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VOLVO XC40: another dose of Scandinavian excellence

1508004_219662_Volvo_XC40_crowned_What_Car_Car_of_the_Year_2018THERE used to be an unwritten rule that to qualify for Volvo ownership you had to be closer to your pension than your youth – but not any more.

Cars that decades ago has the aerodynamic qualities of a breezeblock are allofasudden ‘de riguer’ in the desirability stakes, because while they still major on their commendable safety attributes, they’re also now building a big chunk of style into them.

Take this XC40. This is not a car for someone in their motoring dotage, who will only venture out onto the roads twice a week – once for the pension on a Thursday and the other to be at the head of a slow moving snake of traffic on a Sunday afternoon.

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JEEP COMPASS: an SUV that gets right to the point

1485238_9compassIT looks like Jeep have got the point with their all new Compass…..

Its predecessor didn’t really set the world alight when it launched into the soft roader sector of the UK market, but the latest version seems a bit more intent on putting the tribulations of the past firmly in the past.

Those of us with long memories and dates from a past century on our passports will possibly think of American GIs smoking huge cee-gars and hanging onto the top of the windscreen for dear life at the mention of the word Jeep.

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MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS: when the going gets tough….

1338385_press_img_21TALK about diving in at the deep end – Mitsubishi’s all new Eclipse Cross has a whole load of family SUVs waiting at the side of the road to nudge it off course.

And of course, if they do, it’ll revel in it as Mitsubishi has long standing four wheel drive credentials. Every Eclipse Cross, irrespective of engine size, will have four driven wheels, so when the going gets tough, it’s capable of keeping on going.

The company itself is now under the wing of Nissan which took a controlling interest in 2016, but this is still a car of Mitsubishi’s sole making.

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AUDI A8 L: it’s not World Luxury Car 2018 for nothing….

Static photo Colour: terragreyTHIRTY six thousand pounds will buy you a pretty decent car these days. It’ll also give you a staggering amount of optional extras to add to your limo to make it even more user friendly.

That amount brings this weeks car under scrutiny, Audi‘s A8 L, up to an on the road price of £108,600 – and it’s probably a small price for a top line exec to pay for a car that oozes quality and style.

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KIA STINGER: E for everything, including envy

1476799_Kia Stinger GTS grey_042IN a motoring world dominated by the letter E – Efficiency, Environment, Economy – Kia have added another one to the pile: E for Excellence.

And very possibly Envy. Few cars that have arrived for appraisal in recent months have attracted anything like the open-mouthed admiration that has been the lot of Kia’s first rear wheel drive grand tourer to hit the UK roads, and indeed the rest of Europe.

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SEAT ARONA: it gets an A for Acceptable

1542924_SEAT Arona Copper - ExteriorSOMEONE at SEAT must have bought a blooming big bag of ‘A’ letters at a Spanish car boot sale a while ago.

We’ve had a succession of models with names beginning and ending in that letter: Arosa, Alhambra, Altea, Ateca and now comes the Arona – the latest in a line of cars that have progressively built up the profile of the VW Group owned brand to a level where their popularity is considerably higher than in the past.

SEAT are going places – just like the customers who are finding the sporty aspirations of the latest models to their liking.

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KIA SORENTO: a car of many buttons

1498366_K_5726SORENTO is the car that Kia acknowledge changed the way the world viewed the brand back in 2002, and the latest offering has what’s dubbed executive-class space – you and I might prefer to refer to it as vast.

Everyone certainly gets plenty of room, so much so that you’re constantly aware of the size of the cabin – and that you’re not occupying very much of it on your own.

Even the third row of seats in this seven seater has decent enough space.

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VOLKSWAGEN POLO: a (w)hole lot bigger for 2018

1398348_New Polo R-Line (8)BY replacing the four hooves of a horse with four rubber clad wheels, the world – and all the socio economic groups in it – suddenly had a high degree of freedom, and the impact of the motor car has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Motoring snobbery has been with us from day one, but one thing remains constant. We all love our cars, big or small, fast or slow, luxurious or downright utilitarian (for those Trabant lovers out there).

Not that there’s anything utilitarian about the latest Volkswagen Polo, a car which is conservatively estimated to have sold over 1.4 million units in the UK since its 1975 debut.

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RENAULT CAPTUR: famously frugal and bundling it all together

1443574_New Renault Captur named Best Compact SUV at BusinessCar Awards 2017 150917 (1)A PUMPED up Clio doesn’t necessarily have to be one with a breathed-on engine under the bonnet.

Renault’s Captur is built on the same platform but employs jacked up suspension and a higher driving position to turn it into a small SUV that has proved a very popular addition to the range – a car for those who find the Clio too cramped but don’t fancy a Megane or Kadjar.

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SKODA KAROQ: worthy addition to popular range

1501616_Karoq 2018 offers 08012018CMA NOSTALGIC moment the other week as the all-new Skoda Karoq had me wistfully recalling my late father-in-law’s Mk1 Escort 1100.

Not by any way, shape or form for comparison purposes obviously, both being as far apart as our friend in North Korea is from reality, but merely because Skoda have brought back to mainstream car production a colour I last saw on said Ford in the last century.

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