Affordable fun for £30k; posh new Volkswagen Passat revealed; Jaguar F-type Project 7 ride; BMW M4 road test; Porsche 924 Turbo buyers' guide

This week’s Autocar magazine, dated 9 July, pitches the new Volkswagen Golf R against its key rivals as nine cars vie for the title of 2014’s best affordable driver’s car.

How much fun can you have for £30,000? Over two days, countless back roads and one circuit, our team of expert testers and drivers find out, crowning one car as Britain’s best for cheap(ish) thrills.

In other Volkswagen news, we lift the lid on the new Passat, which the German manufacturer claims has uprated technology and engines and will be cheaper to run than the current model. The Passat is also taking a shift upmarket to challenge rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Our associate editor Hilton Holloway enjoys a wild ride in the Jaguar F-type Project 7, as officials from JLR’s new special operations division hint that the company could consider further limited editions of the sports car.

The BMW M4 goes under the microscope in our in-depth eight-page road test. Does the new mega-coupé, powered by a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine, pick up where the old M3 coupé left off?

Our long-term test fleet bids goodbye to our Citroën C4 Picasso, and we reflect on half a year of living with the family friendly French people carrier.

In another momentous goodbye, Steve Cropley heads to the hills for one final blast in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series, as the iconic gullwing reaches the end of its production run for good.

Our used buying guide serves up hints and tips on picking up a Porsche 924 Turbo for as little as £1500. We explain how the 924’s reputation as the poor man’s Porsche makes it a bargain in Turbo form.

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