Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35: big friendly giant gets a man-sized makeover

Nigel Wigmore

A giant vehicle that has had a man-sized makeover is this week’s drive the intriguing Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35.

I have driven and written about D-Max Arctic Trucks before but the experience is always worthwhile repeating.

This is motoring like you have never imagined it. This vehicle is all about size from top to bottom. And it is so tough you could drive anywhere in it. Continue reading

Ceed Sportswagon PHEV: Kia player in electrification strategy

By Nigel Wigmore

Kia continues its shift towards electrification, spurred on by record sales of its electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe early in 2020.

This week’s drive, the Plug-in Hybrid variant of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon range, is a major contributor to Kia’s electrification strategy. By 2025, Kia plans to offer 11 EVs globally.

“This represents an important next stage for Kia as we introduce advanced, next-generation powertrains to our vehicle line-up,” says Emilio Herrera, Kia Europe’s chief operating officer.

The Ceed Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is produced in Žilina, Slovakia – the first plug-in models built by the brand in Europe, exclusively for Europe. Continue reading

Volvo XC90: still riding high among the luxury SUVs

Updated Volvo XC90

By Nigel Wigmore

Standard motoring correspondent

There is still something quite majestic about driving around in a large, luxurious car.

I suppose any driver if they were honest would enjoy such a treat. But big cars are an endangered species at present.

Large diesels and petrol-driven SUVs (sport utility vehicles) are probably the most endangered of all. Continue reading

Škoda gives motorists plenty of reasons to be cheerful


Photograph: Matt Seymour

Nigel Wigmore

The clue to what this week’s drive was all about was in its name— the Škoda Octavia SE Technology Hatch.
There was a time when technology was a new word added to the lexicon of modern usage. Now new technology enhances the widest range of things from mobile phones to TVs, computers and cars.
This new fourth-generation Škoda Octavia offers more technology than ever before. However, despite going large on technology, Škoda retains a sense of humour.
The Czech carmaker, which has enjoyed unprecedented success in Britain, understands the British obsession with the weather. Continue reading

Audi RS 4 rejoins UK Audi Sport stable in great shape

Nigel Wigmore

IF you appreciate accomplished cars — from an aesthetic point of view and not by just how flash and fast it looks — then you are sure to admire Audi’s revised 450PS super-Avant.
This week’s drive, the 2020 Audi RS 4 Avant, powered by a 2.9 TFSI twin- turbo V6 engine, has been developed by Audi Sport GmbH in part as an
homage to the legendary 2.7 litre V6 of the first RS 4 Avant back in 1999.
Everything about the new car makes it sing because all the equipment, power, and technology are completely in tune. Continue reading

MG HS: making its presence felt as a great value SUV

By Nigel Wigmore

I HAVE to say that after driving MG’s new, large sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Chinese- owned carmaker should definitely make its pres- ence felt in the global car market.
The MG HS is after all a rather good car. It is comfortable, economical and roomy and, of course, it comes to market at an attractive price (starting at £17,995 on the road. The top spec Exclusive is available from £22,995).
The question is can this grand old British marque, now unrecognisable with regard to its history (except for the inimitable badge), make enough of an impact to thrive?
Going on the evidence of this drive in the MG HS, I think MG has a very good chance of giving its competitors a run for their money.
And money, after all, when it comes to new car buying, is really what it is all about.
There are plenty of cars out there that motorists
would love to see themselves in if they had the money. Continue reading

Volvo S90 Twin Engine: a luxury hybrid in a class all of its own

By Nigel Wigmore

THE battle raging between carmakers over who will grab the lion’s share of a global market for electric cars (EVs) centres on what type of EV is going to become the most popular.
I say what type because the EV I have felt most comfortable driving so far has been a self-charging hybrid (a non-plug-in hybrid). Now, whether or not this is considered to be a “proper” electric car — a car powered solely by a battery — the self-charging hybrid seems at this point in time to offer the most satisfactory drive. Volvo declared last year that every Volvo it launches from 2019 would have an electric motor.
By doing this Volvo said it marked an “historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE)”. The Swedish carmaker placed “electrification at the core of its future business”. Continue reading

Kia Soul EV: turning on the electric power but with a difference

By Nigel Wigmore

THE new Kia Soul is the first electric car I have driven that does not con- centrate solely on promoting its energy source.
Yes, the new Soul is all electric and not a hybrid concoction. Its 64kWh electric drivetrain produces an impressive range capability of 280 miles.
But this EV beats other electric cars when it comes to that other precious commodity that motorists obsess about — all their lives — interior space. Continue reading