The latest addition to the fleet has hidden depths, though finding them is proving difficult. Is a small SUV a realistic proposition as an everyday car for our much-travelled Motoring Correspondent? Our car: Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI 150PS 6-speed manual Edition List price when new: £27,110 OTR Price as tested: £30,001 Official fuel economy: 51.4mpg (EU Combined) Read more long-term tests April 24th, 2018 Fuel economy this week: 35.4mpg It snowed the day they delivered our new long-term Skoda Karoq SUV. Oh good, we thought, a proper, go-anywhere off-roader, just the job for the days when the white stuff falls... Fat chance. Karoqs are available in 4x4, torquey turbodiesel form, but not mine. My Karoq is a 30-grand, gunmetal grey shopping-mall special, with a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 148bhp @ 5,000rpm, a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. That spec, together with 19-inch alloy wheels, may look fine and dandy … [Read more...] about Skoda Karoq – the smallest Czech SUV on long-term test
Long term test
Volvo is clearly on a roll, producing one of the best large SUVs (XC90) and now clinching the European Car of the Year title with the small XC40. We’re trying the mid-size XC60 to see whether its Swedish style is more than skin deep. Our car: Volvo XC60 D5 PowerPulse AWD R-design List price when new: £43,505 Price as tested: £53,580 Official fuel economy: 54.1mpg (EU Combined) Read more long-term tests June 5th, 2018 Fuel consumption this week: 38.7mpg For those who have been watching The Bridge unravel on BBC2, Sweden appears a rather dangerous place. The Nordic Noir police drama has a high body count and is eerily dark – like Midsummer Murders by moonlight. However, having driven across Scandinavia many times, I know it is remarkably safe. People adhere to the speed limits and nobody uses a mobile phone behind the wheel. There’s probably a campaign to fit wandering elks with high visibility vests. We’ve already … [Read more...] about Volvo XC60 – long-term test: the ultimate middle-class car?
The Jaguar XF has been around for a while but constant revisions have kept pace with its German rivals. But what is it like to live with day to day? Our car: Jaguar XF Portfolio 3.0 V6 Turbocharged Diesel 300ps RWD List price: from £47,600 Price as tested: £64,595 (includes £16,995 of extras) Official fuel economy: 51.4mpg (EU Combined) Read more long-term tests May 24th, 2018 Fuel economy this week: 34.9mpg At 7,670 miles a warning light appeared on the dash, indicating low exhaust cleansing fluid. The alert looks like an ice cream cone but, if ignored, the car will not restart after a certain number of miles – a figure also indicated on the dash. In common with many modern diesels, the XF’s exhaust system is fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) in which a solution of urea converts oxides of nitrogen into harmless water vapour and nitrogen. The filling point for the AdBlue urea solution is located on the left inside … [Read more...] about Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 diesel – long-term test: still a viable alternative to Audi, BMW and Mercedes?
As soon as the Arteon was announced, we thought it interesting. Could a volume manufacturer such as Volkswagen really produce a saloon to rival the big-hitters in the sector such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz? Our car: Volkswagen Arteon R-Line 2.0 TSI 190 PS 7spd DSG List price when new: £34,290 OTR Price as tested: £42,835 Official fuel economy: 47.1mpg (EU Combined) Read more long-term tests May 15th, 2018 Fuel economy this week: 35.2mpg At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the Arteon hasn't seen much use over the past few weeks. However, a few test cars from Jaguar, Audi and BMW in that time have enabled a comparison between them and the Arteon's pretension to be a premium player. In terms of fit and finish, not to mention equipment, the Volkswagen compares well with a 2.0-litre petrol-engined Jaguar XF that I sampled. They have a similar starting price, too, but I'm afraid that although I've grown to … [Read more...] about Volkswagen Arteon – a stylish alternative to premium saloons on long-term test
Selflessly testing the widely-held theory that you can use Stuttgart’s finest as an everyday car, Kyle Fortune tries family life with a 911 Carrera Coupé Our car: Porsche 911 Carrera Coupé List price when new: £76,412 Price as tested: £84,891 Official fuel economy: 34.0mpg (EU Combined) Read more long-term tests March 13th, 2018 Fuel economy this week: 21.5mpg I’m not expecting any sympathy, but the Porsche 911 Carrera has gone. I’ll admit to being more than a little bit distraught when the man from Porsche came to collect it; still, better to have loved and lost and all that… And love it I did, which isn’t unusual for long-term test cars, but there’s usually a lengthy list of provisos attached to that. With the 911 there really wasn’t. I’d asked to borrow it out of a genuine interest to see if a sports car would work as a daily driver. Not just a car for selfish old me, … [Read more...] about Porsche 911 Carrera – long-term test: is a 911 really the best all-rounder?
► VW Golf GTE long-term test► Popular PHEV put under the spotlight► Is it more Golf or more hybrid? You'll be familiar with at least one of the many movie versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where aliens take over humans, but you can't tell by looking at them. (In the case of the Donald Sutherland version, he actually seems to become less alien after he's been taken over.) That's the worst-case scenario with the Golf GTE, the plug-in petrol-electric hybrid: looks like a Golf, isn't.The best-case scenario is that it looks and feels like a Golf, with the same characteristics and charm and quality and practicality, but it happens to have an electric socket behind the VW badge on the grille. In the same way that diesels came to be an accepted part of the Golf family, why shouldn't there be a version with a powertrain that incorporates an electric motor?Well, we'll see. I've driven it literally twice so far (after Phil McNamara had it for a couple of weeks, keen … [Read more...] about VW Golf GTE long-term test: paternity test required…
► CAR lives with a Toyota GT86► GT86 Pro long-term test review► Still the hero affordable sports car? When the GT86 was first launched, the ABS would chime in too early. I wondered if the 17-inch tyres were to blame, perhaps because they were running out of grip before the brakes were running out of stopping power. This revised version sticks with those same Michelins, but I haven’t once triggered the ABS.Perhaps the updated suspension does a better job of keeping the front tyres in contact with the road, perhaps the ABS is now less intrusive, but either way it feels better to me. Browse used Toyota GT86s for sale By Ben BarryEngine 1998cc 16v 4-cyl, 197bhp @ 7000rpm, 151lb ft @ 6400rpmGearbox 6-speed manual, rear-wheel driveStats 7.6sec 0-62mph, 140mph, 36.2mpg, 180g/km CO2Price £28,005 As tested £29,550Miles this month 444 Total 6446Our mpg 34.9Official mpg 36.2 Fuel £68.58Extra costs None This month, we let Mazda MX-5 … [Read more...] about Toyota GT86 long-term test: an everyday handling hero
► CAR runs a Volvo estate► Ours is a D5 AWD R-Design► Grown-up, but not boringA laboratory chimpanzee does not write his own reports. He doesn't know why the cosmetics make him cry: he just knows that they do. This is the best analogy I can come up with for my inability to explain why I don't entirely get along with Volvo's Sensus 'connectivity and entertainment technology': basically the huge nine-inch portrait-format touchscreen in the middle of the dash.I can make a few specific allegations: it has crashed and rebooted a few times while driving, the pinch-to-zoom function can be frustratingly slow and the map can lack detail, with street or place names too often absent and minor roads disappearing too soon.But there's also something about the nature or timing of the sat-nav instructions which I can't explain but which I know often leaves me confused and occasionally on the wrong road. Doubtless some human-machine interface expert could identify the fault, and it … [Read more...] about Volvo V90 long-term test: car and driver are out of sync
► CAR lives with a used Tesla► Model S long-term test review► Comment below if you own one! After the build-up, the research, the endless questions from mates and mums, the time has finally come. CAR magazine has collected our approved used Model S from Tesla’s UK headquarters and has become a fully signed-up member of the Tesla fraternity.The HQ in west London doubles up as the London Heathrow dealership and we sat alongside a handful of owners popping in to collect their own purchases and service their electric vehicles. There’s a cool, calm, premium vibe percolating the showroom, which is sparsely furnished with minimalist furniture, Apple Macs and displays showcasing the various charging solutions available to private customers.So far, so typical of any premium garage - but one distinguishing feature is the clientele. Tesla seemingly has a broad appeal, but there’s a strong interest from older, wiser, wealthier motorists, it … [Read more...] about It’s arrived! The start of our Tesla Model S long-term test review
FINAL REPORT - scroll down for earlier reports“Do you know what?” my partner asked me as we homed back in on Calais after 1500 miles in a week in the BMW 320d xDrive, adding those to the 15,000 miles racked up in the previous 11 months. “I’m really going to miss this car.” Why did she think that? “I don’t know why...”Ah. But as strange as it sounds, I’m with her on that. Well, I do know why, but I understand what she meant: the 3 Series is one of those cars that gets pretty much every little thing right, in such an unassuming way, that it makes life with it so easy, enjoyable and rewarding almost without you ever really noticing it.Whatever the 3 Series’ status and reputation as a stellar car to drive and a fine all-rounder, though, it still arrived in our possession last summer with a lot to prove. Back then, it had just undergone a facelift and its position as the star pupil of the class it had ruled for so long was under … [Read more...] about BMW 320d long-term test review: all the car you’d ever need?