Product Eye

Product Eye

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

Zoe leads Renault's EV sales surge - Analysis

19 Oct 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Overall sales numbers are modest but there's no doubting that the Zoe is finally becoming a success for Renault. A recently announced new battery pack which gives a far larger range might even make 2017 this B segment electric hatchback's best year yet.

Driving the 168mph Lexus GS F

14 Oct 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Do we think of Lexus as a performance brand? Not usually. The LF-A was a few years ago now and the RC F is rarely seen on British roads. The newest F is the GS and while it will sell in only the tiniest of volumes, BMW and Mercedes-AMG buyers shouldn't dismiss it.

GTE - the GBP40,000 plug-in Volkswagen Passat

13 Oct 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Forty grand for a Passat. That sounds a lot doesn't it? In fairness, you don't have to pay that much for the plug-in hybrid GTE, with prices starting at close to GBP36,000 before the government grant. The top of the line Advance trim level, though, costs just over GBP40,000, making this the priciest Passat yet.

BMW 3 Series PHEV & future electric models

7 Oct 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Those who doubt the appeal of plug-in hybrids should try the BMW 330e. Instant and abundant torque, a silent surge of electric or petrol turbo power plus low emissions and excellent fuel economy make this the best all-rounder in the 3 Series range.

Renault goes after Golf GTI with new Mégane GT

3 Oct 2016 | Glenn Brooks

The new Mégane range is the biggest factor in Renault's continued sales rises across European markets. According to ACEA data, the brand is now ahead of Ford, making it the region's number two make behind Volkswagen, and proving the wisdom of investments in new products rather than letting top sellers grow old.

Driving the 570PS & 176mph Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

26 Sep 2016 | Glenn Brooks

It’s been in production for more than six years now so to keep the Cayenne range competitive against newer, lighter SUVs, Porsche’s solution is to add power and torque. The latest Turbo S is the result.

Volkswagen Caravelle T6 - taking the fifty grand bus

14 Sep 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen has dipped into its heritage with a new edition of the Caravelle. Two-tone paint and chrome-effect wheels are links to the split-screen Type 1 model of the 1960s. Yet at a recommended retail price of GBP53,610 (US$70,727), this is not quite the affordable converted van of yesteryear.

XC90 T8 - the sixty four thousand pound electric Volvo

9 Sep 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Volvo’s transformation into a maker of sometimes high-priced luxury cars continues: it’s now possible to pay £64,000 (US$84,813) for the T8 version of the XC90. Is this PHEV worth that sort of money?

ANALYSIS - Subaru Levorg GT

31 Aug 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Subaru invented the crossover when it released the first Forester back in 1997. That all-wheel drive wagon with raised suspension went on to become an enormous hit. The Levorg, the company's newest additional model, won't be a massive seller but what it does represent is a new niche for the brand, sized between where the Impreza and Legacy wagons used to sit.

New Avant pushes Audi A4 to segment leadership

22 Aug 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Remember when the BMW 3 Series seemed unassailable in the UK and the rest of the European region? The latest Audi A4, which is especially popular as a wagon, is now outselling the Mercedes-Benz C-Class as well as the 3er.

Baleno - Suzuki's first mild hybrid for Europe

16 Aug 2016 | Glenn Brooks

CO2 emissions of 94g/km and official EC consumption numbers of up to 70.6mpg are impressive numbers for a four-metre long five-door diesel hatchback. But Suzuki Europe's newest model, the Baleno, is powered exclusively by petrol engines and those are its numbers.

Volkswagen Beetle Dune - the rugged bug

10 Aug 2016 | Glenn Brooks

It might have raised suspension and wheelarches bedecked with chunks of grey plastic, but Volkswagen isn't calling its new Beetle Dune a crossover. Instead, it's meant to remind us of the ‘Baja Bugs’ associated with west coast America and off road racing. Can this new derivative give the now five year old third generation Beetle a sales boost?

Updated DS 3 key to brand’s growth - ANALYSIS

9 Aug 2016 | Glenn Brooks

The newly revised DS 3 is more convincing as a premium model than the original but as the brand’s volume product, it has a lot of pressure on it to perform.

Q7 e-tron - Europe's first plug-in Audi SUV

29 Jul 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Volvo has gone one way with its four-cylinder petrol-electric plug-in XC90, while Audi believes Europeans wanting a plug-in hybrid SUV will prefer V6 diesel power. How does the first plug-in Q model for this region measure up?

Kia Soul EV - sales rising as plug-ins take off

28 Jul 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Does the arrival of the Kia Niro mean the end for the plug-in Soul? Not at all, especially in Europe where the market for EVs fell just short of 99,000 units in the first half of this year.

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