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

Renault small sporting estate

So well known is the Renault Clio that its estate car sibling, the Clio Sport Tourer, is a little in shadows. I coaxed it out to give it the chance to prove itself on a five-day test as my everyday transport.

Renault Clio Sport Tourer

Honda's executive estate

The Honda Accord Tourer is probably not the first car that comes to mind when you are looking for an executive estate car. But maybe it should be.

Honda Accord Tourer

Mercedes delights and frustrates

My first drive of the new Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Estate Sport was a mixed experience. Out on open country roads it was a delight to drive, providing greater driver involvement and feedback than any Mercedes saloon or estate car I can remember. But in stop-start motoring conditions it was another matter.

Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Estate

Skoda's compact load carrier

You can see how Skoda is thriving as part of the Volkswagen Group by the way it range of models keeps growing. If you count the Skoda Roomster as a Skoda Fabia (which effectively it is) there are now three distinct model choices at the start of the Czech manufacturer's range. Read More...

Adding style to practicality

The first time I saw the new Mini Clubman in the my local Mini showroom as I headed across to the car, one of the staff made me an offer. "Free dog with every Clubman," he quipped with a grin. Read More...

Renault Laguna Sport Tourer

Renault chose to play it fairly safe, in styling terms, when it launched the new Laguna in October. So, when I picked up the new Laguna Sports Tourer - which won't go on sale until January 2008 - it didn't really attract much attention for a model that no-one had seen on the roads yet. Read More...

Mercedes' people-carrying semi SUV

The Mercedes-Benz R Class is what could probably be described as a crossover vehicle. That is, it crosses over accepted market segments. It's an estate car. It's a six-seater so it is part MPV. And it is a four-wheel-drive, so it is part SUV. The trouble is, this crossing of boundaries makes it difficult to pin-point who will want to buy one. Read More...

Mini Clubman expands the range

The Mini range will be extended this autumn with the launch of the new Mini Clubman. This is the third variation on the new Mini theme, building on the hatchback and the cabriolet. Read More...