If the Ramblers Association gets their way, 4x4s will soon be banned from the tiny network of off-road routes that cross the great British countryside. Despite having access to less than 5% of our ancient byways, driving an off-roader across the very terrain it was designed for could soon be illegal. If Ken Livingstone and his governmental chums get their way, 4x4s will soon be banned from our towns and cities, too. Amidst all this hatred, it takes a brave manufacturer to launch a new car that can't be driven on- or off-road
In today's market, you're no-one if you don't offer a plutobarge with a big diesel engine. The Mercedes S320 CDI has been available for some time now, although it's a shame we don't get the more interesting 246bhp S400 CDI. After taking a while to realise the party had started without them, BMW now offer the 7-series in 3.0-litre diesel form. But with Jaguar and Lexus pretending their invites to the diesel party were lost in the post, it's left to Audi to prove that tractor fuel is where it's at
Jaguars, like a fine wine, improve with age. The XK8, far from becoming belligerent and incontinent in its old age, has been steadily refined over the years. The XJ saloon is now the car it always should have been, too. And the S-Type, after a wobbly start, has matured into a distinctive alternative to the predictable German offerings. This latest edition to the range, the 2.7-litre twin-turbo diesel model, coincides with a further round of subtle changes to the styling and improvements in overall quality
Bankers. They're the kind of people you expect to see driving an Audi. Or barristers. Fine, upstanding pillars of society, I'm sure you'll agree. Trouble is, they are a little, well, boring. That's Audi's problem, too. All too often thought of as the quiet reliable type that stands in the corner at parties, Audi wants to inject some added sport appeal into its latest offerings
When the Banglefied 7-series was unveiled, hushed gasps were clearly audible. BMW showrooms across the land later echoed to this same sharp intake of breath, as interested tyre-kickers walked to the rear of the plutobarge and saw the protuberance that is the boot-lid. The 5-series, however, is a car the blue and white propeller can't afford to screw up
For the last few years, company car drivers have been ditching their Mondeos in favour of style-oriented pickups to take advantage of a reduction in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax. Trouble is, Gordon Brown closed that particular loophole in the 2004 Budget. So where does that leave the pickup?
Antique dealers are a canny bunch. The one thing they hate more than spending money, is losing it. So when it comes to buying a car to transport their Chippendale, they're particularly fussy about who gets to bid for their business
The fast estate car has always been popular with us Brits. It seems we've always been in a hurry to transport Labradors, shopping and kids at high speed through the twistiest parts of our green and pleasant land
No-one can have missed the trend in recent years for big, butch off-roaders. Our streets are groaning under the weight of Land Rovers and Land Cruisers, each one unnecessarily capable of scaling a mountain. It's absurd. Thankfully, Subaru have made sure there's a more intelligent option
I'm standing on the petrol station forecourt, puzzling over why I can't get the pump's nozzle to fit in the Cherokee's fuel filler. I've tried inserting it at various angles. I've tried gentle coercion. But it seems that the Jeep's filler neck is just too narrow. I check I'm using the right pump - yup, diesel
Volvo has been having something of a renaissance in recent years. Gone are the boxy gymkhana specials, replaced by a range full of Swedish design influence and excellent ergonomics. But is the transformation complete? Can Volvo win any best-in-class rosettes in the company car park challenge, or will they be left pining for the fjords?