First pictures of New Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall has issued the first pictures of the new Vauxhall Astra which is due to go into production later this year at the Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire. Its debut (under the Opel badge) will be at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Vauxhall Astra Read More...
Comments

New Toyota Aygo makes stronger statement

If the old Aygo was a bit forgettable, the new one has much more presence. Toyota has let it be known that they are deliberately moving to make the styling of their new cars a bit more extrovert. Certainly, it is a bold move to put that strong ‘X’ graphic on the face of the Aygo, with its strong complementary colours.

Toyota Aygo Read More...
Comments

New Mini grows in size and appeal

I still remember the day I first saw the “new” Mini “in the metal”. It was in the brand new Mini section of our local BMW dealership and there was a large crowd of people huddled around it, plus a lot of noses squashed up against the showroom window. Such was the interest in the modern take on one of Britain’s most famous cars.

Mini Cooper D Read More...
Comments

Volkswagen Golf R - fastest Golf ever

The last time I drove the ‘R’ version of the Volkswagen it was the R32 and its performance came by courtesy of a big 3.2-litre V6 engine shoehorned under the Golf bonnet. In these more environmentally-focussed days, however, big engines are no longer such an acceptable route to performance for mainstream manufacturers.

Volkswagen Golf R Read More...
Comments

Mazda 3 maintains its appeal

First impressions count and, when I first saw the new Mazda 3 at the celebrity race for the Australian Grand Prix a couple of years ago. it struck me as one of the most cohesive family car designs currently on offer from any Japanese manufacturer.

Mazda 3 Fastback Read More...
Comments

Pencils sharpened for Peugeot's new 308

For me, the first sign of the renaissance of Peugeot was probably the Peugeot RCZ which marked the return of design flair and rewarding driving to the French marque. Then came the Peugeot 3008, the 508 and more recently the 208.

Peugeot 308 Read More...
Comments

Audi RS7: Five-door supercar challenger

If you want it to perform, the a hefty 560PS twin turbocharged four-litre V8 will propel the RS7 from 0-62 mph in just 3.9 seconds. What is perhaps more impressive is the way this car will keep going right through all eight gears. This is supercar performance.

Audi RS7 Read More...
Comments

BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo offers more space

Not so many years ago, when you went into a BMW showroom you would be offered the choice of saloon, with the option, maybe of a Touring, coupé or cabriolet. That was it.

BMW 328i Gran Turismo Read More...
Comments

Pro_cee'd GT Kia's hot hatch

The design of the new Pro_cee’d GT presents a polished European style. It is an attractive, well proportioned design, with confident styling. The now-distinctive Kia corporate grille thrusts forward from the sweeping light units.

Kia Pro_cee'd GT Read More...
Comments

New Mini unveiled

Manufacturers face something of a dilemma when it comes to producing a new version of a popular model. Do they come out with a radical new look to underline the newness? Or, does that risk scaring off the buyers who clearly like the look of the existing car?

New Mini Read More...
Comments

Seat Leon SC - second of the new family

It’s now 15 years since the original Seat Leon went into production as the first family hatchback since the Spanish company was taken over by the Volkswagen Group.

Seat Leon SC Read More...
Comments

Vauxhall Adam lives up to its quirky name

Vauxhall, and its European counterpart Opel, have clearly been watching the sales success of superminis like the Mini and the Fiat 500 and thinking long and hard about how they could grab a slice of the action.

Vauxhall Adam Read More...
Comments

The new Audi A3 has a sharper edge

At first glance you might not spot the difference between the old Audi A3 and this one. But, look more closely and you will probably notice that it wears a sharper suit of clothes.

Audi A3 Read More...
Comments

Volkswagen Beetle increases its appeal

When you think of the current fashion for ‘retro’ design in cars, it is all too easy to think that it all started with Mini in 2001. But, it was really Volkswagen that triggered the retro design vogue in 1998 with the launch of the new Beetle.

Volkswagen Beetle Read More...
Comments

More attraction: Peugeot 208

The launch of the new Peugeot 208 has been accompanied by some carefully orchestrated reminders of that iconic 205GTI, although we shall have to wait a while for it’s true successor to appear – the forthcoming 208GTI.

Peugeot 208 Read More...
Comments

Mercedes goes conventional with new A-class

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, to be launched on the UK market next month, is quite a departure from the model it replaces. We have all become quite accustomed to the tall A-class, which has proven so popular over the years.

Mercedes-Benz A-Classs Read More...
Comments

All new Ford Mondeo revealed

Ford has taken the wraps off its all-new mainstream model, the new Ford Mondeo. Among the headlines is that one of the power units will be the remarkable one-litre Ecoboost petrol engine, as the ‘Blue Oval’ seeks to achieve the ‘best in class’ fuel economy.

New Ford Mondeo Read More...
Comments

Ford updates the Fiesta

These are the first pictures of the updated Ford Fiesta that will be launched at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

New Ford Fiesta Read More...
Comments

New Volkswagen Golf unveiled

Volkswagen has unveiled the new Volkswagen Golf 36 years aver the first Golf was launched. Since then 29 million Golfs have been sold.

New Volkswagen Golf Read More...
Comments

Citroen DS4 raises the game

Go back a few decades and Citroen had something of a split personality. At one end of the scale they produced the Citroen 2CV, one of the most basic cars you could imagine. At the other end of the range was the Citroen DS, a forward-thinking, luxuriously-appointed technological masterpiece.

Citroen DS4 Read More...
Comments

Chrysler opens new market with Delta

The Chrysler name may be American, but you won't see many of these Chryslers plying the freeways of America. Not yet, at least. The Chrysler Delta, you see, is sold here under a badge of convenience.

Chrysler Delta Read More...
Comments

Kia Rio practical and fun to drive

I have to admit that picking up a set of keys with the name "Kia" inscribed on them has tended not to produce any emotional response in the past. No excitement. Equally, no disappointment.

Kia Rio Read More...
Comments

New Audi A3 unveiled at Geneva

Unlike Mercedes-Benz with their new A Class, Audi has opted not to risk radical change to the design of the new Audi A3, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. But, although at first glance it looks very similar to the outgoing model, Audi point out that this is an all-new design.

533911_AU009854 Read More...
Comments

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.

Lexus CT 200h Read More...
Comments

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 Read More...
Comments

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.

Honda Jazz HX Read More...
Comments

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...
Comments

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...
Comments

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...
Comments

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...
Comments

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.

Audi A1 Read More...
Comments

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.

Volkswagen Beetle Read More...
Comments

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...
Comments

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
Read More...
Comments

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.

Vauxhall Astra Read More...
Comments

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...
Comments

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...
Comments

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...
Comments

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.
Read More...
Comments

Suzuki's chunky hatchback

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

Suzuki SX4 Read More...
Comments

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...
Comments
© 2007-15 Ken McEwen. All rights reserved. Contact me