As the days romp away and we fast forward through the year, it doesn’t seem possible that the September registration plate change is almost upon us. This month we recommend the best cars to buy to futureproof yourself against the rapid progression of in-car technology, which cars deliver the latest kit now, and will still be able to cut it in three years’ time. We also give you hints and tips on making it look like you’ve splashed out on a new car to your neighbours, friends and work colleagues, when in fact of you’ve gone down the cut price route and saved yourself a whole pile of cash instead.
Britain’s best-selling new car is tested this month, with four versions of new Ford Fiesta on test – two diesels and a pair of sub-100g/km petrol versions, and driven by three different members of the test team. We also get behind the wheel of the sensational Range Rover Velar, the brand-new Volvo XC60 and Nissan’s facelifted X-Trail. In this month’s twin test, we pitch the new Hyundai i30 up against the car the medium segment is benchmarked against, the recently updated Volkswagen Golf. Other tests include the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé, the Ford Kuga Vignale and SEAT Leon FR 2.0 TDI in 181bhp DSG automatic guise.
In the news pages, there’s first details on Jaguar’s new E-Pace, as well as Audi’s A8. There’s information on the Hyundai i30 Fastback, the BMW X3, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and the BMW 8 Series Concept. Further inside in DieselCar, we welcome two newcomers to our long-term test fleet, the Citroën C3 and SEAT Leon ST, and look forward to running them for the rest of the year. We also say a fond farewell to the Mazda3 and Mitsubishi L200, which have been popular in the long-term car park and given sterling service since arriving on the fleet last year.
Our in depth look at air quality and diesel emissions reaches part three, as we examine what other non-diesel car sources of pollution are causing alarm in our cities. Elsewhere we explore whether the US market for diesel vehicles has been destroyed in the wake of the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal, and look at the future of digital dashboard displays and the added flexibility they provide.
In EcoCar, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV comes under the microscope in this month’s used car buyer’s guide and there’s an interesting insight into the Toyota Prius from pre-millennium motor show concept, right up to production of the first-generation car. There’s the second of our reports on our long-term Suzuki Ignis SHVS and we get behind the wheel of Toyota’s facelifted Yaris Hybrid.
- Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.0T EcoBoost (99bhp)
- Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.5 TDCi (84bhp)
- Ford Fiesta Titanium 1.0T EcoBoost (123bhp)
- Ford Fiesta Titanium 1.5 TDCi (118bhp)
- Ford Kuga Vignale 2.0 TDCi (177bhp) AWD
- Hyundai i30 Premium 1.6 CRDi
- Mercedes-Benz E 220 d AMG Line Coupe Automatic
- Nissan X-Trail Tekna dCi 177 4WD 7-seat
- Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE D300
- SEAT Leon FR 2.0 TDI (181bhp) DSG Automatic
- Toyota Yaris Hybrid Excel 1.5 VVT-i
- Volkswagen Golf SE Navigation 2.0 TDI 5-door
- Volvo XC60 D4 Momentum
Long-term test reports:
- Audi A3 Sportback S line 2.0 TDI
- Citroen C3 Flair BlueHDi 100
- Ford Edge Titanium 2.0 TDCi Automatic
- Kia Optima Sportswagon GT-Line S 1.7 CRDi Automatic
- Mazda3 SE-L Nav 1.5 5-door
- Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Automatic
- Peugeot 3008 Allure BlueHDi 120
- Renault Grand Scenic Dynamique S dCi 130
- SEAT Leon ST SE Dynamic Technology 1.6 TDI DSG Automatic
- Skoda Octavia SE L 2.0 TDI
- Suzuki Ignis SZ5 SHVS 1.2 Dualjet Mild Hybrid
- Dirty diesels part III – we examine why other forms of diesel transportation need to be targeted ahead of diesel cars to get maximum results in the air quality clean-up campaign
- 67-plate new registration feature – we look at cars that will be futureproof in three years’ time
- Is the diesel market ruined in the USA because of the diesel scandal? We examine the evidence
- Car interiors are getting a makeover courtesy of digital dashboard designs
- The Toyota Prius was one of the pioneers of the hybrid market. We look back at the history of the Mk-1 Prius, from motor show debutante to production
Used Car Buyer’s Guide:
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2014-onwards)