Product Eye

Product Eye

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


ANALYSIS - Mercedes-Benz Vans' electric future

18 Jul 2018 | Glenn Brooks

OEMs are increasingly tasking their light commercial divisions with responsibility for certain passenger models too. Mercedes-Benz Vans is no exception, with the V-Class and X-Class being two of the better known model lines. The Vito though, is a bigger seller than either, with the premium pricing of multi-occupant luxury variants and new electric LCV versions greatly assisting the rising profits of the Vans division.


ANALYSIS - F39 BMW X2 targets Range Rover Evoque

16 Jul 2018 | Glenn Brooks

BMW keeps on filling out its Sport Activity Vehicle line-up, making 2018 a busy year for the brand's SAVs. The X7 will soon act as a new bookend to a range which starts with the X1. A new X5 is imminent, while the second generation X4 is arriving at dealerships. The line-up was recently completed - for now at least - by the X2, a 4,360mm long Range Rover Evoque rival.


BMW's project G02 - why new X4 was brought forward

11 Jul 2018 | Glenn Brooks

A new BMW X4 is about to replace a four-year old predecessor. Are short life cycles the secret to quiet, steady success? That could be why Subaru of America has climbed ten places in as many years and is closing on Hyundai. BMW may be experimenting with this idea, adding to its recent progress: last month, Mercedes-Benz USA was pushed aside. And here in Britain, BMW was the UK's number two brand in June, outselling Ford.


Will new Musso give SsangYong the sales pick-up it needs? [UPDATE: SYMUK replies to suspension criticism]

6 Jul 2018 | Glenn Brooks

It's been a tough few years for SsangYong, especially in Europe as Russia, formerly one of its best markets, fell apart. Now, things are looking up. The Musso is off to a good start at home, production shifts are being added and the brand is pulling further ahead of GM Korea and Renault Samsung.


Audi A7 50 TDI - who says diesel is dead?

4 Jul 2018 | Glenn Brooks

With the exception of Italy, sales of diesel cars are still falling in the big European markets. Hardly an ideal time for any OEM to add fresh compression-ignition engines to a luxury model. Audi disagrees, believing that buyers will be drawn to the economy of its new mild hybrid 3.0-litre V6.


Jeep Compass - Fiat and Chrysler's best collaboration yet?

14 Jun 2018 | Glenn Brooks

It's bounding up the sales charts in the USA and selling briskly across Europe too. After several days spent in the company of the Jeep Compass, the reasons for its rising level of worldwide popularity become clear. Could the MP project be the best yet mix of Fiat and Chrysler strengths?


Lexus LC 500 - the anti-hybrid?

7 Jun 2018 | Glenn Brooks

With sales well below 50,000 per annum (16,276 for the year to the end of April), Lexus is a minor make in Europe, smaller even than Jaguar and about the same size as DS. Unceasingly advertising itself as the hybrid brand in the days when few buyers knew anything about petrol-electrics is the reason why. It's ironic then that just as its hybrids are rising in popularity, Toyota is also selling the stunning LC coupe with a proper old-school V8.


Is Kia's CK project as strong a Stinger as intended?

1 Jun 2018 | Glenn Brooks

The sales collapses in China and the USA are now behind Hyundai and Kia, thanks mainly to the arrival of new SUVs. Things should get even better for Kia Motors America from the fourth quarter as SK3, the Soul, arrives in dealerships, reinvented as a crossover. Cars are still the brand's mainstay though, with one of the most recently added models also doing a lot of stealthy work as an image changer for the brand.


X152 Jaguar F-Type Ingenium - are four cylinders enough?

29 May 2018 | Glenn Brooks

JLR's decision to put a 2.0-litre Ingenium into the Jaguar F-Type shows that not even sports cars are now immune from a worldwide tide turning against big-capacity combustion engines.


New B9 Audi Sport RS 4 Avant - powered by Porsche

21 May 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Audi Sport must have some of the best margins of any car company division. A range of RS models sits under the umbrella of this GmbH (limited liability company), with the newest addition being the super-fast, super-exclusive, super-expensive fourth generation RS 4 Avant.


How a new engine transforms the Honda Jazz

15 May 2018 | Glenn Brooks

The Jazz has always had a reputation for being the car for people who aren't interested in cars. The styling was always vanilla, the engines strong on economy but less than overflowing with power, ownership hassle-free and cheap, resale values strong. Now, Honda wants to keep the strengths, but spice things up. Enter the Jazz 1.5 i-VTEC Sport.


Volkswagen up GTI - worthy of an exclamation mark

11 May 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen is the latest brand to experiment with a high performance hatchback in the European A segment. What the company's engineers have created in the up! GTI is something very special indeed.


Has Hyundai created a new segment with i30 Fastback?

9 May 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Audi recently confirmed the rumours that it won't be replacing the A1 and A3 once they come to the end of their lifecycles. Hyundai too has begun phasing out three-door hatchbacks due to a drop-off in demand, especially in the European region, while Kia plans to replace the Pro_cee'd with a five-door shooting brake. Might low roof C segment hatchbacks turn into a new vehicle class?


BMW updates Mini and prepares for EV

2 May 2018 | Glenn Brooks

A new gearbox, freshened styling and the option of 3D printed accessories are the main changes for an updated range of three-door, five-door and convertible Minis. The cars are now in production at plants in the Netherlands and England, with the latter also beginning initial preparations for an electric variant due in 2019.


Skoda defines its own segment with Rapid Spaceback

27 Apr 2018 | Glenn Brooks

One of the things which sets Škoda apart and contributes greatly to its success is finding size sweetspots in the market. That not only applies to the Fabia, Octavia and Superb but to the Rapid Spaceback, a hatchback which is longer than a Golf yet much narrower than even a Fabia or Polo.



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