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No Deal: European cars we can’t buy in the UK

European cars you can’t buy

From compact city cars to luxury SUVs: there’s a new car for everyone. But that doesn’t stop us peering across the English Channel to gaze longingly at some of the European cars that we’re denied access to in the UK. Here’s a selection of Euro motors we wish were sold on these shores.

Renault Megane Grand Coupe

European cars you can’t buy

When is a compact saloon not a compact saloon? When it’s a Grand Coupe. The name makes no sense, but there’s no denying the Renault Megane Grand Coupe is a good looking saloon. It actually boasts a larger boot than its hatchback counterpart, but while it will be sold in 20 countries worldwide, UK buyers will be denied the privilege of driving the attractive Renault.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio manual

European cars you can’t buy

We still have to pinch ourselves about this one. A genuinely handsome, rear-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo with a top speed that puts it at the top table of the supercar elite. Thanks to the small matter of 510 raging horses, the Giulia Quadrifoglio will hit 191mph, all for a shade over £60,000. Yes, you can buy it in the UK, but the cost of converting to right-hand drive means we don’t get the manual transmission. Shame.

Citroen E-Mehari

European cars you can’t buy

The original Mehari is a bit of cult vehicle within Citroen circles, so this beach buggy for the new millennium has a lot to live up to. The signs are good: a potential range of 125 miles, 70mph top speed and a maintenance-free body are amongst the highlights. It’s already on sale in France, but a UK-launch is unlikely. On the plus side, it’ll be the coolest car at the holiday rental compound.

Renault Talisman

European cars you can’t buy

The Citroen C6, Renault 25, Peugeot 605, Renault Vel Satis and Peugeot 607, to name but a few – lessons from history warning French carmakers that shifting big cars is a big ask in the UK. Which helps to explain why the Renault Talisman isn’t available here. Nobody would buy it and it would depreciate faster than you could say ‘financial ruin’, but that doesn’t stop us wanting one.

Citroen C-Elysée

European cars you can’t buy

We’re not fans of small saloons in the UK, preferring the practicality of a hatchback. Thus the C-Elysée – a staple of the French taxi trade – has never made it to these shores. On the one hand, that’s a positive; Jalopnik journalist Doug DeMuro described it as the worst car he’s even driven. On the other, the championship-winning WTCC racer looks pretty cool.

Fiat Freemont

European cars you can’t buy

Spend some time across the Channel and it won’t be long before you stumble across a Fiat Freemont, especially in its native Italy. Actually, that’s a bit of a moot point, because the Freemont is based on the all-american Dodge Journey. It was unveiled back in 2007, so it’s hardly a spring chicken and is currently being phased-out. If we’re honest, that’s probably a good thing.

Dacia Lodgy Stepway

European cars you can’t buy

The Dacia Lodgy offers space for up to seven people and traditional Dacia value for money. OK, so the Stepway version does inflate the price, but it looks a million Euros. Practical, wipe-clean motoring for a bargain price. Where do we sign? Oh, we can’t. Shame.

Renault Espace

European cars you can’t buy

The Renault Espace helped to establish the people carrier segment in the early 1980s and it soon became part of the UK furniture. The fourth generation Espace offers styling that doesn’t say to the world you’ve given up on life and are well past your prime. In fact, it looks more appealing than the majority of crossovers. Being denied access to the Espace just isn’t playing fair.

Opel Ampera-e

European cars you can’t buy

The original Vauxhall (and Opel) Ampera was one of the first production plug-in hybrids. Sadly, it was too far ahead of its time and sold in tiny numbers. This second-generation car – renamed Ampera-e and only available in left-hand drive – looks more conventional and is now fully electric. Opel claims a range of 236 miles using the latest WLTP test cycle.

Mercedes-Benz G500

European cars you can’t buy

If you want a new G-Wagen in the UK (and we do), your only option is the blood-and-thunder 585hp AMG G63. However, many consider the detuned 422hp G500 a better all-rounder. It’s quieter, smoother and more efficient – and considerably cheaper to buy, too. But only if you live on the continent…

Volvo S60 Polestar

European cars you can’t buy

We’re fortunate enough to be offered the Volvo V60 Polestar, but the S60 is strictly off limits. This is due in part to the fact that we prefer wagons to saloons, but there’s something delightfully old-school about the S60 Polestar. Avoid the Rebel Blue paint job and it’s one of the world’s ultimate sleepers.

Skoda Rapid Spaceback ScoutLine

European cars you can’t buy

On character count alone, this is one of the biggest names in Europe. The Skoda Rapid Spaceback Scoutline could be the Rapid you always dreamed of. Don’t let the looks deceive you, because this particular Skoda has about as much off-road ability as a Mini Moke, but it looks wonderfully cool in Pistachio Green.

Toyota Camry

European cars you can’t buy

The Camry made its UK debut in 1984, soon establishing itself as the flagship of the Toyota range. It majored on equipment and refinement, but there was a Sport model, complete with 2.2-litre 16v engine. The Camry lived on until 2004, but hasn’t been seen in the UK since. However, it will make a comeback later this year…

Lada Granta Sport

European cars you can’t buy

Who doesn’t want a budget-priced compact saloon with sporting credentials? The Lada Granta Sport is powered by a distinctly old-school 1.6-litre 16v engine, delivering a distinctly old school 0-62 mph time of 9.5 seconds. For some reason we’re really keen to drive it. We have visions of being transported back to the 1990s. And that’s a good thing.

Renault Clio Estate

European cars you can’t buy

Small estate cars aren’t hugely popular in the UK, with the Skoda Fabia and SEAT Ibiza representing the best of a rather niche breed. But we feel we’re missing out by not having the Renault Clio Estate on sale in the UK. One for Nicole’s more practical sister, perhaps?

Toyota Highlander

European cars you can’t buy

The Toyota Highlander is a seven-seat SUV built at Toyota’s plant in Indiana, along with its assembly plant in China. It’s not widely available in Europe, but customers in Moldova and Ukraine are able to get their hands on Toyota’s “sophisticated” SUV. We’d like a single Highlander to be sold in the UK, just to enable us to use the ‘there can be only one’ gag.

Lada 4×4 Urban

European cars you can’t buy

The word ‘urban’ is often synonymous with cutting-edge cool. Not here. Lada’s 4×4 Urban is essentially a reworked version of the ancient Niva, with a 1.7-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and (slightly) more modern dashboard. Like the Land Rover Defender or Suzuki Jimny, though, it has a certain back-to-basics appeal.

Fiat Tipo saloon

European cars you can’t buy

While UK buyers will be able to buy to the Fiat Tipo as a hatchback or estate car, we’re being denied the compact saloon. Taking into account the fact that small estates are a hard sell in the UK, we think the Tipo saloon looks rather stylish. A budget alternative to the Audi A3 saloon and Mercedes-Benz CLA?

Renault Kwid

European cars you can’t buy

The Indian-market Renault Kwid is set to enter Europe and there’s every chance it could arrive in the UK as a Dacia. Remarkably, prices in India start at the equivalent of £2,945, so it could present astonishing value for money in the UK. A decent addition to the Dacia range? We think so.

Autofarm

Porsche owners: join us for an open day at Autofarm

AutofarmIf you love Porsches, Autofarm is your dream garage made real. The Oxfordshire specialist has been repairing and restoring Stuttgart’s finest since 1973, and its converted barns are a treasure-trove of rare and exotic cars. The last time we visited, there were no less than five examples of the legendary 911 Carrera 2.7 RS on-site.

Sound good? Well, Autofarm is having an open day on Sunday 30 April in conjunction with Motoring Research – and you could be there. Our second Retro Road Test: Live event is your chance meet other enthusiasts, show off your Porsche and get a guided tour of the amazing Autofarm workshops.

Your car (and you, if you wish) will also be photographed for a special feature on MSN Cars and Motoring Research. Our previous Retro Road Test: Live article on Ford owners at the Dagenham workshop shows how it could look.

All you need to do to enter is send us a picture of your Porsche. Whether you own a classic 911 or a modern Cayenne, anything goes, but there’s a limit of 25 cars on the day.  

You can share your photo with us through Facebook (comment on this post), by tweeting us @editorial_MR, or tag us in a picture on Instagram (@motoringresearch). Alternatively, send it by email to tim@motoringresearch.com.

Remember, the event will take place on the morning of Sunday 30 April – so make sure you’re free then. We can’t wait to see you there.

New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

An A-Z of cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016The biennial Paris Motor Show opens its doors to the public on 1 October, but Motoring Research will be reporting live from the press days on 29 and 30 September.

Plenty of new cars will make their debuts at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre, including the Land Rover Discovery, Skoda Kodiak and LaFerrari Spider. Here’s an A-Z guide of what to expect.

Audi Q5New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The Q5 has been a great success for Audi. Indeed, even after six years on sale, it still boasts some of the strongest residual (resale) values in the second-hand market. The car pictured is the current model; no photos of the 2017 Q5 have been released yet.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Engines for the new Q5 include a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol, plus 2.0 and 3.0 TDI diesels. Bahn-storming SQ5 and RS Q5 versions will follow in due course, along with an E-tron plug-in hybrid.

Citroen C3New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Citroen has finally rediscovered its joie de vivre. The new C3 supermini borrows styling cues from the C4 Cactus – including energy-absorbing Airbumps on the sides – for a bold look that’s practical and utilitarian, rather than sporty.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Inside, the C3 gets broad, comfortable seats and an interesting mix of materials (including the ‘luggage strap’ door handles from the Cactus). An optional ‘ConnectedCam’ behind the rear-view mirror records footage of your journey and could help prove your innocence after an accident.

Citroen CXperienceNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Having launched DS as a standalone luxury brand, Citroen is referencing another of its former glories – the 1974 CX – with the CXperience concept. The large, plug-in hybrid hatchback offers clues about Citroen’s future design direction.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Centrepiece of the CXperience is undoubtedly its interior. The seats are made from memory foam and each passenger gets his/her own tablet. A single-spoke steering wheel harks back to the CX, too. Come on, Citroen – build this car!

Ferrari LaFerrari SpiderNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Now we’re talking. Yes, it’s basically just a LaFerrari without a roof, but when the car in question is a V12-engined, carbon-bodied, hybrid-enhanced weapon, we still count it among the highlights of Paris 2016.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

We don’t know exactly how many Spiders will be built – only that the entire production run has sold out in advance. Oh, and the car may actually be called the ‘LaFerrari Aperta’, like the drop-top 458 Speciale. There’s no word from Ferrari on that yet either.

 

Honda CivicNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

You’d be forgiven for thinking this is the new Type R; even the ‘cooking’ 2017 Honda Civic looks seriously sporty. These official photos actually show the US-spec Civic, but the European version will look very similar. Good.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The Civic will come with efficient 1.0 and 1.5 petrol engines, plus Honda’s familiar 1.6 diesel. And the Type R? That’s expected to follow in 2017.

Hyundai i10New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Looking somewhat less radical is the updated Hyundai i10. The budget Korean supermini gets a larger front grille with LED daytime running lights, a new rear bumper and, er… that’s about it – on the outside at least.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The most interesting changes are inside the i10, which now offers a 7in touchscreen media system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Automatic emergency braking is available, too.

Hyundai i30New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The new Hyundai i30 is a much bolder effort, with styling that offers more than a hint of ‘premium’ (spot the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series cues). Bizarre shutlines around the A-pillars aside, we rather like it. Will Volkswagen Golf owners feel the same?New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Buyers can pick from three petrol engines and three diesels, with the cleanest diesel emitting just 94g/km CO2. Opt for the 8in touchscreen media system (pictured) and you’ll get wireless phone charging included.

Kia RioNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Turning to Hyundai’s sister-brand, meet the new Kia Rio. This Fiesta-sized supermini also looks to have taken a step upmarket, with smart – if rather unadventurous – styling that reeks of Germanic solidity and sobriety.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Despite releasing these official pics, Kia is still reluctant to say much about the new Rio. Apparently the dashboard is angled towards the driver, BMW-style, which bodes well for more engaging dynamics. We’ll find out more in Paris.

Land Rover DiscoveryNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

After years of being a boxy 4×4, the Discovery has morphed into a sleek SUV. Styling that evokes the, er, Evoque shouldn’t impact too heavily on practicality: this still a seven-seater. An all-aluminium body should reduce weight and boost fuel economy.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Again, technical details on the new Discovery are sparse. A recent stunt with Bear Grylls showcased the car’s clever seats, which can be folded remotely using a smartphone app. Off-road ability should remain best-in-class.

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT roadsterNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

We don’t have pictures of the convertible AMG GT yet, so you’ll have to make do with the coupe. But just look at it. An open version of Mercedes’ flagship sports car can’t fail to stop traffic.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The AMG GT will be available with a 462hp twin-turbo V8, stoked to 510hp in the GT S. Will we see a drop-top version of the 585hp GT R, which was revealed at Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer? Let’s hope so.

Mitsubishi Ground TourerNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

This teaser shot shows Mitsubishi’s Ground Tourer concept, which will be revealed in full at Paris. Its sleek styling gives clues about the next Outlander SUV. Mitsubishi calls its new design language ‘Dynamic Shield’.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The current Outlander PHEV has been a sales hit for Mitsubishi, largely thanks to its low tax liability. The Ground Tourer will follow the same plug-in hybrid template, albeit with improved efficiency and performance.

Nissan MicraNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Does thinking about the Nissan Micra send you to sleep? Time to wake up. The Sway concept, seen here, points to how the new, more sophisticated Micra – due to be revealed at Paris – will look.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

With a huge number of rivals, including the Fabia, Fiesta, Jazz, Rio and Polo, the new Micra certainly needs to up its game. We’ll give you our first impressions from the show floor at Porte de Versailles.

Peugeot 3008New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The Peugeot 3008 has transformed from ugly MPV into, well, slightly-more-handsome SUV. Because nobody buys MPVs anymore, right? Just don’t tell Renault that.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Sales start in November and engines will include Peugeot’s thrifty 1.2-litre PureTech petrols and BlueHDi diesels. A five-setting traction control system should give the 3008 a modicum of off-road ability. There won’t be a four-wheel-drive version at launch, however.

Peugeot 5008New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Big brother to the 3008 is the seven-seat Peugeot 5008. It looks slightly blander and boxier than the smaller car, but is still a vast improvement on the outgoing 5008.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

A big car doesn’t necessarily need a big steering wheel; Peugeot is clear on that. The 5008 seen here has the optional i-Cockpit virtual display in place of conventional dials. There’s also an 8in touchscreen atop the centre console.

Porsche PanameraNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Here’s another car that started life as an ugly duckling but is now passably handsome. The latest Porsche Panamera still seats four and still looks a bit like a 911 (if you squint). However, it’s now a lot sleeker, lighter and, of course, faster.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Like, how fast exactly? Try a Nurburgring lap time of 7min 38sec for the Panamera Turbo – as quick as a 997 GT3. There will also be diesel and petrol/electric hybrid versions, along with a new eight-speed PDK auto ’box.

Porsche Panamera Sport TurismoNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

This one isn’t confirmed, but there are strong rumours Porsche will show a coupe or shooting brake (estate) version of the Panamera in Paris. Let’s hope for the latter – and that it looks exactly like this Sport Turismo concept, seen at Paris in 2012.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The Sport Turismo concept had a hybrid powertrain, but a production version would share engines with the regular Panamera. This could be the ultimate dog-carrier – and so much cooler than a BMW X6.

Renault AlaskanNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

If the Alaskan looks slightly familiar, that’s because it’s based on the Nissan Navara. Renault’s first pick-up will come in a variety of configurations, including the five-seat double cab seen here.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The Alaskan is quite capable of hard work: four-wheel drive and a 3.5-tonne towing weight see to that. However, it’s not devoid of luxuries either. A touchscreen media system, Bluetooth and surround-view parking cameras are all available.

Skoda KodiakNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Has there been a more anticipated ‘mainstream’ car in 2016? Skoda’s seven-seat SUV looks like an oversized Yeti (the car, not the monster) and should offer good value for money. Fingers crossed it’s fun to drive like the Yeti, too.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Just look at that interior: Skoda’s leaving its budget-brand roots further and further behind. Automatic emergency braking and Trailer Assist (for reversing with a trailer) are standard, while adaptive cruise control and a 10-speaker audio system are on the options list.

Suzuki IgnisNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Once a typical supermini, the Suzuki Ignis has also fallen victim to the crossover craze. This latest version (seen here in concept form at the Tokyo Auto Salon) will take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and Mazda CX-3.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The Ignis features Suzuki’s SHVS ‘mild hybrid’ system, which stores energy from decelerating and braking, then uses it to boost power when accelerating. We’ll find out more about the new Ignis in Paris.

Suzuki SX4 S-CrossNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Suzuki has taken a knife to its SX4 S-Cross, and the results are… controversial. Grafting a grand-looking chrome grille onto an otherwise-humble hatchback is a trick as old as the Austin Allegro Vanden Plas. And usually just as successful.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Here’s the old SX4 S-Cross for comparison. Yep, definitely better looking. At least the latest model benefits from Suzuki’s excellent new Boosterjet petrol engines, in 1.0- and 1.4-litre sizes.

Vauxhall InsigniaNew cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

Vauxhall must long for the old days, when a Cavalier could be spotted on every suburban street. Nowadays, the Insignia only really sells to fleet buyers, but it’s still a popular company car. This is the current version, as no photos of the 2017 Insignia have so far been released.New cars at Paris Motor Show 2016

The next Insignia won’t rip-up the rulebook, although it should be lighter, more efficient and more spacious inside. Will that make anybody want to spend their own money on one? Not unless it looks like the Opel GT concept from earlier this year, no.

50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

50 cars you can buy with 0% financeIf you’re in the market for a new car, you might be tempted by a 0% finance deal. Over the course of the agreement, typically between 12 and 60 months, you’ll pay no more than the original list price. We’ve included typical examples, but you should consult your local dealer for more information. In the case of a Personal Contract Plan (PCP) deal, you’ll be restricted to a set number of miles per annum, while a hire purchase agreement lifts the restriction. Read on to discover 50 cars you can buy with 0% finance.

Alfa Romeo MiTo Progression50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

The Alfa Romeo MiTo might not be the best supermini you can buy, but it’s one of the best looking. Right now, Alfa Romeo is offering a £2,250 deposit contribution and 0% finance on the TwinAir Progression. All you need to do is find £999 for the deposit and £159 a month for 48 months. At the end of the contract, you can decide whether or not to pay the £3,813 final fee.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

There’s a similar offer available on the Giulietta 1.4 TB. If you can find £1,549 for the deposit, Alfa Romeo will add £2,500 to the pot, leaving you with 48 monthly payments of £199. As with all the promotions featured here, there’s an expiry date, which in this case is the end of September 2016.

BMW 640d M Sport Gran Coupe50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

How much of your disposable income are you prepared to spend on a car? If the answer is £559 for 48 months, the BMW 640d M Sport Gran Coupe is within reach. Your deposit is £8,979, but BMW will add a chunky £11,189.65, making a total deposit of £20,168.65. You can drive up to 10,000 miles per year and the optional final payment is £19,593.35. Tempted?

Citroen C350 cars you can buy with 0% finance

There’s a new Citroen C3 waiting in the wings, so the French company will be doing everything it can to shift stock of the outgoing model. Whether you opt for a hire purchase deal or PCP plan, there are a range of 0% finance offers to be found. Question is: would it be better to wait for the new model?

Citroen C4 Cactus50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

The new C3 will feature Airbumps, but the C4 Cactus got there first. Take out a hire purchase agreement on the funky compact crossover and you can take advantage of 0% finance. An example is the mid-range C4 Cactus Flair with 1.2-litre petrol engine and metallic paint, which is yours for £289.75 per month. Deposit is £6,954 and at the end of three years, the Cactus is yours.

Citroen C450 cars you can buy with 0% finance

There are many offers available on the C4, including the entry-level Feel with a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine for £449.38 a month. This is spread across 36 monthly payments, with a deposit of £1,797.32. Total amount payable: £17,975. In three years, the car is yours.

Citroen C4 Picasso/Grand C4 Picasso50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Alternatively, for something a little larger, you might want to consider the Citroen C4 Picasso or the seven-seat Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. Both have been refreshed and are available with 0% finance. The mid-spec C4 Picasso Flair, with a 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel engine, could be yours for £683.61 a month after a £500.04 deposit. Hefty payments, but in three years the car is yours.

Citroen Berlingo Multispace50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

If practicality is your thing, the Citroen Berlingo Multispace might be right up your street. The monthly repayments start from £315 a month, based on the entry-level Feel with a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine. Payments are spread over 36 months with a deposit of £315.

Fiat Tipo50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

The paint has barely dried on the new Fiat Tipo, but it’s already available with 0% finance. The five-door hatchback offers air conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth and steering wheel mounted audio controls as standard, with monthly payments starting from £159. That’s based on a 24-month PCP deal on the Tipo Easy with a 95hp 1.4-litre petrol engine. Optional final payment: £6,589.

Hyundai i10 Premium 1.050 cars you can buy with 0% finance

There’s a refreshed Hyundai i10 waiting in the wings, but if you can’t wait until the Paris Motor Show, there’s 0% finance available on selected models. Order the generously equipped Premium 1.0 and – assuming you can find £3,648.50 for the deposit – you can drive away for 25 monthly payments of £86. Optional final payment: £5,062.50.

Hyundai i2050 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Alternatively, the larger i20 Premium 1.2 supermini could be yours for 25 monthly payments of £145. The PCP deal is based on 8,000 miles and a deposit of £5,079.50. Upgrade to the Premium SE 1.2 and the monthly payments increase to £153 a month, with a deposit of £5,284. An extra £8 a month secures heated front seats, heated steering wheel, parking sensors and a panoramic sunroof.

Hyundai Tucson S 1.7 CRDi Blue Drive50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

The Hyundai Tucson is a one of our favourite mid-sized SUVs and, whisper this, we’d probably choose it over the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai. To take advantage of 0% finance, you’re going to need to part with at least £7,207.50 for the deposit, with an optional final payment of £10,167.50 in 25 months time. The monthly payments are a manageable £130.

Jaguar XJ Luxury SWB50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Here’s a 0% finance offer you probably weren’t expecting. The Jaguar XJ Luxury SWB 275PS is available for £598.86 a month, based on a 37-month agreement and a deposit of £9,999. On the plus side, Jaguar will add £7,420 to the pot – a fairly significant reduction on the £58,690 list price. That said, the £19,712 optional final payment is similarly weighty.

Jeep Cherokee 2.2 Overland50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

If you fancy taking your 0% finance car off road, look no further than the Jeep Cherokee 2.2 Overland. The 200hp off-roader features a nine-speed automatic transmission and is available for £559 a month. As a bonus, you won’t even have to find the money for a deposit, with Jeep contributing £3,000 to the deal. Nice.

Jeep Renegade 2.0 Longitude50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Alternatively, if you fancy something a little smaller, the Jeep Renegade – which is based on the same platform as the Fiat 500X – is available for a more manageable £175 a month. It’s swings and roundabouts, mind, because you will need to find £6,299 for the deposit. On the plus side, Jeep will add a further £2,000, leaving you to decide whether or not to pay the optional £12,171 in two years time.

Kia Soul Urban50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

The Kia Soul Urban offers 17-inch alloy wheels, DAB radio, reversing camera, Bluetooth and a unique ‘Urban’ styling pack. If you’re willing to pay 50% of the £15,500 list price, Kia will offer the remainder on a 0% finance deal.

Mazda 250 cars you can buy with 0% finance

The Mazda 2 is one of the nicest cars to drive in the supermini sector, not to mention one of the sharpest looking. Right now, Mazda is offering a range of six different 0% finance deals on selected models, with repayments starting from £119 a month.

Mazda 350 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Alternatively, the Mazda 3 family hatchback is also available with 0% finance…

Mazda 650 cars you can buy with 0% finance

As is the Mazda 6. For example, the SE model, which features 17-inch alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, DAB radio and a 7-inch touchscreen, is yours for £219 a month. You just need to find a deposit of £4,190.50 and be aware that mileage is limited to 9,000 per annum.

MG350 cars you can buy with 0% finance

If the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa are a little too obvious for you, the MG3 is worth a look. Prices start from £8,399 and, right now, you can take advantage of 0% finance and free insurance for a year.

MG GS50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Alternatively, the new MG GS SUV is available with 0% finance over 36, 48 or 60 months. Monthly payments for the entry-level Explore start from £199.93 after a £2,999 deposit. You also get a five-year warranty and a £250 Hilton Hotel voucher.

MG623_0%_finance

The MG6 might be getting a little long in the tooth, but it is possible to drive away in a S model for £186.60 a month. This is spread over 60 months and after a £2,799 deposit. Because it’s 0% finance, you’ll pay no more than the £13,995 list price and – at the end of the agreement – the car is yours.

Nissan Micra Acenta 1.224_0%_finance

Next we bring you half a dozen 0% finance deals on selected Nissan models, kicking off with the smallest of the group – the Micra 1.2 Acenta. The on-the-road price is £11,670, with Nissan chipping in with an £850 deposit. All you need to do is find £3,958.50 up front and – after 37 payments of £89.00 and an optional final payment of £3,657.50 – the car is yours.

Nissan Note Acenta 1.225_0%_finance

There’s a similar deal available on the Nissan Note 1.2 Acenta. Nissan will add £1,150 to your deposit of £4,626, which brings the monthly payments down to £109. You’ll have to decide if you want to pay the £4,085 final payment in three years time.

Nissan Juke DIG-T 115 Acenta26_0%_finance

The Nissan Juke crossover remains as popular as ever, with a range of tempting finance offers to encourage people to get behind the wheel. Buy a DIG-T 115 Acenta and Nissan won’t contribute anything to the deposit, meaning you’ll have to find the entire £4,485.75 up front. There are 37 monthly repayments of £149 and an optional final payment of £5,961.25.

Nissan Pulsar DIG-T 115 Acenta27_0%_finance

Nissan is a little more generous with the Pulsar, throwing £1,000 into the deposit pot. You’ll need to find a further £4,780.85 and £149 a month for three years. The Pulsar might not be the best choice of family hatchback, but it does offer acres of rear legroom.

Nissan Qashqai dCi 110 Acenta28_0%_finance

The Qashqai remains Britain’s favourite crossover and is therefore the car to beat in a fiercely competitive sector. A Qashqai dCi 110 Acenta costs £21,960, or 37 payments of £199 after a total deposit of £5,700.04, of which Nissan will contribute £500. The optional final payment is a hefty £9,095.96.

Nissan X-Trail dCi 130 Acenta50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

We conclude the Nissan 0% finance extravaganza with the X-Trail SUV. The two-wheel drive, five-seat dCi 130 Acenta costs £25,545. Nissan will add £500 to your £5,403.13 deposit to deliver monthly payments of £229. In three years you can decide whether or not to pay the final payment of £11,397.87.

Peugeot 300850 cars you can buy with 0% finance

A new Peugeot 3008 will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show and – on the face of it – the new version is likely to be much improved. Gone is the frumpy MPV styling, in favour of a more SUV-like appearance. It makes it hard to recommend the outgoing model, but Peugeot – keen to shift old stock – is offering 0% finance on selected models. For example, the Active 1.2 PureTech in Bianca White is available for 48 payments of £334.00.

Peugeot 50850 cars you can buy with 0% finance

As the world continues its love affair with crossovers and SUVs, cars like the Peugeot 508 are becoming dinosaurs. Which is why Peugeot is offering 0% on 508 saloons and estates. The 508 saloon in Active trim and with the 1.6-litre BlueHDi engine is available for £376 a month over four years. You’ll need to find £4,504.88 for the deposit, although Peugeot will add a further £500.

Peugeot 500850 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Like the 3008, there’s a new Peugeot 5008 on the way, which once again ditches the ‘plain Jane’ styling in favour of something altogether more crossovery. If you can’t wait for the new 2017 Peugeot 5008, there’s a range of 0% finance deals available on the outgoing model. Our advice would be to wait for the new model, or negotiate an excellent deal.

Renault Clio50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Fancy a Renault Clio? The 1.2 Play is available with 0% finance over two years when you pay £2,306 for the deposit. Your friendly Renault dealer will add £1,000 plus an extra £500 if you take a test drive before 26th September.

Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Can’t wait for the new Renault Scenic – you can buy the current Scenic and Grand Scenic with 0% finance. The Scenic Dynamique Nav dCi 110 is available for £430 a month, spread over 48 months. The Renault dealer handles the deposit and in five years the car is yours.

Skoda Citigo 3 Door Colour Edition50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

You can always rely on Skoda to deliver a range of strong offers. We kick off with the Citigo Colour Edition, which is available with a range of 0% finance deals and a number of different deposits. In all cases, Skoda will contribute £500 towards your finance deposit and – if you order before the end of September – there’s an additional £500 towards your fuel bill.

Skoda Fabia 1.0 Colour Edition50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

It’s a similar story with the Skoda Fabia. Based on a 42-month, 35,000-mile agreement, Skoda will give you £500 towards your deposit and £500 of free fuel. Opt for a mid-range deposit of £1,395 and the monthly payments are £189, with an optional final payment of £5,259.60.

Skoda Rapid Sport/Rapid Spaceback50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

The Rapid and Rapid Spaceback are the less illustrious members of the Skoda range, which is why the finance deals are even more generous. Skoda is offering a minimum £2,500 part-exchange on your old vehicle and £500 of free fuel when you order before 30th September. And, yes, there’s 0% finance, too.

Skoda Octavia50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

You might think that Skoda is reserving the 0% finance deals for the cheaper, lower trim level models, but you’d be wrong. The Skoda Octavia vRS hatch is available for £289 a month after a total deposit of £4,146.59, of which Skoda will contribute £1,000. What’s more, you’ll even get £500 of free fuel. Still want that Golf GTI?

Skoda Superb50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

A 0% PCP deal isn’t available on the Skoda Superb, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a seriously tempting offer. Opt for a more traditional hire purchase agreement and you can take advantage of 0% finance and £500 of free fuel. There’s a minimum 30% deposit to pay, with a contract ranging from 12 to 36 months. At the end of the agreement, the car is yours. Sorted.

Skoda Yeti50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

It’s been on sale a while, but the Skoda Yeti remains one of our favourite crossovers. Right now, Skoda will contribute £1,000 towards the deposit and offer £500 of free fuel if you order before the end of September.

Toyota Yaris50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Toyota is offering % finance on new retail orders of Yaris (excluding Active grade) until the end of September, based on a two-year PCP plan with 0%-37% deposit. On a Yaris Design – which features cruise control, reversing camera and DAB radio – the monthly payments are £159.

Toyota Auris50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

In common with the Yaris, the 0% finance deals on the Auris are also available on the hybrid models. Typical example: a deposit of £6,640.50 on an Auris Design results in 24 monthly payments of £219.

Toyota RAV450 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Alternatively, for £199 a month, you could drive away in a Toyota RAV4 Business Edition. The deposit is £7,874.25 and – in common with all the Toyota deals – there’s an optional final payment in 24 months time.

Toyota Verso Icon50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Fancy a seven-seat Toyota Verso Icon with 0% finance? The MPV features Toyota’s clever Easy Flat seat system and is priced at £22,295. Find a deposit of £6,240 and you’ll pay just £199 over three years.

Toyota Avensis Touring Sports Excel50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

“Just one look says premium quality”, says Toyota. The Avensis Touring Sports Excel is available with 0% finance over two years. You’ll need to find a deposit of £9,715.50 to bring the payments down to a manageable £239 a month.

Vauxhall Adam50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Vauxhall is offering up to five years 0% finance on the Vauxhall Adam, plus £500 of free fuel if you order between the 8th and 12th September 2016. Over 60 months, you’ll pay £159 for an Adam Jam 1.2, after a deposit of £2,799. In 2021, the car is yours.

Vauxhall Astra50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

The free fuel offer is also available on the Vauxhall Astra, but you’ll have to be quick, as it expires on the 12th September. On an Astra SRi and a 0% finance deal spread over 60 months, the deposit is £4,999 and the monthly payments are £219. As with all the offers mentioned here, this is just a typical example. Contact your local dealer for a tailored quote.

Vauxhall Cascada50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Remember the Vauxhall Cascada? The summer might be over, but if you’re looking to enjoy some warm autumn evenings, the topless Cascada might be right up your boulevard. The free fuel offer is available, along with 0% finance. Choose a term between 24 and 60 months and, at the end of the agreement, the car is yours.

Vauxhall Corsa50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

To some people, the idea of a owning a car at the end of the finance agreement is more appealing than a PCP deal. You can choose your deposit and a payment term between 24 and 60 months to suit you. The new Vauxhall Corsa is rather good and could be yours for less than £200 a month.

Vauxhall Mokka50 cars you can buy with 0% finance

There’s a new Vauxhall Mokka X on the way, but the current Mokka is available with 0% finance. Vauxhall’s Flexible Finance is a simple thing: you choose the car, deposit and length of agreement. What could be easier? Best of all – it’s 0% finance and you get £500 of free fuel.

Volvo XC6050 cars you can buy with 0% finance

Finding a 0% finance deal on a Volvo was never going to be easy, but we found one. The XC60 might not be as appealing as the new XC90, but the PCP offers are rather tempting. As a representative example, a D4 SE Nav is available for £299 per month, with a deposit consisting of £7,125 from you, £1,834 from the dealer and £1,500 from Volvo. After two years, the optional final payment is £15,675 and you’re limited to 10,000 miles per annum.

The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UKPut simply: Apple CarPlay mirrors selected features on an iPhone and puts them on a car’s built-in display. It allows you to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music on the go. Best of all, it’s a plug-in-and-play system, so you won’t have to go through a laborious syncing routine. The list of cars available with Apple CarPlay is growing all the time, so we’ve selected 40 of our favourites.

Audi A4The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Can’t decide between the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE? Maybe the fact that the A4 is available with Apple CarPlay will swing things in the direction of Ingolstadt. Apple CarPlay and Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit is our idea of geek heaven.

Audi Q2The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Audi Q2 is one of those cars you know will sell like very hot cakes. It manages to combine two things that are in great demand: the Audi badge and the compact SUV. Throw into the mix the availability of Apple CarPlay and you have the recipe for the most trendy set of wheels this autumn.

Bentley BentaygaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

If you’re spending well over £150,000 on a Bentley Boutique Hotel Room you have every right to expect Apple CarPlay. In fact, we think you have every right to expect the entire contents of an Apple Store.

Cadillac CT6The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Selected Cadillac models are available to order in the UK, but right-hand drive isn’t an option. The CT6 is larger than an E-Class, but smaller than an S-Class and offers Apple CarPlay via a large 12-inch screen.

Citroen C3The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

It’s fair to say we’re a little bit excited about the all-new Citroen C3. Its chunky and funky crossover-esque styling should give it an edge over rival superminis, while the Airbumps are taken from the much-loved C4 Cactus. Along with Apple CarPlay, the C3 also features an on-board dashcam, allowing you to film your drive and share it on social media.

Citroen Berlingo MultispaceThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Remember the Citroen Berlingo Multispace? The van-based MPV is one of four Citroen models to offer Apple CarPlay.

Citroen C4 Picasso/Grand C4 PicassoThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The recently refreshed C4 Picasso and the larger Grand C4 Picasso also offer Apple CarPlay connectivity via the Mirror Screen.

DS 3/DS 3 CabrioThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

There’s good news if you fancy a DS 3 but don’t want to spend much more than the £14,395 for the entry-level Chic with a PureTech petrol engine. A Mirror Screen with MirrorLink and Apple CarPlay is available for just £100 across the entire range. It could be the only option you need.

Ferrari 488 GTB/SpiderThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Admittedly, the availability of Apple CarPlay is not going to be high on the list of priorities when you’re ordering a Ferrari 488 GTB or 488 Spider, but it’s good to know you can sync your iPhone should you grow tired of that turbocharged V8 soundtrack.

Ferrari California TThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay is also available on the Ferrari California T…

Ferrari F12tdfThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

As well as the new F12tdf. This track-focused Ferrari is the ultimate version of the F12 Berlinetta and only 799 will be built.

Ferrari GTC4LussoThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

We conclude our Ferrari love-in with the GTC4Lusso – the name chosen for the new version of the FF. The GTC4Lusso is focused on the number four – four seats, four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer. But you only get one Apple CarPlay.

Ford EdgeThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Ford has confirmed that all of its 2017 cars will feature support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This includes electric vehicles, light commercial vehicles and pick-ups. It’s part of Ford’s Sync 3 system.

Ford FiestaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

“Ford is not taking the traditional approach of introducing Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto on a few piecemeal models or as an expensive option on luxury vehicles only, “ said Jeffrey Hannah, director of North America for global automotive tech research firm, SBD.

Ford FocusThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Which is why Apple’s website lists the entire range of Ford vehicles for 2017…

Ford Mustang17_Apple_CarPlay

Cynically, we could suggest that Apple CarPlay is best reserved for the 2.3-litre Mustang, as you won’t need it on the 5.0-litre V8 version. But we won’t…

Honda NSXThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Alternatively, the Honda Connect system in the all-new NSX will allow for the operation of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system also features Apple’s Siri Eyes Free, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel when perfecting that turn on your favourite B-road.

Hyundai i10The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Hyundai has been a bit slow adding Apple CarPlay to its cars in the UK, with the North American market leading the way. All that is set to change, with the latest version of the i10 – to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show – adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its 7-inch touchscreen navigation system. Hyundai says it will be available on the ‘high trim only’.

Hyundai IoniqThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Ioniq is Hyundai’s answer to the Toyota Prius and is available from £19,995. You’ll need to jump to the more expensive Premium spec to get your hands on a seven-inch touchscreen, wireless charging and Apple CarPlay.

Kia Optima SportswagonThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Sportswagon is a fancy name for the new Kia Optima estate, which goes on sale in September 2016. A full suite of connectivity and active driver assistance technologies are available, but while Android Auto is offered from launch, you’ll have to wait until ‘later in the production run’ to take advantage of Apple CarPlay.

Lamborghini CentenarioThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Lamborghini has built the Centenario to mark what would have been founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. Only 40 will be built – 20 coupes and 20 roadsters – all of which have been sold. The not so small matter of £1.6m+ secures a 770hp V12 engine and a body built entirely of carbonfibre. Apple CarPlay comes as standard.

Mercedes-Benz GLSThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The GLS is the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz range of SUVs – positioned as the S-Class of the segment. As you’d expect from an SUV starting from £70,000, Apple CarPlay is available on the GLS. For best results, make sure you add the sublime Harman Kardon surround system to the mix.

Mercedes-Benz E-ClassThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Order a Mercedes-Benz E-Class in 350d or 350e guise to take advantage of the COMAND Online system, which features a 12.3-inch display including smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Peugeot 2008The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Peugeot has updated its 2008 crossover for 2016 and its Mirror Screen is now compatible with Apple CarPlay for the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus.

Peugeot 208The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

If you’re after Apple CarPlay in a Peugeot 208, you just need to make sure it was built after November 2016. Check with your local dealer for more details.

Porsche 718 Cayman/BoxsterThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

If the sound of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine doesn’t float your boat, you’ll be pleased to know the 718 Cayman and Boxster models are available with Apple CarPlay.

Porsche 911The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Porsche Connect Plus system is available from the 911 Carrera up and includes online navigation, Apple CarPlay, 4G telephone module and wireless internet access.

Porsche MacanThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

It’s a similar story in the Porsche Macan, with Apple CarPlay available in the sporting SUV. It’s also worth noting that the recently revised Panamera also offers CarPlay connectivity.

SEAT AtecaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

With the exception of the Mii city car, SEAT offers Apple CarPlay connectivity across its range of cars, but our pick would be the new Ateca – the Spanish firm’s first SUV.

Skoda FabiaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Skoda Fabia is the value alternative to the Volkswagen Polo and is available with Apple CarPlay.

Skoda OctaviaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

It’s a similar story in the Skoda Octavia…

Skoda SuperbThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

As well as the flagship Skoda Superb. In fact, Apple CarPlay is available across the entire Skoda range, with only the Citigo left out of the party.

Suzuki BalenoThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Suzuki Baleno provides the proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get your hands on Apple CarPlay. Prices of the supermini start at £12,999 and the cars feature a user-friendly touchscreen with smartphone integration.

Suzuki VitaraThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

It’s a similar story in the Suzuki Vitara crossover, with smartphone linkage available in all but the entry-level model.

Vauxhall AstraThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Vauxhall’s IntelliLink infotainment is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and offers a 7-inch colour touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. Opt for the SRi and Elite models to take advantage of on-board wifi.

Vauxhall CorsaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

You’ll also find Apple CarPlay as standard on the new Vauxhall Corsa.

Volkswagen GolfThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Volkswagen claims to be the first manufacturer to offer a choice of three interfaces to connect smartphones: MirrorLink, Android Auto and, of course, Apple CarPlay. There are far too many Volkswagen models to list here, so we’ll include the evergreen Golf…

Volkswagen TiguanThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

You’ll also find Apple CarPlay on the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s part of the Car-Net App Connect services, with can be used with the following infotainment systems: Composition Media, Discover Navigation and Discover Navigation Pro.

Volvo XC90The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Earlier this year, Volvo added Apple CarPlay to the XC90, allowing iPhone owners to pair their phones with the excellent Sensus Connect infotainment system. The upgrade costs £300.

Volvo S90/V90The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

You’ll also have to part with £300 to secure Apple CarPlay on the new S90 and V90 models, with the upgrade adding two USB ports and one Aux. input.

For up-to-date information on Apple CarPlay, check manufacturer websites or speak to your local dealer.

The least economical new cars on sale in 2016

The least economical new cars on sale in 2016

The least economical new cars on sale in 2016When the oil wells run dry, these are the cars you don’t want to be driving. We’ve crunched some numbers to identify the least economical cars on sale in Britain today. Time to get friendly with your local petrol station…

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S: 19.2mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

Good news: the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S can now be equipped with a thoroughly old-school ‘dog-leg’ gearbox. Bad news: you’ll have to live with 19.2mpg on a combined cycle. The manual version is yours for £140,495.

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible: 19.0mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

Few convertibles offer the potential to hit speeds in excess of 200mph, but the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible is an exception to the rule. Its 6.0-litre twin-turbo engine helps to propel this 2,495kg droptop to a top speed of 204mph, sprinting to 62mph in an unfathomable 4.3 seconds.

Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB: 18.9mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

The Phantom Extended Wheelbase offers an additional 250mm in the rear passenger compartment compared to the ‘standard’ Phantom. The website says: “With its lounge-like proportions, it’s an indulgent private space that’s perfect for working, entertaining or relaxing between engagements.” Engagements such as filling up with fuel?

Ferrari GTC4Lusso: 18.8mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

The FF was Ferrari’s first all-wheel drive car. The GTC4Lusso is the FF updated for 2016, with a revised V12 engine and a new look. It’ll seat four in comfort and propel its occupants to a top speed of 208mph. Deliveries start in March 2017, so if you have £230,000 burning a hole in your pocket, now’s the time to talk to your Ferrari dealer.

Bentley Mulsanne: 18.8mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

Whatever you think of the Bentayga, you have to admire the fact that it’s more efficient than the Flying Spur, Continental and this – the Mulsanne. Power is sourced from a 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, and you can select from a range including a standard Mulsanne, Mulsanne Speed and an extended-wheelbase version.

Ferrari F12tdf: 18.3mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

The F12tdf is the Ferrari F12 with the volume cranked up to 11. Lighter this, more powerful that – a root and branch study on how to take something excellent and make it more excellent. Ferrari says that just 799 will be built, each one costing a pound shy of £340,000. You can spend that quid on a chocolate bar during one of your many trips to the petrol station.

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale: 18.2mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

The MC Stradale is the lighter, more focused version of the Maserati GranTurismo, powered by a 460hp 4.7-litre V8 engine. At its launch in 2011, Maserati presented the MC Stradale as the most focused GT of the range, doing away with the rear seats. These were reinstated in 2013, along with the small matter of an additional 10 hp.

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS: 18.0mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

We’ve reached the top – or should that be bottom – three, and there’s something deeply satisfying about the fact that two of the cars wear a Vauxhall badge. Admittedly, the VXR8 GTS is based on a Holden Commodore, which makes it as Australian as Crocodile Dundee, but its engine is sourced from the distinctly American Camaro ZL1. Think of it as an M3 or C63 rival, with £20,000 change in your pocket. Which you can spend on fuel…

Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV: 17.7mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

Sandwiched between the pair of Vauxhalls is this: the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce. It’s powered by a 6.5-litre V12 engine, developing 740 hp and 507 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is an eye-watering 217mph, while the 0-62mph time is polished off in 2.8 seconds…

Vauxhall VXR8 Maloo R8 LSA: 15.3mpgThe least economical new cars on sale in 2016

Bonkers! The least economical car on sale today is the Vauxhall VXR Maloo R8 LSA. The rear-wheel drive, two-seater pick-up is powered by the same 6.2-litre engine you’ll find in the Camaro ZL1, developing around 550 crazy horses. If you own and run one of these in the UK, we’ll buy you a pint. A pint of super unleaded…

Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for cornersStraight-line speed is all very well, but it’s handling that really defines how a car drives. The interaction between steering, shock absorbers and suspension is a dark art that carmakers spend millions trying to master. However, when they get it right, the result can be unalloyed driving joy. That said, this article isn’t only about cars that handle like go-karts, corner like they’re on rails and (insert other journalistic cliché here). We’ve also included a few that like to go sideways – or suppress cornering forces altogether. Let us know if you agree with our choices.

Lotus EliseHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

The sheer longevity of the Lotus Elise is testament to its brilliance. Launched in 1996, it has evolved steadily over the past 20 years, growing ever faster and more powerful without losing its purity of purpose. The Elise shows up just how large, heavy and over-complicated most modern cars have become. It’s a no-frills driving machine that will get under your skin faster than a ravenous mosquito.

Porsche Cayman GT4Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

The hardcore Cayman GT4 saw Porsche’s mid-engined coupe emerging from the shadow of its big brother, the 911. For us, it’s the best driver’s Porsche in recent memory, changing direction with an immediacy that’s just the right side of hyperactive. Its compact footprint makes it perfectly-proportioned for UK roads, too. No wonder used GT4s are selling for more than they cost new.

Ferrari 430 ScuderiaHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

We could have nominated many Ferraris for this list, but the 430 Scuderia – ‘Scud’ to its friends – still stands out. With a stripped-out interior, carbon-ceramic brakes and sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres, the Scuderia can lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track as quickly as the Enzo hypercar. It’s a 510hp double espresso on wheels. Bellissma!

BMW M3 (E30)Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

The BMW M3 is now into its fifth generation, so why do enthusiasts still hanker after the 1985-1992 original? The E30 M3 was a homologation special, a car born from BMW’s desire to go racing. That competition pedigree translates into a wonderfully responsive road car, with a dynamic finesse that later M3s lacked. Proof that more power doesn’t necessarily equal more fun.  

Ford Escort RS2000Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

There’s a reason many rally schools still use Mk1 and Mk2 Ford Escorts to teach the basics of rear-wheel-drive handling. Yes, these sporty saloons can often be seen going sideways – be it in McDonalds car park or a Welsh forest at night with Cibiés blazing – but they’re also reassuringly easy to control. With modest power and equally modest grip, you can have fun at any speed.

Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

The GT86 and BRZ twins are perhaps the spiritual successors to the classic Escort, although they also hark back to Toyota’s rear-driven Corolla AE86. Again, these are cars you can enjoy at sensible speeds, helped by low-grip ‘eco’ tyres similar to those used on the Prius. Superb steering and brilliantly-balanced handling are the highlights here.

Mazda MX-5Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

If you’re in the market for a GT86 or BRZ, it seems rude not to consider the MX-5. This latest, fourth-generation take on the world’s best-selling sports car is the best yet. Indeed, smaller dimensions and reduced weight remind us what made the original MX-5 so great: the simple joy of driving one. A car you experience through your fingertips and the seat of your pants, the MX-5 is a feast for the senses.

Subaru Impreza P1Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Let’s shift our focus from tail-wagging rear-drivers for a while. Developed by motorsport maestros, Prodrive, the Subaru Impreza P1 is perhaps the finest road-going version of the car Colin McRae used to win the World Rally Championship. With 280hp channelled to all four wheels, it catapults out of corners with a ferocity that makes even a trip to the shops feel like a Kielder special stage.

Ford Focus RSHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Bringing the Impreza P1 formula bang-up-to-date is the latest Focus RS. Ford’s hottest hatch has trick front suspension to quell torque steer, plus a chassis with the uncanny ability to make the  four-wheel-drive RS feel like a rear-wheel-drive sports car. It also has something called Drift Mode, which is essentially a button that makes the car go sideways. What’s not to like about that?

Nissan GT-RHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

The daddy of 4WD performance cars is, of course, the Nissan GT-R. Revamped for 2017 with 570hp, this is the original supercar-slayer – the beast the Japanese call ‘Godzilla’. Unlike many rivals, however, the GT-R is also very easy to drive. Its seating position is upright, ride comfort is better than you might expect and the control weights won’t scare somebody more used to a Micra. For average drivers (and we’re including ourselves here), nothing is faster.

Ford Fiesta STHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Power to the people! Driving fun doesn’t come much more affordable than the brilliant Fiesta ST. If any car currently on sale lives up to that ‘go-kart handling’ cliché, this is it. The ST changes direction like an overexcited puppy, and you’ll do well to suppress your inner boy/girl racer behind the wheel. Mark our words, this car will soon be ranked alongside the Peugeot 205 GTI in the hot hatch hall of fame.

Renaultsport Clio 200 CupHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Did somebody mention the 205 GTI? We’ll have a Clio Cup instead, thanks. The Renault is vastly cheaper to buy than the fast-appreciating Pug, which means you won’t have any qualms about thrashing it on your favourite B-road. Choose the stiffer Cup chassis for the ultimate hardcore hatch experience – just don’t expect many creature comforts.

Honda Integra Type RHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

The Integra Type R is another to file under ‘front-wheel-drive legends’. Like the E30 M3 mentioned earlier, it’s a car designed for the racetrack first and the road second. Extreme weight-saving measures include thinner glass and the removal of the spare wheel cover, while a limited-slip diff ensures excellent traction. Prices for the Type R are now rising fast – a sign of the high esteem in which this homologation hero is held.

Caterham SevenHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

A rollerskate with an engine, the Caterham Seven makes a Fiesta feel like an articulated lorry. This is driving distilled: a steering wheel the size of a Playstation controller, a manual gearbox… and not much else. Higher-spec Sevens are ferociously fast, but the entry-level, three-cylinder 160 is still fabulous fun. Sevens are great track-day cars, too.

Honda NSXHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

The adjective ‘game-changing’ is over-used, but applies 100% to the Honda NSX. The New Sportscar eXperimental proved supercars don’t need to be unreliable or difficult to drive. Yet it’s just as thrilling as any Ferrari or Lamborghini when its mid-mounted VTEC V6 screams to a heady 8,000rpm. Ayrton Senna helped develop the NSX’s chassis and his racing nous really shows on the road. It’s immediate, intuitive and, above all, wonderfully analogue.

Porsche 964 Carrera RSHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

You can be sure of three things when it comes to Rennsport Porsches. Firstly, they will be very expensive – even second-hand. Secondly, they will have silly fabric door handles that are supposed to save weight. And thirdly, they will be sensationally good to drive. The 1992 964 RS is our pick of the bunch. It’s a barely-disguised Carrera Cup racing car that needs to be handled with care, especially in the wet. But boy, is it exciting.

Ford Mustang V8Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Ford has made Mustangs since 1965, yet they’ve always been better suited to boulevards than B-roads. That changed with the latest (2015-) ’Stang – a pony car with independent rear suspension to take on its European rivals. Granted, the Mustang is still no Lotus Elise, but if a tyre-smokin’ surfeit of grunt over grip is your thing, walk this way.

TVR Tuscan Speed SixHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

If you’ve taken up smoking (of rubber, not tobacco) few products will satisfy your cravings better than the TVR Tuscan Speed Six. Built from 2000-2006, this British brute had a lightweight glassfibre body and a muscular straight-six driving the rear wheels. However, the Tuscan isn’t all power and no poise; it’s an exciting and rewarding drive for those brave enough to take the plunge.

Mercedes-AMG C63 Black SeriesHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

There are few glorious ways to use up our planet’s precious resources than a C63 Black Series. With motorsport-inspired suspension and a 517hp 6.2-litre V8 that sounds like God gargling, this factory-built hot rod will make you giggle like a seven-year-old on a bouncy castle. Actually, the bouncy castle is a bad analogy because the ‘Black’ feels utterly glued to the road. Unless you unstick it with the throttle, of course…

Honda Prelude 4WSHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

One of the giants of motoring journalism, LJK Setright, was a big fan of the Honda Prelude. Asked what he’d include in his dream garage, Setright said: “I would select the four-wheel steer Prelude, simply because no other car is as nice to drive. Wanting nothing but the very best, one would have to import the Japanese version of the VTEC, equipped with automatic transmission and limited-slip differential.”

Citroen Xantia ActivaHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

An old Citroen with complex, computer-controlled suspension? What could possibly go wrong? But find an Activa in good working order and it remains a thing of wonder. Hydraulic rams eliminate body-roll altogether, while also reducing squat/dive when accelerating/braking. The result is slightly unnerving at first, but your passengers will love the smooth-riding serenity of it all.

Audi SQ7Handle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

The SQ7 is a modern take on the Xantia Activa, made all the more remarkable because it weighs 2.3 tonnes (nearly twice as much as the Citroen). Powered by a supplementary 48-volt electrical system, an electric motor deploys up to 885lb ft of torque to stiffen the anti-roll bars, making make this seven-seat SUV feel like a hot hatch. Talk about having your Black Forest gateau and eating it.

MiniHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Scroll through the drive modes in a modern MINI and you’ll find one labelled ‘Sport: for maximum go-kart feel’ (yep, there’s that cliché again). Brilliant handling was one reason for the original Mini’s incredible success, too – both on road and rally stage. It’s impossible to drive one without grinning ear-to-ear. A 1960s Cooper would be our dream-garage choice, but even a basic 848cc Mini is fabulous fun.

McLaren 675LTHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

Former Top Gear host Chris Evans was so impressed by McLaren’s 675hp supercar, he spent his own money on one. That’s strong praise from a man with a serious Ferrari fetish. Those who’ve driven both cars say the 675LT shades even the mighty McLaren P1 for driver excitement. It’s monstrously powerful, yet confidence-inspiringly capable. To quote our own Richard Aucock, the big Mac is “two or three levels above most supercars”.

Lotus ElanHandle with car: the 25 greatest cars for corners

We started with the Elise, so it seems fitting to end with the Elan. The car that inspired the Mazda MX-5 is oh-so-pretty, yet absolutely tiny in the metal. Unassisted steering, independent suspension and super-skinny tyres telegraph every detail of the road surface, allowing you to exploit its modest limits with joyous abandon. More than 50 years on, has anyone made a better sports car than the Lotus Elan?

The classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

The classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

The classic cars you should have bought 21 years agoHindsight is a wonderful thing. A little like Cher but without the makeup, we wish we could turn back time to snap up and store away the future classics of yesterday. This thought was triggered by the discovery of a newspaper cutting from August 1995, which listed the values of old cars then and a prediction for the turn of the millennium. It makes for strangely compelling reading.

Raising expectationsThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

The feature, which appeared in the Daily Mail, was based on data from Birmingham’s Aston University and looked at how depreciation, design and charisma could combine to “lift future value above expectations”. You’ll be amazed at how little some cars were worth in 1995 and how much they could be worth today. We’ve used the Hagerty classic car valuation tool for today’s valuations, with values based on excellent examples.

1982 Alfa Romeo Alfasud SprintThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £2,213. 2000 forecast: £4,052. 2016 value: £8,800

Take the Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint. Back in 1995, you’d have paid around £2,213 for a good, clean 1982 example, but Dr. Robert Tinsley of Aston University predicted an increase of around £1,800 by the year 2000.

1981 Alfa Romeo AlfettaThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £1,110. 2000 forecast: £1,247. 2016 value: £5,900

The forecast for the Alfa Romeo Alfetta 2000 may have been a touch pessimistic. You could buy a 14-year-old Alfetta for little more than a ‘bag of sand’ in 1995, but today you’d need to part with around £6,000.

1981 Aston Martin LagondaThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £17,609. 2000 forecast: £35,528. 2016 value: £41,200

You don’t need the appliance of science to predict an increase in the value of an Aston Martin, but oh – for the chance to buy a wedge-tastic Lagonda for £17k! In 1995, you could have snapped up a Lagonda for the price of an entry-level Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but today, you’d need to fork out £40,000.

1983 Aston Martin V8The classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £27,855. 2000 forecast: £41,522. 2016 value: £80,600

It’s a similar story for the Aston Martin V8. In 1995 you could choose to spend circa £28,000 on a brand new TVR Chimaera or a 12-year-old AM V8. Fast forward 21 years and if you opted for the latter, you could be sat on an £80,000 fortune. As for a 1995 TVR, around £12,000 would be closer to the mark.

1981 Audi QuattroThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £5,960. 2000 forecast: £10,468. 2016 value: £18,600

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past year, you’ll know that 1980s cars – and in particular, performance models – are hot property right now. We think Aston University got its forecast spot-on, because an Audi Quattro worth £5,960 in 1995 would be worth around £18,600 in 2016. Note, this figure is based on an early left-hand-drive model. You’ll pay considerably more for a late 20-valve car.

1981 BMW 635 CSIThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £7,236. 2000 forecast: £14,636. 2016 value: £8,300

Dr. Tinsley, who originally prepared the data for Maxim magazine, had high hopes for the BMW 635 CSI, predicting it would be worth twice as much by the year 2000. The fact that it’s priced around £8,300 in 2016 suggests that, while the car has risen in value, it’s not the gold mine predicted.

1979 Citroen CX PallasThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £1,500. 2000 forecast: £1,662. 2016 value: £4,500 (estimated)

In truth, you might be able to buy a Citroen CX Pallas for £1,500 in 2016, but it’ll need a considerable amount of work to bring it up to concours standard. The article was predicting a tiny increase in value, perhaps noting the fact that big French cars are a hard-sell in the UK. With DS and SM values heading north, the CX could be the next big thing.

1981 De Tomaso DeauvilleThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £5,476. 2000 forecast: £8,462. 2016 value: £24,300

In 2016, your biggest challenge might be finding a De Tomaso Deauville, rather than the £24,300 you’ll need to secure a mint example. To think you could buy one for less than the price of a Fiat Panda in 1995.

1982 Ferrari 400iThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £20,109. 2000 forecast: £34,535. 2016 value: £41,500

The 400i isn’t the most desirable car Ferrari has ever built, which might help to explain why the price you’ll pay today is just £7,000 more than the forecast for the year 2000. Should have bought that De Tomaso.

1984 Ferrari Mondial QVThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £19,495. 2000 forecast: £42,136. 2016 value: £29,300

No, sorry Dr. Tinsley, you got this one wrong. Even in an age when the values of 70s and 80s classics are going through the roof, a Ferrari Mondial QV is still worth less than £30,000. You’d have been better off buying a mint Peugeot 205 GTi and dragging that out of storage.

1987 Ferrari TestarossaThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £43,818. 2000 forecast: £45,977.  2016 value: £133,800

We suspect the boffins at Aston University never watched an episode of Miami Vice or had a poster of a Testarossa on their bedroom wall. The days of an affordable Ferrari Testarossa are long gone. To provide some context, the 1995 value is roughly half the price you’d have paid for a brand new Ferrari F355 Berlinetta with a couple of options.

1983 Fiat X1/9The classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £4,104. 2000 forecast: £8,406. 2016 value: £6,300

It’s fair to say the X1/9 hasn’t appreciated at quite the same rate as a Ferrari, but if you’re after a pocket-size Ferrari on the cheap, the little Fiat is a good start. Amazing to think that production of the Marcello Gandini-designed sports car began in 1972 and very nearly made it into the 90s.

1977 Ford Capri 1600 GLThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £1,155. 2000 forecast: £1,309. 2016 value: £6,000 (estimate)

In 1995, it was a real struggle to sell a four-cylinder Capri, with even the six-cylinder versions unlikely to attract much attention beyond enthusiast circles. This explains the modest forecast for the 1600 GL. You’ll pay a fair amount more for a Mk2 today, although Hagerty’s £30,000 valuation for a 280 Brooklands makes for grim reading for anyone who sold one before they became hot property.

1981 Ford Escort XR3iThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £1,534. 2000 forecast: £2,112. 2016 value: £5,000 (estimate)

The Ford Escort XR3i isn’t listed on the Hagerty valuation tool, but £5,000 is a rough estimate for a good example. Like the Capri, the XR3i wasn’t blessed with the best image in the mid 90s, which explains the low cost and pessimistic forecast. Storing one away in 1995 won’t have generated a fortune, but now could be the time to think about selling.

1987 Lamborghini CountachThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £66,036. 2000 forecast: £120,000. 2016 value: £255,000

In 1995, a Lamborghini Diablo would have set you back around £144,000 – a price that could get you not one but two Countach LP500S QVs. Right now, that Countach is probably worth a cool quarter of a million.

1984 Lamborghini JalpaThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £25,001. 2000 forecast: £69,967. 2016 value: £69,400

The Jalpa isn’t as iconic as the Countach, and values reflect this, but it’s rather uncanny that Aston University’s forecast for 2000 is almost exactly the same as today’s Hagerty valuation. The Jalpa was the Countach’s more affordable sibling and only 410 were built.

1981 Lotus EclatThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £6,715. 2000 forecast: £10,748. 2016 value: £6,500

Well would you look at that: today’s valuation for the Lotus Eclat is actually less than the price you’d have paid in 1995, proving that not all future classics are a sound investment.

1984 Lotus EspritThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £10,643. 2000 forecast: £20,300. 2016 value: £20,000

There’s slightly better news for Lotus Esprit owners, although the ‘double your money’ forecast was well wide of the mark. In fact, the 2016 valuation is less than the 2000 forecast.

1982 Maserati KhamsinThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £16,255. 2000 forecast: £29,226. 2016 value: £98,200

Another Marcello Gandini masterpiece and another Italian gem that has rocketed in value. The 4.9-litre V8 Maserati Khamsin was launched at the 1973 Paris Motor Show, with 435 units built before production ceased in 1982. In 1995 it could have been yours for little more than the price of a Fiat Tipo 16v. Today, it’s nudging £100,000.

1981 Porsche 911 TurboThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £20,536. 2000 forecast: £33,062. 2016 value: £45,400

Looking back, the £20,536 being asked for a 1981 Porsche 911 Turbo in 1995 was an absolute steal, not least because a new one would have cost in excess of £91,000. That same car today is worth more than double. Dare we suggest that price is likely to continue heading north?

1982 Porsche 924 TurboThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £7,214. 2000 forecast: £12,092. 2016 value: £10,500

Finally, Porsche 924 prices are on the up, but not at the brisk rate predicted in 1995. An excellent 924 Turbo will set you back around £10,000, which is £2,000 more than the 2000 forecast. Of course, the one you really want is the 924 Carrera GT – a snip at around £47,000 – £60,500.

1975 Range RoverThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £2,891. 2000 forecast: £3,836. 2016 value: £34,800

Not even the brains at Aston University would have predicted the demand for the Range Rover Classic. Back in 1995, the Classic was being sold alongside its replacement – the P38A, but early models weren’t exactly in demand. Little surprise then that the 2000 forecast was so low. Oh to be able to find a 1975 Classic for £2,891…

1975 Triumph Dolomite SprintThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1975 value: £2,837. 2000 forecast: £5,388. 2016 value: £6,000

Based on these figures, the Triumph Dolomite Sprint hasn’t exactly rocked the classic car world. But it’s rather refreshing to find such a credible and desirable classic available for such a relatively low price. Will the same be true in another 21 years?

1984 TVR 350iThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £9,906. 2000 forecast: £19,009. 2016 value: £8,000 (estimate)

The TVR 350i was essentially a Tasmin powered by a 3.5-litre Rover V8 engine, although it doesn’t appear to be as desirable as Aston University predicted. Indeed, though a £19,009 valuation was forecast for 2000, you can now pick up a 350i for less than the 1995 value.

1979 Volkswagen Golf GTIThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £2,500. 2000 forecast: £4,165. 2016 value: £13,300

In 1995, the memory of the Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTi was still fresh in the mind, not least because the then-current Golf GTI was a more lacklustre affair. If you bought a Golf GTI on the strength of the Daily Mail article, we applaud you, especially if you still own the same car.

BMW M4 Competition Pack

BMW M4 Competition Pack: Two-Minute Road Test

BMW M4 Competition PackHarder, better, faster and, er, more expensive, the Competition Pack cranks the BMW M4 up to 11. For an extra £3,000, the M4 coupe – and its M3 saloon sibling – gain 19 hp, adaptive suspension, sports seats, stylish 20-inch alloy wheels and a fruitier exhaust. Are the upgrades worth it, or is BMW simply gilding the lily?

Prices and dealsBMW dealer

At the time of writing, the M4 Competition Pack costs £60,065, or £62,560 with the DCT semi-automatic gearbox as tested. That’s about £500 more than an equivalent M3, or £3,000 less than the M4 convertible. However, we found discounts of nearly £10,000 on M4 DCTs via ‘reverse auction’ website, AutoeBid – so expect similar savings on Competition Pack cars.

What are its rivals?Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe

Until the new Audi RS5 arrives, the M4 has one major rival: the Mercedes-AMG C63 coupe. With 476 hp from its 4.0-litre V8 (or 510 hp in full-fat ‘S’ spec), the muscle-Merc trumps the M4 for outright power – and has a better soundtrack. However, the BMW is a more satisfying steer on a twisty road. You could also consider the Lexus RC F and Porsche 911 Carrera.

What engine does it use?BMW M4 Competition Pack

The BMW can’t match the C63 for cubic inches, but its 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight six develops a stonking 150 hp per litre. For those who struggle with maths, that’s a grand total of 450 hp – up 19hp on the standard M4. Maximum power arrives at a heady 7,000 rpm, meaning you need to rev this engine hard to get the best from it. Note the carbon fibre strut brace to stiffen the chassis.

How fast?BMW M4 Competition Pack

You want figures? How about 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds for the DCT version? Choose a manual gearbox and you’ll lag 0.1 seconds behind at the lights. Which serves you right for trying to save money, frankly. Either way, the M4 Competition Pack is 0.1 seconds quicker off the line than the standard car. Top speed is limited to 155mph.

Is it comfortable?BMW M4 Competition Pack

Those 20-inch machine-polished alloy wheels look fantastic, but they don’t do ride quality any favours (the regular M4 has 19s). Even in Comfort mode, you feel every ripple in the road surface. That said, the M4 doesn’t thump and bang through potholes like some sports cars. And its race-style seats are supportive and well-padded. Full marks for the M-striped seatbelts, too.

Will I enjoy driving it?BMW M4 Competition Pack

Oh yes. The M4 has faced criticism for being too soft, but the Competition Pack sharpens up its edges. It’s ferociously fast, and the chassis is a textbook example of rear-wheel-drive adjustability. Well-weighted steering and a flawless semi-automatic gearbox complete the package. Compared to the C63 AMG, you work a bit harder to experience the BMW’s ample rewards. But that’s hardly a chore, right?

Fuel economy and running costsBMW M4 Competition Pack

The most efficient non-hybrid BMW 3 Series – the 320d EfficientDynamics auto – returns fuel economy of 74.3mpg. The M4 manages less than half that, with official figures of 32.1mpg for the manual and 34.0mpg for the DCT. CO2 emissions of 194g/km mean you’ll pay £500 car tax in the first year and £270 per year thereafter.

What’s the interior like?BMW M4 Competition Pack

The interior of the 4 Series dates back to 2012. Compared with the latest Audi A4/A5 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the plastics seem a little cheap and the design a little dated. We can’t fault the ergonomics, though. Traditional BMW white-on-black dials and a centre console angled towards the driver were supplemented by an £825 head-up display in our test car. There’s also the excellent iDrive media system, which we’ll come to in a minute…

Is it practical?BMW M4 Competition Pack

For anyone who’s ever squeezed into the back of a Porsche 911, the M4’s two proper, adult-sized rear seats will be a revelation. It’s a little dark back there, and access is awkward behind the bulky sports seats. But if you regularly carry passengers, you could always buy the M3 saloon instead. The M4 also has a decent 445-litre boot – about the same as a Nissan Qashqai.

Tell me about the techBMW M4 Competition Pack

We rate BMW’s iDrive media system as the joint-best available, along with Audi’s MMI. Its widescreen display is mounted high on the dashboard, and the ‘clickwheel’ controller is easy to operate without taking your eyes off the road. It’s far superior to Mercedes’ Comand, and we prefer it to the various touchscreen systems available, too. Standard kit includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, DAB radio and in-car wi-fi. We’d also be tempted to splash out £675 on the premium Harmon Kardon hi-fi.

What about safety?BMW M4 Competition Pack

The closely-related BMW 3 Series scored a full five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, and there’s no reason to think the M4 would be any different. All cars come with side and curtain airbags and advanced stability/traction control. Even so, with 450 horses on tap, the biggest threat to your safety (and driving licence) will be your right foot…

Which version should I go for?BMW M4 Competition Pack

The obvious question here is: should you go for the Competition Pack? We certainly would, and BMW expects 70% of buyers to follow suit. With improvements to performance, handling, noise and appearance, the Competition Pack simply makes for a better M4. And its £3,000 additional cost looks modest in the context of a £60,000 car. The only downside is the firmer ride, but we think that’s a fair trade-off for improved agility.

What’s the used alternative?BMW M3

If you don’t have £60,000 to spend on a new M4, the E46 M3 offers just as much fun – perhaps more – for a fraction of the cost. Built from 2000-2006, it’s powered by a 343 hp naturally-aspirated six redlined at 8,000 rpm. Responsive and rear-wheel drive, the E46 remains one of our favourite BMW M cars. Prices start at just £7,000, although we’d budget at least five figures for a good one.

Should I buy one?BMW M4 Competition Pack

Cards on the table, we prefer the titanic torque and aural drama of the Mercedes-AMG C63 to the subtler charms of the M4 Competition Pack. The BMW would best for a track day, but the more exciting Mercedes has the edge on the road. There’s also a BMW M2-shaped elephant in the room. Smaller, cheaper and more fun, the new M2 is our current favourite M car.

Pub factBMW M4 GTS

Even the Competition Pack enhancements don’t make this the hottest M4. That honour goes to the M4 GTS: a lightweight, 500 hp rival for the Porsche 911 GT3. With two seats, a front splitter that doesn’t do speed humps and a price tag of, ahem, £122,000, the GTS gives two fingers to everyday usability in favour of track-focused performance. One for the lottery-win garage, perhaps?

Audi Q2

2016 Audi Q2 review: what’s not to like?

Audi Q2I like the Audi Q2. Really like it. You can throw all the brickbats you like at Audi, and for sure the Q2 falls into the usual ‘why is it so expensive and how much are all those extras?’ camp. But the Q2 is so very nice I defy you not to want one.

It’s a compact crossover, smaller than the similarly priced Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan, arguably more on a par with the über-successful Nissan Juke. Except, as Audi will immediately point out, the Juke isn’t ‘premium’. And the Q2 genuinely is.

Which means plenty of nice touches. A solid, round gearlever, the tactile switches, the impressive circular air vents and the window controls that feel so precisely engineered. None of these do their job any better than what you’d find in a Kia. They simply feel reassuringly expensive.

The styling of the Q2 sets it apart, too. Heavily sculpted sides, concave flanks around the doors, a low roofline and the contrasting paint on the rear pillars; it looks different.

Enough of the eulogy. Does the Q2 drive well?

Audi Q2

Audi says it set out to make the Q2 go-kart-like to drive which, surely, must mean like a MINI. Except the extra height of the Q2 makes that target a bit more of a challenge.

Credit where it’s due then, for this small Audi really is entertaining, tackling tight corners with gusto, accuracy and stability. Most models get ‘Drive Select’ which lets you set steering and throttle responses to your liking. Higher up the range, this sets the suspension stiffness as well. Both the manual and the new automatic transmission are easy and satisfying to use, the only criticism being that the auto can be slightly jerky at lower speeds, although not very often.

Surprisingly, the cheapest Q2 comes with a tiny 1.0-litre petrol engine. In the past, that might have been worrying, but turbocharging means it’s pleasant enough – feisty even – if you are prepared to change gear frequently.

The 1.6 diesel and 1.4 petrol models, also both turbocharged, will be the best sellers. Even though the diesel has only 116hp (the same as the 1.0 petrol), it pulls strongly and quietly and could be the pick of the range. The 1.4 TFSI has 150hp and is a great balance between sportiness, economy and price.

Topping off the Q2 line-up are the 2.0-litre models, both petrol and diesel. I drove the 190hp diesel, which comes with Quattro four-wheel drive and a paddle-shift automatic transmission.

It was a great deal of fun in the mountains around Zurich. It steered and gripped like a good hot hatch, and, where the conditions allowed, was exceedingly quick. Somehow, you quickly overlook the more limited rev range of the diesel engine and simply use the torque to power swiftly along.

So it’s fast, but possibly compromised? 

Audi Q2

You’d think so. To stop tall cars leaning over in the corners, the usual ploy is to stiffen the suspension, with a consequential impact on ride comfort. But the reality is that the Audi Q2 isn’t really that tall, so the compromises are fewer and the suspension smoothness is as good as most hatchbacks. You can, if you choose, specify the adjustable suspension, but it’s not really necessary.

Whether or not the standard seats are any good remains to be seen, for all the test cars had the optional sports seats, which were very good indeed. Plenty of all-round support and posh car levels of comfort.

Posh car standards?

That’s the key to the Q2. You can specify much of the same equipment you see on an Audi A8. Just because it’s a small car, that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in equipment or potential.

The simply delicious upscale ‘Virtual Cockpit’ sat nav system from the Audi TT is here as an option. Now it comes with Google Earth, which means you get a genuine satellite view of your route. There’s a head-up display above the dashboard, anti-crash technology, plus tons of features that, standard or optional, you simply can’t get in cars of a similar price.

Connectivity – it’s the way forward

Audi Q2

Good news here. Plug your Android or iPhone into the USB port and you use Google Maps on screen for your navigation. There’s Spotify and other apps, too. On SE models it’s a killer feature, but as you move up the range the Q2 comes with an embedded SIM card of its own, and you get up to three years of European-wide data before you have to start paying.

But it’s tiny, right?

Certainly the Q2 is no giant. But from the front seat it feels fine, with lots of seat and steering wheel adjustability. You sit lower than in most crossovers, so unless you jack the seat right up, you don’t get that domineering SUV driving position. On the other hand, it does feel a bit sporty and anyway, Audi’s targeted buyers in the 30-40 year age range don’t want to feel they are sitting in something like a Qashqai.

Rear-seat space is helped by the high cushion, which means legs aren’t forced underneath the seat in front. Legroom isn’t generous, but there’s certainly room for four adults in the Q2 without compromises.

Boot space is Golf-sized and about average, although if you specify the top hi-fi system you lose space to the huge woofer. A divided rear-seat backrest is standard and these flop easily down onto the cushions to give an – almost flat floor. Floor width is a whole metre, which is impressive on any car. Spare wheel? Forget it.

So what about that pricing issue? 

Audi Q2

Audi Q2 prices start at £20k for the 1.0SE and run through to £31k for the top 2.0TFSI quattro with the seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission. Key models are the 1.4 TSI Sport at £23,930, and the equivalent 1.6 diesel at £24,030.

While these are premium prices for a small car, they are within the reach of many. Audi’s continuing sales success in the UK is on the back of buyers being prepared to pay a little more for a quality product, and there is every reason to expect the Q2 buyers will embrace this.

Your personalised Q2

Personalisation is a big deal for the Q2, but Audi is only doing what BMW has done with the MINI, Fiat with the 500 and Vauxhall with the Adam. Choose from a whole raft of options to make your Q2 unique. Favourites are likely to be the Virtual Cockpit, accent colours for the interior trim and LED lighting packs.

2016 Audi Q2: Early verdict

Audi Q2

It’s hard to see the Q2 not being another Audi success story. There’s a call for a really nice car of this size, and the fact it drives so well broadens its appeal considerably.

The Q2 manages what the MINI Countryman fails so abjectly at: looking good. Inside, it has the premium feel of bigger Audis, rather than the Countryman’s small-car-got-bigger impression.

Yes, it’s a little pricey, but to our mind the Q2 is not that expensive for what it has to offer. This could be the new car buy of 2017.

For:

It’s a style statement

Great quality interior

Engaging to drive

Against:

It will cost more than you first thought if you delve into the options

Not really a five-seater

S tronic automatic transmission can be jerky.

2016 Audi Q2 1.4 TSI Sport S tronic: Specification

Audi Q2

Price: £25,480
Engine: 1.4-litre petrol turbo
Gearbox: 7-speed automatic
Power: 150hp
Torque: 184lb ft
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Top speed: 131mph
Fuel economy: 54.3mpg
CO2 emissions: 119g/km