What should a top luxury sports coupe be? Sharp and driver-orientated like a Porsche 911? Or a luxurious Grand Tourer like the Mercedes S-Class Coupe? If you can't decide, this BMW 8 Series Coupe might offer the perfect solution.Read more
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The improved seven-seat Ford Grand Tourneo Connect is a rugged but cleverly-engineered people mover that's sourced from commercial vehicle roots but offers enough sophistication to suit the needs of many growing families. Its especially frugal when equipped with the brand's latest efficient 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engines. When used as a five-seater, you get a huge amount of useful luggage space.
With a 2.3-litre turbocharged engine offering the option of better fuel economy than the traditional V8, as well as a lower price point, this improved Ford Mustang should continue to be quite a success in Europe, especially in Convertible guise. The idea here is to provide sports car performance and 50 years of heritage for the same sort of money as a humdrum executive drop-top.
Supermini buyers who might have overlooked Hyundai's i20 are being targeted by this revised second generation model. It gets smarter looks, a 7-speed dual clutch auto gearbox option, upgraded safety and extra media connectivity. Plus it remains one of the more affordable class players.
Kia's revised second generation mid-sized Optima model looks particularly sophisticated when fitted with the hybrid technology that the UK was once previously denied. It comes in sophisticated Plug-in form and in this guise, the saloon and Sportswagon estate variants on offer can travel up to 33 miles before the 2.0 GDI petrol engine cuts in.
Most buyers of Kia's Mondeo-sized medium range Optima model go for this Sportswagon estate variant. Now at last it gets a class-competitive diesel engine. And there's a smarter look and some extra safety technology too. There's even Plug-in hybrid power if you want it. Overall, with this much improved model, Kia aims to challenge the market leaders and even worry a few of the more premium players.
The improved MINI Cooper S is still one of the market's most engaging small hot hatches thanks to its hard-hitting 2.0-litre engine, its talented chassis and the fact that a big helping of fun inbuilt from the ground up. It'll get to 62mph in 6.8 seconds, has an exhaust note that's pure naughtiness and is sure to continue to win plenty of fans. It's even reasonably priced, as long as you don't get too carried away with options.
The five-door version of the MINI hatch has proved popular and this Cooper D variant is a favourite in the range. It's now been lightly revised, but this model's key attributes remain much as before. With 72.4mpg economy and a reasonable clip of speed from its 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, the Cooper D should continue to appeal, especially as prices are reasonably affordable.
Mercedes' C-Class Cabriolet model line-up is topped off by this improved and now even more desirable C 63 high performance V8 variant. Toupees will need to be very well tied-down indeed.
It's said that cockroaches will be the only thing to survive a nuclear conflagration. Whoever said that clearly never drove a Mercedes G-Class. It's a vehicle that neither time, progress, fashion nor legislation can kill and this second generation version is better than ever. It'll be irrelevant to virtually everyone, but for that merest fraction of a percentage point of UK buyers, it's the greatest car on earth.
The Suzuki Swift Sport has long been a car embraced by serious drivers who know a great handling hot hatch when they see it. Though not especially powerful, it's agile, chuckable and brilliant fun for not a lot of money. Few potential buyers know this, so the idea with this third generation model is to widen its appeal with a smarter interior, lower running costs, a little more grunt and even sharper handling. For all that, it'll still be a well-kept secret in this segment, but one loyal buyers will enjoy hugely.
Ever wondered what a Toyota Yaris might be like with over 200 braked horses beneath the bonnet? No, we hadn't either. But Toyota has made one anyway, this wild Yaris GRMN. It's a rather unique confection....
The fastest Vauxhall Insignia, this GSi model, isn't quite as wild as its Insignia VXR predecessor was but it's smarter and arguably faster in the real world. Four wheel drive is still a key part of the package based around diesel power, with near 150mph performance. Plus hatch and estate options, a slick 8-speed auto gearbox and some clever electronics to get torque to the tarmac. It's a lot of car for under £35,000.
The Sport Black version of the Mazda MX-5 RF stands out with its black rear spoiler, leather upholstery and Mica paint, a model that keeps the tried and tested MX-5 special edition formula fresh. Available only with the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G engine, it's bound to find a small but significant band of eager buyers.
The first generation version of the Audi S7 Sportback packs a 420PS punch, a seven-speed S tronic transmission, quattro four wheel drive, air suspension and virtually all of the brand's latest performance technology into a practical but exclusively styled five coupe-style silhouette. It sold between 2012 and 2016 and on the used market, is a rare and tempting proposition for the money being asked.
When it comes to supercars in the early part of the 21st century, this one is everybody's benchmark, Ferrari's 458. From its launch in 2010, it occupied a different league of excitement, occasion and desirability from most of its competitors, whether in coupe or Spider convertible form. And of course, it's from a brand with a heritage second to none. That said, for a company with such a rich tradition, Ferrari isn't big on nostalgia for the sake of it. Blending effectiveness with emotion is what this car is all about. Quite frankly, nobody does it better.
The Ford Focus evolved in third generation guise, then further smartened up its act in the revised MK3 form launched in 2014 - the car we evaluate here as a used buy. The idea was to offer slicker looks, higher interior quality and extra technology. Plus with this re-design, the Focus also delivered greater efficiency beneath the bonnet thanks to the addition of a hi-tech range of 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. The best part though, is that this car still remains as rewarding to drive as it's always been. The Focus might have grown up a little in this form, but it certainly hasn't lost its spark.
If you're looking for a small, supermini-based Crossover SUV these days, you're not short of choice. This week though, I thought I'd try one which may not be on your radar, Mazda's CX-3. It's cleverer, faster, more stylish and better to drive than most cars of the Juke-genre. For other brands entering this segment, it's an example of how it should be done.
I'd never considered myself as the sort of person who would buy an all-electric car. The whole idea of plugging in every night to power your car has to me always seemed about as natural as shovelling coal into it. And the prospect of starting out every lengthier journey wondering whether enough charge was available to complete it has never particularly appealed. With the launch of Nissan's second generation LEAF though, I thought I'd give EV motoring another chance.
Volkswagen's sixth generation Jetta was improved in 2014 to make it smarter and cleverer, offering customers a different alternative to the Golf hatch. With this saloon, you get a huge boot and rear passenger space almost able to rival the larger, pricier Passat. Does it make sense as a used buy?
It wasn't long ago that a Kia was something you bought on price. You'd really rather have had something else but Kia did it for less. Not quite as smartly and effectively perhaps but you bought a Kia and you got the job done. When the second generation Ceed was launched in 2012, the market realised that it was time to start looking at this Korean brand in a different way. Here was a car that was at least as good as the Family Hatchback class favourites - Astras, Focus's and Meganes - but costed less to buy and to own. That's a proposition further improved by the third generation version we're looking at here and it's certainly one that works for me.
The BMW 3 Series has ruled the compact part of the mid-sized executive segment for more than forty years and the company's hopes are high for this seventh generation version. It's smarter, slightly larger, more efficient and considerably high-tech. All the things you'd expect really. Something else you'd expect from this model is rear wheel drive handling purity. It doesn't disappoint in that regard either.
Ford's Fiesta has always been affordable and great to drive. But state of the art? It's that too in this all-new seventh generation form. Beneath the smarter styling lies some clever user-friendly technology - and cabin quality that'll make down-sizing into one of these less of a chore. This is how you right a best seller.
The Ford Focus has evolved, this improved MK3 version offering slicker looks, higher interior quality and extra technology. There's also greater efficiency beneath the bonnet thanks to the addition of a hi-tech range of 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. The best part though, is that this car still remains as rewarding to drive as it's always been. The Focus might have grown up but it certainly hasn't lost its spark.
The Ford Focus has evolved, this MK4 version offering slicker looks, higher interior quality and extra technology. There's also greater efficiency beneath the bonnet thanks to the addition of a hi-tech range of petrol and diesel engines. The best part though, is that this car should still remain as rewarding to drive as it's always been. The Focus might have grown up but it certainly hasn't lost its spark.
NEW WORLD ORDER
The revised fourth generation Ford Mondeo pulls out all the stops in a bid to convince British buyers that the medium-range 'D'-segment family hatch isn't a thing of the past. With tight pricing, comfort-orientated drive dynamics, the sort of cabin tech you might expect to be the preserve of the premium German marques and the option of hybrid power, there looks to be life in the Mondeo yet.
This fifth generation Clio supermini offers the kind of complete package that could return this model line to its old position as one of Europe's favourites. Tougher segment competition has forced Renault to up its game, particularly in terms of cabin technology, fit and finish. There's greater practicality, extra safety and media technology and a sharper look. Plenty to like then.
RENAULT'S FRENCH FANCY
Renault's fourth generation Megane family hatchback is now a smarter proposition - in more ways than one. If you're shopping for something Focus or Astra-shaped in this segment, it'll probably no longer be one of the first cars you'll immediately think of, but this MK4 model is clever, sensible and very good looking, with the bold exterior styling matched by the cleverness of the fresh platform that lies beneath. In short, it might surprise you.
The seventh generation version of Vauxhall's Astra family hatch manages to be better equipped, more efficient and more spacious than its predecessor, plus it offers a worthwhile engine range that includes an efficient little 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol unit. Think that sounds promising? Then like us, you might think that this could be an extremely tough rival for segment-leading Golf and Focus models.
BUT OF CORSA
The fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa delivers similar dimensions to the old car - but that's as far as the similarities go. With a fresh chassis and suspension and a three-cylinder petrol engine that takes star billing, it also gets a classier interior. Keep your eye on this one. It could give the Ford Fiesta a real tough time.
With a theoretical range of up to 186 miles and a recharging time that can take not much more than half an hour, the improved Volkswagen e-Golf makes electric power a much more feasible and normal prospect for British motorists. Still fancy that turbodiesel?
BUT OF CORSA
Vauxhall has given some attention to its fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa supermini line-up, refining the engine range down to variants of an improved version of its 1.4-litre petrol engine and enhancing the value proposition on offer. If you want a sharp deal on a car in this class, you'll get it on this one, but there are also other reasons why a Corsa might suit.