Toyota sharpens the appeal of the Auris

It is some time since I have driven a Toyota Auris, so my first reaction on seeing this road test Auris was to check the details. I still tend to think of a Toyota Auris as being a compact family hatchback and sitting there in front of me was seemed quite a sizeable family estate car.

Toyota Auris 1.2 Touring Sports

Seat Leon X-Perience tackles the Highlands

The driving position is good and the controls are well laid out and logical. The Seat shuns the electric parking brake of its Volkswagen Group siblings for a conventional handbrake.

Seat Leon X-Perience

Mazda 6 deserves place on your short list

Mainstream Japanese car design seems to be a bit of a mixed bag at the moment, ranging from the downright bland through to over-the-top designs with heavily sculpted panels and puckered front grilles. Either way, “elegant” is not a word I find myself often using for cars from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Mazda 6 Saloon

Passat Alltrack – a country estate

One sector of the car market that has remained relatively buoyant during the recession, is the SUV, or 4x4, market. In an era of lifestyle vehicles, many of them never tackle any obstacles more daunting than speed bumps, but the tough, outdoor image SUVs project is clearly popular.

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

Peugeot's diesel electric hybrid

When it comes to hybrids, until now it has been the products of either Toyota (and its upmarket Lexus sibling) or Honda that I have driven. So, it was with more that a little interest that I seized the opportunity to sample a European hybrid in the shape of the new Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4.

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4

Jaguar's real estate, the XF Sportbrake

Jaguar has unveiled the estate car version of the Jaguar XF. Considering the popularity of the Jaguar X-type Estate, some might find it strange that Jaguar did not take the plunge sooner.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

New Ford Focus looks sure to maintain popularity

So just how do you replace a car that is as perennially popular as the Ford Focus? That must have been the dilemma facing the blue Oval when they embarked on the design for the third version of the Focus.

Ford Focus

Subaru Outback missing snowy Alps

Some years ago Subaru handed myself and a colleague the keys for a Subaru Forester at Heathrow Airport and told us to drive to Geneva. It was a trip that earned a new respect for the Forester which, even in those days, looked a tad dated and in need of an interior makeover.

Subaru Outback

Peugeot 508: Nice car, shame about the gearbox

There we were, four motoring enthusiasts, talking in quite animated terms about the Peugeot 508 SW that was parked in front of us. I simply could not imagine the same having happened with the car’s predecessors.

Peugeot 508 SW


BMW 5 Series Touring test trunkated by snow

For four years I drove a BMW 5 Series Touring. So when a BMW 530d SE Touring turned up on the list of cars heading for my appraisal, i was more than a little enthused about finding how one of my favourite cars had matured over recent years. I reckoned without the weather.

BMW 530d Touring

Skoda's executive load carrier

So, you want an estate car with more than a touch of luxury and plenty of space to stretch out? If that is your dream, you may have concluded that you need a mortgage, not a loan, to buy the car to match your needs. Read More...

Greenest Skoda ever

The new Škoda Fabia Greenline II will become the most environmentally-friendly car ever to wear the Škoda badge which goes on sale on sale in the UK next week.

Skoda Fabia Greenline

Saab 9-3X driven by all fours

Just six months ago it looked like Saab was doomed, as reported in my rather blunt, but sad, post ’Saab: The end’.

But, despite everything, here they are and I was handed the keys of the Saab 9-3X Estate. Although the 9-3 has been around for some time, the 9-3X is the four wheel drive version that was just launched at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Saab 9-3X
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