THERE are times driving along the motorway, with all the big SUVs passing you by, that you wish for something just a little bit different – well, here it is. This is the Ford S-MAX ST-Line, a big people carrier with seven seats – or five if you prefer – and a genuine alternative to the four-wheel-drive brigade that daily splash mud on your face. Like many Ford models, it is a real surprise when you get inside. From the outside, it looks like what it is, a people carrier, albeit with a nice grille, a rear spoiler, a full body styling kit that comes with the ST-Line badge, ST-Line scuff plates and a big presence on the road. Inside, there is lots of light from the massive big windscreen, large glass tailgate and tinted side windows. Add to that a high driving position and you can see how it’s a true a lternative to the SUV. My version also had a panoramic roof, which I thought was really good value for just £750, particularly since this car is bound to be … [Read more...] about Ford S-MAX 2.0-litre ST Line review
Audi a4 2 0 tfsi s line special edition
4 That the Audi Q2 is not the cheapest or roomiest compact SUV on sale has seemingly done nothing to harm sales performance. The arrival of a version that is even more expensive and has even less space inside was therefore perhaps inevitable, which is how we end up with the prospect of a compact crossover that costs £32,000 before any options are added. That car is the Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro S-tronic, the new flagship model of Audi’s smallest SUV that combines petrol power with four-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. That sum sounds crazy for a car with a smaller and less versatile interior than the Renault Captur, and becomes more frightening still when you start adding... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles Subscriber-only events Cancel any time Free for 30 days then only £2 per week Try Premium Access one Premium article per week Register for … [Read more...] about Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI review: is hot hatch pace enough to justify a £32,000 starting price?
The second-generation A7 Sportback will come with both petrol and diesel options, with some hybrid input, but first out of the showrooms will be the 55 TFSI as tested here. It’s got the latest MLB platform, and manages to have a 12mm longer wheelbase yet a shorter bodylength by 5mm. Under that body is the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 giving in this instance 355bhp. Should you wait for the diesel? The latest engine is certainly smooth, and the 369lb ft of torque means you’re not forced to go chasing the revs unless you feel like it. In fact, you probably won’t feel like it. The sound certainly doesn’t improve a great deal and despite the Sport moniker there’s not a lot of sportiness to be had. It is very far from slow, as the 5.3sec time to 62mph attests, but somehow it comes along as exceedingly competent rather than exciting. The seven-speed auto box stirs things crisply and efficiently, and you can motor along fairly quietly at quite a pace for a lot of … [Read more...] about Review: Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI S line 2018
Can the new BMW X3 take on the dominant Audi Q5 and Land Rover Discovery Sport? Take one BMW 3 Series. Make it longer, taller and wider, give it four-wheel drive running gear and enhance its ground-crossing abilities. What do you have? A BMW X3 – and the firm has recently launched the all-new third-generation model, which is lighter, more efficient and tech-packed than before. BMW isn’t the only one playing this game. Audi does something similar with the Q5, which is also present here in still-fresh second-generation guise, a car we’ve previously rated as a real winner. Both of them are snaring a growing slice of the action first carved out by Land Rover, whose latest Discovery Sport is an able all-rounder with the unique advantage here of offering seven seats. So which is best? Driving Audi Q5 2.0 TDI S line S tronic Price: £41,085 Under the bonnet of the Land Rover, there’s a surprise. We’ve previously criticised its four-cylinder diesel … [Read more...] about Review: BMW X3 v Audi Q5 v Land Rover Discovery Sport
Is it a good idea to look beyond the mainstream for your next used executive car? BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics Engine: 2.0-litre diesel The executive car market is dominated by three popular German brands – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But for the past few years, Citroen has been trying to get in on the act, with the avantgarde DS5. It’s a mould-breaking machine and a refreshing alternative to the traditional saloon. Generally, business users in the UK buy models such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class by the truckload. The dominance of the German brands is absolute, which means there’s plenty of choice if you’re looking for a good-value five-year old model. New car sales of the DS5 are much smaller, meaning you’ll have to hunt that bit harder… is the search worthwhile, though? We bought all four cars together to find out. In terms of performance, it’s largely even between three of them. We tested an Efficient … [Read more...] about Buying used: Audi A4 v BMW 3 Series v Citroen DS5 v Mercedes-Benz C-Class