Product Eye

Product Eye

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

Renegade Trailhawk - the torquetastic baby Jeep

12 Sep 2019 | Glenn Brooks

In a segment where 4x4 drive is the exception to a front-wheel drive rule, the most rugged version yet of Jeep's smallest SUV is now on sale in Britain. Not only does it look the business, the Trailhawk has genuine off-roading ability.

ANALYSIS - HR3 Subaru Impreza

4 Sep 2019 | Glenn Brooks

A Golf-sized hatchback with a standard CVT, 1.6-litre horizontally opposed petrol engine and four-wheel drive: it could only be an Impreza. The latest generation HR3 series model is an excellent car but with prices starting at more than GBP24,000, it's understandable why this Subaru is a rare vehicle in Britain.

Nissan reboots Micra with Mercedes-Alliance engine

20 Aug 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Why isn't Nissan Europe a more powerful force in small cars? Intense competition in the Qashqai segment and the surrendering of the B-SUV class to every other brand as the Juke has grown ever older are the reasons for the current woes. Yet none of that should be affecting the performance of the Micra. It's a cracking little car and deserves to be more popular.

G29 BMW Z4 M40i - does it beat the Boxster?

15 Aug 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Daimler says it won't replace the Mercedes SLC, Audi plans to axe the TT and Nissan keeps trying to fathom how it can make a business case for a new 370Z. These are troubled times for sports cars. Or are they? BMW has orders coming out of its ears for the new Z4, and the car's global roll-out isn't even complete.

Scala propels Skoda into C segment mainstream

14 Aug 2019 | Glenn Brooks

The European market's C segment has been good to SEAT and Audi, while in the class betwixt this one and the traditional D-sized models, Škoda slays all comers with the Octavia. Now, Volkswagen's high achieving Czech division has a new 4.4m long hatchback. Might the affordable Scala even do damage to Golf sales?

Why Ford shouldn't kill the Fusion and Mondeo

6 Aug 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Is there a future for the Mondeo? At the moment, Ford of Europe isn't saying either way as speculation suggests there are plans to replace this model, the S-Max and Galaxy with a new global crossover. Considering the age of the design, sales are holding up well, with 20,800 delivered during the first half of 2019.

A1 - does the affordable Audi live up to its name?

29 Jul 2019 | Glenn Brooks

There is so much change going on in the European market just now it can be hard to keep up. Imagine that the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series were outsold by the Audi A1 in June, and that the little hatchback was only 31 units behind the A6.

Why BMW gave the 7 Series a drastic makeover

25 Jul 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Has the decline in demand for large luxury saloons plateaued? If it's the USA we're talking about, then the answer is no, with the S-Class (6,155, -27%) and LS (2,697, -38%) still falling. Yet business is good in China, with retail sales of the Audi A8 numbering 6,288 in H1 (compared to just 1,330 in the US) and the BMW 7 Series seemingly holding up well on 9,653 units. The arrival of an updated '7 couldn't come at a better time.

ANALYSIS - Volkswagen Polo GTI+

17 Jul 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen keeps coming up with ways to make certain sports models more desirable and of course, more profitable. For those who wish their Polo GTI to stand out just that little bit extra, there is the option of choosing the GTI+, a high-end model grade which costs from GBP23,160.

JLR engines boss on new Ingenium straight six

15 Jul 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Land Rover's progress remains uneven. Worldwide, sales fell by 10.1 per cent last month yet in Britain the brand enjoyed a record June even with the local market falling by 4.9 per cent. New models such as the L551 Evoque are beginning to make an impact, while a state of the art straight-six petrol engine is now giving the L494 Range Rover Sport a fresh boost.

Peugeot 508 surprises with strong EU sales

9 Jul 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Only one of Europe's top five brands saw rising sales for the year to the end of May. As the new models keep coming, Peugeot has pulled away from Ford and closed the gap to Renault to fewer than 17,000 passenger vehicles. Now the new 508 SW is helping Peugeot to regain share in the D segment too.

ANALYSIS - Megane Renault Sport 280

3 Jul 2019 | Glenn Brooks

The depth of engineering excellence in Renault's Mégane R.S. derivatives prove that the basic car is deserving of a lot more success than it enjoys.

ANALYSIS - CD539 Ford Edge EcoBlue diesel

1 Jul 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Ford has sold some 70,000 Edges in the US so far this year. Not bad for a model that's been in production since 2015 and which competes in a packed segment. This 4.8m long SUV has had a trickier time finding favour with European buyers though, which seems unfair given what is a first rate diesel powertrain.

Torque boost makes Mazda MX-5 even more desirable

26 Jun 2019 | Glenn Brooks

The MX-5 is now four years old but Mazda hasn't yet felt the need to refresh the looks. The engine line-up though, has been altered with both 1.5- and 2.0-litre engines gaining power and torque as well as compliancy with the Euro 6d Temp emissions standard.

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.

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