DS Store Manchester showroom

ALL new cars will be bought on finance within 10 years, says Auto Trader

DS Store Manchester showroomCash is no longer king when it comes to buying a new car: within 10 years, predicts automotive marketplace Auto Trader, every new car sold in Britain will be bought using some form of finance.

Already, many brands say around three in four new cars sold to retail buyers are bought on PCP finance schemes. This trend is set to continue, says Auto Trader, as new types of finance roll out.

Key to the end of traditional car ownership will be the growth of subscription models. These will further broaden the choice of finance and leasing options available and make the idea of paying many thousands of pounds upfront for a new car seem quaint and old-fashioned.

“The age of traditional ownership is coming to an end,” said Auto Trader CFO and COO, Nathan Coe.

“As consumers increasingly source their cars in the same way they do their music or movies, the route from business to motorist will need to evolve alongside it.”

There are many new schemes emerging that offer the flexibility of services such as Uber with the independence of regular use of a car. Examples include Drover, Audi On Demand and new VWDS Rent-a-Car. 

Finance ‘ownership’

Cash has already been happily substituted by finance for most people. Of the 13,500 people interviewed for the bi-annual Market Report, 98 percent who purchase on finance claim they own the car – even though, in reality, they do not.

“Motorists seek the comfort and certainty of exclusive access, or usership, and find it hard to distinguish this from true ownership.”

One thing’s for sure though – people don’t want to share their cars with others. Eighty percent overall (and 86 percent of ‘future car owners’ aged 16-21) demand exclusive access to a car. More than half are simply unwilling to share with others.

Which itself is good news for car dealers, added Coe. “Contrary to speculation, these new access models don’t signal the death knell for the industry.

“Instead they will fuel the market by making driving more accessible to a wider demographic, offering manufacturers a new way to get consumers behind the wheel, and will complement rather than cannibalise existing retail models.”

2018 Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi

2018 Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi gets new clean diesel tech

2018 Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCiWith diesel under attack, Nissan has added a raft of emissions-cleansing technology to its top-selling crossover, the Qashqai. Revised 1.5 dCi models are on sale now. 

The key feature of the new engine is the addition of a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system. This uses the AdBlue additive, which significantly reduces the formation of harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

It hasn’t simply been bolt-on technology, either. Nissan says more than 90 percent of the engine has been modified – including the fuel pump, dual mass flywheel, oil cooler, even the oil filter. 

2018 Nissan Qashqai

It’s easy to tell the new engine from the old one: it has 115hp, a 5hp boost over the previous (and long-running) dCi 110. The new dCi 115 also has an overboost function, which produces a further 5hp plus a useful step-up in pulling power for 15-second intervals (easily enough to get you past that slow-moving dawdler). 

Nissan’s released fuel economy figures for the new 1.5 dCi 115, tested to WLTP standards and back-translated to the outgoing NEDC standards. They show models with 16-inch and 17-inch alloys average 74.3mpg, while posher trims with larger 18-inch and 19-inch wheels average 67.2mpg.

CO2 emissions? 100g/km for the smaller wheels, a rather hefty jump up to 110g/km for the larger wheels.

As for prices, the upgraded dCi 115 engine costs a mere £225 more, model for model, than the dCi 110 it replaces. But where Nissan may struggle is the fact this represents as much as a £1,995 premium over a 1.2 DiG-T turbo petrol engine, when entry-level Visia trim is compared.

In this case, it may not be dislike of diesel that’s leading to its downfall, but simply the significant extra expense of all its emissions-reducing technology…

Winter is coming: Our favorite all-wheel drive SUVs

There’s a rough line that runs across the country from Portland, Oregon, to Washington D.C. Winters below this line are mostly survivable, while winters above this line are simply awful. Rain, snow, endless cold and darkness, ice, sleet, yetis  . . . why the founding fathers chose this bit of land instead of someplace nice like Mexico is beyond knowing.

 For vehicular motivation during the stretch, we insist on all-wheel drive. There are many variations on the system available, but every modern one uses sensors to continuously monitor each wheel and deliver torque exactly where needed. While nothing beats driver training and ample practice, having a car smart enough to keep itself pointed in the right direction is a near necessity to winter driving safety.

Starting MSRPs are for the model and do not necessarily reflect all-wheel drive pricing.

Subcompact: Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport

Starting MSRP: $19,995

Ford’s five-seat EcoSport comes standard with a 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder driving the front wheels, but all-wheel drive (AWD) mated to a 166-horsepower 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four is available in all but the one trim level for $1,595; on the SES model AWD is standard. Both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission.

We like the bins, pockets, and hooks inside that make sure the small ute stays organized. Second row seats fold away to create a flat floor, making hauling large objects a breeze.

Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system is available, and offers enhanced voice command response, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and B&O Play

Subcompact: Jeep Renegade

Starting MSRP: $18,845

Jeep’s tiny Renegade blends city style with enough offroad substance to live up the Jeep name. All-wheel drive models start at $20,100 and are powered by a 160-horsepower 1.4-liter turbo. A 2.4-liter engine with 180 horsepower is available for $1,330 more, and adds a 2,000-pound towing capacity.

We love the chiseled looks and beefy stance of the Renegade. Though small, it looks substantial. There are ten colors to choose from, including four brilliant electric shades that make a statement (green, orange, yellow, and red).

Actual adults can sit in the second row (we’ve been there), and the standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation make Jeep’s littlest SUV even more attractive.

The Trailhawk model ($26,945) adds serious off road cred with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, 8.1 inches of wheel articulation, 19-inch fording ability, skid plates, tow hooks, and a 20:1 crawl ratio.

Subcompact: Hyundai Kona

Starting MSRP: $19,500

Hyundai’s standard Kona comes out of the box with standard front-wheel drive, but AWD is available at every level for $1,300. SE and SEL models get a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower, while Limited and Ultimate get a 175-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo.

Seven inches of infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard fare, HD Radio and Sirius offered on all but the base SE trim level. The Ultimate model ($26,400) comes with an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, a head-up display, 4G Wi-Fi, and wireless charging.

An all-electric Kona is expected in early 2019.

Subcompact: Mazda CX-3

Starting MSRP: $20,390

The Mazda CX-3 is a critically acclaimed mini-ute in stock form because of its blissful handling and superb styling. The 2.0-liter engine delivers 146 horsepower and pairs perfectly with the chassis, encouraging drivers to take an extra lap around the block on the way home from the store.

Selecting all-wheel drive adds $1,400 to the bottom line across the trim range. Mazda’s unique torque vectoring system continuously monitors road conditions and wheel speed, looking for even a microscopic slip. Torque is sent to each wheel individually, improving grip and balance. In our testing, cornering is remarkably sharp and handling crisp overall, making for a truly fun-to-drive cute ute.

Compact: Hyundai Tucson

Starting MSRP: $22,550

We like the Hyundai Tucson for its blend of value for money, usability, and quality. Touchscreen infotainment and smartphone integration is standard on all models. Heated front seats, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard on all but the base SE model, as are eight-way power adjustable seats with power lumbar support.

Inside, the cargo space is intelligently designed without intrusions or odd corners that made packing difficult.

All-wheel drive is available across the range fro $1,400, paired with one of three engines, depending on trim: a 164-horsepower 2.0-liter, a 180-horsepower 2.4, or a 1.6-liter turbo good for 175.

Compact: Honda CR-V

Starting MSRP: $24,250

The Honda CR-V is delightfully spacious, with ample room for both people and their stuff. Full-size American adults can sit comfortably in either row without cramped feet or legs, with a full 39 cubic feet in the cargo area. Fold down the second row and the CR-V will swallow an impressive 76 cubic feet.

The base LX model comes equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower. EX models and above have Honda’s terrific 1.5-liter turbo with 190 horsepower. Both powerplants can be paired with AWD for $1,400 more.

Compact: Subaru Forester

Starting MSRP: $24,295

The Subaru Forester is all-new for 2019 and now offers more safety and capacity than ever. The wheelbase has been stretched to 105.1 inches from 103.9 on the outgoing model, benefitting legroom. Further gains in head, hip, and shoulder room have also add to passenger comfort.

The revised 2.5-liter boxer engine under the hood now makes 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque, and is paired with a continuously-variable transmission. Torque vectoring all-wheel drive is still standard.

All Foresters now come with advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and pre-collision braking and throttle management.

The fifth generation Forester will begin arriving at dealerships this fall.

Compact: Ford Escape

Starting MSRP: $23,940

The affable Ford Escape is offered with AWD on all but the entry-level S trim. SE and SEL models are powered by a 1.5-liter turbo with 179 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of user-friendly torque on tap. The top Titanium trim gets the 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo with a whopping 275 lb-ft. AWD is an additional $1,350 on all models.

We found the Escape one of the easiest small SUVs to live with in our tests. The seats, ergonomics, and airy cabin worked together as one to keep us relaxed and refreshed while driving, even on long road trips. Infotainment was modern and easy to use, with excellent navigation and voice recognition.

Midsize: Chevrolet Traverse

Starting MSRP: $29,930

Chevrolet’s popular Traverse SUV offers AWD on the LS trim and up, starting at $34,800. A 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower on tap sits under the hood paired with a nine-speed automatic, returning 20 mpg in the combined cycle and offering up to 5,000 pound towing capacity.

Three rows offer seating for up to eight, and cargo area of 98.5 cubic feet. Thoughtful storage abounds, with bins, pockets, cubbies, and an under floor tray to keep everything tidy. There are a total of 10 cupholders, and the front doors even have a place for umbrellas.

A seven-inch touchscreen Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on the LS, and two USB charging ports are found in each rows.

Midsize: Mazda CX-9

Starting MSRP: $32,280

We like the Mazda CX-9 for its artful blend of performance, handling, and utility. LIke its smaller CX-3 sibling, the 9’s AWD system uses Mazda’s unique torque vectoring to improve chassis dynamics, providing extra grip when cornering, braking, and accelerating. AWD adds $1,800 to the vehicle in all but top Signature trim, where it’s included in the $45,365 price.

Power is provided by a 2.5-liter turbo four making an impressive 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is 23 mpg on the combined cycle, only a mpg less than the front-wheel drive model.

The three-row CX-9 has an elegant interior, with thoughtful attention to touch surfaces and trim pieces. Mazda announced at the New York Auto Show in March that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available in 2019 models.

Midsize: Subaru Ascent

Starting MSRP: $31,995

The Subaru Ascent is an all-new three-row SUV and the biggest in the company’s lineup. Standard motivation comes in the form of a turbocharged 260-horsepower boxer engine paired with a high-torque continuously-variable transmission driving all four wheels. Fuel economy is 24 mpg combined in lower trims, 23 mpg combine in upper.

The second row can be configured with either captain’s chairs or a bench, for a total capacity of eight. The seats have a wide sliding range of motion for legroom, access to children in car seats, or balancing passenger and cargo room. 

The Ascent comes with dual USB ports in the first two rows on standard trims; upper get an additional two in the third row. Apple CarPLay and Android Auto are played through six speakers in all but the top model, which gets a 14 speakers powered by 792 watts of Harman Kardon premium sound.

Midsize: Jeep Grand Cherokee

Starting MSRP: $30,895

For decades, one of America’s favorite family trucksters has been the Jeep Grand Cherokee. For 2019, the model offers something for everyone.

The base Laredo model in 4×4 spec starts at $33,195 and is powered by a 3.6-liter V6, standard in all models but the performance-oriented SRT and Trackhawk models. A 3.0-liter diesel is offered in mid and upper trims.

Amenities range from a family-friendly cloth interior with modern 7.0-inch infotainment to a leather-lined luxo-ute with a 19-speaker sound system many symphonies would envy.

Models wearing Jeep’s “Trail Rated” badge are ready for offroad adventure with increased approach, breakover, and departure angles, improved wheel articulation, and a 44:1 crawl ratio.

For fans of ultimate street performance, Jeep has added the Trackhawk to the lineup, powered by a 707-horsepower supercharged V8.

Full-size: Nissan Armada

Starting MSRP: $46,090

Nissan’s eight-passenger Armada is built with body-on-frame construction, creating a study base for some serious capability. WIth a 5.6-liter V8 under the hood steaming out 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque, it’ll carry 1,724 pounds and tow 8,500.

Prices start at $48,990 for four-wheel drive (4WD), but even base models have leather-trimmed seats, navigation, and a 13-speaker Bose sound system. Stepping up to the mid-range Platinum ($62,090, 4WD) adds climate-controlled front seats, entertainment for all three rows, and a power liftgate.

The Armada uses an intelligent drive system to automatically switch between two- and four-wheel drive depending on traction. With 4WD engaged, off road capability is increased with high and low gearing ranges, two forward crawl speeds, and one reverse crawl speed.

Full-size: Lincoln Navigator

Starting MSRP: $72,555

The twin-turbocharged V6 under the hood of the seven-seat Lincoln Navigator boils out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. In all-wheel drive form ($76,505), towing capacity is a prodigious 8,300 pounds. Even with all the grunt and a curb weight of almost three tons, fuel economy is still 18 mpg on the combined cycle thanks to a 10-speed transmission making the most every ounce of power. Electronic traction assist is available on Select ($76,555) and Reserve ($81,705) models. 

Of course, the story with the Navigator isn’t mindless strength, but luxury. In base Premiere trim, leather seats are heated, captain;s chairs adorn the third row, and there’s no pesky manual effort involved in manipulating the third row. Wi-Fi connectivity for up to ten device is standard, as is a 10-inch touchscreen controlling 14-speaker Revel premium audio and Apple CarPlay.

For those who need a bit more room, an extended-length Navigator L is offered.

Full-size: Ford Expedition

Starting MSRP: $51,790

Ford’s eight-seat Expedition is powered by a 3.5-liter turbo V6, pumping out 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque in XLT and Limited trims, and 400 and 480 respectively in at Platinum model. A ten-speed automatic mated to either both delivers smooth power and enables 9,200 pounds of towing capacity when paired with all-wheel drive (about $3,100, depending on model).

Available options packages can elevate the Expedition to corporate sibling Lincoln levels. The unpoetically named 202A group ($5,605) adds heated and ventilated front seats, leather first and second rows, power third row, power liftgate, heated steering wheel, connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspotting, and blind spot information.

Shoppers needing extra cargo area can look at the extended-length Expedition Max.

Full-size: Chevrolet Tahoe

Starting MSRP: $48,395

With seating for up to nine and a choice of two naturally-aspirated V8 engines, the Chevrolet Tahoe is a breath of old-school fresh air in a segment increasingly crowded with luxury vehicles. That’s not to say it’s not modern—it is—but GM already has two offerings in the luxury SUV field, the GMC Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade, and keeps the Tahoe delightfully simple.

A four-cylinder turbo has been announced for the 2019 Silverado pickup and will undoubtedly appear in the Tahoe, but for now power comes as god intended: from displacement. A aluminum block 5.3-liter V8 produces 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft, while the optional 6.2-liter makes 420 horses and 460 lb-ft. Four-wheel drive adds $3,000 to the bottom line.

The Tahoe comes with modern amenities, even in base trim. Three-zone climate control is standard, along with remote start and a rear vision camera. Chevy’s 8.0-inch infotainment system offers voice control, HD radio, Wi-Fi hotspotting, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Heated leather seating, Bose premium audio, and active safety features are available.

Buyers wanting a bit more space behind the third row can look at the Tahoe’s longer but otherwise identical twin, the Chevrolet Suburban.

All-new Suzuki Jimny

You could own a new Suzuki Jimny for just 85p

All-new Suzuki Jimny

If you’ve read the reviews of the all-new Suzuki Jimny, you’ll no doubt be itching to find out how much it will cost. Well – exclusive alert – we can reveal that a brand new Jimny could cost… wait for it… 85p.

Best of the Best (or BOTB), the company famous for selling raffle tickets for some of the world’s most exclusive cars, is adding the Suzuki Jimny to its roster of exotica. Proof, if further proof were needed, that the Jimny is one of the hottest new cars money can buy.

Interestingly, BOTB is advertising the Suzuki Jimny with a retail price of £18,000, suggesting it knows something we don’t, or it has taken a stab at guessing the price of a top-spec model with automatic transmission.

Wait, it has the automatic gearbox? We haven’t driven it, but we wouldn’t expect a Jimny auto to offer the most rewarding driving experience. We also reckon you’d want the flexibility of the five-speed manual if you fancy venturing off-road.

The team at BOTB aren’t fans of the previous-generation Jimny, describing its styling as “pretty rubbish”, but the company says the new car wins kudos for its “passing resemblance to the G-Class”.

Basically, BOTB is trying to stay down with its target audience by dissing the unfashionable Jimny, innit. Or summat.

New Jimny or £14,000 cash?

However, when BOTB says the new Jimny “will embarrass probably 80 percent of the AWD off-roaders on sale”, it makes a valid point.

We’ve got no idea when you’ll get your hands on the 85p Suzuki Jimny – or even if you’ll be fortunate enough to win – but a £14,000 cash alternative is available if you decide to bail on your fun-size 4×4 aspirations.

Sadly, our hopes of buying all of the tickets have been dashed by the limit of 150 tickets per customer. Dammit.

Read more:

Apple CarPlay

Jaguar I-Pace is first JLR car with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Apple CarPlayJaguar has confirmed the I-Pace electric SUV is the first model from Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to offer factory-fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone functionality.

The long-awaited-inclusion of the technology, which allows users to safely use their smartphones while driving, comes after a long certification process.

Most volume and premium car brands have long offered Android Auto and Apple CarPlay within their cars’ infotainment systems. Jaguar Land Rover has lagged its rivals, but is now shipping the I-Pace with the technology, which is built into the Touch Pro Duo infotainment.

Jaguar I-Pace

Other Jaguars and Land Rovers will be equipped with Apple and Android connectivity in due course, said a spokesperson.

The lengthy certification process meant Jaguar wasn’t able to demonstrate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto during the car’s original media launch. This has caused some confusion amongst customers, who struggled to clarify whether it would be featured or not.

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar’s confirmation clears the matter up – and Jaguar is expected to showcase the new functionality in coming weeks.

The existing JLR InControl Apps smartphone system will continue to be offered alongside the new system, adds the firm. This includes inbuilt Spotify integration, plus a colourful alternative way to stream audio and podcasts from devices.

Part of the Jaguar I-Pace Smartphone Pack, it also includes interactivity with Tile RFID tags, helping owners find misplaced keys or bags.

From being a smartphone connectivity laggard, JLR will soon offer one of the most comprehensive array of options on the market…

Senturion S177

The £16,000 bracelet that can unlock a supercar

Senturion S177

Is your Bugatti or McLaren key not showy enough? Need a super key to match your supercar? A company called Senturion has the answer, with what it calls the “world’s first ultra-luxury wristwear piece”.

The Senturion S177 is both car key and jewellery, with bronze-coloured accenting (brushed titanium, don’t you know?). It’s fully customisable to suit your car, and production is limited to 177 pieces. Prices start from £15,580.

How does it work as a key?

Senturion S177

Senturion integrates the car’s existing encrypted security system into the S177. This enables the bracelet to take the place of a conventional key, unlocking your car as you approach. You might want to carry the key with you for good measure, however, just in case the battery is dead and you need to unlock your car manually.

There are cogs hidden behind a sapphire window that you can watch turning as you unlock your Lamborghini from afar. How relevant they are to the act of actually unlocking the car remains to be seen.

Senturion is allegedly a world leader in compact micro-circuitry, claiming ‘several world records’ in the area. The S177 has more than 1,000 components, with circuit boards ‘completed to the precision standards of astronaut equipment’.

Clever tech or tasteless tat? We’re erring towards the latter…

Read more:

Porsche diesel

Porsche confirms it has ditched diesel for good

Porsche dieselPorsche dropped diesel engines from its model range in February 2018. Now, it has confirmed it won’t be bringing diesel back in the future. 

The Porsche diesel is dead. 

“Porsche is not demonising diesel,” insisted Porsche AG CEO Oliver Blume. “It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology.

“We as a sports car manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free.”

But don’t panic, those who currently drive a diesel-engined Porsche, he added. “Naturally, we will continue to look after our existing diesel customers with the professionalism they expect.” You won’t be ostracized by the firm any time soon.

The diesel crisis caused us a lot of trouble… Porsche’s image has suffered

Porsche’s relationship with diesel has been short and, recently, tumultuous. It first offered diesel-engined Cayenne SUVs a decade ago, following them up with the Panamera diesel and Macan diesel. 

But it has been affected by the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal, and Blume later admitted “the diesel crisis caused us a lot of trouble… Porsche’s image has suffered”. 

That’s despite Porsche not actually developing the engines: it bought them in from Audi – inheriting the subsequent emissions software-cheating issues as they came to light. 

Sales have also plunged. In 2017, diesel sales took just 12 percent of Porsche worldwide sales. In contrast, 63 percent of Panamera sold in Europe are petrol-electric hybrid models. The firm has ditched diesel in favour of hybrid Panamera and Cayenne, and is now doubling down on electric drive.

The firm predicts 1 in 2 new Porsches will be either hybrid or pure electric, and its first all-electric car, the Taycan, goes on sale in 2019.

Porsche will now focus on “what we can do particularly well”. And that does not include diesel.

Clarkson's Cars

In pictures: Clarkson’s crazy car collection

Clarkson's Cars

Jeremy Clarkson played a major role in transforming Top Gear into a global brand before an incident involving a steak led to his departure from the BBC. Now, he stars alongside Richard Hammond and James May on The Grand Tour. Away from TV matters, what are the cars Jezza has chosen to drive himself?

Clarkson's Cars

Overfinch Range Rover 580S

Clarkson was spotted getting into this Overfinch Range Rover 580S back in 2003. The 4.4-litre engine would have been tuned by Overfinch for a 0-62 mph time of 7.3 seconds – 1.9 seconds quicker than standard. We think it’s likely to be a press car, but you can imagine a standard Range Rover just wouldn’t be fast enough for Clarkson.

Clarkson's Cars

Porsche 911

Jeremy Clarkson is a keen supporter of Help for Heroes. Here, his Porsche 911 Carrera was spotted while visiting an event held by the charity.

Clarkson's Cars

One millionth Range Rover

As patron of the Help for Heroes charity, the one millionth Range Rover of the production line was handed to Clarkson before being sold at auction to raise funds.

Clarkson's Cars


Clarkson’s disdain of cyclists has caused controversy in the past. You might be surprised, then, to see him pictured on a lady’s bicycle at Venice Beach.

Clarkson's Cars

Volkswagen Scirocco

Before TV stardom with Top Gear brought him to our screens, Clarkson was prolific as a motoring journalist. Back in the early days, the Volkswagen Scirocco was one of his favourites.

Clarkson's Cars

Ford Escort RS Cosworth

The epitome of the hot hatch scene in the early 1990s, the RS Cosworth became synonymous with joyriding and insurance premium hikes. Legend has it this is the only car Jezza has owned that he gave a name to. It was Gary, in case you’re wondering.

Clarkson's Cars

Ferrari F355

Fame and fortune delivered money and success, to the point where Jeremy could buy a brand new Ferrari. Famously documented in Top Gear magazine, he agonised over colour and trim, and later regretted opting for the GTS model with the lift-out roof panel.

Clarkson's Cars

Jaguar XJR

Clarkson has owned a number of Jaguars over the years, but the XJR with its supercharged 4.0-litre V8 engine was one of the particular highlights. Jeremy’s old car went under the hammer at auction, selling for only £3,400 despite the famous previous owner.

Clarkson's Cars

Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon

Described by Jezza as being the safest way of transporting your family, save for buying an armoured personnel carrier. If it’s good enough to be used by the United Nations, it’s probably more than sufficient for use on the school run.

Clarkson's Cars

Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

The car that seemingly kick-started Clarkson’s love affair with AMG Mercedes products. A 5.5-litre supercharged V8 engine, producing 469hp, was sufficient to transform a two-tonne roadster into a 200mph Autobahn machine.

Clarkson's Cars

Volvo XC90

That’s right, Jezza has owned not one, not two, but three Volvo XC90s over the years. If that isn’t an endorsement for the ultimate family vehicle, we don’t know what is.

Clarkson's Cars

Ford GT

Making use of his industry contacts, Jeremy was able to secure one of the few Ford GTs imported to the UK, having enjoyed his drive of a prototype model. Things were less positive when the GT arrived, leading to Clarkson returning the car to Ford for a refund due to the now-famous problems with the alarm system. He later bought the car back, however.

Clarkson's Cars

Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG

The next car in the Mercedes AMG series. Lacking the supercharger of the SL55 AMG, the smaller SLK version made do with just 355hp.

Clarkson's Cars

Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

Having sold the Ford GT, Clarkson opted for the soft-top version of the baby Lamborghini. With a 513hp V10 engine, the Spyder is still capable of almost 200mph.

Clarkson's Cars

Range Rover TDV8 Vogue SE

Described by him as being the ‘best car in the world’ it was logical that Jezza would have a third-generation Range Rover. Despite his lust for power, even he could see the advantages of choosing the twin-turbocharged diesel V8 over the supercharged petrol version.  

Clarkson's Cars

Ford Focus

Despite the success and fortune, Clarkson has always maintained his love of effective engineering. That’s why he made room in the garage, among the supercars, for a humble first-generation Ford Focus.

Clarkson's Cars

Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser

“The Grosser is fitted with so many ornaments it could almost be twinned with Elton John’s head,” said Clarkson when describing the rather large Mercedes-Benz.

Clarkson's Cars

Mercedes-Benz CLK Black Series

Not many cars receive the maximum five-star review from Jeremy Clarkson, which means the Mercedes-Benz CLK Black Series is part of a select group. “I’m not sure that anyone’s life is quite complete unless they have one,” said Clarkson in 2008. Praise indeed.

Clarkson's Cars

Alfa Romeo GTV6

According to Top Gear, in order to be classed as a true petrolhead, you must, at some point in your life, own an Alfa Romeo. For Clarkson, the choice was a GTV6 – the sweet-sounding Alfa with a wonderful Busso V6 engine.

Clarkson's Cars

Reliant Robin

Chump and Sons Ltd is an independent television production company founded and owned by Clarkson, Hammond, May and Andy Willman. Four Reliant Robins were acquired as company cars, including one owned by Clarkson.

Clarkson's Cars

Honda CR-X

In his book, Round the Bend, Clarkson claimed “I buy on the strength of a frameless window in a pillarless door”, which explains why he bought a Honda CRX. It’s one of a number of cars featuring a frameless window, including…

Clarkson's Cars


…a BMW 3.0 CSL. This must rank as one of Clarkson’s best purchases – and it stemmed from the days before he was famous. A GTV6, 600 Grosser, Escort Cosworth and a 3.0 CSL – what a selection!

Clarkson's Cars

Ford Cortina 1600E

Back in the day, the Ford Cortina 1600E was the choice of the connoisseur, featuring Rostyle wheels, a black vinyl roof and the engine from the 1600 GT. It also happened to be Clarkson’s first car.

Clarkson's Cars

Lotus Elise 111S

In his book, Driven to Distraction, Clarkson describes some of the cars owned by his wife. Of the Lotus Elise 111S, he said she sent it back for sports exhausts because it wasn’t loud enough. Brilliant.

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CO2 Emissions

Petrol and diesel ban is needed by 2030 to meet global warming targets

CO2 Emissions 2030

A report by the Guardian newspaper reveals how climate change targets set in the Paris agreement will only be met if oil-burning cars are banned by 2030 – 10 years sooner than the government’s 2040 target. Countries including India, Germany and the Netherlands have already set their targets for 2030.

The target is less of a go-to number and more of a global warming limit – set as a maximum of 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

To put the issue into perspective, a study by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), cited by the Guardian, claims a 2030 petrol and diesel car ban would be required for a little over 50 percent chance of not exceeding this maximum temperature change.

On the way to that, the number of oil-burning cars sold by 2022 would need to be as low as five million, versus 15 million sold this year. The study imagines that the last oil-burning car would be sold in 2028, and that they’d be fully legislated off the roads by 2040.

CO2 Emissions 2030

“Auto CO2-emissions need to peak as soon as possible,” said Professor Horst Friedrich, director of the DLR.

“Looking at the dwindling carbon budget, it is crucial to push low-emitting cars into the market – the earlier the better, to renew the fleet.”

We think the 2030 target seems unrealistic, barring an extreme hike in the offering and uptake of low- and zero-emissions vehicles. The rate of change is difficult to predict and, truthfully, out of the control of both manufacturers and legislators. It’s down to the former to offer products that appeal to the masses and the latter to install and upgrade infrastructure to suit.

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Amazon Echo Auto

Amazon Echo Auto can bring Alexa into almost any car

Amazon Echo Auto

Just as an Amazon Fire Stick makes your TV smart, so the new Amazon Echo Auto makes your car smart. Never mind Android Auto, Apple Carplay, connected car systems and enormous infotainment screens – all Echo Auto needs to make your car intelligent is a USB socket (or 12V power) and an auxiliary cable.

How does Echo Auto work?

Effectively, Echo Auto offers 50,000 Alexa ‘skills’ you can activate using your voice from behind the wheel. That means apps like Spotify and Audible are controllable via Amazon’s well-resolved voice recognition system.

The little box rests on your dashboard and connects to your phone, using the Alexa app and your phone data plan to work. You power up with a USB or a 12-volt socket, and plug into the car’s speakers with either an auxiliary cord or Bluetooth.

Th box contains eight microphones designed for in-car acoustics. That means you can ask Alexa for traffic updates or call someone over the sound of air conditioning, road noise, your music, and so on. It can connect to your home Amazon systems, too. You can program it to turn your outside lights on when you pull into your driveway at night, for example.

Amazon Echo Auto

Given how poor some manufacturers own voice recognition systems are, we expect big things – especially given how much Amazon has put into the technology

Anything that lets us control facilities in-car, without taking attention off the road, gets our vote. It sounds better than scrolling through endless menus on a dashboard touchscreen, that’s for sure.

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