We were fans of the previous Kia Ceed GT's focus on delivering a more mature, well rounded experience - a sort of hot-hatch for grown-ups. It had performance, yes, but also a welcome degree of compliance, and that it made a far more usable prospect than some of its harder-edges rivals. Thankfully for the new 2019 Ceed GT, that recipe hasn’t been altered.
I quite like it when cars are a surprise. At first glance, the new Kia ProCeed looks like it might be some style-over-substance coupe-esque niche wagon. An estate car in disguise, only less practical and a bit wobbly. But then you drive it.
Honda is quite rightly proud of the fact their CR-V, first launched all the way back in 1995, has gone on to become the world’s best-selling SUV. Back then, the Honda found itself largely in a market of one. Today, SUVs are everywhere, and that means Honda can't afford to rest on its laurels.
After a week spent with the new Ford Focus ST-Line Estate, I find myself wondering if I’ve accidentally stumbled upon the sweet spot of the Focus range. That's because there doesn't appear to be any downside to opting for the wagon, and in ST-Line spec that means you have both spirited performance, excellent handling, and genuine load-lugging capability all in one package.
We’ve always had something of a soft-spot for the Mazda CX-3, as one of the more handsome compact SUVs on the market. But Mazda as a company isn’t prone to resting on its laurels, so for 2019 they’ve given the CX-3 a bit of a tweak to help strengthen its appeal.
There's a lot to like about the Volvo XC40, but by the time you've chosen a chunky engine and plumped for a few modest options, it's not hard to find yourself staring at a price tag of forty grand. Thing is, reign it all and you can park an XC40 T3 on your drive and still have change from £30,000.
For 2019, the Suzuki Vitara has had a deliberately modest facelift, with a new front bumper, a redesigned front grille, and some funky LEDs for the rear light clusters. More substantial changes take place under the bonnet, where you’ll find a pair of new Boosterjet engines instead of the old 1.6-litre units.
“When I first saw this course, I thought to myself ‘Suzuki have been very brave here. Maybe too brave.'” These were the words of our pro-instructor as we peered up a steep, muddy and rocky hill, littered with axle-twisters. But then, as our minder’s words faded from our ears, the little Jimny cast them aside and just crawled up it. Brave isn’t the word. It’s damn near heroic.
We're fans of the Kia Sportage, thanks to its spacious cabin and strong sense of practicality. For this year, and as part of a mid-life update, Kia have introduced a new 48V mild hybrid set-up teamed up with a 2.0-litre diesel. We spent a week wondering who it was for.
There’s an incredible amount of clever technology in the new Ford Focus, from the adaptive cruise control with traffic sign recognition, to the LED headlights that pre-emptively adjust their pattern before entering a corner. Clearly, this new Ford Focus is a very different beast to the one that went before it. In fact, we'd say it's more grown up. Mature, even.
I’ve always been full of admiration for the Mazda MX-5. However, there have been those who’ve felt the MX-5’s remarkable chassis has been held back by a lack of power. To answer that, the company has given the 2.0-litre engine a comprehensive going-over aimed at making it spin harder and faster.
I guess you could say the Volvo V60 is the company's spiritual heartland; the premium family wagon. The thing is, there's a reason we all used to buy estate cars, one we hope people remember before too long - they offer all the practicalities of an SUV, but with none of the downsides.