A big issue with the latest car news, including one of the most important new car debuts of the year, the Vauxhall Astra. We have the full details, including details of the model range and pricing. There’s also the first pictures of BMW’s new 7 Series, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Kia cee’d and BMW X1, as well as the new MINI Clubman, facelifted Jaguar XJ and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. There’s also news on the latest plans for London’s brand new motor show set to open its doors next May.
It’s a bumper month for road tests, with long awaited new models driven for the first time, including the Mazda CX-3 baby crossover, the Nissan Qashqai-challenging Renault Kadjar, and Ford’s seven-seat Galaxy making its world debut on UK roads. We’ve been putting a pair of Euro-6 emissions compliant Citroëns through their paces – the facelifted Berlingo Multispace and Grand C4 Picasso BlueHDi120 automatic – as well as having the first opportunity to drive the new DS 5 on UK soil. BMW’s 1 Series is tested in ultra-efficient 116d EfficientDynamics Plus guise, and Toyota’s updated Avensis borrows powerplants from the BMW stable. SEAT’s updated Ibiza supermini gets the first test treatment, and Volkswagen’s incredibly subtle revisions of the Sharan are evaluated by our testers. While probably the most important car in Volvo’s history is driven in the UK, with the XC90 set to take the SUV market by storm.
It’s the grudge match of the year in the performance diesel arena, with Ford’s Focus ST battling it out with the Volkswagen Golf GTD. Is there a new diesel hot hatch to watch, or is Volkswagen’s crown safe? Our testers have also been trying out Kia’s updated Rio, the facelifted BMW 640d Convertible and in a farewell test, the Jaguar XJ gets reviewed ahead of a facelifted edition arriving later this year. We also welcome a newcomer to the long-term test fleet, the Toyota Verso 1.6 D-4D, and wave goodbye to our Citroën Grand C4 Picasso, Renault Clio and Volvo V40 Cross Country. In the used car section, Volvo’s C70 in D3 and D4 guise is the subject of our used car buyer’s guide.
In our recently introduced EcoCar supplement, we take a look into the future at battery charging, give you the lowdown on the all-electric FIA Formula E championship and take a look at a high mileage Vauxhall Vectra that is run on LPG. We’ve also tested the new Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.0 TSI and put the open-top Toyota Aygo x-pression with x-wave roof through its paces.
There are, of course, all the favourites that you’ve come to expect, too, including Doctor Diesel, The Extra Mile and Marketplace, and the most up-to-date data section in the magazine world, listing every diesel and alternatively fuelled car, as well as sub-100g/km tax-free petrol cars, too. There’s also the new EcoCar supplement so you can get your diet of tax-free motors.
- BMW 116d EfficientDynamics Plus 5-door
- BMW 640d M Sport Convertible Automatic
- Citroen Berlingo Multispace XTR BlueHDi 120
- Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Exclusive BlueHDi 120 Automatic
- DS 5 Prestige BlueHDi 180 Automatic
- Ford Focus ST-2 2.0 TDCi 5-door
- Ford Galaxy Titanium X 2.0 TDCi (177) Automatic
- Jaguar XJ L Portfolio 3.0 V6 Diesel Automatic
- Kia Rio 1 1.1 CRDi 5-door
- Mazda CX-3 1.5 2WD SE-L Diesel
- Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav dCi 130 4WD
- SEAT Ibiza SC FR 1.4 TDI (103)
- Toyota Aygo x-pression with x-wave 1.0 VVT-i 5-door
- Toyota Avensis Touring Sports Business Edition 2.0 D-4D
- Volkswagen Golf Match BlueMotion 1.0 TSI 5-door
- Volkswagen Golf GTD 2.0 TDI 5-door
- Volkswagen Sharan SEL 2.0 TDI (148)
- Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Inscription Automatic
Long-term test reports:
- Audi A4 Avant SE Technik 2.0 TDI ultra
- Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Exclusive+ 2.0 BlueHDi 150 Automatic
- Ford Mondeo Estate Titanium 2.0 TDCi (150) Automatic
- Kia Soul Maxx 1.6 CRDi
- Renault Clio Dynamique MediaNav dCi 90
- SEAT Leon X-PERIENCE SE Technology 2.0 TDI (181) DSG Automatic
- Toyota Verso Excel 1.6 D-4D
- Volvo V40 Cross Country D4 SE Nav Geartronic
Used Car Buyer’s Guide:
- Volvo C70 D3/D4