Archive for Joe Simpson

Volkswagen Golf R Estate review: The ultimate fast, all-weather estate
4.5 stars

Volkswagen Golf R Estate review: The ultimate fast, all-weather estate

By

It is sometimes said that a Volkswagen Golf is the car for everyone. But who is everyone? There's now an electric Golf and a hybrid Golf in among the regular diesel and petrol Golfs, plus a powerful diesel one and a powerful petrol one. But which powerful... >>

Mini John Cooper Works review: Mini by name, maxed-out by nature
4.5 stars

Mini John Cooper Works review: Mini by name, maxed-out by nature

By

The Cooper Car company was founded in Surbiton in 1947. Charles Cooper and his son John began building racing cars that eventually changed the face of F1. In 1961, John Cooper conceived the first faster-and-tuned Mini, which dominated rallying in the... >>

Volkswagen Touran review: Peak practicality
4.0 stars

Volkswagen Touran review: Peak practicality

By

The world might have gone SUV and crossover mad, but if you've a brood of three (or more) to cart around then a mid-sized crossover like the Nissan Qashqai doesn't actually cut it. That's why - despite their perceived lack of sexiness - MPVs like the... >>

Renault Megane 2016 review: Dynamique or dud?
3.5 stars

Renault Megane 2016 review: Dynamique or dud?

By

This is the fourth-generation Renault Megane - the French company's mid-sized family hatchback, which has been with us since 1995. In that time, Renault has sold over a half a million of the things in the UK. Whereas its Volkswagen Golf competitor evolves... >>

Porsche 911 Carrera (2017) review: Engine evolution?
4.5 stars

Porsche 911 Carrera (2017) review: Engine evolution?

By

Throughout its history the Porsche 911 has undergone some critical design changes, each one of which naysayers have warned might kill off what makes this car so special. There have been impact bumpers, the move from an air-cooled to water-cooled engine,... >>

Renault Zoe review: Electrical engineering
3.5 stars

Renault Zoe review: Electrical engineering

By

It's been a typical complaint of the modern electric car that - from the perspective of asking price - most are simply too expensive to make sense. As one of the leaders in the electric-mobility revolution, Renault has sought to challenge that notion... >>

Volkswagen Tiguan first drive: All grown up

Volkswagen Tiguan first drive: All grown up

By

Volkswagen was early to market with the last-generation Tiguan. It sold so well (1.8 million since 2007), it's a bit confusing as to why VW has been shy at coming forward to join the SUV revolution. But hurrah, never fear, the new Tiguan is here. And... >>

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT first drive: The SLS is dead, long live the AMG GT

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT first drive: The SLS is dead, long live the AMG GT

By

What can you learn about a car from simply driving it on a race track? Quite a lot as it happens, particularly when it's a sports car like the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT. Mercedes introduced its AMG GT last year as a replacement for the dramatic, gullwing-door... >>

Volkswagen Golf 1.0-litre TSi first drive: Fore!

Volkswagen Golf 1.0-litre TSi first drive: Fore!

By

We already know that the Volkswagen Golf is an excellent family hatchback. In fact, we'd still rate it as best in class — and three years on, still deserving of the 5-star review we gave it back at launch in 2013. But just how much Golf do you need?... >>

Volvo XC90 review: Setting the SUV standard
5.0 stars

Volvo XC90 review: Setting the SUV standard

By

In car terms, half a decade is a lifetime. So the last Volvo XC90's 12-year production run represents something of an unusual case. It sold well right to the end but was out-smarted by a new breed of big SUVs. Enter the new XC90. The first production... >>

Mercedes-Benz C220d AMG Line Coupe first drive: Covering all bases

Mercedes-Benz C220d AMG Line Coupe first drive: Covering all bases

By

What's in a name? For their medium-sized executive coupes, both Audi and BMW have chosen to position their more sporting offerings as stand-alone to the saloon versions, with the respective A5 and 4-Series. That means a different name and different styling.... >>

Mercedes GLC first drive: SUVving to consider

Mercedes GLC first drive: SUVving to consider

By

This is the Mercedes GLC. It's Merc's mid-sized SUV rival to the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. It's a significant car for the brand, because this is the first time Mercedes has had a car of this size, in this class, available in the UK. The old, square-rig GLK... >>

Infiniti Q30 first drive: To infinity and beyond?

Infiniti Q30 first drive: To infinity and beyond?

By

It's unusual to introduce a car from a brand that some readers might not be aware of, but a quick straw poll of friends and colleagues suggests Infiniti isn't a universally known entity. So the Q30, its compact premium hatchback, might not be at the forefront... >>

Volkswagen T-Prime GTE Concept preview: Prime cut SUV

Volkswagen T-Prime GTE Concept preview: Prime cut SUV

By

Whoever is naming new VW concepts is going down an ever weirder rabbit hole. In the past couple of years we've had the T-Roc and the T-Cross Breeze — both from subsequent Geneva Show reveals — and now the T-Prime GTE Concept unveiled at the Beijing... >>

Porsche 718 Cayman preview: Firing on all (four) cylinders

Porsche 718 Cayman preview: Firing on all (four) cylinders

By

Twinned with the new 718 Boxster that we drove a couple of weeks back, Porsche's new model offensive continued at the Beijing Auto Show with the launch of the 718 Cayman. The hard-top coupe twin version to the Boxster's drop top, the 718 Cayman holds... >>

LeEco LeSee preview: See what all Le fuss is about

LeEco LeSee preview: See what all Le fuss is about

By

The star of the Beijing Auto Show isn't a Volkswagen, or a Porsche, or a Mercedes. It's something most people have never heard of before: the LeSee, a car from LeEco (formerly LeTV). You might be thinking, "so what?". But this car is significant for a... >>

Beijing Auto Show in pictures: The best cars from the China show

Beijing Auto Show in pictures: The best cars from the China show

By

You might have heard that China is the second biggest car market in the world. But when it comes to Chinese car brands most Westerners are still blissfully unaware of the homegrown Chinese car market. If you do have an impression of such brands, it's... >>

Jaguar XE R-Sport review: Everyday superhero?
4.0 stars

Jaguar XE R-Sport review: Everyday superhero?

By

In this game of ours we can't help forming an opinion of a car before we've driven it. We do that based on how it looks, how the spec shapes up, and even, to a degree, the opinions of some trusted friends and journalists. All of whom have raved about... >>

Mini Clubman review: A club worth being in
4.5 stars

Mini Clubman review: A club worth being in

By

The new Mini Clubman is the biggest Mini ever. But can such a classically small car be turned into a family runabout that could conceivably be purchased instead of a VW Golf? In this review we aim to find out, by putting the Clubman through the ultimate... >>

Porsche 911 Turbo S (2017) first drive: Ready to launch

Porsche 911 Turbo S (2017) first drive: Ready to launch

By

In a world of McLarens, Ferraris and Porsche's own 918 supercar, it's easy to forget about the shock and awe that the Porsche 911 Turbo was once capable of inducing. The original, usable supercar was once considered to be almost antisocially fast. Is... >>

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso: A Ferrari fit for the whole family?

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso: A Ferrari fit for the whole family?

By

The FF is dead, long live the GTC4 Lusso. Clumsy badging aside, what you're looking at is a heavy facelift of the current FF, which is the oldest car in Ferrari's range. That means that the GTC4 is a V12, front-engined, 4-Seat shooting brake. An odd combination... >>

Aston Martin DB11: Shaken and stirred

Aston Martin DB11: Shaken and stirred

By

This is Aston Martin's all new DB11 — the car designed to replace the beautiful, if now venerable DB9. If you've spent any time looking at a DB9, you'll know what big shoes the DB11 has to fill in terms of looks. More of that in a minute, because first... >>

Bugatti Chiron: The 260mph supercar with a £1.9m (yes, million) asking price

Bugatti Chiron: The 260mph supercar with a £1.9m (yes, million) asking price

By

Pity poor Bugatti. Once upon a time, it ruled the world. We're not talking just about the incredible "Type-" cars of the early 20th Century either. The Veyron, when it landed in the mid-noughties, featured a scarcely credible 1,000bhp produced by its... >>

Geneva Motor Show 2016 in pictures: The 24 best cars from the Swiss auto show

Geneva Motor Show 2016 in pictures: The 24 best cars from the Swiss auto show

By

Every March, the auto industry gathers on neutral ground in Switzerland, coming together for one giant huzzah of an event, showing off its latest wares and new ideas to woo car buyers of tomorrow. Of all the international shows, Geneva tends to be the... >>

Porsche Macan Turbo review: The SUV superstar
4.5 stars

Porsche Macan Turbo review: The SUV superstar

By

The Macan is the current "it" car of the SUV world. Since it appeared on our roads in 2014, demand has outstripped supply for Porsche's newest model. Even now, order new and you're likely looking at a nine month wait to get behind the wheel of your new... >>