Product Eye

Product Eye

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

Kia ready for the return of diesel demand with Stonic

13 Jun 2019 | Glenn Brooks

May saw Kia setting yet another sales record in its largest European market. Surprisingly, that's not Germany, but Britain, where the brand is ahead of not only its parent, but Nissan too. The Sportage is much of the reason for the ongoing rise but another, smaller crossover is playing an ever greater role in the growth.

ANALYSIS - Lexus UX 250h hybrid

5 Jun 2019 | Glenn Brooks

While rivals pursue low CO2 numbers via plug-in petrol-electric powertrains, Toyota keeps refining what it terms 'self-charging hybrid' systems. That effort is paying off, especially for Lexus, which is making sales gains in many markets. In hybrid form, the brand's latest additional model offers a convincing alternative to other C-premium crossovers.

ANALYSIS: Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

28 May 2019 | Glenn Brooks

The eighth generation is only months away from being officially revealed and still the Golf continues to dominate its segment. What's more, this remains far and away the best selling vehicle in the European region. Volkswagen has even been adding new variants, the latest and likely final one being the Touring Car Racing version of the GTI.

ANALYSIS - MY19 Maserati Levante GranLusso

16 May 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Three and a half years on from its market introduction, Maserati UK has thrown out the former diesel-only strategy for the Levante, bringing in a biturbo 3.0-litre petrol V6.

Volkswagen T-Roc leads surge in C-SUV sales

14 May 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Once an also-ran when it comes to sales of SUVs, Volkswagen could be on its way to becoming the world's number one. The Tiguan is strong in China and Europe and gaining popularity in the USA but its smaller brother, the Golf-sized T-Roc, is rapidly becoming a major force in multiple markets too.

New Scout helps make Karoq number one Skoda SUV

9 May 2019 | Glenn Brooks

July will mark the second anniversary of Karoq production so to maintain the sales momentum, Škoda continues to add variants to the range. The most recent one is the Scout, which unlike competitors such as the Peugeot 3008, offers all-wheel drive.

ANALYSIS - 2019 Abarth 595 esseesse

8 May 2019 | Glenn Brooks

How can a car which is more than a decade old still be one of the best in its segment? The 595 essesse, newly revised for Abarth's 70th anniversary one year ahead of its replacement, would have to be the most entertaining A segment hatchback on the market.

Volkswagen T-Cross - worth the wait

3 May 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Until now, Europe's B-SUV segment has been missing the biggest brand of all. Volkswagen has timed the arrival of the T-Cross well too, as not one of the most successful incumbents is even close to being new.

ANALYSIS - Skoda Kodiaq vRS

30 Apr 2019 | Glenn Brooks

It's now easy to spend more than forty thousand pounds on a Škoda. Should anyone do that though? When the vehicle in question is the Kodiaq vRS, the answer is yes, but with qualifications.

Insignia defying segment trend with rising sales

24 Apr 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Few are noticing the progress being made by Vauxhall - Groupe PSA's ex-GM unit that is UK market only sister brand to Opel. In March it moved closer to Volkswagen and pulled away from fourth place Mercedes with the strongest growth of any top-ten brand. The main reason is a renaissance for the Corsa, yet the Insignia is also doing surprisingly, sales pushing past the 5,000 units mark in Q1.

Citroen Berlingo - because not everybody wants an SUV

15 Apr 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Even the richest of manufacturers frequently have money-saving JVs for light commercials, particularly in Europe. Groupe PSA, allied with Fiat Chrysler for large vans, also now supplies Toyota with the Proace Verso. One size down, a modified version of the same EMP2 platform is used for the Peugeot Rifter, Opel Combo and Citroën Berlingo triplets.

Early success for Groupe PSA with new Peugeot 508

8 Apr 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Škoda's experience with the Superb proves that a non-premium brand can succeed in Europe against the might of the C-Class, A4 and 3 Series. With Groupe PSA having taken Citroën out of this segment, albeit temporarily, Peugeot is trying its luck with the 508. So far, results are encouraging.

SEAT goes large with Tarraco

4 Apr 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Doesn't it seem a long time ago that we thought of SEAT as a maker of small cars? The addition of the new 4.7m long Tarraco means the brand now has a third SUV, putting it in competition with the VW Tiguan Allspace, Skoda Kodiaq and Peugeot 5008 for the first time.

Will the latest Audi TT be the final one?

1 Apr 2019 | Glenn Brooks

The just-updated TT has perhaps three more years of production remaining. Audi is already hinting though that the model's future is in question. Might this Golf-sized hatchback and roadster disappear in 2022 or could it instead go electric for the fourth generation?

Cupra convinces - how SEAT created a premium brand

7 Mar 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Cupra is off to a decent start. SEAT claims to have sold 3,600 Cupra Atecas so far this year. With the sole model in demand and due to be joined by others later in 2019, the experiment to evolve what had been a sports trim level into a brand is working.

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