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TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID: Just the job for family use

Toyota-RAV4-Hybrid-034YOU can forgive the Toyota RAV 4 for being slightly off radar when you sweep what’s available in the SUV stakes.

It’s a car that was one of the SUV trendsetters many moons before cars like the Nissan Qashqai came along and stole the limelight, but while it was in at the start of the stampede to own a crossover, it’s never really had the wow factor over its contemporaries. Unless you’re a loyal Toyota driver who basks in their ‘does what it says on the tin’ legacy of good, honest, reliable motoring.

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NISSAN QASHQAI: a Brit of a success story

1500746_426200541_New_Qashqai_UK_edition_2017QASHQAI is a credit to Nissan’s Britishness. Designed in London, developed down the road at Cranfield and is built in Sunderland. A British Japanese car that’s been an undoubted success.

The only thing distinctly un-British is the name, which comes from a desert dwelling nomadic tribe from South West Iran.

And it has been synonymous in racking sales success Nissan had previously only dreamed off.

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SKODA OCTAVIA vRS 4×4: one of today’s better buys

b5bd36e011a8f462fa63bd2f2e256434f34e5314YOU just can’t make jokes about Skodas any more – they’re too good for that.

Apart from this one. ‘What did the Skoda driver say to the rest of the traffic?’ See ya!

Particularly if the driver in question is piloting the current vRS hatch, a car that adequately shows how far the marque has come in the past quarter of a century of so under VW stewardship.

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FORD KUGA ST-LINE: a willing workhorse

1325099__JL53880FORD’S offering in the medium crossover sector was one of the cars that was there at the start of what has become a VERY competitive sector of the worldwide market.

Crossovers – or SUVs if you like – are deemed to be the vehicle of choice for a wide variety of motorists and for a wide variety of reasons, be it useable space, economy, ease of access for those finding their joints aren’t quite as flexible as they used to be, or for the 21st family needing something with a greater degree of adaptability.

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JAGUAR XE: A Brit of all right….

1403765_Jaguar XE 1JAGUAR’S junior executive offering has been attracting plenty plaudits since its launch in 2015. And it’s not hard to see why.

For too long the Germans have held sway in the battle for sales in the premium sector. And rightly so. You can’t argue against the quality of the cars Audi, Mercedes and BMW line up for your approval.

But they’ve got a bit of opposition from the British built XE, a car flying the UK flag with a bit more aplomb than the unlamented X-Type, which wasn’t much more than a Mondeo in a different coat which pretty soon went out of fashion.

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VOLVO V90 CROSS COUNTRY: latest in a long line of big estates

1252235_198834_New_Volvo_V90_Cross_Country_detailI RECKON Volvo have got it all wrong with the naming of their big luxury estate car.

It really shouldn’t be called the V90 Cross Country – Cross Continent would be more appropriate, because it’s the kind of superbly appointed vehicle that you could drive for mile after mile after mile without showing any sign of strain or tiredness.

To put it bluntly, it’s bloody brilliant. A car that’s highly efficient, highly comfortable and highly desirable.

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FORD FIESTA: still the leader of the pack – just

1412778__86A1776AS motoring icons go, Ford’s Fiesta – Britain’s best selling car – is right up there with the best, and has been for a long, long time.

In these austere times – with P45s, reduced hours and a dole queue longer than Casanova’s contact book – people are more and more turning towards smaller cars that offer good levels of comfort, good economy and low cost of ownership, high levels of safety and smart looks – cars to put a smile on your face.

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VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC: a different kind of VW

62VW_8846_FS_2WITH the rest of the Volkswagen Group brands on lap two, Volkswagen themselves have just laced up their trainers and headed for the starting line.

Only now are customers being offered a compact VW SUV in the shape of the T-Roc, to compete for sales against the SEAT Ateca, Skoda Karoq and Audi Q2.

The latest VW challenger sits below the Tiguan in the range, their only other current SUV being the rather larger Touareg. But it’s the start of a major push by the German brand with the Tiguan Allspace due next year, followed by the T-Cross Polo sized crossover.

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CITROEN C3 AIRCROSS: a real kick up the derriere

1431012_8229THERE’S chunky, and then there’s chunkier – and hot on the heels of that comes the Citroen C3 Aircross.

Paying more than a passing homage to the blatant abuse of steroids, the French marque’s compact SUV hits the market with an almost brutal, bulbous frontal profile – and an interior that is all soft and squashy, with light-in-use controls that turn what is on the face of it a bit of a bruiser into the motoring equivalent of Georgia Toffolo.

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MAZDA CX-5: no need for open wallet surgery…..

1433569_dsc3063SUV buyers are the kind of people who want a car that combines space, practicality, dependability and safety – and here’s a car that’s been doing since it took its initial bow.

The Mazda CX-5 goes down in their history as a landmark car, being the one that introduced SKYACTIV technology and KODO:Soul of Motion design to the motoring public.

And they obviously like it – it’s been a popular seller for the Japanese marque, proving they could make an SUV that was stylish, great to drive, and also capable of luring customers away from premium badged rivals.

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