Vauxhall downsizes engine in hunt for economy

As Vauxhall and Opel ride the turbulence following the US bankruptcy of parent company General Motors, the latest Vauxhall Astra will be crucial to how the company fares in coming years. This is the car that will have to face up to the big competitors like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

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Suzuki Swift surprises

If you are in the market for a vehicle in the supermini class, Suzuki has made a strong bid for your custom. Whereas most manufacturers will have, at most, two vehicles to offer the compact hatchback market, Suzuki has four.

Suzuki Swift

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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 Read More...
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Audi launches its smallest performance RS

Audi has turned up the heat for its A3 range with the launch of a new high performance Audi RS3 Sportback – the smallest Audi RS model ever. Powered by a turbocharged five-cylinder engine, the Audi RS3 accelerates from 0-62 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

Audi RS3 Read More...
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Honda CRV diesel - a pair of sensible shoes

Like most Japanese marques, Honda are relative newcomers to diesel engines. The domestic market wasn’t big on diesel, their most important export market – the USA – definitely wasn’t keen on diesel except for commercials. Only Europe really demanded it.

Honda CR-V Read More...
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Saab 9-5 pitches for executive market

This is the new model that seemed doomed to be stillborn only a few months ago. But, against all the odds, here it is. The new Saab 9-5. And judging by the response to Saab’s potential demise, there are a whole lot of Saab enthusiasts out there ready to reach for their chequebooks.

Saab 9-5 Read More...
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Baby Chevrolet lacks spark

Think of Chevrolet and do you think of a big American car? If you do, you are behind the times and this particular Chevrolet is one of the smallest – it’s the Chevrolet Spark and it is powered by a tiny one-litre engine! So no big “coobic inches” V8 here!

Chevrolet Spark Woody Read More...
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New car pricing site for UK

A new UK car price guide website – priceanycar.com – has recently been launched. Developed by a group of friends, the site owners say the big benefit is that the prices are based on “real cars for sale”.

priceanycar.com
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All-new Sharan unveiled

Volkswagen has opened the order book for its all-new Sharan with prices starting from £22,980 (RRP OTR) for the entry-level S 1.4-litre TSI model.

Volkswagen Sharan Read More...
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Saab's new 4x4 crossover

Just months after its takeover by Spyker, Saab is about to launch a new model at next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Saab 9-4X is clearly aimed at the growing market for 4x4 crossovers particularly in the USA.

Saab 9-4X Read More...
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Functional Shogun falls short

A few years ago I was invited to the launch of the then new Mitsubishi Shogun in Yorkshire. The proud company executives introduced the latest model with a flourish, stating that this was the first time we would have seen it.

Mitsubishi Shogun Read More...
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Manufacturers make leap in drive for economy

The average fuel economy of new cars in the UK has improved by 7.64 per cent in the past year, according to a study by DrivenData.

Smart ForTwo Read More...
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Good looks focus attention on Peugeot RCZ

I have a soft spot for small sporting Peugeots. It could be something to do with the two Peugeot 205GTIs that I owned in the 1980s. So, when the new Peugeot RCZ coupé turned up in my driveway, I was more than a little interested.

Peugeot RCZ Read More...
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New Scottish motoring website

Two established Scottish motoring journalists, Jim McGill and Alan Douglas, have joined forces to create the first motoring and motorsport website for Scotland, Scotcars.co.uk.

ScotCars Read More...
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Jaguar unveils C-X75 supercar concept

Just ahead of its starring role on their stand at the Paris Motor Show, Jaguar have revealed a supercar concept designed to celebrate 75 years of the famous marque.

Jaguar C-X75 Read More...
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Roads still a transport priority in the USA

I’ve just returned from a two-week driving trip in the USA. Although faced by the same financial stringencies we face here in the UK – it was notable that investment in transport, and roads in particular, seems to be continuing apace.

US road building Read More...
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Testing times in America

Over the years I have been to Death Valley nine or ten times. Yes, I love the place – it’s amazing other worldliness, eye-popping scenery and unbelievable summer heat. But, there is another motoring-related reason. I cannot resist seeing who is out testing what in the super heat of the national park.

Fiat 500 Read More...
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Mito performance boosted by Cloverleaf

The Alfa Romeo Mito joins the growing ranks of chic small hatchbacks with cute looks. I mean, just look at those “puppy dog”eyes and the traditional Alfa front grille. Now the Mito has a new performance addition to the range with the Mito Cloverleaf.

Alfa Romeo Mito Cloverleaf Read More...
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If this is the future of green motoring count me in

While I was expecting economy, I certainly wasn’t expecting high levels of refinement or agile performance from the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion. I’ve previously driven the Polo Bluemotion and, while impressed by its economy, low emissions and driveabllity, it would be a stretch to suggest it was a real driver’s car.

Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion Read More...
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Volvo S60 - more rewarding by degree

With the launch of the new Volvo S60, the Swedish manufacturer clearly has two messages it wants to get across to potential buyers. Well known for safety, they want to tell the world that they now produce stylish cars. They also want to persuade us that the S60 is a real driver’s car.

Volvo S60 Read More...
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Vauxhall introduces lifetime warranties

Vauxhall has ‘set the cat among the pigeons’ with the introduction of a lifetime warranty on all its new cars.

Vauxhall service Read More...
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Citroen rediscovers style and class

The success of the Mini and the Fiat 500 has led car manufacturers to examine how they could grab a slice of the growing market for ultra-chic superminis. One of the latest to aim for a slice of the action is Citroen with the launch of the DS3.

Citroen DS3 Read More...
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Land Rover Discovery 4: Big isn't it, impressive too.

As I thought about turning into the multi-storey car park, my eye caught the sign: “Maximum Height 6ft 3in”. Fortunately I had checked before and the Land Rover Discovery was 6 foot 4 inches.... clearly this signified a change of plan!

Land Rover Discovery 4 Read More...
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Mini set to return to rallying

Mini is to make a return to rallying with ambitious plans to tackle the World Rally Championship, starting with selected rounds in the 2011 series and a full season in 2012.

Mini Countryman WRC Read More...
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Audi takes wraps of new executive coupé saloon

Audi has taken the wraps of its new Audi A7 Sportback, the German manufacturers challenger in the growing market for four-door saloons with coupé looks.

Audi A7 Read More...
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Peugeot 3008 is quite appealing

I find Peugeot’s numbering system a little bit confusing when it comes to the double zero cars. I can handle 107, 207, 308, 407. But, the 1007 and now the 3008 don’t fit in immediately. That’s probably why the great-looking new Peugeot coupe will use letters RCZ instead of numbers.

Peugeot 3008 Read More...
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Ford Galaxy: civilised transport for six, or seven

I seem to be guilty of having preconceptions of road test cars lately. The prospect of driving a Ford Galaxy for some days left me wondering whether I really wanted to drive a small bus, usually with just myself on board.

Ford Galaxy Read More...
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Land Rover produces baby Range Rover

These are the first official pictures of Land Rover’s new baby Range Rover, released following an exclusive preview in London for guests attending a 40th birthday celebration of Range Rover held in partnership with Vogue magazine.

Range Rover Evoque Read More...
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Mini updated to add appeal

Mini has given its model range a refresh to face the challenge from other current and future entrants into the chic small hatch market niche.

Mini for 2010 Read More...
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Murray's city car unveiled

Gordon Murray – best known for his design of the McLaren F1 supercar and Formula 1 racing cars – has turned his attention to designing a radical new city car.

Gordon Murray Design T25 Read More...
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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...
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Ford reveals 2011 Mondeo

This is Ford’s updated 2011 Mondeo, which will be launched at the 2010 Moscow International Automobile Salon on August 25, before going on sale in the UK in October.

Ford Mondeo Read More...
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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 Read More...
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Clio Renaultsport targets young enthusiasts

I felt a few decades too old. Ideally I can imagine I should have been in my late teens, or early twenties. Even though it was warm week in summer, I would probably still have my white woolly “skully” crammed onto my head and pulled down over my ears to protect them from the non-existent biting wind.

Clio Renaultsport 200 Cup Read More...
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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 Read More...
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Saab 9-5 the start of a new era

Six months on from the obituaries, against all the odds Saab is back with a brand new model the new Saab 9-5. Started under the ownership of GM, the new car is launched under its new owners Spyker.

Saab 9-5 Read More...
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Nissan 370Z a true hairy sports car

There’s no doubting the aspirations of the Nissan 370Z. It is clearly aimed at the style conscious sports car market. But, if that makes you think that it is all style and no performance, think again.

Nissan 370Z Read More...
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New Suzuki Swift unveiled

Suzuki has released the first images and preliminary information of the new, third generation Swift which will go on sale in the UK in the Autumn.

Suzuki Swift Read More...
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Renault on the right Latitude

Renault has today provided the first glimpse of its latest global family saloon, Latitude.

Renault Latitude Read More...
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Citroen C3 endears itself

Oh, dear! I really shouldn’t have preconceptions when I hear what car is coming up next for test. But, being only human, I do. I was prepared for a rather dull and uninspiring time with the Citroen C3 1.6 HDi. But, in actual fact, I found the little car rather endearing.
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Insight fails to impress

I Was really looking forward to driving the Honda Insight. I had never driven one before – indeed I have never driven a hybrid from anyone other than Toyota (including Lexus). So, when I saw it on the road test list, I was eager to see how it compared.

Honda Insight Read More...
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Prius revisited. The first hybrid matures well.

It is quite a number of years since I last drove the Toyota Prius – the world’s first mass-produced hybrid.

Toyota Prius Read More...
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Suzuki's chunky hatchback

Suzuki is known in the UK for three things – motorcycles, small cars and small off-roaders.

Suzuki SX4 Read More...
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Panamera: Can it really be a four seater?

Ever since I first saw a Porsche Panamera lurking in San Francisco street, before the launch, I’ve been intrigued as to how practical the rear seats actually are.

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New Volkswagen Touran launched

Volkswagen has chosen the Leipzig Motor Show to unveil its refreshed Touran compact MPV.

Volkswagen Touran Read More...
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Fastest-ever road-going Ferrari

These are the first photos and information on the new Ferrari 599 GTO, the company’s fastest-ever road car.

Ferrari 599 GTO

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No, I did not crash the Pagani Zonda

For the umpteenth time, it was not me! I did not crash the Pagani Zonda. Yes, I know it crashed very near to where I live. Yes, I have been known to write road tests for magazines.

Pagani Zonda Read More...
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Kia joins the clean elite

Kia has recognised the growing customer demand and marketing potential for high economy, low emission ‘eco’-tagged versions of its mainstream models.

Kian Cee'd Read More...
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Hidden danger of 'keyless entry'

At a convivial lunch last week, with fellow motoring writer friends, I was reminded of the occasion when we found that the downside of keyless entry systems. Read More...
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Alfa brings back the Giulietta

Alfa Romeo has revived the Giulietta name for its new five door hatchback. Previously this name was used on the attractive to door coupe produced in the 1950s and then again for a series of saloons produced in the 1970s.

Alfa Romeo Guilietta Read More...
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Bentley announced details of Mulsanne

At the Geneva Motor Show, Bentley announced details of its new Mulsanne, stating that it “reaffirms the marque’s intent to create a new flagship Bentley with refined performance, unparalleled levels of interior luxury and coach building skills to the fore”.

Bentley Mulsanne Read More...
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Audi A1 e-tron extends range with Wankel engine

Audi predicts new A1 e-tron concept on its stand at the Geneva motor show. It has an electric drive system, with backup power produced by a small Wankel engine.

Audi A1 e-tron Read More...
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Seat shows IBE concept car at Geneva

Seat took the wraps off its IBE concept car at the Geneva motor show. Described as a compact sports coupe, it is intended to be a zero emission car of the future combining “a sporty and dynamic concept for urban mobility”.

Seat IBE Read More...
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Vauxhall shows Flextreme concept

Vauxhall has revealed its Flexstream GT/E concept car at the Geneva Motor Show. The Flexstream is described as an extended range electric vehicle designed to achieve power without using fossil fuels.
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Seat Ibiza Cupra tiptoes through snow

Our Arctic winter has led to many things being curtailed. Events have been cancelled. Both these, trains and even our own cards have stopped unexpectedly. In my case several times.

Seat Ibiza Cupra Read More...
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Ampera prototype drives to Geneva Show

The first prototype of Vauxhall’s production Ampera has successfully completed its long-distance drive debut from Rüsselsheim to the Geneva Motor Show. At the wheel for the final leg of the 500-kilometre journey, was Vauxhall CEO Nick Reilly.

Vauxhall Ampera Read More...
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Chevrolet Cruze not one for the enthusiast

The first impressions in the car park were actually quite good. The Chevrolet Cruze looked sharp. It looks distinctive and, in a land of hatchbacks, it stands out by being a saloon.

Chevrolet Cruze Read More...
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A1 is Audi's new compact supermini

Audi say they have ‘shrink-wrapped everything they stands for to create the new A1’. This is their first small hatchback since the Audi A2 and it will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

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Nissan Juke, as British as a duke?

Nissan has unveiled the new Juke, some weeks before its official launch at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Following the lead its sibling, Qashqai, the Juke is styled to have the appeal of an SUV, but most models will be only front-wheel-drive.

Nissan Juke Read More...
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Touareg loses weight and becomes more green

Volkswagen’s second generation Touareg has been unveiled and the new car has been on a diet, loosing no less than 200 kg. To help improve its green credentials the new Touareg is up to 20% more fuel efficient than its prececessor and there is also a hybrid version.

Volkswagen Touareg Read More...
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More detail about way forward for Saab Spyker

The intention is that Spyker Cars NV will change its name to Saab Spyker Automobiles NV, with two separate operating companies – Spyker and Saab – focussed on their own particular markets and their own vehicle lines. Read More...
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Spyker statement on Saab purchase

General Motors Company and Spyker Cars N.V, late yesterday confirmed the details of a binding agreement over the transfer of ownership of Saab Automobile AB of Trollhättan, Sweden.

Saab 9-5 Read More...
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Mini Countryman the new 4x4 Mini

The long-expected Mini 4x4 crossover has been announced today. The new Mini Countryman is not only the first MIni to offer four wheel drive, it is also the first with four passenger doors (the Clubman has three passenger doors, the third controversially being on the “wrong” side for the the UK).

Mini Countryman Read More...
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New Ford Focus unveiled

The next-generation Ford Focus has been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Ford Focus Read More...
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Peugeot celebrates 200th year with new look

It was in 1810 that Jean-Pierre and Jean-Frédéric Peugeot turned their father’s cereal mill into a steel foundry and took the Peugeot family into the industrial era.

Peugeot SR1 Read More...
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Spyker submits offer on Saab

Spyker Cars, of The Netherlands, today confirmed it has made a revised offer to General Motors for the acquisition of Saab Automobile AB.

Spyker C8 Read More...
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