Archive for Joe Simpson

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review: Phwoar to the floor
5.0 stars

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review: Phwoar to the floor

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How do you define fast?For some it's a case of bald figures. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio does 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 190mph. So, that's the "head" box ticked.For others it's defined in less tangible terms. Driving the Alfa... >>

Volvo XC60 review: The best-in-class mid-size SUV?
4.5 stars

Volvo XC60 review: The best-in-class mid-size SUV?

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The outgoing Volvo XC60 continued to be the best seller in its class right up until the end of production. Whereas other "new" Volvos — the XC90, S90, V90 — replaced cars that were so old people had forgotten they existed, the previous XC60's success... >>

Mini Cooper SD Countryman (2017) review: Mighty improvements for the mega Mini?
4.0 stars

Mini Cooper SD Countryman (2017) review: Mighty improvements for the mega Mini?

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Do you remember the exact moment when every manufacturer scrambled to add a high-riding SUV to their line-up? It was around the time the Nissan Qashqai started to become a runaway sales success. As a result, all sorts of bizarre shapes started to appear... >>

Toyota C-HR review: High-roller or middle-of-the-roader?
4.0 stars

Toyota C-HR review: High-roller or middle-of-the-roader?

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"Cars, they all look the same these days." It's almost as if the designers of Toyota's new C-HR had that phrase in mind, and were determined to shoot it down. Toyotas — aren't they cars that are reliable, well-built and, well, just a little bit dull?... >>

Audi Aicon: A glimpse at a fully autonomous future and ultra-impressive user interface

Audi Aicon: A glimpse at a fully autonomous future and ultra-impressive user interface

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What does the future look like? It's a perennial question, one that for cars feels more pertinent than ever. This, the Aicon, is what the future looks like according to Audi.You'll know that cars are becoming battery powered (or electrifying - as the... >>

Best of the Frankfurt Auto Show 2017 in pictures: Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Kia and more

Best of the Frankfurt Auto Show 2017 in pictures: Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Kia and more

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The Frankfurt Auto Show is Europe's biggest car show — quite literally, as we already have sores on our feet from the 12 miles walked on day one.Despite a series of high-profile absentees in 2017 — there's no Volvo, Peugeot, Fiat, Alfa, Jeep, Mitsubishi,... >>

Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept preview: The future autonomous car for slick city transit

Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept preview: The future autonomous car for slick city transit

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Daimler has revealed its Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept in Stuttgart, two weeks before it gets shown to the public at the Frankfurt Auto Show.The concept — which the company stresses is not designed to preview the exterior styling of the next Smart... >>

Mercedes-AMG GT R first drive: One 'Green Hell' of a car

Mercedes-AMG GT R first drive: One 'Green Hell' of a car

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GT R. If that's a name that sounds familiar, it's because you'll normally find it attached to the boot-lid of Nissan's fastest road car. But it's also now attached to the most potent Mercedes-AMG.Mercedes-AMG already has a GT model — which we drove... >>

Renault Koleos review: Can the 5-seat SUV make its mark?
3.5 stars

Renault Koleos review: Can the 5-seat SUV make its mark?

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French brands have never really succeeded in selling larger cars in the UK. There's one notable exception: the Renault Espace, a ground-breaking people carrier that did will in the 80s and 90s.But in 2017 — despite there being an all-new Espace which... >>

Porsche Panamera (2017) review: Tantalising tech is only half the treat
4.5 stars

Porsche Panamera (2017) review: Tantalising tech is only half the treat

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"Fahren, fahren, fahren auf der Autobahn," Emil Shult chants out of the Bose stereo as we speed up the A1 in the new Porsche Panamera 4S. Kraftwerk's Autobahn might be a cliché choice of soundtrack, but for a late night motorway mission in a fast German... >>

Seat Ibiza review: A class-leading drive that's fun for all the family
5.0 stars

Seat Ibiza review: A class-leading drive that's fun for all the family

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Say Hola! to the new Seat Ibiza, the fifth-generation of the Spanish firm's popular small car.Seat has suddenly got very popular in the UK – the new Ateca SUV and Leon family hatchback selling big, but the Ibiza has always been at the core of the firm's... >>

Mercedes-Benz E-Class review: Better than a BMW 5 Series?
4.5 stars

Mercedes-Benz E-Class review: Better than a BMW 5 Series?

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Mercedes says everything it knows about how to build a car has gone into the new E-Class. Being that it is the oldest car brand in the world, that's probably quite a lot of stuff.The new E-Class went on sale in 2016. On our first drive in Portugal we... >>

Mini Countryman Cooper S E preview: Mini's first electric hybrid hits the road

Mini Countryman Cooper S E preview: Mini's first electric hybrid hits the road

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By its own management's admission the Mini brand has overstretched itself. Like a greedy child with eyes bigger than its belly, the once maker of an uber-compact car has seen its range balloon. Now Mini makes a whole host of options, including cabrios,... >>

BMW 530e plug-in hybrid preview: The best of both worlds?

BMW 530e plug-in hybrid preview: The best of both worlds?

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The new BMW 5-Series is a car we already know to be talented. In our 5-star review of the upper-spec 530d, we said that, judged in isolation, it goes "straight to the top of the class". That's a class which includes the Mercedes E-Class, which when we... >>

Alfa Romeo Giulia (2017) review: An Alfa that doesn’t do clichés
4.0 stars

Alfa Romeo Giulia (2017) review: An Alfa that doesn’t do clichés

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There is a saying that, to be a true car fan, you must have owned an Alfa Romeo. But a Mito, and a Giulietta (the extent of Alfa's range until now) hardly represent petrol-head nirvana. For Alfa fans, the Giulia has been a long time coming.Its predecessor,... >>

Volkswagen Golf GTI first drive: The hot hatch that transcends boundaries

Volkswagen Golf GTI first drive: The hot hatch that transcends boundaries

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Some cars are considered as class benchmarks. The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one such car. And with the German firm having just refreshed its best-selling small hatchback (see our regular, Mk 7.5 Golf TDi first drive) we took the opportunity to jump into... >>

Volkswagen Golf R-Line first drive: Leader of the pack

Volkswagen Golf R-Line first drive: Leader of the pack

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Given its status as the best-selling car in Europe and its leadership of the compact hatchback class, when Volkswagen updates the Golf, you take note. When we reviewed the then new Golf 7 back in 2013 it gained a coveted full-marks score."So why are... >>

Volvo V90 review: An effortlessly modern and elegant estate car
4.5 stars

Volvo V90 review: An effortlessly modern and elegant estate car

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Unless you're a fully paid-up Volvo hater (and we've found a few), then it's hard not to admire what the Swedish company is doing at the moment. The "human-made" advertising campaign cuts to the heart of the brand's Scandinavian design appeal and marks... >>

Seat Ateca review: A genuine Qashqai alternative
4.5 stars

Seat Ateca review: A genuine Qashqai alternative

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SUV and crossover cars sales are booming. But it's only now that some brands are debuting an SUV for the first time. Case in point: the Seat Ateca, which began production in 2016.The new Ateca sits above the Leon in Seat's range and is built on the... >>

Peugeot 3008 review: A tech-tastic crossover that's sure to Allure
4.0 stars

Peugeot 3008 review: A tech-tastic crossover that's sure to Allure

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The first time you see a new Peugeot 3008 on the road, we guarantee you'll look twice. This is not a car you'd call beautiful. But it does nail that modern SUV crossover thing - a complex piece of automotive sculpture which is decked out with interesting... >>

Jaguar updates F-Type with 4-cylinder engines and latest in-car tech

Jaguar updates F-Type with 4-cylinder engines and latest in-car tech

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Jaguar has unveiled an updated four-cylinder engine version of the F-Type at the New York Auto Show, scheduled to go on sale summer 2017.The F-Type has won countless accolades for the way it looks, so it's not a huge surprise to hear the company hasn't tinkered... >>

Best of the Geneva Motor Show 2017: Concept cars, supercars and everything in-between

Best of the Geneva Motor Show 2017: Concept cars, supercars and everything in-between

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The Geneva Motor Show is the most important in the European calendar. The industry crossroads, the point where everyone (and their entourage) rock up and where we're usually guaranteed the biggest single number of car launches.And 2017 was a bumper show,... >>

Renault Scenic (2017) review: The master of reinvention
4.0 stars

Renault Scenic (2017) review: The master of reinvention

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Reinventing any vehicle represents a challenge. Change the name and you'll lose customers, keep the same name and you create certain expectations. And with the Scenic, Renault has one of the most distinctive names in the business - the car that started... >>

Jaguar F-Pace review: Outpacing its SUV rivals?
4.5 stars

Jaguar F-Pace review: Outpacing its SUV rivals?

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Ten years ago, the concept of a Jaguar SUV would have been laughable. Since the brand twinned with Land Rover there was logic in the argument that Jag did the pretty saloons and coupes, while Land Rover did the off-road practical stuff. But the SUV market... >>

Porsche 718 Boxster S review: Four-cylinder foibles
4.0 stars

Porsche 718 Boxster S review: Four-cylinder foibles

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Can you believe the Porsche Boxster is 20 years old? We barely can either. But back when the Spice Girls were miming Wannabe on Top of the Pops and kids were losing their minds over POGs, the Boxster was waiting in the wings, preparing itself to utterly... >>