Used Honda CR-V (Mk4, 2012-2017) review

Used Honda CR-V (Mk4, 2012-2017) review

REVIEWS
When the Honda CR-V was first introduced to the world in the early nineties, its goal was to provide a more compact and affordable option to SUV buyers. Today, the CR-V is in its fifth generation and remains a strong competitor in the now thriving compact SUV market.It would be easy to underestimate the CR-V’s significance, because in a crowded segment it’s often seen as just another contender. But by the time the Mk4 arrived in 2012 it was the world’s best-selling SUV, thanks largely to it leading the field in the US.The latest CR-V can now seat seven people, while its predecessor was strictly a five-seater. Unless you need a third row, that’s no bad thing, because it means space for five occupants is excellent and it had a…
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New BMW X4 M Competition 2021 review

New BMW X4 M Competition 2021 review

REVIEWS
VerdictThis latest X4 M Competition is undeniably rapid and boasts grip and traction to rival some super-saloons. It’s a strong technical update, with more performance and better tech on offer, plus bespoke M features for this halo model. However, it’s still ultimately a compromised car, especially when it comes to ride comfort, while its X3 M alternative also offers more practicality.BMW’s mid-life refresh for its X3 SUV and X4 coupé-SUV models also extends to the high-performance M models, and this new X4 M Competition is our first chance to sample the updated range-topper.Like the regular cars, much of the focus here has been placed on keeping the X4 M looking sharp, while also boosting the technology inside. However, the previous car – along with its X3 M Competition counterpart –…
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Citroen C3 vs Suzuki Swift: 2021 group test review

Citroen C3 vs Suzuki Swift: 2021 group test review

REVIEWS
Scour the new-car price lists of Auto Express from 2000, and you’ll see that 30 brands sold cars in the UK for less than £14,000. Now, that number is down to 10. A big part of that, of course, is down to inflation; back then, 14 grand would’ve got you a decent mid-range Ford Focus. But it’s also a symptom of market pressures. More than ever, it’s harder for brands to squeeze a profit out of small cars. As a result, the choice is much more limited. But while the quantity of cheap cars has decreased, the quality certainly hasn’t. We’ve picked out two superminis that prove a 14-grand budget needn’t mean you miss out on the cheer.The Citroen C3 cuts a properly unique figure in the small-car segment, choosing to go…
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New Audi A8 2021 review

New Audi A8 2021 review

REVIEWS
VerdictThis mild refresh for the A8 hasn’t transformed its eternal position as bridesmaid to the Mercedes S-Class. Even so, while we wish the S8’s predictive air suspension was offered across the full range, Audi’s largest saloon is still every bit the hi-tech tour de force you expect and, whether you’re in the driving seat or reclining in the back, the facelifted Audi A8 is a consummate professional.However you look at it, a 5.2-metre-long, 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 limousine like this facelifted Audi A8 will cast something of a dinosaur-shaped shadow in 2021.Yet the new Range Rover and Mercedes S-Class, not to mention existing rivals such as the BMW 7 Series, all offer potent V8s, so why wouldn’t Audi? Of course, the A8 will come with a range of options, including a…
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Used Volvo XC60 (Mk1, 2008-2017) review

Used Volvo XC60 (Mk1, 2008-2017) review

REVIEWS
VerdictThe Volvo XC60 Mk 1 was the Swedish car maker’s first attempt at a mid-size premium SUV, and the end result is a fairly well-rounded car. The roomy and well-built interior made the Volvo XC60 a solid choice if you were shopping around for a new upmarket family car, as did its impressive for the time safety equipment specification.Comfort is an area where the Volvo XC60 Mk 1 fares well, too. The supple ride does a good job at filtering out bumps in the road, which in conjunction with the good noise insulation makes the Volvo quiet and cossetting on long motorway journeys. The trade-off for this is the XC60 isn’t the most fun-to-drive family SUV – even versions with the stiffer suspension on the sportier R-Design trim level.Which one…
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Ford Focus ST Edition vs Volkswagen Golf GTI: 2021 group test review

Ford Focus ST Edition vs Volkswagen Golf GTI: 2021 group test review

REVIEWS
Of all the new cars on sale today, hot hatches quite possibly have the hardest job of all. Few cars have to boast such a broad spread of talents; first and foremost, they have to be as fun, exciting and involving as many sports cars, but they need to remain comfortable and easy to drive, not forgetting that they should be spacious and practical enough to carry plenty of people and things, too. Most importantly of all, they need to remain affordable. That last point is a particularly challenging feat when, as with our lead car in this test, some advanced componentry is introduced to bump up the thrills.Ford has been one of the key players in the hot-hatch game for decades, and while some of its efforts are held…
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Used Nissan Micra (Mk5, 2016-date) review

Used Nissan Micra (Mk5, 2016-date) review

REVIEWS
​The Nissan Micra is a common sight on UK roads, and for good reason. Affordability, reliability and efficiency are what helped this small car to prove very popular when it initially launched in 1982, and there are now plenty of used Micras of all ages to be found at tempting prices.First and second-generation Micras are well-regarded for being pretty hard-wearing mechanically, while the Mk3 Micra brought along quirky styling and a fair amount of features for its time. Unfortunately, Nissan somewhat dropped the ball with the Mk4, which arrived in 2010. Developed primarily as a cheap car for emerging markets, its bland styling and rather dull image meant it struggled to compete in the tough European market.When the latest Mk5 Micra was introduced in 2016, it was clear that Nissan…
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Used Renault Scenic (Mk4, 2016-2019) review

Used Renault Scenic (Mk4, 2016-2019) review

REVIEWS
VerdictNew Renault Scenics are no longer available in the UK, and the fact that there’s no significant appetite for it is a shame, because it’s good to drive, bursting with practicality and excellent value. It seems SUV-focused buyers no longer want MPVs of any size. As a result, second-hand Scenics are much more unusual than you might think, and that’s unfortunate. This Mk4 model looks really smart and it offers a level of cabin versatility that’s generally not available in the compact SUV sector – especially if you want seven-seat accommodation. We liked the Grand Scenic enough to commend it in our 2017 Best MPV category in our New Car Awards, and it’s still worthy of your consideration.Manufacturers generally play safe with their cars because getting it wrong can prove…
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New Renault Megane E-Tech Electric 2022 review

New Renault Megane E-Tech Electric 2022 review

REVIEWS
VerdictWhat impresses most about the new all-electric Megane is its ability to combine characters: it’s either fun and playful or comfortable and relaxing. We like the way it looks, we like the interior and we like the tech. Space in the back is a little disappointing, but with the right pricing and specification this could be a Megane that really gives its VW equivalent a run for its money.The Renaulution is under way and this is the first model to prove it – the new Megane E-Tech Electric. Ignore the slightly cumbersome name – Renault says it’ll just refer to it as the new Megane – and this is as good a clue as any to the future of the famous French brand under new boss Luca De Meo.To be…
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New Toyota GR86 prototype review

New Toyota GR86 prototype review

REVIEWS
Verdict As the majority pull away from delivering exciting, enjoyable and fun driver’s cars Toyota’s GR division has developed another great performance car to join the GR Yaris and Supra. In the GR86 it’s taken the old GT86 recipe and added a few new key ingredients to deliver a freshly prepared alternative to today’s endless buffet of electric vehicles. Many thought that when Toyota reinvented the Supra there would be room for only one front-engined, rear-wheel drive sports coupe in the company’s line-up, the entry-level GT86 destined to be quietly discontinued. Time for the many to think again.Officially unveiled in final European specification on 2nd December (hence the Christmas wrapping paper disguise of our test car), the GR86 we’re driving on both road and track is a prototype, although that’s a very…
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