Product Eye

Product Eye

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

Isuzu updates D-Max as GM divorce dust settles

20 Mar 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Suddenly, crew cab pick-ups seem to be everywhere. Mercedes-Benz and Renault are the latest brands to launch four-door ladder frame models, while Peugeot is co-developing its own model with Changan. Meanwhile, Isuzu continues to quietly update the D-Max, adding refinements and new variants, keeping this stalwart of the one-tonne segment competitive.

New XV behind 29 per cent UK Subaru sales surge

13 Mar 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Having fallen by more than a quarter during 2017, Subaru's UK sales are finally going back in the right direction, with a 29 per cent surge in February. Most of that is due to the arrival of the new XV.

Sorento shows why Kia is outselling Nissan in Britain and Germany

7 Mar 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Has the Qashqai, which was once well supported by the Juke and Micra, lost its way? In February, Nissan UK saw brand deliveries crash by 54%, while rivals made gains. Kia was one of those, its monthly registrations being strong enough to surpass the long-time Asian number one brand in Britain. In Germany too, it's a similar story.

ANALYSIS - Jaguar scores a bullseye with E-Pace

28 Feb 2018 | Glenn Brooks

This is the first Jaguar to have a front-wheel drive-based architecture since production of the X-Type ended in 2009. There is neither a V6 nor a V8. The platform is steel not aluminium. It's only 4,395mm long. And this first attempt at a BMW X1 rival is close to being as great to drive as rear-wheel drive Jags.

ANALYSIS - Vauxhall Grandland X

15 Feb 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Opel and Vauxhall's range of SUVs just keeps on expanding. After the arrival last year of a facelifted and renamed Mokka X as well as the Crossland X, now comes the 4.5m long Grandland X. The new model not only steps in for the Antara but will eventually serve as the replacement for the Zafira Tourer.

Can Kia open up A-SUV segment with Picanto X-Line?

13 Feb 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Ford, with its just-announced Ka+ Active, isn’t the only manufacturer trying to see if Europeans can be tempted by tiny crossovers. Kia Motors is in this segment already with the new Picanto X-Line.

Mitsubishi has big plans for new Eclipse Cross

8 Feb 2018 | Glenn Brooks

The Colt Car Company, which imports Mitsubishi vehicles to the UK, sees around 6,500 sales this year for the new Eclipse Cross but admits this is a conservative estimate. As the worldwide launch schedule for this new SUV accelerates, it could yet become a global best seller for Mitsubishi Motors.

Why new G01 BMW X3 is bigger than the original X5

5 Feb 2018 | Glenn Brooks

The definition of a compact SAV has changed somewhat since BMW began selling the first X3 in 2003. The proof? The new model is exactly half a metre longer than the original X5.

New 7 Crossback - good enough to rebuild DS?

2 Feb 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Groupe PSA's three-year old attempt to create a premium division has been struggling. In China, PSA and its partner Changan recently had to recapitalise their JV after a collapse in sales. Now comes a reboot: the first properly new DS. Is the 7 Crossback good enough to tackle the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60?

ANALYSIS - Just how good is the Range Rover Velar?

25 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Some say the new Velar might prove to be too attractive. If mass-admiration becomes major sales volume, what impact will this have on what must surely be Tata Motors' highest margin models, the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover?

Audi RS 3 Sportback - is 400 horsepower enough?

19 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Did anyone really think the 367PS pre-facelift RS 3 Sportback lacked power? Clearly, some did. Or perhaps Audi felt the need to trump the 381PS of the Mercedes-AMG A 45. So it gave the RS 3 another 33PS. Four hundred horsepower certainly does have a nice ring to it.

ANALYSIS - Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

18 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

The latest Tiguan has been available since 2016. Now comes the extended wheelbase seven-seater, which has more differences compared to the standard model than had been expected.

Can SEAT top 500,000 sales in 2018 with new Ibiza?

11 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen recently said that it had produced 14 million Polos since the first model was introduced in 1975. SEAT, an infinitely smaller company, introduced its similarly sized Ibiza in 1984. As it ramps up production of the fifth generation model, the total built at Martorell has just reached 5.6 million. The new car is more than good enough to push that total above 6 million within four years, maybe even three.

Britain's new Volkswagen Polo - out of Africa

10 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen Group South Africa still builds the fourth and fifth generation Polos at its Uitenhage factory near P.E. in the Eastern Cape. Following a major investment in the MQB A0 architecture, the plant is now also producing the new, sixth generation model for export to other RHD countries. The made-in-Africa Polo is now available in Britain.

ANALYSIS - New Renault Kadjar TCe 165

8 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

The Kadjar, a big seller across Europe, has always had one major weakness in its powertrain choices. The 1.2-litre petrol engine has a great CO2 number but lacks the torque that people switching from diesel are used to. So, supporting the TCe 130, in comes a new 1.6-litre unit, the TCe 165.

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