Skoda’s new Kodiaq has been awarded a maximum five star rating in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests. The large SUV achieved full marks in the side-barrier collision offering good protection of allareas at a risk. The Kodiaq continues the Czech brand’s run of good form, as all recently tested Skodas have been rated with five stars. This is thanks in no small part to the fitment of advanced driver assistance features such as the Automatic Emergency Brake system that detects pedestrians as well as other cars.
A modified Hyundai Santa Fe has become the first passenger vehicle to be driven across Antarctica. Huge, low-pressure tyres were fitted for the journey along with a 250-litre fuel tank and a pre-heater for the cold weather. Celebrating 100 years since legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic expedition, the team was led by his Great Grandson Patrick Bergel. The unique Hyundai covered 3600 miles of icy terrain, coping with temperatures as low as minus 28-degrees on the epic Polar adventure.
Two new performance SUVs from Mercedes-AMG have been revealed - with the GLC 63 4MATIC+ available as either a regular SUV or as an SUV-Coupe with a sloping fastback roofline. The ’S’ trim level comes with more equipment and a bit more power, but all cars are fitted with a 9-speed AMG transmission and 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. Under the bonnet is the same 4.0-litre V8 as fitted to the AMG GT sports car, delivering up to 510 bhp for a 0-62mph time of under 4-seconds.
Volvo has revealed its second generation XC60. The new SUV is described as one of the safest cars ever made - and includes additional new crash avoidance technology such as Steer Assist and Oncoming Lane Mitigation. The all-new model is available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, while a 407 bhp petrol-hybrid tops the range - delivering a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds. The new Volvo XC60 is set to go into production next month.
Land Rover has unveiled its brand new Range Rover Velar, at a start-studded event in London. The stylish, luxury SUV slots between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, and features new slender full LED headlights, flush door handles and state of the art infotainment with 2 10-inch HD touchscreen. The Velar is available in four trim levels and with a choice of six petrol or diesel engines, all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. On the road pricing starts from £45k for the 2.0-litre diesel, topping out at over £85k for the 3.0-litre V6 petrol powered ‘First Edition’.
Jeep has launched a new, limited edition ‘Desert Hawk’ Renegade with a dramatic stunt in which top British Sandboarder, Alex Bird, became the first in his sport to be towed by a car in the UK. Bird reached speeds of up to 40mph, as he performed several stunts and jumps, negotiating 90-foot sand banks. Powered by a 170 bhp 2.0-litre diesel, the Renegade tackled the sand dunes with the help of standard-fit all-wheel drive, an 8.7-inch ground clearance and a dedicated ‘Sand Mode’. On sale now the Desert Hawk starts at just under £29k OTR.
Further details of the new Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain model have been revealed. With flared arches, large wheels, and 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard - the latest E-Class also features a model-specific ‘All-Terrain’ mode which includes settings for off-road driving, and raises the car by an extra 20mm. Only the E 350 d model is expected to go on sale in the UK next year - with pricing to be set around the £50k mark.
Suzuki’s new IGNIS has achieved a five star safety rating in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests. The range-topping SZ5, fitted with the forward facing Dual Camera Brake Support system, received two stars more than the entry-level model. It’s the first supermini to be evaluated under Euro NCAP’s new two tier system, which allows the model with the highest level of safety equipment to be tested separately. The new Suzuki IGNIS will hit showrooms in January 2017, with pricing yet to be announced.
Production of Mazda’s new CX-5 compact SUV has commenced in Japan. Set to go on sale in company’s homeland in February 2017 - then globally shortly after - Mazda says it has refined virtually every aspect of the new car. First unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, it's powered by a choice of two petrol engines as well as a 2.2-litre diesel unit. Featuring G-Vectoring Control for improved dynamic handling the interior has a strong focus on ‘human sensibilities’ with a first in class windscreen head-up display.
Order books have opened for the new Volkswagen Amarok Pick-up. Available in three trim levels - a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine replaces the outgoing 2.0-litre unit and, in the range-topping Highline model, can deliver up to 240 PS for a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.0 seconds. The revamped Amarok can be ordered with permanent four-wheel drive and a mechanical differential lock for when the going gets really tough. Prices start at £32 and a half OTR for the Trendline, with a new Startline entry-level model set to join the range in 2017.
Motoring journalists have had their first taste of Maserati’s new Levante on UK roads. As well as trying it on the tarmac they also got the chance to test the SUV’s off-road capabilities. Aided by standard-fit active air suspension, which offers five varying ride heights, the Levante also features a mechanical limited-slip differential and all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. Power comes from a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, delivering a 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds and combined fuel economy of up to 42.8 mpg. On sale now, the Maserati Levante is priced from £54,335 OTR.
Jeep has pulled the covers its all-new Compass SUV at the LA Auto Show. Described as having best-in-class 4x4 off-road capability, the new SUV is available in four trim levels and with a choice of five engines – two diesel and three petrol. All models come with Jeep Active Drive, which can send 100% of the total torque to any wheel, as well as a Jeep Selec-Terrain system for up to five off-road modes. UK spec has yet to be announced, although a spokesman has confirmed that the Compass will be coming to our shores.
Alfa Romeo has revealed its first ever SUV - the Stelvio. Available in three trim levels, the range-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio - unveiled in Los Angeles - has a 2.9-litre V6, delivering 505 bhp, for a 0-60 time of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph. All-wheel-drive is standard across the range along with a carbon fibre driveshaft, dual exhaust, alloy wheels and an F1-inspired flat-bottomed steering wheel with push button start. Alfa Romeo has yet to confirm when the Stelvio will arrive in the UK.
Ford has facelifted its Kuga SUV for 2017. Featuring a new grille and restyled headlights with new LED daytime running lights, a performance-inspired ST-Line model will also be available for the first time. Power will come from TDCi diesel and EcoBoost petrol engines - with the 1.5-litre diesel returning 64.2 mpg - while the most powerful petrol unit - a 1.5-litre EcoBoost produces 182PS, sent to all four wheels. New technology features include Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, as well as driver assistance technologies such as Perpendicular Parking and Active City Stop.
The Paris Motor Show saw plenty of new SUVs as the segment continues to grow. Audi unveiled its new Q5 which has a completely fresh design. 90kg lighter than its predecessor, it features air suspension, revised engines and a focus on connectivity and technology. Meanwhile Peugeot revealed its seven-seat 5008. Available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, a sporty GT model will also be on offer when it goes on sale in Spring, 2017 SsangYong's LIV-2 premium SUV is set for market launch next year as the all-new Rexton. Power will come from either a 2.2-litre diesel engine or a newly developed 2.0-litre petrol turbo. Suzuki flyweight Ignis made its European debut in production-ready form, while no SUV round-up would be complete without Land Rover and in this case, the all-new Discovery.
Land Rover has revealed its all-new seven seat Discovery SUV at the Paris Motor Show. The new model is up to 480kg lighter than its predecessor, helping to deliver enhanced efficiency - with CO2 emissions as low as 171g/km. The engine range has been expanded to now include a 240PS diesel unit, while on the inside the new Discovery debuts Land Rover’s ‘Intelligent Seat Fold’ technology which allows you to adjust the second- and third-row of seats using a smartphone app. The new Land Rover Discovery is set to go on sale in Spring next year priced from £43,495 on-the-road.
Massimo Pini reports on the new Skoda Octavia Scout edition. It has lots of badges, but did it earn them?
The new Audi Q2 is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380 OTR. Initially available with a 1.4 petrol or 1.6 diesel engine, three trim levels can be specified – SE, Sport or S line. The 1.4 engine is capable of a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds while the 1.6 diesel unit can return up to 64.2mpg. With more engine options and a lower price point to follow shortly, Audi has also confirmed an entirely new, range-topping Q2 Edition #1 will be launched next month, priced from £31,000 OTR.
Audi has confirmed its first ’S’ variant of the Q7 SUV will cost upwards of £70k OTR. With the German brand claiming it’s the most powerful diesel SUV on the market, it seemed only right to put the SQ7 TDI’s 900 Nm of torque to work.. against a fighter jet. With 435 PS, 0-62 is dispatched in 4.9 seconds thanks in no small part to Audi’s new electrically driven turbochargers. Powered by compressor technology rather than exhaust flow, the new system effectively consigns conventional ‘turbo lag’ to history. The Audi SQ7 TDI is on sale now.
Check out Massimo Pini's review of the new Infiniti Q30..