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After spurned by the market for their as gas-guzzlers, 4x4s are back a vengeance, with more engines and green technology to their appeal to current

From SUVs to 4×4 these vehicles are enjoying a resurgence, from ‘hard-core’ in the countryside to city-dwellers who want a drive. Owning one is no joke; weigh a lot and require large which, in some cases, can a lot.

Land Rover 4

The new Discovery can seat seven and is one of the most luxurious 4x4s out A refined all-rounder, it has permanent drive as well as a computerised Response system, with modes for different driving making it an absolute beast

This is at odds with its which has been designed to you with the most luxurious experience yet. There’s for adults at the rearmost seats. all five rear seats are away, you’re left 2,558 litres of space.


You get everything with the Touareg: quality, safety and off-road It prides itself on fuel claiming 40.4mpg consumption. It has an Tiptronic automatic gearbox ensures a smooth and comfortable

The Touareg also has a towing of 3,500kg. It’s recommended off-road users should go for the version, which has higher clearance and protection on the underbody.

Wall Steed

The Steed out from the rest of its class by of its unbeatable value. It’s for those who want a solid that’ll get the job done, no matter It’s powered by a turbo-diesel with a power output at at 4,000 RPM.

It’s not a rugged 4×4 either. Wall has taken pains to sure that the interior luxury, with leather air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity a USB/MP3 radio, as well as central locking with a Category 1 alarm.


You can’t really go wrong the Volvo XC90. It features a interior with plenty of packed inside. Expect and cruise control, with the editions of the car featuring leather and

The parking sensors help out the large turning circle. The size is only 249 litres, but you can get this by folding the seats to increase the capacity to 615 litres. If you all five of the seats in the rear, have a 1,837 litre

Subaru Forester

When it to capable off-road 4x4s, the is up here with the best of With the new X-Mode system and descent control, there is little that this isn’t capable of.

With a low of gravity and excellent grip, one of the safest SUVs on the market making it a great choice for looking for a family car.

01 Feb

What is it?

The Volkswagen Golf – a four-wheel drive version of perennial best seller some interesting technical over its predecessor, including a developed, electronically controlled Haldex-style clutch.

Never a big seller in the UK, the Golf now comes in left-hand drive only and with the choice of two four-cylinder common-rail diesel

Included is an entry-level 1.6 TDI producing and 184lb ft of torque, and a range-topping 2.0 TDI 148bhp and 236lb ft.

Both come mated to a six-speed gearbox as standard, though the 1.6 can be with an optional seven-speed ‘box, and the 2.0 with an optional dual-clutch unit.

New to the Golf is what Volkswagen describes as 5’ – a system that is set to on a whole range of upcoming including the new Golf R, which is to make its public debut at the motor show in September, as as the secret new Golf Alltrack, a variant of the upcoming Golf due to go on sale in the UK in 2014.

The heavily four-wheel drive system away with a pressure in a move that reduces its albeit only by 1.4kg. The operated pump is replaced by an operated device that is to provide a faster transfer of between the front and rear for added traction and more handling traits.

Further features include electronic locks both front and

What is it like?

It might straight laced, but the Golf is surprisingly entertaining to drive – not of all in challenging wintry conditions those we encountered at the new car’s in Kitzbühel, Austria this

Everything we’ve said the new six-generation Golf applies to latest version of Wolfsburg’s hatchback – there’s well and direct steering, superb control, tremendous ride by class standards, generous space and a level of quality challenges much more offerings.

To this the Golf brings a good deal mid-corner grip than its drive sibling, along an added dimension in traction and the of more useable performance, in lower gears – all of which the popular hatchback’s dynamic

In gentle part-load running, the 5 system is set up to predominantly drive the wheels. But when pushed it is capable of sending up to 100 per cent of the power to the rear wheels. The new with its electronically controlled in place of the hydraulically operated is noticeably more responsive the old system, providing great in corners and an ability to lay the latest of Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder prodigious low-end torque to the without fuss.

When the level of traction is breeched, a electronic stability program over; if a wheel starts to the drive is directed to the wheel on the side.

On damp, icy and snow-strewn like those experienced in the UK, the addition of four-wheel drive brings additional peace of Indeed, in testing, snowy the Golf 4Motion offers advantages in overall traction. All of makes the decision not to offer the car all the more perplexing.

The added has also allowed Volkswagen to the towing capacity to 1900kg – up the standard front-wheel drive 1500kg.

The Golf 4Motion 2.0 TDI 80kg more than its front-wheel drive sibling. But in running it’s hardly Volkswagen claims a 0-62mph of 8.6sec – the same time for the front-wheel drive Golf 2.0 TDI – combined-cycle fuel economy is to have been reduced by 15 per over the model to 60.1mpg.

Should I buy one?

The Golf makes perfect sense, at this time of year. Its of punchy diesel performance and drive makes for fun yet dependable traits in all road and weather But with a premium of 1500 over standard front-wheel model, its appeal is likely to limited to those residing in European countries such as Austria and parts of Germany. Volkswagen does not see sufficient in the UK to engineer the new car for right-hand drive.

Golf 4Motion 2.0 TDI

Price NA 8.6sec Top speed 131mph 60.1mpg CO2 122g/km Kerb 1449kg Engine 4 cyls, turbodiesel Power 148bhp at Torque 236lb ft at 1750-3000rpm 6-spd manual

24 Jan 2013

is it?

This is a two-pedal UP. On the face of it, the VW five-speed automated manual – labelled ASG, the German for ‘single-clutch automatic’ – seems a enticing choice for the acclaimed car.

According to VW, it improves fuel mileage of the 74bhp by better than four per and shaves three per cent off the low CO2 output, while damaging acceleration nor top speed. It carries a premium of £595.

What is it

Sadly, the figures don’t the story. Although the ASG ’box is about tolerable for the kind of who will only ever the Up very slowly and avoids the excesses of a ‘nodding dog’ action, it simply is not a sensible for anyone who wants to take of the Up’s main dynamic – its excellent engine, chassis and

Upchanges are tolerable if your is steady, but as speed declines, the car ever changes down as you like and thus isn’t in the gear for accelerating from the bend.

After an hour in the I was seriously contemplating parting £595 just to have the manual gearbox back.

I buy one?

You can reduce the problems by manual mode and moving the short-throw lever between yourself, without any need to dip a but this facility is not worth extra for.

So unless a physical reason why you need a car no clutch pedal, stick to the manual and put £595 towards next holiday.

Volkswagen Up 1.0 ASG

£9,795; 0-62mph 13.2sec; Top 106mph; Economy 64.2mpg CO2 105g/km; Kerb weight Engine 3 cyls, 999cc, Power 74bhp at 6000rpm; 66lb ft at 3000rpm; Gearbox automated manual

24 Jan 2013

has launched a new sporty-looking R-Line of the Touareg, as well as cutting the of the CC.

Based on the Touareg Altitude, the gets 20-inch ‘Tarragona’ wheels, more aggressive and side skirts, and LED lights at the and rear. The interior has been too, with a set of R-Line plates and a panoramic sunroof.

While standard equipment on all includes leather upholstery, DAB and Bluetooth, the R-Line model gets keyless-go and an electrically tailgate.

The Touareg R-Line is with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel producing either 201bhp or and all come paired to an eight-speed gearbox.

The lower-powered diesel £44,025, while the 242bhp costs £45,645.

Along the new R-Line Touareg, Volkswagen has announced it will be cutting the of the CC. Each version is now at least cheaper, with the least in the range now costing £24,050.

The model is the CC GT 2.0 TDI 140, which now £1,320 less than thanks to the removal of ACC Adaptive Control. Buyers can specify it as an for an extra £850.

23 Jan 2013

is it?

A new addition to the VW Beetle’s UK range. turbocharged 2.0-litre model a little bit of pace and pep to the line-up, 197bhp and 206lb ft of torque, not to an independent multi-link rear system in place of the torsion you’ll find on any less Beetle.

What is it like?

If aim for the new Beetle was to inject some into the car’s appeal, and the hitherto female-dominated customer it’s had limited success. The car now slightly less like to get your nails done, true, but to drive, it remains unexciting and generally unimpressive.

turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is the one seen in the last Golf albeit in slightly detuned It makes a bassy, interesting you could almost confuse for of a five-pot. It’s also got of performance and responds well to the

But then the engine was never to be among the weaker points of particular recipe. Those, in order of weakness, are an electro-mechanical system loaded with weight (but still feedback), and a wooden and unyielding tune.

The latter certainly out much lateral roll in tandem with the car’s alloys, provides lots of But it feels every bit as incompatible UK roads as the Beetle’s Central origins imply. As well as a lot of road noise, the Beetle’s thumps over broken and surfaces, and all the while fails to particularly close control of body movements.

Should I buy

No. This car finds itself in an place in the market. It possesses the dynamic sophistication to appeal to the of you and I, nor the soft-edged habitability and ease of use to as a particularly credible high-end car.

There will be customers persuaded more by the chirpy style than may be dissuaded by its relative lack of but they’re well advised to clear of this version, and to buy a more comfy and more model – if they must.

Beetle 2.0 TSI Turbo Silver DSG

£24,605; 0-62mph 7.5sec; Top 139mph; Economy 37.2mpg; CO2 Kerb weight 1439kg; type, cc 4 cyls, 1984cc, Power 197bhp at 5100rpm; 206lb ft at 5000rpm; Gearbox dual-clutch

22 Jan 2013

The Volkswagen XL1 has been undergoing further winter in Scandinavia, ahead of the production launch later this

The original concept was revealed 11 ago, when VW showed a car that could travel 100 on one litre of diesel, or the equivalent of A two-seater L1 roadster was previewed at the Motor Show in 2009, and in it appeared again named as the XL1 at the Motor show. This car returned 310mpg from its two-cylinder diesel engine.

Volkswagen news

And this car, the VW XL1, is expected to be built in limited from mid-2013.

The production XL1 is to feature a similar diesel-electric to the XL1 concept, which includes a 800cc TDI two-cylinder diesel paired with a 27bhp motor and seven-speed dual gearbox.

The XL1 weighs 795kg and is to return 313mpg and CO2 emissions of 24g/km. This compares to the Ampera, which can return and emits 27g/km of CO2. while the Ampera can manage the from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds, the XL1 can manage it in 11.9 seconds.

are expected to be very similar to of the Vauxhall, which costs a over £30,000 after the EV grant.

18 Jan 2013

On Tuesday, 15, the Volkswagen Group cut the ribbon on a new plant in Silao in the central state of Guanajuato. The opening of the marks a new milestone for the German as the Silao facility is the group’s worldwide plant.

The inauguration was attended by the President of Mexico, Peña, the Governor of the state of Miguel Marquez, and VW Group executive Martin Winterkorn.

production in Silao will the North American vehicle in Puebla, Mexico, and Chattanooga, with the latest generation of TSI gasoline engines, including the EA 888 a version of which (1.8-liter 247hp) is featured in the VW Passat Concept that is being at the Detroit motor show.

to the German automaker, the $550 plant has been designed for a annual capacity of 330,000 and will directly employ 700 new workers with further to be created at suppliers and in the service

The Silao factory is the Volkswagen 100th plant and therefore one of the largest and most international networks in the automotive industry, Winterkorn. With this new we are driving our ambitious major American offensive forward. the next three years the Group will be investing than $5 billion in North alone. Silao is thus a strong symbol of our uninterrupted trajectory and the Group’s continuing

18 Jan 2013

You really have to what photographers go through to bring us spy pictures of future

It’s one thing standing on the of the Nürburgring waiting for testers to run by, and when you’re doing so in an climate at temperatures as low as -30 Celsius / -22 as was the case with this XL1 pre-production prototype.

Unless something has changed in plans, we expect to see the XL1 diesel-electric model being presented in its form this year, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, we won’t rule out another just yet.

The production of the innovative concept that 3,888 mm (158-inches) long the scales at a healthy 795kg or lbs, is motivated by a 47hp 0.8-liter turbocharged twin-cylinder engine coupled to a 27HP motor, a 7-speed dual-clutch (DSG) and a lithium-ion battery.

VW that the plug-in hybrid car be able to return 0.9lt/100km, to 261 mpg US and 313 mpg UK, or to be precise, MPGe (Miles per gasoline equivalent), since the figure is a result of the use of both the combustion engine and the battery.

15 Jan

The new Volkswagen CrossBlue concept, at the Detroit Motor Show, how future SUVs from the will look – and confirms intentions to produce a seven-seater will sit above the Touareg.

the CrossBlue is a six-seater, VW says any model would be offered room for seven. And given the looks, it won’t be long the car is on the road in the US and Canada. The model is targeted at the North American – 29 per cent of all cars sold in the US are – and as such will not go on sale in the UK.

Dr Hackenberg, member of the board for said: “The Touareg is a product; this is a car for the sweet the volume market.”

The styling, points to the look of the next-generation and Tiguan, with lots of straight lines and bold like the chrome two-bar

VW design chief Klaus and VW Group design head de Silva worked in tandem Volkswagen of America to create the look.

Unlike some SUVs, VW claims the CrossBlue has for adults in all three rows: 947mm of legroom in the second row and in the third. With all three in place, the boot has 335 litres of fold the two rear rows, and you get a load area.

The CrossBlue is on a variation of the MQB platform that the Golf, and has been designed to all types of powertrain, from and petrol to hybrid and natural

There is 4WD capability with or hybrid power, and a front-wheel-drive and 4WD hybrid is also possible the CrossBlue makes production.

The hybrid car on the show stand has a 2.0-litre TDI, mated to motors on each axle. combines to deliver 297bhp to all wheels, and means the CrossBlue can 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds.

Fuel when the batteries are charged, at 134mpg, but when only the is providing the power – to the front only – that figure to 58mpg.

The batteries can be recharged a 230V socket, and the car has an electric-only of about 20 miles with up to 75mph.

Inside, the concept features a of leather, wood and aluminium. One touch are the controls for the 4WD, and climate control, which out of the dash when the driver the ignition on.

The centre console is by a 10.2-inch touchscreen which all the infotainment functions, plus the driver up to date with the of the hybrid system.

A 3D display on the meanwhile, allows the landscape of the route to rotate. Passengers in the aren’t forgotten about with iPad minis in the

The CrossBlue is the latest concept to at VW’s plans to expand its SUV The up!-based Taigun debuted at the Sao Motor Show late year, and there’ve even discussions about a Polo-sized to sit between this and the Golf-based A new Tiguan will be launched a new Touareg over the next of years, too.

The styling between the up!-based Taigun SUV and the confirm that VW has already out a clear identity for every member of its future SUV line-up.

15 Jan

Volkswagen has announced record for 2012, having delivered than nine million for the first time.

A startling for the powerhouse VW Group was confirmed at a conference prior to the Detroit Show by CEO Martin Winterkorn.

performers were the Volkswagen and Audi, which rose per cent and 11.7 per cent with worldwide totals of million and 1.46 million. also performed strongly, by strong growth in the US. And the brands are further sales success, Audi hoping to overtake BMW as the one premium brand by 2020.

It boosting sales in America as key to that goal and hopes to the momentum it has gained since Sales are up 50 per cent since

Audi boss Rupert said it will be pushing power for its A6, A7 and A8, plus the Q5, as Americans warm to the fuel. And he wants to see sales rise by 500,000 to 1.5 by the end of 2015.

Skoda was up 6.8 per cent to sales in 2012, but there was bad for SEAT, which lost sales to finish at 321,000, due to the economic climate in southern and Europe. “SEAT wants to get profit as soon as possible,” Winterkorn.

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