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Tales from the Black Stuff, pt 2

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WANT to drive up the side of your house? In a Mercedes-Benz ML you can.

Well, it certainly feels that it’s possible, after tackling the off-road course at Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands.

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VW Golf MkVII: They’ve done it again

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THERE aren’t a huge amount of cars that have a long shelf life.

Off the top of my head I can think of four versions of Ford’s best selling Escort, and a Mk5 incarnation of the ubiquitous Cortina. So it’s something of a major achievement when a car hits the roads in its seventh guise, some 38 years after the original set the benchmark for small family cars.

Doff your cloth cap, then, to the Volkswagen Golf Mk7.

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VW Tiguan: A piggin’ good choice

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IT”s not every road test that starts with a plea to keep your animals under control.

But having endured some 90 minutes of the Volkswagen Tiguan’s stop/start system in frequent use, I feel I must remonstrate with the owner of the pig that caused traffic mayhem on the M1 the other week.  The ‘tail’ backs (sorry) had to be seen to be believed.

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Suzuki range upgrades: Nothing cranky about little Jimny

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SUZUKI has announced some minor changes for the Grand Vitara range with the aim of boosting its appeal in the very competitive mid-sized SUV sector.

At the front the bumper and grille have been re-styled with a more angular design and the foglamp styling has been revised. Other changes include inner headlight black accents on 5 door SZ5 models, and new design 17” or 18” alloy wheels.

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Range Rover: can it get any better?

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IF you’re going to spend £85,000 of your hard earned on the very latest Range Rover, then you’re highly unlikely to risk damaging it by taking it into the wilds.

The worst it’s likely to encounter is a particularly nasty kerb as you drop the kids off at school on your way for a hard day of retail theraping.

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Mazda upgrades MX-5

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THERE are some things in life you hope you never have to try out – like the pedestrian-friendly bonnet on the newly revised Mazda MX-5.

Come to think of it any pedestrian with a sense of self preservation will be hoping you never have recourse to try it out.

It’s there, but in all probability you’ll never need it. Unlike the sat nav system and climate control air conditioning that are now standard on the iconic little sportscar, that’s been with us since 1989.

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Chrysler 300C: Good grief, it’s big….

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AS large cars go, Chrysler’s 300C fills a fair old parking space.

There’s no denying it’s one big heap of metal, so a bit of judicious rejigging of the parking spaces on our drive was called for when it tacked into view the other day.

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Toyota GT86

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THERE’S a choice of just one when your thoughts turn to the Toyota GT86, the Japanese manufacturer’s first sports coupe for yonks.

And to be honest, if you want a light and highly involving car that can take corners better than Robin van Persie, you don’t need much more of a choice.

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What’s new….

Hats off to Gordon Shedden after his success in the British Touring Car Championship this year.

His title winning Honda Civic (‘just like the car you drive to work in on Monday mornings’ in profile only) was a popular attraction at the recent Top Gear Live show at the NEC, and this young fan displayed his tenuous Scottish roots posing by Flash’s car.

Here’s to next season and another gripping title chase.