 4Cs chassis should have helped
tame its wayward nature, while at the
same time making it a more rewarding
drivers car. What hasnt changed is the
mid-engined layout, carbon monocoque
chassis and unassisted steering. That
combination proved to be a handful
in the coup, especially with the raw
237bhp 1.75-litre turbo nestling a matter
of inches behind the drivers head.
Bar the odd fraction, the Spider is as
impressively quick as the coup: clocking
0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and 160mph flatout. Alfa has also presented the choice of
three exhaust systems standard (loud),
race (very loud) and, at extra cost, an

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Akrapovic system, which can be switched


between the two volume settings.
By removing the roof and redistributing
equipment, theres been a marginal shift in
weight distribution (40:60 front and rear
versus 35:65 for the coup). There have also
been detail changes to the suspension and
steering, with noticeably positive results
its less of a battle hustling the Spider down
a winding back road than it is in the coup.
The steering is still quite heavy much
heavier than that of a Lotus Elise but its
far more consistent and doesnt kick back
or move around with the same severity. You
get a more detailed picture of what the front
wheels are doing, giving you confidence to
press on where you would have backed off
in the 4C. Opt for a set-up which is more
comfort-orientated, with smaller wheels
and softer suspension, and the changes to
the steering are amplified, adding a degree
of suppleness and flow to the process.
The engine, however, remains untamed.
Its plagued by old-fashioned turbo lag, a
throttle which is hard to modulate, plus a
booming yet characterless exhaust note. On
faster runs, the laggy response and overzesty mid-range make it difficult to find a
consistent rhythm. Where a Porsche Boxster
GTS would flatter you, this car falters.
Specific to the Spider is a bespoke engine
cover, sporting a brace of rear buttresses

AlfaRomeo4
FIRST DRIVE Can striking drop-top make up for

Tightly contoured interior feels less claustrophobic due to better rearward


visibility, but the hard and flat-bottomed seats are just as uncomfortable
38 27 May 2015

w
www.autoexpress.co.uk
p

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Newcars
Essentials
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Price:
Engine:
Power:
Transmission:

0-62mph:
Top speed:
Economy:
CO2:

59,500
1.75-litre 4cyl turbo
234bhp
Six-speed auto,
rear-wheel drive
4.5 seconds
160mph
40.9mpg
161g/km

ON SALE Now

ROOF In keeping with the 4Cs

stripped-back, lightweight philosophy,


the Spiders fabric roof is removed
manually. Its not as fiddly as you
might expect, though, plus it
stows away neatly in the boot

C Spider

disappointment of coup?

HANDLING With 234bhp at its

Performance

Running costs

0-62mph/top speed

40.9mpg (official)

4.5 seconds/160mph

47 fill-up

NEED TO
KNOW

There are rumours


of a faster 4C
Stradale, but its
hard to see more
power being
welcome and
weight being cut

www.
ww
w.auto
toex
expr
p
press.co.ukk
pr

and a pair of new headlamps, which replace


the opinion-dividing, bug-eyed lights from
the coup but you can specify those if
you want to. The cabin is tight, but access
is much easier with the roof off. Climb
inside, and the tightly contoured interior
feels less claustrophobic due to better
rearward visibility, but the hard and flatbottomed seats are just as uncomfortable.
One notable addition is the fabric roof.
Unclipping and refitting the 7kg top is
a fumble-free, two-minute, one-person
exercise, and possibly more impressive for
the snug refinement it provides when in
place. When neatly stowed in the boot, hairruffling is kept to a minimum, thanks to
a spoiler lip fitted across the header rail
deflecting air upwards, away from occupants.
Alfa has added a greater sense of maturity
inside, kitting the Spider out with a new
Alpine head unit and hi-fi system, plusher
floor mats, parking sensors and cruise
control as standard. Theres also air-con
and a leather-trimmed dash, but its not
enough to distract you from the still unruly
character of this feisty Italian sports car.

disposal and only around a tonne to


propel along, the Spiders performance
is lively and the driving experience
visceral. But the car can be tricky to
handle when pushed to the limit

Verdict

THE 4C Spider is more than just


a 4C without a roof; its Alfas
attempt at addressing some of
the criticism levelled at the unruly
coup. Changes to the steering and
suspension mean it flows along the
road better than before, but push
a little harder, and problems with
the laggy power delivery, reluctant
gearbox and booming exhaust
note remain. It makes the Porsche
Boxster and even the Lotus Elise
look refined by comparison. Its
lucky the Spider is so drop-dead
gorgeous, because the drive still
doesnt live up to the looks.

27 May 2015 39

Newcars

Xxxxxxxxxxx

Coming soon
TESLA MODEL X
LATE 2015

With its distinctive falcon


doors, seven-seat layout,
300-mile plus range and
strong performance, the
Model X EV is sure to
shake up the SUV class.

SUPERMINIS

Fiat 500
Ford Ka
Ford Fiesta
Honda Jazz
Renault Twingo GT
Renault ZOE update
Renault 5
SEAT Ibiza
Smart ForTwo Brabus
Suzuki Swift
Vauxhall Viva

VolkswagenCaddy

FAMILY CARS

FIRST DRIVE Van-based MPV is a practical, spacious choice


Steve Walker

Steve_Walker@dennis.co.uk
@Steve_cars

IF you want plenty of space coupled


with child-friendly versatility and dont
really care what the neighbours think, the
Volkswagen Caddy Life could be the car
for you. Its compact it has a footprint
similar to a Golf Estate yet theres a serious
amount of space and the option of seven
seats on the long-wheelbase Maxi models.
The interior is robustly built, but designed
with adaptable seating and no less than 17
storage compartments. And theres plenty
of tech, too, including City Emergency Braking,
Adaptive Cruise Control and a 360-degree
parking aid. Hard plastics on the dash
and door inserts betray its commercial
vehicle origins, but theres a toughness and
solidity that family buyers will appreciate.
The big draw, however, is the space
inside. The standard Caddy Life has room
for five adults, and loads of headroom for
all of them. A third row, making the vehicle
a seven-seater, is an option on the Caddy
Maxi Life versions that increase the
wheelbase by 470mm for a bigger boot.
In general, it rides comfortably but things
can get unsettled over larger bumps and the
vehicles height makes itself felt through
corners and sharp changes of direction.
A range of Euro 6-compliant 2.0-litre TDI
diesels is offered with power outputs of
74bhp, 101bhp and 148bhp. Well also get
a small TSI turbo petrol by the end of 2015.
The middle-ranking diesel will take around
80 per cent of sales and feels
both strong and quick to
react to throttle
inputs.

Volkswagen Caddy
Life 2.0 TDI 102
Price:
Engine:
Power:
Transmission:

0-62mph:
Top speed:
Economy:
CO2:

21,000 (est)
2.0-litre 4cyl diesel
100bhp/250Nm
Six-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
12.9 seconds (est)
106mph (est)
55.4mpg (est)
134g/km (est)

ON SALE October
NEED TO KNOW

Skodas next
Roomster will
essentially be a
rebadged Caddy,
and is set to debut
later this year.

Verdict
WHAT the Cad
Caddy Life lacks
in trendy styli
styling features, it
makes up for in cabin space
and outright practicality. Its
well built and feels like a
Volkswagen p
passenger car
on the surface, although
its van origins are betrayed
a little by a driv
driving experience
thats slightly rough around
the edges. Its likely to
be more expe
expensive than most
van-based rival
rivals, but none has
the Caddys she
sheen of quality.

40 27 May 2015

Alfa Romeo Giulia


Alfa Romeo Giulia Estate
Audi A3 three-cylinder
Audi A4
BMW 3 Series Plug-in
BMW i5
Honda FCEV
Infiniti Q30
Kia Optima facelift
Jaguar XE Sportbrake
MG5
MINI Clubman
MINI Countryman
Nissan Leaf
Porsche Panamera
Porsche Panamera estate
Renault Mgane
Skoda Superb Estate
Subaru Levorg
Tesla Model III
Toyota Prius
Toyota Mirai
Vauxhall Astra
VW Beetle Dune
VW Golf Alltrack
VW Golf CC
VW Passat Alltrack
VW Passat GTE
SPORTS CARS

2016
mid 2015
2017
summer
late 2015
late 2015
late 2015
2016
mid 2016
2017
summer
late 2015
late 2015
late 2015
late 2015
mid 2016
2016
mid 2015
late 2015
late 2015
2016
2020
mid 2015
early 2016
mid 2016
2016
2016
mid 2016
September
late 2015
2016
late 2015
late 2015
late 2015
late 2015
summer
2015
summer
June

Alfa 4CStradale
late 2015
Alfa 6C
2016
Aston Martin DB9
late 2016
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
early 2016
Audi A5
spring 2016
Audi A9
2018
Audi R4
2016
Audi R8
autumn
Audi TT Sportback
2016
Audi TT Sport Quattro
2016
BMW M1
2016
BMW M2
late 2015
Caterham sports car
2016
Ferrari 488 GTB
mid 2015
Ford GT
2016
Ford Focus RS
2016
Honda Civic Type R
late 2015
Honda CR-Z
2017
Honda NSX
late 2015
Infiniti Q60
2016
Jaguar XE SVR
early 2016
Kia GT4 Stinger
2016
Lamborghini Asterion LP910-4
2017
Lexus GS F
late 2015
Lexus RC
late 2015
Lexus LF-LC
2016
Lotus Evora 400
summer
Maserati Alfieri
2016
Maserati GranTurismo
late 2017
McLaren 570S
late 2015
Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 SB
mid 2015
Mercedes C 450 AMG Sport
2016
MG TF replacement
2020
Nissan Pulsar Nismo
late 2015
Peugeot 308 R
late 2015
Porsche Boxster Spyder
late 2015
Porsche Cayman GT4
mid 2015
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
mid 2015
Porsche 911 facelift
late 2015
Porsche 961
2017
Porsche Pajun
2018
Renault Alpine
2016
Toyota FT-1 (Supra)
2016

VW Scirocco GTS
SUVs

Alfa Romeo SUV


Aston Martin DBX
Audi Q1
Audi Q5
Audi Q6
Audi Q7
Audi Q8
Audi RS Q1
Bentley Bentayga
BMW 1 Series Sport Cross
BMW X2
BMW X3
BMW X7
Citroen Grand Cactus
Dacia Duster facelift
Ford Edge
Honda HR-V
Infiniti QX30
Jaguar F-Pace
Lamborghini Urus
Land Rover Defender
Lexus RX
Maserati Levante
Mazda CX-3
Mercedes AMG GT four-door
Mercedes GLC Coup
Mercedes GLC
Mercedes GLE Coup
Mercedes GLE
Mercedes GLS
MG GS
Peugeot Quartz
Porsche Cayenne Coup
Porsche Macan Turbo S
Porsche Macan GTS
Porsche Panamera
Qoros 2 SUV
Qoros 3 City SUV
Renault Kwid
Renault Kadjar
Renault seven-seat SUV
Rolls-Royce SUV
SEAT SUV
Skoda Yeti+2
Suzuki iM-4
Tesla Model X
Toyota C-HR
Volkswagen Taigun
Volkswagen Tiguan
Volkswagen T-ROC
Volvo XC40
Volvo XC60
PEOPLE MOVERS

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer


Ford C-MAX facelift
Ford Grand C-MAX facelift
Ford S-MAX
Mercedes R-Class
VW Touran
VW Transporter

2016
early 2016
2019
2016
2016
2016
summer
2017
late 2016
2016
2017
2017
2016
2018
2017
2016
summer
summer
mid 2016
2016
2017
2016
late 2015
2016
summer
2017
early 2016
mid 2015
mid 2015
mid 2015
mid 2015
2016
2016
2017
2015
2015
2016
2016
2016
2016
August
2016
late 2016
2016
2016
2018
late 2015
2017
2015
2016
2016
2018
2017
June
summer
summer
summer
2016
November
late 2015

CABRIOLETS

Audi R8 Spyder
2016
Alfa Romeo 4CSpider
mid 2015
Fiat 124 Spider
summer 2016
Jaguar F-Type SVR
late 2015
Jaguar XE Convertible
2016
Lamborghini Huracn Spyder late 2015
Mazda MX-5
summer
Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet late 2015
Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet late 2015
MINI Convertible
2016
Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet
2015
Rolls-Royce Dawn
2016
VW Beetle Dune cabriolet
late 2015
LUXURY CARS

BMW 7 Series
Cadillac ELR
Infiniti Q80
Jaguar XF
Mercedes S-Class Pullman
Rolls-Royce Phantom
VW Phaeton
Volvo S90

late 2015
late 2015
2020
late 2015
2015
2017
late 2016
2016

Buying a new car?

Tell us about your experience


www.autoexpress.co.uk/driverpower

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Newcars

Xxxxxxxxxxx
Otis Clay

Essentials
Hyundai ix35 FCEV

Price: 53,015
Engine: Fuel cell stack, electric
motor with lithiumpolymer battery
Power/torque: 134bhp/300Nm
Transmission: Single-speed,
front-wheel drive
0-62mph: 12.5 seconds
Top speed: 99mph
CO2: 0g/km
Range: 369 miles

ON SALE Now

Hyundaiix35FCEV

RANGE Hyundai claims one tank of

hydrogen will take car 369 miles, which


seems realistic. It would mean fuel cell
car costs half as much to run as diesel

FIRST DRIVE Hydrogen fuel cell SUV shows promising future, at a price
Richard Ingram

Richard_Ingram@dennis.co.uk
@rsp_ingram

WHILE pure electric and hybrid cars


continue their upwards curve in the UK,
hydrogen-powered vehicles are still some
distance away from becoming mainstream.
And with fewer than 15 functioning filling
stations in the UK, its no real surprise.
However, if you fancy being an early
adopter you can actually buy a fuel cellpowered ix35 FCEV outright for 53,015.
Could this be the car to wean us off the
conventional combustion engine?
Current estimates suggest it will cost
around half as much as an equivalent
diesel model to run. A tank of hydrogen
will set you back around 20, and Hyundai
says this will give the ix35 FCEV a range
of about 369 miles based on our drive,
that doesnt sound too over-optimistic.
Youll have to plan your routes carefully
if you want to use it on long journeys, but
things will be a bit easier for London-based
commuters, with three stations within the
M25. While a 12.5-second 0-62mph time

FUEL CELLS Hydrogen tanks impact

boot space, cutting it from 591 litres to


436 litres, but smarter solutions could
eliminate this penalty in future

Dash is taken from diesel ix35; its


well built and sat-nav is standard
and a top speed of just 99mph arent going
to set any performance records, the power
delivery is instant and remarkably linear, so
the ix35 feels faster than the figures suggest.
Its around 400kg heavier than the
standard ix35 SUV which shows in
bends where it rolls from side to side. A
diesel ix35 feels more nimble then, but
thats unlikely to matter to eco-concious

FCEV buyers especially when you consider


how quiet it is at motorway speeds.
Practicality takes a hit, with the huge
hydrogen tank eating into boot space.
Total usable room is down from 591 litres
to 436 litres, although thats still more
than in a VW Golf or Ford Focus. Inside,
theres the same five-seat set-up and
decent legroom. The dashboard is lifted
from the standard car, too, with an
identical infotainment system.
The biggest sticking point for the
innovative ix35 is its price at 53,015,
its over 20,000 more than the Mitsubishi
Outlander PHEV. Hyundai says its the cost
of hydrogen tanks that dictates the sky-high
list price, but argues that the costs will be
better aligned to conventional petrol and
diesel cars within three to four years.
Robin Hayles, Hyundais sustainable
fuel development manager, thinks fuel
cells are the long-term solution, claiming
they will outbid others as the technology
of choice in the coming years. So if youre
interested, patience could be a virtue.

PRACTICALITY Rear legroom

is as generous as in the standard


ix35; heated seats are included as
standard, as is a reversing camera

Verdict
THERES no denying Hyundais
enthusiasm for, and commitment
to, hydrogen has created a truly
feasible final product. With zero
tailpipe emissions and a refill time
of just three minutes, hydrogen
could become a genuine alternative
to dirty, thirsty internal combustion
engines. The infrastructure isnt near
ready, and the price will put most
buyers off, but if this is a glimpse
of the future, were all for it.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Give your car the


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need, and even includes protection for your in-car entertainment
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been voted Best Direct Car Insurance Provider by Your Money in 2014
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Road tests

Visit autoexpress.co.uk for the latest new cars and drives

50

NEW KIA VENGA vs


NISSAN NOTE, B-MAX
Supermini-MPV shootout as fresh-faced Kia
meets Nissan and Ford.

Breaking

new
ground

We see if Volvos hi-tech new XC90 can go straight to the top of the
seven-seater SUV class as it meets capable Land Rover Discovery
Pictures: Nathan Morgan Location: Aldeburgh, Suffolk

42 27 May 2015

www.autoexpress.co.uk

60

LIVING WITH A...


BMW i3
We bid fond farewell to
elect
ctric car pioneer after
f
nine
e months on our
u ffleet..

Is the ageing Land Rovers appeal still


strong enough to rival hi-tech XC90?

Volvo XC90 D5
AWD Momentum

Price: 45,750
Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbodiesel, 221bhp
0-60mph: 8.1 seconds
Test economy: 33.0mpg/7.3mpl
CO2: 149g/km Annual road tax: 145

Land Rover
Discovery SE Tech

Price: 47,500
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, 252bhp
0-60mph: 8.4 seconds
Test economy: 27.1mpg/6.0mpl
CO2: 213g/km Annual road tax: 290

THE original Volvo XC90 4x4


changed the brands image.
When it joined the range of boxy
saloons and estates way back in
2002, the stylish seven-seat SUV
brought some premium pizzazz.
It stood the test of time as well,
finally being axed in 2014, 12 years
after it first went on sale. This means
the all-new XC90 has a lot to live up
to but with an interior packed full
of the latest technology, some very
clever safety systems and a new,
highly efficient family of engines
thatll feature in Volvos of the future,
the car has what it takes to rocket
straight to the top of the class.
Plus, as prices start at 45,750,
it has value on its side when
compared to the competition.
Its closest rival has always been
the Land Rover Discovery. Over the
past decade, if you wanted a refined
and practical SUV with lots of space,
seven seats and genuine off-road
ability, the Disco has arguably been
the default choice. But with the
Mk2 XC90 now on sale, has that
all changed, or is the ageing Land
Rovers appeal still strong enough
to rival the hi-tech newcomer as the
family SUV favourite? We get behind
the wheel of both models to find out.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

27 May 2015 43

Road tests

Volvo XC90 vs Land Rover Discovery

MODEL TESTED: Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum


PRICE: 45,570 ENGINE: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 221bhp

THE new Volvo XC90 is looking to topple


rival premium SUVs by offering a cut-down
price and adding the versatility of seven seats. The
45,570 entry-level D5 AWD Momentum model
weve tested here has style and quality to match, too.

Styling 4.2/5
VOLVOS of old were known for their boxy, sedate
designs, but with the original XC90 SUV, the brand
spiced up the styling with a more owing body and
some interesting details. For this all-new XC90, Volvo
has taken things to the next level this is the agship
of the range and sets a template for what future
models will look like: cool, classy and understated.
There are Scandinavian inuences everywhere,
according to Volvo. Take the T-shaped Thors
Hammer daytime running lights, for example the
narrow light bars give the XC90 an aggressive glare,
helped by its deep front bumper and bluff radiator
grille. Despite this square-set front end, the rounded
wheelarches and raked windscreen pillars provide
a sleek and aerodynamic look, but the 19-inch alloy
wheels and silver roof rails on our test car mean
it still has more than a hint of rugged SUV.
At the rear, the XC90 is less striking, but the
brands designers have still used the light clusters
to good effect. The tail-lamps run from the top
of the boot right down to the bumper, and with
Volvos traditional kink halfway down, the XC90
is instantly recognisable in the dark. Theres also
a small boot lip spoiler and a few creases in the
tailgate. Combine that with the cars dual exhausts,
and it makes for a minimalist and crisp rear end.
That theme is repeated inside, with expensivefeeling brushed metal inserts, lots of leather and an
attractive layout. Compared to the last XC90, Volvo
has decluttered the dashboard and removed most of
the buttons. Instead, the entertainment and climate
systems are controlled by a central touchscreen,
anked by two main air vents and some lovely
chrome detailing. Along with the Range Roverlike digital dials, its the highlight of the cabin.
All of the main on-board functions are controlled
by this nine-inch tablet-style set-up, including the satnav, DAB radio, climate control and Bluetooth. Our
test car was also tted with the 575 Winter Pack,
featuring heated seats, a 700 360-degree camera
system, Volvos 650 automatic parking gadget and
the 1,500 Intellisafe Pro package that includes Queue
Assist a semi-autonomous system that takes control
of the accelerator, brakes and steering in slow trafc.

Driving 4.5/5
ONE of the big questions surrounding this XC90
centres on its new D5 engine: is a 221bhp 2.0-litre
four-cylinder turbodiesel enough to go up against
the likes of Land Rovers more powerful V6 diesel?
On the move, the downsized unit is adequate,
with enough punch to keep up with fast-moving
trafc. However, you do have to push the accelerator
a long way to get a decent hit of performance, which
means the gearbox holds on to revs before changing
up. This can make things a bit noisy, although its
much quieter and more rened at a cruise, with the
eight-speed automatic gearbox shufing ratios nicely.
Despite its relative power decit to the Discovery,
the XC90 performed well on test, sprinting from
0-60mph in 8.1 seconds. This meant it was actually
faster than the Land Rover. While the lighter Volvos

44 27 May 2015

Testers notes

All-new XC90 is a big deal for Volvo, as it


represents the template for future models.
The latest chassis is based on what the brand
calls its Scalable Product Architecture. Put
simply, this new platform can be resized to
design other cars using the same underpinnings.
Other Volvos down the line will use the latest
Drive-E family of engines, too. Therell be
pet
petrol and diesel models, as well as hybrids.

Jame
James Disdale Road test editor

lack of power doesnt hurt it too much going through


the gears, its 130Nm torque disadvantage shows. Not
as much as you might think, though, as it took 12.9
seconds to accelerate from 50-70mph in eighth,
which wasnt far away from the Discoverys time.
The ride is rmer than the Land Rovers, but
not as stiff as sportier rivals like Porsches ve-seatonly Cayenne. The XC90 rides better on smoother
surfaces, yet also deals with scarred roads well.
As a result, it strikes a neat balance between
comfort and agility, with great body control and a
rounded edge to the suspensions damping. It means
you can push the car and use the nicely weighted,
quick steering to guide it down even narrow country
lanes while still retaining the composed ride.

Ownership 4.2/5
TRADITIONALLY, Volvo has been known for its
dependability. However, it slipped six places to 17th
in our Driver Power 2015 satisfaction survey, and was
only the 20th most reliable brand out of 32. Only
the rst few customers will have received their
XC90s by now, so reliability reports are scarce,
and although the Volvo is packed full of new
tech, were condent it should prove reliable.
Euro NCAP hasnt crash tested the new SUV yet, but
the brand claims it has the most comprehensive safety
package on sale. This includes two world rsts: a Run
Off-Road system that senses if you veer off the tarmac
preparing the car for a crash and special energyabsorbent seats thatll reduce the impact of a big hit.
Theres also a clever autonomous braking system,
which stops you turning in front of an oncoming car.
On top of this, the XC90 gets all of the usual safety
kit, including seven airbags and ESP, while blind
spot warning, rear cross trafc alert and the
Queue Assist function are available as extras.

Volvo XC90

Running costs 4.7/5


CONSIDERING the Land Rovers older interior tech
and higher list price, the Volvo looks like a bit of a
bargain at 45,750. Plus, it has marginally stronger
residual values of 54.8 per cent, so it will lose 1,148
less than the Discovery over three years from new.
That smaller engine might not be blisteringly
quick, but it is highly efcient. This 2.1-tonne SUV
emits just 149g/km of CO2, which means a Benet
in Kind rate of 27 per cent and low running costs
for higher-rate business users at 4,919 per year.
We also recorded respectable fuel economy on
test of 33.0mpg, which is good for a car of this size,
even if it falls short of the ofcial 49.6mpg gure.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Volvo XC90 vs Land Rover Discovery

Road tests

Old and new


WITH the new XC90,
Volvo has perfectly
captured the mix of
old-school luxury
with new tech. It still
feels fresh inside,
with cool metal and
soft leather, while the
huge touchscreen is
easy to use. Rotary
engine stop/start
controller is a
premium touch

!
CO2/tax

Practicality

Performance

Braking

Running costs

149g/km

Boot (7/5/2 seats)

0-60/30-70mph

70-0/60-0/30-0mph

33.0mpg (on test)

145 or 27%

451/1,102/1,951 litres

8.1/8.0 seconds

50.5/36.8/9.3m

85 fill-up

Practicality 4.6/5
IN seven-seat conguration, the Volvo offers a great
mix of renement and practicality, with 451 litres
of boot space. Fold the third row down an easier
job than in the Discovery thanks to the simpler
mechanism and this rises to 1,102 litres. Stow them
all away, and theres 1,951 litres on offer. Plus, with a
low loading lip and hands-free powered tailgate
as standard, itll be easy to pack away shopping.
Theres a large storage area in the centre console,
a decent glovebox and a deep central cubbyhole.
Storage in the back row is good as well, with each
seat getting its own cup-holder and trinket tray,
just like in the Land Rover. However, unlike its rival,
the XC90 doesnt offer heating controls for the rear.

Testers notes

Interior space
CABIN feels upmarket, while boot space
expands to 1,951 litres. Seatbelts hark
back to three-point invention in 1959

www.autoexpress.co.uk

XC90s real-world efciency also means


more practicality. Continent-crossing
cruisers need a big range, and even though
the Volvos fuel tank is 10 litres smaller than
the Land Rovers, it will go 26 miles further.

Dean Gibson Dep. road test editor

27 May 2015 45

Road tests

Volvo XC90 vs Land Rover Discovery

MODEL TESTED: Land Rover Discovery SE Tech


PRICE: 47,500 ENGINE: 3.0-litre V6, 252bhp

Its been over 10 years since the square-set


Discoverys launch, and you still have to marvel
at how well this car combines luxury and
mud-plugging performance. The only thing
that lets the Land Rover down is its poor
fuel economy. The next generation of
more efcient SUVs is leaving it behind,
but were sure Land Rover has something
spe
special lined up for the next model.

THE Land Rover Discovery is a rm favourite


of ours, having taken numerous class victories
in our New Car Awards over the years. It balances
renement and luxury with go-anywhere ability,
but even in 47,500 SE Tech specication as tested
(our pictures show an HSE Luxury version), its
much more expensive than the Volvo.

Styling 3.9/5
COMPARED to the understated XC90, the Land
Rover Discoverys design is brasher and more in
your face. Thats down to the cars vast proportions
its wider and taller than the Volvo as well as
its chunky design. The tall bonnet, big headlight
clusters and bright silver grille mean youll denitely
see this SUV coming in your rear view mirror,
and together with the expansive glass windows,
chunky arch extensions and sills, plus massive
20-inch wheels, the Discovery looks imposing.
There are lots of traditional Land Rover
design features, such as the clamshell bonnet
and split tailgate, that add some extra visual
impact and practicality, but overall, the look is
more biased towards its off-road roots, hinting
at this cars considerable go-anywhere ability.
Overall, the Discoverys design hasnt changed for
2015 instead, Land Rover has turned its attention
to the interior, upgrading the specication. The incar tech isnt as clever as the XC90s, but the brands
new 350 InControl option allows you to use apps
on your Apple or Android smartphone via the
in-car screen. On the mid-range SE Tech model
theres also sat-nav, parking sensors, cruise
control, DAB and Bluetooth. The equipment
level doesnt match the XC90s, but the Disco
does get metallic paint as standard; Volvo
buyers will have to add it as a 700 option.
Like the exterior design, the Discoverys cabin
is more utilitarian than the XC90s, but all of the
gadgets are nicely integrated nonetheless. The
infotainment screen is smaller and the graphics
have a lower resolution it takes longer to respond
to your inputs than the Volvos tablet as well, but
the familiarity of the system means its easy to use.
Leather trim comes as standard, and adds an
upmarket air, but the Land Rovers build quality
still feels robust and up to anything you can throw
at it, mixing renement and sturdiness nicely.

Driving 4.1/5
THE Discovery boasts a powerful 252bhp 3.0-litre
twin-turbo V6 diesel, but the car weighs 440kg more
than the XC90. As a result, at the test track it trailed
by 0.3 seconds in the sprint from 0-60mph, taking
8.4 seconds. Yet thats still 0.4 seconds up on the
claimed time, and it was quicker in-gear.
The silky engine makes a lovely noise as well,
and is more rened than the raspier four-cylinder
in the Volvo. The big off-roaders eight-speed
automatic gearbox is slightly smoother than the
XC90s, too, delivering lovely slurred changes,
although in the real world theres not much
to choose between the two transmissions.
Where the Land Rover loses out is in the way it
drives. The soft chassis set-up on our air-suspension
model makes for incredible long-distance comfort,
but the Discos weight and height mean the body
rolls heavily in corners, even at moderate speeds. Its
not as car-like to drive as the more agile XC90, and

46 27 May 2015

Testers notes

Jame
Ja
James
me Disdale Road test editor

theres not as much grip to call on, either. The


steering is slower, too, so you have to work the
wheel a lot more if youre going down a twisty road.
However, this is good for stability on the motorway
and performance off-road, where this car excels.
The Discovery really does feel like it can climb any
mountain and ford any stream with air-suspension
to increase the ride height and avoid obstacles, as
well as a 700mm wading depth, it probably can.
The Land Rover far outshines the Volvo away from
the tarmac, but to most buyers this wont matter as
large SUVs like these will spend most of their time
on the road. Thats not to say the car isnt impressive
here, though, with the smooth surge of the diesel
engine and incredible cruising renement
providing an amazing breadth of ability.

Ownership 3.4/5
LAND Rover is a perennially poor performer in our
Driver Power satisfaction surveys, and its 2015 result
proved no different. It ranked as the 29th brand out
of 32, while its dealer networks performance was
consistent with this, nishing 28th in our most
recent poll. As the Discovery has been on sale for
more than 10 years now, most problems should
have been ironed out the Mk4 model tested here
was voted the 68th best car to live with in our
Driver Power 2015 top 200. Owners praised its
ride quality and practicality. However, the results
also show reliability can be patchy.
With one more airbag than the XC90, the Land
Rover should be safe. As its basically unchanged
from the Mk3 model, the last Euro NCAP crash
test was back in 2006, where it received four stars
overall. Bear in mind the assessment has changed
a lot since then, but safety kit has been upgraded
to include more airbags, as well as ESP, blind spot
warning and reverse trafc alert. So although the
Discovery cant match the Volvos long list of
hi-tech features, it should be reassuring.

Land Rove

Running costs 3.0/5


DEPRECIATION is on a par with the Volvo, but our
experts predict the Discovery will still lose a large
chunk more than the XC90 in the rst three years.
On top of this, a group 42 insurance rating (nine
higher than for the Volvo) means annual premiums
for our sample driver are likely to be greater.
During our test, we could only return 27.1mpg,
which is largely due to the Discoverys hefty 2,570kg
kerbweight. So over 12,000 miles youll spend 432
more on fuel than someone choosing the XC90.
Still, Land Rovers routine maintenance costs
appear competitive, at 699 for ve years servicing.
At the time of going to press, Volvo hadnt yet
released servicing prices for the new XC90.

Practicality 4.8/5
THE Discoverys split tailgate is a nice touch, and provides
somewhere to sit on family days out, but its also quite tall, so
youll have to lift luggage high to load the boot up. Also, with it
down its hard to reach in from the outside to put the back seats up.
With all seven seats in place theres not much boot space on
offer, at 172 litres, but in ve and seven-seat congurations its
bigger than the Volvo, with 1,260 litres and a cavernous 2,558 litres
available respectively. The mechanism to fold the middle row of
seats leaves some exposed metal and plastic to catch your hands on,
but once youre in the back theres as much room as in the Volvo.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Volvo XC90 vs Land Rover Discovery

Road tests
HEAD TO

HEAD

CO2/tax
213g/km
290 or 37%

Off-road ability

Practicality
Boot (7/5/2 seats)
172/1,260/2,558 litres

Performance
0-60/30-70mph

NOT only can the Discovery


tow bigger loads thanks to
its 3,500kg limit, its also the
more capable choice for buyers
wanting a premium seven-seater
with go-anywhere versatility. It
has three computer-controlled
locking differentials and off-road
tyres. Unlike the Land Rover, the
Volvo doesnt come with any
special off-road programmes.

8.4/8.3 seconds

!
Braking
70-0/60-0/30-0mph
50.6/38.1/9.2m

Digital revolution
Running costs
27.1mpg (on test)
99 fill-up

r Discovery

On the road
AIR-suspension means Discovery is a comfortable
cruiser, but theres no disguising its height and weight
in corners, where body roll is a real issue. It simply
doesnt feel as car-like to drive as the new XC90

XC90S digital dials are similar


to those on the Range Rover and
Range Rover Sport, while its
iPad-style interface is one of the
best around. The Disco is showing
its age by comparison, but were
sure the new model due next
year will get lots of gadgets to
bring its tech tally up to scratch.

Comfort
ROOM in the back row of both
cars is good, and six-footers will
be comfortable on short journeys.
XC90s seats are more forgiving,
and the mechanism is more userfriendly; the middle row slides
and folds in one smooth motion,
meaning access is a lot easier.

Inside
WHILE interior is
more functional,
nish is still great;
load bay expands
to 2,558 litres
with all rear seats
folded; off-road
display tracks
progress over
different terrain

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Testers notes

Storage inside the Discovery is impressive.


The interior might focus on functionality
compared to the stylish XC90, but with
features such as a twin glovebox and big
door bins,, y
you wont be short of space.

Sea
Sean Carson Road test editor

27 May 2015 47

Volvo XC90 vs Land Rover Discovery

Figures
On the road price/total as tested
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)
Depreciation
Annual tax liability std/higher rate
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost
Servicing costs
Length/wheelbase
Height/width
Engine
Peak power/revs
Peak torque/revs
Transmission
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel
Boot capacity (7/5/2 seats)
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight
Turning circle/drag coefficient
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery
Service intervals/UK dealers
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars
0-60/30-70mph
30-50mph in 3rd/4th
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th
Top speed/rpm at 70mph
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/camera
Auto gearbox/stability/cruise control
Climate control/leather/heated seats
Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth

Results

Volvo XC90 D5
AWD Momentum
45,750/50,025
25,048/54.8%
20,702
2,460/4,919
1,986/3,310
33/N/A/F/145
N/A
4,950/2,984mm
1,776/2,008mm
4cyl in-line/1,969cc
221/4,250 bhp/rpm
470/1,750 Nm/rpm
8-spd auto/4wd
71 litres/repair kit
451/1,102/1,951 litres
2,130/741/2,700kg
11.9 metres/N/A
3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
18,000 miles (1yr)/109
17th/17th*
N/A
8.1/8.0 seconds
3.5/4.4 seconds
5.7/6.9/9.3/12.9 secs
137mph/1,650rpm
50.5/36.8/9.3m
59/63/62/62dB
33.0/7.3/515 miles
45.6/52.3/49.6mpg
10.0/11.5/10.9mpl
229/149g/km/27%
Seven/yes/yes/700
Yes/yes/yes
Yes/yes/575
700/LEDs/yes
Yes/yes/yes/yes

VOLVO

Road
o tests

Land Rover
Discovery SE Tech
ch

RESIDUALS
EVEN this entrylevel XC90 is
predicted to retain
plenty of its value
from new. Such
high residuals are
superb for a luxury
seven-seat SUV.

SERVICING COSTS
VOLVO has yet to
announce prices
for servicing, yet
Land Rover offers
a worthwhile fiveyear package
to save money
on main dealer
maintenance.
PERFORMANCE
THERES not much
to split these cars
on speed, but the
XC90 doesnt feel
as relaxed on the
road; the Discovery
has the edge here
on account of
its extra torque.

EQUIPMENT
THESE cars offer
similar kit, with
climate control
and heated leather
seats as standard.
But the cheaper
Volvo gets more
safety tech and has
a big advantage
with its slicker
tablet interface.

47,500/49,025
25,650/54.0%
21,850
3,464/9,927
2,428/4,047
42/N/A/K/290
699 (5yrs)

HIGH PRICE
DESPITE the
Discoverys extra
pace, its hard to
justify the higher
purchase price
and running costs
for this thirstier,
older model.

4,829/2,885mm
1,882/2,053mm
V6/2,993cc
252/4,000 bhp/rpm
600/2,000 Nm/rpm
8-spd auto/4wd
82 litres/space-saver
172/1,260/2,558 litres
2,570/690/3,500kg
11.5 metres/N/A
3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
15,000 miles (1yr)/130
29th/28th*
4/3/1 (2006)
8.4/8.3 seconds
3.3/3.7 seconds
5.2/6.5/7.9/12.1 secs
112mph/1,650rpm
50.6/38.1/9.2m
66/58/58/60dB
27.1/6.0/489 miles
33.2/39.8/36.7mpg
7.3/8.8/8.1mpl
279/213g/km/37%

DRIVER POWER
FOR a premium
marque to finish
this low in our
annual satisfaction
survey is surprising
but not for Land
Rover. It always
comes low down
our list of top
brands and dealers.

Eight/yes/yes/360
Yes/yes/yes
Yes/yes/yes
Yes/yes/815
Yes/yes/yes/yes

1st

A COOL new design


direction for Volvo and
impressive efficiency make this
XC90 a winner. It keeps on delivering,
too, with great practicality, a firm yet
comfortable chassis and superb levels
of equipment and technology. Add
into the mix the newcomers value for
money and its a milestone for Volvo;
the brands first exciting step towards
posing a real threat to its upmarket rivals.

LAND ROVER

EFFICIENCY
TAKE your choice
between efficiency
and performance.
The Discovery is
fast but not that
frugal, while the
Volvos engine is
less potent but
not as thirsty.

2nd

TIME hasnt blunted


the Discoverys appeal.
Yet even though its been updated
over the years, next to cutting-edge
rivals like the XC90, its no longer the
force it once was. Thats partly due
to its poor efficiency and the fact this
SE Tech model offers a lower spec at
a higher price. The ride is still serene,
though, and its the best seven-seater
if you want proper off-road ability.

Deals &
discounts
Facts, figures and advice
powered by carbuyer.co.uk

WEVE shopped around, and


there are already a few deals
to be had on the new Volvo
XC90. However, theres not
much discount on offer, and
the best promotion weve
seen is through Volvo itself.
Its offering the same spec
XC90 as we tested a D5
Momentum with metallic
paint for 559 per month.
The three-year contract is
based on a 9,676 customer
deposit with interest charged
at 5.9 per cent APR. Theres
an optional final payment of
21,915, but be careful of
mileage charges over the
10,000-mile annual limit.
Its a different story when
it comes to the Land Rover
Discovery now its nearing
the end of its life, there are
lots of deals around. For
example, cash buyers can
save a sizeable 3,344 on
the price of an SE Tech car
through buyacar.co.uk.
The four-year, 580
per month finance deal is
actually better value than
the Volvo offer as it asks for
a lower deposit of 4,410.
Interest is charged at 7.9 per
cent, while the final payment
is 21,555 so youll pay
4,865 more than the Discos
list price if you opt for a
finance payment plan, but
5,965 extra for the XC90.

What do you think?

Tell us about your car

www.autoexpress.co.uk/driverpower

*Manufacturer rankings from Driver Power 2015; dealers from 2014. In red = equipment fitted to our test car. Insurance quotes from AA
(Tel 0800 107 0680 or www.theAA.com) for a 42-year-old living in Banbury, Oxon, with three penalty points. Residual values provided by CDL VIP Data.

RIVALS
Other options in
this category...

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Mercedes GL 350 BlueTEC

Hy
Hyundai Santa
nta Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE Auto

IF you want a seven-seat SUV, your options are fairly limited.


However, you could go for the
Mercedes GL 350. The V6
diesel model is much faster
than the XC90, yet not as
frugal. Its much
ch pricier
than these cars,
ars, too.

AT the other end


d of the scale is the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The seven-seaters
rs cabin is a little cramped, but it has
fou
four-wheel drive
e and an auto
box
box. Premium SE models
are well equipped,
ed, yet
the Santa Fe isnt as
upm
upmarket as the XC90.

PRICE: 60,755
755 ENGINE: 3.0-litre V6, 255bhp

PR
PRICE: 36,705
5 ENGINE: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 194bhp

27 May 2015 49

Road tests

Kia Venga vs rivals

Pictures: Pete Gibson Location: Longcross Proving Ground, Chobham, Surrey

IF youre after a practical yet


compact car, you dont have to
stick to the age-old supermini formula.
Theres a big group of vehicles that mix
MPV versatility with a compact hatchback
footprint, and the latest to offer this blend
of interior space in a squashed-down
body is the facelifted Kia Venga.
While it might not be instantly obvious,
Kia has tweaked its supermini-MPV for

50 27 May 2015

2015 to keep it looking fresh, while


adding some more luxurious touches
inside. At 13,895, the Venga has price
on its side but it has to face tough
competition, as theres a legion of
cars out there offering a similar level
of practicality with more efficient
engines and even more tech.
In a competitive sector where
flexibility rules, price alone is not

enough, which is why weve lined


up two of the class leaders the
cleverly packaged Ford B-MAX and
the Nissan Note with its surprisingly
spacious interior to see if the Kia is
good enough to come out on top despite
a relatively inefficient, old-school engine.
Both rivals are more expensive than the
Venga, but do the Ford and Nissans extra
features mean theyre worth the money?

Venga has price on its


side, but it has to face
competition from cars
with similar practicality
and more technology
www.autoexpress.co.uk

Kia Venga vs rivals

Road tests

l
a
e
p
ap
Flex

Is the revised Kia Venga versatile enough to beat


supermini-MPV class rivals from Nissan and Ford?

Kia Venga 2 ISG 1.4

Price: 13,895 Engine: 1.4-litre 4cyl, 89bhp


0-60mph: 11.7 seconds Test economy: 38.1mpg/8.5mpl
CO2: 130g/km Annual road tax: 110

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Nissan Note n-tec 1.2

Price: 15,365 Engine: 1.2-litre 3cyl, 79bhp


0-60mph: 12.1 seconds Test economy: 48.3mpg/10.7mpl
CO2: 109g/km Annual road tax: 20

Ford B-MAX 1.0T EcoBoost Zetec

Price: 16,095 Engine: 1.0-litre 3cyl turbo, 123bhp


0-60mph: 9.9 seconds Test economy: 41.3mpg/9.2mpl
CO2: 114g/km Annual road tax: 30

27 May 2015 51

Road tests

Kia Venga vs rivals

MODEL TESTED: Kia Venga 2 ISG 1.4

PRICE: 13,895 ENGINE: 1.4-litre 4cyl, 89bhp

THE new Kia Venga offers all the practicality


benets of the old car with a few design tweaks
and an updated interior as part of this gentle facelift
for 2015. We test the 2 model, complete with the
ISG stop/start system, against its closest rivals.

Styling 3.6/5
AS with the Kia Picanto we rated in Issue 1,370,
its a game of spot the difference to tell this Venga
apart from the previous model. But Kia has given
its supermini-MPV a revised front-end design, with
a larger version of its trademark tiger nose grille
as well as a larger lower air inlet that incorporates
the Vengas foglamps and daytime running lights.
There are a few other styling tweaks, including
some new alloy wheel designs across the range, but
the visual differences really are minimal and in our
test cars 490 optional Silver Storm metallic paint,
the Vengas soft, rounded shape appears a little
drab next to the angular Ford B-MAX and more
striking Nissan Note weve lined it up against.
The Kias hatchback-on-stilts looks come from
its versatility, and although it might not be the
most stylish ve-door on sale, the extra height
works wonders for practicality, adding extra room
inside. Kia might not have focused too much on
changing the exterior design, as the basic look
worked and the family resemblance was already
present, but the interior has come in for more
attention there are now some smarter trim details
that brighten up the functional layout. And although
you dont get that many gadgets on the lower-spec 2
model weve tested here, a tyre pressure monitor
is now tted as standard across the range.
Also included are core features like airconditioning, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors,
while a digital radio is the only real option. As
on many Kias, this is a 250 dealer-t extra.
As a result of all this, its not the most sparkling
cabin, but it does feel hard-wearing and build quality
is good. In this sector, where practicality rules, its
these qualities that can make the difference, and the
Kia scores well here, even if it is a little short on air.

Driving 3.5/5
UNLIKE many conventional modern superminis,
the new Venga doesnt get a downsized, highefciency turbocharged engine instead, it
uses a relatively conventional 1.4-litre fourcylinder petrol unit that delivers 89bhp.
Unfortunately, compared to some of the more
modern, smaller turbo units on the market today,
it feels at and lifeless, as our test gures show. The
Venga accelerated from 0-60mph in 11.7 seconds, and
completed the sprint from 30-70mph through the
gears in 11.9 seconds. The other big downside is the
engines poor efciency, which well come to later.
The raised ride height over cars like the Ford Fiesta
or Volkswagen Polo means that the Kia does lose out
when it comes to handling, but what it lacks in fun
it makes up for with a composed ride.
Longer-travel suspension means theres a
noticeable amount of body roll if youre a little
too energetic with your corner entry speed, and
the squidgy steering doesnt give much feedback
but the Venga is more about relaxed cruising in
urban areas than blasting down a country road. Here
it makes more sense, with a soft chassis set-up that
soaks up cracked roads and rutted tarmac well. On

52 27 May 2015

Testers notes

The 1.4-litre petrol is the entry-level engine in the


Venga range. Theres also a 123bhp 1.6-litre unit
available if you dont fancy a diesel. However, the
114bhp 1.6-litre turbodiesel is punchier and does
help improve the Kias in-gear performance. Even
the lower-powered 1.4 diesel produces 220Nm
of torque, so with more pulling power than the
three-cylinder B-MAX, and ofcial gures of
62.8mpg
8mpg a
and 119g/km, its a big improvement.

Jame
James Disdale Road test editor

the motorway, the Venga is rened and offers


smooth cruising ability, while even on B-roads its
comfortable, oating nicely over bumps. It never
feels engaging, though, and its a shame that the
engine lacks any real shove, even if the light
ve-speed manual gearbox is pleasant to use.
There was an unexpected twist in our test of the
Kia, however. From 70mph it managed to match
the sportier Fords braking distance, stopping in
an impressive 48.5 metres, plus it came to a halt
three metres sooner from 60mph. This solid brake
feel means the Venga is reassuring on the road.

Ownership 3.9/5
COMPARED to its rivals here, the new car should
also be more reassuring to run, as Kia nished our
Driver Power 2015 satisfaction survey in 19th position.
This isnt the best performance, but its reliability
scores were the highest of the three makers here.
The brands dealer network fared much better,
however, coming in 10th place in our last survey.
Weve not heard of any major problems with the
Venga, but it only just made our Driver Power top
200 best cars to live with owners ranked it 197th.
Euro NCAP crash tested the previous Venga in 2010,
and although it performed well, scoring a full vestar rating, the assessment has changed since then.
Still, wed expect the new car to fare as well now, with
six airbags and ESP as standard. Theres a hill start
assist function, too, and the car will ash the hazard
lights under hard braking to warn drivers behind.

Kia Venga

Running costs 3.5/5


APART from the lack of low-down grunt, the Kias
naturally aspirated 1.4 petrol engine has one other
major drawback: poor efciency. You have to rev the
engine hard to get the car up to speed, which meant
we only recorded 38.1mpg on test. As a result, youll
spend 127 extra on fuel over 12,000 miles than in
the Ford and 348 more than in the frugal Nissan.
In isolation this isnt too bad, but even with
stop/start, the higher 130g/km CO2 output means
110 road tax and a 21 per cent Benet in Kind rate.
The latter puts the Kias company car costs up by
another 94 over the Notes yearly running costs.
Its not all doom and gloom, though, as the
Vengas servicing costs are much cheaper than
its rivals: Kias Care-3 three-year servicing plan
costs 339. Plus, a seven-year/100,000-mile
warranty is standard. This combination will be
a big attraction to those who dont travel too far
and are looking to keep maintenance costs low.

Efciency
KIAS Intelligent Stop
and Go (stop/start)
aids efciency, but
emissions are still
worse than rivals;
ve-speed manual is
light and easy to use

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Kia Venga vs rivals

Road tests

Design
VENGA benets from a new front end with Kias trademark tiger nose
grille. There are new alloys across the range, too. Raised ride height
means the handling isnt as entertaining as the other cars in this
test, although that does translate into a more composed ride

!
CO2/tax

Practicality

Performance

Braking

Running costs

130g/km

Boot (seats up/down)

0-60/30-70mph

70-0/60-0/30-0mph

38.1mpg (on test)

110 or 21%

440/1,253 litres

11.7/11.9 seconds

48.5/33.5/9.1m

58 fill-up

Practicality 4.2/5
IT gets brighter for the Kia when it comes to
practicality: in its regular ve-seat conguration,
the 440-litre boot is the biggest here, helped by the
rear seat bench which can slide back and forward by
up to 130mm, giving a good amount of rear legroom.
With the back seats down, luggage capacity rises
to 1,253 litres, which isnt as big as in the B-MAX or
Note, but still plenty. Its more impressive that the
load bay is so spacious in ve-seat conguration.
Theres also a false boot oor for secure storage,
and inside there are plenty of large compartments
dotted around the high seating position. This means
an excellent view of the road, too, while theres a
handy armrest for extra comfort on long journeys.

Testers notes

Load bay
WITH the seats up, Kias 440-litre boot is largest
on test, and its still generous once theyre down,
with 1,253 litres. Armrest in rear is a nice touch

www.autoexpress.co.uk

To match the Notes level of tech, youll have


to upgrade to a Venga 3, which is 15,190
and is only available with the 1.6 petrol. Still,
you would get sat-nav, a reversing camera,
par
part-leather seats and climate control.

Dean Gibson Deputy road test ed.

27 May 2015 53

Road tests
MODEL TESTED: Ford B-MAX 1.0T
EcoBoost Zetec PRICE: 16,095
ENGINE: 1.0-litre 3cyl, 123bhp

BASED on the popular Ford Fiesta, the B-MAX


offers that bit more practicality than a regular
supermini, without sacricing driving fun. We test
the 16,095 Zetec model with Fords 1.0-litre threecylinder turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine.

Styling 4.0/5
COMPARED to the softly styled Kia, the B-MAXs
styling what Ford calls Kinetic Design is much
more aggressive and sporty. You can see the Fiesta
roots in the shape, and theres a similar jutting
grille and narrow headlights at the front.
But from the A-pillar backwards, the rooine is
different, with a loftier shape giving more room
inside. Despite its slabbier sides, a few dened
creases down the anks break up the B-MAXs
bodywork and run nicely into the tail-lights, with a
heavily styled tailgate. Unfortunately, the chunkylooking rear bumper means theres a high loading lip.
The real styling secret becomes apparent when
you open the doors, however. The rear doors arent
hinged, but slide along the runners above the rear
wheelarches instead. Open all the doors up and it
fully reveals the Fords interior, as the B-pillars
are actually built into the doors themselves.
Like the chassis, much of the dash is borrowed
from the Fiesta, so the layout will be familiar to most
Ford supermini owners. There are positives and
negatives to this, as it feels sporty and driver-focused,
while the driving position is perfect. However, the
infotainment systems buttons are angled away from
the driver and passenger, so it can be hard to nd the
switch you want at a glance. Plus, the small screen is
buried deep into the dash top, which means it can be
difcult to see small details on the optional sat-nav.
Thankfully, the controls for the ventilation system
are easier to use, with bigger, simpler buttons and
sturdy rotary wheels to adjust the temperature and
fan speed located in front of the gearlever. Although
our pictures show a top-spec B-MAX Titanium X, the
Zetec trim is closer on equipment to the updated
Kia. However, its still 2,200 pricier and the only
real advantage is a DAB radio and keyless start.
Theres a 300 optional City Pack, which includes
parking sensors, while you can specify sat-nav (this
comes as standard on the Note) for 400. Metallic
paint costs just 5 more than for the Kia, but with
the 175 heated seat option on our test model, this
took the price difference to a sizeable 3,570.

Ownership 3.6/5
FORDS performance in our Driver Power 2015
survey was mixed. The brand didnt improve on its
25th position last year and came 24th (out of 32) for
reliability. However, the B-MAX nished higher than
the Kia, as it was voted the 128th best car to live with.
We havent heard of any issues with Fords threecylinder EcoBoost turbo since its launch in 2012, and
as the B-MAX mainly uses Fiesta parts, it should be
fairly reliable. Plus, if you do have a problem, you wont
have to travel far to get it xed, with 781 UK dealers.
Despite the lack of a conventional B-pillar, the
B-MAX is just as safe as any other car, and the Euro
NCAP crash test results back this up it was awarded
a full ve-star rating. Buyers can also further improve
their models safety credentials by specifying Fords
Active City Stop autonomous braking for 200.

54 27 May 2015

Ford B-MAX

As there are no B-pillars, access to the rear is easy

Running costs 3.7/5


YOU dont have to work the B-MAXs clever engine
as hard to extract the performance thanks to that
torque, but it still isnt as efcient as Ford would
have you think. We managed 41.3mpg on test,
compared to an ofcial claim of 57.7mpg.
However, this is where the cars running cost
advantage stops. Its more expensive to buy, so even
with lower emissions of 114g/km and a 17 per cent
Benet in Kind rate, the B-MAX is still costly for eet
users lower-rate earners will pay 545 per year.
Plus, Fords three-year servicing package is
211 more expensive than Kias offering, while an
insurance group rating of 13 is the highest here
hence the expensive premium for our sample driver.

Stylish
SLEEK cabin is driverfocused, but angle of
buttons makes it hard to
nd what you want at glance

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Kia Venga vs rivals

Road tests

Testers notes

The doors are clever, but watch what they


mean for visibility with no B-pillar, the front
and rear doors are chunkier, which hurts the view
overr y
your shoulder, slightly impacting safety.

Jame
James Disdale Road test editor

Driving 4.3/5

Sporty
FIESTA-based B-MAX looks sportier than Kia and
Nissan, with a heavily styled rear. B-pillars are built
into doors, giving easier access. Powerful engine
means Ford is most rewarding car to drive in class

IF you want to stick with petrol power in your


supermini-MPV, Fords 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo
engine is worth paying extra for. Weve tested the
more powerful 123bhp version, but its also available
with 99bhp. The added horsepower over the Kia
and Nissan meant the B-MAX was faster on test: it
sprinted from 0-60mph in 9.9 seconds, and was 1.5
seconds quicker than the Venga through the gears.
The Fords tiny turbo also means it delivers
more torque than either rival, serving up 200Nm
low down at just 1,400rpm. That means the B-MAX
also leaves the Venga and Note trailing for in-gear
acceleration it was 7.6 seconds faster than the
Nissan from 50-70mph in fth.
If you value driving enjoyment, youll be pleased
to hear that the engines sporty streak is reected in
the way the B-MAX drives. Its rmer than the Venga,
but excellent body control and plush damping means
it doesnt crash over potholes. Push harder through
corners and it wont wilt like the Kia, either the
precise steering provides loads of feedback and
the B-MAX clings on and grips in bends.

!
CO2/tax

Practicality

Performance

Braking

Running costs

114g/km

Boot (seats up/down)

0-60/30-70mph

70-0/60-0/30-0mph

41.3mpg (on test)

30 or 17%

318/1,386 litres

9.9/9.2 seconds

48.5/36.5/8.8m

55 fill-up

Practicality 3.9/5
THOSE doors give the B-MAX a big advantage when
it comes to practicality. With no B-pillar in the way, it
means standard family tasks like strapping young
children into the rear are much easier. There are
also sliding rear seats like in the Venga to maximise
passenger or boot space depending on what you
need, although its not as roomy in the back.
In its normal conguration, you get 318 litres of
luggage room, which is almost 100 litres less than in
the Kia, but the B-MAXs boot is just big enough for
day-to-day use. However, family weekends away
might stretch it. The B-MAXs storage is better, with
cup-holders and luggage nets including either
side of the rear seats and in the front footwells.

Testers notes

Sat-nav
IF you opt for the sat-nav, its a 400 extra,
and the small, built-in screen is set back,
making it difcult to see clearly all the time

www.autoexpress.co.uk

In the Ford, you can fold the front passenger


seat completely at, so with the rear seats
down theres space for loads up to 2.3 metres
long and a fully at load oor. This partly
makes up for the B-MAXs small load bay.

Dean Gibson Deputy road test ed.

27 May 2015 55

Road tests

Kia Venga vs rivals

MODEL TESTED: Nissan Note n-tec 1.2


PRICE: 15,365 ENGINE: 1.2-litre 3cyl, 79bhp

THE Nissan Note is more of a conventional


hatchback than a small people carrier, but it
still aims to offer the same mix of practicality and
efciency as the Kia and Ford. At 15,365 for this 1.2
petrol n-tec model, its also pricier than the Venga,
although theres lots of standard kit on offer.

Styling 3.8/5
NISSANS approach to the Notes design differs
from the Kia and Fords instead of opting for a
high-riding MPV-style body, the Japanese brand
chose to stick with a more conventional hatchback
shape, and on the road it looks more compact.
However, the Note is actually the longest car here,
at 4.1 metres, so its really the lack of height that hides
the Nissans size. With its more aggressive bodykit,
two-tone alloys and silver accents for the door
mirrors and handles, the car mixes style with
adaptability and isnt tarred with the same image
as some practical compact people movers.
Its not as stylish as a Skoda Fabia, but its design is
relatively interesting, and in this Ink Blue paint the
Note grabbed more attention from passers by than
the duller grey models it was up against here. At the
front, theres a deeper bumper with angular elements
housing the foglamps and daytime running lights. On
the side of the car the scalloped door surface captures
the light, so the Note doesnt appear at, while at the
rear theres more heavy sculpting for the bumper and
bootlid. Like the Kia, 16-inch wheels are tted as
standard. The Ford makes do with 15-inch rims.
Climb inside the Nissan and youll realise the
cabin isnt quite as interesting as the exterior design.
The materials have the lowest-quality feel of the
trio, while the piano-black plastic insert around the
heating controls looks cheap. The Note does get two
silver plastic spars either side of this centre console
to brighten things up, but its a token effort in an
otherwise drab, black and plasticky environment.
Although the Nissan costs 1,470 more than the
Kia, one of the redeeming features is that you get a
lot of gadgets for your money. This n-tec trim level
comes with a reversing camera, sat-nav, DAB and
app-based Internet radio, plus cruise and climate
control, a tyre pressure monitor and lots of safety kit.

Driving 3.7/5
ON the move, the Note doesnt seem as rened as its
rivals partly due to rattles from its cheaper-feeling
interior. Our gures show its noisier at 30mph.
As with the B-MAX, the car uses a three-cylinder
petrol engine, but as theres no turbo its not as
powerful. The 1.2-litre produces 79bhp thats the
lowest output here and means the Note is also the
slowest car. On test, 0-60mph took 12.1 seconds. This
isnt particularly quick, but still over 1.5 seconds faster
than Nissans claim, which is actually a strong result.
Push the dash-mounted Eco button and the Notes
throttle response softens off, reducing performance
in a bid to try and eke out a few more mpg. It makes
the Nissan feel even more sluggish when youre
going through the gears its better suited to
cruising at a constant speed, meaning you can
improve the engines efciency even further.
The three-cylinder is smooth most of the time, but
it gets coarse higher up the revs and feels breathless
on motorways. Youll have to push the petrol unit to
keep up with fast-moving trafc, and that means
working the ve-speed gearbox, too. Yet compared

56 27 May 2015

Testers notes

A real-world focus means none of our test cars


offers any meaningful personalisation options
which you can choose on some regular superminis.
But if customisation is your thing, the Note is the
most versatile. There are plenty of vibrant colours
to choose from to suit the hatchback bodystyle, but
you can also spec different nishes for the mirror
caps, door handles, grille and wheels plus some
interior trim to add more visual impact.

mes Disdale Road test editor


Jame

to the smooth transmissions in the Kia and


Ford, the Nissans box feels light and notchy.
However, the ride is better than the powertrain.
The Notes chassis has a rm edge to it that transmits
vibrations through to the cabin over rutted roads,
but Nissan has tuned the cars handling for Europe
so it does mean its a little more involving to drive.
It cant match the B-MAXs agility or grip, but
good body control and nicely weighted steering
mean the Note feels at home and secure on back
roads as well as motorways. It trailed its rivals here
for braking performance from 70mph. It was on a
par from 60mph and 30mph to a stop, but the
brake pedal felt spongy and indistinct, which
didnt inspire much condence.

Ownership 3.6/5
JAPANESE brands like Nissan have traditionally
always had a strong reputation for reliability.
However, in this years Driver Power survey it
nished way down the order in 28th out of
32, while its dealers didnt perform much
better, coming 25th in our most recent survey.
The Note was voted the 143rd best car to live
with, which is nothing to write home about, either.
Just like the B-MAX, you get a three-year/60,000mile warranty, but unlike the Ford theres three
years roadside assistance thrown in, too.
When it comes to safety, the Note is the most
comprehensively equipped of the three, with blind
spot and lane departure warning, moving object
detection, ESP and six airbags. This helped the
car to earn a full ve-star Euro NCAP rating.

Nissan Not

Running costs 4.5/5


THE Note loses a greater portion of its value over
three years from new than its rivals, with predicted
residuals of just over 40 per cent. However, as its
cheaper than the B-MAX to buy, this translates into
less depreciation the car will shed 9,165, whereas
the Ford loses 9,292. Neither can match the 8,120
the cheaper Kia loses to depreciation, though.
CO2 emissions of 109g/km are the lowest here,
and as a result the Note slips into road tax band B,
costing 20 per year. Theyre also good news for
company car tax; a 16 per cent Benet in Kind rating
means business users will pay 490 over 12 months,
making this the cheapest company car of the three.
For the rst three years of ownership, routine
maintenance on the Nissan adds up to 567
thats only a small amount more than the
Ford, but a hefty 228 above the Kias costs.

Practicality 4.3/5
SLIDING rear benches add versatility. They mean theres
a huge amount of room in the rear for a supermini, while
the Note eclipses the B-MAX for boot space and even outshines
the Kia with the rear seats folded. Theres 411 litres with ve seats
in place or up to 1,495 litres on offer in two-seat conguration.
Clever storage also sets the Nissan apart. As well as a hidden
area in the boots spare wheel well, you get a twin glovebox with
two doors to separate the different compartments. But due to its
supermini make-up, it doesnt have the practical storage of the
B-MAX: two cup-holders and big door bins are the limit.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Kia Venga vs rivals

Road tests
HEAD TO

HEAD

CO2/tax
109g/km
20 or 16%

Versatility

ALL three of our test cars


feature variable height oors,
concealed compartments and
sliding rear benches, so it has to
be a special feature to crown one
of these cars the most versatile.
Even though the Note and Venga
are roomier inside, the B-MAX
has a couple more strings to its
bow in the shape of those sliding
doors and the folding front seat.

Practicality
Boot (seats up/down)
411/1,495 litres

Performance
0-60/30-70mph
12.1/12.5 seconds

!
Braking
70-0/60-0/30-0mph
50.0/36.7/9.2m

Ease of access
Running costs
48.3mpg (on test)
47 fill-up

te

Handling
WELL weighted steering and strong
body control mean Note is good to drive,
although it doesnt feel as rened on
the move as the Venga or B-MAX

ACCESS to the B-MAXs rear is


easy with those sliding doors
and no central pillar. The Kia
also lets you jump in with zero
fuss due to its high-up seating
position. The Note isnt as simple
you have to lower yourself into
the deeper seats. Despite more
legroom, you feel hemmed in.

Technology
CHEAP doesnt always mean
cheerful on the Kia and Ford,
equipment is sparse. Even in a
small car, the Notes reversing
camera and other gadgets are
welcome. Sat-nav and a big
touchscreen infotainment unit
could be a deal-maker for some.

Interior
QUALITY of cabin
cant compete
with rivals here,
but practicality
is good, with twin
glovebox and up to
1,495 litres in boot;
insert around
heating control
looks cheap

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Testers notes

Nissans Safety Shield tech redened


standards in the supermini class. This n-tec
model gets it as standard, but if you want
the around-view camera monitor, youll have
to pay 1,105 extra for the Tekna model.

Sea
Sean Carson Senior road tester

27 May 2015 57

ng

Figures
On-the-road price/total as tested
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)
Depreciation
Annual tax liability std/higher rate
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service

Nissan Note
n-tec 1.2
15,365/15,810
6,200/40.4%
9,165
490/980
1,300/2,167
7/262/B/20
159/249/159

Length/wheelbase
Height/width
Engine
Peak power/revs
Peak torque/revs
Transmission
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel
Boot capacity (seats up/down)
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight
Turning circle/drag coefficient
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery
Service intervals/UK dealers
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./points

4,100/2,600mm
1,530/1,695mm
3cyl in-line/1,198cc
79/6,000 bhp/rpm
110/4,000 Nm/rpm
5-spd man/fwd
41 litres/repair kit
411/1,495 litres
1,124/395/430kg
10.7 metres/0.30Cd
3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
18,000 (1yr)/225
28th/25th*
86/82/58/70/5

0-60/30-70mph
30-50mph in 3rd/4th
50-70mph in 4th/5th
Top speed/rpm at 70mph
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket

12.1/12.5 secs
6.6/10.1 secs
10.7/16.4 secs
105mph/3,300rpm
50.0/36.7/9.2m
68/53/67/72dB
48.3/10.7/436 miles
47.9/70.6/60.1mpg
10.5/15.5/13.2mpl
135/109g/km/16%

Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/camera
Auto gearbox/stability/cruise control
Climate control/leather/heated seats
Metallic paint/xenons/keyless go
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth

Six/yes/no/yes
No/yes/yes
Yes/no/no
500/no/no
Yes/yes/yes/yes

Results

Ford B-MAX 1.0T


EcoBoost Zetec
BUSINESS USERS
THE Nissan shows
CO2 is key for
business buyers.
Emissions of
109g/km mean
lower Benefit
in Kind than for
the 130g/km Kia,
amounting to
a 94 saving.
BOOT SPACE
NOTE is only
30 litres down on
the Venga with rear
seats in place, but
242 litres larger
with them down.
This is impressive
versatility given its
conventional shape.

DRIVER POWER
NISSAN and Ford
didnt fare well in
our satisfaction
survey in 2015.
Kias reliability
reputation is
strong thanks
to its extended
warranty.

EQUIPMENT
NISSAN leads
the way when it
comes to kit. Its
the only car that
gets sat-nav as
standard. System
is a 400 optional
extra on the Ford.

NISSAN

1st

LOWER running costs,


more equipment and
competitive practicality see the Nissan
Note take the victory. Its 1.2 engine
isnt fast, but it does the job sufficiently,
while its refined enough for town and
motorway driving. The Notes strength,
however, is its packaging and versatility,
with a roomy cabin and boot that offer
more space for passengers and luggage
than either supermini-MPV rival.

16,095/17,465
6,803/42.3%
9,292
545/1,091
1,521/2,534
13/273/C/30
550 (3yrs)
4,077/2,489mm
1,604/1,751mm
3cyl in-line/999cc
123/6,000 bhp/rpm
200/1,400 Nm/rpm
5-spd man/fwd
48 litres/repair kit
318/1,386 litres
1,279/481/750kg
10.5 metres/N/A
3yrs (60,000)/1yr
12,500 (1yr)/781
25th/27th*
92/84/67/71/5
9.9/9.2 secs
4.8/6.4 secs
7.5/8.8 secs
117mph/2,950rpm
48.5/36.5/8.8m
70/52/65/71dB
41.3/9.2/436 miles
47.1/67.3/57.7mpg
10.4/14.8/12.7mpl
158/114g/km/17%
Six/yes/300^/no
No/yes/no
Air-con/no/175
495/no/yes
400/yes/yes/yes

FORD

Road tests
Kia Venga
2 ISG 1.4

RESIDUALS
DESPITE the
highest residual
values, the
B-MAX actually
depreciates the
most. This Zetec
models higher
price is the
problem.

NCAP RATING
CLEVER doors
dont hurt safety
on the Ford. In
fact, its the safest
car here, with
consistently high
ratings in all Euro
NCAPs categories.

FUEL ECONOMY
DONT be fooled
by Fords claims,
as the 1.0 turbo
isnt as efficient
as the figures
suggest. Still, mpg
and 0-60mph time
are better than
the Kias results.

2nd

IF youre after a drivers


car with a sensible side,
then the B-MAX is your best bet.
Its perky engine and Fiesta-based
chassis are the most fun, but theyre
not enough to top this test. Its too
expensive in this company, the dash
design is confusing and the Ford isnt
practical enough, either although its
party piece doors will make family life
and loading the cabin extremely easy.

13,895/13,895
5,775/41.6%
8,120
584/1,167
1,648/2,747
9/265/D/110
339 (3yrs)
4,075/2,615mm
1,600/1,765mm
4cyl in-line/1,396cc
89/6,000 bhp/rpm
137/4,000 Nm/rpm
5-spd man/fwd
50 litres/space-saver
440/1,253 litres
1,253/457/1,300kg
10.4 metres/0.31Cd
7yrs (100,000)/1yr
10,000 (1yr)/170
19th/10th*
89/85/64/71/5 (2010)
11.7/11.9 secs
6.0/8.8 secs
8.7/12.2 secs
104mph/3,200rpm
48.5/33.5/9.1m
66/52/63/73dB
38.1/8.5/419 miles
42.8/55.4/50.4mpg
9.4/12.2/11.1mpl
171/130g/km/21%

INSURANCE
KIAS group nine
insurance rating
is the lowest, but
the B-MAX (the
highest at group
13) costs only 11
more to cover. All
our test models
have reasonable
annual premiums.

WARRANTY
FANTASTIC sevenyear/100,000-mile
warranty adds
peace of mind.
Kia was also the
most reliable
brand of the three
in our Driver Power
2015 survey.

HIGHEST CO2
EMISSIONS of
130g/km are
high by todays
standards. They
mean road tax is
80 pricier than
for the Note, and
company car tax
rates are higher.

Six/yes/yes/no
No/yes/no
Air-con/no/no
490/no/no
No/yes/250/yes

KIA

3rd

IF the Vengas engine


was cleaner and more
willing, itd be a different story,
as the roomy, comfy and refined Kia
would be more appealing. But even
at this 2 versions budget price point,
you cant get away from the high CO2
output and dearth of interior tech.
The extremely mild facelift means the
Venga just doesnt feel like a new car,
but one thats stuck in the last decade.

*Manufacturer rankings from Driver Power 2015; dealers from 2014. In red = equipment fitted to our test car. ^As part of pack. Insurance quotes from AA
(Tel 0800 107 0680 or www.theAA.com) for a 42-year-old living in Banbury, Oxon, with three penalty points. Residual values provided by CDL VIP Data.

SAME

PRICE

Other options for


similar money...

www.autoexpress.co.uk

NEW: Skoda Fabia


a Estate SE 1.2 TSI 90
GINE: 11.2-litre 4cyl, 89bhp
b
PRICE: 14,595 ENG

USED
SED: MINI Cooper Clubman
PRIC
P CE: 14,500 ENGINE: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 122bhp

SKODAS Fabia Estate is


s hugely
g yp
practical, boasting
b
g a 530-litre
boot. SE trim doesnt br
bring
g
much standard kit like
ike our
u
2-spec Kia but 15-incch
alloys, air-con, DAB and
Bluetooth are all on
the equipment list.

IF you want petrol power, but fancy


y something
g with more of a
premiu
p mium feel, a used MINI Clu
lubman is
within
w in budget. Its 260-litre bo
oot
mea
m ns its down on practicality
lity,
but
b 1
14,500 gets you a low-m
mile
Cooper
C per with cruise control, partpa leathe
l a her seats and sat-nav.

27 Mayy 2015
0 5 59
9

Our cars

Living with a BMW i3

Mat Watson

Mat_Watson@dennis.co.uk
@mat_watson

THIS picture pretty much sums up my


feelings for the BMW i3, but Ill make
things even clearer: its my favourite car ever
to feature on the Auto Express eet. In fact,
its one of the best cars Ive ever driven in
my entire career as a motoring journalist.
One reason is that it ts my lifestyle
perfectly. Living and driving in London can
be pricey with the Congestion Charge, but
the i3 Range Extender model is exempt from
the 11.50 daily fee. Plus, my parking space at
home has access to a socket for charging, so
the car has been ultra-cheap to run. You dont
buy this BMW to save cash, though; instead,
its more like the Apple iPhone of the car
world there are alternatives, but nothing
is as stylish, desirable or as good to use.
In town, the i3 comes into its own. You sit
high and the huge windscreen gives a clear
view ahead. Away from the lights, it has the
beating of anything, including BMWs own
M cars, then theres the regenerative braking.
Lift off the throttle, and the car slows as
the inverter charges the batteries. It takes
some getting used to, but once mastered,
you never really use the brakes I would
often challenge myself not to use the left
pedal. Thats not easy when running the
gauntlet of London trafc, but my little
game improved my ability to look further
up the road and anticipate trafc.
Obviously, the i3 wont be for everyone,
but its appeal is probably a lot broader
than you think. For starters, theres plenty
of space inside, and you get a at load
bay when the back seats are folded.
Our car had a range of options to make
life easier, including the Professional sat-nav
with real-time trafc alerts and a charge
point nder. I didnt even have to program
it myself, as our car came with BMWs
Concierge service. Simply press a button to
contact a call centre, and a representative

BMW i3

FINAL REPORT
Love affair is over as our man bids
a fond farewell to electric pioneer
INTERIOR

Load bay is totally


flat when you fold
the rear seats, while
screen on top of
luxury dash boasts
ConnectedDrive,
which allows you to
stay in touch with
the outside world

BMW i3 is one of
the best cars Ive
ever driven in my
entire career as a
motoring journalist
60 27 May 2015

will add your destination remotely. I even


called to nd out the football scores!
These extras are pricey, but the only one
Id do without is the 780 sunroof, as it
doesnt brighten up the cabin much. During
my time with the BMW, I managed 145mpg,
which is way off the claimed 471mpg, but its
been so enjoyable to run that I cant complain.
I also forgive the i3 for developing a fault
whereby the car displayed a sinister warning

message, although it was tougher to excuse


the poor service I received from Spire BMW
of Highgate, north London, during the repair.
However, it made amends on a second visit.
Plus, Im not the only person whos
attached to the car. Even though less than
1,000 have been sold in the UK, Ive had
contact with more i3 owners than for any
other car Ive had during my 13 years at Auto
Express. Needless to say, itll be sorely missed.

Second opinion

If I have a criticism of the i3, its that


it doesnt handle with the poise and
precision youd expect of a BMW.
With its tall body, narrow stance and
skinny tyres, it feels more at home
cruising
ng than attacking back roads.

Dean Gibson

Dep
Deputy road test editor

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Living with a BMW i3


Pete Gibson

Essentials

Our cars

Fleetwatch

BMW i3 Range Extender


On fleet since: September 2014
Price new: 29,130 (including
5,000 Plug-In
Car Grant)
Engine: Electric motor 168bhp,
plus 0.6-litre
2cyl generator
CO2/tax: 13g/km/0
Options: 20-inch alloys (1,080),
DC rapid charge kit (560), Driving
Assistant Plus (790), sunroof (780),
enhanced Bluetooth (350), Information
Plus (215), Harman Kardon audio
(640), Solar Orange paint (530), World
Lodge trim (1,500), Park Assist (790)
Insurance*: Group: 21 Quote: 383
Mileage/mpg: 8,863/145.0mpg
Any problems? Mystery warning light
*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a
42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

Mondeo looks striking


in Ruby Red paint

Ford Mondeo
ITS been a busy few weeks in the Auto Express car park, as we
welcome not one, but two new cars to the eet. The rst is this
Ruby Red Ford Mondeo Titanium, complete with the frugal-but-fast
178bhp 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine and six-speed manual gearbox.
Our car is loaded with kit, including 17-inch alloys, DAB radio, sports
seats and auto lights, as well as a glorious eight-inch sat-nav, dual-zone
climate control and Fords excellent Quickclear heated windscreen.
On top of that, our hatch also comes with over 7,000 worth of options
taking its total price to 31,590. Can the panoramic roof, leather seats,
rear view camera and LED lights transform this into a 3 Series beater?
First impressions are good. Fuel economy is averaging a respectable
43mpg and the huge boot has swallowed everything weve thrown
at it. Were looking forward to piling on the miles and putting
the plush newcomer through its paces over the coming months.

Our fleet

INDEX
WE LIKE Front legroom is
Practicality

CO2/tax

Boot (seats up/down)

13g/km

260/1,100 litres

0 or 5%

impressive thanks to the lack


of a prominent centre console,
while the cars striking, futuristic
design turns plenty of heads

WE DONT Range Extender

model is well worth spending


3,150 extra on for those
with range anxiety, but the
petrol engine is a bit noisy

Verdict

IF this is the future of motoring, then


count me in. The i3 has it all strong
performance, cutting-edge design,
innovative engineering, low running
costs and an upmarket interior. In
years to come, well look back on this
car and mark it out as the model that
kick-started a motoring revolution.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

SEAT Leon
X-Perience

THE jacked-up SEAT Leon X-Perience based


on the standard Leon ST Estate has also
joined our eet. It adds 15mm extra ground
clearance and four-wheel drive to the practical
body, but it hadnt even had time to warm up
before deputy news editor Richard Ingram
took it away on a 500-mile round trip to Devon.
With all the added versatility, Rich thought
it was only appropriate to give the X-Perience
a proper countryside induction. But instead of
taking it green laning or hiking on Dartmoor,
our man used the Leon to collect three new
chickens from a small farm outside Exeter.
The hens were calm thanks to the cushioned
ride and raised suspension. They were just
happy to get out, sure, and that had something
to do with swapping a cramped pet carrier for
our new SEAT. With its rst test comfortably
passed, were sure the Leon will go on to be a
big hit with its huge 1,470-litre boot, frugal 2.0
TDI engine and standard four-wheel drive.

Weve told you about our cars


Now tell us about yours
www.autoexpress.co.uk/driverpower

Alpina D3
Issue 1,366
Audi TT
Issues 1,359, 1,365
BMW i3
Issues 1,338, 1,353, 1,362
Citroen C4 Cactus
Issue 1,365
Fiat Panda Cross
Issues 1,359, 1,369
Ford Mondeo
New arrival
Ford Transit
Issues 1,363, 1,371
Kia Soul EV
Issues 1,350, 1,360
Lexus NX 300h
New arrival
Mazda 2
Issue 1,370
Peugeot 308 SW
Issues 1,342, 1,356, 1,368
Range Rover Sport
Issues 1,356, 1,363
Renault Twingo
Issue 1,368
SEAT Leon X-Perience
New arrival
Skoda Octavia Scout
New arrival
Suzuki Swift
Issues 1,358, 1,370
Vauxhall Corsa
Issues 1,354, 1,361
Volkswagen Golf GTI
Issues 1,320, 1,332,
1,341, 1,352, 1,364

27 May 2015 61

Products

Visit autoexpress.co.uk for our extensive product archive


ive

Henry
Willis

THIS
WEEKS
S WEEK
KS
K
S

HOT KIT

Got a query?
Henry_Willis@dennis.co.uk
@WineryHills

Q
s
o o
various
m
ncluding standard
modes,
includin
video,
id timelapse and slow mottion

NEW ACTION C
COVERS ALL ANGLES

RRP: From 299.99 Contact: www.tomtom.com

NEW PRODUCT
TomTom Bandit

SAT-nav giant TomTom is taking on rivals


ion
GoPro, Garmin and Sony with its Bandit action
cam, which was launched earlier this week.
Potentially a perfect partner for track days or
o
edia
off-road driving, the device has a built-in medi
server, claimed to make editing and sharing
video easier than ever. A smartphone pairs to
o.
the Bandit, so footage can be posted on the go
ng
Its able to record in various modes, including
standard video, timelapse and slow motion. The
Th
ile
Bandit can film in great 4K/15fps quality, whil
80p
smoother frame rates can be captured in 1080p
high definition. Its still cam is rated at 16MP.
Battery life is claimed at three hours when
filming in 1080p, and charging is easy as the
Bandit uses USB power. A splash-proof lens
cover is included with the 299.99 model, pluss
ted
a few handy mounts. The premium pack is rate
at 499.99 and adds a remote control, power
cable, 360-degree universal mount and more.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

B
Bandit pairs
p
to
your
y
smartphone,
w
which makess
ssharingg footage
ge
straightforward
g
d

Q
A

Sorting bird dropping damage


MY car was left under a tree for a couple of
weeks and it got covered in bird droppings.
Ive managed to remove them all, but the
paintwork looks damaged. What can I do?
Gail Hillier, E-mail
BIRD droppings need to be removed as soon as
possible. Autoglyms Bird Dropping Wipes (best
price 5.49, www.autoglym.com) should get
the worst of the muck off. A colour restorer
could remove evidence of dropping damage.
Meguiars Ultimate Compound (10.99,
www.meguiars.com) is our test favourite.

Sat-nav for house names


I USE my sat-nav to get around everywhere,
but it comes unstuck when I have to navigate
to a house name, as opposed to a number.
Is there a unit that recognises names?
John Wilson, E-mail
UNFORTUNATELY, none of the systems app
or hardware in our most recent group test
were capable of finding house names. We
hope its a feature more manufacturers will
add in the future, though. For now, check
your route before setting off Google
Maps is our best-rated route planner.

Hard-wearing mats needed


THE original mats in my 2009 Ford Fiesta have
worn through. Im keeping them in my car to
protect the footwell, but they look unsightly.
Can you recommend a hard-wearing set?
Freddie Parker, E-mail
RINGS DuraShield 3000 universal mats won
our Issue 1,330 test. Theyre made of thick
rubber so should last for years. Cut them to
shape along the channel guides and theyll
make for a snug fit in your Fiesta. Visit
www.ringautomotive.co.uk for info. The best
price we found for them online was 20.39.

27 May 2015 63

Products

New on the shelves

SMASH HIT FOR GAMERS

news,
deals&
events

New DAB adaptor


for VW Group cars
IN-car tech firm Pure has teamed
up with Volkswagen to bring out a
digital radio adaptor exclusively
for vehicles from the VW Group.
Much like the Pure Highway
300Di, winner of previous Auto
Express DAB adaptor tests, the
Digital Drive (above) is a small
control box that sits on a vehicles
dashboard. Station information is
shown on the display of the box.
Its available through VW, Audi,
SEAT and Skoda dealers and will
cost from 279.50, with fitting extra.

FIRST TEST
Project CARS

Best price: 44.99 Contact: www.bandainamcoent.eu


Rating: Available for: PS4, Xbox One, PC

EVER since the PS4 and Xbox One consoles launched at


the end of 2013, gamers have been crying out for a top
racing game. Few titles have managed to fit the bill,
but Project CARS could be the first multi-platform hit.
With scores of realistic, exciting and fully licensed
cars on offer, Project CARS is a racing title that will please
even the most experienced of driving simulation fans.
An immersive career mode follows the generic
formula with players starting with little and working
their way to the top. Where Project CARS differs
is that its up to you how tough to make races.
This means gamers wont be turned off playing
when it gets too hard, like some rival racing simulators.
This customisation makes it the most user-friendly
racing game weve played on next-gen consoles.
Beginners or racing game veterans will enjoy its
accessibility, with hundreds of other settings
available to tweak to suit, too.
On screen, the cars look stunning and the mix
of real-world and fictional race tracks is a healthy
balance that keeps the game fresh. Gameplay
is excellent and addictive we couldnt stop going
back to try to win more races. Theres no doubt
this is the best multi-platform racing game of
recent years, and we cant wait for more content
and cars to be released when it is updated.

FIRST TEST
Olixar Qi Wireless Car Charger
Price: 49.99 Contact: www.mobilefun.co.uk
Rating:

IF your smartphone is capable of wireless charging as standard,


Olixars new car kit could make topping up its battery
on the go a doddle. Its billed as a phone holder, so a
handset should start charging as soon as its in the cradle.
We gave it a go with a HTC One M9. After initial confusion,
and having to place the phone exactly in the mounts grasp,
charging began. The Olixar holder held firm throughout
our journey and we didnt see any interruption in charging
which was impressive. But it doesnt work with an iPhone
or many other popular handsets, and its quite pricey, too.

64 27 May 2015

Double A rating for


Nokians SUV tyre

Project CARS gives gamers


immediate access to most
cars, and its up to players
to pick level of difficulty

FINNISH tyre firm Nokian claims to


have gained approval for the first
ever double A-rated winter tyre.
The Twin Trac SUV tyre is said to
score top marks in both wet grip and
fuel efficiency tests, earning the top
A rank in European label ratings.
A 265/50R19 tyre was used,
but more sizes are expected to be
available for cars such as the
Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5.
Well have full details about the
Twin Trac nearer its autumn launch.

Monster truck fun


on the south coast
THE second Bournemouth
Wheels Festival rolls into action
this weekend (29-31 May).
Among the highlights will
be a monster truck arena on the
beach, with car crushing events
as well as power demos. Passenger
rides will be available, too.
There will also be stalls selling
auto accessories and live music
between Bournemouths two piers.
For more information, log on to
www.bournemouthwheels.co.uk.
Know an event coming soon?
Contact Henry_Willis@dennis.co.uk

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Products

Tyre pressure monitor mini test

Mini test
BESTPRICE 149.99

NEW PRODUCT
FOBO Tire

Stirling Moss:
My Racing Life

Best price: 149.99


Contact: my-fobo.com

WITH a main control box and four valve


cap sensors, FOBO links with an Android
or Apple smartphone to display tyre
status on an app, rather than LED display.
We like this connectivity and the free app
works well, showing pressure in preferred
units, such as common psi and bar readings,
as well as temperatures. The control box
sounds alerts if theres too much or too little
air, and also if the tyres too hot or cold.
Most cars are listed in the FOBOs guide
with recommended tyre pressures, which
will save drivers hunting for this data.
Its very impressive as long as you
have a smartphone. The biggest issue,
though, was its rating was out by 2psi.
Rating:

Moss and Taylor (Evro Publishing, evropublishing.com)


Price: 50 (hardback) Rating:

FROM the publishing company that


brought us the excellent John
Surtees: My Incredible Life (Issue
1,327), Sir Stirling Moss gets the
same treatment with another great
autobiography. The legendary
racing driver tells the story of his
career, with fascinating accounts of
his heyday. Foreword from Lewis
Hamilton, and a brilliant set of
pictures, make this a must-buy.

Hi-tech gauges will


keep you pumped up
Henry Willis

IF you run your car with underinflated tyres, youll get poor fuel
economy and grip will suffer, too.
A tyre pressure monitoring system
(TPMS) can help ensure tyres are
topped up sufficiently, and FOBO Tire
is the newest product on the market.
It displays tyre pressures and
temperatures on a smartphone app,
reen, which gives
instead of on a screen,

RELIABLE READER
EADER
TyrePal TB99

Best price: 135


170, www.tyrepal.co.uk
Contact: 01543 870170,

THERE are few differences


ferences between the
TyrePal and FOBOs designs, but you
install a screen inside
de the car with
the TyrePal model. This shows key
res and alerts you
tyre pressure figures
when they stray outside
tside set limits.
The TB99 is reliable
iable in its feedback.
It was exactly right on two of the four
tyres we verified, while the other two were
impressively out byy less than 0.5psi.
Plus, the system
m is simple to use, with
big buttons and an easy-to-read display.
ed if the FOBOs app
While we wondered
would give it the edge, the TB99 still
stallation was easier
performed well. Installation
than the FOBO, too,, which had problems
in linking the control
trol box to the app.
Rating:

66 27 May 2015

books,
dvds&apps

the FOBO a modern edge over systems


weve tried before. But we were still
keen to see how it compared to
an old favourite, TyrePals TB99.
Each model performed well,
although FOBO isnt without its
flaws as it had issues in linking
the app and control box. But its
a tool that will please tech fans.
However, the TB99 remains our
consistently reliable recommendation.

A tyre pressure
monitoring
system can help
ensure tyres
pp up
p
are topped

BESTPRICE
BEST
PRICE 135

Cars We Loved
In The 1950s

Giles Chapman (The History Press, thehistorypress.co.uk)


Price: 8.99 (paperback) Rating:

IN this pocket-sized
publication, memorable cars
of the late 1940s and all of the
fifties are relived in print and
picture by author Chapman.
The range of cars featured is
sure to appeal to a variety of
readers, from the Bond
Minicar, to the Land Rover
Series I and the stunning Aston Martin DB4. Random facts
are fun and well chosen images make the book look great.

Complete Speed
with Guy Martin
Available fo
for: DVD, Blu-ray Price: 16.99 (DVD)
Rating:

Speed, is now
THE recent TV series, Sp
appeal to
on DVD and is sure to ap
Our favourite
fans of anything fast. O
round-up is Martins
moment of the round-u
Wraith. All
hill climb in an Empire Wra
eight episodes are shown in full
include Martins
over two discs and inclu
on open water.
attempt to ride a bike o

App of th
the week
Nascar
Nasca Mobile
Available for: iOS, Android
Price: Free Rat
Rating:

FANS of the all-American race series will


official app has been
be pleased to see the of
updated. Selected news iitems, leaderboards
available for free
and calendars are all av
but youll have to pay for video and other
content, which can make it expensive. Its
still a great way to keep ttabs on races, though.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Products

Picnic sets tested

Draper 4 Person BackPackPicnicSet

Next 4 Person Stripe Backpack

Price: 36.71
Contact: 023 8049 4333, www.drapertools.com

Price: 38
Contact: 0333 777 8000, www.next.co.uk

BEST BUY YOU neednt ask for more

with this great backpack from tool


specialist Draper. Its ideal for meals
with children, as it includes mugs rather
than plastic glasses, but theres an
insulated bottle holder to keep the wine

20

chilled, too. Theres also our


preferred plastic cutting board and
plenty of compartments to keep items
apart. A price drop since our last test
(Issue 1,275) helps to secure the win.
Rating:

RECOMMENDED IF you prefer goblets

to mugs, then opt for this Next backpack.


Like our Draper winner, it includes a large
rug with waterproof backing, plus the
cutlery and crockery essentials, such as
a wood chopping board. It also features

a zip-up bottle store. Its looser than


most with thinner insulation, but it
will accommodate a bigger range of
bottles. We also liked the internal
pockets in the front compartment.
Rating:

Greenfield Collection Deluxe


Two Person BackpackHamper

Next 4 Person
Stripe Cool Bag

Price: 37.99
Contact: www.picnicware.co.uk

Price: 36
Contact: 0333 777 8000, www.next.co.uk

RECOMMENDED IF chilled drinks are

more important to you than a rug, then


this Greenfield backpack hamper is the
one for you, with its twin, foil-lined,
insulated holders. If you do want a rug,
there are clips in the front compartment

68 27 May 2015

to carry one as a 14.99 extra, while


a tablecloth is included. Theres a quality
feel to this set, which is clearly the best
for two people only. A four-person version
is 42.99 and well worth considering.
Rating:

BIG families or big eaters will love


this coolbag from Next, which has a
whopping 28-litre capacity. Theres no
bottle store, but the main section can
take several big drinks containers
and still have plenty of room for food

and snacks. The side section held


our eating essentials with space to
fit in more. Its not as easy to carry
as a backpack, but the shoulder
strap is soft and doesnt dig in.
Rating:

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Picnic sets tested

PICNIC SETS

Products

Which of eight ticks all the boxes for open-air dining?

PRODUCT GROUP TEST 27 | 5 | 2015

Every week, we extensively test all the latest car kit from tyres to trim cleaners.
Log on to www.autoexpress.co.uk to look through our huge online test archive.

Summerhouse Coastal 4
Person Picnic Backpack

Kim Adams

AS the weather improves in the UK,


thoughts turn to days out in the car and
meals al fresco. You could raid the kitchen
and pile cutlery, crockery and food into a
bag for a picnic, but the easy option is
to buy a hamper and stick it in the boot.
The best provide insulated storage, plus
unbreakable cups and plates alongside
cutlery, all in an easy-to-carry bag or
backpack. Top models also add a picnic
rug or tablecloth. Theres a wide range
available, so we unzipped eight to find
your ideal travel companion this summer.

Price: 59.95
Contact: 01273 483300, www.steamer.co.uk

THERES lots to like about this Summerhouse


backpack. Its well made, plus it includes our dining
essentials and an easy-clean cheese board. Theres
also an insulated bottle holder and waterproof rug. The
storage itself is larger than most, yet its noticeably the
heaviest set on test even when unloaded, and its hard
to justify the higher price.
Rating:

Mountain Warehouse 36l


4 Person Picnic Hamper

How we
tested them

Price: 59.99
Contact: 020 7808 4606, www.mountainwarehouse.com

ITS party time with this monster hamper from


Mountain Warehouse. The top houses the usual
crockery, cutlery and condiments, plus a chopping
board thats bigger than normal. Underneath, theres
masses of room yet no way of keeping items separate,
while its not the easiest to carry, especially when
full. Currently reduced from 59.99 to 29.99.
ful
Rating:
Rat

T
Trespass
Nicpic
Picnic
P
Bag

OUR wish list included plates, cutlery,


cups, a chopping board and a sharp
knife. We also wanted to see a bottle
opener and corkscrew, plus condiments
and insulated storage for bottles and food.
Rugs and tablecloths earned extra marks.
Storage also had to accommodate
bottles as big as two litres, while we
looked for several compartments to
keep items separate. Carrying comfort
and build quality were checked before
factoring in price from various online
sources at the time of going to press.

Pri 24.19
Price:
Con
Contact:
www.amazon.co.uk

you want to spend your cash on food and drink


IF yo
rather than a picnic set, then this cut-price Amazon
rat
backpack may be exactly what youre after. Cutlery and
bac
crockery are the same as in other sets here, but youll
cro
need to add your own sharp knife, cutting board and
nee
rug. The rear coolbag section easily took our test
rug
bottles, yet the mesh side pockets are tight for wine.
bot
Rating:
Rating

Vr
Ve
Verdict

Ar
Argos
Camping PicnicSet
with Cool Bag Backpack
wi

THE whole test was close, with makers


largely agreeing on what makes a good
set. However, Drapers kit emerged on
top, ticking pretty much all of our boxes.
Previous winner Next has to settle for
runner-up this time around, with the
Greenfield Collection taking third
and our two-person pack crown.
1. Draper 4 Person Back Pack Picnic Set
2. Next 4 Person Stripe Backpack
3. Greenfield Collection Deluxe Backpack

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Price: 16.99
Contact: www.argos.co.uk

ANOTHER from the bargain basement, but unlike the


Trespass, this is just for two. This Argos set also lacks
a sharp knife, yet does have a plastic chopping board.
Its light and seems to have less padding than most, as
we could feel sharp edges when carrying it. It does the
job at a good price, but you can see where the money
has been saved, so there are better options around.
Rating:

27 May 2015 69

Buying cars

New and used buying advice

Joe

Finnerty

YOUR VIEWS ON YOUR CARS

Got any car queries?


Joe_Finnerty@dennis.co.uk
@AE_Consumer

Lexus CT

YOU TELL US... Hatch is brilliantly built, but ride could be better
GOOD

2015 Results

CT Factfile

Years: 2011 to present CO2: 94g/km


Fuel economy: 68mpg (200h 1.8 Luxury)
Best features: Keyless entry, reversing camera,
climate control, Bluetooth, DAB radio

Prices: From 10,650


OVERALL SCORE

89.96%

RELIABILITY
BUILD QUALITY
RUNNING COSTS
PERFORMANCE
ROAD HANDLING
RIDE QUALITY
EASE OF DRIVING
SEAT COMFORT
PRACTICALITY
IN-CAR TECH

200

150

100

NOT SO GOOD

EXCELLENT build quality,


solid reputation and
reliable. It gets plenty
of admiring looks, too.
Quality throughout with
every feature you could want
in a compact package.
Its quiet, smooth and
a joy to be in and drive.

Bars show where model


finished out of 200 cars in
our 2015 survey. The lower
the rating the better
50

12
8
34
141
68
154
21
49
152
39

th
37
PLACE

Looks great and is relaxing


to drive with a luxury interior.
Smooth and quiet. Plus,
its economical with topclass dealer service.
Easy to park and fuel
consumption is brilliant.
Beautifully finished with a
high level of quality trim.

NEEDS more power


and a restyled rear end.

It has a harsh ride and lack


of rear passenger space.
I dont like the low-profile
tyres. Its too easy to
scratch the alloys.

Insurance is still quite


expensive for a small car.

Mokka keeps cutting out


THE turbodiesel engine on my Vauxhall Mokka
cuts out at low speeds. Vauxhall hasnt
flagged up any faults, but Im very concerned
as it could be dangerous. What could it be?
Peter Jacobs, E-mail
WE dealt with a similar query in January
last year, when a readers car stalled when
changing down to lower gears. Vauxhall told
us it was the way the engine is geared with
the turbodiesel engine. Youll need to rev it
higher to avoid the problems youre having.

Can I reject faulty Sorento?

WITHIN a day of buying a 57-plate Kia Sorento,


it developed problems starting and running.
The dealer diagnosed air in the fuel system,
yet Ive barely driven it. Can I reject it?
Paul Hobson, E-mail
THE simple answer is yes you can reject it
if the car is not fit for purpose, and it sounds
like that is the case at the moment. Give the
dealer fair opportunity to fix the fault, but
if it cant, send a letter of rejection to
the dealer and your finance company.

A bigger boot would


be a big improvement.
Windows and door
speakers both rattle.
Handling is lacklustre,
plus the engine is noisy
and harsh. Fuel economy
doesnt even get close to
the brands claims, either.

How do you rate your car?


Tell us what you think

www.autoexpress.co.uk/driverpower

Q
A

Annoying rattling on A3
IVE got an Audi A3 Sportback that has started
making strange noises at the front after just
30,000 miles. It sounds like loose change
rattling. Any ideas what I should check?
David Cowe, E-mail
THE main areas to look at are brake pads, the
steering rack and suspension bushes and
springs. Damage to any of these could make
the noise. Externally, check your wheels.
Potholes can easily buckle wheels, and this
may be the reason for your rattling A3.

warrantywise.co.uk

www.autoexpress.co.uk

27 May 2015 71

Buyingcars

Toyota RAV4 Mk3

NEED
TO KNOW

While ESP was standard on most RAV4s, it


was introduced merely as an option on the
entry-level XT3 from March 2007.

NEED
TO KNOW

The tailgate is hinged to the drivers side


rather than the top, which can make it
harder to open in tight parking spaces.

BUYERS GUIDE: Toyota RAV4 Mk 3


FROM 5,000 Long-established SUV still makes a fine second-hand buy
Richard Dredge

THE RAV4 introduced us to the idea of


a compact SUV in 1994. In the intervening
two decades Toyota has refined the formula,
while a huge number of rivals have appeared
some of which put the RAV4 in the shade.
But Toyota has never lost sight of what makes
its SUV such a great choice; its reliable,
practical, well equipped and easy to own.
As the third-generation car launched in
2006, its now getting rather long in the
tooth, and there are better small SUVs
around. Its showing in this years Driver
Power survey, where it finished 130th,
indicates that all too well. But as youd
expect of a Toyota, reliability is still a strong
point, even if running costs can be high.

History

THE RAV4 Mk3 hit dealers in February


2006 in 2.0 VVT-i (petrol) or 2.2 D-4D
(diesel) forms. The petrol engine was
offered with five-speed manual or fourspeed auto gearboxes; the diesel came in
140 (134bhp) or 180 (175bhp) forms, both

72 27 May 2015

with a six-speed manual. A high-spec


XT-R edition arrived in January 2008, six
months before the sporty 2.2 D-4D SR180.
From September 2009 the 2.2 D-4D engine
got an automatic option, plus a boost to
148bhp, while the 2.0 VVT-i was replaced
by a more efficient 2.0 Valvematic unit,
offered in 4WD CVT or FWD manual forms.
A 2010 facelift brought styling changes,
and the trim options were cut to only
XT-R and SR, with extra kit for the former.

Which one?

TOYOTA has only offered this RAV4 as a fivedoor, with most buyers choosing the 2.2
diesel. This muscular, frugal engine provides
towing and cruising abilities the petrol
units cant match, but its not generally as
reliable. The manual gearbox is nicer to use
than the V-matics CVT, although the regular
auto (2.0 VVT-i and 2.2 D-CAT) is okay.
All RAV4s get alloys, heated mirrors, aircon, electric windows and a CD/tuner. XT4
trim adds an electric sunroof, dual-zone
climate control, multifunction steering

wheel and leather trim, while the XT5 also


has sat-nav, cruise control, automatic lights
and wipers plus heated front seats. The
range-topping T180 brings sportier trim
with run-flat tyres and 18-inch alloys, so
it rides more firmly than lesser editions.

Alternatives

THE Qashqais been an incredible success


for Nissan thanks to its reliability, ease of
driving and user-friendliness. If you need
something bigger, simply look at the brands
X-Trail. Other SUVs you should consider
include Hondas CR-V, which is very easy to
live with if a bit soulless. Fords Kuga is more
fun and its tremendous value and plentiful.
VWs Tiguan is clinical, efficient and
highly capable. Also, the often-overlooked
Volvo XC60 is worth a glance, as its safe,
stylish and well equipped. Finally, dont

forget the Land Rover Freelander 2. While it


doesnt have the best reliability record, it
offers a strong image and is superb off-road.

Verdict

FEW people buy an SUV of any size to take


it off-road, but if thats what you want to do
the RAV4 makes more sense than many of
its rivals as its surprisingly accomplished in
the rough. If you take this route, make sure
you buy one of the torquey diesel-engined
versions and opt for four-wheel drive
instead of a front-wheel-drive example.
Weve always liked the RAV4s blend of
usability and reliability, yet its never been a
pacesetter when it comes to driving pleasure
or used value. Strong residuals mean youll
pay more for a second-hand RAV4 than for
many of the alternatives. But if you want a
car thats easy to own, look no further.

RAV4 is reliable, practical and easy to own; Toyota


has never lost sight of what makes it great to buy
www.autoexpress.co.uk

Toyota RAV4 Mk3

12

2.0 VVT-i XT-R


2.0 VVT-i XT-R auto
2.0 VVT-i XT3
2.2 D-4D XT-R
2.2 D-4D XT-R auto
2.2 D-4D XT3
2.2 D-4D XT5

Gaskets

2009 2008 2006

N/A
16,095
N/A
16,095
16,795
N/A
N/A

9,095 7,650
12,095 8,995
N/A
8,625
13,195 10,550
13,795 N/A
N/A
9,950
N/A
10,295

6,995
7,450
7,350
8,650
N/A
8,650
8,975

N/A
N/A
5,725
N/A
N/A
6,950
7,195

YOU can pick up an early RAV4 for less than 5,000 if you
buy privately; this will be an entry-level XT3 or a petrol
example. Few of these cars have done more than 100,000
miles most have covered less than 70,000, as the RAV4
is popular with private buyers rather than fleets.
For 8,000 you can secure a 50,000-mile 2008 2.0
VVT-i or a 70,000-mile 2007 2.2 D-4D, both in XT-R trim. A
10,000 budget brings a 35,000-mile 2009 2.2 D-4D XTR
into reach. Around one in three RAV4s is an auto; the odd
one crops up at under 6,000, but most are 7,000-plus.

Engine

Running costs

OIL consumption
can be very high
before Toyota will say
that theres a fault
with an engine
as much as one
litre every 1,000
miles is acceptable.

Fuel
economy

CO2
emissions

Annual
road tax

37mpg
32mpg
31mpg
42mpg
48-49mpg
39mpg
40mpg

177g/km
202g/km
212g/km
173g/km
150-154g/km
186-189g/km
185g/km

225
290
290
205
145-180
265
225

Model
2.0 V-matic CVT
2.0 VVT-i
2.0 VVT-i auto
2.2 D-4D 140
2.2 D-CAT 150
2.2 D-CAT 150 auto
2.2 D-4D 180

Headlights

A LOT of owners
arent impressed
with the standardfit headlights which
is why many have
switched to Osram
Night Breaker bulbs,
as these are brighter.

Performance

Running costs

CO2/tax

0-62mph/top speed

42mpg (2.2 D-4D 140 4WD)

173g/km

10.0 seconds/118mph

69 fill-up

205

22
20-22
20-25
20-26
25-26
25-26
27

ALL RAV4s need some maintenance every 12 months or


10,000 miles, with services generally alternating between
minor and major. However, theres also a major+ check
every four, six or eight years depending on spec. A minor
service is pegged by Toyota at 149, a major at 239 and
a major+ at 299; dealers can charge less if they want to.
As all RAV4 engines are chain-driven, there are no
timing belts to replace. However, the brake fluid should
be renewed every other year at 39, while the air-con
should be cleaned each year for 15; a full refresh of
the system every two years is recommended, at 60.
Fresh coolant is required every 10 years, at 80.

Partwatch
www.autoexpress.co.uk/driverpower

Front brake pads (axle set)


Brake discs (pair)
Door mirror glass (electric)
Front wiper set

FOR a car that debuted nearly a decade


ago, a 130th placing in this years Driver
Power survey shouldnt be a surprise.
Build quality and reliability are the
undoubted highlights (48th and 59th
respectively), but 162nd for running
costs, 129th for ride quality and 136th
for handling are disappointing.
SIMON Harrington from Welshpool,
Powys, owns a 2010 RAV4 D-4D. He
says: I bought the car new, and plan
to keep it for a while yet. After 70,000
miles its always been completely
reliable, carrying the family and towing
a small caravan. Its roomy, well
equipped and comfortable, which
makes it the perfect family car.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Independent price

54
129.07
59.26
97.08

44.87
98.28
12.33*
20.10

Part

OUR VIEW

YOUR VIEW

Dealer price

For 2011 RAV4 2.2 D-4D. Dealer prices Vantage Toyota Tamworth,
Staffs (vantagetamworth.toyota.co.uk). Indep. prices Euro Car
Parts (www.eurocarparts.com) *Price www.wingmirrorshop.co.uk

Recalls
Interior

THERES plenty of room for four


(five if kids are in the back), and
the front seats are supportive with
plenty of adjustment. The steering
adjusts for reach and rake, too, and
the rear seats fold flat to create an
even load bay. Boot space is good
at 586 litres with the seats up, or
1,469 litres when theyre folded.

Contacts

Official
www.toyota.co.uk
Forums
http://RAV4world.com
www.RAV4driversclub.com
www.toyotadriversclub.com

THERE have been four Mk3 recalls, the first in February


2010. Cars from February 2009 to January 2010 could
suffer from the throttle pedal not returning to idle; there
were no crashes, though. Some pre-August 2010 RAV4s
had a faulty rear suspension arm; Toyota recalled them in
September 2012. A window switch short circuit in
September 2006-December 2008 cars led to an October
2012 recall. The most recent action came in April 2014;
some RAV4s made up to November 2008 had faulty airbags.

27 May 2015 73

Insurance group

Photos by John Colley.


Thanks to Andrew Mackay
for the loan of the RAV4
in our pictures.
Own a used car in great
condition and want it featured
in an Auto Express buyers
guide? Get in touch at
mail@autoexpress.co.uk.

2010

Model

HEAD gaskets can


fail on the diesel
engine, so check for
misfiring along with
signs of a white
emulsion on the
underside of the
oil-filler cap.

The RAV4 can suffer


dual-mass flywheel failure, so
feel for vibrations and listen
for jingling noises at idle.

60 09 57 06

2012

Values courtesy of Glasss Guide

How much?

Steering

CLONKING from the


steering suggests a
worn intermediate
shaft. However,
it could also be
a slightly loose
wheel nut, so
try these first.

NEED
TO KNOW

Buyingcars

Buyingcars

Best buys

Car hunter

8,000 for an auto supermini, but which one?

CARS

THE DRIVERS CHOICE

Ford Fiesta

Dear Lawrence, I often drive around town and am


fed-up with changing gear in traffic. What are the
best small automatic hatchbacks for around 8,000?
Isobel Darrington, E-mail
Contact: Lawrence_Allan@dennis.co.uk

THE REFINED CHOICE

THE PRACTICAL CHOICE

FOR: Great ride and handling, punchy petrol


AGAINST: Least spacious here, high emissions

Volkswagen Polo

FOR: Excellent DSG box, solid and refined


AGAINST: A bit dull to drive, vague steering

Honda Jazz

THE latest Fiesta is still the best-selling car in


Britain, and with good reason. Some rivals might
better it for interior quality or space, but none
can match its driver appeal. Its six-speed PowerShift
auto box is smooth, with quick changes, while it
combines comfort with engaging handling.
The downside is the dated 1.6-litre petrol engine;
while its punchy, it has high CO2 emissions. We
found a 62-plate Zetec with 14,500 miles for 8,279.

WHILE the Polo might not be the most exciting


supermini on the market, its talents are hard to
ignore. Its got excellent fit and finish, a comfortable
ride and low noise levels. But the Fiesta is more
fun to drive and the Jazz beats it for versatility.
However, while the 1.4-litre engine isnt the
quickest, the excellent DSG gearbox is the best
here. Our classifieds search unearthed a 2011 1.4
DSG in Match spec with 24,000 miles for 7,496.

HONDAS Jazz doesnt have the most youthful


image, but its very easy to drive, the dash is
sensibly laid out and theres a lot of room. The
big selling point is practicality, and that shows
with a functional cabin rather than a premium one.
The ride isnt as smooth as rivals here, and it isnt
a fun drive, but the CVT auto box is fine if youre not
in a hurry. The Jazz is economical and reliable, too. A
2011 1.4 ES with 14,000 miles is yours for 7,595.

THE Fords interior is fine in isolation, but it cant match


the VW for trim quality. Space is adequate, but the Jazz
is superior in this respect, and has a bigger boot, too.
The layout is slightly flawed, too; the stereo is fiddly.

THERES no doubt that the Polo has the best cabin


here if youre looking for a quality feel. Build quality
is superb, and the layout is as intuitive as that of the
Jazz. Theres also plenty of space for four passengers.

THE Jazz majors on durability and practicality rather than


outright comfort. There are no premium materials and the
seats are firm, but the layout is at least versatile as the
seats split, fold and tip. The 399-litre boot is huge.

THE Fiesta finished a reasonable 52nd in our Driver


Power 2015 satisfaction survey. Owners rated reliability
well, but marked the model down for build quality, so
make sure everything works and is solid inside.

THE Polo Mk5 came in a disappointing 167th in Driver


Power 2015, despite most other Volkswagen models
doing well. The DSG gearbox is complex and repair bills
are big, so its worth investing in a used warranty.

HONDAS reputation for reliability is excellent, and to


prove it the Jazz finished a fine fifth in this category
in our most recent Driver Power survey, and was 84th
overall. Owners criticise sluggish performance, though.

FOR: Spacious, top value, reliability record


AGAINST: Least refined choice, firm ride

INTERIOR
RELIABILITY
74 27 May 2015

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Buyingcars

Used twin test

The space race

Which second-hand estate offers a better blend of comfort, class and practicality?
Build quality is
good, but controls
are fiddly to use

Well built cabin


boasts plenty
of equipment

SEAT Exeo

Renault Mgane

56.5mpg (official)

70.6mpg (official)

81 fill-up

69 fill-up

Renault Mgane ST GT-Line dCi

SEAT Exeo ST 2.0 TDI 120 SE

Years: 2012 to date Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 128bhp


Insurance group: 20E Econ/CO2: 71mpg/104g/km
Why? Mgane offers efficiency, space and style
in a great value and well equipped package.

Prices from:

8,379

RENAULTS Mgane received minor tweaks


in 2012 to make it more competitive, with
the key addition a new 1.6-litre diesel
engine. Its still one of the more attractive
estates in the class and has the measure
of the conservatively styled SEAT Exeo.
Inside, the 2012 update brought betterquality materials, plus theres plenty of kit and
design flair, but the Renaults standout feature
is space. Theres more passenger room than
in the Exeo, and the boot is much larger, too.
That new diesel is far better than the old
1.9-litre unit, with its strong 320Nm torque
output enough to outpace the Exeo. Its also
more efficient, partly due to the fact its lighter.
The Mgane is more agile as a result,
but theres a trade-off in the form of a rather
jittery ride on the big GT-Line wheels. This
is a real pity, as its quiet on the road.
The car finished 94th in our Driver Power
2015 satisfaction survey, but owners criticised
electrical glitches and its ease of driving.

76 27 May 2015

Years: 2012 to date Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 118bhp


Insurance group: 21E Econ/CO2: 56mpg/132g/km
Why? Exeo is a rebadged Audi A4 so appeals,
with a premium feel and comfortable drive.

Prices from:

Mganes 479-litre boot is far


larger than the SEATs offering,
while its agile on the move

Renault Mgane

THE Mgane takes the win as it


feels far more of a modern car.
Its not without its flaws, but its
punchy and efficient engine,
agility on the road and passenger
space make it the better buy here.

Exeos boot capacity is smaller,


at only 442 litres, plus in-gear
performance feels a bit sluggish

SEAT Exeo

THERES nothing wrong with the


Exeo, but its feeling its age. Its
well built, like the Audi A4 its
based on, but the dirty diesel,
lack of space and vague steering
let it down against the Mgane.

7,750

THE SEAT Exeo is the very definition of badge


re-engineering. Its basically a mid-noughties
Audi A4 underneath, with revised styling front
and rear and a tweaked cabin. Neat LED
headlamps give it an executive air, but it
doesnt look or feel like a new car inside or out.
It feels better built inside than the Renault,
but its dated and the controls are quite
fiddly. Rear legroom is tight, too, plus
boot capacity is less with the rear seats up.
The Exeo uses Audis common-rail 2.0 TDI
diesel engine, which fails to get anywhere near
the fuel economy figures of the Mgane. Its
reasonably refined, but in-gear performance
feels a bit sluggish compared to its rival. It
does beat the Renault in terms of comfort, with
soft suspension making for a smooth ride.
Its a much heavier car, but while body
control is okay, the steering is vague. The
Exeo didnt feature in Driver Power 2015, but
SEAT finished a reasonable 15th, and the
mechanical parts from the A4 are proven.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Sport

All the action from the world of motorsport

Drivers back F1 revamp plans


Return of refuelling, improved tyres and better engine noise proposed by Strategy Group Button, Ricciardo and other drivers in favour
Stephen Errity

Stephen_Errity@dennis.co.uk

DRIVERS have backed recent proposals


from the Formula One Strategy Group
to reignite interest in the sport, including
the return of in-race refuelling stops for the
first time since the end of the 2009 season.
The proposals are the result of a recent
meeting between FIA president Jean Todt,
F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone and
team representatives from Ferrari, McLaren,
Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams and Force India.
Lap times from five to six seconds faster
than those currently being recorded are the
target, with reduced weight, revised tyre

compounds and better aerodynamics all


being considered as ways of achieving this.
The meeting also discussed improving the
noise of the new V6 hybrid engines, following
continued complaints from fans this year.
Most of the sports drivers have welcomed
the suggestion of bringing back refuelling,
as it would allow them to get closer to the
cars ultimate performance in races.
I think if it makes the race faster and lap
times quicker and we dont have to drive
around at nearly GP2 pace at the start, thats
good, said Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo. I
think the race pace needs to be increased.
McLarens Jenson Button added: I think it
was great when we had refuelling. If you had

an issue on lap one, you could change your


race around and do something different
whereas now its very difficult.
Lotus Pastor Maldonado pointed
out that bringing back refuelling
would give the midfield
teams more of a chance
to compete with the
established front-runners
by using unconventional
pitstop strategies.
Refuelling was banned for
the start of the 2010 season
on both safety and
cost-reduction
grounds there

Countdown to Le Mans kicks off


THE official test day for next months Le
Mans 24 Hours takes place this Sunday.
All 56 cars entered for the endurance
classic will be present, including the
full factory line-ups from Audi, Porsche,
Toyota and Nissan in the top LMP1 class.
Teams on the reserve list for the race
will also run at the test day, along with
a pair of Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 cars.
Although these are usually seen in the
European Le Mans Series and not eligible
to race in the 24 Hours itself, members
of the Nissan driving squad who havent
raced at Le Mans before will use them to
complete their mandatory rookie laps.
Olympic cycling medallist Chris Hoy will
also drive an LMP3 to get experience ahead
of his planned Le Mans debut next year.

88 27 May 2015

FULL
HOUSE

All 56 cars that


are entered for
the Le Mans 24
Hours will test
at the circuit
this Sunday

was an ever-present risk of fire in the pitlane,


while transporting the refuelling equipment
and the team of personnel needed to operate
it to every round proved quite expensive.

Drivers say refuelling


is key to faster F1
lap times

Green looking for


second Audi win
BRITON Jamie Green
(right) is looking to
score another win
for Audi as the DTM
German touring car
championship hits
the Lausitzring track
this weekend.
The 32-year-old
claimed his first
victory for the marque at the season
opener in Hockenheim, but sits joint
second in the standings after finishing
outside the points in the second race.
Brits Gary Paffett and Paul di Resta
will also be in action for Mercedes
DTM teams at the weekend.

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Back chat

Join the debate now... www.autoexpress.co.uk/opinion

ASIA is the new and undisputed king


of car-making protability thanks
to the money-making prowess of
Japan, Korea, China and India.
Most of the rms who enjoy prots of
billions of dollars annually now hail from
this region. Subaru boasted a prot gure
of $2bn last year. Comparing like with like,
TATAs prot was $2.7bn, and Kia was just
ahead of the Indian rm on $2.8bn.
Nissan ($4.3bn) was pipped by upand-coming SAIC of China ($4.4bn),
which already has Honda ($5.6bn) in
its sights. And Hyundai has become
the second most protable car maker
in Asia on $7.0bn or $9.8bn if the
Motorings most outspoken and
prots of its adopted child Kia are included.
opinionated columnist sounds off
But Toyota takes the biscuit (or should
that be the rice cracker?) with an annual
Toyotas $19.1bn of
gure of $19.1bn, making it the worlds
most protable car company by a long way.
annual profit comes
In North America, Ford ($3.2bn) and
from just two serious
General Motors ($3.9bn) must be
makes Toyota and
wondering where it all went wrong.
Lexus plus Scion
Between them, these two are only making
and Daihatsu
about as much as little ol Hyundai of Korea
these days. Whod have ever thought it?
Over in Europe, Renault ($2.5bn) seems in surprisingly good nick
given the political and other woes of France. And the BMW
($7.7bn) and Mercedes ($9.2bn) empires cant complain.
In one sense, neither can the Volkswagen Group ($14.4bn), which
is the most protable motor manufacturer in Europe and second
globally. But the bean counters in Wolfsburg must be miffed, because
although the VW Group is raking in more than Toyota in annual
gross revenue ($268bn vs. $252bn), its prots are considerably lower.
And another thing that irks the men in suits at the Group is that
in order to make its prot of $14.4bn, it had to rely on a colossal
portfolio of marques including supercar (Lamborghini and
Bugatti), luxury (Bentley), sports (Porsche), premium (Audi),
business class (Volkswagen), fun (SEAT) and value (Skoda) brands.
Yet Toyotas $19.1bn came from just two serious makes Lexus
and Toyota plus the unlikely duo that go by the name of Daihatsu
and Scion. VW Group might have the more glamorous, desirable
and wider model range. But Toyota has clearly put one over
its German rival when it comes to earning a shilling.

Mike
Rutherford

Do you agree with Mike?

Have your say at facebook.com/autoexpress


90 27 May 2015

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