Archive for Joe Simpson

  • Peugeot 108 review: Putting the Active 1.0 Top! through its paces
    3.5 out of 5

    Peugeot 108 review: Putting the Active 1.0 Top! through its paces

    By 17 November 2014

    Back in 2005 the Peugeot 107 joined the city car sector just at the right time - offering the combination of cheeky looks, super-low insurance costs and the option of 5-doors - before most rivals had cottoned onto the fact this was what buyers wanted....

  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class first drive: Striking a balance between sporty and refined

    Mercedes-Benz C-Class first drive: Striking a balance between sporty and refined

    By 11 November 2014

    Comfort or sporting prowess? It's quandary that every car maker faces when launching a new car, and it seems particularly pertinent when considering the new Mercedes C-Class. It used to be said that stepping into a Mercedes-Benz should lower the driver's...

  • Mini 5-door first drive: Cartoon-style fun for the whole family

    Mini 5-door first drive: Cartoon-style fun for the whole family

    By 23 October 2014

    Up until now, beyond the price differential, one key reason to overlook buying a Mini - beyond its cartoonish design - was the lack of rear doors. And with sales in this market splitting roughly 65/35 in favour of 5-door models, it's clear Mini thinks...

  • Lamborghini Asterion concept: The 910bhp hybrid beast that will (probably) never get made

    Lamborghini Asterion concept: The 910bhp hybrid beast that will (probably) never get made

    By 9 October 2014

    Two weeks before the Paris Motor Show began, Lamborghini sent us a teaser silhouette of its new concept car. Underneath it was written: "How do you improve on perfection? Double it." For reasons that right now seem unclear, we - along with the rest of...

  • Audi TT Sportback concept: Less concept than the name suggests

    Audi TT Sportback concept: Less concept than the name suggests

    By 8 October 2014

    The Audi TT Sportback perhaps qualifies as the major surprise of the Paris Motor Show as it was one of just a few uncertainties to be revealed. Although if you've been following Audi's strategy over recent shows, it should come as no surprise at all....

  • Land Rover Discovery Sport preview: So does it replace the Freelander?

    Land Rover Discovery Sport preview: So does it replace the Freelander?

    By 7 October 2014

    When is a Freelander not a Freelander? When it's a Discovery Sport. From now on, the Freelander is dead. Instead it's replaced by the Discovery Sport as Land Rover changes the structure of its range, creating a series of sub-brands. So from now on, Discovery...

  • Jaguar XE: Exciting enough to challenge BMW? (hands-on)

    Jaguar XE: Exciting enough to challenge BMW? (hands-on)

    By 7 October 2014

    After making an exuberant entrance in London a couple of weeks back (it was dangled from helicopters, motored up the Thames on a speedboat) we finally get to lay our hands on Jag's long-awaited XE at the Paris Motor Show. It is a rival aimed squarely...

  • Mercedes-Benz AMG GT: No gulwing doors, can V8 powerhouse fill SLS's boots? (hands-on)

    Mercedes-Benz AMG GT: No gulwing doors, can V8 powerhouse fill SLS's boots? (hands-on)

    By 6 October 2014

    The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT was originally shown at a private event in Stuttgart, but the first public chance to see the car is at the Paris Motor Show 2014. The GT is significant because it effectively replaces the gulwing-door SLS and becomes Mercedes-Benz's...

  • BMW M3 review (2014)
    4.5 out of 5

    BMW M3 review (2014)

    By 1 October 2014

    Create a legend and it creates a rod for its own back. The BMW M3 is one such legend and with every new version you'll hear the same complaints: "It's moved too far away from the original concept." "It's too heavy." "It's got the wrong number of cylinders."...

  • Volkswagen Polo (2014) first drive: The sensible small car gets an internal tech boost

    Volkswagen Polo (2014) first drive: The sensible small car gets an internal tech boost

    By 11 September 2014

    Spare a thought for the Volkswagen Polo. While big brother Golf gets all the headlines and gold stars in the VW family pecking order, Polo sits there quietly, getting on with its job of being an entirely decent little car. In the world of supermini cars,...

  • BMW 220d review
    4 out of 5

    BMW 220d review

    By 28 August 2014

    BMW has gone to town on a host of new electric, performance and lifestyle models recently, including the i3, i8, X4, M4, M235i - the list has got so long we're almost struggling to keep up. The idea is that there's now a BMW for everyone. Yet what about...

  • Volkswagen Golf R first drive: The best fast Golf ever

    Volkswagen Golf R first drive: The best fast Golf ever

    By 25 August 2014

    Just how much would you be happy to spend on a Golf? It's an interesting question posed by this, the new hottest (ever) Golf ­- the R - which starts at a few quid under 30-grand in the UK. It's the latest in a long line of uber-fast Golfs, designed to...

  • Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid review
    4 out of 5

    Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid review

    By 18 August 2014

    The main issue with buying an electric car - other than the cost of purchase - is range anxiety. The internal combustion age means we don't tend not to plan when it comes to cars. We just jump in and go. Despite the average person only driving 19 miles...

  • McLaren 650S first drive: Brit supercar contrasts comfort with savage performance

    McLaren 650S first drive: Brit supercar contrasts comfort with savage performance

    By 12 August 2014

    McLaren is riding on a wave right now. Hot on the heels of the £1-million P1 comes this, the McLaren 650S. It's a riposte to those who think of McLarens as a little safe, a little boring, a little lacking in drama compared to the obvious alternative...

  • BMW i8: Driving the supercar of the future

    BMW i8: Driving the supercar of the future

    By 10 July 2014

    Standing in a small car park on the far Western Coast of the Scottish highlands ought to be the last place you'd expect to draw a crowd. But so futuristic is the look of the new BMW i8, especially in Prototonic blue, that right now it's cameraphone central...

  • Want to see Volvo's new performance car? Check out the limited edition Volvo V60 Polestar in our first drive

    Want to see Volvo's new performance car? Check out the limited edition Volvo V60 Polestar in our first drive

    By 19 June 2014

    Set up a few years back, Polestar is a company all about high performance cars. To date it's created a number of one-off, very high-performance Volvos, one of which made a cameo appearance on Top Gear. That was the tipping point: since then there has...

  • BMW 435i M Sport Convertible review
    4.5 out of 5

    BMW 435i M Sport Convertible review

    By 23 May 2014

    We already know the BMW 435i well, having driven one back from its launch event in Scotland last summer and then having spent a week with it, driving it around the UK. But what happens if you lop the roof off a 4-Series? You get a 4-Series Convertible,...

  • Peugeot 308 review (2014)
    4 out of 5

    Peugeot 308 review (2014)

    By 14 May 2014

    Peugeot is on a roll. After a decade or two of largely mediocre cars, the company has now given us the sassy 208, the Audi-TT-baiting RCZ, and the surprisingly practical 2008. Can the new Peugeot 308 continue the rejuvenation of The Lion? It might not...

  • Range Rover Sport review (2014)
    4.5 out of 5

    Range Rover Sport review (2014)

    By 28 April 2014

    It's difficult to get very far into a discussion about the Range Rover Sport without clichés and stereotypes rearing their heads. This is a car that everyone else on the road loves to hate. Yet the people who buy and drive them really, really love them...

  • Volkswagen Golf GTD review
    4.5 out of 5

    Volkswagen Golf GTD review

    By 10 April 2014

    If logic is followed and the status quo is upheld, then the Volkswagen Golf GTD is a shoo-in for a five star review. When we saw the regular Golf Mk7 last year, we called it "all the car you'll ever need - no more and no less". So you'd expect a diesel...

  • Hands-on: Mercedes GLA review

    Hands-on: Mercedes GLA review

    By 27 March 2014

    When is off-road not really off-road? When you're 550 feet down a salt mine, that's when. We didn't arrive here by accident, mind, for this is the location of the Mercedes GLA launch. And it's perhaps the most unusual place we've ever been in a car. Mercedes-Benz...

  • Maserati Alfieri Concept pictures and hands-on

    Maserati Alfieri Concept pictures and hands-on

    By 7 March 2014

    Maserati is 100 years old in 2014. So at this year's Geneva Motor Show the company presented itself with a self-proclaimed birthday present, the Alfieri concept car. Named after one of the original Maserati brothers, the 2+2 coupe concept is, so the company...

  • BMW 2-Series Active Tourer pictures and hands-on

    BMW 2-Series Active Tourer pictures and hands-on

    By 7 March 2014

    Yes, you are looking at a BMW. A front wheel drive people carrier called the 2-Series Active Tourer. We’ll just leave that to sink in for a minute. The brand that almost entirely defines itself by its rear-wheel drive cars and has the ability to create...

  • Renault Twingo pictures and hands-on

    Renault Twingo pictures and hands-on

    By 6 March 2014

    Renault started the supermini revolution back in the late 70s with the classic Renault 5. It did it again with the first generation Twingo in the early 90s - a car that never came to the UK. So it's perhaps not the greatest shock to see the company reinventing...

  • Dacia Duster review
    4 out of 5

    Dacia Duster review

    By 6 March 2014

    Money. In 2014, it’s still a dirty word to some people. But in the case of the Dacia Duster Ambience dCi 110 4x2 that we’re testing here, money isn’t something you should be ashamed of talking about. Because when it comes to modern cars, you can...