This week: Our guide to Shanghai's big reveals, the new Range Rover Evoque meets its competitors and we help you buy a sub-£30,000 Aston
17 April 2019

Could Mercedes-Benz’ new GLB be the German answer to the Land Rover Defender?

Unveiled in concept form at this week’s Shanghai motor show, it will sit between the GLA high-riding hatchback and GLC SUV when it makes production later this year. 

Also in Shanghai was Volkswagen’s new electric seven-seater, Aston Martin’s long-awaited Rapide E and a futuristic city car from Audi to rival the Seat El-Born. We’ve got a comprehensive rundown of the show’s major announcements. 

But Shanghai wasn’t the only big motoring event this week - Hyundai chose the New York motor show as the venue for the launch of a quirky luxury two-seater

Back on home turf, we reveal more details of Lotus’ upcoming electric hypercar as Hethel gears up for a London unveiling later this year. Equally as exciting is Mazda’s plan to introduce a ‘hyper’ variant of its new 3 hatchback

Rounding off our news pages this week, we take a look at the blossoming relationship between Tesla and Fiat Chrysler, the facelifted Mini Clubman, Audi’s new diesel performance saloons and more.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Reviews

Mercedes-Benz unwrapped the second-generation CLA compact saloon in Las Vegas earlier this year, with the promise that it would offer the sportiest dynamics of its new wave of compact cars. Is that true? We head to Germany for a drive and a chat with the model’s chief engineer. 

Our Verdict

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf is typically understated and classy in a world of original and unique looking electric vehicles

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We’ve also been out on UK roads for the first time in Audi’s new E-tron SUV to find out what to expect from Ingolstadt’s forthcoming EV onslaught, before bedding down in Mercedes’ new V-Class Marco Polo luxury campervan for a spot of road test ‘glamping’. 

Our big road test this week determines whether Jaguar has updated the XF Sportbrake enough to ensure it remains competitive in the increasingly diverse executive segment.

Features

We’ve already been impressed by the new Range Rover Evoque, both in sunny Greece and against a somewhat greyer British backdrop, but now it’s time to introduce another variable to the equation. Does Gaydon’s new compact SUV pale in comparison to rivals from Audi, Lexus and Volvo? Find out in our four-way compact clash. 

To Oxfordshire, now, for a visit to one of the UK’s leading motoring heritage sites. We join Bicester Heritage chief executive Dan Geoghegan for a tour of his remarkably preserved RAF base, and a look at the facility’s development plans.

Ever wondered how to create the ultimate luxury car? Us too, which is why we’ve subjected ourselves to some strenuous research in the name of consumer advice. A smooth ride isn’t enough these days, so we compiled a comfortable car checklist, and found out how many boxes the new Mercedes S-Class ticks. 

Next, and somewhat more overtly scientific, is our insight into the world of WLTP testing. Those four letters are becoming increasingly important figures for car enthusiasts and manufacturers alike, so just what does the test mean, how is it measured and will it work?

Opinions

Infiniti’s decision, last month, to exit Western Europe came as no surprise to Matt Prior, but it did get him thinking: as automotive profit margins continue to shrink, what’s in it for premium manufacturers? Meanwhile, Steve Cropley’s extended commute has given him a chance to mull over the potential implications of London’s new ULEZ. 

Deals

A four-car garage for less than £5000? It’s possible, but perhaps not altogether advisable, as determined by James Ruppert this week. You might be better off buying a nearly-new Skoda Yeti, which is a stylish do-it-all MPV that can be had for around £8000.

More expensive, but arguably more exciting, is the sub-£30,000 Aston Martin DB9 we’ve found on the web this week. If you’re after a noisier British sports car, you can’t do much better than the TVR Griffith featured in our used buying guide this week.

Where to buy

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Autocar magazine is available through all good newsagents. You can also buy one-off copies of Autocar magazine from Newsstand, delivered to your door the morning after.

Digital copies can be downloaded from Zinio and the Apple iTunes store.

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Comments
41

5 April 2018

As usual, this week's edition (dated 04APR2018), is a very good read, and well worth the investment. The road test of the eighth generation of Roll-Royce Phantom - with its "mahogany panelling" - illustrates that moneyed wealth, should NOT be confused with good-taste!

The sales pitch for next week's issue (to be dated 11APR2018), whets our appetite with the Used Buying Guide  . . .  "Mercedes-Benz CLS. Can't afford the new one? Then read our guide to Merc's original style icon".

The original CLS certainly was a style icon, with all the svelte elegance of a Parisian - or Italian - chic designer item.

That streamlined elegance was lost when the original's "facelift" incorporated the bluff, Teutonic, more upright, corporate Mercedes radiator grill.

The new, current, incarnation of the CLS (page 29, of this week's magazine), shares all the style, delicacy, and substantial "presence" of a rugby prop forward!  It is not a case of "Can not  AFFORD  the new CLS?".  More a question of why would anyone wish to purchase such a vulgar and brutish vehicle?

It is (again) a reminder that the ownership of wealth, is NOT the same as the possession of good taste.

RCT(V)

 

 

 

 

289

18 July 2018

....totally agree!

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