Used Ford Focus (Mk3, 2011-2018) review

Used Ford Focus (Mk3, 2011-2018) review

REVIEWS
VerdictSmall family hatches are the biggest-selling cars across Europe, so the Focus is up against some very stiff competition. And while the more expensive VW Golf is our favourite new car in this sector, it doesn’t offer the value that the Focus does on the used market, and it’s also not as much fun to drive. Indeed, as an all-rounder the Ford is pretty hard to beat, which is why it always performed well in our used car awards. Its fabulous mix of quality, comfort and handling – not to mention some very keen used prices – make the Focus a terrific used buy.Which one should I buy?Best Ford Focus for low costs: 1.0 EcoBoost 100 5drBest Ford Focus for fuel economy: 1.5 EcoBlue 120 Active Edition 5drBest Ford Focus…
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New Ford Mustang Mach 1 2021 review

New Ford Mustang Mach 1 2021 review

REVIEWS
VerdictFor what may be a swansong for the naturally aspirated V8 muscle car, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 is a fitting tribute. It’s not a groundbreaking rendition of the Mustang recipe, but the chassis changes tighten things up noticeably, giving the Mach 1 a surprising degree of competence on a track. An £11,000 price hike over the standard car is steep, and European rivals tackle tricky roads with more finesse, but the Mach 1 is an entertaining brute.The new Ford Mustang Mach 1 represents what will likely be a last gasp for the naturally aspirated V8 engine in time, especially as Ford is pressing its electric future with the Mustang nameplate, including hotter Mach-E GT, which makes this Mach 1 now the sharpest iteration of the petrol-engined Mustang muscle car…
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Ford Focus review

Ford Focus review

REVIEWS
The Ford Focus is one of the mainstays of the British car market, and it’s easy to see why. The well-judged chassis delivers a composed, comfortable and enjoyable drive on UK roads, with excellent body control and responsive steering. The engines – particularly the 1.0-litre EcoBoost 125PS version – are punchy enough but also refined. And the latest Mk4 Focus has better cabin space than its predecessors, plus quality that’s pretty much a match for the best in class. Keen pricing and finance offers seal the deal; the latest Focus should be on the shortlist of any buyer looking for a new hatchback.About the Ford FocusThe Ford Focus was a game changer when it hit the market at the end of the 1990s, offering a blend of style, practicality and…
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New Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost 2021 review

New Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost 2021 review

REVIEWS
VerdictThe Black Badge Ghost is every bit as comfortable and beautifully finished as the regular car, but it stops short of delivering a quantum leap dynamically, since to do so would be to take the model beyond the brand’s comfort zone. Buyers drawn in by the different approach to finishes and customisation - and there will be plenty of them - are unlikely to care much about this.For many, Rolls-Royce remains an iconic brand built on sophistication, luxury and a subtle-yet-imposing road presence. But the British firm has been quietly building up an alter ego over the past five years through its Black Badge editions - ‘subversive’ models, designed to appeal to the sort of customer who might buy a regular car and then turn to a tuner or customiser…
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New Silver Cross Balance i-Size child car seat review

New Silver Cross Balance i-Size child car seat review

REVIEWS
VerdictThe Silver Cross Balance i-Size is a talented, comfortable, high quality and ultimately very safe seat, designed to fit your little one as they grow. Priced at around £250, it’s pretty good value, tooChoosing a car seat that fits your child as they grow isn’t always as easy as it sounds. There are models that offer a solution from birth right up to 12 years, though to achieve this flexibility, they often prove compromised in certain areas.The Silver Cross Balance i-Size isn’t suitable for newborns, but by focusing on slightly older kids (from 15 months) it’s able to better offer the support and protection required as your child grows. Made from “naturally antibacterial bamboo fabric” the Balance i-Size is both soft and supportive.Installing the seat is fairly straightforward thanks to…
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Fiat 500 Passion: long-term test review

Fiat 500 Passion: long-term test review

REVIEWS
VerdictWe’re off to a good start with the new 500. The Fiat has proven to be a small and useful option around town, and we’ve yet to find ourselves stuck with a flat battery.Mileage: 794Efficiency: 4.5 miles/kWhIn the grey corner, weighing in at 1,395kg and with an undefeated record in Auto Express group tests... the current champion in the Auto Express New Car Awards City Car of the Year category, the new, all-electric Fiat 500.In the fetching yellow jumper is me, its custodian for the next six months. This impressive small electric car, which beat its rivals on test and did enough to convince us to bestow New Car Awards honours on it this year, is about to enter its toughest bout yet. We’re going to find out how it…
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Used Toyota Land Cruiser (Mk4, 2009-date) review

Used Toyota Land Cruiser (Mk4, 2009-date) review

REVIEWS
Toyota is celebrating 70 years since it first introduced the original Land Cruiser to the world.  Throughout these years, the boxy model has built and retained a reputation for ruggedness, reliability and sheer off-road capability. As the models have developed over time, so has the level of luxury and equipment on offer.Although not quite as luxurious or refined as a Range Rover, the modern Toyota Land Cruisers are a very pleasant vehicle to sit in whilst you dominate the terrain ahead, no matter what it is. Running costs are inevitably high and insurance cover can be pricey, but routine maintenance isn’t exceptionally expensive for this class of car. There’s also the sense of exclusivity, too, as Land Cruisers aren’t overly common on the used market.Models covered • Toyota Land Cruiser Mk4 (2009-date)…
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New Audi RS 3 Sportback 2021 review

New Audi RS 3 Sportback 2021 review

REVIEWS
VerdictWith the new RS 3 Audi has created the fastest hot hatchback money can buy. While the drivetrain tech doesn’t deliver the purest of driving experiences, there’s more sophistication than in previous generations, and the incredible performance on offer isn’t in doubt - plus that five-cylinder engine adds real character. Few cars on sale can deliver such devastating any-weather pace, and despite this huge capability, it’s still comfortable, refined, and easy to live with every day.When the automotive landscape becomes fully dominated by electric vehicles, there will be a handful of internal combustion engines that we’ll miss the most. Among the finest V12s and screaming flat sixes found in supercars and GTs, the five-cylinder turbocharged unit in the new Audi RS 3 Sportback, one of the most potent hot hatches…
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New Honda HR-V 2021 review

New Honda HR-V 2021 review

REVIEWS
VerdictIngeniously practical, well-built and impressively frugal, the HR-V ticks many of the compact SUV boxes. Our time driving in the UK has put to bed question marks over fuel efficiency - few cars in this class can offer the HR-V’s potential. It even drives smartly too, although it isn’t quite class-leading in any one area. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver enough to justify its relatively high retail price compared with some key rivals. Still, it’s the most convincing family car Honda has produced in years.Back in the late nineties Honda dubbed its first-generation HR-V “The Joy Machine”, and now into its this third iteration, this new compact family SUV will need to leave us grinning from ear to ear if it’s to topple rivals like the Toyota Yaris Cross, Renault Captur…
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Renault Arkana vs Toyota C-HR: 2021 group test review

Renault Arkana vs Toyota C-HR: 2021 group test review

REVIEWS
In recent years we’ve seen premium car makers conjure up an increasingly large number of sub-segments out of thin air. Modern manufacturing processes allow lots of different models to be offered at once, catering for buyers who seek to stand out from the crowd. It’s a trend most common with the German brands, which turn out SUVs in countless flavours, including more swoopy “coupé” bodystyles that sacrifice space for a sportier look. Now Renault wants to get in on the action, with the Arkana. It isn’t a coupé-SUV version of another car (like the BMW X2 is to the X1), though, it’s a new model that sits between the smaller Captur and the larger Kadjar in the range. Since Renault specifically called out Toyota’s C-HR as a rival, it was an obvious…
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