Audi Q2 2.0 TDI quattro S line S tronic

Yellow Audi Q2.

Audi brought its fourth and smallest SUV to the UK market just over a year ago. As mentioned in our first drive report, the Q2 is essentially a junior version of the Q3, quite low and without the high-set driving position which is usually one of the reasons given most promptly for buying an SUV. It doesn’t have a great deal of luggage space, so if that’s a priority you’ll find better value elsewhere, but it can take four adult passengers quite comfortably. This is the first Q2 I’ve driven…

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Kia Stonic 1.0 T-GDi First Edition

Kia Stonic First Edition with two-tone grey and red paintwork.

Although it may not be far off, we have not yet reached the point where manufacturers routinely develop compact SUVs from scratch rather than basing them on existing hatchbacks. Kia’s Stonic is an example of the latter procedure. It’s a very close relative of the current Rio, which arrived on the UK market about a year ago. A great deal of what can be said about the Rio can therefore also be said of the Stonic. Both are smart-looking cars, but both also suffer from very low-rent interiors made of…

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Range Rover Velar D240 HSE

Range Rover Velar.

Velar, as I’m sure you’ve read many times in the past, was the name used for development versions of the original Range Rover before it was made available to the public in 1970. Future historians will note that the first car to be sold as a Velar 47 years later is not, despite appearances, based on a Land Rover platform but on the aluminium one previously seen in the Jaguar XE and XF and, more recently, Jaguar’s first SUV, the F-Pace. It’s possible to read too much into this. Jaguar…

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Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi ST-Line X Five-door

White Ford Fiesta ST-Line X.

I stray dangerously close to reviewing the same car twice in under a month. Not three weeks ago, we published a road test of that Fiesta over there, and now we’re looking at this one over here, which is nearly identical. 118bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine, manual gearbox, five doors – check, check, check. The ST-Line X is a bit more expensive, though, because it has more equipment. Much of this is intended to improve the looks. I thought the Titanium was very attractive, not least because of its optional Blue…

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Vauxhall Grandland X 1.2 Elite Nav

Vauxhall Grandland X.

As you are no doubt aware by now, the Grandland X is the largest of Vauxhall’s three current SUVs and a very close relative of the Peugeot 3008, created by GM Europe’s new owner Groupe PSA. Although the cars are not identical, a good deal of French technology is common to both. Most obviously, this includes the test car’s 128bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine. A less powerful, more economical 1.6 diesel is also available, but whether I bought a Grandland X or a 3008 I would shy away from…

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Isuzu D-Max Blade Automatic

Frontal close-up of white Isuzu D-Max Blade.

As Isuzu itself points out, the D-Max pickup is marketed primarily as a workhorse rather than a dual-purpose vehicle, but two versions are fitted with rather more equipment as standard than the others. One of these is the Utah, which unlike anything cheaper in the range comes with satellite navigation, DAB digital radio, leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear parking sensors, automatic air-conditioning, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Blade tested here is more or less the same thing as a Utah, expect that it also has tinted windows, puddle…

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Suzuki Jimny SZ4

Suzuki Jimny SZ4.

The Suzuki Jimny will be replaced in the near future – not, you might be forgiven for thinking, before time. It has been around in more or less its current form since 1998, and it wasn’t exactly at the cutting edge of automotive development even then. By today’s standards it’s in many ways a terrible car. Having just lived with one for three weeks, I can happily say there is almost nothing on the market I want to own less. I would guess that this is a majority view, but…

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Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Titanium Five-door

Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Titanium five-door with optional Blue Wave paint scheme.

A few weeks ago a friend and I were on a country walk which at one point involved climbing over a stile. Despite being considerably the older party, well past retirement age, he made by far the better job of it. We speculated light-heartedly that he, with his engineering background, immediately set his mind to solving the problem while I, with my arts background, was thinking more about colour combinations. Perhaps because of this, my initial impression of the test car was entirely visual. When I first saw a 2017-on…

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Volvo XC60 D4 Momentum

Three months ago, when pterodactyls filled the skies and all the world seemed new, I wrote a review of a Volvo XC60 with the T5 petrol engine. No, really, I did! Here it is. One of my comments, as you’ll remember if you read it, was that although it was a fine car in itself, it seemed to make less sense financially than a diesel XC60, even though unfortunate things that some people knew about diesel engines all along have only recently come to the attention of others. Avoiding political…

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Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI R-Line Five-door

German-registered Volkswagen Golf R-Line.

There is always a risk, when you write nice things about Volkswagens, that some buffoon is going to accuse you of being putty in the hands of the Beast of Wolfsburg. To forestall this, I’m going to start off by mentioning two aspects of the Golf which do not impress me. First, VW has never, in over forty years, been able to distance itself from the huge rear pillars which some fool thought were a good idea during the design stage of the Mk1. This is usually referred to as…

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