People Carrier

MPV, News, People Carrier

Toyota Verso refreshed for 2016

Toyota’s Verso MPV has been given a ‘substantial’ safety upgrade as part of an overall model revamp.

Toyota Safety Sense active safety and driver assistance features have been added as standard spec to every model. It’s part of a refresh that includes a revised grade structure, new alloy wheel designs and cabin upgrades. Safety Sense includes a Pre-Collision System that recognises an imminent impact with a vehicle ahead, triggering a warning to the driver and priming the brakes for extra stopping power the moment the brake pedal is pressed. If the driver fails to respond, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated, automatically slowing the vehicle to reduce the force of any impact.

The Verso also now has Automatic High Beam which detects both the headlights of oncoming vehicles, and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, automatically switching between high and low beams to avoid dazzling other drivers. The third Toyota Safety Sense element for the Verso is Lane Departure Alert, which monitors lane markings on the road to helps prevent accidents and head-on collisions. If the vehicle starts to deviate from its lane without the turn indicators being used, the system alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings.

These features are in addition to seven airbags, ABS, emergency brakeforce distribution, brake assist, traction control and vehicle stability control which all come as standard.

A new Design trim has joined the range alongside the established Active, Icon and Excel specifications. Available with the 1.8-litre Valvematic petrol engine with automatic transmission and the 1.6-litre D-4D diesel, it comes with the Toyota Touch 2 with Go multimedia system with satellite navigation and reversing camera, rear privacy glass and a (fixed) panoramic roof. These are in addition to the standard features of Icon grade, including DAB tuner, dusk-sensing headlights, cruise control, automatic air conditioning, six-speaker audio and power windows front and rear.

The range-topping Excel model now has the Design trim’s panoramic roof, as well as rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, high-intensity discharge headlights and combination leather and cloth upholstery.

New alloy wheel designs have been added - 16-inch for the Icon, 17-inch for the Design and 17-inch with a double-spoke arrangement for the Excel models, with an Anthracite dark grey finish. The colour choices include a new Platinum Bronze shade.

In the cabin there is a new leather-trimmed steering wheel with integrated switches for hands-free phone, a new gear shift design and a new look cloth upholstery for Icon and Design models. To free up more boot space, the tyre repair kit (when specified) has been relocated to the underfloor storage compartment behind the driver’s seat. The Toyota Touch 2 system adopts a larger, seven-inch display and an improved interface for easier, more intuitive sat nav operation.

The 2016 Toyota Verso is on sale now, priced from £18,120 for the five-seat Active model, £18,650 for seven-seat models with the new Design grade models starting at £23,405 OTR.

Family Car, People Carrier, MPV, News

SEAT reveals Alhambra 20th anniversary model

SEAT’s MPV - the Alhambra - celebrates its anniversary with a special edition model.

The new Alhambra 20th anniversary special edition includes unique design features with an ‘extensive package’ of technologies. The special edition runs on 17-inch alloy wheels in high-gloss black, which are complemented by the xenon headlamps, the tinted side and rear windows and the large panorama glass sliding roof.

On the inside, the dark Alcantara upholstery features stitching in light corn silk with ‘Alhambra 20 years’ stitched into the front sports massage seats. The technology package includes Keyless entry while the tailgate can be operated hands-free by a foot gesture. Like the two sliding doors also open and close electrically. Safety and assistance systems includes Lane Assist lane-departure warning system, Blind Spot Detection, traffic sign recognition and the light assistant.

Prices for the SEAT Alhambra 20th anniversary model are expected to start around the £25k mark.

Family Car, MPV, News, People Carrier

New Renault Scenic debuts in Geneva

Renault has revealed its new Scenic people carrier.

Described as a fresh take on the MPV concept, the new model was unveiled by Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

“The New Scenic redefines the MPV. Loyal to its principles of practicality, ingenuity and modularity, the new Scenic addresses the demands of today’s customers and re-emerges as a pioneer in its segment with ground-breaking design and assertive personality,” said Ghosn. “Renault continues its product offensive, and 2016 will be the most ambitious in Renault’s history, with the introduction of 10 new vehicles around the world. With these new models Renault has the youngest range in Europe.”

Renault says the new Scenic is a ‘modern, assertive MPV which combines driving enjoyment and comfort for the whole family' and comes with ‘unprecedented proportions’, 20-inch wheels across the range and a two-tone colour scheme.

On the inside an more modular interior includes a sliding centre console and an automatic One Touch Folding system for the rear seats. The French company says for the first time in the compact MPV segment, the Scenic has a comprehensive suite of driving aids including AEBS (Automatic Emergency Braking System) with Pedestrian Detection as standard equipment for all versions. Features shared with the new Espace, including MULTI-SENSE technology, R-LINK 2 with an 8.7-inch display and a colour heads-up display.

Power comes from ‘an extensive’ choice of petrol and diesel engines to cover all needs, including a Hybrid Assist diesel-electric powertrain.

A new Grand Scenic will be revealed before the summer and both will be available for sale before the end of the year.

Family Car, News, People Carrier

Renault reveals new Scenic MPV

Renault has unveiled the its new Scenic MPV.

After three generations of the Scenic, the new model ‘redefines MPV thinking’ says Renault. Set for a Geneva Motor Show debut, the idea behind the fourth-generation Scenic according to the French company was to provide a completely fresh take on the compact MPV.

For the first time, like the new Espace, the model includes a three-part windscreen that provides a panoramic view and enhanced visibility. A number of styling features give the new Scenic a dynamic edge when compared with the Scenic 3 - its ground clearance has been raised and the rear overhang has been shortened, while a wider track at both the front and rear provide the vehicle with a particularly solid stance.

The new model comes with a distinctive lighting signature in the form of C-shaped head lights that benefit from LED Pure Vision technology like higher-end models.

Renault will pull the covers off the new MPV at midday on March 1 with Renault’s Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn and SVP Corporate Design Laurens van den Acker.

The Geneva Motor Show runs from 3-13 March.

News, People Carrier, Family Car, Saloon

Volvo to launch cars without keys

Volvo has revealed plans to become the world’s first automotive manufacturer to offer cars without keys.

From 2017 Volvo customers will be offered a smartphone app to replace the physical key with a digital key. The Bluetooth-enabled digital key technology will offer more flexibility, and will enable owners to benefit from entirely new way to use and share cars.

The new Volvo app enables the digital key on the customer’s mobile phone to do everything a physical key currently does, such as locking or unlocking the doors or the boot and allowing the engine to be started. This new technology will also offer customers the possibility to receive more than one digital key on their app, allowing them to access different Volvo cars in different locations – ‘according to their changing mobility needs’. Owners will be able to send their digital key to other people via their mobile phones so they can also use the car. This may be to family members, friends or co-workers in a company.

Using the app, people could potentially book and pay for a rental car anywhere in the world and have the digital car key delivered to their phone immediately. On arrival, a customer could simply locate the rental car via GPS, unlock it and drive away, avoiding the queues at car rental desks.

Volvo will pilot this technology in spring 2016 via its car-sharing firm Sunfleet, stationed at Gothenburg airport, Sweden. A limited number of commercially available cars will be equipped with the new digital key technology in 2017, while the Swedish brand is also keen to stress physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them.

The keyless car technology will be shown for the first time at the Mobile World Congress 2016 (22-25 February) in Barcelona.

Family Car, People Carrier, MPV, News

Peugeot facelifts 2008 SUV

Peugeot has facelifted its 2008 SUV.

Launched in 2013, the new frontal appearance now takes on an even more ‘assertive, powerful and appealing SUV design’ according to the French company. Its wheel arch extensions (from Allure level), new vertical front grille and scuff plates (from Allure level) ‘confirm its robustness’. The new vertical multi-faceted front grille features the Peugeot lion at the centre which Peugeot says gives a dynamic and attractive appearance. This style approach continues from the grille over the bonnet and onto the roof with roof bars and spoiler completing the new profile. Black and chrome headlamps and 3D LED rear lights with 3-claw design 'illustrate the embedded technology from the outside'.

The new Ultimate Red colour further ‘epitomises the power and desirability’ of the new 2008. The Access, Active and Allure levels are complemented by the new ‘GT Line’ model. This trim level is already popular on other Peugeot models (208, 308 and 508), and adds a sporty theme with a red/black coloured interior theme and is consistent with the brand's move up market strategy.

The Peugeot i-Cockpit is unique to Peugeot and ‘embodies the driving characteristics of the Peugeot 2008’ - being ‘agile, intuitive and safe’. The compact sports steering wheel offers precise steering and improved manoeuvrability while the 7” multifunction colour touch screen puts all the functionality at your fingertips. In addition, the head-up instrument panel allows driver information to be accessed without taking the eyes off the road.

Grip Control - an adapted traction system - gives the 2008 its versatility on all types of terrain. It is combined with Mud & Snow (all-Season) certified winter tyres. Peugeot 2008 is equipped with MirrorScreen, based on MirrorLink and Apple Carplay, along with the reversing camera, Active City Brake and Park Assist - a rarity in this segment.

The petrol range of the new 2008 includes a choice of five engines while the Diesel line-up includes three engines, all of them with CO2 emissions at less than 100g/km.

Pricing has yet to be confirmed for the faceifted model, with the revamped 2008 set to go on sale this summer.

Van, People Carrier, News, Motorshow

Peugeot Traveller set for Geneva debut

Peugeot’s new Traveller MPV is set to make its world debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

The Traveller’s assertive design exudes strength and elegance, says Peugeot, while introducing features of the brand's SUV and car range to the MPV segment.

Sitting on a new chassis, adapted from the ‘Efficient Modular Platform 2’ (EMP2), the Traveller will also be targeted at the VIP shuttle sector with the promise of quality, efficiency and best-in-class fuel consumption.

Its Euro 6 BlueHDi engines are equipped with an SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) pollution control system upstream of the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). These combine driving enjoyment and efficient performance, says Peugeot, offering an output of up to 180hp and peak torque of 400Nm, and average CO2 emission levels across the range of 140g/km.

The Traveller is available in multiple configurations with seating for up to 9 occupants and has already been awarded a top 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests.

Maxime Picat, Managing Director at Peugeot, said: “The Peugeot Traveller fully applies the brand’s expansion strategy by positioning us on the growth sectors of the MPV and VIP Shuttle. Through its innovative design, the Peugeot Traveller gives a new dimension to Peugeot’s upmarket shift.”

MPV, People Carrier, News

Opel to launch compact Ampera-e

Opel is to launch a new compact battery electric car next year - the Ampera-e.

The five-door hatchback is part of a major new model offensive which will see 29 new vehicles launched between 2016 and 2020. 

Opel says the Ampera-e will be affordably priced and have a longer range on a full charge than most electric cars, combining innovative electric-mobility with state-of-the-art connectivity and exciting driving dynamics.

Announcing the Ampera-e at the CAR Symposium in Bochum, Germany, GM Chairman & CEO Mary Barra said: “GM and Opel have always been convinced that electric cars will play a defining role in future mobility. The game-changing technology of the Ampera-e is a significant step toward realising that vision.”

The compact proportions of the Ampera-e are achieved by the flat battery pack mounted underneath the interior floor. This also enables a more spacious interior, says Opel, providing seating for five passengers and competitive boot space.

The Ampera-e will also offer the personal connectivity and service assistant, OnStar as well as infotainment systems that will integrate smartphones and other electronic devices seamlessly.

Concept Car, Motorshow, People Carrier, News

Volkswagen unveils BUDD-e concept minivan at CES

Making its world debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the BUDD-e minivan concept represents Volkswagen’s view of the future of the family transport.

The zero-emission van is the first Volkswagen concept car based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), which has been specifically tailored for the use of compact electric motors and high-performance batteries. 

The flat and space-saving battery with an energy content of 92.4 kWh is integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor of the BUDD-e, powering two electric motors driving both axles. 

The front motor produces 110 kW, while the rear produces 125 kW, resulting in a top speed of 112 mph with acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds.

VW estimates that the battery will deliver a real-world driving range of up to 233 miles (EPA), enabling the BUDD-e to be used as the primary car in a household. The battery can be charged either by plugging it into a power socket or using inductive charging. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in about 30 minutes at a charging power of 150 kW (DC).

While paying tribute to the classic T-series minivans, Volkswagen says the concept’s design sets its sights firmly on the immediate future.

In terms of length, the BUDD-e sits between the Touran and the Multivan T6, although it is wider than both, and the MEB platform has enabled the designers to optimise its interior dimensions.

The heating and air conditioning unit system has been completely integrated in the front end of the car, creating more space for front seat passengers while at the same time improving acoustics thanks to a reduction in fan noise.

The BUDD-e becomes part of the Internet of Things, offering networked access to your home or your workplace. Equipped with next generation Infotainment for a completely new method of intuitive operation and information processing, buttons and switches are replaced by touch and gesture controls while individual displays blend into large infotainment panels and rear-view mirrors make way for digital screens.

VW says the matrix of these new, interactive infotainment and operating systems gently launches passengers aboard the Volkswagen concept car forward - to the end of the decade.

The Consumer Electronics Show runs from 6-9 January.

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.