Volkswagen Jetta comes out of the shadow

In Europe, at least, the Volkswagen Jetta has never really enjoyed the success it deserves. It started off its life as very obviously a booted version of the ever-popular Volkswagen Golf and has subsequently lived in the shadow of its hatchback sibling.

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Lexus hybrid hatchback aims for green halo

The Lexus CT 200h doesn’t have anything like that presence. Its appearance is of a neat, but not particularly distinctive hatchback. Unless you are bent on making an impression wherever you go, then the more low key looks are unlikely to be a problem.

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Chevrolet Orlando: a lot of car for the money

You certainly get quite a lot of car for your money with the Chevrolet Orlando. For a price starting at £16,410 you get a sizeable MPV with three rows of seats taking a maximum of seven people.

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UK's pothole-proof cars revealed

Time was when road tests used to talk about taking cars over to France to try them out on poor road surfaces. Britain’s roads in those days were so smooth as to be not an effective test for suspension.

pothole Read More...
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Saab: All lives used up?

The news that Saab is to enter administration is a bitter end to what has been a roller coaster since we ran the premature obituary on this blog exactly two years ago.

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Used family cars

Motors.co.uk

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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.

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Does Honda Jazz hit the right note?

Honda has given its Jazz hatchback a little bit more eco-warrior appeal by launching the Honda Jazz Hybrid. Sporting a green (of course) “Hybrid” badge on the tailgate, it announces to the world that you care about the environment. Or, at least, that is the intention.

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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.

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New BMW 3 Series unveiled

BMW has taken the wraps of the sixth generation of its BMW 3 Series, which BMW proudly state is the world’s best-selling premium saloon.

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Volkswagen Eos still impresses five years on

When the Volkswagen Eos was launched in the UK in July 2006, it was one of the early mainstream adopters of the folding metal roof. Since then, the coupé cabriolet has become a stylish option for many manufacturers.

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Kia Picanto asserts itself in supermini class

Yes, the Kia Picanto may not have the chic appeal of the Fiat 500, or a Mini, but it does have a crisply-designed fashionable suit of clothes that stands comparison with the likes of the Ford Fiesta.

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New British car maker debuts at Frankfurt Motor Show

It’s not often that a new car maker joins the motor industry elite, let alone a new British car maker. But, there’s a new British name over one of the stands at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Eternity Hemera Read More...
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Jaguar unveils 'E-type' C-X16 Concept

Jaguar has today released the first details and photos of the C-X16 concept – the car that is aimed at taking the Big Cat back into the market it used to dominate with the legendary E-type (or XKE as it was known Stateside) – ahead of its world debut next Tuesday at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Jaguar XF refreshed

Jaguar has given its XF a mid-term refresh to help it stay competitive against German and Japanese offerings in the executive saloon market.

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Land Rover's Defender concept

How do you replace something as iconic as the original Land Rover, more recently known as the Land Rover Defender?

Land Rover DC100 Read More...
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Ford Evos concept car points to future

Drawing a lot of the attention on the Ford stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show will be the Ford Evos Concept, which Ford has said will guide much of its future design work.

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Audi confirms A8 Hybrid

Audi has confirmed that it is to put a hybrid version of its Audi A8 flagship into series production, starting from the beginning of 2012. The first Audi A8 hybrids will reach the UK late next year.

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Porsche to unveil new 911

Porsche is to unveil the new 911 Carrera at the Frankfurt Show next month. This will be a completely new generation of the iconic Porsche model that was first launched in 1963.

Porsche Carrera 911


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Volkswagen's Up!

Volkswagen has released the first photos of its new Up! in production form, prior to the debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

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Fiat shrinks 500 engine for economy

The Fiat 500 TwinAir is powered by a two-cylinder in-line transverse engine of 875cc. But it is still fun to drive and remarkably lively too.

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BMW shows new i brand

BMW has shown two concepts from its proposed new i brand of low-consumption, low-emission cars.

BMW i3 and i8 Read More...
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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

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Kia Sportage strengthens its appeal

Compared with the rather nondescript design of previous Sportages, the new Kia Sportage has quite a sharp set of new clothes. It looks pretty good, although there are perhaps just a few angles that look not quite so cohesive. With those minor caveats, It got the thumbs up from my assembled jury of car enthusiasts.

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Mazda's diesel sport impresses

Mazda has decided to do something about this, by giving their cars a stronger brand image and greater appeal. It was with that in mind that I accepted the keys to the Mazda 6.

Mazda 6 Read More...
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Buying a car? Choose wisely.

With fuel prices having risen 70% since 2000 and nothing but further increases in prospect, the chances are your choice of used car will have fuel economy pretty near the top of the list.

Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion Read More...
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Golf downsizes engine for greater economy

The 1.2-litre Golf is part of Volkswagen’s strategy of downsizing to smaller engines in the continuing search for more better economy and lower emissions. I’ve driven Volkswagen’s 1.4 TSI engines before, but can a 1.2 TSI possibly work in this size of car?

Volkswagen Golf Read More...
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Gearchange takes edge of Citroen C5

It’s a mark of Citroen’s success in revitalising their image that I didn’t have the usual wave of apathy when I saw a Citroen C5 on my road test list. The new Citroen C5 is quite a stylish offering and the road test car looked quite the executive saloon sat outside our door.

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Mini range expands: Now, the coupe

For the first time the Mini range gets the addition of a two-seater coupe, which MIni say gives the ‘ultimate in go-kart feeling’ to the already agile Mini handling.

Mini Coupe Read More...
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Volvo tests new technology to cut fuel consumption 20%

Volvo says it is testing new flywheel technology that it says will not only make a four-cylinder engine feel like a six-cylinder, but will also reduce fuel consumption by 20%. Read More...
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Suzuki's small family "crossover"

A year ago I brought you my first impressions of the Suzuki SX4, which is probably best described as small hatchback/SUV/MPV crossover. The model I tested then was the front-wheel-drive 1.6-litre. This time I had a chance to try the four-wheel-drive version with the new two-litre DDiS engine.

SU_654 Read More...
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Audi A1 downsizes the prestige car

Audi hasn’t had a competitor in the small hatchback class since the avant garde Audi A2, with its aluminium body. But, it must have been impossible for the product planners at Audi to ignore the gap it left in their range, especially seeing the success that BMW was having with its Mini brand.

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Jaguar to build C-X75 hybrid supercar

Jaguar has confirmed that it will launch the remarkable Jaguar C-X75 concept car as an exclusive hybrid supercar.

Jaguar C-X75 Read More...
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Volvo's concept car is designed to provoke

For Volvo, now owned by Chinese company Geely, the Shanghai Motor Show is obviously of particular importance and so it was appropriate that they used the event to launch a concept car designed to provoke discussion about the future design direction for the company.

Volvo Concept Universe Read More...
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Hyundai turns up the appeal with small MPV

Hyundai say their aim with the ix20 was to produce a car “with the style of a supermini, the space of an estate car and the economy of a city car”. A bold aim, indeed.

Hyundai ix20 Read More...
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New, new Volkwagen Beetle unveiled

There were various debates at the time of the Volkswagen Beetle, then Mini, revival about the various merits of the two retro designs. Questions were asked how you could update a model like the Beetle that was just a modern lookalike of a classic car from the past. Since then, of course, we have had others, like the new Fiat 500.

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Eyebrow-raising performance on Skoda Fabia VRS

Surely everyone has now revised their view of Skoda as the producers of reliable, well-built and worthy motor cars? But, possibly there are a few of you out there who still think that the Czech manufacturer’s products are a bit staid and therefore appeal to, what shall we say, an older clientele?

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Update Jaguar XF and XK for 2012

Jaguar has unveiled its refreshed XF saloon at the New York Auto Show. Following a trend among prestige manufacturers, the updates are significant but subtle.

Jaguar XF Read More...
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Honda's hybrid coupe

The Honda CR-Z is a sporty 2+2 Coupe, but, under the skin, it shares much of the technology from the Insight. For the CR-Z the engine is bigger at 1.5-litre, rather than the 1.3-litre version in the Insight.

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Alfa Romeo Guilietta – putting on the style

Alfa Romeo had lost its way somewhat. But now it is back, producing cars that look like an Alfa Romeo should. One glance and you get the impression that every road behind this car’s wheel will as exciting as driving the famous Amalfi Coast!

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Read More...
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Jaguar's XJ purrs into the 21st century

Have our roads got much worse very quickly? I mean really quickly. Like the last 24 hours? These were the thoughts running through my mind as I crashed and thumped over surface imperfections and potholes. I think that was the point when I realised just how impressive the new Jaguar XJ actually is.

Jaguar XJ Read More...
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New report demonstrates decade of CO2 emissions progress

A new report, published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, shows that emissions of new cars has fallen by 20% since 2000. Whereas in 2000, only 1% of new cars produced less than 130 g/km of CO2, 40% of new cars are now in that low-emission bracket.

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Scirocco R adds sporting appeal

I was very smitten with the new Volkswagen Scirocco when I tested it in October 2008. So, when the performance Scirocco R appeared on my list of cars to road test, I was, needless to say, enthusiastic to try the higher performance version.

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UK heads for ‘Third World’ roads as £3 million a day pothole crisis deepens

Drivers could be forking out nearly £3 million every day – or £1 billion a year – to repair cars damaged by Britain’s crumbling roads, according to Potholes.co.uk.

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Audi A3 concept goes saloon and sporty

With a clear eye on the American market (which is not so smitten by hatchbacks as we are in Europe) Audi has taken a new four-door saloon concept, based on the A3, to the Geneva Motor Show.

Audi A3 Concept Read More...
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Virage returns to Aston Martin stable

The name Virage is back in the Aston Martin catalogue with the launch of a new Virage at the Geneva Motor Show.

Aston Martin Virage Read More...
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Mini concept shrinks back to original size

For those who complained that the new Mini was too big compared with the original, Mini have the answer. The Mini Rocketman Concept was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.

Mini Rocketman Concept Read More...
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Lamborghini's new 700hp flagship

Lamborghini has continued the tradition of giving its cars the name of a bull. The new Aventador is named after a particularly courageous specimen from the world of the Spanish Corrida. Aventador was the name of a bull that entered into battle in October 1993 at the Saragossa Arena, earning the “Trofeo de la Peña La Madroñera” for its outstanding courage.

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80 years on, Morgan re-engineers three wheeler

The three wheelers of the sixties, seventies and eighties were all one front wheel and two at the rear, the famous Morgan three-wheeler of the 1930s offered sports car thrills with two front wheels and one rear. That car still holds the distance speed records for one-litre cars.

Morgan 3 Wheeler Read More...
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Saab looks boldly to the future

Saab has signalled its future design direction under its new ownership with the Saab PhoeniX concept car unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.

Saab PhoeniX Read More...
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Nissan 370Z roadster even more a sports car

I could have guessed it would snow. I mean, having a Nissan 370Z Roadster in January is just asking for it and sure enough the weatherman gleefully obliged.

Nissan 370Z Roadster Read More...
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Toyota's other hybrid model, the Auris

The benefit of being first to market is that you establish a name for yourself. So it was with the Toyota Prius – the first mainstream hybrid car – which was launched onto the Japanese market in 1997. But it has taken until recently for Toyota to widen the range of hybrids under the Toyota brand. The first non-Prius Toyota hybrid to come my way is the Toyota Auris Hybrid.

Toyota Auris Hybrid
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£2.25 billion road maintenance backlog in Scotland

The shocking state of the roads in UK was thrown into sharp relief by a report released yesterday by Audit Scotland that stated that less than two-thirds of Scotland’s roads were in an acceptable condition and that the backlog of maintenance had now reached £2.25 billion.

pothole Read More...
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BMW Vision concept showcases technology

BMW will be giving its Vision ConnectedDrive concept car at the Geneva Motor Show. A two-seat roadster the concept is aimed at showing the potential of current and future in-car technology and how it could aid comfort, safety and ‘infotainment’.

BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Read More...
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WRC takes a backward step on UK TV

What a disappointment! The DriveBlog household had become avid viewers of the WRC coverage on Dave, the TV channel. Now, as we start what could be one of the most interesting World Rally Championships for years, where do we turn?

Citroen DS3 rally car Read More...
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Ford C-Max

With its latest C-Max, Ford has recognised there is a demand for different sizes of small MPV. Some people only need five seats. Others want the ability to pack extra members of the extended family and are looking for a family MPV that can accommodate seven.

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Ferrari FF first pictures

The official Prancing Horse web site, Ferrari.com, has revealed the first photographs of the new FF, the company’s most powerful four-seater ever, and its first ever four-wheel drive car.

Ferarri FF Read More...
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New Touareg impresses at a price

Ever since Volkswagen came, a little late, to the SUV market with the Touareg, I have had a soft spot for their big off-roader. Designed in parallel with the Porsche Cayenne, it is big, comfortable and very capable.

Volkswagen Touareg
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Audi press on with quattro for A1

Speaking with a motortrade insider about the benefits of four-wheel-drive in winter weather, like we have experienced in this country with a vengeance over the last couple of months.

The_Audi_A1_quattro_prototype_Audi_20404_low
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A Ford Focus, but not as we know it

When we headed out to the parking garage at the airport in Florida, we thought we knew what we were getting as our hire car. It was, after all, a Ford Focus – one of the most common cars on European roads.

Ford Focus USA Read More...
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Glasgow start for Historic Monte-Carlo

The Monte Carlo Rally Historique will celebrate the centenary of the famous rally when it returns to one of the traditional start points – Glasgow’s Blythswood Square on Thursday, January 27.

Stuart Turner Erik Carlsson Read More...
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