PSA Peugeot Citroen

Peugeot Citroen: our cars are officially 'clean' and cheat-free

PSA Peugeot CitroenPeugeot and Citroen cars tested by a French lab under the watch of the government have been given a clean bill of health and officially verified as compliant with pollutant emissions legislation.

The news from PSA comes as three Renault sites were reportedly raided by the French government investigating so-called ‘defeat devices’.

PSA adds that none of its sites have been searched.

Read more:

That’s not the only good news for PSA from the tests either: “These initial results also confirm the effectiveness of the BlueHDi after-treatment system, which includes selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology positioned upstream of the particulate filter, to treat the nitrogen oxides (NOx) released by diesel engines,” said the firm in a statement.

“This technology has been deployed on all of the Group’s Euro6 vehicles since late 2013.”

PSA Peugeot Citroen

Peugeot Citroen: our cars are officially ‘clean’ and cheat-free

PSA Peugeot CitroenPeugeot and Citroen cars tested by a French lab under the watch of the government have been given a clean bill of health and officially verified as compliant with pollutant emissions legislation.

The news from PSA comes as three Renault sites were reportedly raided by the French government investigating so-called ‘defeat devices’.

PSA adds that none of its sites have been searched.

Read more:

That’s not the only good news for PSA from the tests either: “These initial results also confirm the effectiveness of the BlueHDi after-treatment system, which includes selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology positioned upstream of the particulate filter, to treat the nitrogen oxides (NOx) released by diesel engines,” said the firm in a statement.

“This technology has been deployed on all of the Group’s Euro6 vehicles since late 2013.”

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Two-Minute Road Test

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Blame the Qashqai. Nissan’s crossover has been so successful that Toyota is prepared to throw out the go-anywhere ability of its four-wheel-drive diesel RAV4 SUV in favour of lesser, cheaper, and lighter front-wheel-drive offerings.

From now, the only way to get 4×4 in the RAV4 is with this new hybrid version. And it’s not four-wheel drive as you know it. Instead, there’s an electric motor mounted at the back that drives the rear wheels ‘on demand’. It’s an immensely clever solution, although it may still alienate a number of traditional RAV4 buyers.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: rivals

What are its rivals?

There are over 20, for this area of the car market, the ‘compact crossover’, is the fastest growing of any. Buyers love them for the combination of style, space and practicality. A crossover is a lot less boring that the equivalent hatchback or estate car.

The Qashqai still dominates the market, but there are other strong contenders like the new Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sportage (of which there is a new coming soon) Ford Kuga, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and so on. Pick a manufacturer and you’re almost sure to find a player in this segment.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Which engines does it use?

The introduction of the hybrid RAV4 runs concurrently with a mid-term facelift of the 2013 model, aimed at improving ride comfort and noise levels, with a tiny benefit in CO2 for the existing 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines.

The hybrid uses a new 2.5-litre petrol engine coupled to the usual electric motors – one in the front-wheel-drive model, two in the 4×4. Power is either 150hp, or 194hp for the two-motor model. As with every Toyota and Lexus hybrid, automatic transmission comes as part of the package.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

What’s it like to drive?

Like a bigger, taller Prius, maybe? That’s taking it a bit far, but the hybrid RAV4 goes about its business with little panache, but in a (reasonably) quiet, refined manner. The gearbox has a new six-speed mode to emulate a regular automatic, a bit pointless to our minds, and a new Sport mode (which is completely pointless).

Yet this RAV4 goes well enough as a two- or four-wheel-drive model, and can seem very quiet as long as you don’t demand full acceleration. It’s moved about by crosswinds, though, and don’t expect the ultimate off-road ability that you’d get from the previous diesel 4×4. That said, the 4×4 hybrid RAV4 does have a 1650kg towing ability, up from 800kg in the 4×2.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Fuel economy and running costs

Toyota claims 55.4mpg for the 4×4, and 57.6mpg for the front-wheel-drive RAV4. The equivalent diesel has a figure of 60.1mpg. While acknowledging that many Prius owners achieve amazing economy figures by adapting their driving to max-out on economy (and therefore minimising driving pleasure), we saw around 35mpg in the 4×4 model, and approached 40mpg in the front-wheel-drive RAV4.

That’s not particularly impressive, but economy, as always, will also depend on where you regularly drive. CO2 is the big deal here, at 118 or 115 g/km. What Toyota has also established is that its hybrid vehicles should have lower running costs than ordinary cars. There seem to be none of the original worries about battery life, even in older Prius.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Is it practical?

The RAV4 is right up with the competition for practicality. There’s space aplenty in the front and rear of the car, and a good-sized boot, too. Luggage space is somewhat compromised by the hybrid system, however. The batteries cause a ridge in the boot floor and prevent a flat load area with the rear seats folded forward.

The facia has a mild redesign, with better stowage, and some new instruments. It’s a pretty comfortable place to travel, those suspension improvements have paid off, and the steering is very light. A rear-view camera is standard across the range.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

What about safety?

Before this makeover, the RAV4 had a five-star safety rating in EuroNCAP tests, scoring 89% for adult occupants and 82% for child occupants.

Toyota’s Safety Sense is an impressive suite of safety systems that includes pre-collision that will slow the car if you don’t by detecting an issue ahead, including pedestrians, and using adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert and road-sign assist. Sadly, none of this comes as standard on any model of RAV4 – you will have to pay extra.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Which version should I go for?

The sweet spot of the RAV4 hybrid range is the Business Edition Plus, at £26,195. With front-wheel-drive, it combines the decent specification of the lower grades with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, front fog lamps, retractable mirrors and that rear-view camera.

You can spend more on a hybrid RAV4, the Icon bringing bigger, smarter alloy wheels, LED headlamps and leather/Alcantara heated seats with electric adjustment for the driver. The top Excel spec adds leather, roof rails and parking sensors.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Should I buy one?

The RAV4 hybrid is not quite the compelling proposition we’d anticipated it might be. That’s partly because the RAV4 itself is a rather bland, non-decision to buy, with little to commend it over its many rivals, even though it is perfectly OK.

You need to be hooked into the whole hybrid idea, and the suggestion is that many people are. Perhaps even more will be in future with the small cloud that is hanging over diesel engines. I guess we’d have been won over if the economy was really impressive. But it wasn’t.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Pub Fact

Hybrids bring buyers from other brands into the Toyota fold, with more people converting to the Toyota hybrids than to the regular petrol and diesel models. Toyota plans to get 50% of its UK buyers into hybrid models by 2020.

This is how Ford wants to change your life – even if you’re not a customer

This is how Ford wants to change your life – even if you’re not a customer

This is how Ford wants to change your life – even if you’re not a customer

You visit your friendly Ford dealer, buy a Fiesta, and have little else to do with the company for the next X amount of years until you go and trade it in for a new model.

That’s pretty much how the average customer’s relationship works with Ford – and, indeed, any car brand. The only time that changes is if you buy a particularly problematic car and spend more time returning to your dealer than you’d really like.

But Ford wants to change that. It wants to be part of your everyday life – interacting with you on an almost daily basis. And not by selling you a duffer.

During its press conference at this week’s Detroit Auto Show, CEO Mark Fields revealed that Ford owns 6% of the $2.3 trillion annual global automarket market – but 0% of the $5.4 trillion transportation services market. That includes things like buses, taxis and ridesharing.

Fields said: “We’re kicking off the next transformation of Ford – advancing from being an auto company, to an auto and a mobility company.”

Cornering just a tiny sector of this market by branching out into things like parking and car sharing could work out to be massively profitable for Ford.

Fields added: “People keep talking about how the auto industry is going to be disrupted by the tech companies. And our approach is, we’re going to disrupt ourselves.

“We want to grow our core business, and love that business, designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing terrific cars, SUVs, truck and electrified vehicles. But we also see a huge opportunity in growing our business in the emerging mobility market.”

Ford’s executive chairman Bill Ford told journalists: “If you look at our heritage, my great grandfather changed the way the world moved with the Model T in very fundamental ways. So we have the same opportunity now, in a very different era, with very different challenges in front of us.

“The opportunities we have in front of us are very different than what my great grandfather faced, but the notion of providing mobility to people around the world, that’s not new to us. But what’s clear to us is that no one company can do this by themselves.”

This is how Ford wants to change your life – even if you’re not a customer

So how does Ford suggest it’ll work? Say hello to FordPass – a service available to anyone, including people who aren’t Ford customers.

Users get access to FordGuides – ‘personal mobility assistants’ available 24 hours a day. Similar to Vauxhall’s OnStar service, you can phone the FordPass call centre and get assistance in finding parking, getting directions or avoiding congestion.

Download the app and get access to car shares, reserve parking spaces and receive rewards from partners – including parking companies such as Parkopedia and fast food chains including McDonalds.

If you do own a Ford with SYNC Connect (set to be launched in the new Edge, arriving in the UK later this year), you’ll also be able to use the app to locate, lock, unlock and even remotely start your car.

And, following in the footsteps of Hyundai with its Rockar stores and Tesla with its, er, Tesla stores, Ford aims to open a number of outlets in shopping centres – known as ‘FordHubs’. But unlike other manufacturers, their aim isn’t to sell cars – traditional dealers will stay for that.

Instead, they’ll be places anyone can call in, learn more about Ford as a company and its transportation options, and generally interact with the car manufacturer slash transportation service provider.

The service launches in April 2016, with FordHubs opening up in four major cities around the world – including New York, San Francisco, Shanghai and London.

Fields concluded: “From a customer standpoint, great experiences lead to long-term relationships. And from a business standpoint, it will drive greater loyalty, bring new consumers and accelerate Ford in becoming a serious player in mobility services.

“Today is the start of the next generation of Ford. Becoming an auto and a mobility company.”

Renault logo

Renault raided by French police

Renault logoFrench fraud police have reportedly raided several Renault factories in what is believed to be an investigation into vehicle emissions and so-called ‘defeat devices’.

Renault is fully cooperating with the police and adds it does not use devices in its vehicles that cheat emissions tests; the French Agency for Energy and Climate has, says the carmaker, already stated it does not expect to find a defeat device on Renault vehicles.

The firm has since added that the three on-site investigations were to “definitively confirm the first findings resulting from the analysis of the independent technical commission”.

Read more:

French union CGT Renault first revealed news of the raids which were carried out last week; it says investigations were focused on vehicle electronic control units (ECUs).

“There were searches at several Renault sites by fraud investigators,” CGT union official Florent Grimaldi told Reuters.

“Management has not confirmed that it is about NOx emissions, but given the sectors that were inspected we think that it could be linked.”

The union was alerted to the raids after reports from shop floor members at Renault. There are reports that management computers have also been seized by police.

Renault shares plummet

Early trading saw Renault shares plunge almost 20% as news of the raids emerged; this wiped €5 billion off the market value of the company.

Joshua Raymond CFD and FX broker at online trading firm explained more: “Shares in Renault collapsed 19% today after a report from Agence France-Presse said that some of its computers had been seized by French police, a move being linked to a possible new emissions scandal.

“The reaction in its share price is one of shareholder panic, pure and simple. That’s why its share price fell 19% within just 60 minutes of trading in the mid-morning session.”

Investors, he said, are downsizing their positions to mitigate the risks should rumours be proven correct.

Who’s next?

And if Renault is guilty of emissions manipulation? “The news could be simply awful for the car maker” said Raymond, “especially having seen its own share price recover strongly in the past four months and of course would spell a new phase of contagion in the growing emissions scandal.

“Shareholders of all carmarkers would inevitably be asking themselves, who’s next?”

What Car? 2016 Awards

Revealed: all the winners at the What Car? Awards 2016

All the cars that scooped the prizes – including the overall What Car? Car of the Year 2016.

no images were found

Devon sent: Avatar Roadster set for UK debut

Avatar Roadster

A new British-built lightweight sports car will make its debut at the 2016 Performance Car Show. It’s called the Avatar Roadster and it has been developed by the Devon-based Marlin Sports Cars.

According to Avatar, the 700kg Roadster is perfect for those who seek a ‘balance of pure performance and affordability from every driving experience’, but as yet hasn’t confirmed any pricing details. That said, Avatar has already received four orders and hopes to deliver up to 25 cars by the end of the year.

The Roadster is powered by a 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine developing 252hp. It’s driven through the rear wheels by a five-speed gearbox sourced from the Porsche Boxster, while the likes of Nitron dampers, Quaife LSD, Tilton pedal box and HiSpec brakes complete its arsenal. Avatar claims the Roadster will sprint to 60mph in 3.9 seconds, before going on to reach a top speed of 150mph.

Avatar is also planning a 350hp version, powered by the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine found in the new Ford Mustang and forthcoming Ford Focus RS. In a 700kg sports car, the performance figures are likely to be eye-watering. Sadly no figures have been released, but we’d expect that 0-60mph time to drop to around 3.0 seconds.

The Avatar – which has completed 1,200 laps of testing at the Castle Combe racetrack using a test mule – features a four-piece bodyshell, with front and rear sections that can be removed in less than 30 seconds. The design team created a custom laser-cut, tubular space frame chassis that sits the driver close to the centreline of the car.

Dylan Popovic, Avatar’s designer and race driver, said: “This arrangement not only offers better weight distribution and, we think, a purer driving experience, but also provides storage space alongside the driver for the optional ‘get me home’ roof.”

[bctt tweet=” The Roadster will sprint to 60mph in 3.9 seconds, before going on to reach a top speed of 150mph.”]

This is a critical part of the car’s development, because Avatar sees the Roadster as more than just a track car. Using what it calls ‘high quality components’, Avatar says it hopes owners will drive to a track, ‘thrash around all day’ and drive home again without wielding the spanners. This is positioned as a road and track car.

To this end, Avatar is also offering an unlimited mileage, three-year warranty, along with ‘comprehensive’ back up and technical support. Each Roadster will receive a pre-delivery ‘tailored’ session, with the car set up to the buyer’s weight, driving preferences and planned use. Terry Matthews, Avatar founder, said: “Owners can pick up the phone to us at any time and get one-to-one support that is often lacking from larger car makers.

“We also want that ‘community’ element that might see Avatar owners plan a trip together through The Lakes, a coffee and doughnut meet every three months or perhaps a track day on the continent. We want Avatar owners to enjoy a spirited drive on a crisp Sunday morning or turn up to a track day, surprise a few owners of more exotic machines and drive home with a big smile on their face.”

The question is, does the thought of a new British sports car, complete with the promise of coffee and doughnuts, appeal to you? Will the Avatar Roadster’s modular design – which will allow owners to retrofit the likes of the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, a six-speed gearbox, three-way dampers and numerous other ‘hardcore’ track options – be enough to tempt you out of a Lotus Elise, Ariel Atom or Caterham Seven?

We’ll bring you more news on the Avatar Roadster – including the price – when we visit the Performance Car Show, later this week.

Sailing to France? Why not go via Portsmouth, says ferry company


Why drive to Dover to cross the English Channel when you can sail from Portsmouth? That’s the question being asked by Brittany Ferries as it prepares for the 2016 holiday season.

This is, of course, a sales message for the ferry company, as it seeks to capitalise on the negative press associated with the Dover to Calais crossing. According to Brittany Ferries, if you’re west of Westminster, you’ll enjoy a smoother journey by heading to Portsmouth and crossing to either Le Havre, Caen, Cherbourg or St Malo.

The company may have a point. The opening of the Hindhead Tunnel on the A3 has shaved around 20 minutes off peak-time journeys, meaning it’s possible to drive – in traffic – from Westminster to Portsmouth in under two hours. Head to Dover and you’re likely to spend an extra 30 minutes in the car. It’s a similar story when travelling from other areas of west London.

Brittany Ferries then points to the journey times from the port of arrival to holiday destinations in France. Paris is one example, with the driving time from Le Havre some 34 minutes shorter than from Calais. Sail to Caen and you could be enjoying a drink by the trackside in Le Mans some two hours before your fellow travellers driving down from Calais.

What Brittany Ferries fails to mention is the length of time you’ll spend on one of their ferries. Leave Portsmouth at 9.30am and you’ll arrive in Le Havre at 4pm local time. With a bit of luck you’ll get to Paris in time for supper. Alternatively, leave Portsmouth at 8.15pm and you can expect to dock in St Malo at 8.15am local time.

[bctt tweet=”Wouldn’t you rather spend more time on a ferry than driving on Britain’s congested motorways?”]

But does this really matter? Wouldn’t you rather spend more time on a ferry than driving on Britain’s congested and nightmarish motorways? Have we reached a point where travelling between Dover and Calais is a game of chance?

Last year I blogged about the advantages of travelling between Plymouth and Roscoff, and while a London resident isn’t likely to venture across the whole of southern England to catch a ferry, the principle remains. More often than not, driving in France is far more pleasurable than driving in the UK, so this route suits me. And the Brittany Ferries fleet is well-equipped to make the sailing feel part of the holiday.

Sure, it won’t be for everyone. To some, the lure of a super-quick journey through the Channel Tunnel, or a short ferry crossing to Calais will be more appealing than a mini cruise. But it pays to know there is an alternative. Just because Dover to Calais is the shortest crossing, it doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. Consider your options and go from there.

For me, the Plymouth to Roscoff crossing wins every time, not least because I treat it as part of the holiday. And I can recommend a delightful crêperie in Morlaix.

What’s your favourite route across the English Channel? Let us know.

Lexus LC 500

7 cars from the Detroit Auto Show that are like so totally awesome

Excuse us – we seem to have got a little bit too into the American spirit here at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. The first press day is over – a day of surprise unveilings, more VW apologies and so much weird candy that it’s probably not healthy. OK, it definitely isn’t healthy.

But there’s a clear shortlist of cars that are unanimously turning heads. We’d like to take these ones home with us. Please.

Volvo S90

1: Volvo S90

It’s Volvo’s alternative to the BMW 5 Series. And, just like our hearts panged for the XC90 when we first saw it way back at Paris 2014, we really want an S90.

You see, for years, manufacturers have been coming up with cars that they reckon could give the Germans a hard time. But Volvo got the XC90 so right – and it’s seemingly on track to do the same with the S90.

As well as looking fantastic, with an upmarket yet unique interior to match, the S90 also has a host of new technology to boast about. This includes its semi-autonomous driving system, Pilot Assist. This gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car within the lines on a motorway at speeds of up to 80mph. It works with the adaptive cruise control to practically drive itself (as long as you do the difficult bits).

Like the XC90, the S90 will also be available with the T8 twin-engine plug-in hybrid drivetrain. This combines 410hp with decent fuel economy and a feel-good factor you just wouldn’t get with a German diesel.

Infiniti Q60

2: Infiniti Q60

It’s perhaps unfair to say that Infiniti has an image problem in the UK. It’s more the case that Infiniti doesn’t really have an image.

If Infiniti is new to you, it’s Nissan’s premium brand – like Lexus is to Toyota. It’s much bigger in the US, but sales in the UK have been slow. And the reason for that? Well, it’s cars have been mostly bland and undesirable.

Sure, quirky people have bought them because they’re not a BMW. But they don’t excel in any particular area. And, as in the case of the Q50’s drive-by-wire steering, Infiniti really bombs in certain areas.

The brand tried to fix that with its Q50 Eau Rouge in 2014. That took the powertrain from the Nissan GT-R and put it into the body of the Q50. Its 560hp 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged engine meant it was seriously rapid. But costs just didn’t add up and the Eau Rouge faced the axe after just one prototype was made.

So what now? Well, Infiniti has revealed the Q60 coupe at the Detroit Auto Show and it looks fantastic. Much like the concept version that was unveiled at last year’s show, the Q60 combines a not-unpleasant Q50 front end with a very attractive rear.

And the best news? Downsizing isn’t on the agenda: its engine line-up is all about six-cylinder engines, with a 400hp twin-turbo heading the range. This is an Infiniti that genuinely excites us. Will it tempt BMW 4 Series buyers? Hmm…


3: BMW M2

So, with all this talk of stealing BMW buyers, you could say we had to include a Beemer. But we can 100% say the decision to include the BMW M2 was made with the heart well as the head.

It’s like a mini-M4 – it packs 44hp more power than the M235i, and can hit 62mph in 4.3 seconds if you opt for the dual-clutch auto ’box (that’s the same as the BMW M4).

With its flared arches and extra intakes, the BMW M2 looks frankly awesome under the bright lights of Detroit’s Cobo Centre. But these aren’t just for aesthetics, insists BMW, they help reduce drag by 5% over the model on which it’s based.

But impressive performance figures alone do not qualify a car for this list. Oh no. The BMW M2 makes it for offering potentially the coolest function ever offered on a (fairly) affordable rear-wheel-drive performance car: a ‘smokey burnout’ button. How ace is that?

VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept

4: Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept

Look, dieselgate was so last year. Now Volkswagen is unveiling a rough-and-tough plug-in hybrid SUV, based on its Tiguan.

There are lots of sensible reasons why we’d like to take the Tiguan GTE Active Concept home with us. Yeah it’s green and eco-friendly and all that, but really we want it because it looks really badass.

The good news is, Volkswagen has hinted strongly that you’ll be able to buy accessories for your 2016 Tiguan that make it look like a proper off-roader. OK, you’ll look a bit of an idiot driving around Surrey in a Tiguan adorned with rock sliders, but that doesn’t stop members of the South East Mud Enthusiasts Club.

If you’re interested, the GTE Active Concept features a 225hp hybrid powertrain, made up of a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine combined with an electric motor. It can cover 20 miles under electric power alone, reaches 60mph in 6.4 seconds and uses its rear-mounted motor to act as an electric propshaft. Proper 21st century off-roading.

Lexus LC 500

5: Lexus LC 500

Lexus. It’s Toyota’s premium brand that produces sensible (if a smidgen dull) cars such as the hybrid CT 200h, and RX SUV. Then occasionally they come up with an absolute corker – such as the V8-engined LC 500, revealed at Detroit.

It’s essentially a production version of the 2012 Detroit Auto Show LF-LC concept, and it looks amazing. Never before has the company’s trademark spindle grille looked so right. And behind it lurks a 467hp 32-valve engine, as found in the RC F and GS F.

It’ll hit 60mph in ‘less than 4.5 seconds’, and look utterly fabulous while doing so. Pleasingly, it’s rear-wheel drive, although power is transmitted to the wheels through a 10-speed auto ’box. It’s not awful, promises Lexus.

Order books are opening later this year, and it’s definitely coming to the UK. Whoop!

Kia Telluride

6: Kia Telluride

This is a big-ass SUV that we’re unlikely to ever see in the UK. But that’s OK, because I’ll grey-import one – just for the fun of telling people “Oh this thing? It’s a Kia,” as I clog up the roads and intimidate other motorists in their little Audi Q7s.

Unfortunately it’s just a concept, for now, but if it previews where Kia’s design is heading in the future, I’m alright with that.

Despite being a huge SUV, it’ll also make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Kia says the Telluride will ‘care’ for its passengers. It uses sensors to ‘capture a passenger’s vital health information’, then a Light Emitted Rejuvenation system to display patterns of therapeutic light.

The powertrain? That’s a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine combined with an electric motor to produce a total of 400hp. It’s four-wheel-drive, natch, and would be good for ‘more than 30mpg’ if it ever makes production.

Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew

7: Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew

Let’s end with something that’s totally bonkers: Ford’s new F-150 Raptor SuperCrew. First revealed at last year’s Detroit Show, for 2016 the Raptor has sprouted an extra pair of doors and even more power than its predecessor.

It’s lighter than ever before, weighing around 225kg less thanks to its aluminium construction. And even this big, brash pick-up hasn’t avoided Ford’s Ecoboost programme. Power comes from a 3.5-litre V6, said to pack more punch than the 411hp 6.2-litre V8 it replaces. Performance figures are to be confirmed, but expect it to be just as capable off-road as on it. At speed, too.

Word on the street is that, if the Ford badge on the front of the Raptor was any larger, you’d be able to see it from space.

Read more about the highlights of the 2016 Detroit Auto Show on MSN Cars

Apple pairs with Volvo to bring CarPlay to XC90

Volvo XC90 with Apple CarPlay

One of the best premium SUVs you can buy just got better, with the news that Apple CarPlay has arrived on the Volvo XC90.

It means iPhone owners can connect to the XC90’s Sensus Connect infotainment system, which mirrors the smartphone’s functionality by replicating the familiar phone icons on the 9.5-inch screen. They can make and receive calls, send and receive messages, get directions and choose what music they listen to by using Siri’s voice control.

We’ve experienced Apple CarPlay on many cars – including the new Skoda Superb and Vauxhall Astra – and we find ourselves firmly in the impressed camp. Indeed, Apple CarPlay on the Volvo XC90 sees the marriage of two of our favourite things.

[bctt tweet=”Apple CarPlay on the Volvo XC90 sees the marriage of two of our favourite things.”]

In addition to the standard iPhone features and functions, Apple CarPlay provides access to apps such as Spotify, Beats Music, iHeartRadio and Stitcher. It also supports Volvo On Call, which allows owners to remotely control and check various functions of their car.

Nick Connor, managing director of Volvo Car UK, said: “Apple CarPlay is an exciting addition to our XC90 range. It brings cutting-edge functionality and integration for owners, allowing them to access their phone’s features any way they want – be that via voice control, the Sensus Connect touch screen or the buttons on the steering wheel.

“Not only does this enable them to stay connected, it means they can do so safely and simply from behind the wheel.”

Read more:

Apple CarPlay will be available on all new Volvo XC90s, with existing owners needing to update the Sensus Connect software. They will be contacted by their Volvo dealer who will arrange for the update to be carried out. The updated Sensus Connect will also include improved speech functionality and enhanced satellite navigation features, including a map update.

Anyone who fancies Apple CarPlay will need to add £300 to the cost of their Volvo XC90, although the price is £50 lower on the T8 Twin Engine. It works on all iPhone models from iPhone 5 onwards running iOS 8. That said, for the best experience, iOS 9 is recommended.