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11-17 May 2016

No. 1,421 | 3.00




Uber SUVs head-to-head


BMW 3 Series beater or just

another pretty face?


Britains ultimate mega-hatches face off on road and track

New Peugeot 208

Classy mini promises Fiestaa
fun with Polo quality

DRIVEN New 2008


PLUS New Renault Alpine hits the road


C@ntrol MSS


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


COVER Alfa Giulia driven

The big verdict on rejuvenated Italian brands 3 Series rival

COVER Peugeot 208


Peugeot plans hot SUVs


COVER Alpine hits the road


Speed cams postcode lottery


Fiat teams up with Google


More A8s on the way


Exclusive images and details of all-new supermini

Boss conrms Peugeot Sport crossovers are coming
Exclusive ride in Renaults sports car concept

We reveal areas where youre most likely to have ne overturned

Giants new partnership to develop driverless cars
Audi to follow S-Classs lead with much wider model range

How China is shaping the industry


Best of British: Lotus


Top bosses reveal how Chinese market is affecting their plans

8 Alfas back on form again as new Giulia blasts off

How sports car maker is planning for a brighter future

New cars
COVER Peugeot 2008


Fiat Tipo


Audi SQ7




Suzuki Baleno


Leon Cupra 290


Verdict on updated version of trendy crossover

Famous name returns on back-to-basics hatch
We put 4.0 twin-turbodiesel performance SUV through paces
UK verdict on storming 493bhp supercoup

18 On road in Renaults Alpine concept

12 Exclusive images of next Peugeot 208

this week

First UK drive of great-value new supermini

SEAT ups the ante again as upgraded hot hatch hits UK

Road tests

COVER Bentayga vs Range Rover


COVER M2 vs Focus RS vs RS3


Our cars


Is Bentley new king of the luxury SUV class? We reveal all

Maximum muscle in 2016s ultimate hot hatch showdown

We say farewell to the Lexus NX and Toyota Verso


New Bentley Bentayga vs Range Rover

First drive verdict on

new 4WD Clubman
a brighter THE new MINI Clubman has
already impressed us and
Page 32

now theres an intriguing

new version that well be
putting through its paces.
This week, well be driving
the new ALL4, four-wheeldrive model which promises
improved performance
and superior traction.
The higher-powered
Cooper S and Cooper SD
versions are only available as
ALL4 models; head online to
see what we make of them.

For more visit

56 Hot hatch triple test as M2 takes on Focus RS and RS3

New on the shelves


Foot pumps tested


Latest kit, including a clever tyre that reinvents the run-at

Which is best for you to top up your tyres?

Buying cars
Citroen C4 buyers guide


New car prices


Heavy depreciation makes hatch great value used

All the info you need before you head to the showroom

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11 May 2016 5

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OF all the leading global car making groups, Id

argue Fiat Chrysler has the most intriguing
future. CEO Sergio Marchionne is leading his key
marques down some interesting routes.
Alfa Romeo is a case in point. Its created some
lovely cars in the past, and many in my profession
still go misty-eyed at the merest mention of Alfa,
despite the fact its been a shadow of itself for some
time. Clearly the name still has some currency, and
this week sees the latest attempt to capitalise on
that with the arrival of the long-awaited new
BMW 3 Series-rivalling Giulia, which weve driven.
Its the first in a wave of new cars, including an
SUV and a coup, that aims to establish Alfa as a
genuine contender again. And the exciting news is
that as well as delivering the kind of design flair we
want from an Alfa, the Giulia is very good to drive.
But, frankly, will that be enough? Performance
on the road has never been a huge problem for Alfa,
as our recent Driver Power survey demonstrated.
Even the current range of lets be kind here
pretty average Alfas ranked well in this area.
Its elsewhere Alfa needs to improve. Our survey
showed that it rated behind all the makers of the
premium cars the Giulia will aim to take sales from
in the key areas of build quality, reliability and tech.
These battlegrounds will be pretty important if the
brands desired sales growth is to be achieved.
So yes, its great news for those of us who love
cars that we, finally, have a credible Alfa challenger
again. But what does it mean for those buyers who
dont have petrol running through their veins and
simply want a nice car to run about in?
Can Alfa convince these punters to hand over
their cash for the Giulia
rather than a Mercedes,
BMW or Audi? I for one
remain to be convinced
but its going to be
fascinating finding out.

Graham Hope

Tests 020 7907 6215
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No. 1,418 |

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Merc be
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ED Can


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The Giulia is good, but it needs

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11-17 May 2016

No. 1,421 | 3.00




Uber SUVs head-to-head



Britains favourite weekly car

magazine now on any device
A digital replica available for
tablet, mobile or desktop
Download our digital issue now

BMW 3 Series beater or just

another pretty face?


M2 vs Focus RS vs RS3


New Peugeot 208

Classy mini promises Fiesta

fun with Polo quality

DRIVEN New 2008

ultimate mega-hatches
ches face off

Editor-in-chief: Steve Fowler

PLUS New Renault Alpine hits

on ro
road and track

the road
11 May 2016 7

Top story
First for news every week


Behind the wheel of gorgeous new

compact exec with 2.2-litre diesel

Henry Catchpole

8 11
2016 2015

Alfa Romeo Giulia
2.2 JTDM-2 Super

Top speed:

32,000 (est)
2.2-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
Eight-speed auto,
rear-wheel drive
7.1 seconds

ON SALE September
Gus Gregory

THERE is a school of thought that

anyone who likes cars should really own an
Alfa Romeo at least once in their life. It has
something to do with the brio, the flair and
the sheer Italian passion that is supposed
to run through the models from Milan.
The trouble is that, while Alfas have
certainly retained a distinct and desirable
flair in their design in recent years, the
rest of the product has been less attractive.
The company hopes to change all
that with the new Giulia, and things are
promising as soon as you get inside.
In terms of design, the interior is stylish
yet quite simple. The fit and finish seem
good, with the plastics feeling solid,
if not quite up to Audi levels of quality.
You can certainly detect inspiration from
the Germans in the styling of some of the
controls, which is no bad thing, either. In our
Super trim car, there was an 8.8-inch screen
(base-spec cars get a 6.5-inch screen), which
was nicely hidden behind a larger swathe of
glass in the dash, and navigating around
the maps, radio and settings menus was
pleasingly intuitive. The system will also
support both Apple and Android devices.
Things are resolutely Alfa in front of the
driver, with two prominent dials under
individual hoods and a lovely three-spoke
steering wheel with the start/stop button
housed within the lower left sector. The
most eye-catching things, however, are
the large aluminium paddles fixed to the
steering column. More on those later.
The seats are comfortable without being
overly supportive, but you need to spec the
Luxury pack if you want to have full leather
and electric adjustment. In the back, there
is an impressive amount of room, with
enough space for six-footers to be
comfortable in the slightly bucketed

ENGINE A 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel is

available alongside this 178bhp version.

Top-spec Quadrifoglio models come
with a 503bhp 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6

Alfas n

Top story

new 3 Series rival driven

FIRST DRIVE Striking Giulia has looks to steal march on BMW and Audi rivals; we see if it delivers

Steering is
quick yet
accurate and
easy to get to
grips with. Car
is balanced and
composed in
corners, too

CABIN Interior centres around the driver,

with multifunction, flat-bottomed steering

wheel adding a sporty feel. Menu controls
on centre console are intuitive to use

STYLE Super model rides on 17-inch

alloy wheels as standard. Leather and

fabric seats are also fitted, while Harman
Kardon sound system will be an option

SPACE Giulia has longest wheelbase

in its class, so rear passenger space
is generous. Middle seat is slightly
raised, but headroom is decent

11 May 2016 9

Top story

Alfa Romeo Giulia driven


Large 8.8-inch display is

classy; system supports
Apple and Android devices

Hot Giulia ready

for BMW M3 battle
IN addition to the diesel, we also took
the red-hot Quadrifoglio version for a
drive. Its this car that Alfa hopes will
take on the BMW M3 and with 503bhp
going to the rear wheels from its allnew twin-turbo V6, its in with a shout.
The 0-62mph sprint takes 3.9 seconds,
and the eight-speed ZF will be the only
gearbox option. You get a fourth setting
added to the DNA driving modes with
Race turning the ESP off; its great fun.
A proper torque-vectoring differential
makes the car beautifully progressive,
and promisingly, theres also a button
that allows you to soften the dampers.
Watch out for our full review next week.


Alfas 480-litre boot

matches rivals from
BMW and Mercedes.
Spacious under-floor
storage area comes
in handy, too

Giulia rode beautifully around Alfas Milan test track, soaking up imperfections and
keeping things smooth. Car is quick through gears thanks to sharp eight-speed box
seats. This backs up Alfas boast of having
the longest wheelbase in the class. In the
boot youll also find adequate room, with a
480-litre capacity identical to the Audi A4,
Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series.
Press the button in the steering wheel
and the 2.2-litre diesel comes to life
in a slightly unrefined manner, but
after it has settled, its remarkably
smooth both at idle and on the move.
The UK will only get an automatic
transmission option, yet this is no bad
thing, as the eight-speed ZF box is very
good. Those big aluminium paddles also
have just the same feel as the ones youll
find in a Ferrari, and if you want to do the
shifting yourself, they make the process
feel very involving. The pace is brisk, too,
with the Giulia accelerating effortlessly
and racing from 0-62mph in just 7.1

10 11 May 2016

seconds. However, its also pretty frugal,

with claimed 67mpg fuel economy
identical to a BMW 320ds figure.
We drove the Giulia on Alfas test
track near Milan, as well as on the road,
and while surface imperfections were few
and far between, the ride felt remarkably
good. Speed bumps were tackled with
impressive pliancy, yet there was also
a lovely sense of support in corners
and through compressions.
The steering rack is quick, although
the car felt nicely calm and settled when

Giulia provides lovely

support in corners and
through compressions

cornering, with a discernible and enjoyable

rear-wheel-drive balance if you pushed hard.
There are three driving modes to choose
from with Alfas DNA selector. Advanced
Efficiency mode is the most economical,
but the Giulia feels hamstrung by the timid
throttle and gearbox calibrations. The car is
happiest in Natural and Dynamic settings.
All models have lane departure warning
as standard, while adaptive cruise control,
blind spot warning, a rear parking camera
and autonomous emergency braking with
pedestrian protection are all optional.
Overall, the Giulia is a pleasant surprise.
Various engineers were brought across from
Ferrari to guide development, and it has clearly
been a very effective strategy. Its enjoyable to
drive and competitive in all the key practical
areas, while retaining that dash of desirability
that lifts an Alfa above the mere utilitarian.

THE Giulia is a refreshing and
stylish new entry into the highly
competitive executive saloon sector.
Its vital statistics match its main
German rivals in all the key areas,
while the cars rear-wheel-drive
platform and 50:50 weight balance
also make it enjoyable to drive.
Its good to finally have a really
credible option from the historic
and very fashionable Italian brand.
If youve always thought you
should own an Alfa Romeo at
least once in your life, the new
Giulia could be the one to go for.


Peugeot 208

Ren Demarets


Overall profile of the new generation will be close to that of its larger
brother, the 308, although the 208 will remain at four metres long

Our image previews new

look of C3, which is due
to arrive in showrooms
by the end of the year

A Avarvarii

12 11 May 2016


Exclusive image also shows new

Fiesta, which will land before
208 with cleaner engines and
improved interior technology


Peugeot 208


Crisp new look

for cleaner 208
John McIlroy

PEUGEOT will showcase all of its future

small-car technology with the nextgeneration 208 supermini, which will
usher in an all-new chassis and fresh
engines when it makes its debut in 2018.
The existing 208 was facelifted in 2015,
but the brand knows rival Citroen is lining
up a new C3 (bottom, left) for this summer,
with new versions of the Volkswagen Polo
and Ford Fiesta also expected in 2017.
Peugeots stated goal is to become
the best high-end generalist brand
more premium than Citroen but less
luxury-focused than DS so the 208s
styling will become more sophisticated.
As our exclusive images show, the
208 will replace its existing curves with
crisper, straighter lines and Peugeots
latest family face, with neatly incorporated
LED daytime running lights. It will continue
to be offered in three and five-door form.
The overall profile of the new generation
will be close to that of its larger brother,

Exclusive images reveal sharper look for Peugeot supermini

New engines, chassis tech will help it rival C3 and Fiesta

the 308, although the 208s overall

length will stay at four metres. The
front and rear overhangs should be
shorter, though, thanks to a longer
wheelbase, which should balance out
to increase head and legroom inside.
That extra length will come from the
switch to an all-new chassis. Unlike the
forthcoming Citroen C3, which will stay on
PSAs existing PF1 supermini platform, the
208 will get a fresh set of components.
Called EMP1, the new platform is being
developed jointly by the French companys
engineers and technicians from PSAs
Chinese manufacturing partner, Dongfeng.
As with EMP2, which brought significant
weight savings to the 308, EMP1 should
help the 208 to shed kilos and improve
efficiency it could be up to 100kg lighter,
although some of that gain is likely to be
ploughed back into a plusher interior.
The engine line-up will bring new
generations of PSAs BlueHDi diesel

and PureTech petrol motors. The petrols

are expected to be three-cylinder turbos,
with power ranging from around 70bhp up
to nearly 150bhp for the 1.2-litre version.
There will also be a new 1.6 THP petrol in
the 208 GTi, offering around 220bhp.
The diesel range will get an even bigger
shake-up, as PSA follows the VW Groups
lead in downsizing its 1.6-litre engines to
1.5 litres. Expect power outputs to remain
broadly the same, at between 75bhp and
120bhp, but CO2 emissions to fall to less
than 75g/km on eco-focused editions.
Inside, Peugeot will further refine
its controversial i-Cockpit set-up, while
the central infotainment system will
be upgraded for quicker responses.
Greater smartphone connectivity and
other multimedia features will be offered.
French sources suggest that the new
208 could make its public debut at the
Geneva Motor Show in spring 2018.
P15: Peugeot plans performance SUVs


Our exclusive
images show
straighter lines
of new car, plus
latest Peugeot
family face

11 May 2016 13

Peugeot 2008 GTi


Hot Peugeot GTi SUVs on way

Milos Dvorak


Peugeot boss hints at series of new

models, headed by Dakar-inspired 2008

Richard Ingram

PEUGEOT Sport director Bruno

Famin has hinted that a series of
GTi-badged SUVs could be on the way.
We challenged the boss on whether
he could ignore the success of crossovers
in Europe, and if his performance
sub-brand was already considering
beefed-up versions of existing SUVs.
Why not? Famin told Auto Express.
The 2008 DKR is fully in the brands
strategy. Cross-country races like the
Dakar are getting bigger and bigger,
and we are winning them. The 2008 is

our world car. Having this cross-country

program fits very well with where we
want to develop our brand. Doing it
with the 2008 is also a way to promote
this SUV and to give it a better image.
A 2008 GTi would build on the success
of the 208 and 308 GTi models, and our
exclusive image shows how it could
look. Flared arches, large alloys and
chunky bumpers would set it apart, while
under the skin would be a powerful
turbocharged petrol engine paired with
a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive.
Famin doesnt believe four-wheel drive
is necessary, even in an SUV. The 2008

is two-wheel drive. Its a way to show the

customer that it can be as good as fourwheel drive in many conditions, he said.
After transferring the know how
from the Dakar car into standard models,
we will make it work everything we
learn will one day be in our road cars.
Peugeot projects design director
Keith Ryder insisted the brand was
heading in the right direction. We
are not afraid to take risks, he said.
Before, marketing would have said:
That needs to be blue as its always
been blue. Now we have more freedom.
PAGE 34: New Peugeot 2008 driven

CROSSOVER Exclusive image

shows 2008 GTi would have large
alloy wheels and chunky bodywork

A 2008 GTi would build

on success of 208 and 308
GTi, and use a powerful
turbo petrol engine

Insides out on Hondas classier new Civic

HONDA is hard at work on its new Civic, and alongside its dramatic
exterior redesign, the hatchback will get a new higher-quality interior.
Our spies snapped a picture of the cabin while the car was out on
test, showing that the European version of the Civic will feature the
same design as the US-spec model. Both feature a more organised
centre console, with a large display dominating the dash.
Even in the spy shot, you can see the quality of the materials has
improved, while the dash design is driver focused, with deep-set digital
instruments behind the steering wheel. A concept of the new, global
eal at the Geneva Motor Show earlier in the
Civic (below) was revealed
year, giving us a good idea of how the hatch will shape up. The design
remains extrovert yet more conventional,
featuring a lower roofline with a
steep rear screen. All-new
LED headlights, short
overhangs and
large air intakes
will ensure the car
looks sportier
than before, too.

Interior of
new Civic
hatch spied
(below); it
clearly takes
cues from
the US-spec
car (right)


11 May 2016 15


Renault Alpine Vision concept ride

We take a passenger ride in

amazing Renault Alpine Vision
Joachim Staat

THE Alpine Vision concept that Renault

revealed at Marchs Geneva Motor Show
wasnt just an empty shell; it was a roaring,
racy powerhouse that promises to be one
of the most beautiful things to come out of
France on four wheels. Now weve had an
exclusive opportunity to hear it, experience
it and feel it from the passenger seat.
Renaults designers have made only
cautious references to the original Alpine
A110. But the four headlamps, curved
rear window and air outlets underneath
clearly hark back to the 1962 model.
The newcomer is more than just a revival.
Its much wider, which makes for more room
under the low roof. The interior has so many
impressive details; it features a large TFT
display in front of the driver, with the big
shift paddles controlling the dual-clutch
gearbox behind the steering wheel.
Behind the driver rests a mid-mounted
four-cylinder turbo engine that delivers
around 270bhp, making the Vision capable
of 0-60mph in less than 4.5 seconds. That
gives us a few basic points to work from, yet
the French certainly arent ready to reveal
any exact figures for the final production
model theyre still a state secret.
The Alpine sweeps through a 90-degree
corner amazingly smoothly and quickly. The
bassy exhaust note hits us in the pit of the
stomach and immediately makes us lust
after the drivers seat. Theres still work to
be done, yet it corners flat, feels composed
and is a very promising preview into what is
one of the most eagerly awaited sports cars.
It feels particularly light on its feet, and
the fact that the power output is expected to


Even from the

passenger seat,
we can tell the
Alpine Vision
concept corners
well, showing
in a fast turn


On the road in reborn Alpin

18 11 May 2016

Renault Alpine Vision concept ride

Renault Alpine Vision

Top speed:

50,000-plus (est)
1.8-litre 4cyl turbo (est)
270bhp (est)
Dual-clutch auto,
rear-wheel drive
4.5 seconds
155mph (est)


ON SALE Mid 2017

Nissan gets its Kicks

with new baby SUV

STYLING Black and sliver alloy

wheels hide striking blue brake calipers.

Styling cues such as the four headlamps,
bonnet detailing, sloping roofline and
air outlets at the rear are a nod to
the original Alpine A110 from 1962

April registrations
best in 13 years

Bassy exhaust hits us in the

pit of the stomach and makes
us lust after the drivers seat

ne sports car

Newcomer is a
lot wider than
original Alpine
A110, which
means its a lot
more usable
and spacious

be modest means the Alpine must only weigh

about 1,200kg. Is that down to aluminium?
Were in the process of putting together a
lightweight design team that will support all
Renault models in future, Alpine managing
director Michael van der Sande told us.
The key factor will be to find a balance
between the building costs and the price
tag. Initially, some people speculated that
the reborn Alpine would be available for
around 50,000, but this was probably just
wishful thinking, because as Van der Sande
explained: It certainly wont be cheap.
The first models will be on sale in the
middle of the year, and the sports coup
is just the start; Van der Sande isnt
excluding the possibility of an SUV.

This is a very promising

preview into what is
one of the most eagerly
awaited sports cars

NISSAN has revealed its new Kicks

SUV (above), which is primarily
targeted at emerging markets. The
front resembles a scaled-down
version of the current X-Trail, while
the rear looks like a tweaked
version of the Renault Captur.
The Kicks is slightly longer, taller
and wider than the Juke with a longer
wheelbase but will cost considerably
less. Nissan is staying tight-lipped
on plans for the car in Europe.

INTERIOR Red fighter pilot-style

starter button fires up the engine.

Elsewhere, grooved aluminium switches
feature on the dash, while the quilted
leather on the seats comes with blue
stitching and a four-point harness

PRIVATE car sales fell by 2.5 per cent in

April, according to the Society of Motor
Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), but
a buoyant fleet market helped total new
car registrations rise by two per cent.
Latest figures show 189,505 cars were
registered last month the most in April
since 2003. Despite the problems VW
faces with its Dieselgate scandal, the
Golf was the second best seller. Still,
the brand did experience a 9.7 per cent
drop in sales across its model range.

New quad-turbo
diesel for 7 Series


BMW has announced a new quad-turbo

3.0-litre diesel engine for the 7 Series
(below), badged as the 750d xDrive. The
new engine features two low-pressure
and two high-pressure turbochargers,
which BMW says help the new unit
develop 394bhp and 760Nm of torque.
The 750d xDrive covers 0-62mph in
4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of
155mph. It uses an eight-speed auto
box and comes with four-wheel drive.

THIS was our first chance to sample the Alpine

Vision on the move, and it certainly impressed us
enough to have us looking forward to getting in the
drivers seat. The concept of the lightweight, agile
sports car and the brands history could well
be a success, provided that Renault finds the
balance between affordability and exclusivity.

11 May 2016 19

Speeding ticket shock


Fine appeals postcode lottery

We reveal regional variation in
speeders chances of ticket U-turn


In 2015, 1.6 million

speeding tickets were
issued, with 7.6 per cent
eventually overturned

Joe Finnerty

DRIVERS caught by speed cameras

in London or Northamptonshire are
more than twice as likely to have their fine
overturned than the UK average, according
to exclusive Auto Express research.
More than 7.6 million tickets have been
issued by forces since 2011, with 8.4 per cent
of drivers successfully cancelling the fine.
Our Freedom of Information request
revealed 1.6 million tickets were issued in
2015 the highest in the last five years. But
it was also the least successful for appeals,
with just 7.6 per cent overturned. In 2014,
drivers had a success rate of 9.2 per cent.
Motorists caught by the Metropolitan
Police are most likely to dodge points and a
fine, with nearly one in five tickets cancelled.
Yet those flashed by Sussex Police stand
just a 0.4 per cent chance of escaping a
penalty. Neil Greig, director of policy and
research at IAM RoadSmart, said: Wed like
to see no speeding tickets overturned, as it
can send the message exceeding the limit
is something that you can get away with.
However, there will always be a small
number of exceptions, where registration
numbers are misidentified, ownership is
in question, drivers can prove they were
elsewhere or foreign vehicles are involved.
Variations between forces are a matter
of concern and wed welcome more
transparency. No safety camera partnership
should want a reputation as an area where
a speeding ticket is worth challenging.


Over one
million speeding
tickets were
issued in 2015,
but your chances
of a successful
appeal can
depend on where
you were caught

Areas with highest and lowest rates

for overturning fines from 2011- 2015
Top 5

Bottom 5

Met Police 17.4%

Northants 16.8%
Gtr Manchester 13.6%
Merseyside 11.0%
Leicestershire 9.9%

Sussex 0.4%
Cleveland 1.3%
Durham 2.1%
Cumbria 3.9%
Norfolk 4.8%

Ad app claims to
pay parking fines

Toyota loads up GT86 estate


Shooting Brake takes standard Toyota GT86 and adds three-door

estate bodywork; under skin is the regular coups 197bhp turbo
TOYOTA has revealed a concept car based
on the GT86, using an unusual bodystyle:
a three-door shooting brake estate.
The GT86 Shooting Brake concept was
thought up by Toyota Australias Product
Design team, and after the GT86s chief
engineer Tetsuya Tada saw the design,
his team in Japan decided to build a full

concept. Its not just a life-size model,

either; this is a fully functioning car
thats been tested on Toyotas proving
grounds. Its not destined for production
at present, although Toyota is keen to
see the public reaction to the estate.
There are no fundamental mechanical
changes to the concept, with only the rear

quarter and roofline being altered.

That means the same 197bhp 2.0-litre
four-cylinder engine remains under
the bonnet, paired with a six-speed
manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive.
The boot is a lot bigger now as well,
and Toyotas Australian design chief
says its even big enough for surfboards.

MOTORISTS with unpaid parking fines

could have their tickets paid off by
watching adverts via a new mobile app.
Users of Park My Fine earn credits by
watching ads, which are then entered
into a daily prize draw. The more each
driver watches, the better chance they
have of winning. They then have
24 hours to receive the payment.
The British Parking Association said
it didnt comment on specific cases,
but questioned why anybody would
want to watch that many adverts.

11 May 2016 21


Fiat and Google deal

Shock as FCA joins with Google

to develop autonomous car tech
Driverless tech to be fitted to 100 Chrysler MPVs Deal signifies U-turn by FCA boss

MPV will be fitted with tech

and tested in California

UK laws change
for driverless cars
THE Road Traffic Act could be amended as soon
as 2017 to prepare UK roads for driverless cars.
It was announced last week that international
driving laws will be altered by the UN to allow
vehicles to travel at high speeds for up to three
minutes without drivers touching the wheel,
and Volvo will launch live trials in London.
And the UK Government keen to make Britain
a centre of excellence for autonomous vehicles
will reveal the results of its consultation on
law changes later this year, with changes
expected to be rolled out by summer 2017.
Theres still no decision on what or who
will be liable in the event of an accident,
though, with some manufacturers like Volvo
committing to self-insurance. The director of the
Association of British Insurers, James Dalton,
said a patchwork system was unsustainable,
and the UK would likely take cues from American
court rulings to influence insurance claims. A
framework is expected to be in place by 2019.
A certification process for damaged cars is also
likely to be introduced to make sure autonomous
features are fully operational after a shunt.

Jonathan Burn

Laws will be altered to allow cars

to travel at high speeds without
drivers touching the wheel

FIAT Chrysler (FCA) has teamed up with

Google to work on the development of
driverless cars. FCA will supply the tech giant
with 100 Chrysler Pacificas (above), and
engineers from both firms will combine
efforts to turn the MPVs into self-driving cars.
The deal marks the first time Google has
worked with a traditional car manufacturer
since the beginning of its autonomous
project in 2009 although its current test
fleet of around 70 vehicles includes the
Lexus RX 450h. Chrysler will supply 100 of
its hybrid Pacificas with special adaptations
to allow engineers to fit Googles selfdriving software and hardware.
Working with Google provides an
opportunity for FCA to partner with one of
the worlds leading technology companies
to accelerate the pace of innovation in
the automotive industry, said Sergio
Marchionne, chief executive officer, FCA
(pictured below right). The experience
both companies gain will be fundamental
to delivering automotive technology
solutions that ultimately have farreaching consumer benefits.
Prior to the partnership, Marchionne
had previously described tech
companies such as Apple and Google
as disruptive interlopers in the car
industry. Yet engineers from both FCA and
Google will now share a base at a facility in

22 11 May 2016

...and another header


FCAs Marchionne
had previously
described Google
as an interloper
in industry as it
develops its own
driverless car
(pictured above)

Engineers from FCA and

Google will share a base
to accelerate the process
Michigan to help accelerate the design,
testing and manufacturing process.
The choice of an MPV or minivan as
a self-driving test bed is a calculated
one, as Google would like to see
autonomous vehicles compete with public
transportation rather than private cars.
Google currently tests its self-driving
cars in four US cities, but testing of the
Chrysler Pacifica will begin at a private
facility in California before moving to
the public road. Google claims that
around 33,000 deaths per year in
the US could be prevented with
the introduction of driverless cars.

New petrol engine

for facelifted Picasso

in thisC4space
THE Citroen
been updated,

with the new model getting a redesigned front

bumper and grille, as well as new rear lights, new
exterior colour options and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Grand C4 Picasso gets a similar round of
changes for 2016, and both models now feature
Citroens latest sat-nav and infotainment systems.
There are new engine and gearbox options too,
with a new 108bhp petrol and six-speed manual
option for the C4 Picasso, while both models get an
automatic gearbox for the 128bhp petrol engine.





316D/216D/116D 160 BHP

318D/218D/118D 225 BHP
330D E90 296+ BHP
320D E90 215 BHP
420i/320i/220i/120i 275+ BHP
435i/ F30 335i 390 BHP
428i/328i 295 BHP
535D / 335D / X5 SD 355+ BHP
640D/335D/535D/435D 390 BHP
730D 305+ BHP
X5 4.0D / 740D 370 BHP
X5 3.0D 305 BHP
X6 X5.0I 4.4 500+BHP
X6 M50D/X5M50D/550D 450 BHP

AUDI RS6 4.0 T V8 690+BHP (+DE-LIMIT)
A200CDi/C200CDi/E200CDi 175 BHP
AUDI Q7/A8 4.2 TDi 400+ BHP
A250/C250 260 BHP
A45/CLA45 420 BHP
M5 V10 548+ BHP (205 MPH)
A220CDi/C220CDi/E220CDi 215 BHP
X5M / X6M 618+ BHP
C350/CLS350/E350/S350 315 BHP
1M 411+ BHP
E400 /C450 420+ BHP
M3 E90/92 445 BHP (+DE-LIMIT)
C400 400 BHP
M135i/ M235i 402 BHP
M4/M3 3.0T 520+ BHP
M5 F10/M6 (STAGE 1) 680 BHP
S65 (W222) 780 BHP
M5 F10/M6 (STAGE 2) 730 BHP
F10 520D 240 BHP
F10 530D 305 BHP
335i/135i/X6 370+ BHP (+DE-LIMIT)
C63 AMG 6.3 530+BHP (+DE-LIMIT)
123D 252 BHP


UK: 0800 030 5555

INT: +44 800 030 5555


SL63 AMG 6.3 560+BHP (+DE-LIMIT,
CL600 Bi-TURBO 580+ BHP
320 CDi V6 274 BHP
350 CDi V6 312 BHP
420 /450 CDi V8 358 BHP
R ROVER SC 5.0 580+ BHP
R ROVER 4.4 SDV8 395+ BHP
R ROVER 3.0 TDV6 315+ BHP
R ROVER 3.0 SDV6 345+ BHP
240+ BHP
997 TURBO/S 3.8 INC PDK 611 BHP
997 TURBO 3.6 625+ BHP
997 GT2 RS 670+ BHP
996 TURBO/GT2 600+ BHP
997 CARRERA S 376+ BHP
997 GT3 UP 436 BHP
MACAN 3.0D 315 BHP




LP560 608+BHP
LP640 707 BHP
BENTLEY 4.0 T V8 690 BHP


Audi A8 boom

Audi A8 family set to grow

Even longer-wheelbase car and

coups to take fight to Mercedes
John McIlroy

AUDI is considering widening the model

range of its flagship A8, in response to
Mercedes extension of the S-Class brand
to include extra-long-wheelbase and
two and four-door coup versions.
Currently, the A8 saloon is available in
only two bodystyles conventional and
long-wheelbase. But one of its main rivals,
the S-Class, is offered in these two set-ups
and also a pair of even longer models,
the Maybach and Pullman. Mercedes has
also renamed the old CL-Class the S-Class
Coup, and recently started selling a
convertible version of that model, taking
the total S-Class family up to six vehicles.
Speaking at the launch of the SQ7 (driven
on Page 38), Audis new technical boss
Dr Stefan Knirsch admitted that similar A8
derivatives are under discussion. We are
thinking about it, he said. The success
of the extra-long version of the S-Class has
got us wondering about whether there could
be a business case for that in the future.
Audi unveiled a six-door long-wheelbase
A8 limo earlier this year, but the company
insisted that the vehicle was a one-off
creation after a specific customer request.
Knirsch also confirmed that the next A8
previewed by the Prologue concept (pictured)
at the 2014 LA Motor Show will feature
the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
standardised Level 3 of automation, where
the driver can remove their hands from the
wheel for longer periods of time and at higher
speeds than at present. We are working on
the new A8 to introduce this new level of


As S-Class range now comprises

six models, Audi has admitted its
discussing similar A8 derivatives

piloted systems, he said. Level 3 automation

monitors the cars surroundings but still
requires the driver to be ready to intervene.
Currently, United Nations Regulation 79
restricts automatic steering functions to
speeds of up to 10km/h (6mph), but this
block is expected to be removed later this
year. We are confident it wont be an issue

Hot Golfs double up

to storm Wrthersee
VOLKSWAGEN has revealed two new
concept cars at the annual Wrthersee
tuner festival in Austria.
Debuting alongside the recordbreaking Golf GTI Clubsport S, the
two Golfs were designed and built
by a team of 12 Volkswagen trainees.
The Golf GTI Heartbeat has a 395bhp
2.0-litre turbo engine and front-wheel
drive. The one-off, three-door model sits on
20-inch BBS wheels and gets an aggressive
bodykit and unique colour scheme.
Its silver paintjob is covered at the
front in contrasting grey foil. Honeycomb
graphics cover the side, bonnet and roof,
with 40 emblems in a nod to the hot

24 11 May 2016

hatchbacks anniversary this year. Inside,

theres a pair of folding bucket seats lifted
from the Clubsport S, while heartbeat
symbols decorate the doors and trim.
The rear seats, meanwhile, have made
way for a 1,360-watt sound system, with
seven speakers and LED lights.
The Golf R Variant Performance 35 gets
a 345bhp version of the same engine, this
time paired with a four-wheel-drive system.
The 35 refers to the boosted (350PS, or
345bhp) power output, and the fact that
this years festival is the 35th meeting.
Highlights for the Performance 35
include multi-layer grey and red paintwork,
apparently applied by hand. The interior

by the time the A8 goes on sale

[in 2017], explained Knirsch.
Audis tech chief was more guarded
on the potential for an even hotter RSbadged Q7. We are only launching the
SQ7 now and obviously hope it will be
a success, he said, but I dont know if
it would make sense to have an RS version.


is adapted to match the exterior, using

airbrush techniques and special LED stars.
Like the GTI Heartbeat, the Performance 35
estate gets a high-end stereo, this time with
12 speakers and a 2,500W output. But VW
claims the boot remains untouched, with the
addition of an electrically retractable cargo
floor. Neither car is likely to make production.


Load carrier
also starred
tarred at
an tuner
festival and
gets 345bhp
2.0-litre turbo

w to battle S-Class

...And hot Q7s electric turbo

tech could charge up RS4


Sharp Prologue
concept gave a
glimpse of how
new two-door
A8 could look
when it was
revealed at LA
Motor Show
back in 2014

di A8 boom

e s


THIS week we have videos of
two thrilling supercars and a
new SUV. Watch them both at

Ferrari 488 GTB vs

Porsche 911 Turbo S
ELSEWHERE at Audi, the new electric turbo tech
in the SQ7 will filter down to six and four-cylinder
models, the brands technical boss has revealed.
The new hot SUV uses 48-volt electrics to
drive a small compressor that spins up the
turbochargers quickly, reducing lag. Dr Stefan
Knirsch confirmed to Auto Express that the
system will be introduced on other engines
beyond the SQ7s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.
Its scalable and it will be used on other
engines, yes, said Knirsch. We can set it
up as a performance aid or an economy
aid, or somewhere between the
he two.
Its thought the next car to
o get the
electric compressor could be
e the
imminent RS4 Avant, which
will switch from V8 to twinturbo V6 petrol power when
it arrives later this year.
PAGE 38: Audi SQ7 driven


Tuned GTI has

395bhp engine
and sits on
20-inch BBS
alloy wheels

Our spies have

caught new RS4
on test, and it
could get the
same electric
turbo tech as
SQ7 (below)

Griffith name for new TVR?

TVR could bring back the Griffith name with its new
model, seen here in this official teaser image. Les
Edgar, chairman of the reborn brand, told us the
presence of a classic Griffith at last weeks London
Motor Show was a hint at the name of the new car.
While the wait goes on for our first full look at
TVRs new model, we do know that it will use a
carbon-fibre chassis and come with a Cosworth
V8 engine. Top speed could hit 200mph, while it
will cost around 65,000, according to Edgar.



TVR released
this image of
sports car at
the London
Motor Show

SUPERCAR makers are the latest

to embrace turbocharging
and two of the most intriguing
newcomers are the Ferrari 488
GTB and the Porsche 911 Turbo S.
Ones mid-engined, the other
rear-engined. Ones four-wheel
drive, the other two-wheel drive.
But which of these sensational
thoroughbreds would steal our
heart? Watch our video to find out.

Have a look round

MGs new GS SUV

EASILY the star attraction at last

weeks London Motor Show was the
MG GS, which made its UK debut.
The car has been on sale in China
for a year, and is scheduled to land
in showrooms here next month.
Our video reveals exactly what
buyers can expect from the SUV.
You can watch
any of our videos
on your phone
Simply scan
this QR code.

11 May 2016 25

We get behind the stories that affect you

US-sourced tool causes

long delay on Jeep fix
CASE STUDY Owner left
frustrated as dealer takes months
to repair leak on his new Cherokee

New report on service

station food hygiene
makes for alarming reading

Julie Sinclair

FINDING a fault with a new car is

irritating, but its not the end of the world
if your dealer can fix it. The question is,
how long should you wait for the repair?
Reader Chris Grindrod of Oldham, Greater
Manchester, argued one month was too
long for his dealer to locate the source of
a leak in his four-month-old Jeep Cherokee.
He told Auto Express: I noticed flooding
in the footwells back in January, but it kept
the car for weeks before it managed to
work out how the water was getting in.
He explained his franchised dealer,
Oldham Motors, had been forced to order
a tool from the US to unbolt a seat and
investigate further, but that was on back
order until mid-March. Although Chris
was given a courtesy car while the repairs
took place, he argued: I shouldnt
have been expected to wait until then.
We agreed the dealer should have the
opportunity to fix the problem, as any court
handling a rejection claim would expect to
see evidence of that. But we advised Chris
that, if the repairs drag on, he should start
rejection proceedings while its still faulty.
In the meantime, Auto Express called
Jeep to ask about the delay, and its
spokesman acknowledged the dealer
had undertaken an extensive investigation
in order to identify the fault. He continued:
After assessing all the possible causes, we
discovered a very small hole in the sealant
around the wheelarch on the drivers side.
Oldham Motors offered Chris his car
back, plus an extended warranty, threeyears servicing and a two-month refund
of his finance payments as compensation.
But Chris told Auto Express: I dont want
the car back, even if its fixed, as Im
concerned about its long-term reliability.
They havent even replaced the carpets.
We called Jeep, and it agreed to accept
the rejection. Its spokesman said: Mr
Grindrod is a valued Jeep customer who is
otherwise very happy with his Cherokee and
wants to stay with the brand. So Jeep has
decided to offer him a new vehicle.
Chris told Auto Express that he was so
relieved Jeep had finally agreed to replace
it, adding: I had started looking for another
car, but thought, what else would I buy?


Chris Grindrod was left

frustrated after Cherokee
developed a leak that
Jeep struggled to repair

The dealer had been forced to order a tool from

the US to unbolt a seat and investigate further
26 11 May 2016

SERVICE stations are a necessary
way of feeding the masses who
traipse up and down the motorway
on long-distance road trips.
Yet few of those whove stopped
off and enjoyed an average cup of
coffee or an overpriced cheese and
ham panini will have left praising
the high quality of food on offer.
It might be that we need to start
paying extra attention, though, after a
recent report on food hygiene found
10 service stations along the network
failed to achieve good standard.
The investigation also revealed
services in the south-east of England
are three times more likely than
services anywhere else in Britain to
have at least one food court failing
to achieve a four-out-of-ve rating.
The Food Standards Agency says a
restaurant needs to score at least four
out of ve to be classed as having
good hygiene. However, some sites
scored just two out of ve and another
on the M40 achieved a zero rating.
That sort of performance just isnt
acceptable and theres no reason the
standard of food should be so poor.
In these days of online reviews, bad
restaurants are often caught out and
in general its forced up the quality
of food in the country, but not so at
service stations and thats despite
the efforts of chef Heston Blumenthal
to revamp Little Chef a few years back.
Partly thats because theres little
incentive for service stations to up
their game as their captive audience
has little choice to go elsewhere. It
also means they can charge what they
like. So, the next time I go on a trip, Im
packing some sandwiches to avoid
having to buy poor quality, overpriced
and now unhygienic food.

Theres little incentive

for service stations to up
their game as they have
a captive audience


What do you think?

Contact Martin Saarinen

HOT TOPIC Jaguars new F-Pace

Safety gap between
new and worn tyres has
brought a call for action

Call for drivers to face

fines over tyre defects

FROM: Bambee THE new Jaguar F-Pace

appears to be a triumph for the
company, and looks to be one of
Jaguar Land Rovers best cars. When
backed up with a slick dealership
experience, Jaguar has to be on to
a winner here for sure. Congratulations.

FROM: tigger I LIKE this car, but reading

about the slightly firm suspension in
your report (Issue 1,416) makes me feel
the F-Pace wont be a good drive on UK
roads. When are we going to get an SUV
with decent suspension? If I wanted a
sports car ride, Id buy a sports car.


Readers have
had their say
on F-Pace
and consensus
is generally
pretty positive

Government urged to follow Irelands lead with points and fine

Martin Saarinen

THE UK Government is being

urged to follow Irelands lead in
improving road safety by introducing
a mandatory fine for motorists
driving with illegal or defective tyres.
Ireland recently announced
a new 80 Euro (62) Fixed
Charge Notice for motorists
found breaking the law.
Although penalties are in
place in the UK three penalty
points and a maximum fine
of 2,500 per defective tyre
this is only seen as a summary
offence, and motorists have to
go through the courts before
being hit with the penalties.
Tyre maker Bridgestone believes
if the UK was to follow Irelands
lead with an on-the-spot approach,
more motorists would start
paying attention to their tyres.
Recent surveys have found
that more than a quarter of
UK drivers are running worn tyres
below the 1.6mm legal limit
or rubber thats otherwise defective
leaving 10 million British
motorists driving on illegal tyres.
Bridgestone managing director
Robin Shaw explained: If a fixed
fine, as in Ireland, results in
motorists checking their tyres
and replacing as necessary,
then it can only be a good thing.
The Department for Transport
said it was already an offence to
drive with defective tyres and
enforcement was down to police.



Matthew Avery

Director of research
at Thatcham Research

OPTIONS, options! If youve ordered a

new car recently, youll know the plethora
of extras available. What do you choose?
The 20-inch diamond-cut wheels?
Glass roof? Top-end stereo? All very
desirable, but what about safety kit?
But all cars get five stars now, dont
they? I hear you cry. Safetys standard!
The answer is surprisingly no and to
be really safe in many models, youll need
to spend extra. If you look at Suzukis new
Baleno, it has the first of our Euro NCAP
dual ratings. In effect, the model gets
two ratings. The first is a base rating for
standard kit (three stars). Yet if you opt for
the safety pack, you can buy five stars.
Problem is, most customers wont
pay for safety especially not collisionavoidance systems. A recent Thatcham
survey showed only two per cent of buyers
opted for optional Autonomous Emergency
Braking, even though the tech is in some
places reducing injury crashes by 45 per
cent. The issue? Most customers arent
aware of the systems, and most dont want
to pay extra. And dealers rarely push the
kit, either, preferring the visual glitter.
So, why pay for something you may
never use? Well, it protects you 24/7,
your own guardian angel. It might not
save your wallet, but it may save your life.

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).

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

The MagneRide
suspension should make
the car very adaptable
to different road
surfaces. French Alfisti

How can the F-Pace be

sold with a diesel engine
and a 0-62mph time of
8.7 secs and still be called
a Jaguar? Billy Bananas

Just seen three of these

at my dealer in Nottingham
they look even better
close up. The F-Pace hides
its size well. antonyr

In defence of those
driving in middle lane

Dealers not playing

fair on MoT testing

FROM: Donald Lambe REGARDING Terry

Jones comment (Issue 1,417), Im often
passed by drivers angry at me for being
in the middle lane. I drive at 70mph,
and faster than the traffic to my left. If
Im travelling at the national speed limit,
why should anyone need to overtake?

FROM: Norman Yuille MY last two cars

failed their first MoT because the dealer
chose to test the car before servicing it,
despite knowing there were faults that
needed addressing. I believe the firsttime MoT failure rates in this country
are skewed because of this practice.

Retro-fit solutions
needed for emissions

Recycled cars a major

step in right direction

FROM: Robert Campbell AMONG my

friends and I, we have a number of
Euro 5 diesel cars. Several people are
expressing interest in getting retro-fit
upgrades to reduce harmful emissions.
Surely manufacturers could come up
with some modifications, which could
be carried out during routine servicing?

FROM: Albert Gregory YOUR recent article

on recycling cars (Issue 1,416) was
excellent. Given all the recent talk
about emissions and pollution, its
good to see that when cars come to the
end of their life, they arent just being left
in scrapyards, but are recycled to help
the environment stay a bit cleaner.

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
Consumer Ombudsman:
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
DVSA: 0300 123 9000

11 May 2016 27

Tackling the motoring issues that matter


Linda Jackson CEO Citroen

Sabine Scheunert director
of Citroen China
CITROEN launched the China-only C6
saloon in Beijing, but the future is more
international with a range of global models in
the offing, as CEO Linda Jackson and Sabine
Scheunert, director of Citroen in China, told us.
Jackson said: Our core model strategy is
about international multi-regional silhouettes.
Rather than say were going to design it all
in Europe or China, we look for the biggest
opportunity. So with the C6, the biggest
opportunity for us is here in China. Hence we
developed it in the Shanghai design studio.
Whereas five or so years ago you had
different vehicles between China and Europe
and the Chinese market accepted these cars,
you now have more and more manufacturers
us included looking to China and saying
the vehicles are so similar now people are
wanting the same sort of things.
So we dont produce a Chinese vehicle,
we dont produce a European vehicle, what
we try to do is produce an international

vehicle, and the SUV is popular in Europe

and China; the trends are becoming closer.
While the C6 was Citroens Beijing show
star, a crossover is starring in showrooms,
as Sabine Scheunert explained: We are
known for our sedans in China and were
seen as a more traditional brand. But we
launched the C3XR [crossover] last year and
its been a tremendous success one
month we even sold 10,000 of them.
It is today our hero model were gaining
more and more customers because of this
concept. The brand is about to change, I
think customers are taking what they know
from Europe and China is also changing a lot.
Customers are more open to change
than they were five years ago and they want
to take the same products that they see
across the world, particularly from France.
Demand for electric cars is also making
Citroen press on with its EV plans, as Jackson
told us: The acceptance of electric cars in
China is exactly why weve launched the
E-Elyse here. Itll be on sale by 2017 with a
range of 250km. Were able to accelerate this
in China because of demand and legislation,
but itll be 2019 to 2020 before we get
electrification into the core range in Europe.



Sabine Scheunert
and Linda Jackson
explain changes
at Citroen, which
revealed new C6
(right) at show

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler meets some of the top bosses in the business at the
Beijing Motor Show to find out how China is changing the shape of the industry


Ian Callum director of design, Jaguar

JAGUAR launched a long-wheelbase XF in Beijing, but

Ian Callum was quickto point out hes not designing cars
just for China. You have to understand the markets,
he said. But you have to create a car for the brand
thats what people are buying into, wherever they are.
Still, the Chinese market does have an impact. We
were conscious that the F-Pace, in our two biggest
markets China and America as a smallish vehicle
had to have enough room for three full-size adults in
the back and a decent amount of luggage, he added.
In many ways that did determine the size of the
car. If we did the car just for Europe, it might be smaller.
[Plus] when we look at the colour palette we have to
ensure there are at least two colours that work well in
the Chinese market, specifically dark red and gold.

28 11 May 2016


As wraps came off the

new long-wheelbase
XF (below) in Beijing,
design chief Callum
(left) told our man
how Chinese market is
shaping his work at Jag

China update

Inside story

Potential for growth of sales

in China is huge, especially
with the new DBX crossover

Andy Palmer
President and CEO Aston Martin

ASTON sales in China are relatively small at 200 a year,

but the potential for growth is huge, especially with the
new DBX crossover. If we want to go beyond 300 or 400
cars here, you have to do something special you have to do an SUV, Palmer told us.
I believe if you speak to the people at Bentley, theyll tell you they did Bentayga
for China, and thats true of us as well. DBX could possibly not exist without China.
Chinese Aston buyers are also different to European buyers, as Palmer explained:
The sports car buyer is much younger than in Europe. They tend to be a single child
and have access to money earlier, and theres a greater propensity among women to
buy sports cars the Rapide in particular, which is 60 per cent of our sales here.


DB11 was on display on stand,

but Aston boss Palmer told us
that new DBX crossover is a
more crucial car for China


Rupert Stadler CEO Audi

TT RS was Audis
show star, and
Stadler says that
buyers there are
drawn in by tech

AUDI is at the forefront of the connectivity

charge, driven by Chinese buyers, as Rupert
Stadler revealed: We see that the Chinese
customers, especially the young customers,
are techies more so than Europeans.
They play, they game, they act in a
connected world. You only have to see
young customers play round in the car. They
dont read any manuals, they just test it!
As with other makers, the age of Audis
Chinese buyers is different to elsewhere.
Here the average age of our customer is
34, in the US its about 40 and in Europe
the average is around 50, Stadler told us.

11 May 2016 29

Inside story

Wolfgang Drheimer CEO Bentley

WOLFGANG Drheimer has been travelling to China
for the past 25 years. Back then the roads were
ready, but they were full of scooters and bicycles,
with some cars sneaking through, he told us. Now
its all cars, minibuses, trucks and electrified scooters.
Now we see a constant desire for people
to demonstrate that theyve made it. To have
a Bentley is something thats desirable.
Chinese customers like the extraordinary
side of our business our cars are very special.
One of the best expressions is in the Bentayga
with the woodwork on the passenger side where
we have an intricate veneer; the craftsmanship
and detail are things the Chinese market likes.
China is pushing hard to adopt electric cars,
which will affect us all, as Drheimer explained:
What Ive experienced in the last 25 years in
China is a tremendous story. Right now we see
rigid enforced change, especially relating to
powertrains, by central government due to air
quality. This is why technology will change
look at whats happened with the scooters.
PAGE 48: Bentley Bentayga vs Range Rover

SPECIAL TOUCH Drheimer explained how details like

intricate veneers (left) on Bentayga appeal to Chinese buyers

Horbury is a Brit heading design

for Geely, and is keen to ensure its
cars retain their Chinese heritage


Peter Horbury senior vice-president

of design, Geely Group


Horbury believes
Chinese car makers
have caught up with
and overtaken the
European brands

30 11 May 2016

HORBURY has a different view to many others. Hes

a Brit heading up design for Chinese maker Geely,
which is coming to the UK within the next two years.
Chinas doing what it took Europe and America
almost 100 years to do in about 20, he told us. And
its moving still at the same pace it didnt just catch
up, its caught up and is passing, I think. The demand
for new, for good, for better, for best, its happening

so fast you really notice it. At Geely we had good

cars at a certain level that were locally acceptable.
Now we want to make them globally desirable.
Horburys also keen to ensure Geelys cars retain
their Chinese heritage. Weve already started using
details all our speaker grilles have a very Chinese
pattern, he explained. The way we do some of the
lines on the interior, rather than using a marker, if you
take a calligraphy brush and do the same line itll vary
in thickness and feather out to a point. Thats what
youll notice not putting a pagoda roof on the first car
we design, but these details that come from Chinese
art and architecture give us a little signature.

Inside storyextra

Lotus looks forward




Ken Gibson

WHEN Jean-Marc Gales took over as Lotus Cars chief

executive two years ago, he found a brand on the brink.
Dogged by controversy over the past decade, the famous
Norfolk sports car makers aura had been severely dented.
The sacking of previous boss Dany Bahar, whose bold
plans included five concepts that never made it to production,
was followed by legal actions that further tarnished Lotus.
And despite new Malaysian owner DRB-HICOM investing
100million to get the company back on track, the reality
was that Lotus still had losses of nearly 80m for the year
2013-14 alongside an ageing and limited model line-up.
It was worse still, as Gales points out: We had 1,200
workers making just 1,200 cars a year. You dont need 1,200
people to make 1,200 cars. Gales knew Lotus needed a
reality check to survive before it could prosper, and that
meant tough decisions. He cut the workforce by 261 jobs
at the end of 2014 a move he says saved the brand.
Without those tough job cuts and major cost savings
across the business, Lotus would not be here today,
explains Gales. People wanted to turn Lotus into a
British version of Ferrari or Porsche; that was rubbish.
We decided to go back to our roots. Lotus is a maker
of lightweight sports cars. Our cars feel different to any
other sports car; they are like an extension of your body.
The cost savings started instantly with Gales setting up
a lightweight laboratory; he put every component used in
building a Lotus on a large table, and attached price and
weight tags, with the aim of reducing both. Many parts were
re-engineered either internally or by Lotus suppliers, and
savings of five to 10 per cent were made; not only did this
cut losses, it allowed Gales to pass savings on to customers
the price of the entry-level Elise fell to under 30,000.
No stone was left unturned, from securing tougher deals
with suppliers to switching to economy class for executive
travel. Gales also pinpointed a lack of dealers globally as a
major weakness: You need good dealers to sell cars and
there were many key cities where we werent represented.
In two years Gales has increased Lotuss dealer network
from 137 to over 200, and says: Our dealers have invested
heavily in the business as they believe in Lotus. He accepts
dealers need new products, something Lotus has been short
of recently, but stresses: We need to generate cash flow to
pay for new models; the business has to be sustainable.
In the short term Gales says that the new models will be
special edition derivatives of the current Elise, Exige and
Evora. He claims all the recent special editions have sold out
and they all enhance the brand. He argues, too, that the new
Evora 400 is essentially a new supercar with a brand new
body platform. Gales even considered badging it Esprit.
The Evora 400 will be followed by a roadster version in
2017, and the Evora will lead Lotuss return to the US, which
Gales believes will become the firms biggest market. The
Evora 400 is a true supercar with all the driving credentials

Gales took every part a Lotus uses,

and looked to cut weight and cost
32 11 May 2016



In the final part of our series, we learn how Lotus

is eyeing a brighter future after a tough few years

Lotus looks forward

Inside storyextra
Pete Gibson

Elise will soldier on, with improvements, until at least 2020, but Gales describes car as Lotuss heart and soul

Boss pays tribute

to highly skilled
craftsmen at the
brands Hethel
plant in Norfolk,
who have faced
trying times as
numbers have
been cut to keep
business afloat

Chief exec Jean-Marc Gales

tells our man Gibson how he
had tough decisions to make
to secure the future of Lotus

of a supercar, at a fraction of the price, he explains.

He also reveals buyers will have to wait until 2020 for
an all-new Elise the heart and soul of the business
but that the current car will be improved before then.
Arguably the most important new model will be a
first ever Lotus SUV, and Gales tells us exclusively that
the company has nearly finished a prototype which its
been working on for a year. It will drive like no other
SUV, he adds. Its an amazing car. It looks like a Lotus
SUV, it sits low and its wider, but its a full five-seater.
We have not decided yet if it will be four-wheel drive.
Gales clearly wants the SUV to go into production; if
shareholders give it the go-ahead, he says it could be on
sale within three-and-a-half years. An SUV would be a big
change for Lotus, he tells us. The sector is the fastest
growing and our model would redefine the market.
Gales believes the tough changes are already helping
Lotus win back customers, with 800 advanced orders for
the Elise and Evora 400. He feels 4,000 sales a year are
a realistic target by 2020, and the addition of an SUV
would push that higher. Another growing market is the

new Lotus Exclusive personalisation package; buyers are

spending up to 10,000 to get their own one-off Lotus.
Gales says he is confident about the future as the firm
now has a nimble workforce, reduced to 829 workers at
its Hethel HQ and a total of just 901 in the UK. No one in
the car world can do lightweight sports cars like Lotus,
he explains. We can adapt fast, and we have skilled
craftsmen and women who live and breathe Lotus.
But Gales knows the key to Lotuss success is to be
profitable, and he is quietly confident it will achieve that
in the coming financial year something the business
has never managed, even under founder Colin Chapman.
I want to build a sustainable Lotus, a company that
makes money, and we now have a clear foundation, he
adds. There is still a lot to do, but I have nothing else
on my mind than getting the brand back to the top.
Its a long time since Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna raced
Lotuses to glory on the track, and James Bond drove an
Esprit. And while the owners backing is key, in Jean-Marc
Gales Lotus has a boss with a passion and a realism
thats turning this very special British car maker around.

11 May 2016 33

New cars


Visit for the latest new cars and drives


Famous name is
returning to the UK on
back-to-basics hatch.

Xxxxx xxxxxxxx



Running costs

0-62mph/top speed

58.9mpg (official)

9.3 seconds/124mph

52 fill-up

FIRST DRIVE Verdict as strong-selling compact crossover gets mid-life refresh


Load area is
with a 350-litre
capacity rising
to 1,194 litres.
Rear seats are
just as roomy
as before, too

34 11 May 2016



Clever electric turbo

helps hot new diesel
SUV deliver 429bhp.


Richard Ingram

First UK drive of limitedrun 493bhp coup. Is it

the best M car in years?



First UK drive of
Japanese firms latest
top-value supermini.



SEAT ups ante again

as new version of hot
hatch storms into UK.

Peugeot 2008 1.2
PureTech 130 GT Line

Top speed:

1.2-litre 3cyl turbo
Six-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
9.3 seconds


Otis Clay

THE Peugeot 2008 caught the attention

of small car buyers when it arrived in
2013. Based on the 208 hatchback, it
offered style-conscious supermini drivers
something a bit different. Pitched directly at
the Nissan Juke, the 2008 has now found
more than half a million homes around
the world and nearly 50,000 in the UK.
But three years later, the time has come
for a mid-life nip and tuck. Theres a fresh
face and updated kit list, along with a sporty
new top-of-the-range GT Line trim tested
here. The familiar i-Cockpit dashboard
remains, with the interior of most models
featuring a seven-inch touchscreen display.
The biggest changes are on the outside.
Up front, Peugeot has fitted a bolder,
vertically slatted grille, scuff plates and
darkened headlamps, while new wheelarch
extensions provide a more aggressive
look. At the back, a set of 3D tail-lamps
offers a distinctive design after dark.
Inside, anyone who has driven a 208 or
308 will feel right at home. Material quality
is decent overall; its just a shame Peugeot
didnt upgrade the scratchy plastics on the
top of the dash. The familiar small steering
wheel and raised dials are carried over from
the outgoing car, while MirrorLink and Apple
CarPlay technology are incorporated into
the infotainment system for the first time.


TECHNOLOGY Grip Control comes

as standard on higher-spec 2008s, and

while all cars are front-wheel drive
only, the set-up improves traction on
slippery surfaces like mud and snow

EQUIPMENT Sporty new GT Line

trim adds flashes of red on the dials.

There are also new alloy wheel designs,
as well as updated bumpers and
scuff plates and a fresh front grille


This extra smartphone functionality will

come as a welcome addition to those
deeply immersed in our ever-connected
world. The lack of physical buttons is still
frustrating, although thats likely to improve
on models like the new 3008, which will
come complete with Peugeots secondgeneration i-Cockpit design later this year.
Already successful on the 208, 308 and
508, the new GT Line spec features glossblack detailing, 17-inch alloys and unique
badging. Buyers also get stainless-steel
tread plates, aluminium pedals and
red stitching inside, along with a fulllength panoramic roof and sat-nav.
However, as GT Line sits above Allure trim
at the top of the 2008 range, these extra
details come at a price. Our test car cost
almost 20,000, which is a lot of money for
what is effectively a supermini on steroids.
Its not available with the best-selling 81bhp
PureTech engine, either, meaning even the
cheapest GT Line model starts at 18,815.
On the road, the new 2008 feels,
unsurprisingly, much like the old 2008.
No changes have been made to the chassis,
suspension or steering, so it remains
capable rather than fun to drive. The small
steering wheel gives it a heightened sense
of agility, but it feels numb in faster corners.
The turbo petrol engine needs to be revved
quite hard to extract its potential, and those
after a more relaxed driving style will be
better suited to one of the torquey diesels.
Still, the 128bhp PureTech petrol engine
is remarkably refined on the motorway.
Theres a characteristic three-cylinder thrum

Red stitching adds a sporty feel to tidy cabin, while infotainment features MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and sat-nav as standard

Small steering wheel gives 2008 a heightened

sense of agility, but it feels numb in faster corners
under hard acceleration, yet it settles into
a rhythm at higher speeds. Its a shame
the gearbox has such a long throw,
though, as this makes it hard to string
together a series of smooth changes.
But what the 2008 cant offer in fun,
it makes up for in running costs. Claimed
58.9mpg economy for our PureTech
130 is pretty good, pipping the less
powerful auto-only Renault Captur TCe
120 by almost 9mpg. Road tax is cheap
on all 2008s thanks to the fact that
CO2 emissions come in at less
than 115g/km across the range.
As before, practicality is decent
the car adds a dose of versatility to the
smaller 208, without the larger footprint
of a 308 or 3008. Its unchanged from

the outgoing model, with decent space in

the back for adults and wide door openings
meaning fitting a child seat is no trouble.
The 350-litre load bay is on par with
the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokkas
capacities, while folding the rear seats
flat frees up a cavernous 1,194 litres.
Higher-spec cars including our GT Line
model paired with engines that deliver
more than 100bhp also benefit from
Peugeots unique Grip Control system,
which distributes the torque differently
on sand, mud or snow to get the car out of
tricky situations. All models remain frontwheel drive only, but on our short test route,
the set-up worked well. More go than
show, perhaps, yet we still wonder how
many 2008 owners will actually use it.

THE Peugeot 2008 gains an extra
dose of desirability with this midlife update. Its more stylish and
better equipped than before, plus
its just as cheap to run. And while
the three-cylinder PureTech engine
offers adequate performance, the
cheaper 108bhp version should suit
most buyers. This new GT Line spec
may look good, but its quite pricey.
A cheaper trim makes more sense
and would likely add an extra star.

11 May 2016 35


Fiat Tipo

Sam Naylor


YOU might already recognise the

Fiat Tipo name, last used on a
humble hatchback in the early nineties.
This new car has little in common with that
model, however, and is Fiats latest addition
to the family hatchback market, with rivals
including the Skoda Rapid and SEAT Toledo.
Weve already tested the saloon version
(Issue 1,400), but that model wont be
available in the UK. Now weve had the
chance to try the Brit-friendly hatchback,
here in 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel form.
This engine is likely to be the top seller,
although the range will include cheaper
and less powerful units from launch.
The Tipo is positioned to compete with its
rivals on value, and with a starting price of
12,995, it is one of the cheaper compact
hatchbacks on sale. Standard equipment
includes a DAB radio, USB and Bluetooth
connectivity, multifunction steering wheel
and air-conditioning, but this 1.6 diesel
also comes with a five-inch touchscreen
display, LED lights, alloy wheels, parking
sensors and cruise control as well.
The diesel engine feels punchy,
thanks to the 320Nm of torque available
from 1,750rpm, and in-gear performance
is on par with rivals including the Rapid
1.6-litre TDI. It does get noisy when
accelerating, but at lower revs, its
perfectly quiet inside. Road and wind
noise is unobtrusive at most speeds, too,
meaning the Fiat is surprisingly refined.
Its comfortable, with supportive seats
and a good driving position complementing
the soft suspension. Potholes and
undulations in the road surface cause a
bit of bounce, but the Tipos ride never felt
harsh during our test drive around Turin.
The trade-off for that ride is in the
handling, as the Tipo suffers from fairly
significant body roll when cornering quickly.
The steering lacks feel, and the front end
isnt particularly keen in bends, either.
Thats not to say the Tipo is bad to
drive, but the more expensive Ford
Focus is a better bet for keener drivers.
Unfortunately for Fiat fans, the Tipo
is an uncharacteristically dull addition to
the range. While the Panda and 500 have
faults, both are charming and fun in their
own way, and this is a big part of their
appeal but the Tipo is dull to drive, as
well as to look at. While the Zagato-style
double-bubble roof and the bulging bonnet

Our model featured alloys, but was softly

sprung and soaked up bumps smoothly
36 11 May 2016

Cabin is spacious and well equipped, but features hard plastics that give it a dated feel

Rear seats are roomy and comfortable for adults, although headroom is a bit restricted


Supportive seats and a good driving

position complement soft suspension

Fiat Tipo


0-62mph/top speed
9.8 seconds/124mph

Running costs

hatchback hope build on the success of the 500 and Panda?

the cabin is good, although the hard
plastics and cloth upholstery did
already seem to be collecting dust
and dirt on our brand-new test cars.
Just like the exterior, the Tipos interior
doesnt have much charm, either, and
although the plastic surfaces arent
too scratchy, they already appear rather
dated for an all-new model like this.
The touchscreen display looks good
and is easy to use, however, and the
optional TomTom-sourced sat-nav is
excellent. Our car featured smartphone
connectivity, which adds support for
music streaming and social media
features. The 1.6-litre diesel model is


Fiat Tipo 1.6

MultiJet II 120hp

Top speed:

ON SALE September

55 fill-up

pretty efficient as well, with Fiat quoting

CO2 emissions of 98g/km and an
impressive fuel economy figure of 76.3mpg.
Theres no model in the range that
can match the Vauxhall Astras diesel,
which claims 91.2mpg and 82g/km,
but the Tipo still qualifies for free road
tax, while a low list price should help
company car buyers save some cash, too.
Ultimately, though, the new Fiat isnt so
cheap that it will cause concern for rival
manufacturers like Vauxhall or Ford.
The extra youll pay for an equivalent
Astra will be worth it, as that model
is more fun to drive, features a more
upmarket interior and is cheaper to run.

1.6-litre 4cyl diesel
Six-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
9.8 seconds

76.3mpg (official)

Nathan Morgan

are nice styling touches, the overall

shape is slightly uninspiring. The
sporty Mazda 3 puts it to shame, and
the Tipos expected stylish Italian
roots add to the disappointment.
Yet once you see how practical the car
is, its easier to understand the rationale
behind the design. With a 440-litre boot, its
one of the most practical cars in the class,
although Peugeots 308 is bigger inside.
Theres still plenty of legroom, with
enough space for adults to sit comfortably
behind the driver, but taller passengers
may find headroom a little tight.
The doors open wide, too, which should
help when fitting child seats. Storage in



PRACTICALITY The 440-litre boot

is a useful size and shape, although

theres no removable floor. Plus, a lip
could make it tricky to get heavy items
out. Still, the seats fold down easily

EQUIPMENT Air-con is standard,

while optional safety kit for the Tipo

includes auto city braking, a speed limiter
and adaptive cruise control, all of which
can be added with the 500 Safety Pack

IF youre a fan of the styling, and need a

practical family car, the Tipo could make
a lot of sense. A low starting price and
solid kit list mean its decent value for
money, plus theres plenty of space in
the back. The fact remains, though, that
pricier rivals feel better built, are more fun
to drive and even cheaper to run. The most
disappointing thing about the Tipo is its
lack of character, especially given the
charm of other Fiats such as the Panda.

11 May 2016 37


Audi SQ7

0-62mph/top speed
4.9 seconds/155mph

Running costs
39.2mpg (official)
87 fill-up

John McIlroy

SUCH is the importance of SUVs these

days you could argue that Audis Q7 is
more important than its range-topping limo,
the A8. And now the German manufacturer
is widening the range of its 4x4 flagship
with a performance diesel edition, the SQ7.
A seven-seater as standard, the new
model is designed to go up against cars like
the seven-seat BMW X5 M50d and fiveseaters such as the Range Rover Sport SDV8
and Porsche Cayenne S diesel. The SQ7
costs 70,970 more than both of its
German competitors, but the thick end of
17,000 less than the Range Rover Sport.
At the heart of the hot SUV is an all-new
4.0-litre twin-turbodiesel that features some
pretty nifty technology. Its two turbos work
conventionally spooled up by the cars
exhaust gases. They operate sequentially,
so one gets all of the available exhaust gas
at low speeds, before a valve opens as the
engine revs increase to kick in the second.
This process is designed to minimise
turbo lag the delay between pressing the
throttle pedal and boost being available.
But to negate even more of this, Audi has
also fitted a small electrically powered
compressor that can give the turbos an

38 11 May 2016

Audi SQ7

FIRST DRIVE We take the

wheel of hot new diesel SUV
with clever electric turbo tech

Eight-speed auto
box delivers smooth
yet rapid gearshifts

S-badged steering wheel adds racy

feel; Virtual Cockpit is great to use

High-quality materials
inside the Audi SQ7
are among the
best in the class

Audi SQ7
Electric turbo
technology is
set to filter
down into
smaller Audi

Pete Gibson


Audi SQ7

Price: 70,970
Engine: 4.0-litre V8
Power/torque: 429bhp/900Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto,
four-wheel drive
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Economy: 39.2mpg
CO2: 190g/km



Middle bench
offers plenty
of room, while
rearmost seats
and hatch are

PRACTICALITY With all seven

seats in place, theres a decent 235
litres of boot capacity. Fold the second
and third rows down, and the space
increases to a whopping 1,890 litres

EQUIPMENT Audis 12.3-inch

Virtual Cockpit comes as standard.

Its configurable and can display
everything from navigation and
vehicle settings to trip information

extra boost at low revs. The brand claims the

tech is a world first in a production vehicle.
In any case, the V8 has some pretty
mighty stats: 429bhp between 3,750rpm
and 5,000rpm and a whopping 900Nm of
torque from just 1,000rpm. To put things
in context, thats a full 95bhp and 160Nm
more than you get in a Range Rover Sport
SDV8, and the torque kicks in 750rpm lower
to boot. Even Porsches mighty Cayenne S
V8 diesel is 49bhp and 50Nm adrift.
Audi says the SQ7 can cover 0-62mph in
4.9 seconds pretty remarkable for a 2.3tonne vehicle and hit an artificially limited
top speed of 155mph. Its fuel efficiency
looks strong for the class, too, with claimed
39.2mpg economy and CO2 emissions of
190g/km. BMWs slower X5 M50d is
cleaner, admittedly, but the Range Rover
and Porsche both emit more than 200g/km.
On the road, the SQ7 cant quite belie its
size and bulk, but it comes impressively
close to doing so. Its actually quite hard to

complete low
low-speed manoeuvres smoothly,
such is the aggression of the throttle
modulation and the engines ability to
deliver such huge reserves so quickly.
Once youre up to speed, the SUV
becomes an accomplished cruiser, with
barely a murmur from the V8 and
unusually for a performance Audi a
compliant ride. The air-suspension is
particularly soothing if you force its hand
and use the Drive Select controls to put
it into Comfort mode. Leave it to its
own devices, and youll be a little more
aware of pattering over poorer surfaces,
although its by no means uncomfortable.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox shifts
smoothly and quickly, and while its not
infallible, it generally gets you into the right
ratio on twisty roads. In those conditions,
the SQ7s new electromechanical active
roll stabilisation an option in the UK
does a cracking job of minimising body roll,
allowing you to select Dynamic mode, use

the gearshift paddles to hold revs for longer

and enjoy what must be one of the bestsounding diesel engines on the planet. The
steering is perhaps the weakest link; its
lightness is at least consistent, but theres
precious little communication to speak of.
The UK standard spec for the SQ7 looks
reasonably generous as it should on a car
costing just over 70,000. On the outside,
you get LED headlights and tail-lamps,
20-inch alloy wheels, revised front and rear
bumpers, side skirts and a rear roof spoiler.
The cabin, meanwhile, contains Audis
Virtual Cockpit the configurable 12.3-inch
display that replaces the conventional dials
as well as MMI Navigation Plus, leatherclad front sports seats, four-zone climate
control and an S-badged three-spoke
leather steering wheel. Theres electric
operation for the third row of seats, as well
as the hatch. The fit and finish are classic
Q7, which is no bad thing, as its high-quality
materials are among the best in the class.


THE SQ7 is easily one of the most

convincing fast SUVs yet from Audi.
Its perhaps not quite as involving
to drive as the Range Rover Sport
or Porsche Cayenne S, but its more
refined than the latter and much
cheaper to buy than its British
rival. Indeed, with the level of
performance on show here, plus
that generous standard equipment
list, seven-seat flexibility and a
raft of safety technology, the SQ7s
price tag of just over 70,000 looks
right in the ballpark for the class.

11 May 2016 39



Stuart Price

Familiar BMW M4 cabin benefits

from racy Alcantara trim upgrade
Richard Ingram

WE drove the BMW M4 GTS on track

last month (Issue 1,417), and while its
sorted chassis and bonkers soundtrack
blew us away, our final verdict had to wait.
Now, however, weve sampled the
limited-run coup in Britain to find out
whether it can perform as admirably
on our pitted back roads as it did
on a silky-smooth Spanish circuit.
Only 700 models will be built, and just
30 are coming to the UK. Thatll be enough
to cement residual values far north of its
original list price with many undoubtedly
destined for bubble-wrap coats and heated
garages. But those who buy one to drive it
as its intended are certainly in for a treat.
Fire it up and the GTS sounds unlike any
M car that has gone before it. The titanium
exhaust is 7kg lighter than the standard
set-up and its louder, too, with an addictive
bark that amplifies as the revs rise.
Under the bonnet sits a slightly tweaked
version of the standard cars 3.0-litre
twin-turbo straight-six engine, with
power turned up from 425bhp to 493bhp.
This is achieved by employing the same
clever water-injection technology first seen
on the MotoGP M4 Safety Car we drove

in April last year. It works by spraying

water into the air chamber to reduce
intake temperatures, allowing higher
boost pressures and more power.
As a result, the M4 GTS rockets from
0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds and on
to a top speed of 190mph. Traction is
impressive, too, which isnt something
that could be said of the standard car.
Along with the engine upgrades, BMW
has revised the chassis, springs and
dampers to provide a more rewarding
driving experience. The front track has been
widened, and adjustable coilovers sit in
place of the normal springs. The anti-roll
bars are specially made for this car, too.
On track, we decided the range-topping
M4 was a deeply impressive and hugely
entertaining car that felt a world apart
from the base model. Yet we were
concerned about whether it could
cope with the ruts and ridges on UK roads.
Thankfully, it can. Its actually the most
composed M4 to date, offering poise and
adjustability on all surfaces. While the
normal coup had a tendency to bite
with snap oversteer, the GTS just grips.
Its even comfortable on longer
motorway journeys. Some track-focused
road cars will send shakes down your
spine every time you hit a tiny pothole,


FIRST UK DRIVE Ultimate M car touches down in

but the M4 is supple in comparison. Few

owners will use the BMW to commute,
although its a perfectly feasible option
should the need ever arise.
Carbon-ceramic brakes have been added
to the package, too, permitting fade-free
stopping power corner after corner. Theres

plenty of feel through the pedal, which lets

you scrub speed at an alarming rate.
Every inch of the GTS appears to have
been aimed at keen drivers. So it may
come as a surprise to learn that this very
special car is only available with BMWs
seven-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox.
Still, the shifts are instant and immersing,
giving you complete control in Sport
or Sport+ mode. Plus, its remarkably
characterful, and we doubt any owner will
mourn the lack of a manual gearbox when
they see how perfectly the DCT suits the car.
Inside, the fixed bucket seats hold
you firmly in place, while the thick
Alcantara steering wheel feels great.
Rear seats have been thrown out to
reduce weight, as have the standard
bonnet, roof and tailgate. All three
have been replaced with carbonfibre alternatives, so the GTS weighs
around 30kg less than the standard M4.

GTS is most composed

M4 to date, offering
both adjustability and
poise on all surfaces
40 Xx Xxxxxxxxxx 2016


Top speed:

3.0-litre 6cyl turbo
Seven-speed dual-clutch
auto, rear-wheel drive
3.8 seconds

ON SALE Sold out


offers the same 445-litre boot as the

standard car, meaning you can take it
shopping. There are no back seats, though

n Britain and wows us all over again


Running costs

0-62mph/top speed

34.0mpg (official)

3.8 seconds/190mph

65 fill-up

GEARBOX Despite being designed as a

pure drivers car, the lightweight M4 GTS

is only available with BMWs sevenspeed dual-clutch automatic gearbox


Alcantara steering wheel feels great; roll cage

and fire extinguisher are part of the Clubsport
Package, which also adds front seat harnesses


BMW only made 150 previous-generation M3

GTS models, so the 700 M4 GTSs are common
in comparison. Still, only 30 will come to the UK

THE fact the GTS costs twice as
much to buy as a standard M4
is largely insignificant. The car is
already sold out, but those who
managed to get their hands on
one can proudly announce they
have the keys to the best BMW
M car for a generation. Its sharp,
focused and fast, while the
perfectly judged ride is merely
the icing on this very expensive
yet beautifully crafted cake.

11 May 2016 41


Suzuki Baleno

Sam Naylor


SUZUKI already has the Swift to compete

in the supermini class, so it might seem
odd that its new Baleno will challenge in the
same market. But the companys logic is
sound: superminis still make up the lions
share of sales in the UK, and a more
practical in-house alternative should help
cement Suzukis presence in the class.
The Baleno sits on a new platform the
same one that will form the basis of the
next-generation Swift. Its designed to save
weight without compromising body rigidity.
In fact, the basic shell structure of the car
weighs less than 200kg, keeping the
newcomers total weight down to 935kg.
Losing mass is always a huge bonus, as
it means the Suzuki will be more efficient,
more agile and faster, too. The weight
doesnt mean its a tiny car, either; at 3.9m

long and 1.7m wide, it fits firmly in the

supermini class, yet the 320-litre boot (756
litres with the seats down) is very large.
The cabin feels spacious, so its not just
about the storage space. Theres loads of
room in the front, and even with the seats
set right back, rear legroom is adequate for
adults to sit comfortably. Its easily one
of the most accommodating superminis
around. Headroom is tight for those over
six feet tall, but the back seats will be big
enough to keep most people happy.
If youre using the car for transporting
objects rather than people, the rear seats
fold down easily, and theres no lip between
them and the boot floor. Theres even a
deep under-floor section for extra storage.
Suzukis latest supermini also rides well
on British roads. The seats are a little hard,
but as a result are supportive. We came out
of the car after a long day of driving without
the discomfort that some pricier models

sometimes cause. The main problem the

Baleno has is refinement, especially on
the motorway. Theres quite a bit of wind
and road noise, and with only five gears,
the engine is very rev-happy at high speeds
doing nothing to improve refinement.
But unless youre planning on a lot of
motorway trips, its unlikely to be too
much of a concern. The genes of the Swift
start to show through when you come off
fast roads, as it feels agile and nippy both
in town and on quieter country lanes.
The steering is a little light, but the
Suzuki darts around corners with surprising
vigour. Even slowing down is satisfying,
as the brake pedal feel is well judged.
Soft suspension means theres a bit of body
roll, yet the Baleno is nearly as good to
drive as its sportier brother, the Swift.
Our test model featured Suzukis new
1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo, which really
suits the car. Its 109bhp and 170Nm torque



Running costs

0-62mph/top speed

62.7mpg (official)

11.4 seconds/124mph

40 fill-up

FIRST UK DRIVE Swifts more sensible brother ensures Suzuki has all the supermini bases covered

42 11 May 2016

Suzuki Baleno
Baleno is agile in
corners, with light
yet direct steering

outputs are more than enough in a car

that weighs so little, and despite being
turbocharged, its buzzy and fun to
stretch out, just like the other great threecylinder engines in todays small cars.
Its economical, with a claimed average
of 62.7mpg. And although it cant quite dip
under the 100g/km CO2 emissions barrier,
it still emits a respectable 105g/km. The
manual box is easy to use, yet an extra gear
for cruising wouldnt go amiss and would
probably improve efficiency on long journeys.
Unfortunately, the Baleno loses out
when it comes to design, both inside
and out. The plain exterior looks dont
do the car justice, meaning its unlikely
to attract the eye of style-conscious


younger buyers in the way that a SEAT Ibiza

or Ford Fiesta might. Those superminis
have a much more interesting interior than
the Suzuki as well. While the Balenos
hard-wearing and solid-looking plastics
will help with the trials of family life, the
cabin feels very old-fashioned, sparse
and, perhaps worst of all, a bit dull.
It is loaded with kit, however, with
standard equipment for all models
including alloy wheels, DAB radio, USB
and Bluetooth connectivity and tinted rear
windows. You even get a sat-nav across the
range, which is simply unheard of in the
supermini class. If youre not worried
about the look and feel of the interior,
the kit list could prove very tempting.

Suzuki Baleno SZ5


Top speed:

1.0-litre 3cyl turbo
Five-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
11.4 seconds


We came out of the car after a long day without

the discomfort that some pricier models cause
Otis Clay

INTERIOR The dials are clear

and easy to read, plus the screen

in the middle offers a readout that
details how many Gs the Baleno has
pulled through corners. Its a bit of
a gimmick on a car like this, however

EQUIPMENT SZ5 models get a


Cabin is a little
uninspiring but
well put together;
rear offers plenty
of head and
legroom, while
maximum boot
capacity of 756
litres is useful

4.2-inch central touchscreen display,

electric windows and LED taillamps. Adaptive cruise control, auto
city braking, sat-nav and alloy wheels
are also on the standard kit list


THE Suzuki Baleno is a bit of a

hidden gem in the supermini
class especially fitted with this
excellent 1.0-litre three-cylinder
petrol engine. If you can see beyond
its rather dull styling inside and out,
the Suzuki could be a great choice
and capable of fufilling all of your
needs. Its fun to drive, practical,
comfortable and reasonably cheap
to run. This SZ5 model comes
loaded with standard equipment,
too, and all for less than 14,000.

11 May 2016 43


SEAT Leon Cupra 290

You can customise the settings
for the suspension, differential
and steering to suit your needs


FIRST DRIVE Revamp gives our former hot hatch champ chance to regain crown

0-62mph/top speed
5.9 seconds/155mph

Running costs
42.2mpg (official)
54 fill-up

Rear space is decent, as is

luggage capacity, and Cupra
offers razor-sharp responses

Leon Cupra is still one of the best-looking and

most desirable hot hatchbacks on the market
44 11 May 2016

SEAT Leon Cupra 290

Richard Ingram

SEATS Leon Cupra was crowned Best

Hot Hatch at our 2015 New Car Awards,
pipping the Ford Fiesta ST and VW Golf GTI
to the top prize. But since then, the game
has moved on, with the new Honda Civic
Type R and Ford Focus RS upping the stakes.
To stay on the pace, SEAT has added more
power, a sports exhaust and subtle
styling tweaks to the feisty Leon Cupra.
Now with 286bhp, the Leon is within
20bhp of the Type R, which currently sits at
the top of the front-wheel-drive hot hatch
tree. Its not actually any faster than it was
before, so theres enough power to propel
the five-door manual SEAT from 0-62mph in
5.9 seconds and hit 155mph flat out. The
three-door DSG is even quicker, covering
the trademark sprint in 5.6 seconds.
It still feels suitably quick, even against
newer rivals that offer four-wheel drive and
more power. The standard differential helps
the Cupra in corners, but in a straight line,
youll be left fighting the steering wheel as
it struggles to put its power down through
the huge 19-inch front wheels. Get it right,
though, and itll send you forward at a
serious rate of knots. Its enormously
entertaining and has all the ingredients to
put a smile on your face on the right road.
Ride quality is good, adding a degree of
sophistication compared to lairier rivals like
the Civic or Renaultsport Mgane. It has
the ability to shake and stir you in Cupra
mode, yet its easy to live with in Comfort.
An Individual button allows you to
select your ideal compromise of engine,
suspension, steering and differential
settings. We found the best set-up was



The Leon Cupra

290 delivers
10bhp more than
the 280 model

to have the dampers and weighty steering

in Comfort, but with the throttle response
dialled into the sharper Cupra mode. Its
still an extremely responsive hatch that
can put shame to some sports cars with
its pin-sharp responses and fine chassis.
The six-speed manual gearbox is slick
and easy to use, while the clutch has a
nice weight to it. Both add an element of
involvement that are absent in the slightly
faster DSG auto so wed save some cash
(1,355) and stick with the manual.
The sports exhaust gives off a rorty note
without feeling obtrusive on the motorway.
Many modern-day hot hatches have been
criticised for their muted soundtracks, but
the Leon strikes a really nice balance
between character and usability.
In our eyes, its still one of the bestlooking, most desirable hot hatchbacks

on the market and its only made better

by the Black Pack added to the car in our
pictures. This brings flashier wheels, glossblack door mirrors and front grille surround,
and bucket seats. It also switches the
usual silver badges for black ones. At
1,755, the pack certainly isnt cheap,
but it definitely adds some aggression.
Elsewhere, the 290 is the only model
in the Leon range that offers Full Link
as standard. This allows users to transfer
smartphone content on to the dash screen
and use it as they would their mobile. It
adds a modern touch to the well crafted
if otherwise dull cabin. Its an option on
all other Leons and is well worth the extra
cash if youre looking at a standard model.
Our car also had the upgraded nav
system, which includes dynamic route
guidance and voice control. Practicality

is unchanged, and only adds to the

Leons appeal as an accomplished allrounder. The 380-litre boot is significantly
smaller than youll find in a Civic Type R,
but it trumps a Golf Rs, which suffers
due to its bulky 4WD system.
Space in the back is good, and access
via the pair of rear doors aids versatility.
And if you need more room, SEAT offers
all the 290 changes on the ST estate, too.
Fuel economy is impressive given the
performance on tap, but lesser-powered
alternatives still offer a decent turn of pace
without breaking the bank every time
you fill up. The Leon Cupra 290 claims
42.8mpg economy, while a Peugeot
308 GTi by Peugeot Sport promises
47.1mpg. If youre prepared to go diesel,
VW says its Golf GTD returns 64.2mpg and
can still cover 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds.

SEAT Leon Cupra 290

Top speed:

2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Six-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
5.9 seconds


EQUIPMENT Black Pack on our test car

adds different wheels, as well as gloss-black

door mirrors, a black spoiler and black grille
surrounds. The badges are black, too

TECHNOLOGY Leon Cupra comes with

Full Link compatibility, with Apple CarPlay,
Android Auto and MirrorLink. All are simple
to use and take connectivity up a notch

A FEW months ago, the Leon Cupra wore
the hot hatch crown, but things move
fast in this market, and models like the
Ford Focus RS have arrived with a bang
sending shockwaves through the
industry. Theres not a lot wrong with
the 290: its fast, desirable and easy to
live with, plus it packs plenty of punch
and makes you smile every time you get
behind the wheel. While youll never
regret buying one, you may wonder
whether the fast Ford would have been
a more accomplished all-rounder.

11 May 2016 45


Smart ForTwo Cabrio

Jonathan Burn

BRITISH buyers cannot get enough

of convertibles, no matter how big
or small. And the new Smart ForTwo
Cabrio is as small as they come.
Indeed, its such a unique proposition,
it doesnt really have any direct rivals. Its
the smallest convertible you can buy and
while the Aygo (opposite) comes close in
terms of price and size, its fabric roof is
nothing more than a glorified sunroof.
The Smart is a fully fledged convertible.
Better still, the Smarts transition from
hard-top to soft-top hasnt hampered its
ability to negotiate the busiest of urban
environments. Its dimensions are exactly
the same as the hard-tops and despite
its dinky proportions, the clever packaging
means theres a surprising amount
of space inside for two people.
Another trick of the Cabrio is that
rather than simply having the roof up or
down, you can retract the soft-top all the
way back as a sort of extended sunroof. This
can be done at any speed, too, which is
ideal for the unpredictable British climate.
Another press of the button next to the
gearlever drops the top completely; doing
so does limit rearward visibility, though.
But even at motorway speeds theres
minimal buffeting in the cabin; a bigger
concern is engine noise. The 1.0-litre
three-cylinder engine in our test car is the
less powerful of the two units available
in the Smart and while it delivers adequate
performance for city dwellers, on the
motorway its noisy and breathless.
Any attempt at overtaking has to be
planned and well timed due to the lack of

Smart ForTwo Cabrio


Top speed:

1.0-litre 3cyl petrol
Six-speed auto,
rear-wheel drive
15.5 seconds


ROOF Across the range, the Cabrio costs

an additional 2,140 over the hard-top.
The roof folds back in 12 seconds,
and this can be done at any speed

PRACTICALITY Boot space is

unaffected with the roof up or down,

at 260 litres, but the letterbox-style opening
is narrow. Cabin space is decent, though

Caption to go in space here

please Caption to go in space
here please caption here


FIRST UK DRIVE Convertible city car has unique appeal, but is pricey

power. Back in the city and paired with

the optional six-speed dual-clutch auto box
the ForTwo Cabrio works well. The ride is
not especially comfortable, but gearchanges
are far slicker than with the old automated
manual from the previous model.
The car is incredibly manoeuvrable and
nimble around town thanks to the quick
steering, but at higher speeds this can
make the Smart feel a bit twitchy. However,
as most of these cars will be confined to
the city, its unlikely to be a deal-breaker.
Buyers probably wont be expecting
much in terms of practicality; the boot
is a tight 260 litres, but handy cubbies
dotted around the cabin compensate
slightly. However, that folding roof does
come at a hefty cost 2,140 to be precise.

Dash gets a trendy design, although

some plastics feel slightly cheap
46 11 May 2016

THE ForTwo Cabrio really is in a class
of its own. Few cars are better equipped
at dealing with life in the city and
the availability of the cabrio will
only increase its appeal among
fashion-conscious buyers. A sticking
point for some will be the cost at
2,140 more than the hard-top its
a lot to pay for an already pricey car.

Toyota Aygo x-clusiv


Coming soon

GT 2018

Next Continental will

feature a new platform
and 600bhp W12.
Convertible and
Flying Spur will follow.


FIRST DRIVE Does range-topping city car justify price tag?

Jonathan Burn

CHEAP and cheerful is generally the rule

for small city cars, but in the interest of
variety, you can spend more than necessary
Toyotas new Aygo x-clusiv is such a car.
It sits at the top of the range and comes
with every conceivable option as standard
except sat-nav, which is a 400 extra. As a
result, it costs just shy of 14,000. Given
that the standard car starts from 8,945,
features the same engine and carries the
same number of people, that seems pricey.
A reversing camera, keyless entry, seveninch infotainment system with MirrorLink,
leather interior, 15-inch alloy wheels and
retractable fabric roof are included, but
its worth remembering that at this price
point, you can get a lot more car for your
money, such as a Ford Fiesta or VW Polo.
However much you want to spend on
your Aygo, one thing doesnt change: the
engine. All versions come with the 69bhp
1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, which is
paired with a five-speed manual gearbox
as standard. The mechanically identical
Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 both come with
the option of a punchier 1.2-litre turbo.
Still, the 1.0-litre unit provides enough
performance for tackling city roads. Plus,
the light steering gives the Aygo a real
sense of agility and it deals well with poor
surfaces, feeling supple and composed.
Take the Toyota away from its comfort
zone of the city, though, and it begins to feel
a little out of its depth. The lack of power
from the engine
ine soon becomes evident on
the motorway,, as building up any
sort of momentum
ntum is a slow
process 0-62mph
62mph takes
a laborious 14.2
seconds. Peel the
fabric roof back,
and it does
become slightly
blustery in the
cabin, too.

Ford Ka+
Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta ST200
Kia Rio
Mitsubishi Mirage facelift
Nissan Micra
Peugeot 208
Renault Twingo GT
Renault 5
SEAT Ibiza
SEAT Mii X-Perience
Smart ForTwo Brabus
Suzuki Swift
Suzuki Baleno
Volkswagen Polo

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia Estate
Fiat Tipo
Honda Civic
Honda FCV
late 2016
Hyundai Ioniq
Kia Optima estate
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
late 2017
MINI Countryman
late 2016
Nissan Leaf
Porsche Panamera
early 2017
Porsche Panamera estate
late 2017
Renault Mgane Sport Tourer autumn
Subaru Impreza
late 2016
Tesla Model 3
late 2017
Vauxhall Insignia
mid 2017
VauxhallInsigniaSportsTourer late 2017
Volkswagen Golf facelift
late 2016
Volkswagen XL3

Toyota Aygo x-clusiv


Top speed:

1.0-litre 3cyl petrol
Five-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
14.2 seconds

Aygo x-clusivs
1.0-litre engine is
one of the lightest
fitted to any car,
weighing just 67kg

THE Toyota Aygo is a likeable,
reliable and well rounded car.
Its cheap to run, distinctive
and, if youre sensible with
the specification, affordable,
too. However, the fabric-roofed
x-clusiv model doesnt really
make much sense if youre
looking for cheap thrills. At
just shy of 14,000 including
a ffew choice options, the Aygo
looks rather expensive for a
city car. Theres no debating
the amount of standard
equipment, but it all feels
a llittle excessive for a model
thats all about affordability.

early 2017
mid 2016
mid 2016
late 2017
late 2016
late 2016

Alfa 4C Quadrifoglio
late 2016
Aston Martin DB11
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Aston Martin Vanquish
Audi A5
Audi A9
Audi RS4
late 2016
Audi TT RS
late 2016
Audi TT Sportback
Audi TTQ
Bentley Continental GT
BMW i8 Plus
late 2016
Bugatti Chiron
Caterham sports car
Ford GT
late 2016
Ford Mustang GT350
late 2016
Honda CR-Z
Honda NSX
Hyundai i30 N
early 2017
Infiniti Q60
Jaguar F-Type SVR
Jaguar XE R
late 2016
Kia GT4 Stinger
Lexus LC 500
late 2016
Maserati Alfieri
Maserati Gran Turismo
late 2017
McLaren 540 C
Mercedes-AMG C 43
Mercedes-AMG E 43
Mercedes-AMG GT four-door
MG TF replacement
MINI JCW Clubman
late 2017
Nissan Pulsar Nismo
Peugeot 308 R HYbrid
Peugeot 408 GT
Porsche 718 Cayman
mid 2016
Porsche Mission E
Porsche Pajun
Renault Alpine
Toyota FT-1 (Supra)
TVR sports car
Vauxhall sports car
Volkswagen Golf R400
late 2016
Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8


Abarth 500X
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Aston Martin DBX
Audi Q2
Audi Q5
late 2016
Audi Q6
Audi Q7 e-tron
late 2016
Audi Q8
Audi RS Q2
Bentley Bentayga Coup
late 2016
Bentley Bentayga Speed
late 2016
BMW 1 Series Sport Cross
BMW i5
spring 2017
late 2016
Citroen Grand Cactus
Ford Kuga facelift
late 2016
Infiniti QX30
Jaguar Baby F-Pace
Kia Niro Hybrid
Lamborghini Urus
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Discovery 5
early 2017
Maserati Levante
Mazda CX-4
early 2017
Mazda large SUV
Mercedes GLC Coup
late 2016
Mitsubishi ASX facelift
Mitsubishi Shogun
Nissan Juke
summer 2018
Nissan Qashqai facelift
Peugeot 2008
Peugeot 3008
Porsche Cayenne Coup
Qoros 2 SUV
Qoros 3 City SUV
Renault Alaskan pick-up
late 2016
Renault Koleos
early 2017
Rolls-Royce Cullinan
SEAT Ateca
late 2017
Skoda Coup SUV
Skoda Kodiaq
Skoda Yeti
SsangYong Tivoli XLV
late 2016
Suzuki Ignis
spring 2017
Tesla Model X
Toyota C-HR
Vauxhall Mokka X
Vauxhall large SUV
Volkswagen Tiguan XL
Volkswagen Golf SUV
Volkswagen T-Cross
Volkswagen Touareg
Volvo XC40
Volvo XC60

Renault Scenic
Vauxhall Zafira X

late 2016


Audi R8 Spyder
BMW i8 Spyder
BMW M2 Convertible
Fiat 124 Spider
Infiniti QX50
Jaguar XE Convertible
Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet
MercedesS-Class Cabriolet

Alpina B7
Audi A8
BMW 5 Series
Infiniti Q80
Lexus LF FC
Rolls-Royce Phantom
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late 2016
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11 May 2016 47

Road tests

Visit for the latest new cars and drives


Storming 365bhp baby
M car meets Audi RS3
and Ford Focus RS.

Bentley Bentayga

Price: 161,375
Engine: 6.0-litre W12, 600bhp
0-60mph: 4.1 seconds
Test economy: 17.9mpg/3.9mpl
CO2: 296g/km Annual road tax: 515

48 11 May 2016



Hybrid SUV stands out
with its space-age looks
and tech. Does it deliver?



Family man bids a fond
farewell to MPV after
nearly a year on fleet.

Range Rover

Price: 149,800
Engine: 5.0-litre V8, 542bhp
0-60mph: 5.1 seconds
Test economy: 16.5mpg/3.6mpl
CO2: 299g/km Annual road tax: 515

It promises a stunning
mix of luxury and pace,
but can Bentleys new
Bentayga knock out the
ultimate Range Rover?

WITH the surge in popularity of SUVs,

it was only a matter of time before the
worlds luxury brands stepped into the fray
with plush offerings for the monied elite.
And the first company to hit the market
is Bentley with the new Bentayga.
The British firms first SUV aims to mix the
luxury of Bentleys high-end saloons with

the pace to make it the worlds fastest offroader. And with a handcrafted interior and
colossal 6.0-litre W12 engine, the Bentayga
should set new benchmarks in both fields.
Its the first of a fresh breed of luxury SUVs,
but here it faces an existing model thats
been given a high-end update to take on
this new wave. The Range Rover has set the

standard for SUV luxury for over 40 years,

and now Jaguar Land Rovers Special Vehicle
Operations division takes this to another
level with the bespoke SVAutobiography.
So, can the Range Rover remain at the
pinnacle of the luxury SUV class? Or does
the Bentayga move the sector to a new level
of luxury, performance and exclusivity?

Pictures: Pete Gibson Location: Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, Leics

11 May 2016 49

Road tests

Bentley Bentayga vs Range Rover

MODEL TESTED: Bentley Bentayga

PRICE: 161,375 ENGINE: 6.0-litre W12, 600bhp

BENTLEY has gone bold with its rst ever SUV.

Claiming unrivalled performance, handling,
off-road ability and luxury, the Bentayga promises to
raise the bar for upmarket off-roaders. It shares many
of its underpinnings with the current Audi Q7, while
the only engine choice is a heavily revised version of
the 6.0 W12 from the Continental GT. At launch, there
will be a limited run 230,675 First Edition model,
but here we test the standard 161,375 version.

Styling 3.7/5
WHILE the unashamedly bold Bentayga wont be to
all tastes, theres no denying the imposing newcomer
attracts attention. The raised ride height and boxy
SUV proportions will be unfamiliar to fans of the
brands traditional coups, convertibles and saloons,
but the new creation is recognisably a Bentley.
At the front, youll nd the trademark rectangular
mesh grille thats anked by a pair of large circular
headlamps, while looking down the sides reveals
large, squared-off wheelarches that take their cues
from the Continental GT coup. Move around to
the rear and youll spot the Mulsanne-inspired
tail-lamps and chrome number plate surround.
Climb into the Bentayga and youre immediately
struck by the opulence of its handcrafted cabin, but
its not perfect. For instance, the cup-holders are
made from cheap plastic. Plus, the cabin lacks the
airy and spacious feel of the Range Rover take the
luxury ttings out, and you could be in a Q7 or
Porsche Cayenne. Even so, the combination of
lustrous wood trim, soft leather and cool metal
inserts gives the interior a cosseting club-class
atmosphere, while the exquisite t and nish lifts
the Bentley above mainstream premium machines.
Look beyond the old-school luxury, though,
and youll discover plenty of cutting-edge kit, such
as an intuitive eight-inch infotainment system that
dominates the centre console. As youd expect with a
car costing over 160,000, it comes crammed with
standard kit, including sat-nav, WiFi, soft-close
doors, a panoramic roof and LED headlamps.
Of course, it is possible to personalise your car
with bespoke wood veneer and leather nishes. Plus,
you can add extras such as the 4,520 All Terrain spec,
which brings underside protection and a surround
view camera, or the 5,900 Touring Specication
that bundles together safety kit such as adaptive
cruise control, lane keep assist and a head-up display.
Get carried away with the options and the
price can soon rocket even more our car had
over 30,000 of extras, taking it to nearly 200,000.

Driving 4.3/5
IN a bid to ensure its rst SUV is up to scratch from
behind the wheel, Bentley has tapped into the vast
off-roader knowledge bank of owner Volkswagen.
The Bentayga is based on the same MLB architecture
as the Q7 and next-generation Cayenne, so
composed and agile handling should be standard.
However, its the Bentleys twin-turbo 6.0-litre
W12 thatll grab your attention rst. Boasting an
eye-popping 600bhp and 900Nm of torque at just
1,350rpm, it allowed the Bentayga to dominate our
performance tests. Quick shifts from the eight-speed
auto box meant it sprinted from 0-60mph in just 4.1
seconds, which was one second faster than the Range
Rover. Yet in other respects, the W12 is a model of
unustered renement. Its near-silent at idle and

50 11 May 2016

Testers notes

The Bentleys interior is a masterclass in

handcrafted luxury and renement, but that
doesnt mean the brand isnt taking technology
seriously. As youd expect, theres the usual mix
of TFT screens and touchscreen infotainment
systems, but a host of other options includes
an Apple smartwatch app that allows owners
to remotely adjust the seats and air-con,
plus access the cars trip computer data.

James Disdale Road test editor

when cruising, while pushing hard only results in a

muted growl. Theres barely any wind noise, and the
air-suspensions soft ride means it handles bumps
with the same supple composure as its rival, although
broken surfaces send a shudder through the cabin.
In a corner, however, the Bentley responds with
the poise and agility of a car half its size. You can
choose from Comfort, Bentley, Custom and Sport
driving modes, and in the latter, the air springs tense
up, plus the Dynamic Ride roll control function keeps
the car at and stable. Yet our car struggled when
braking hard. The combination of torque vectoring
and the hefty 2,440kg kerbweight meant the all-disc
set-up wilted under the exertion of even moderate use.
Turn off the beaten track and the Bentayga will
take some serious mud-plugging in its stride. Its not
quite as accomplished as the Range Rover, but the
combination of variable ride height, sophisticated
four-wheel drive and hill descent control allows you
to explore places few other luxury cars can reach.

Ownership 4.2/5

On the road
W12 engine gave Bentayga
a performance advantage,
and its rened as well as
fast. Ride is smooth, too

Bentley Be

BENTLEY didnt feature in our Driver Power 2016

satisfaction survey, but as the brand has an emphasis
on bespoke customer service and a network of 23
carefully selected dealers, owning and running one
of its cars should be a pleasure rather than a pain.
The revised W12 has been proven in other models,
while much of the Bentleys structure and electronics
are shared with the Q7. That extends to the safety kit,
as the newcomer gets eight airbags, stability control
and tyre-pressure monitoring. Youll have to pay extra
for items like adaptive cruise control and a surroundview camera both are standard on the Range Rover.

Running costs 2.4/5

IF youre already considering forking out 161,375 on
an SUV, its unlikely
likely youll be put off by the Bentaygas
high running costs. The hefty 2,440kg kerbweight
and mammoth 6.0-litre engine result in hefty
296g/km CO2 emissions, placing
the car in the top tax bracket.
Factor in thee higher list price,
and the Bentley
ley is easily the
more costly company car. We
also returned only
nly 17.9mpg
on test. Still, strong
rong demand
ing list mean
and a long waiting
ars are selling
nearly new cars
at a premium,, with First
Edition versionss advertised
for nearly 300,000.

BENTLEY handles well,
and while its tighter in
rear than Range Rover,
instruments look great.
Dash is beautifully built

Bentley Bentayga vs Range Rover

Load bay

Bentley handles bumps with the same

pp composure
as the Range
g Rover


Road tests

LUGGAGE capacity isnt great, with a maximum

of 484 litres, although its accessed by standard
powered tailgate. Plus, our model was equipped
with the handy 2,400 retractable Event seat





Running costs


Boot (seats up/down)



17.9mpg (on test)

515 or 37%

487/1,774 litres

4.1/3.3 seconds


92 fill-up

Practicality 3.8/5
DESPITE its large external dimensions, the Bentley
cant quite match the Range Rover for space and
versatility. A four-seater layout is an extra cost
option, but in either guise, theres plenty of room.
Despite its lower rooine even taller occupants
will be able to stretch out in comfort. Up front,
the driver gets a wide range of seat and wheel
adjustment, plus theres plenty of handy storage.
Raising the powered tailgate reveals an open
but disappointingly cramped 484-litre boot. Our
car was tted with the 2,400 retractable Event
seat, which functions like the Range Rovers split
tailgate. It does eat into load space, though, plus
it felt a little imsy with two adults perched on it.

Testers notes

The t and nish of the Bentley has to be

seen and felt to be believed. Yet while the
soft leathers and rich wood veneers add to
the sense of occasion, its disappointing to
nd Audi-sourced switchgear in the cabin.

Dean Gibson Deputy road test ed.

11 May 2016 51

Road tests

Bentley Bentayga vs Range Rover

MODEL TESTED: Range Rover SVAutobiography

PRICE: 149,800 ENGINE: 5.0-litre V8, 542bhp

THE Range Rover has been on sale for more

than 40 years, but the current model is only the
fourth generation to hit showrooms. It was launched
in 2012, and features all-aluminium construction, a
range of V6 and V8 engines, plus long and shortwheelbase bodystyles. Here we test the agship
SVAutobiography model in SWB form, with the
542bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8. It costs 149,800.

Styling 4.1/5
THERES a simple elegance to the Range Rovers
design thats an evolution of whats preceded it,
but its arguably a more elegant machine than the
Bentayga. It certainly doesnt look as fussy, with
plenty of minimalist details and classic design cues.
The SVAutobiography gets some unique details,
while Land Rovers Special Vehicle Operations
division allows you to personalise plenty of features.
Up front, the Range Rover script on the bonnet has
knurled black letters with a chrome outline, plus
the grille is nished in graphite grey with chrome
inserts. Further back, there are 21 and 22-inch wheel
options (the latter feature on our car), while the side
vents on the doors also have chrome detailing.
While the exterior of the SVAutobiography is
subtly different to other Range Rovers, its the cabin
that really sets it apart. For starters, its a strict fourseater thanks to the standard upgrade to business
seating that adds a large centre console between the
back seats. But theres acres of soft leather and handnished wood veneers that challenge the Bentayga
for quality, while the premium switchgear adds
even more class to the cabin. But what really lifts the
Range Rover above its rival is its imperious driving
position and the sense of space the cabin creates.
A price tag just short of 150,000 is steep, but the
SVAutobiography has a long list of kit, including rear
digital TV with wireless headphones, reclining massage
rear seats and electric tables, four-zone climate
control, adaptive cruise and 360-degree cameras.
Whats more, equipment such as a head-up
display, a heated leather steering wheel and a walnut
veneer extendable boot oor can all be specied at no
extra cost, while bespoke tailgate seating, which adds
two fold-out leather chairs you mount on the lower
tailgate, can be tted for 5,900. They look classier
and are sturdier than the Bentleys similar option.

Driving 4.0/5
THE Range Rover has always been about rened
luxury, and the SVAutobiography takes this to
another level. The cabin is quiet and serene, and the
only noise from that commanding driving position
at idle is a faint burble from the engine. But the
supercharged 5.0-litre V8 packs a mighty punch,
because its the same engine thats found in the rapid
Range Rover Sport SVR. In the SVAutobiography,
the 542bhp unit propelled the car from 0-60mph
in 5.1 seconds, and although thats a second slower
than the Bentayga, its still mind-bendingly fast for
a 2.3-tonne SUV, and it delivers an evocative V8
soundtrack that the Bentayga simply cant match.
The eight-speed auto shifts smoothly between
ratios, and the engines 680Nm of supercharged
torque is instantly available, even if it isnt quite as
responsive as the turbo Bentley. Cruising renement
is excellent at all speeds, but those larger 22-inch
wheels do add a slight dget to the ride over poor
surfaces although its no worse than its rival. While

52 11 May 2016

Testers notes

The Range Rover SVAutobiography is a plush

SUV, but it hasnt sacriced off-road ability in
the pursuit of luxury. The raft of electronics,
cameras and sensors on board means even
the toughest terrain is childs play. The Terrain
Response system can raise the car by 65mm
to help the car clear obstacles, while the
Wade Sensing function allows you to make
the most of its 900mm wading depth.

James Disdale Road test editor

the Range Rover is composed and barely rolls

in corners, you can feel that it struggles to
contain its weight when compared to the Bentley,
plus its light steering lacks the speed, weight
and precision of its rivals set-up. Thankfully,
Land Rover has tted huge Brembo brakes, and
they inspire more condence than Bentleys.
One area where the Range Rover will steal an
advantage over the Bentayga is with its off-road
ability. The Terrain Response system adjusts the
transmission and air-suspension to suit different
off-road conditions, so the only limit to where the
Range Rover can go is its size, and how far youre
willing to take this 150k SUV off the beaten track.

Ownership 3.8/5
THE Range Rover earned a ve-star Euro NCAP
rating at launch in 2012, and the brands expertise
in aluminium construction means it will hold up to
impacts just as well as a steel-bodied car. There is the
usual line-up of electronic driving aids, while a lowrange box, trailer assist, hill descent control and
permanent 4WD boost its safety credentials. When
we ran a Range Rover in 2013, it was given a software
update to cure some electrical niggles, and weve
heard of similar stories with customer cars.
With strong demand for its products, Land
Rover dealers have struggled to meet the high
expectations of its owners. However, if youre buying
an SVAutobiography, you should expect a personalised
service, including the option to visit the Land Rover
factory to collect your car and try it out on its offroad course, although Bentleys near tailor-made
customer experience may have the upper hand here.


RANGE Rovers supercharged

V8 isnt quite as potent as
Bentleys W12, but it sounds
great. Steering is a bit light

Range Rov

Running costs 2.3/5

CAPTAINS of industry will face a company car bill of
21,997 in the Range Rover. Thats 1,713 less than the
Bentaygas, but if youre quibbling about an extra
couple of grand on your tax bill, then you probably
shouldnt be looking at these cars in the rst place.
Our test saw a poor 16.9mpg return for the Land
Rover, but the standard 105-litre tank means it will
have a healthy range advantage over the Bentley.
While the longer range is a bonus, Range Rover
buyers face a hit come resale time. Our experts predict
a wallet-busting residual value of 28.1 per cent, so the
SVAutobiography will only be worth 42,000 after
three years, meaning youll lose almost 108,000. The
Bentayga is currently being offered at prices well over
list, so it will be interesting to see how it compares
once supply and demand have balanced out.

Practicality 4.3/5
IN the move upmarket, Range Rover has ditched the
rmiddle rear seat, so the SVAutobiography is only a fourseater. It more than makes up for it with plush seating
and multimedia in the rear, while for an extra 15,700
you can boost legroom by going for the long-wheelbase
model. Plus, lower the air-suspension to Access Mode,
and the car drops by 50mm for easier entry and exit.
Boot space is good. Hands-free tailgate opening is
standard its 650 on the Bentley as is the split design
with the lower half doubling as a seat. Another useful
piece of kit is the 360-degree camera, which aids parking.

Bentley Bentayga vs Range Rover

Road tests

515 or 37%


Boot (seats up/down)
909/2,030 litres

5.1/4.2 seconds


Auto shifts smoothly, and 680Nm

of torque
q is instantly
y available


Running costs
16.5mpg (on test)
114 fill-up

INSIDE, the SVAutobiography has a real sense of
occasion, with mix of leather and wood veneers,
while rear is strictly for two. Boot space trails the
Bentleys, but split tailgate comes as standard

purposeful grille,
Range Rovers
V8 emits a
pleasing warble
when extended.
table in the
rear folds out

Tailor made
BUYERS can really go to town
with the Bentaygas appearance.
Bentley offers 15 standard
metallics and 90 special shades
for extra cost. If you have a
specic colour in mind, the
company will match the car to
it, and theres a similar level of
personalisation for the leather
and veneers in the cabin, too.
There are eight wheel options
in 20 and 21-inch sizes, while
you can colour code the lower
bodywork, remove the roof
rails, add extra chrome trim or
upgrade to different Specication
packages, all for extra cost.
There are two wheel options on
the Range Rover SVAutobiography
a 21-inch polished design or the
22-inch dark grey rims (above)
plus xed or sliding panoramic
roof options. These can all be
had at no extra cost, while Land
Rover offers 42 body colours.
Again, standard metallics are
included, but Spectral paint, which
changes colour according to the
light, costs 8,285. Also, you can
get Dual Tone colours for 9,315;
these feature black paint from the
beltline up and a choice of nine
colours for the lower half of the
car. These options are exclusive
to the SVAutobiography model.

Testers notes

If the steep running costs of a 150k SUV

leave you sweating, you can also buy the
SVAutobiography with the 4.4 SDV8 diesel.
It claims 33.6mpg, but costs 156,900, as
it only
y ccomes in long-wheelbase guise.

Sean Carson Senior road tester

11 May 2016 53

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Bentley Bentayga vs Range Rover


On the road price/total as tested
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)
Annual tax liability std/higher rate
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)
Insurance group/road tax band/cost
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service

Range Rover

Peak power/revs
Peak torque/revs
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel
Boot capacity
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

542/6,000 bhp/rpm
680/3,500 Nm/rpm
8-spd auto/4WD
105 litres/full size
909/2,030 litres
12.1 metres/N/A
3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
16,000 miles (1yr)/130

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

5.1/4.2 secs
2.5/3.3 secs
4.2/6.3/8.3/12.9 secs
16.5/3.6/381 miles

Airbags/Isofix/park assist/360 cam

Auto box/stability/adaptive cruise ctrl
Four-zone climate/leather/clim. seats
Met paint/LED lights/air-suspension
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/rear seat TV




NEITHER model is
a cheap business
option, but a lower
price means the
Range Rover is a
slightly less costly
company car.

THE Range Rover
has always set the
towing standard
with its hefty
3,500kg capacity,
but this figure
is reduced to
3,000kg on SVA.

cant match the
Bentleys 187mph
maximum, its
standard 140mph
top speed can
be increased to
155mph by adding
22-inch wheels.


VERDICTS dont come much

closer, but the Range Rover
takes victory here. In the world of
luxury SUVs, the SVAutobiography still
sets the standard. Interior quality is on
par with the Bentley, plus there are far
more surprise and delight details. Its
not as fast and agile as its rival, but its
still searingly quick and composed,
plus its refined and peerless off-road.
Its the ultimate luxury all-rounder.

o tests

600/5,000 bhp/rpm
900/1,350 Nm/rpm
8-spd auto/4WD
85 litres/space saver
484/1,774 litres
12.4 metres/0.34Cd
3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
10,000 miles (1yr)/23
4.1/3.3 secs
2.1/2.9 secs
3.3/4.6/5.8/9.4 secs
17.9/3.9/335 miles


OUR experts
havent calculated
residuals yet, but
used Bentaygas are
currently selling
at over list price.

BENTLEYS familiar
6.0-litre W12 is
heavily revised and
now has features
such as variable
twin scroll turbos
and cylinder
deactivation tech.

41dB on our
meter with the
Bentaygas engine
running was quieter
than the 44dB we
got for ambient
noise outside.

AT this price, youd
expect everything
to be included
as standard. But
youll still have
to fork out extra
for equipment
such as adaptive
cruise control.


THE Bentayga represents

a strong first SUV effort
for Bentley. Explosive performance,
agile handling and strong refinement
are major strengths, as is the ability to
tailor the cars looks and interior. It
just doesn't have the Range Rovers
sense of occasion or kit count. The
Bentayga is hugely polished, but
it drives too much like a top-spec
Audi Q7, which costs 90,000 less.

Deals &
Facts, figures and advice
powered by

IN Bentleys words, you

commission rather than
buy one of its cars. This
emphasis on bespoke
handcrafting means theres
no such thing as a deal to be
had on a Bentley certainly
not one thats as in much
demand as the Bentayga.
In fact, your only hope of
jumping the long waiting list
for the new SUV is to seek
out one of the early models
that have already made their
way into the classified ads.
However, youll have to be
prepared to pay handsomely
for the privilege of being one
of the first behind the wheel.
The cheapest example we
found was a car with delivery
mileage that was listed at a
whisker under 190,000. If
you want one of the desirable
First Edition models, youll
need to set aside an eyewatering 280,000.
Buying a Range Rover is
a little more straightforward,
as the SVAutobiography car
is available via the brands
Freedom PCP, with an APR
of 6.9 per cent. This flexible
deal allows you to choose
your deposit, then set a
contract length of between
25 and 49 months. At the
end, theres an optional
final payment or you can
simply hand the car back.

Rate your insurance and

breakdown provider now

^Manufacturer ranking from Driver Power 2016; dealer ranking from 2015. *Top speed is 155mph when fitted with 22-inch wheels; 140mph on 20 and 21-inch rims. In red = equipment fitted to our test car.


Is it worth waiting
for this model?

Lamborghini Urus

DUE: 2018 PRICE: 190,000 (est)

ENGINE: 5.2-litre V10, 602bhp
NOT exactly coming soon, as its due
in 2018, but the Urus should be on the
radar of anyone wanting the fastest SUV
around. Its likely to use the same V10
as Lamborghinis Huracn, and should
challenge the Bentayga for top speed.

11 May 2016 55

Road tests

BMW M2 vs rivals



In one of the most eagerly awaited performance car clashes of

2016, BMWs M2 faces two scorching rivals from Ford and Audi
IF youre after speed without breaking the
bank, then 2016 has been a brilliant year
so far. Back in Issue 1,409, Fords scorching
Focus RS saw off its four-wheel-drive rivals
in a showdown on Spanish roads, so its
now the hardcore hot hatchback to beat.
But theres now a new driver-focused model
prowling Britains B-roads. The BMW M2 has the

Focus squarely in its sights, and while it doesnt

boast as tempting a price tag as the Ford, it
promises to offer the same intoxicating mix of
driver involvement, adjustable handling and
dimensions that mean you can confidently deploy
all the power on real roads, not just race tracks.
Using engine components from its bigger
brothers, the M3 and M4, the M2 outguns

the Focus RS for outright power, but Audi

may have something to say about that.
The RS3 is as hot as the M2 and blends the
premium appeal of the BMW with the all-wheeldrive security of the Ford. The Audi lost out last
time round, but can it pull off a surprise win
back on British soil? We took all three for a
spin on the road and the race track to find out.

Otis Clay
Cla Location:
Locati Llandow,
Lland Glamorgan

56 11 May 2016

BMW M2 vs rivals

Road tests

The BMW M2 has the new Ford

Focus RS squarely in its sights


Price: 46,720
Engine: 3.0-litre 6cyl turbo, 365bhp
0-60mph: 4.8 seconds
Test economy: 25.1mpg/5.5mpl
CO2: 185g/km Annual road tax: 225

Audi RS3

Price: 40,805
Engine: 2.5-litre 5cyl turbo, 362bhp
0-60mph: 3.8 seconds
Test economy: 23.5mpg/5.2mpl
CO2: 189g/km Annual road tax: 265

Ford Focus RS

Price: 31,000
Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo, 345bhp
0-60mph: 5.0 seconds
Test economy: 24.3mpg/5.3mpl
CO2: 175g/km Annual road tax: 205

11 May 2016 57

Road tests

BMW M2 vs rivals



PRICE: 46,720 ENGINE: 3.0-litre 6cyl, 365bhp

M2 is responsive and precise on the

move, which inspires plenty of
condence. Balanced chassis keeps
car composed in corners

BMW has scaled down the successful M car

recipe for its M2, using bits of the larger M4
coups engine but beeng up the chassis with some
of that models suspension parts to create a hot and
hardcore two-door. Its not the cheapest performance
coup on sale, with prices starting from 44,080,
while our dual-clutch auto model comes in at
46,720. But is it, somehow, good value for money?

Styling 4.1/5
COMPARED to the standard 2 Series, with its
narrow body and simpler styling, the M2 looks
aggressive and pumped up even next to the Ford
Focus RS muscular body. With the M3 and
M4-inspired front and rear axles inserted under
the smaller models shell, the wheelarches have
grown to cover the much wider tracks, while
an aggressive front bumper skims the tarmac.
Its functional, too. The slashes help feed cooling
air to the engine and brakes, while the M2-specic
grille features narrower black chrome bars that
contrast nicely with our models standard Long Beach
Blue metallic paint. Theres more black chrome around
the windows, plus a strong crease running down the
muscular shoulder gives the car even more presence.
With its 19-inch alloys and short overhangs, the
BMW looks purposeful and squat, and puts a sizeable
footprint on the road. You can see this best from the
rear, where the M Division signature quad tailpipes
mark the M2 out as a serious performance car.
Subtle details like the boot lip spoiler, front wing
badges and blue-painted brake calipers mean the
M2 is a match for the Focus RS in the styling stakes,
but open the long coup door, and its instantly
obvious that the BMW is more special inside.
M-specic touches like the grey dials, sports seats
and carbon-look trim inlays lift the standard 2 Series
interior, while theres plenty of seat adjustment that
allows you to nd the perfect driving position.
You sit low in the drivers seat and feel very
much at the heart of the experience. The cabin is
usable on a daily basis, too, as its logically laid out
and full of equipment. The M2 sits at the top of the
2 Series range and features sat-nav, Bluetooth, cruise
control, DAB radio and parking sensors as standard,
while extras like heated seats and a reversing camera
are reasonably priced, at 295 and 330 respectively.
In fact, with only a few options specied, our
test car cost 48,350 signicantly more than
the Focus, but not too much more than the
46,720 list price and similar to the Audi RS3.

BMW offers the biggest boot on test, at
390 litres, but the rear seats dont fold as
standard 40:20:40 seats are a 175 option

Back seats
M2 is a strict four-seater, with space only
for two in the rear. Head and legroom are
adequate back there, yet access can be
tricky climbing behind the front seats

Testers notes


The M2 is the only car of the three offered with a

choice of gearboxes. Whereas the Ford is manual
only and the Audi gets a dual-clutch auto, the
BMW is available with a seven-speed DCT or a
six-speed manual. Going for the manual will save
you 2,500, while it also draws you into the
driving experience further. The DCT box is great,
too, shifting up and down snappily, while you
get launch control for race-style starts.

James Disdale Road test editor

Ownership 3.6/5
BMW placed 15th in our Driver Power 2016
satisfaction survey, which is some way short of the
likes of premium rivals Lexus and Jaguar. Even so, the
German brand was actually the highest-ranking
manufacturer of our trio, outdoing Audi by six
places and the more mainstream Ford by 12 spots.
Upgraded brakes, plenty of available grip and
sophisticated chassis electronics mean the M2
should give drivers peace of mind in terms of
security. Plus, with eight airbags, the car should also
offer impressive protection if the worst happens.

Running costs 3.0/5

IF youre buying a high-performance model like
one of the cars on test, the chances are fuel economy

58 11 May 2016

isnt at the top of your list of priorities. But even

so, its certainly worth considering and could save
you money in the long run. However, there was
virtually nothing to split these contenders on test.
The BMW was marginally more efcient than
the Audi and Ford, returning 25.1mpg compared
to 24.3 for the Focus RS and 23.5 for the RS3. Over
a years motoring, this only adds up to savings
of 78 and 160 over its respective rivals.
If youre a company car driver, CO2 emissions
will be more important. The M2 emits 185g/km,
and that combined with its high list price means
it falls into the 34 per cent Benet in Kind tax
band (the same as the 189g/km Audi). Higher-rate
taxpayers will have to shell out 6,298 a year or
a whopping 2,375 more than for a Focus RS.

BMW M2 vs rivals

Road tests

Driving 4.8/5
THE M2s turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six pumps out 365bhp,
which makes it the most powerful engine on test. But despite its
500Nm of torque giving it a 35Nm and 60Nm advantage over the
Audi and Ford respectively, the BMW was one second slower than the
RS3 over the 0-60mph sprint and only two-tenths ahead of the Focus.
This is partly due to the BMWs rear-wheel-drive conguration,
and with such hard-hitting power off the line, controlling the M2s
wheelspin means you cant use full throttle until you get rolling.
Once on the move, the detuned engine isnt quite as explosive as the
M4s which is denitely a good thing. It means you can use more
of what the engine has to offer without troubling the rear tyres.
Of course, you can play with the accelerator to adjust the cars
cornering line thanks to the chassis beautiful balance and the high
level of condence it serves up, and while the steering isnt full of
feel, its rate of response and precision give you great control.
With better traction in gear, the BMW asserted its dominance
during our 30-50mph and 50-70mph assessments, undercutting
the Audi and the Ford across the board by some margin.
But its not the M2s rampant acceleration, rapid shifts from the
dual-clutch box or that addictive, gruff six-cylinder soundtrack that
impress the most; instead the exploitable chassis takes that honour.
The BMW is best in Comfort mode, with a lighter weight to
the steering and a more compliant ride that allows the car
to ow with the road. This enables you to carry speed
and cover ground even more effectively.
Opt for Sport or Sport+, and the M2 feels more taut, yet not to the
point where its unsettled on the road like
its bigger brothers just enough
to add some extra edge to the
driving experience. Still,
it could be too
much for some.





Running costs





25.1mpg (on test)

225 or 34%

390 litres

4.8/3.6 seconds


56 fill-up

Practicality 3.4/5
AS the BMW M2 is a coup going against ve-door
hatchback rivals, you might think it would be at a
practicality disadvantage, yet it actually offers the
biggest boot, at 390 litres. However, the back seats
dont fold as standard, so youll have to spend 175
if you want the 40:20:40 split-folding option.
Long coup doors and folding front seats that also
slide forward mean access to the rear is OK, but it
still isnt as straightforward as with the ve-door
Ford or Audi. Once youre back there, headroom and
legroom are good, yet theres only space for two. Its
roomier in the front, with a high dash and supportive
seats providing a sporty feel, while material quality is
far better than in the Focus and a match for the RS3.

Testers notes

YOU sit low in the M2s drivers seat, while
signature M badges on the steering wheel,
dials and gearlever add a sporty feel to cabin

Electronic gimmicks are becoming more

popular on performance cars like these
the M2 has a Smokey Burnout function
that allows crowd-pleasing wheelspin at
low sp
speeds. Just dont use it on the road!

Dean Gibson Dep. road test editor

11 May 2016 59

Road tests

BMW M2 vs rivals


Driving 4.8/5

PRICE: 31,000 ENGINE: 2.3-litre 4cyl, 345bhp

FAST Fords have always been popular in the

UK, offering performance for the masses at
affordable prices and the latest Focus RS is no
different, taking things to the next level with a clever
four-wheel-drive system. Theres only one model
available, with prices starting from 30,000, so
here we test whats undoubtedly a great fast Ford.
Does it have what it takes to get the better
of BMWs special M2 and the rapid Audi RS3?

Styling 3.9/5
TURNING the standard, anonymous-looking
Focus into a hardcore hatchback is no mean feat
especially when the aggressively styled ST model
already exists. So, Fords designers had to go even
more extreme with the RS looks, and theyve
certainly delivered the goods here. Plus, while the
in-your-face design might not suit everyones tastes,
theres no doubting that the Ford commands
attention even next to the pumped-up BMW.
Our test car has plenty of presence, with its 595
19-inch black forged alloy wheels covering the blue
Brembo brake calipers, plus its 745 Nitrous Blue
paintwork. Yet unlike the lesser Focus ST with its
gaping mesh grille, the RS gets a black plastic insert
and an even sharper front bumper with bright LED
running lights to signal its performance potential.
Big RS badges are dotted around the bodywork,
and the chunky side sills combined with the lower
ride height, large rear spoiler and bumper insert
housing the twin tailpipes provide the Focus with
a distinctive shape. Some neatly dened creases
on the bonnet and doors plus the regular cars
narrow headlight units mean the slightly
bulbous Ford appears much sharper in RS
guise, which is helped by its tail-up stance.
Its not as stylish or shapely as the BMW, while
if you open the Fords door, youll quickly realise
that its not as nicely appointed inside, either. But
you just have to keep reminding yourself of that price
tag the RS is an incredible 15,720 cheaper than the
M2 and gets enough equipment to match the BMW,
too, with DAB radio, Bluetooth and climate control
all coming as standard, operated by Fords smart
eight-inch SYNC2 infotainment system.
The money youd save can be spent on a few
choice options, too sat-nav and a rear-view
camera come as part of the 465 Premium SYNC2
Navigation Pack, but if you want parking sensors
youll have to add the 1,000 Luxury Pack, which also
brings cruise control, tinted windows and keyless go.
Our test model also featured the 1,145 Recaro RS
bucket seats, which took the price to 35,135. These
are fantastic and a worthwhile addition, even if the
xed subframes mean you sit slightly too high.

years poll isnt exactly impressive, either. Still, this

wasnt too far behind BMW or Audis garages.

Running costs 3.6/5

MAINSTREAM brands like Ford always ensure
running costs arent too steep, even with performance
models. While fuel economy might not be great,
Fords dealer rates arent excessive, with three years
servicing on the Focus RS setting you back 570.
However, BMWs 800 ve-year/50,000-mile
servicing pack is actually better value, working out
at 160 every year. Fixed-price servicing on the RS3
makes it more expensive to keep on the road, with
routine maintenance coming in at 328 per year.

Testers notes

The RS gets four different driving settings,

including Drift mode. This changes the
parameters of that trick four-wheel-drive
system, pushing power to the outside rear wheel
when you plant the throttle. Its extremely clever,
but it feels like the Focus is ghting itself as the
computer shufes power around to sustain
the slide. In Track mode, the effect is less
aggressive and helps to extract more speed.

James Disdale Road test editor


THE RS is all about its trick all-wheel-drive powertrain. With

torque vectoring, the rear differential can divert all of the
power sent to the rear axle (up to 70 per cent of the engines
output) to just one wheel, making the RS extremely agile.
It helps on turn-in, but the effects are even more
noticeable on the exit of corners if you use full throttle,
the Focus squats, tucks in tighter and res you out the other
side. This is a devastatingly effective road car, as the
transmission allows you to deploy everything on offer.
And thats quite a lot, as the tuned 2.3-litre four-cylinder
turbo pumps out 345bhp and 440Nm of torque. On test, the
RS sprinted from 0-60mph in ve seconds at, losing out
slightly to the BMW due to longer gearshifts from the
manual gearbox. The Audi was faster still, taking 3.8 seconds.
The box isnt all about speed, though instead, the
manual is sweet to use, with a relatively light but positive
shift action. Plus, the engines top end doesnt feel as
free-revving as the BMWs, so its better to change up
earlier and drop the revs back into the heart of the power.
It has a bespoke steering rack, ditching the STs variable
ratio item, and its all the better for it. The weighting is
perfect, and although theres not much lock, its very fast.
With huge reserves of grip to call on, it means you can ick
the Focus through bends, changing direction quickly.
This agility is also down to the chassis. The RS is rm and
features springs and dampers that are 33 per cent stiffer
than the STs at the front, and 38 per cent rmer at the rear.
The ride is harsh as standard, yet just about bearable,
but put the dampers into Sport mode, and the suspension
gets 40 per cent rmer again, meaning on anything other
than super-smooth roads, the RS tends to bounce and
pitch aggressively and thump over motorway cats eyes.

Ford Focus
Load area
FOCUS 260-litre boot is the smallest on test
thanks to the addition of a rear diff. Still, space
rises to 1,045 litres with the rear seats folded

Ownership 3.4/5
AUTONOMOUS emergency braking (AEB) is
available on the Focus for 200, helping to improve
the cars safety credentials. And with six airbags
as standard, the RS inherits the regular hatchbacks
maximum ve-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
Big Brembo brakes offer massive stopping power,
while theres lots of grip and the security of fourwheel drive to lean on. Like the BMW, two-stage
electronic stabililty control (ESC) is also standard.
Ford nished way down the order in our Driver
Power 2016 manufacturers chart, taking 27th place,
while a result of 26th for dealer satisfaction in last

60 11 May 2016

FIVE doors mean access
to the rear seats is
easy, and when youre
back there, you get
plenty of space

Road tests

FOCUS RS is a true joy to drive, with the smart torque
vectoring system giving you the licence to re out of
corners. Plus, four-wheel drive provides masses of
traction, while the manual gearbox is quick and engaging

s RS





Running costs


Boot (seats up/down)



24.3mpg (on test)

205 or 32%

260/1,045 litres

5.0/4.3 seconds


67 fill-up

Practicality 3.4/5
ADDING a rear diff to the Focus has cut down on the
standard cars already small boot, so in the RS theres
only 260 litres on offer. Some superminis actually
offer more luggage room than this, but at least if you
fold the seats down space rises to 1,045 litres.
Five doors make access easy, while the hatchback
body also means rear room is better than in the M2.
However, the lack of steering lock means youll need
plenty of three-point turns when manoeuvring,
plus the rm ride might be too much for some.
Clever features like Fords 85 door protectors
should reduce car park dings, and as this car is based
on the standard Focus, it benets from the same
usable features, like cup-holders and good storage.

Testers notes

BESPOKE blue dials feature an upshift light to
tell you when to change gear; snappy six-speed
gearbox makes icking between ratios fun

Despite all the clever tech on offer, this is

a proper drivers car. We love the way the
Focus RS handles, and the 4WD system has
unlocked a new level of performance. This
willl g
go down as one of the great fast Fords.

Dean Gibson Dep. road test editor

11 May 2016 61

Road tests

BMW M2 vs rivals

MODEL TESTED: Audi RS3 Sportback

PRICE: 40,805 ENGINE: 2.5-litre 5cyl, 362bhp

THE Audi RS3 sits in between the Ford Focus RS
and BMW M2 when it comes to price and
power. At 40,805, it still costs considerably more
to buy than the Ford, but as it boasts the German
brands quattro four-wheel-drive system, a
rip-roaring engine and ve-door practicality, it
hopes to blend the best of both worlds.

Styling 4.0/5
THE RS3 is only available in ve-door Sportback
format, but its enhanced body makes it look stocky
and muscular next to its rivals here. The deep front
bumper and RS trademark blistered wheelarches,
which pay homage to the original Audi Quattro,
also contribute to the cars aggressive stance.
Our test models black paintwork doesnt highlight
the RS3s boxy lines quite as sharply as other colours
in the range, yet theres plenty of contrasting bright
chrome work. The standard A3 this car is based on
has been massaged to the same degree as the regular
models underpinning the BMW and Ford, with
deeper front and rear bumpers marking it out.
A smattering of RS badges on the big front grille
and the bootlid give the Sportback a special look,
while big twin oval tailpipes and a boot lip spoiler
reinforce its sporting credentials although our cars
250 roof rails look out of place on such a hot hatch.
The styling is a little more reserved inside, with a
mix of high-quality plastics, soft Alcantara and lots of
leather for the supportive sports seats. This creates
an upmarket ambience that rivals the BMW.
RS-specic dials combine with more racy touches
like the RS-badged at-bottomed steering wheel,
brushed aluminium pedals and carbon-bre inlays to
deliver a nice balance between comfort and sportiness.
This combined with the level of standard
equipment on offer means the RS3 is just as easy to
cover miles in as a standard A3. Sat-nav (easy to use
as part of Audis familiar MMI system), Bluetooth,
heated seats and parking sensors are all on the list.
However, like the M2, if you want to upgrade the
standard spec, ticking even a few option boxes will
see the price rise sharply. Our test car featured a
sports exhaust to release a few more decibels from
the sonorous engine costing 1,495 as part of
the Dynamic Pack, which also includes adaptive
dampers (available separately for 995) plus cruise
control at 225 and Audis 1,145 Technology Package.
These extras took the price of our RS3 to a hefty
43,455, which closes up the price gap to the BMW.

Driving 4.1/5
FOUR-wheel-drive traction, launch control and a
seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
make the most of the 362bhp on offer from the
2.5-litre ve-cylinder, so its no surprise the RS3
performed like a rocket ship off the line in our tests.
The 0-60mph sprint was dispatched in a swift
3.8 seconds, meaning this family hatch offers nearsupercar levels of acceleration. Even so, the Audi
couldnt match the BMW in gear, and the Focus also
managed to match it in most tests. Thats in spite of
the RS3 boasting 25Nm more torque than the Ford.
Longer gearing explains some of the difference.
Although the Audi held its own in terms of
straight-line performance, it cant match how the
M2 and Focus RS handle. That large ve-cylinder unit
up front gives the RS3 a nose-heavy feel in corners,
and while theres enough grip in most situations,

62 11 May 2016

Testers notes

Unlike the BMW and Ford, the Audi doesnt

feature any trick driving modes but if you go for
the 2,495 Dynamic Package Plus, you will be
able to feel the full extent of the RS3s engine.
This lifts the cars standard 155mph speed limiter,
derestricting the RS3 and pushing the top speed
up to 174mph where the law permits, according
to Audi. However, it seems a seriously steep
option that you may never see the benet of.

James Disdale Road test editor

the car starts to understeer sooner than its rivals

when you push a little harder. Its not as adjustable
at normal speeds, either, and while the steering
is light and quick, it has the least feel here.
Plus, the Audis quattro four-wheel-drive system
isnt as sophisticated as the Fords, and most of the
time it feels like a front-wheel-drive hot hatch. The
gearbox is a little sluggish on upshifts compared to
the BMWs dual-clutch transmission, too, yet it gives
a nice blip on the way down the ratios, while the
sports exhaust lets even more of that rich, creamy
ve-cylinder sound permeate into the cabin.
Adjustable suspension dampers mean you can
tailor the Audis chassis, but even in Comfort mode,
the RS3 feels rm this isnt helped by its big 19inch alloy wheels that tend to crash over bumps.
Dial in the Dynamic setting, and the Sportback is
unsettled by bad surfaces even more, which actually
highlights how good the Focus damping is, even in
Sport mode. While the Ford feels very rm, it deals
with torn roads with more composure than the Audi.

AUDI was the fastest car on test from 0-60mph, with
launch control and four-wheel drive contributing to
a time of just 3.8 seconds. Still, the gearboxs tall
ratios meant that it didnt hold an advantage in gear

Audi RS3

Ownership 3.4/5
ALL three of our test cars are based on regular models
from their respective ranges, so get plenty of safety
kit as standard. The Audi A3 scored a full ve-star
crash test rating from Euro NCAP when it was tested
in 2012, and the RS3 was awarded the same score.
And with seven airbags and quattro traction to lean
on, it should be safe and provide plenty of security
in slippery conditions. Like its rivals, autonomous
emergency braking (AEB) is also available, at 255.
Audi slipped eight places to 21st in our Driver
Power 2016 survey and was criticised for its reliability
and running costs the latter will certainly be an issue
for RS3 owners. Yet the rm consistently scores well
for build quality, and our cars cabin feels worthy of its
40,805 price tag, matching the BMWs for solidity
and offering more upmarket appeal than the Fords.

Running costs 2.9/5

OUR experts predict that the Audi will hold on to
around 57.1 per cent of its original value after three
years. That compares to predicted values of 47.0 and
47.4 per cent for the M2 and Focus RS respectively.
The Ford counters this with its much cheaper
purchase price, so actually undercuts the Audi when
it comes to depreciation. The RS will lose a predicted
16,306, while the RS3 will shed 17,526 of its value.
As the BMW is much more expensive to buy and has
the weakest residuals, depreciation is eye wateringly
steep, at 24,762 over three years/60,000 miles.

Practicality 3.5/5
ADDING quattro four-wheel drive for the RS3 means the hardware
underneath eats into boot space, just like in the Focus. As a result,
theres only 280 litres of luggage room. Fold the seats down, and
this rises to 1,120 litres, which is 75 litres more than in the Ford.
The Audi is the easiest car to load thanks to the lowest boot lip
on test, while theres enough room in the rear to rival the Focus.
However, its in the front where the RS3 excels. Interiors are Audis
forte, with high-quality materials and other neat detailing
including bespoke RS touches like the seats and steering wheel
give the Audis cabin a special feel that neither car here can match.

BMW M2 vs rivals

Road tests

265 or 34%

Boot (seats up/down)
280/1,120 litres


Man vs machine
THE Focus features a much
hyped Drift Mode, and although
the system works, it doesnt
feel as natural as rear-wheel
drive. BMW does it the oldfashioned way, with a beautifully
balanced chassis on the M2.
While these two put the driver
at the heart of the action, the
Audi leaves you disappointed
by its numb, lifeless chassis.

3.8/3.1 seconds


feel blunts
handling; 280-litre boot
isnt the biggest, yet low
makes loading easy
lip ma



Running costs

OUR trio all have turbo engines,

but with different congurations.
The Ford has a four-cylinder that
produces rally car-style pops,
while the warbling ve-cylinder
Audi and silky six-cylinder BMW
sound expensive. The beauty of
the disparate units is how each
suits the character of the cars.

23.5mpg (on test)

60 fill-up

YOU get what you pay for
in terms of brand image. The
cheaper Ford has some boy
racer connotations, and while
the Audi and BMW can still play
the hooligan, the badges on
the Focus RS German rivals
arguably carry more appeal.

RS-specic dials
and logos on
brake calipers
add special feel;
cabin feels the
most upmarket
on test, while
rear is roomy
enough for
three adults

Testers notes

RS3 doesnt sparkle dynamically in the same

way as its rivals, but that glorious engine
and high-quality cabin make this easy to look
past. Its still a lovely high-performance hatch,
even if it is a little on the expensive side.

Sean Carson Senior road tester

11 May 2016 63

BMW M2 vs rivals

On-the-road price/total as tested
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)
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

Focus RS
570 (3yrs)

Peak power
Peak torque
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel
Boot capacity (seats up/down)
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight
Turning circle
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery
Service intervals/UK dealers
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.
NCAP: Adult/child/ped./assist/points

4cyl in-line/2,300cc
345/6,000 bhp/rpm
440/2,000 Nm/rpm
6-spd manual/4wd
62 litres/sealant
260/1,045 litres
11.9 metres
3yrs (60,000)/1yr
10,000 miles/781

30-50mph in 3rd/4th
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th
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

5.0/4.3 secs
2.4/3.0 secs
3.7/4.6 secs/N/A
24.3/5.3/331 miles

Airbags/Isofix/parking sensors/cam
Auto box/stability/cruise control/AEB*
Climate control/leather/heated seats
Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth



THE Focus RS
looks like excellent
value compared to
its German rivals,
as 30,000 gets
you a lot of
for your money.
FORD has had a
long association
with Cosworth,
and the tuning
firm has been
involved here,
making the
RSs cylinder head.
FOCUS steering is
great, but turning
circle isnt as
impressive as
the Audi RS3s.

FORD gets lots
of standard kit,
including DAB and
Bluetooth, but
wed recommend
adding the fantastic
Recaro bucket
seats, even if they
are a bit too high.



FORD has once again

delivered a performance
car for the people with this latest Focus
RS. Price, practicality and eye-popping
styling mean it carries a lot of appeal,
while it drives, handles and stops just
as well as the BMW. The fact that its
16,580 cheaper to buy than the
M2 and more cost effective to run
seals the deal. This is a great fast
Ford thatll go down in history.

o d tests


Audi RS3

800 (5yrs/50k miles)


6cyl in-line/2,979cc
365/6,500 bhp/rpm
500/1,400 Nm/rpm
7-spd auto/rwd
52 litres/sealant
390 litres/N/A
11.7 metres
3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
Variable (1yr)/153
4.8/3.6 secs
1.9/2.6 secs
3.2/4.1/5.7 secs
25.1/5.5/287 miles


BMW M2 is 5cm
wider than even
the blistered RS3,
which highlights
just how large
its footprint is.
grip is excellent.
THE M2 has the
engine of our trio,
plus the most
power and torque.
This advantage
showed during our
performance tests.

BMW gets eight
airbags as
standard, while
braking is a 390
option. However,
the M2 makes
do with rearwheel drive only.


THE M2s sublime

chassis balance and
more exotic engine tug on your
heartstrings, but its difficult to ignore
the price and how much of that itll
lose compared to rivals. Despite its
performance advantage on test, the
M2 is no faster than the Focus in the
real world. However, a bigger boot
and a plusher cabin mean the BMW
will be just as easy to live with.

5cyl in-line/2,480cc
362/5,550 bhp/rpm
465/1,625 Nm/rpm
7-spd auto/4wd
55 litres/sealant
280/1,120 litres
10.9 metres
3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
3.8/3.1 secs
2.2/3.1 secs
3.9/4.8/6.6 secs
23.5/5.2/284 miles

AUDIS predicted
residuals are way
stronger than its
rivals figures.
Focus RS loses
the least value
from its list
price after three
years, though.
AUDI has history
with five-cylinder
engines, using one
to win the World
Rally Championship.
The RS3 sounds
simply stunning.

RS3S stellar
0-60mph time is
comfortably the
fastest on test.
The five-door
offers straightline performance
thats almost
worthy of
a supercar.




THE RS3 falls into

third place. While its
powertrain is evocative of Audis
motorsport greats, its chassis cant
match whats under the bonnet. Its
beautifully built and certainly usable
plus theres no doubting the blistering
straight-line performance on offer
but at this price, the way the RS3
drives leaves you feeling cold and, in
this company, a little disappointed.

*Autonomous emergency braking. ^Manufacturer ranking from Driver Power 2016; dealers from 2015. **As part of Luxury Pack. ^^As part of Premium SYNC2 Navigation Pack. In red = equipment fitted to our test car.
Insurance quotes from AA (Tel 0800 107 0680 or for a 42-year-old living in Banbury, Oxon, with three penalty points. Residual values provided by CDL VIP Data.



Other options for

similar money...

NEW: Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

PRICE: 43,515 ENGINE: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 376bhp


NE: 3.0-litre 6cyl, 425bhp

COMBINING coup styling with four-door practicality, the new

CLA 45 also offers more power than the
M2 for less money. Four-wheel
drive and a dual-clutch box are
standard, helping it cover
0-62mph in 4.2 seconds,
and it has a 470-litre boot.

THE M2s big brother, the M4, is a big step up for performance,
but if you want the most explosive M car
around, a lightly used M4
4 coup
is within budget. Its slightly
faster, but its harder to
manage the engine. The
M2 feels better balanced..

11 May 2016 65

Our cars

Living with a Lexus NX

NXs 90 LEDs twinkle like the

stars Tim Peake can see from
the International Space Station

Lexus NX

FINAL REPORT SUV impressed with its

space-age looks, but fell a little short elsewhere
Stuart Milne

I DONT know what car astronaut Tim

Peake drives, but I wouldnt count against
a Lexus NX waiting for him when he returns
from the International Space Station. Many
cars promise futuristic, space-age looks,
but the NX is one of the few that delivers.
It carries 90 LEDs, including six in each
headlight which twinkle like the stars
Peake can see from his ofce window.
Incredibly, it has the same drag coefcient
as a Lamborghini Murcilago, which is
remarkable for a big, bluff SUV. Theres huge
attention to detail, too. There are no exposed
keyholes anywhere a rst for Lexus and
the backs of the door handles illuminate
as you approach the car in the dark.
You cant deny that those slashes and
bulging wheelarches give it a presence in
car parks packed with Range Rover Evoques,
Audi Q5s and BMW X3s. Its no less spaceage inside, either. The interior provides a

66 11 May 2016

ghter jet-style head-up display, neat milledeffect instruments and electrostatic switches
for the interior lights which require the
lightest brush to activate. Its the kind of
tech Star Trek promised us in the sixties.
F Sport models, and Premier versions like
ours, get wireless smartphone charging as
standard. This lets you charge your mobile
just by placing it on a tray between the front
seats, as long as your phone is compatible.
Elsewhere, a large display and clear
graphics make the NXs entertainment
system easy to get your head around.
That makes it all the more frustrating
that its hobbled by an awkward touchpad.
It requires the gentlest of touches to move
the cursor around the cars screen. Any
more than that and itll interpret the
motion as a click and youll end up
browsing a menu that you didnt ask for.
The 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor
goes some way to redeeming the NXs tech.
It uses cameras located around the car to
generate a birds eye view, a feature thats

becoming more common. What really

stands out is its ability to provide a view
as if the car was rotating on a turntable,
providing a very smart way of seeing any
obstacles before you set off. This is a good
job, because although visibility is generally
decent, the NX feels larger than it actually is.
Not that youd notice, but its shorter than
a Skoda Octavia, although the cabin is much
smaller. Theres enough space up front, but

the sloping rooine and the panoramic glass

roof rob headroom in the rear, and legroom
isnt great. At least the oor is at, so theres
space for a third rear passengers feet.
The seats are typically Lexus, and very
comfortable, and on our Premier car, they
have both heating and cooling functions.
Even though the hybrid system promises
impressive fuel economy, during 13,000
miles in the hands of more than a dozen

Living with a Lexus NX

Our cars

Pete Gibson

Lexus NX 300h
On fleet since: April 2015
Price new: 42,995
Engine: 2.5-litre 4cyl petrol/
electric motor, 192bhp
CO2/tax: 121g/km/110
Options: Metallic paint (645),
panoramic roof (1,000)
Insurance*: Group: 31 Quote: 601
Mileage/mpg: 12,896/35.8mpg
Any problems? None so far
*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a
42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.


If you get sick of the electric tailgates slow

opening, you can disable the function, as we
have during NXs time on fleet. But that leaves
you with a very heavy bootlid thats hard to lift


Switchgear operates as precisely as you expect

in a Lexus, and raft of kit means theres plenty of
it; heated and cooled seats have been welcome


Ride has let the SUV down, and visibility isnt

great, either, although the 360-degree camera
system does make parking manoeuvres easy

100 or 21%


Running costs


35.8mpg (on test)

475 litres

61 fill-up

Second opinion

drivers, the car recorded just 35.8mpg. But

the NXs Achilles heel is its ride quality.
While you might expect a luxury SUV to
smooth out the worst tarmac undulations,
it crashes over bumps. Potholes that would
cause no more than a wince in other cars on
occasion led to the Lexus being parked and
checked for wheel or suspension damage.
Put simply, the ride was too rm for me,
although Im clearly in the minority. In our

recent Driver Power owner satisfaction

survey, the NX nished 17th in the Top 150
cars and was rated rst in the build quality
category and fourth for seat comfort. Yet a
34th place ranking for ride quality was a
world away from my experience.
There are clearly many good reasons
why you might choose a Lexus NX, but
for me its many positive attributes
failed to compensate for its drawbacks.

The exterior has a futuristic

look, but the Lexus petrol/electric
underpinnings are starting to appear
a little old hat when compared to
newer hybrid models. For instance,
the bulky nickel-metal hydride
battery lacks the power of smaller
lithium-ion cells, while the 2.5-litre
four-cylinder petrol is out of step
with current downsizing trends.
Essentially, the NXs Dan Dare
styling hides technology thats
now a decade old. As a hybrid
pioneer, Lexus should be one
step ahead of the competition,
rather than two steps behind.

James Disdale
Road test editor

WE LIKE This is perhaps

Lexus most cohesive design
of recent years, with its series
of slashes and bulges providing
a tough, yet striking look

WE DONT The NX shines in

many areas, but not when it

comes to dynamics. Although
the ride is as rm as a hot hatch,
the SUV never thrills on the road


WITH those distinctive looks, great

interior quality, a raft of standard
equipment and Lexus superb
reputation for reliability, its easy
to see why buyers are attracted
to the NX. But a bone-shaking
ride, relatively small boot and
fuel economy that plummets as
soon as you take the car out of stopstart urban traffic mean it still lags
behind the best models in its class.

11 May 2016 67

Our cars

Living with a Toyota Verso

the most exciting car, but
well miss capable MPV
Steve Walker

THE Toyota Verso is leaving our eet,

but what have we learned about both
it and the wider MPV vs crossover debate?
As our Deep Titanium test car rides off
into the sunset, were left to wonder what
the future holds for the people carrier class.
This type of car was once the obvious choice
for a growing family, but has now been
usurped by the fashionable crossover.
Crossovers promise to do everything an
MPV can without making a driver look like
theyre constantly on the school run. Their
off-road overtones suggest the driver could
be off mountain biking or kite surng, even
though theyre probably just dropping the
kids off. Crossovers are just a bit sexier than
MPVs and, as you may have heard, sexy sells.
Thats the backdrop against which we say
goodbye to our mid-spec Verso Icon with its
BMW-sourced 1.6-litre diesel. In general, its
done a decent job, but its strengths centre
around the way it makes family life easy,
rather than the way it excites your senses.
The single best thing about the Verso was
the way it eliminated the question: Will it
t in the car? Obviously some people have
much more to carry than I do, but on family
holidays, supermarket trips and even visits
to well known Scandinavian atpack stores,
the Toyota swallowed everything asked of it.
Its a seven-seater as well, but those two
rearmost seats spent most of their time
stowed away. Theyre tiny, so while toddlers
will happily clamber in, even one smallish
adult would have major problems tting.
There wasnt even enough room to attach
our child car seats in the third row, even
with the middle bench pushed fully forward.
Accommodation in the front two rows
is far better. The kids loved the Skyview

The kids loved the

Skyview panoramic
roof and would insist
on it being opened
before any journey
68 11 May 2016

0-62mph/top speed


Running costs

Boot (seats up/down)

43.6mpg (on test)


440/1,696 litres

60 fill-up

panoramic roof and would insist on it being

ceremonially opened before we began any
Toyota handles
journey. So its a shame its been dropped
securely, but it
as an option, and is now only available
doesnt encourage
on pricier Design and Excel models.
any enthusiasm at
Theres also a comfortable driving position,
the wheel. Plus,
plus plenty of seat and steering adjustment.
it struggles when
In fact, the simplicity and solid feel of the
fully loaded with
seat mechanisms is another high point.
passengers or kit
On the road, the car is comfortable and
competent without really shining. Weve
never improved on our average 43-44mpg
fuel economy, but that seems pretty good
given how many miles weve done in town.
The 110bhp 1.6-litre diesel is reasonably
quiet, but performance is modest;
more so when fully loaded. Its a
similar story with the handling
although this is an easy car
The Verso is a little bit behind
to drive, with light controls,
the times in terms of technology.
its not particularly engaging.
Still, Toyota has tried to claw back
So thats the story with the
some ground with a facelifted
Toyota Verso, and the MPV. On
version that adds extra equipment
the whole, both lack pizzazz, but
across the range, as well as cleaner
you shouldnt write them off.
Euro 6 engines. Its on sale now.
While those practical qualities
might not thrill in the showroom,
Dean Gibson
in everyday life, theyre exactly
Deputy road test editor
what family car buyers need.

Second opinion

Living with a Toyota Verso

Pete Gibson


Our cars


Toyota Verso
1.6 D-4D Icon
On fleet since: June 2015
Price new: 21,995
Engine/torque: 1.6-litre 4cyl
turbodiesel, 110bhp
CO2/tax: 119g/km/30
Options: Metallic paint (495),
Toyota Touch 2 with Go sat-nav (750),
Skyview panoramic roof (550)**
Insurance*: Group: 14 Quote: 479
Mileage/mpg: 5,623/43.6mpg
Any problems? None so far
*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a
42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.
**Option now discontinued.

With its twotone paintjob

and big alloys,
308 GTi instantly
stands out. Now,
members of the
team are ghting
over the keys

Peugeot 308 GTi

UK buyers love a hot hatch. The success of cars like the Volkswagen
Golf GTI and Ford Fiesta ST has meant more and more makers are
tting a bigger engine and beeer brakes to standard hatches, offering
sports car performance in a practical package. Weve already got a
Honda Civic Type R on the eet, while our Audi RS3 is only recently
departed. Now, though, Peugeot wants to recreate the magic rst instilled
by its legendary 205 GTi, with this the 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport.
It produces 266bhp from a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and
sends its power through 19-inch front wheels shod in Michelin
Pilot Super Sport tyres. Our example certainly stands out from
the crowd with its two-tone Coup Franche paintjob. Its a 625
option and the theme was rst previewed on the exotic Onyx
concept car back in 2012. Well be spending the next few months
trying to discover whether the 308 has the driving thrills to
justify not only its extrovert colour scheme, but also its GTi badge.

Our fleet

WE LIKE Skyview panoramic

roof was loved by Steves kids,

and gave a light, spacious feel to
the cabin. Theres a comfortable
raised driving position, too

WE DONT The two rearmost

seats are too small for adults

to use, and cant even take our
child car seats. We mostly left
ours folded away in the boot oor



MPVS like the Verso are increasingly

being forgotten as buyers go for SUVs,
but interior is comfortable and spacious,
even if the plastics feel a little cheap

IT didnt set our pulses racing or

encourage us to take it for a drive
just for fun, but the sturdy and
dependable Verso proved theres
still life in the MPV yet. At the heart
of the cars appeal was its spacious
and well thought-out interior, which
made family trips a lot less stressful.

SsangYong Tivoli

A LEVER for the fuel ller cap might sound a

throwback to the nineties, but Carbuyer editor
Stuart Milne reckons it speaks volumes about
the SsangYong Tivolis wonderful simplicity.
Theres no call for electronic release
mechanisms here, just a plastic lever and a
cable. Theres no need to fumble around for an
oddly sited button, and its positioned out of
harms way so you wont inadvertently kick it.
The same can be said for the TomTom-based
sat-nav. While some systems force you to
input towns and streets in specic menus, the
Tivoli has a simple single search function.
It might take a little while to search for a
strangely named cul-de-sac or remote hamlet,
but it will get you there and wont leave
you tearing your hair out in the process.
What might irritate is the limited availability
of replacement tyres, as we discovered after
a brush with a kerbstone took a gouge out of
the sidewall. The Hankook Kinergy GT rubber
is only available from a handful of online
retailers, so a visit to a dealer is on the cards.

Rate your insurance and

breakdown provider now

Caterham Seven 270S

Issues 1,397, 1,404, 1,415
Ford S-MAX
Issue 1,415
Honda Civic Type R
Issues 1,405, 1,414
Jaguar XE
Issues 1,398, 1,411
Kia Sorento
Issues 1,395, 1,410
Land Rover Disco Sport
Issues 1,409, 1,416
Lexus NX 300h
Iss 1,377, 1,394, 1,402, 1,412
Mazda MX-5
Issue 1,420
MINI Clubman
Issue 1,419
Nissan Navara NP300
New arrival
Peugeot 308 GTi
New arrival
Porsche Macan
Issues 1,407, 1,413
Renault Kadjar
Issue 1,416
SEAT Ibiza
Issues 1,406, 1,408
Skoda Superb Estate
Issue 1,411, 1.420
SsangYong Tivoli
Issues 1,401, 1,407, 1,417
Toyota Verso
Issues 1,381, 1,391, 1,401
Volvo XC90
Issues 1,410, 1,419

11 May 2016 69


Visit for our extensive product archive




Got a query?


Campingaz Powerbox coolboxes
Price: From 89.99 Contact:

IF youre planning a holiday in the car this summer,

the new range of Powerbox 12V coolboxes from
Campingaz will interest you. Powered coolboxes
like these are perfect for families as the weather
heats up, allowing food and drinks to be kept cold
and fresh in the car, or in a tent or on the beach.
The new Campingaz Powerboxes come in 24L
(89.99), 28L (99.99) and 36L (129.99) sizes,
ensuring room for a picnics worth of supplies. The
thermoelectric Peltier cooling apparatus has been
upgraded with a quieter fan, and the maker claims
30 per cent better insulation than on the old model,
so the inside stays cooler for longer. Each box cools
to 22 degrees Celsius below ambient temperature.
There are also round edges, plus
small feet raise the boxes off the
ground to improve the insulation.
One of the key upgrades is the
addition of an antimicrobial liner to
prevent mould growth. But it isnt
just a surface treatment; the solution
is injected into the plastic during
moulding, ensuring it lasts the life of
the boxes, all of which are on sale now.

Powerbox range comes in

choice of sizes; feet raise them
off ground to improve insulation

Stop items sliding in boot

I CARRY most of my maintenance kit and
top-up fluids in the boot of my car, but
they slide around a lot and Im often
worried about spills. Is there a solution?
PaulTraynor, E-mail
BOOT liners cover the floor and stop things
from sliding around, plus they contain spills.
An alternative is a boot organiser, which grips
the carpet and has sections and pockets with
high sides to prevent items from moving. We
like Drapers 47650 (above). It costs around
25, is well built and has plenty of room for kit.


Campingaz says its

upgraded Powerbox
design with a new,
quieter fan, while
insulation is said
to be 30 per cent
better than on the
previous coolboxes



In-car vacuum required

IVE just spent a lot of money on a new vacuum
cleaner for the home, and I dont want it to get
damaged in my workshop. Can you recommend
a vac that I could use in the car and garage?
Joe Pearson, E-mail
A CORDLESS vacuum is a possible solution for
the car, but the best dont come cheap. A wet
and dry cleaner provides the kind of power and
capacity cordless vacuums can only dream of,
plus they can be used for liquids. The winner of
our Issue 1,337 test was the Nilfisk Multi 30T
which we found for around 119.99 online.

Get connected on the move

I SPEND most of my working day on the road
and need access to the Internet. Tethering my
laptop to my smartphone is erratic. Is there a
better way for me to get online on the move?
Ashleigh Barnett, E-mail
YOURE not the only one who wants to turn your
car into a WiFi hotspot, and a small market has
sprung up to make it possible. All hardware is
pretty much the same, but you need to shop
around for the right data package. Weve been
impressed by the EE Buzzard 2, which plugs in
to the 12V socket and provides a 4G connection.

11 May 2016 71


Latest kit rated

Offering up to 50 miles
of driving at 50mph after
a flat, DriveGuard tyres
fit on any car with a tyre
pressure monitoring system


New specialist oil

for Ford TDCi diesels

Bridgestone DriveGuard

Best price: 74.20 (205/55R16)

Contact: Rating:

JAPANESE tyre giant Bridgestone claimed its new

DriveGuard run-flat tyre was a game-changer when
it was launched earlier this year in France. Initial
impressions on the Cote dAzur (Issue 1,407) were
promising, as DriveGuard appeared to overcome one
of the main drawbacks of run-flats: poor ride comfort.
But how does the tyre fare on the UKs potholestrewn roads? Would that initial promise work on
British tarmac and give drivers here post-puncture
convenience without the harsh ride and high costs?
The DriveGuard claims to run for up to 50 miles at
50mph after a puncture, and its biggest draw is that
its designed to go on cars that dont have run-flats
as original equipment. Its lighter than a conventional
run-flat and doesnt require modified suspension. All
the car needs is a tyre pressure monitoring system.
We tried a set on a Mk6 Volkswagen Golf, and the
experienced fitters said the tyre was noticeably lighter
than the run-flats they had seen before. Plus, it was
much easier to fit backing up Bridgestones claims
of a lightweight casing and sidewall reinforcement.
On the road, the ride is slightly firmer than on
regular tyres, but that can be partially put down

to the fact we fitted 94W versions, as these were the only
ones available, rather than the mishmash of ageing
91V tyres that came off. Potholed and repaired roads
highlight the change in ride, but it remains acceptable.
More noticeable is the higher-pitched road noise,
although its not too intrusive and the firmness also
adds a welcome sharpness to the steering. Theres
no compromise on wet grip, either; the Driveguard
has achieved the top A rating in tyre label tests.
Bridgestone also seems to have dealt with another
downside of opting for run-flat tyres: high prices. This
is thanks to brand-specific designs and low volumes.
The price we found online for the DriveGuard was even
cheaper than for Bridgestones standard T001 rubber.
Theres always a small compromise to be made when
it comes to road noise and ride comfort with run-flats,
but that is outweighed by the safety and convenience
of fitting a DriveGuard. It could also save you money.

Price: 25 (plus 6.60 per month)

Contact: 033 3772 0489,

72 11 May 2016

Laser spark plugs

are set to beam in
ONE day, we could all be driving
around with lasers in our engines. So
say researchers from Japans National
Institute of Natural Sciences, who are
busy creating laser igniters which
could soon do the job of a spark plug.
The igniters are also set to
improve efficiency and emissions,
with a higher-energy spark
meaning leaner mixtures of
fuel and air could be burnt.

E-Types go to the
country for charity
A SELECTION of stunning Jaguar
E-Types will be making their way
through some of the prettiest parts
of Great Britain in September,
supporting Prostate Cancer UK.
The drive consists of 18 one-day
stages, with an average 180 miles
covered every 24 hours. Passenger
rides in the cars will be auctioned,
with the Jag that raises the most
cash wearing a Yellow Jersey, and
leading the pack for the day. All
E-Types are welcome to join the
parade. See for info.


A NEW subscription-based service has been launched that

allows motorists to get connected without having to upgrade
their car. Smartdriverclub uses a device called a Smartplug
to link with your on-board diagnostic port, which then pairs
up with a smartphone app and shows available services.
These include automatic emergency assistance, theft
tracking and a digital mechanic that can identify faults. It can
also provide in-car WiFi, plus theres a CAP HPI valuation service.
It works on any car registered after 2010 and requires a
36-month membership, with up-front or monthly payments.

OIL specialist Comma has developed

a new line of motor oils specifically
for Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel engines.
As the Focus and Fiesta are regulars
at the top of the best-seller charts,
plenty of owners could benefit from
this model-specific oil (above).
Nearly 62 per cent of new cars
and vans require a 5W-30 grade and
often vehicle-specific engine oil.
Using a generic blend can affect the
engines performance, and could
damage catalytic converters and
diesel particulate filters. Log on
to for details.

Smartplug fits into cars OBD port to offer digital services via app

Know an event coming soon?



Window shades mini test

Mini test
Car Shades

BESTPRICE 67.99 (full set)

Best price: 67.99 (full set for a Ford Focus)

Contact: 01623 797358,

THESE sunshades have a clever design,

which fits neatly into the cars window
frames. The clips can be a little fiddly,
but once the blinds are in place they look
great almost as if they came straight
from the car maker. Its a snug fit, too,
so protected against prying little fingers.
While theres currently a 10 per cent
discount, the price of 70 or so for most
cars still seems steep. But the Car Shades
kit is comprehensive, providing protection
for side windows and the rear screen, and
even the small rear quarter lights on our
Ford Focus. Plus, theres a storage bag.
Each panel didnt blank out as much
light as the Sox, although they were better
to see through. Its easy to imagine some
owners leaving these on permanently.

AN Estate Car Named Desire is a

funny and charming look back at
the motoring life of a self-confessed
car nut, but you dont have to
be a petrolhead to appreciate
it. Beautifully written by author
Gurdon, its a great laugh from start
to finish. And its easy to imagine
some older readers chuckling at their
own car memories on these pages.

The Jowett Jupiter

Which window shade

keeps your cabin cool?
Tom Wiltshire

Window Sox

Best price: 33 (set of two)

Contact: 0330 050 0505,

FITTING these shades is simplicity itself

stretch the custom-fit covers over the top
of an open rear door, then secure with
the sticky Velcro strips supplied.
Once in place they do nothing for the
cars looks but, like the Car Shades, the
window can be opened and closed, unlike
with cheaper stick-on or clip-on versions.
While the Window Sox are modelspecific, the fit wasnt great on our test
car. A baggy corner flapped noisily in the
wind at speed, and for that we knocked
a star off their rating in this test.
Still, theres nothing to break, so
even the most determined child cant
destroy them from inside the car. Plus,
they are very quick to remove and easy
to store when you no longer need them.

74 11 May 2016

An Estate Car
Named Desire

Martin Gurdon (Duckworth Overlook,

Price: 12.99 Rating:


SUNNY summer drives with the family

can get sweaty. Even if your car has aircon, in bright sunlight rear passengers
can become uncomfortable, particularly
children. But a window shade can help.
Theres a host of options, but the new
Car Shades clip to the window frame, for
a tinted glass-like effect. They cost less
than similar shades weve tried before, so
how do they fare against Window Sox, our


Issue 1,221 Best Buy? We tried them on

the road in a Ford Focus, looking for easy
installation and removal, a good fit, the
ability to open the window, and rating
how much light each cut out. Prices were
from various sources as we went to press.
The new Car Shades look like original
kit and are ideal as a more permanent
solution. For shade only when the suns
out, the Window Sox are a better option,
but lose a star as the fit could be better.

We looked for
easy installation
and removal, a
good fit and the
ability to open
the window

BESTPRICE 33 (set of two)

Edmund Nankivell (Veloce Publishing,

Price: 50 Rating:

FLICKING through the pages of this

book, its easy to see the work thats
gone into it as it charts the life of the
Jowett Jupiter right from its inception
with a particular focus on its racing
history. Its an interesting look at
this curious and little-known car,
although it can be challenging
at times, and is certainly one for
the dedicated enthusiast rather
than the casual reader. At 50, it
doesnt exactly come cheap, either.

Flail Rider
Available for: iOS, Android
Price: Free Rating:

ANOTHER eight-bit-style game with

a simple interface. Flail Rider looks
great, and the premise is that you
drive round destroying everything
with the spiked ball attached to
your car. But its too easy to die.
Wed prefer some form of health
display rather than just losing a
life as soon as your car touches
an obstacle. Good fun, though.

App of the week

BBC iPlayer Radio
Available for: iOS, Android
Price: Free Rating:

A REALLY slick interface makes listening

to radio on the iPlayer app a pleasure, and
its simple to minimise. Big icons ensure
changing stations is simple, too you wont
have to take your eyes off the road to flick
through choices, which is a great feature.


Foot pumps tested



BEST BUY MICHELINS digital double-barrel range-topper remains

RECOMMENDED THE tyre brands conventional analogue model has



RECOMMENDED THIS is the second-cheapest pump here, but definitely the

THE Laser is a well engineered foot pump with a longer than average
hose, sturdy construction, the most precise gauge here and solid pumping
performance. But Michelins 12202 is better overall, despite costing practically
the same money. The Michelins gauge is an acceptable 0.5psi out, but its
much easier to read than the Lasers, which has an overly cluttered Bar scale.
We also much prefer the rivals screw-on valve couplings to the plastic fliptype
here. At 18mm across, the 4411 is really quite bulky, too, while
e fitted her
a final
inall gripe is that theres nowhere on the frame to store accessories.

Best price: 21 Rating:

Pressure increase: 3psi Single barrel? 12208 (16)
Contact: 01488 662770,

our favourite foot pump. Obviously that excellent digital display with
good-sized white figures on a black background has a lot to do with it,
but so does the near-70cm-long hose, compact screw-on valve coupling
and the gauges excellent accuracy just 0.5psi low in our tests. We
also appreciate the thought thats gone into storage between uses; the
product locks together securely and easily, there are dedicated clips to
hold on to all those easily lost accessories and to route the hose neatly.

Best price: 12.99 Rating:

Pressure increase: 3.5psi Single barrel? 686638 (5)
Contact: 08457 626625,

best budget option. Its no surprise that theres no on-board storage for the
accessories, or clamps to secure the hose neatly in storage, but a simple clip
holds the two halves of the product together, making it a doddle to get back
into its box. The gauge features an adjustable red pressure needle, which is
clear to see and second only to a digital display for ease of use. Set it prior
to pumping,
when the black needle meets the red so much
ping, the
then stop wh
from several feet above.
ier than squinting at small nu
numbers fro

76 11 May 2016

Best price: 19.86 Rating:

Pressure increase: 3psi Single barrel? 12200 (14.25)
Contact: 01488 662770,

also been tweaked to keep it fresh. A hose-mounted clip-on box stores

your accessories safely, and our preferred screw-on valve coupling
which is both foolproof and small now comes as standard. Performance
and accuracy matches the winning Michelin, but as well laid out as this
gauge is, it cant compete with the digital display for clarity. The storage
mechanism is our only gripe; its two locking pegs, which clamp the product
together, could easily be lost as they come away from the pump completely.

Best price: 19.98 Rating:

Pressure increase: 3psi Single barrel? No
Contact: 01926 815999,

Foot pumps tested

James Stanbury

YOU could be forgiven for thinking foot

pumps have had their day, making way
for 12V compressors, which are easier on
the leg. Inflating a completely flat tyre is
definitely one for the electric tool, which
will be going long after most of us are
pausing for breath. But for topping up a
few pounds, the humble pump is faster
and easier. The job can be finished before
youve even plugged the compressor in.
And you dont have to go threading it
through the car to tackle all the wheels.
They can also be used away from
the car, for unmounted wheels, as well
as leisure inflatables and sports balls.
So which is the one to keep your
tyres rolling as they should? We
hooked up eight to find out.

How we
tested them

A FOOT pump should be smooth to push

up and down, and must be stable, with no
tendency to wander during use. We tested
how efficiently each worked by deflating a
205R16 tyre to 25psi (pounds per square
inch), and rechecking after 20 pumps.
Accurate and easily read pressure
gauges are a must although its advised
to check pressures with a standalone
gauge as well. We also wanted long hoses
for extra flexibility and convenience.
As tyre valves are often in awkward
positions and rarely leave much space
to manoeuvre, valve couplings must be
slim enough to connect successfully.
Finally, we prefer foot pumps with onboard storage, which keeps adapters safe.
Prices are from a variety on online sources.



We pile on the pressure by testing eight traditional twin-barrel foot pumps

PRODUCT GROUP TEST 11 | 5 | 2016

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



ITS amazing what sparkly blue paint and a few stickers

can do for a product. Close inspection reveals this to be
loosely related to Lasers unassuming 4411. That ought
to be good news, given that the Laser is a nice all rounder,
and this is a fiver less. But gauge accuracy is noticeably
poorer than the 4411s and the Bar scale is still
incomprehensible from any distance away. Again,
plastic valve coupling, either.
we dont like the portly plast

THE Clarke is the cheapest foot pump here, and is very

traditional, which means fiddling with a single metal clip
to use or store the product. The single pedal bar is harder
on your legs than newer models curved sections, too. It
tends to wobble a lot a second set of rubber feet would
have helped it stay put. But its not all bad news; the
gauge is clear with a red setting marker, while the metal
valve coupling
pli is slimmer than bulky plastic alternatives.



ITS a potentially great alternative to the all-conquering

Michelins, especially when we take the budget price into
consideration. But a whole host of minor issues stack
up against the Ring. For instance, the smart rubber pedal
cover tends to ping off. And while we like the accessories
bag that clips securely around the hose, once again a
bulky plastic valve coupling has been used. Finally, both
pumping efficiency trail others here.
ge accuracy
cy and pumpi

AS the most expensive pump on test, this needs to be

pretty good. But, unfortunately for Draper, it isnt. Easily
the biggest problem is that the pedal simply isnt sturdy
enough. Unless you position your foot dead central, and
push carefully, the pedal collides against the lower frame,
restricting the stroke. And then theres the bizarre valve
coupling, which instead flicks to horizontal when locking
on, opposite to pretty much any pump weve ever tried.

Best price: 14.99 Rating:

Pressure increase: 3psi Single barrel? FP150 (10.79)
Contact: 01992 565300,

Best price: 14.52 Rating:

Pressure increase: 2.5psi Single barrel? RFP1 (9.59)
Contact: 0113 213 2000,

Best price: 8.39 Rating:

Pressure increase: 3psi Single barrel? FP100 (4.79)
Contact: 01992 565300,

Best price: 25.77 Rating:

Pressure increase: 3psi Single barrel? 22267 (18.33)
Contact: 0238 0494333,

AS pumping performance was closely
matched, convenience plays a greater
role, so Michelins 12209 is our Best Buy.
The companys 12202 is also good, but
wed pay the extra pound for the digital
version. Halfords 686646 is our budget
choice as its gauge indicator needle is
easy to see from several feet away.
1. Michelin 12209
2. Michelin 12202
3. Halfords 686646

11 May 2016 77


Buying cars

New and used buying advice




Got any car queries?


YOU TELL US... Family car handles well, but could be easier to drive

2016 Results

MG6 Factfile


THE new range of MGs

is the best kept secret in
motoring; just brilliant.

Years: 2011 to present CO2: 119g/km

Fuel economy: 61.4mpg (1.9 DTi-TECH 5dr)
Best options: Sat-nav, parking camera,

A great handling car. The

MG6 is fantastic to drive
on twisting country roads.

Prices: From 4,500

The 1.8-litre turbo is very

smooth, but responsive
and fast when I overtake.

USB and Bluetooth, hill assist, cruise control




Bars show where model

finished out of 150 cars in
our 2016 survey. The lower
the rating the better

150 120





A very stylish car with

performance to match the
looks. Its cheap, too.
Even though it looks
sporty, the MG6 is a very
comfortable car to drive.
Theres plenty of space
inside for the whole family,
even when going for long
trips with lots of luggage.

AT the moment, my MG6

is in the dealer more than
on my own drive. Theres
one fault after another.
The door seals seem
to let in water when its
raining, or whenever
the car is washed.
I had to get the oil
seals replaced after
they began leaking.
My sat-nav doesnt
accept postcodes.
There is an odd noise
whenever I turn the
wheel while reversing.
Im starting to hear
some rattles and
squeaks while driving.

Rate your insurance and

breakdown provider now


Pearlescent paint touch-up

I RECENTLY took delivery of a Peugeot 208
Roland Garros in pearlescent white paint, but
am unable to obtain a touch-up kit to sort any
stone chip damage I acquire. Can you advise?
John Diamond, E-mail
A PEUGEOT spokeswoman told us that
while you cant buy a touch-up kit for your
model thatll provide paint for the alternative
coloured panels like wing mirrors, you can get
separate kits for pearlescent white finishes.
Contact your dealer, with your VIN to hand,
and you should be able to order one.

Does repair extend cover?

MY car came with a six-month warranty, but

had to immediately go back to the dealer for
gearbox repairs for a month. The warranty has
just expired, and now the engine has broken.
Does the month spent in the garage mean an
extension to my warranty to cover the engine?
John Allison , E-mail
UNFORTUNATELY, this is unlikely to be the
case. A warranty usually runs for a fixed
period of time or mileage. However, check
your terms and conditions, because different
components are covered for different intervals.

Ford Bluetooth problems

I BOUGHT a new Ford Fiesta last year, and
while the car is great, Im having issues with
the SYNC system. The Bluetooth sometimes
disconnects my phone. Is this common?
Janet Robinson, E-mail
A QUICK look online and in our Driver Power
database revealed that other Fiesta owners
have also had trouble keeping their phones
connected. It may be the case that youre due a
software update. We recommend you contact
your local Ford dealer to get this carried out.

11 May 2016 79


Citroen C4 Mk2

BUYERS GUIDE: Citroen C4 Mk2

FROM 5,000 Heavy depreciation makes alternative
ve family hatch choice a bargain second-hand
Richard Dredge

EVERY year, more small family

hatchbacks are sold across Europe than
any other type of car. There are so many
to choose from that it can be bewildering
deciding between all the contenders.
While models such as the Ford Focus and
Vauxhall Astra tend to get all the headlines,
there are lots of other less obvious models
vying for your cash, and one of those is the
Citroen C4. You could be forgiven for not
even realising the C4 existed its distinctly
average in most respects and one of the
fastest-depreciating cars in its class.
But used C4s can still make great buys
thanks to some seriously keen prices.


THE second-generation Citroen C4

(internally codenamed B7) went on sale
in January 2011, with 1.4 or 1.6-litre
petrol engines and 1.6 or 2.0-litre diesels.
While its predecessor was available in
three or five-door hatchback forms, the Mk2
came with five doors only, and a choice of
VTR, VTR+ and Exclusive trim levels. Only
the entry-level engines (1.4 VTi 95 and 1.6
HDi 90) were offered in VTR trim, though.
A spring 2015 facelift brought new front
and rear lights, upgraded interior trim and a
new dash with a seven-inch touchscreen. A
1.2-litre three-cylinder PureTech petrol engine
was introduced at the same time, along with
more efficient 1.6-litre diesels. Trim levels
were renamed Touch, Feel and Flair.

Which one?

THE diesels are generally the ones to go

for, although the 1.2 PureTech is a brilliant
engine, and the 1.6-litre petrol units are
also fairly zesty especially the THP.
Wed avoid the EGS automatic
transmission as its clunky to use
the manual alternative is much slicker
but E-HDi and THP (turbocharged petrol)

engines came only in EGS form. The VTR

is equipped with ESP as standard, along
with hill start assist, a multifunction steering
wheel, cruise control, heated door mirrors,
air-con and electric front windows.
VTR+ spec adds rear parking sensors,
16-inch alloy wheels, powered rear windows
and electrically folding door mirrors. The
Exclusive also has 17-inch alloys, climate
control, front parking sensors, privacy
glass plus automatic lights and wipers.

Thanks to Imperial Car

Supermarkets in Hampshire for
the loan of the Citroen C4 pictured.
Contact 023 8098 6917


RIVALS that major on value include the

Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 308 and Renault
Mgane, which are all decent family
hatchbacks, but still not class leaders.
The Ford Focus represents excellent
value for money, too, plus its great fun to
drive. There are also loads to choose from.
Youll need deeper pockets to buy a SEAT
Leon, Mazda 3, Toyota Auris or Honda Civic,
but all provide a decent level of safety, build
quality and usability. We wouldnt overlook
the Kia Ceed or its cousin the Hyundai i30,
either; both come with long warranties, lots
of kit and have excellent reliability records;
theyre just not the bargains you might want.


IF youre looking for a family car on a

budget, the C4 could be just what you
need. It may not be as much fun to drive as
some rivals, but the Citroen is practical, well
equipped, cheap to run and there are some
brilliantly efficient engines to choose from.
One of the most appealing aspects of the
C4 is its comfortable ride. Many rivals have
sacrificed comfort for pin-sharp handling,
and although the Citroen is slightly wallowy
to drive, its more adept than many cars at
dealing with the UKs crumbling roads.
Add those affordable second-hand
prices, and if you buy a manual C4 you
could be looking at a real family car bargain.


CITROEN wont be celebrating the

C4 Mk2s 139th place in our Driver
Power 2016 satisfaction survey. It only
managed top 100 scores for running
costs (80th) and practicality (94th).
Its worst marks were for ease of
driving (147th) and handling (141st).

KAREN Pedley from Bourne, Lincs, owns
a 2014 C4 1.6 HDi. She told us: I bought
it second-hand, so it was excellent value.
Its easy to drive, and is economical and
well equipped. There was a heater issue,
but this was fixed under warranty.

80 11 May 2016


THE C4s dashboard design is quite stylish, but

some of the materials dont look or feel very
durable. Those in the front get plenty of space
yet the rear seats are cramped, due to the large
boot, which is bigger than rivals, at 408 litres.



Citroen C4 Mk2
Running costs


0-62mph/top speed

60-67mpg (1.6 HDi 110)


12.9 seconds/112mph

65 fill-up


How much?















1.2 VTR+
1.4 VTi
1.6 VTR+
1.6 Selection
1.6 HDi 90 VTR+
1.6 HDi 110 Exclusive
2.0 HDi Exclusive

Values courtesy of Glasss Guide



PRICES start at just under 5,000 for a C4 thats covered

over 100,000 miles. Itll probably be diesel powered,
as just one in seven C4s has a petrol engine, and most
of these have clocked up under 30,000 miles.
Similarly, just one in seven C4s has an automatic
transmission, with prices for these starting at 5,500
for a 2011 1.6 VTR+ thats done 60,000 miles. For 7,000
you can secure a 1.6 VTR+ with just 20,000 miles, or a
1.6 e-HDi VTR+ EGS with 50,000, both registered in 2013.

Running costs

road tax


Most C4s are fitted with a

conventional handbrake,
but EGS and Exclusive cars
get an electronic set-up.


The cabin is better built

than its predecessors, yet
squeaks, creaks and rattles
inside arent unusual.


Climate control issues are

usually down to a failed
heater box. A new one is just
10 (part 1607044080).

Battery woes

IF the car refuses to

turn over, as though
the battery is flat,
it might be because
of a faulty connection
between the battery
and the fusebox.

Cooling fan

RADIATOR cooling
fans can come on for no
apparent reason. This
is usually because the
control unit needs to be
replaced. A new one will
set you back about 20.

Tom Wood


1.4 VTi 95
1.6 VTi 120
1.6 THP 155
1.6 e-HDi 115
2.0 HDi 150


58-60mpg 107-110g/km
44-45mpg 143-146g/km
60-67mpg 110-122g/km
67-78mpg 95-109g/km


ALL C4s need to be serviced every 12 months or 20,000

miles, apart from the 1.6 HDi, which cuts the mileage
limit to 12,500. Services alternate between minor and
major, with the costs of these pegged at 165 and 195
for diesel-engined C4s, and 185 and 235 for petrols;
once a car is three years old, services for petrol and diesel
models cost the same, at 115 (minor) and 195 (major).
All engines feature a timing belt which needs to be
replaced every 10 years. Mileage limits vary, from
100,000 miles for the petrol engines and 150,000 for
1.6 HDi diesels. Dealers charge 295-345 for a new belt.

Dealer price

Independent price




Paint adhesion

THE aluminium bonnet

can suffer from poor
paint adhesion, so
look for blistering,
especially along the
leading edge. Repaints
dont always work.

Spare wheel

THE C4 comes with a

tyre mobility kit rather
than a spare wheel,
but it does feature a
spare-wheel well into
which you can fit a
full-size wheel.

Front brake pads (axle set)

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

Prices for a 2012 C4 1.6 HDi 110. Dealer figures supplied

by Citroen UK ( Independent prices
from Euro Car Parts (

THE C4 Mk2 has been recalled a disappointing nine
times so far, meaning all sorts of issues could crop up.
The first campaign was launched as early as December
2011, due to the possibility of the brake pedal bracket
failing (leading to brake loss). Since then, recalls have
also been issued because of fuel leaks, brake problems
and the engine cutting out. The front suspension could
become loose as well. To see if a potential buy is subject
to any recall work, register at

11 May 2016 81

Insurance group




TOP FIVE Family estates

Best buys We assess the best options for combining practicality and comfort for under 30,000

Skoda Superb Estate

Years: 2015 to date Best engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl diesel, 148bhp

Insurance group: 19 Economy/CO2: 67.3mpg/110g/km


WHY? The new Skoda Superb is undoubtedly the most capable estate car at this price point. It
ticks all the boxes for buyers wanting maximum practicality and value, with an attractive
list price, a massive 660-litre boot and limo-like rear space. Simply put, you wont find anything
bigger on the market for under 30,000. The Superb drives nicely and is very refined on the
move, plus it looks good and feels solidly built inside. An excellent range of punchy
petrol and efficient diesel engines is the icing on the cake. Were enjoying running one on
our fleet (Issue 1,420) and have been seriously impressed with its fuel economy figures.

From 20,260 (new)



Years: 2014 to date Best engine: 1.2-litre 4cyl petrol, 108bhp

Insurance group: 13 Economy/CO2: 57.6mpg/114g/km
WHY? Before the Superb arrived, its smaller Spanish cousin, the SEAT Leon, was our favourite
estate car. It manages to combine stylish looks, an enjoyable driving experience and decent
value with surprising practicality. The cabin is a bit dull, but theres decent space for a family of
four and the 587-litre boot isnt to be sniffed at. The smooth and punchy 1.2 TSI is a strong choice.

From 18,695 (new)


Skoda Octavia Estate

Years: 2013 to date Best engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl diesel, 148bhp

Insurance group: 21 Economy/CO2: 70.6mpg/106g/km
WHY? Its easy to forget about Skodas Octavia, given the brilliance of its Superb, but its still
one of the best-value estates around. It might lack the style and interior polish of its brother,
but its decent to drive, offers more space than the SEAT Leon and is easy to live with.
Plus, it costs the same to buy as a top-spec Ford Fiesta, so makes a lot of sense.

From 17,735 (new)


BMW 3 Series Touring

Years: 2012 to date Best engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl diesel, 187bhp

Insurance group: 30 Economy/CO2: 62.8mpg/ 118g/km
WHY? While our top three cars appeal to buyers with a focus on practicality and value, the 3 Series
Touring is more about image and driver engagement. It boasts sharp looks and an upmarket cabin,
while the balanced chassis provides great steering and surprising comfort. And although
the 495-litre boot is the smallest here, its one of the biggest in the compact exec class.

From 25,160 (new)

Peugeot 308 SW

Years: 2014 to date Best engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl diesel, 118bhp

Insurance group: 18 Economy/CO2: 85.6mpg/102g/km

82 11 May 2016

WHY? Peugeot has proven estate cars dont have to be boxy with the stylish 308 SW. Its
sharp looks defy its price tag, while the cabin has plenty of plush materials. The fiddly
touchscreen and small steering wheel wont be to all tastes, though. The 660-litre boot
is massive for a car of this class, while the 1.6-litre diesel engine is extremely efficient.

From 17,865 (new)

For more of our top cars, visit



Make a clean break

Small electric cars deliver fun, emissions-free motoring. But should you go for the Renault ZOE or VW e-up!?
Cabin is solidly
built; e-up has a
real big car feel

Interior looks
stylish, but some
plastics are flimsy

VW e-up!

Renault ZOE

Range: 93 miles

Range: 130 miles

Charge time: Nine hours

Charge time: Nine hours

Renault ZOE Dynamique Intens

Volkswagen e-up!

Years: 2013 to date Electric motor: 87bhp, 220Nm

Insurance group: 16 Range: 130 miles
Why? The ZOE is a cheap EV thats genuinely usable
every day, although you have to lease the batteries.

Prices from:


RENAULTS first stab at the mainstream EV

market, the Fluence, was a very slow seller,
but the ZOE that followed is a much more
accomplished car. For starters, it doesnt
try to look distinctive or unusual its
simply a smart and desirable supermini.
Inside, itll be familiar to Clio buyers, with
a stylish dash design, although its slightly let
down by flimsy plastics and a fiddly touchscreen.
But its more spacious than its rival here.
Like the e-up!, a seven-pin charger comes as
standard in the ZOE; a three-pin domestic plug
was an optional extra. Renault fits charging
stations at buyers homes, however.
A range of 130 miles is claimed, but you can
realistically expect around 100 miles. The ZOE
suffers from a firm ride and it isnt as fast as
the VW, although performance is adequate.
It finished in second place in our 2016 Driver
Power satisfaction survey, and Renault offers
a lifetime guarantee on the battery and will
replace it for free if performance drops.

84 11 May 2016

Years: 2014 to date Electric motor: 81bhp, 210Nm

Insurance group: 10 Range: 93 miles
Why? The e-up! is pricey for a city car, but there are
no extra battery charges and its great to drive.

Prices from:

ZOE isnt quite as zippy as VW,

while 338-litre load capacity
is greater than on the e-up!

Renault ZOE

THE ZOE is a great-value used

purchase, provided you can
swallow the 50-a-month battery
lease. You can buy one for
half the price of the smaller
e-up!, and owners love it.

Electric up! offers 250 litres of

boot space. Its fun to drive,
with sprightly performance

VW e-up!

VWS electric city car is a fun, fast,

solid and well equipped choice.
Its very expensive, though, even
factoring in the lack of battery
payments. Until prices drop,
the ZOE is a better used buy.


VW was quite late to the EV game with the

e-up! arriving in early 2014. But the city car is
a great base for an electric car, with desirable
looks and a quality cabin thats more spacious
and solidly built than you might expect. It
cant match the ZOE for overall room, however.
At least theres plenty of kit, which youd
expect given the VWs high price. The e-up
has a shorter range than the ZOE, but a realistic
figure of about 80 miles is still reasonable.
From a domestic socket it still takes nine
hours to charge, although a fast DC charger
will get you to 80 per cent in 30 minutes
or so, like the ZOE. Performance is fast
off the line, but it tails off after about
60mph. Of course its silent, too, while it
retains the standard city cars smooth ride.
The up! finished a disappointing 111th
in our 2016 Driver Power survey, yet
the simple electric motor should be
reliable and the battery is under warranty
for eight years and 100,000 miles.



0% APR




For only 299 a month1, plus deposit and final payment, you could
own a luxury full size 4WD SUV, capable of delivering up to 148 MPG2.
Plus it comes with 0% APR Representative finance1. Weve got a limited
number of these low mileage vehicles that come with all the benefits
of the Mitsubishi Approved Used Car Programme, so be quick.
Contact your Mitsubishi dealer today to book a test drive.







Visit to find your nearest dealer

1. The Alternatives 0% APR Representative PCP finance plan shown above is only available to customers resident in the UK, aged 18 and over, subject to status only through Shogun Finance Ltd T/A Finance Mitsubishi, 116 Cockfosters Rd, Barnet, EN4 0DY. Minimum deposit 20% and 37 month
maximum term. Finance Mitsubishi is part of Lloyds Banking Group. Alternatives figures are based upon an annual mileage of 10,000, any excess mileage will be chargeable at 9ppm. The Guaranteed Future Value (GFV) is subject to the vehicle being returned on time, in good condition (fair wear
and tear accepted), within the permitted maximum mileage and all the required payments having been made. Final payments (GFV) and monthly repayments may vary dependent upon date of registration and mileage, examples are a guide. Full written quotations are available upon request. Offer
is only applicable in the UK (excludes Channel Isles & I.O.M) and may be withdrawn at any time. Finance offer available at participating dealers only between 30th March 2016 to 28th June 2016. 2. Official EU MPG test figure shown as a guide for comparative purposes and may not reflect real
driving results. 3. Congestion Charge application required, subject to administrative fee.


All the action from the world of motorsport

Young gun has impressed
for Toro Rosso and will now
get his chance for Red Bull

Stephen Errity

TORO Rosso driver Max Verstappen will

turn out for Red Bull at this weekends
Spanish Grand Prix, swapping seats with
Daniil Kvyat for the rest of the season after
the Russians crash at his home Grand Prix.
In a statement on his official website, the
18-year-old Dutchman said: The next step
in my relatively short career so far is an
amazing opportunity. I really want to thank
all at Red Bull Racing and Dr. Helmut Marko
for the confidence they have in me.
Ill have the chance to learn a lot from
the top team that is Red Bull and Im also
looking forward to working with a proven
team-mate like Daniel Ricciardo.
Kvyat, meanwhile, will return to Toro
Rosso the de facto Red Bull junior team
that he drove for in 2013 and 2014. Red
Bull driver advisor Helmut Marko is said to
have lost patience with the Russian after

Red Bull promotes


Kvyat demoted for Sochi shunt

Mercedes writes letter to fans

Shunt at Russian GP in Sochi proved to be

beginning of the end for Kyvat at Red Bull

he hit Ferraris Sebastian Vettel twice in

the opening laps of the Russian Grand
Prix, triggering a chain-reaction crash that
also ruined team-mate Ricciardos race.
Commenting on the swap, Red Bull boss
Christian Horner said: Max has proven
to be an outstanding young talent. His
performance at Toro Rosso has been
impressive so far and were pleased to give
him the opportunity to drive for Red Bull.
We are in the unique position to have
all four drivers across Red Bull Racing and
Toro Rosso under long-term contracts with

Duval joins World RX for Belgium

FORMER World Rally Championship driver
Francois Duval will contest his home round
of the FIA World Rallycross Championship
in Mettet, Belgium, this weekend.
The 35-year-old, who drove for the Ford
and Citroen teams during his WRC career,
will pilot a Ford Fiesta ST at the event.
He was the first Belgian driver to win
a WRC round (Australia, 2005) and has a
strong track record in rallycross, winning
the Belgian round of the European Rallycross
Championship at Maasmechelen in 2010.
I hope I can make it to the semi-final
or maybe even the final, said Duval. The
Fiesta is a very good car and Im feeling
confident. It will be good to meet some
old rivals from my WRC days, such
as Petter Solberg and Sebastien Loeb.

96 11 May 2016

Rallycross championship
returns to Mettet

Red Bull, so we have the flexibility to move

them between the two teams. Dany will be
able to continue with his development at
Toro Rosso a team he is familiar with
giving him the chance both to regain
his form and show his potential.
Elsewhere, the dominant Mercedes
team has penned an open letter to fans
ahead of the Spanish race, rubbishing
suggestions that it was favouring Nico
Rosberg, whos won every race so far
while his champion team-mate Lewis
Hamilton has suffered reliability issues.

Next stop Imola

for Brits in ELMS
BRITISH-run G-Drive
Racing is looking to
repeat its seasonopening European
Le Mans Series win
as the championship
heads to Imola, Italy,
for its second round.
Team owner Simon
Dolan again shares
the car with ex-F1 man Giedo van der
Garde and Harry Tincknell (above).
Imola is also the final preparation
for Olympic cycling champion Chris
Hoy, driving for the Algarve Pro Racing
team, before he tackles the Le Mans
24 Hours for the first time in June.

The NEW health
& tness magazine
Find out where at

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Join the debate now...

IVE been a harsh critic of insurers

and their ination-shattering price
hikes over the decades. But Ive just been
subjected to a softer, more consumerfriendly approach from the insurance
industry. And frankly, I liked it.
Mr BIPI (aka Ian Crowder) is to blame.
On radio, TV and in Auto Express hes the
AA insurance guru Ive had several runins with, as hes had the thankless job of
defending the less than perfect industry,
while Ive had the easier task of complaining
that the price of cover is too often too high.
Take the latest from the Mr BIPI-inspired
AA British Insurance Premium Index (BIPI).
It reveals the average price of a third
Motorings most outspoken and
party, re and theft certicate is now
opinionated columnist sounds off
considerably higher than the price of
an average comprehensive policy.
If its about securing
So the inferior product costs more than
the superior one. Thats a blatant rip-off,
the lowest-priced
isnt it? I inelegantly asked/told Mr BIPI.
insurance, avoid
He agreed that such an anomaly makes as
direct sellers and
much sense as a bottle of beer costing more
use comparison sites
than a bottle of champagne. But after
every 12 months
explaining that almost every older,
experienced, safer driver goes for maximum
(fully comp) whereas young, inexperienced, less safe drivers tend
to opt for minimum cover (TPFT), my blatant rip-off allegation falters.
Another revelation from Mr BIPI is that while buying direct from
insurance companies was the cheapest option four years ago, its now
the most expensive. The inference is clear if its about securing the
lowest-price certicates, avoid those direct sellers and use comparison
sites every 12 months, if necessary ipping from company to company
annually to qualify for prices only available to new customers.
Mr BIPI even admits that long-term clients can temporarily leave
but effectively remain with the same company, thereby enjoying new
consumer status. Simply hold your nerve, refuse to renew at a high price
by the 11.59 deadline before buying cheaper cover as a newbie a few
minutes later. Naughty and slightly risky, perhaps. But legal. And costeffective if disciplined enough to do the same thing year in, year out.
Final thing another tip from Mr BIPI when trying to buy the cheapest
cover is to put mum, dad, girlfriend or boyfriend down as a second
driver. The bafing quirks of the insurance system often mean more
names on a policy equate to a lower overall price. Mad, but very true.


Do you agree with Mike?

Have your say at






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Wholl come out on top as Mercedes and Audi
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Drives Features & Sport

on sale
Wednesday 18 May
Contents are subject to change

98 11 May 2016



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