New Jaguar XE revealed; Mercedes C-class driven; Geneva show special; buy a Ford Focus for £350; Maserati Ghibli road test
Jim Holder
11 March 2014

It's a particularly bustling issue of Autocar this week, with the post-Geneva motor show fall out dominating the headlines, and the first picture and details of the new Jaguar XE saloon taking centre stage.

Although not at the show itself, Jaguar's confirmation of the name and front-end look of the XE sparked a flurry of interest in the car, which will go on sale early next year. Hilton Holloway has dug deep to uncover the technology that Jaguar believes will make this car a genuine rival for the BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-class.

The Mercedes is particularly relevant, as we test the latest-generation model for the first time this week. Steve Sutcliffe gets behind the wheel, and discovers a superbly refined car that is both thrilling to drive and a delight to be within. However, he has reservations about engine refinement that cause him to pull short of declaring it a 3-series beater.

Elsewhere, the news section is jam-packed with reaction from Geneva. As well as the Jaguar XE, we reveal Land Rover's plans to expand the Discovery family, starting with the next-generation Freelander, give the inside line on the surprise Maserati Alfieri Porsche 911 rival, delve into the technical story of the extreme Audi TT Quattro Sport, get first details of the next-generation Ford Focus and new McLaren P13 sports car and reveal plans for a new VW Golf-based SUV. We also talk to new PSA Citroën boss Carlos Tavares.

The diesel-powered Maserati Ghibli is the subject of our full road test, with the BMW 5-series rival put under the microscope by our team of testers. Other cars put through their paces include the Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake, Vauxhall VXR8 GTS, BMW 435d xDrive, Fiat 500L MPW and Vauxhall Corsa Clubsport. Updates on our long-term test fleet incude a farewell to our Toyota Auris Hybrid, and updates on Shed Seven, Audi RS4 Avant, Mazda MX-5 and Land Rover Defender.

Providing a change of pace, Steve Sutcliffe gets in the passenger seat alongside Ken Block, world rally driver and drifting champion, to find out how best to slide a car; Steve Cropley visits the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit and we preview the new Formula 1 season.

Our used car-buying section stars the Ford Focus Mk1, now available from a miserly £350, plus an ode to Toyota Land Cruiser ownership by James Ruppert. We also ask whether you should spend £20k on a new Kia Procee'd GT or a used Audi S3 S-tronic.

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Our Verdict

Maserati Ghibli

Can Italy's interloper challenge the premium executive saloon old guard?

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