Kia Stonic THIS chunky little fellow is among the newest contenders for your cash if you are in the market for a junior SUV, writes William Scholes. It comes from Kia and is called the Stonic, meaning it not only joins the fastest growing sector of Europe’s car market but also the list of models with a name that looks like a typing error. When they first saw it written down, some of the people I showed ‘Stonic’ to misread it as ‘Sonic’, which makes it sound very nippy. I, however, can’t help but see ‘Stoic’, raising the possibility that Kia has built not only a new car but also invented a whole new philosophy. Kia says it is, in fact, a mash-up of ‘speedy’ and ‘tonic’. Whatever it’s called, the Stonic/Sonic/Stoic has arrived in a crowded market. Notable contenders in this class include Nissan’s oddball but popular Juke, Renault’s very capable Captur and Mazda sweet-driving CX-3. To those you can … [Read more...] about Kia Stonic: Nothing stoic about Kia’s Stonic philosophy
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Tweet TweetThe Peugeot 2008 1.6 e-HDI small crossover has been recently tested in Europe, as the French based automaker is trying to prove its performance in an already crowded European auto market. The Peugeot 2008 is trying to enter a market which is already fast-rising, with the model trying to make its way-up, while its competitors, the Nissan Juke, the Renault Captur or the Ford EcoSport are on a high pay-role. The test drive with the Peugeot 2008 was aimed to highlight the small crossover`s design, interior and performance, in order to decide is the car is suitable for the European masses. First off, in terms of design, is resembling the 2008 model, yet coming with a lot of updates, meaning a more rigid and masculine attitude up front, complemented by the black plastic inserts for a better underbody protection. At the rear end, the Peugeot 2008 comes with revised design for headlights, while the tailgate has a more regular shape and a lower loading sill. Inside, the cabin still … [Read more...] about Peugeot 2008 1.6 e-HDI Goes for a Test Drive in Europe
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This is yet another refreshed Ford EcoSport, just revealed by the Blue Oval. This is the European version of the latest revision that was first unveiled for the US market late last year. There appears to be a long list of changes, even if the basic car remains the same. The new EcoSport for Europe will now be built in Romania following a 200 million euro investment, replacing India as the source. It will go on sale later this year, before a new “SUV-inspired” Fiesta Active crossover model is introduced in the Continent next year. There’s a new engine, a 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel with 125 PS and 300 Nm of torque. Paired to a six-speed manual gearbox, it’s good for fuel consumption of 4.5 litres per 100 km. The new engine comes with Intelligent AWD that can adjust torque delivery up to 50/50 between the front and rear wheels in under 20 ms. Ford says that the EcoBlue will also come with front-wheel drive and “all-new, low-friction” six-speed manual … [Read more...] about Ford EcoSport facelift
The blurb gushes “Delivers SUV appeal” for Ford’s new Fiesta Active crossover, which is on sale now from about £17,795. Frankly it doesn't look as though it could tackle much more than a leafy drive, but Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe's marketing boss, reckons this car's slightly higher driving position and exterior plastic cladding compared with the standard hatchback will be enough to give it at least 10 per cent of all Fiesta sales, which makes my head hurt. De Waard has been through a similar contemplation and tells an allegorical tale of the early BMX bikes styled with a fuel tank-like cross member on the frame. He says this bicycle-aping-motorbike thing caused a backlash. "Buyers wanted a BMX, not a bike that looked like something else," he says. "It's the same with this market." What this indicates is that "SUV appeal" is a thing and involves higher seating and unique styling, but not necessarily more robust construction … [Read more...] about Ford Fiesta Active review: will excellent dynamics make it a surprise hit?
0 Comments Balmoral heaven: 10 of the best 4x4s for ability and comfort BelfastTelegraph.co.uk It's that time of the year again when country comes to town (well near town, anyway these days) - the Balmoral Show. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/cars/balmoral-heaven-10-of-the-best-4x4s-for-ability-and-comfort-36909481.html https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/incoming/article36131580.ece/9c1d0/AUTOCROP/h342/1295568_426162280_Nissan_X_Trail_2_0_litre_diesel.jpg Email It's that time of the year again when country comes to town (well near town, anyway these days) - the Balmoral Show. And along with the champion livestock, agricultural equipment and farm families, there's another tradition you may have noticed. Balmoral is a brilliant opportunity to go 4x4 spotting. Because many of the folk who make up most of the Balmoral Show audience are likely to be the very folk who drive 4x4s. And not in a 'Chelsea Tractor' kind of way either. Whether it's for towing trailers, or horseboxes, … [Read more...] about Balmoral heaven: 10 of the best 4x4s for ability and comfort
The girl on the flight was reading Bill Bryson’s Down Under, which seemed a bit late to me. I’d read it at home and was already reconciled to the searing outback, deadly box jellyfish and taipan snakes, plus pubs with all the atmosphere of a hospital waiting room. Bryson asserts that Australia is like America in the 1950s. He’s right if drivers in Fifties America were like Walt Disney’s Goofy in the 1950 cartoon Motor Mania; in normal life incapable of hurting a fly, but once behind the wheel as vicious as a taipan with a strop on. How do I know this? Think 10.30pm on the road out of Sydney and pretty much every motorist in New South Wales is gadabouting in the balm, jostling and jollying along in the autumn school holidays that bracket the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) commemoration public holiday. Sounds idyllic? Right now, not a bit of it; there’s a speeding granny on my bumper and lane hoggers all over. The Hyundai Kona is closely … [Read more...] about Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDI 4×4 review: best of a bad bunch?
Tweet TweetThe Hyundai South Korean based automaker is planning to launch a small crossover in a couple of years that would rival the popular Nissan Juke. Thus, the carmaker is trying to enter the B-segment, by becoming competitive with a future subcompact crossover and compete against other models like the Peugeot 2008, the Ford EcoSport, the Opel Mokka or the Renault Captur. But the company`s main goal is to find the right solution to build up a crossover that would successfully rival the Nissan Juke. Even if the plan hasn’t been officially announced by the company, the Edmunds online publication has spoken to Dave Zuchowski, the CEO at Hyundai America. Zuchowski stated that the company`s future small crossover, will be a model looking like a Juke, meaning an “edgy, dynamic styling” model. In order to do that, the Hyundai manufacturer might use the Curb Concept model, introduced in 2011 at the Detroit Motor Show, the crossover having nothing to do with the Tucson … [Read more...] about Hyundai Planning Small Crossover against Nissan Juke
The cheerfully compact Ford Transit Connect wagon and van created a new small-commercial-van segment in the U.S. when it arrived in late 2009. Early success attracted copycats from Nissan (the NV200 in 2013 and its rebadged twin Chevy City Express in 2014) and from Ram (the 2015 ProMaster City). By 2015 the segment had swelled to 91,000 sales, but it has shrunk by almost 14,000 units since. Last year Ford’s Transit Connect sales dipped below their 2012 no-competition level. Queue the urgent refresh, with a new target audience!Who’s Ford planning to lure now? Baby Boomers on a budget engaged in “Third Act” leisure or entrepreneurial activities that require hauling stuff around. The near-ideal hip-high slide-in driver seat, the low 2-foot lift from the ground to the load floor, and the seven-passenger occasional grandchildren seating are touted as AARP attractions—you know, like the ground-floor master bedroom of the automotive world. Ford also promises to … [Read more...] about 2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon First Look: Budget Hauler for Boomers