This week: New Mercedes-AMG A35 driven, every car from the LA motor show, £100 a week heroes revisited a decade later, and much more
5 December 2018

This week’s cover star is Mercedes’ answer to the Volkswagen Golf R - the AMG A35. With 302bhp from its 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, and impressive handling from a more intuitive four-wheel drive system, it can keep up with the old A45 for driving engagement. But is it a match for Wolfsburg’s finest? We take to the winding roads of Majorca to find out. 

The 2018 Los Angeles auto show was the venue for unveilings of new models from Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and others. We report on all the big launches, with insight and analysis from some of the people responsible for producing the cars, and industry insiders.  

We also discuss the measures General Motors is taking to stay afloat, as the company closes factories and axes models, and take a look at the E-tron GT, Audi’s upcoming flagship electric car. 

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Reviews

We hit the road in the new Audi E-tron SUV. In the three years it has taken to go from conception to production, its two biggest rivals, the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X, have been released, so we see whether it can stand up to such imposing competition. 

Our Verdict

Seat Ateca

Seat's first attempt at building an SUV is a cracker and knocked the Nissan Qashqai off its perch in the process, so we discover what makes the Ateca our class leader

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Driven this week

We also drive the Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid, to see if the fifth-generation of the Japanese SUV offers noticeable improvements and enhancements to match its radical styling. The Kia e-Niro is out through its paces as well, as we find out whether electric power could finally be more feasible for the average driver. 

The subject of this week’s road test is Ford’s 50th birthday present to the film that made one its already iconic cars an onscreen legend. But is there more to the Bullit Mustang than its movie namesake, and does it improve on the base model we first experienced in the UK two years ago?

Features

In 2005, we ran a feature demonstrating just how much car you could have for the equivalent of £100 per week. We take a look back at our choices to see if they’ve stood the test of time, and choose some modern-day equivalents. 

The McLaren MP4-12C, with its hugely advanced drivetrain and striking styling, redefined the meaning of the supercar when it hit the market in 2011. Nowadays, you can pick one up for half what it cost new, but should you? We take an early model for a drive to see whether it would be a sensible used purchase.

The current Golf R and first-generation Audi R8 might not be considered obvious rivals. But, when you take into account the similarity in price, suddenly a five-door hot hatchback and mid-engined V8 supercar don’t seem so different after all. If you’ve got £40,000 to spend on something fun and practical, both could serve you well. 

Finally, our editor was in China to act as a judge in the inaugural ‘Best Car for China’ competition. The country remains the world’s largest new car market, so we found out whether the biggest Chinese manufacturers are ready to take their offerings overseas.

Opinions

This week Steve Cropley is on hand to offer up some reasons why the unveiling of the new Porsche 911 wasn’t his most exciting moment of the year. Matt Prior, meanwhile, discusses the paradox of selling autonomous cars and urban mobility concepts to human beings.

Deals

There’s a whiff of luxury in this week’s used buying guide, as we tell you how to pick up a decent second-hand Range Rover L322. It’s a lot of car for not a huge amount of money, but make sure the example you choose is as reliable as it is refined. 

Meanwhile, our resident expert on all things banger takes a dip into uncharted waters - the new car market, to warn against the pitfalls of buying from a dealership. 

Where to buy

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Comments
40

5 April 2018

As usual, this week's edition (dated 04APR2018), is a very good read, and well worth the investment. The road test of the eighth generation of Roll-Royce Phantom - with its "mahogany panelling" - illustrates that moneyed wealth, should NOT be confused with good-taste!

The sales pitch for next week's issue (to be dated 11APR2018), whets our appetite with the Used Buying Guide  . . .  "Mercedes-Benz CLS. Can't afford the new one? Then read our guide to Merc's original style icon".

The original CLS certainly was a style icon, with all the svelte elegance of a Parisian - or Italian - chic designer item.

That streamlined elegance was lost when the original's "facelift" incorporated the bluff, Teutonic, more upright, corporate Mercedes radiator grill.

The new, current, incarnation of the CLS (page 29, of this week's magazine), shares all the style, delicacy, and substantial "presence" of a rugby prop forward!  It is not a case of "Can not  AFFORD  the new CLS?".  More a question of why would anyone wish to purchase such a vulgar and brutish vehicle?

It is (again) a reminder that the ownership of wealth, is NOT the same as the possession of good taste.

RCT(V)

 

 

 

 

289

18 July 2018

....totally agree!

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