This week: All-new Qashqai scooped, Ford Puma driven, Aston DBX tested on- and off-road, and much more
15 January 2020

Exclusive: Nissan is fast-tracking the new Qashqai. The Japanese giant is overhauling its lineup with an all-new Qashqai and X-Trail, set to be unveiled this year, before wading in on the turf of the Mustang Mach-E with a new electric SUV.

These three SUVs have been given the task of restoring the firm’s fortunes following the fall of former CEO Carlos Ghosn. Do they have what it takes? Only Autocar has all the details.


In other news, Skoda is planning to add a hybrid Octavia vRS, creating its most comprehensive performance lineup yet. Meanwhile, Renault has announced details of two new electric powertrains for its Clio and Captur, Fiat electrifies its Panda and 500, and Morgan commemorates the 70th anniversary of its iconic Plus Four, with a special gold-painted edition marking the occasion.

Over in America, the Consumer Electronics Show saw manufacturers show off their new tech - and some tech show off a new manufacturer. Tech powerhouse Sony revealed its 536bhp Vision-S concept, which it is confident could one day see production. Honda unveiled a roofless self-driving four-seater concept, while Mercedes had a go at a 22nd century S-Class shaped using design cues from James Cameron’s Avatar.

Elsewhere, ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn strikes out against Japan’s legal system in his first press conference since fleeing the country, and Toyota unwraps its long-awaited 257bhp GR Yaris. Finally, Aston Martin pulls the plug on its first electric vehicle - Autocar understands the Rapide E will no longer be coming to market.

Our Verdict

Nissan Qashqai road test review hero front

Nissan's second crossover album goes platinum, but a light refresh and some added extras have to hold off the Qashqai from the Seat Ateca and Skoda Kodiaq

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The Ford Puma leads the way in this week’s first drives. The compact crossover category has been badly needing an enthusiast-friendly class leader for a long time - but is the Puma the cat for the job? 

Elsewhere, the Kia Niro PHEV has a facelift, but - unfortunately - a price bump to match, the Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe 4Matic packs in plenty of luxury, and the Mazda 2 offers direct handling, though loses points with a less-than-perfect gearbox.

In the road test, the BMW 3 Series Touring impresses with its mix of performance and economy, but is this enough to justify a hefty £34,065 starting price? We put the latest 3 Series estate through its paces.


It’s not too much of a stretch to say that Aston Martin’s future relies on the DBX. So what is this make-or-break SUV like? We got a good look at it when the camo wraps came off in November, but now, in the first of this week’s features, we’re driving it in prototype form.

Many petrolheads dream of a collection of classic cars, but Richard Bremner shows the life of a serial collector has a dark side: paperwork.

No such trouble for Matt Prior, who’s free as a bird in the all-new Jeep Gladiator. The Wrangler-based pick up looks ready for any terrain, so we took it a mountain in New Zealand. Does its off-road prowess match its rugged appearance?

Next, John Evans delves into the sad business of deer hitting, a tragedy that’s all too common for many motorists, before Steve Cropley rounds things off with a profile of the reborn MG Motor.


Steve Cropley is finally impressed by a small Aston Martin, enjoying a ride in the British company’s Vantage for the first time in many years. A swerve into the politics of dog-ownership and fears of “Pothole Armageddon” fill up the rest of the week. Elsewhere, Matt Prior ponders the curious incident of the escape of Carlos Ghosn.


As we turn into a new decade, our resident Bangernomics expert, James Ruppert, makes predictions about the state of the art of in 2030, guessing that Japanese shuttles will thrive as our future bangers. In our nearly new buying guide, however, we’re plugging a French connection - the Peugeot 3008 is aging like wine and a shrewd used buy. The years have also been kind to the MG ZR - it’s the star of our used guide, and cheap as chips if you play your cards right.

Where to buy

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Join the debate


5 April 2018

As usual, this week's edition (dated 04APR2018), is a very good read, and well worth the investment. The road test of the eighth generation of Roll-Royce Phantom - with its "mahogany panelling" - illustrates that moneyed wealth, should NOT be confused with good-taste!

The sales pitch for next week's issue (to be dated 11APR2018), whets our appetite with the Used Buying Guide  . . .  "Mercedes-Benz CLS. Can't afford the new one? Then read our guide to Merc's original style icon".

The original CLS certainly was a style icon, with all the svelte elegance of a Parisian - or Italian - chic designer item.

That streamlined elegance was lost when the original's "facelift" incorporated the bluff, Teutonic, more upright, corporate Mercedes radiator grill.

The new, current, incarnation of the CLS (page 29, of this week's magazine), shares all the style, delicacy, and substantial "presence" of a rugby prop forward!  It is not a case of "Can not  AFFORD  the new CLS?".  More a question of why would anyone wish to purchase such a vulgar and brutish vehicle?

It is (again) a reminder that the ownership of wealth, is NOT the same as the possession of good taste.







18 July 2018

....totally agree!

19 July 2018

Why the GT2 RS isn't  a five-star Porsche?

Well, according to the German car magazine Sportauto the McLaren 720 S is the better supercar.

The 720 S is razor sharp and yet poised, while the GT2 RS is a bit unhinged.

22 July 2018

Good overall read this week, except for the iPace vs Tesla review, which is a biased storyline developed clearly ahead of the cars being reviewed.  Essentially, the premise looks to convey an analogy between two passenger jets and how the second to market - the Boeing 707 - went on to lead it. Unfortunately, much like his story, he apply's 20th century motoring thinking to a 21st century ownership problem. In other words, he clearly doesn't get what the shft to electric is about. Not only that, many of the facts are just incorrect, like 0-60 time that amongst the others if they had been published correctly, would make the reader question how the author could possibly have reached such a conclusion. This disregards the fact that the iPace is better compared with the Model 3 (same size). Not only that, but the test cars were over 25% apart on costs - with the iPace being more expensive. Really dissappointing journalism. 

8 August 2018

Oh good... Another JLR product takes the cover spot.  Must be at least an issue or two since the last one. 

8 August 2018

Oh good... Another JLR product takes the cover spot.  Must be at least an issue or two since the last one. 

3 September 2018

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19 September 2018

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26 September 2018

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24 October 2018

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