Product Eye

Product Eye

Our team bring you informed analysis of selected new vehicle models and put them in automotive industry perspective

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Land Rover Defender 7 Apr 2015

It's like driving an old-shape Transit and some of the final versions will cost in excess of GBP60,000, but the Defender will be much missed once production ends later this year.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Porsche Boxster GTS 2 Apr 2015

Porsche's Europe-wide sales are by 43% so far this year. The addition of the Macan is obviously a big factor but so too is the firm's policy of adding derivatives throughout each model's lifecycle. The latest Boxster GTS is a case in point.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: MY2015 Range Rover Hybrid 2 Mar 2015

It’s 120kg heavier than its equivalent SDV6 variants, yet averages 30+mpg in the real world with 26% fewer emissions of CO2. It will glide in and out of your garage in silence but 700Nm of torque can be summoned in an instant - the Hybrid is a Range Rover like none other.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: SEAT León Cupra 23 Feb 2015

Once the Volkswagen Group’s biggest underachiever, SEAT is succeeding at last. The evidence? In Germany it’s now a top-ten brand, and in the UK, it was just 47 cars behind Fiat in January.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: MY2015 Volvo S80 D4 13 Feb 2015

This month marks nine years since the second generation S80 entered production, and by February 2016, its S90 successor will likely have appeared. Nonetheless, Volvo continues to tweak its largest sedan, with the Model Year 2015 S80 now on sale.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Audi A6 3.0 TDI quattro 12 Feb 2015

The facelifted A6 range is now on sale in Britain. As well as the styling changes, emissions are claimed to be up to 22% lower, Matrix headlights are a new option, the CVT is replaced by a dual-clutch S tronic gearbox and EU6-compliant engines feature.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: 2015MY Range Rover Sport SDV8 6 Feb 2015

The 2015 model year Range Rover Sport is now on sale, and there are two main mechanical changes: an extra 40Nm of torque for the 4.4-litre diesel V8 and a new evolution of ZF’s 8HP70 eight-speed automatic gearbox.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid 28 Jan 2015

At 2,350kg, it's easily the weightiest variant of the newly facelifted range. Somehow, though, the PHEV Cayenne is Porsche's most officially fuel efficient SUV yet.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Škoda Fabia 19 Jan 2015

The new Fabia five-door hatchback, on sale this month in Britain, is shorter but roomier and weighs an average 65kg less, boasts the largest boot in its segment and is competitively priced (from GBP10,600). But gone, sadly, is the vRS.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: 2015MY Mitsubishi Shogun 9 Jan 2015

The Discovery will be 11 this year, but one of its rivals is older still. Launched in Japan more than 15 years ago, Mitsubishi's biggest SUV has had yet another facelift.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: 2015MY Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake 7 Jan 2015

The era of the GBP80,000+ Jaguar estate has arrived. That's quite a reach for the seven-year old XF range. JLR won't sell many R-S Sportbrakes but it's a gutsy move to get this brand up into the maximum-margin segments, and boost the image of cheaper models.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: (Citroën) DS 3 facelift 2 Jan 2015

The newly updated DS 3 is now bordering on true premium qualities and status. But with PSA insisting that DS is a brand, why is there still Citroën badging?

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: 2015MY Great Wall Steed 23 Dec 2014

In a decade's time, will Great Wall have become a rising force across European markets in the way that Hyundai and Kia are now? The newly revised Steed pick-up certainly shows there is potential.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Hyundai Veloster - why its death matters 17 Dec 2014

It’s not often that a vehicle is killed off just days after just-auto drives it. The lack of a diesel engine did for the Hyundai Veloster in Britain but the car is, however, still very much alive elsewhere.

VEHICLE ANALYSIS: 2015MY Dacia Duster 9 Dec 2014

You say DAY-see'a, I say DAH-chee'a, others say Datch-ya. The pronunciation hardly matters, and nor does the odd Duster model name when Renault's low-cost brand is doing so well, especially in the UK.

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