Motoring news

First drive: Vauxhall’s Astra Sports Tourer doesn’t excite, but does everything else well

July 20 2018

What is it? Vauxhall. Estate. Diesel. Not exactly words that get the heartstrings twanging, are they? Yet those in the market for a truly sensible car – rather than an exciting or interesting one – would do well to consider them. This is the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer – or estate, if you look past the marketing gobbledegook. It’s based on the latest Mk7 Astra, giving it a good starting point to work from, and offers a range of efficient engines alongside a usefully practical body.

Motoring news

First drive: Updated Maserati Levante is as Italian as SUVs get

July 18 2018

What is it? “The Maserati of SUVs.” No, really, that’s the marketing tagline. In essence, the Levante is the Italian firm’s rival to the Porsche Cayenne. Like the Porsche, it’s enough to make purists cry – but also like the Porsche, the volume sales Maserati plans to achieve from the Levante will help fund the further development of its sports car lineup. Quite important, then – when you consider what a massive success the Cayenne and other premium SUVs have been. We’re testing the Levante in dynamic GranSport trim, fitted with a petrol engine.

Motoring news

First drive: The Hyundai Nexo makes us wish the future was already here

July 13 2018

What is it? There’s a certain deadlock between car manufacturers and governments at the moment regarding the supposed fuel of the future, hydrogen. While plenty of manufacturers are poised to release fuel-cell vehicles, they’re reluctant to do so with no real refuelling infrastructure in place – and governments are unlikely to invest in hydrogen stations with so few cars around to use them. It’s fallen to Hyundai to plough forward with the Nexo – the successor to its ix35 Fuel Cell and soon to be the Toyota Mirai’s only hydrogen-powered rival in the UK.