Fourth Generation

Hatchback, Hybrid, Family Car, News

Toyota confirms new Prius pricing

The new fourth generation Toyota Prius is available to order now with prices starting at £23,295.

That's for the Prius Active, which is the entry level model in a new grade line-up. Strengthening its appeal for business car drivers, new Business Edition and Business Edition Plus versions have been added.

All Prius models feature LED headlights with Automatic High Beam, electric driver's seat adjustment, Smart Entry with push-button start and the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with touchscreen control and DAB radio reception. A new dual-zone air conditioning system is also standard, equipped with a function that detects whether the front passenger seat is occupied and automatically adjusts air vent opening and air flow accordingly, for more efficient and energy-saving operation.

Higher grade models gain more advanced features, such as a colour head-up display, wireless phone charger, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.

The new Prius also includes the first European appearance of SIPA, Toyota's new Simple Intelligent Park Assist system. As well as providing automatic steering into a parallel or series parking space, the system can also help the driver exit a tight space. An automatic braking system provides a safeguard against colliding with parked vehicles or obstacles.

Key features of Active grade models includes 15-inch alloy wheels, Dual 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-information displays and DAB radio. Prius Business Edition, which costs from £24,195 OTR, features extras including a soft-touch cabin trim, heated front seats and Smart Entry (all doors and boot) while the Business Edition Plus (£25,995 OTR) adds 17-inch alloy wheels, Toyota Touch 2 with Go (satellite navigation and connectivity functions), simple Intelligent Park Assist and front and rear parking sensors.

The range topping new Prius Excel starts at £27,450 OTR and is additionally equipped with leather upholstery, JBL premium audio system, rain-sensing wipers and Toyota 2 with Go Plus (satellite navigation and connectivity with added functions).

Toyota Safety Sense provides an integrated package of safety warning and assistance systems on all versions of new Prius as standard. The new model is available in seven exterior colours, including Hypersonic Red, a new pearlescent shade that offers extra depth and reflective qualities. The interior is available in Cool Grey or Black, with matching trim and cloth upholstery. Leather seats (Excel grade) are in Cool Grey with black shoulder sections, or Black with contrast blue stitching.

The new Toyota Prius is available to order now, with first customer deliveries from 1 March 2016.

Sports Car, News

Two Mazda MX-5 Concepts set for SEMA show

Mazda has confirmed two vastly different takes on the fourth-generation MX-5 will be revealed at the 2015 SEMA Show.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, for which the Mazda designers wanted to see what they could do if the MX-5 was 'taken to the extreme'. The result was an MX-5 Spyder Concept and a MX-5 Speedster Concept.

The MX-5 Spyder captures the character of a vintage roadster and translates it into a modern-day design, including bespoke leather interior details and is finished in a new Mercury Silver concept paint colour.

The MX-5 Speedster is described as a 'study in the extremes of lightweight, purpose-built performance', paying homage to minimalist roadsters of the 1950s. The Blue Ether-painted MX-5 Speedster is uncompromised in its approach to wind-in-the-hair driving, deliberately avoiding the use of a traditional windshield for a lighter deflector.

Both cars are significantly lighter than the 1057kg MX-5 roadster.

The SEMA Show takes place from 3-6 of November.

4x4, SUV, News

All-new Kia Sportage set for Frankfurt debut

Kia has revealed exterior images of the all-new Sportage, ahead of a global debut in Frankfurt.

Entering its fourth-generation, the new Sportage features a 'bold, progressive design'. Kia says the new model is inspired by the smooth and sharp shapes found on some of the most iconic modern fighter jets, and that the Sportage creates 'visual harmony out of the tension between sharp, defined feature lines and smooth surfacing'.

The face of the new Sportage represents the biggest change to the car's design, with the headlamps no longer integrated with the grille for the new model, instead sweeping back along the outer edges of the more sharply-detailed bonnet and bolder wheel arches. The Sportage's lower, wider 'tiger-nose' grille adds more volume, resulting in what Kia describes as a more imposing appearance and a more stable-looking stance.

The new model retains the swept-back silhouette of the outgoing Sportage, with a roofline that tapers slightly towards the rear of the car, longer front overhangs, shorter rear overhangs and longer wheelbase. At the rear, the horizontal forms and surface volume 'emphasise the car's width', while slim combination lamps are joined by a strip that runs the width of the rear, inspired by the 2013 Kia Provo concept car. Turn signals and reversing lights are separated, relocated lower down to add more 'visual weight and a greater sense of stability' to the lower half of the car.

The Frankfurt International Motor Show runs from 17-27 September 2015.

SUV, News, Crossover, 4x4

All-new Kia Sportage set for Frankfurt debut

Kia has confirmed its all-new Sportage will be unveiled at 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show.

Featuring new, 'dynamic styling' Kia also describes the interior of the 2015 Sportage as its most refined high-quality cabin yet.

The fourth-generation Sportage features a bold, progressive design which 'exudes power and agility from every angle' says the South Korean manufacturer, adding that the compact SUV's styling 'creates visual harmony out of the tension between bold, precise feature lines and dramatically-sculptured bodywork'.

Inside, the SUV combines simple, modern style and rich material quality with the styling led by the brand's European design centre - located in Frankfurt.

Kia will pull the covers off the new Sportage on 15 September.

News, People Carrier

Volkswagen Caddy pricing confirmed

Volkswagen has confirmed that pricing for the fourth-generation Caddy van will start at £15,600.

The Caddy Life and the longer wheelbase Maxi versions - including Maxi Life, Maxi Kombi and Maxi Window van - are now available to order ahead of first UK deliveries in September.

The short wheelbase Caddy Life 2.0-litre TDI 102 PS Euro 6 engine costs from £15,600 while the Caddy Maxi Life, with the same engine, starts at £17,985.

As with the new Caddy Panel van which opened for ordering at the start of July, these models feature the same technology, comfort, convenience and safety systems. These include a composition colour infotainment system with DAB, Bluetooth, heated windscreen, post-collision braking, daytime running lights and BlueMotion Technology modifications, for added efficiency and lower emissions, as standard.

The Caddy Life and Maxi Life include, with what Volkswagen describes as, 'a significant amount of standard equipment'. These new models all come with the 2.0-litre TDI Euro 6 engines and are available with a 102 PS or 150 PS power output. They also have BlueMotion Technology modifications as standard, which include low-rolling-resistance tyres as well as regenerative braking and stop/start systems. The most economical 102 PS engine has a combined fuel consumption of up to 65.7mpg and a CO2 output of 114g/km.

Volkswagen's Caddy Life offers flexible seating for up to seven passengers, including the driver. The two rear rows of seats can be folded, double folded or removed to leave a loading space of up to 3,030 litres. The Caddy Maxi Life, with its extra 420mm length, offers an additional 340 litres, bringing the total loading area up to 3,370 litres.

The new Caddy Maxi Kombi will be N1 type approved and starts from £17,510 for the 2.0-litre TDI 102 PS Euro 6 engine. The new Caddy Maxi Window Van will start from £17,185 for the same engine and will be M1 type approved.