Land Rover Discovery Sport revealed; seven-seat people carriers assessed; BMW M4 Convertible driven; full road test of Ford's new EcoSport

This week's issue of Autocar magazine, dated 3 September 2014, features all the details of Land Rover Freelander Mk3. Or, as it will be known from now on, the Discovery Sport.

The Discovery Sport — deliveries of which are due to begin in January — has been comprehensively redesigned and lengthened compared with the Freelander, with new rear suspension and a ‘five-plus-two’ seating format.

We've also got a comparison of existing seven-seat people movers. Can the new Nissan X-Trail win favour over conventional MPVs and rival crossovers as a means of seating seven in comfort and style? Nic Cackett referees.

Also in the magazine, Hilton Holloway jumps aboard the new Renault Twingo for our first drive in of this eagerly awaited new city car. Does the rear-drive layout and clever packaging make as much sense in reality as it does in theory?

Another key test is of the BMW M4 Convertible. Richard Bremner is our man behind the wheel of the open-top M4, a convertible whose manners have clearly been tamed for ambitiously rapid high-speed cruising. 

The new top-range Porsche Boxster – a car that gets the hallowed GTS badge slapped on its rump - is also put through its paces on UK roads for the first time.

This week's in-depth eight-page road test analyses every aspect of the new Ford EcoSport. The first-generation small SUV was designed and engineered in Brazil and be exported all over the world as part of the ‘One Ford’ global strategy. Is it good enough to cut it in the extremely competitive B-segment SUV market in Europe? Our team of expert testers find out.

We also bid farewell to the Vauxhall Ampera. This innovative car will be discontinued in its Vauxhall and Opel guises towards the end of this year. GM has already teased an image of the second-generation Chevrolet Volt, which will make its debut at the Detroit auto show in January 2015. But Europe won’t be getting the second-generation version of the range-extender electric car. 

Our long-term test fleet bids an enthusiastic hello to the new Mini. What's the three-cylinder Cooper variant like to live with? We're about to put the car through its paces in a variety of real-life tests during the coming months.  

Looking for an inexpensive rear-drive, V8-engined convertible? The TVR 350i might be just the ticket, and our used buying guide offers hints and tips on how to snap up a decent second-hand example.

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