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2020 SsangYong Tivoli front

2020 SsangYong Tivoli update: prices, specs and release date

2020 SsangYong Tivoli front

The updated 2020 SsangYong Tivoli has opened for ordering with prices starting from £13,995.

The improved model has new engines, a better spec and styling tweaks outside and in.

First launched in June 2015, the 20-model-year Tivoli comes with two new petrol engines, a 1.2-litre turbo and 1.5-litre turbo.

The 1.2-litre GDi-T is a three-cylinder motor producing 128hp. It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and averages 40.4mpg.

2020 SsangYong Tivoli rear

The 1.5-litre GDi-T is a four-cylinder engine producing 163hp. It has a standard manual gearbox and an optional automatic. Fuel economy isn’t far behind the 1.2 GDi-T at up to 39.2mpg.

SsangYong has also improved the existing 136hp 1.6-litre turbodiesel. It averages up to 50.4mpg.

Those who tow will prefer the diesel: it can haul 1.5 tonnes, rather than the 1.0 tonnes of the two petrol versions. 

Styling front and rear includes a new set of rear lights, and there’s a full set of digital instruments on the range-topping variant.

Infotainment systems have been improved, with a 7.0-inch screen and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

All SsangYongs also come with a remarkable 7-year, 100,000-mile warranty

2020 SsangYong Tivoli specs

2020 SsangYong Tivoli interior

SsangYong offers three trim lines on the 2020 Tivoli, called EX, Ventura and Ultimate.

EX only uses the 1.2 GDi-T engine and costs £13,995.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, remote locking, DAB radio with Bluetooth and a safety assist pack including autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition and a driver attention alert.

Ventura also only comes with the 1.2 GDi-T and costs £16,995. The basic steel wheels become 16-inch alloys, and it gains heated part-leather seats (although the leather is fake).

The stereo is upgraded to the 7.0-inch touchscreen and other luxuries include a heated steering wheel, automatic headlights, all-round parking sensors, rear parking camera and a luggage cover.

Ultimate offers either the 1.5 GDi-T or 1.6-litre diesel. It costs from £19,995 for a petrol manual, up to £22,995 for a diesel auto.

The wheels are upgraded to 18-inch alloys, interior upholstery becomes full (real) leather, dual-zone climate control is included and the new 10.25-inch smart LED instrument pack is added.

2020 SsangYong Tivoli prices

EX

1.2 GDi-T: £13,995

Ventura

1.2 GDI-T: £16,995

Ultimate

1.5 GDi-T: £19,995 (auto: + £1,500)

1.6 diesel: £21,495 (auto: + £1,500)

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Toyota Highlander 7-seat SUV confirmed for 2021 UK launch

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander 7-seat SUV confirmed for 2021 UK launch

Toyota Highlander

Toyota is expanding its SUV range in early 2021 with the UK launch of the seven-seat Highlander.

Already on sale in North America, where it is a best-seller, it will be the first time the Highlander has been offered in Europe.

Toyota will sell it in full hybrid guise, pairing a 2.5-litre petrol engine with front and rear electric motors.

Toyota Highlander

It produces 241hp, averages 42.8mpg and emits 146g/km of CO2 – a best-in-class combination, reckons Toyota.

Space is likely to be the Highlander’s biggest draw, though. It measures 4,950mm in length, which is as long as a Land Rover Discovery.

It has a rugged two-tonne towing capacity, too.  

Toyota Highlander

Inside, it has three rows of seats, and even the third row is said to be adult-sized.

There is an impressive 658-litre boot even with all seven seats in place. Fold them flat and it expands to 1,909 litres.

Toyota hasn’t worked out what UK cars will get as standard yet, but does suggest goodies such as head-up display, ventilated front seats and a ‘clearview’ rear view mirror will be included.

Toyota Highlander

Prices are also still to be confirmed, and will be revealed nearer to its early 2021 UK launch.

A rival to the 2020 World Car of the Year-winning Kia Telluride, the Highlander sits above alternatives such as the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe.

A list price of around £40,000 thus seems feasible, making it a good-value alternative to a Land Rover Discovery, which costs from £46,000.

Toyota recently announced another SUV addition at the other end of its range, too: the new Yaris Cross.

This is also scheduled for a 2021 launch. 

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2020 Kia Sportage 3 in Blue Flame

2020 Kia Sportage update: prices, specs and ordering dates

2020 Kia Sportage 3 in Blue Flame

Kia has updated the Sportage SUV for 2020 with a simplified model line-up, boosted standard equipment and a new ‘3’ spec offering added value.

First launched in 2016, the current Sportage was facelifted in 2018

The updated 2020 Sportage line-up now comprises 2, 3, GT-Line and GT-Line S. Prices start from £23,445.

Ordering is open now. 

2020 Kia Sportage: specs

2020 Kia Sportage GT-Line interior

Every model in the line-up gets a new 8.0-inch ‘frameless’ touchscreen. This includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus online services that can show fuel prices at nearby filling stations, real-time availability of parking spaces and live traffic updates.

Rear parking sensors and a reversing camera are standard, plus lane-keep assist, alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers and cruise control.

The new 3 spec (the blue car pictured above) adds electric leather seats, panoramic roof, keyless entry, electric handbrake and a heated steering wheel.

Outside, it gets more chrome trim, front parking sensors, LED headlights and blind spot collision warning.

GT-Line models have a sporty make-over with features such as 19-inch alloys and silver mesh radiator grille.

GT-Line S versions go further with extra luxury features such as a JBL premium sound system, wireless smartphone charging and a hands-free power tailgate.

2020 Kia Sportage: engines

Kia has cut the Sportage engine range back to three motors. The basic petrol engine is a 130hp 1.6-litre GDi that averages 36.2mpg. 0-62mph acceleration takes 11.1 seconds.

A turbocharged version producing 174hp is available. The 1.6-litre T-GDI averages just 33.2mpg, although 0-62mph acceleration falls to 8.9 seconds.

The best all-rounder is the 1.6 CRDi 134 48v diesel. This is badged ‘EcoDynamics+’ on the bootlid.

The base six-speed manual version returns 52.3mpg while still accelerating from 0-62mph in 10.8 seconds.

The diesel has much more pulling power too, thanks to its 48v ‘mild hybrid’ system that gives an added boost from a self-charging lithium ion battery.

Motoring Research is living with a mild hybrid Sportage, to see if its claims of saving fuel bear scrutiny. 

Across the range, Kia offers both manual and DCT automatic Sportage, plus front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (AWD) versions.

Ordering for the revised Sportage range is open now.

2020 Kia Sportage: prices

2

1.6 GDI 130: £23,445

1.6 T-GDI 174 AWD: £25,555

1.6 CRDi 134 48v: £25,150 (DCT auto: £26,630)

3

1.6 GDi 130: £26,445

1.6 T-GDI 174 AWD: £28,555

1.6 CRDi 134 48v: £28,455 (DCT auto: £29,660)

GT-Line

1.6 T-GDI 174: £29,660

1.6 T-GDI 174 AWD DCT: £29,480

1.6 CRDi 134 48v: £27,555 (DCT auto: £29,055)

1.6 CRDi 134 48v AWD DCT: £30,575

GT-Line S

1.6 T-GDI 174: £30,510

1.6 T-GDI 174 AWD DCT: £33,330

1.6 CRDi 134 48v: £31,315 (DCT auto: £32,805)

1.6 CRDi 134 48v DCT AWD: £34,325

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2020 Seat Leon driving

2020 Seat Leon prices, specs and ordering announced

2020 Seat Leon driving

Ordering is now open for the new 2020 Seat Leon, with prices starting from £19,855.

The new five-door family hatchback is offered from launch with a choice of three trims and five different engines.

An estate version is also available from launch, priced from £22,455.

More variants will be available later in 2020, after deliveries begin in the summer.

Seat is pleased to have got prices for the entry-level 1.0 TSI 110 SE down below the £20k mark.

Even better, the entry-level version is offered on a four-year, 4.0 percent APR PCP for £195 a month: we’ve outlined details of the deal below.

Announcement of prices comes after the outgoing Seat Leon scored a rare top-10 place in the UK’s best-selling cars last month

2020 Seat Leon specs

2020 Seat Leon interior

Seat is using its ‘easymove’ simplification strategy with the new Leon. This makes the range easier to understand.

SE grade gets 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and an 8.0-inch touchscreen system as standard. Keyless go is also included.

Next up is SE Dynamic, which brings Seat Digital Cockpit electronic instruments, plus a bigger 10-inch infotainment screen with standard sat-nav (that’s the one pictured above.)

Rear glass is tinted, the wheels grow to 17 inches and all-round parking sensors are fitted.

FR trim gets a racy makeover with bespoke front and rear bumpers, dual exhausts and 15mm lower sports suspension.

FR models also get contrast stitching, wireless smartphone charging, three-zone climate control and LED rear lights.

FR Sport, Xcellence and Xcellence Lux variants will follow later in the year.

2020 Seat Leon engines

2020 Seat Leon rear

Even at launch, Seat is offering a broad engine range with the new Leon, heavily biased towards petrol. 

The basic motor is the three-cylinder 1.0 TSI 110. Next up is the four-cylinder 1.5 TSI, which comes in either 130hp or 150hp guises.

There’s a high-tech mild hybrid version too, called the 1.5 eTSI MHEV 150, which uses a DSG automatic gearbox.

The sole diesel is a 2.0 TDI 115. Later in 2020, Seat will roll out a 2.0 TDI 150.

2020 Seat Leon prices

SE

Hatch

1.0 TSI 110: £19,855

1.5 TSI 130: £21,425

2.0 TDI 115: £22,835

Estate

1.5 TSI 130: £22,455

SE Dynamic

Hatch

1.0 TSI 110: £20,955

1.5 TSI 130: £22,525

2.0 TDI 115: £23,935

Estate

1.5 TSI 130: £23,555

FR

Hatch

1.0 TSI 110: £23,185

1.5 TSI 130: £23,515

1.5 TSI 150: £24,805

1.5 eTSI 150 DSG: £26,865

Estate

1.5 TSI 130: £24,545

1.5 TSI 150: £25,855

1.5 eTSI 150 DSG: £27,895

2020 Seat Leon finance offers

Seat Leon PCP finance prices start from £195 a month for the 1.0 TSI 110 SE.

A sporty Leon 1.5 TSI 130 FR, which Seat says will be the most popular model in the line-up, costs £249 a month.

The £195 a month Seat Solutions PCP deal on the 1.0 TSI 110 SE works out like this:

  • Duration: 48 months
  • Retail price: £19,855
  • Seat deposit contribution: £1,000 (and £500 more if you take a test drive)
  • Customer deposit: £4,000
  • Optional final payment: £6,882
  • Total amount payable by customer: £20,057
  • APR: 4.0 percent

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2020 Skoda Octavia hatch

2020 Skoda Octavia prices, specs and ordering confirmed

2020 Skoda Octavia hatch

The new 2020 Skoda Octavia range opens for ordering in June with prices starting from £22,390.

Three specs will be available from launch: SE First Edition, SE Technology and SE L First Edition.

Skoda is loading up the standard features on the special First Edition variants to help the new fourth-generation large family hatchback hit the market running.

2020 Skoda Octavia estate

The new Octavia will be available in estate guise from launch, as well as the hatchback. Estate car prices start from £23,370.

2020 Skoda Octavia specs

2020 Skoda Octavia interior

Entry-level SE First Edition grade will have more than enough standard equipment for many.

It includes climate control, an 8.25-inch touchscreen, five USB-C ports (including one in the rear-view mirror for connecting to a dashcam), LED headlights, ‘Virtual Cockpit’ electronic instruments and a safety pack that features lane-keeping assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

SE L First Edition costs from £25,150. These models get more chrome trim on the outside and bigger 17-inch alloys.

An enhanced Columbus infotainment system with 10-inch screen and online access is fitted, plus an electric driver’s seat, all-round parking sensors, keyless entry and adaptive cruise control.

SE Technology models are aimed at company car drivers. These have fuel-saving 16-inch aero alloy wheels, the Columbus infotainment system and ‘Laura’ voice control. Prices start from £22,640.

2020 Skoda Octavia engines

2020 Skoda Octavia hatch rear

Three engine choices are available at launch. Petrol buyers take a 1.5-litre TSI 150, while diesel customers have a choice of either 115hp or 150hp 2.0-litre TDI.

The 2.0 TDI 150 has a DSG automatic gearbox as standard: the other two are six-speed manual.

Skoda says it will broaden the engine range available on the new Octavia throughout 2020.

Ordering for the new 2020 Skoda Octavia range opens at retailers in June, with cars arriving for test drives and delivery from July.

2020 Skoda Octavia prices

SE First Edition

Hatch

1.5 TSI 150: £22,390

2.0 TDI 115: £23,300

Estate

1.5 TSI 150: £23,370

2.0 TSI 115: £24,280

SE L First Edition

Hatch

1.5 TSI 150: £25,150

2.0 TDI 115: £26,060

2.0 TDI 150 DSG: £28,460

Estate

1.5 TSI 150: £26,225

2.0 TDI 115: £27,405

2.0 TDI 150 DSG: £29,515

SE Technology

Hatch

1.5 TSI 150: £22,640

2.0 TDI 115: £23,550

Estate

1.5 TSI 150: £23,620

2.0 TSI 115: £24,530

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Tesla Model S in red

Tesla launches ‘Cheetah Stance’ with Model S and Model X update

Tesla Model S in red

Tesla Model S and Model X Performance owners have received a free over-the-air upgrade that includes a novel ‘Cheetah Stance’ mode for even faster acceleration.

Part of the Launch Mode, Cheetah Stance lowers the front end of the car, while leaving the rear raised – just like a cheetah when it’s about to pounce.

Launch Mode itself is also easier to engage.

With a ‘free’ 50hp boost to peak power, the result is 0-60mph acceleration in just 2.3 seconds.

The standing quarter-mile dash also falls to 10.4 seconds. These are figures normally associated with high-end Ferraris and Bugattis. Power above 80mph is improved as well. 

Tesla Model X in white

Tesla has also improved the thermal efficiency of the electric drive systems, which means such rapid acceleration can be repeated multiple times.

All UK Tesla Model S and Model X Performance owners, including earlier P100D vehicles, should now be receiving the over-the-air software update.

It’s part of the V2020.12.5 push that is now being supplied Tesla owners – and for free.

Launch Mode improved

Tesla logo on a red Model S

Accessing Launch Mode to unlock such rapid acceleration is now more straightforward.

First, Ludicrous+ acceleration mode needs to be enabled.

Owners are then advised to press hard on the brake pedal with their left foot, and the press the accelerator pedal to the floor with their right foot.

Then, wait for ‘Launch Model Enabled’ to display on the dashboard – the mode will remain active for 15 seconds.

Simply lift the brake pedal to access it (Tesla experts advise waiting a little while for the front end of the car to lower into Cheetah Stance).

The car should no longer ‘lurch’ when Launch Mode is activated either, thanks to improved driveshaft pre-loading.

Want to see it in action? U.S. drag racing experts DragTimes carried out a test – and validated just how fast Tesla Model S and Model X Performance models now are…

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2020 Honda Jazz

New 2020 Honda Jazz prices start from £18,980

2020 Honda Jazz

Ordering for the all-new 2020 Honda Jazz has opened, with prices for the new hybrid model starting from £18,980.

This buys a Jazz SE model; mid-grade SR is £20,180 and top-spec EX is £21,380.

The SUV-inspired Honda Jazz Crosstar EX costs £23,580.

2020 Honda Jazz Crosstar and Honda Jazz

Every new Honda Jazz features a two-motor petrol-electric hybrid engine, rather than today’s basic 1.3-litre petrol.

This delivers more than 62mpg and CO2 emissions from 102g/km.

Honda says this gives an ‘EV-like’ drive and reduced running costs.

2020 Honda Jazz Crosstar interior

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It should help offset the higher prices for the new car compared to today’s model: an entry-level version of the outgoing Jazz costs from £14,760.

Honda is also offering a 5.9 percent APR, 36-month PCP deal on the new Jazz, with prices starting from £225 a month.

Today’s model is offered on zero percent finance from £165 a month.

2020 Honda Jazz

Interestingly, the ‘free’ paint colour is Crystal Black: in 2019, black was the second most-popular colour for British new car buyers. Premium metallic paint is £550 and ‘premium+’ hues are £650.

The Honda Crosstar only comes in two-tone combinations, with a gloss black roof.

2020 Honda Jazz Crosstar and Honda Jazz

Honda bosses believe the new electrified Jazz will complement the new all-electric Honda e in retailer showrooms.

“The electrified Jazz is designed to encourage those who might not be prepared to make the leap to a full electric drivetrain,” said Honda UK head of car Phil Webb.

“The new Jazz is the embodiment of the brand’s commitment to a fully-electrified range and is another symbolic step towards our electric vision for 100 percent of European sales to be electrified by 2022.”

Deliveries of the new Honda Jazz will begin from early Q2 – April onwards.

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