Vauxhall Astra – best hatchbacks 2018

The latest Vauxhall Astra must be on any hatchback buyer's shortlist

The Vauxhall Astra has long been a high-performing regular fixture at the top of car sales charts, but it hasn’t always had the substance to back up its popularity. 

That’s all changed now, as the latest model has undergone a thorough overhaul and has consequently risen up the family hatchback ranks with its great blend of style, space, low running costs and kit list. 

• Vauxhall Astra review

Looks have Continue reading “Vauxhall Astra – best hatchbacks 2018”

Mercedes A-Class – best hatchbacks 2018

The Mercedes A-Class is a yardstick for all other hatchbacks when it comes to design, quality and tech

Even though the new Mercedes A-Class isn’t going to set the world alight when it comes to handling, it does offer motorists class-leading onboard tech and great refinement. Despite the continued success of the last generation A-Class, Mercedes went back to the drawing board with the latest car – revising the platform it uses, along with the interior, engines and tech.

The changes Continue reading “Mercedes A-Class – best hatchbacks 2018”

Skoda Octavia – best hatchbacks 2018

The Skoda Octavia is a spacious alternative to the Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon in the hatchback class

The Skoda Octavia is a family hatchback that uses the same basic platform as the Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon, but a longer body and clever packaging mean it offers more boot space than both, as well as a hugely practical interior and enough room for five. 

In fact, it’s one of the biggest cars in its class, coming close to models such as the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat from Continue reading “Skoda Octavia – best hatchbacks 2018”

Volvo XC40 – best crossovers

The new Volvo XC40 has been worth the wait, with classy styling and quality cabins it is a hard act to beat

Compared to some of its main rivals, Volvo’s SUV heritage is a little limited, but that hasn’t stopped it from building some of the very best SUVs and crossovers money can buy – the Swedish brand picked up two prizes at the 2018 Auto Express New Car Awards.

The XC40 looks sharp, packs a strong mix of technology and as it’s a Volvo there is a healthy dollop of safety Continue reading “Volvo XC40 – best crossovers”

Used Volkswagen Scirocco review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Volkswagen Scirocco covering the Scirocco Mk3 (2008-2017)VerdictWe reckoned that the Scirocco Mk3 was so good that we gave it a maximum five-star rating when we first drove it. We loved the driving position, looks, practicality and the flexible 2.0 TSI engine. If there was a downside it was the generic VW dash that led to some fans thinking that the Scirocco was little more than a dressed-up Golf. But that short-changed the car because it amounted to much more Continue reading “Used Volkswagen Scirocco review”

DS X E-Tense concept review

We get behind the wheel of the DS X E-Tense concept in FranceVerdictIs this really how we will be driving in 2035? Who knows? The DS X E-Tense is a fanciful vision of what cars could be like in the future. On a practical level the X E-Tense is a tangible link to DS’s efforts in the world of Formula E, as beneath the wacky concept it’s based on the firm’s Formula E racer. But on a simply amusing level, it’s a well-made, exciting idea of not just a car of the future, but also where the Continue reading “DS X E-Tense concept review”

New Audi TT S 2018 review

The Audi TT S is fast, refined and beautifully built, but can it match the Porsche 718 Cayman or BMW M240i?Verdict3.5The Audi TT S is a fast, refined and beautifully built premium coupe – albeit one that ultimately lacks any kind of character. It’s not as exciting as a Porsche 718 Cayman or rewarding as a BMW M240i, instead sitting as a more style-focused and composed sports coupe. The TT S is hard to fault, but hard to recommend at this price; for that reason you may be better off with the Continue reading “New Audi TT S 2018 review”

New Maserati Levante 2018 review

The Maserati Levante is a well-rounded performance SUV, but this diesel is the weakest engine in the range…Verdict3Desirable, great to drive and comfortable, the Levante is a well-rounded performance SUV. The expanding range is hitting its stride in its third year, but the introduction of a more affordable V6 petrol makes this diesel harder to recommend than ever. Unless you cover big distances on a regular basis, this is the weakest engine in the range.

The idea of an iconic Italian marque Continue reading “New Maserati Levante 2018 review”

New MINI Cooper S Convertible 2018 facelift review

This mid-life facelift for the MINI Cooper S Convertible hits the sweet spot, offering both performance and valueVerdict4Judged on its merits as a small and fun drop-top, the MINI Cooper S Convertible hits the sweet spot. It boasts an excellent blend of performance and value – and this mid-life facelift keeps things fresh. This isn’t the particular MINI Convertible we’d choose, however – the regular Cooper version serves up very nearly as much fun, is more affordable and is cheaper to Continue reading “New MINI Cooper S Convertible 2018 facelift review”