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Auto Express 1557

The weekly magazine that brings all the news and reviews for all the UK's Cars

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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51 Issues


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our responsibility to new drivers is falling short

IT’S been a momentous month for the Fowler family; our driveway has got a lot more crowded due to our twin boys passing their driving tests within weeks of each other. It gets even busier when their ‘just passed’ mates come round, too. This has started a frenzy of car activity, extra expense and parental worry, with two lads and their new-found freedom. It remains one of the greatest feelings in the world, with the opportunity to explore new places and increased social activity. I remember it well. There’s plenty I can do to help, practising what we preach in the pages of this magazine. For example, I’ve replaced the questionable choice of tyres previous owners decided on with Continental rubber; the brand swept the board at our tyre tests last year.…

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volkswagen’s electric ‘defender’

James_Brodie@dennis.co.uk @jimmybrods ● VW considering utilitarian electric 4x4 ● Would sit on same platform as I.D. range “EV start-up Rivian has already revealed a large, seven-seat SUV. But the proposed VW would be unapologetically a tough off-roader” VOLKSWAGEN is considering adding a rugged all-electric Land Rover Defender rival to its upcoming line-up of I.D.-badged vehicles, Auto Express has learned. VW’s head of strategy Michael Jost revealed that the brand is mulling over entering the off-roader marketplace, going toe to toe with the likes of the Jeep Wrangler and the next Defender. But Volkswagen will stand out from the crowd by offering a pure-electric model. American EV start-up Rivian has already revealed a large, seven-seat SUV featuring traditionally boxy proportions and a promise of off-road capability when it goes into production in 2020. But the proposed VW…

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stylish new cla wows ces

John_McIlroy@dennis.co.uk @johnmcilroy MERCEDES has brought us the first big launch of 2019: this new CLA, which will join the A-Class range at the lower end of the German manufacturer’s line-up. The original CLA was the first ‘coupé saloon’ to be offered in the A-Class’s segment. But rivals from BMW and Audi have subsequently arrived – and Mercedes has also added a regular saloon to the A-Class range – so the latest CLA needs a stronger identity as a more stylish four-door. The new shape should help, because this CLA is 48mm longer than before, and while it’s slightly narrower overall including the side mirrors, the body itself is more than 50mm wider. That’s allowed the firm’s engineers to widen the front and rear tracks by 63mm and 55mm respectively. Overall the profile does a better…

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after a forgettable 2018, which car manufacturers need a better 2019? and can they really deliver?

Jonathan_Burn@dennis.co.uk @Jonathan_burn NOW we’re into 2019, many brands will want to forget about the past 12 months. Brexit uncertainty, confusion over diesel and WLTP compliance delays hit some harder than others. Analysing preliminary data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (which shows 2.36 million sales in total for 2018, down just under seven per cent), we run through which makers came out of 2018 bruised. We spell out their percentage sales drops and what new cars you can expect to see from those that need to do better. Audi (-17.84%) PERHAPS surprisingly, Audi had a rather dismal 2018, falling behind its main rivals BMW and Mercedes in the premium car sales chart. However, 2019 shows plenty of promise for the firm; a heavily updated version of its biggest global seller, the A4 (previewed…

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vauxhall loads up vivaro life mpv and saves jobs

Jonathan_Burn@dennis.co.uk @Jonathan_burn VAUXHALL has safeguarded 1,250 UK jobs at its Luton factory by announcing that the new Vivaro Life, revealed above, will be produced at the Bedfordshire site. And Vauxhall will launch a pure-electric version in 2021. The Vivaro Life, which is a rival for the Citroen SpaceTourer, will be offered in two sizes: medium, which is 4.95 metres long, and large, at 5.30 metres. Both models feature the same 3.28-metre wheelbase. For maximum versatility, all the seats are fitted on aluminium rails, allowing them to be adjusted and removed when desired. Configurations range from four up to nine seats, while the front passenger chair can be folded flat to allow items up to 3.5 metres long to be transported. Removing all of the seats raises total luggage capacity to 3,397 litres and Vauxhall claims…

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tata chairman backs struggling jlr

“JLR’s parent company has publicly announced support for the brand” TATA Motors, JLR’s parent company, has publicly announced support for the struggling brand following a dramatic fall in profits and fears over further jobs cuts. The Indian firm’s chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, said in a statement: “I would like to clarify that we [Tata] remain committed to the long-term growth and success of JLR. “JLR will continue to face global headwinds being experienced by the auto industry and, to address them, the management is taking the right steps to drive operational excellence. There is no truth to the rumours that Tata Motors is looking to divest its stake in JLR or discontinue the Jaguar brand.” The announcement follows reports that Jaguar could shed thousands of jobs due to dwindling sales and a fall in demand…