Car reviews and road tests
We’ve already driven the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron on the launch event, but a drive for just a couple of hours is very different to living with a plug-in hybrid for a week, so after a longer period with the car, has the A3 e-tron gone up or down in our estimation?
It’s the most eagerly awaited city car of the year, but can the rear-engined, rear-wheel drive smart forfour live up to expectations?
It’s rear-engined, rear-wheel drive, turbocharged and lightweight – it also has a fuel economy figure of 65.7mpg, emissions of 99g/km CO2, and costs less than £12,000 – it can only be the new Renault Twingo.
People are at last waking up to the link between air quality issues and diesel vans, taxis, buses and trucks; Nissan believes it can help with a solution, in the form of the all-electric e-NV200 Combi van.
The Lexus NX300h looks like a dramatically designed 4×4 for the Dakar rally, but after a week of driving through snow, rivers and mud, does the driving experience live up to its appearance?
The new Audi TT still looks like an Audi TT so it’s likely to be in demand, and this diesel ultra version has an impressive combined economy figure of 67.3mpg – but it’s front-wheel drive only, so it has less traction than the quattro model.
City cars generally feel as though they’re targeted at the youth market, but the new Hyundai i10 instead has all the qualities of a large Hyundai in a compact package, making it feel like the most mature car in its class.
It wasn’t that long ago when the thought of 67.3mpg from a sporty-looking Audi would have sounded crazy, but that is the actual combined economy figure for the Audi A5 Coupe 2.0 TDI ultra.
The Volkswagen Polo 1.0-litre 60 PS has a small, low-powered engine that is more at home in the Up! city car, but it works in the Polo supermini better than you would expect.
If you thought that every possible car based on a 3 Series had already been conceived, then think again – now there’s also the BMW X4, a coupe version of the X3 – and in 3-litre diesel form, it combines good performance with decent economy, for a 4×4.