Should I buy an electric car? Car News

When new, the Zoe came with a battery leasing plan and a guarantee that lasted for eight years or 100,000 miles, so later models may come with a monthly payment for the battery, but will still be under warranty.

Compelling lease deals and financial benefits are also available to EV drivers. You can expect to pay less than £300 per month for a Nissan Leaf, Peugeot e-208, or Vauxhall Corsa Electric with an initial rental of less than £500.

If you’re a company car driver, electric cars are also set at a far lower benefit-in-kind (BIK) rate than their combustion equivalents. For example, at the time of writing, a BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport is set at 2%, while the 320d is 30%, so you’ll pay less money in BIK tax for an EV.

Should I buy a hybrid instead?

Hybrids offer a stepping stone for those unsure about owning a purely electric car. Three types exist; hybrids, plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids.

Full-fat hybrids use a combustion engine mated to an electric motor, which is charged up by the engine when it is running low. This allows you to drive it a short distance on electric power alone before the engine kicks in.

Plug-in hybrids are essentially the same, but the battery is charged via a wall socket or other external source, rather than the combustion engine. This enables them to travel longer distances on purely electric power.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-22 08:00:00


Porsche 911 Dakar Review (2024) Car News

In terms of top speed, you have to wind the clock back 41 years to the 1983 3.0-litre SC to unearth a 911 with a top speed lower than that of the Dakar.

But acceleration? That’s a different matter. We tested the car on a near-freezing cold day, when the traction potential of its all-terrain tyres would have been quite limited on Millbrook’s patchily damp asphalt, and yet by engaging its launch control function, the Dakar still turned in a 0-60mph time of just 3.3sec and burst into triple figures after only 7.6sec.

This makes it quicker than the Carrera S we tested in far kinder conditions in 2019, and even the recently retired R35 Nissan GT-R.

One has to assume that with ultra-high-performance summer tyres fitted, and in warmer conditions, the Dakar would get close to a 0-60mph time of 3.0sec – the current boundary for true supercar-grade performance. So don’t be fooled by the cartoonish looks: this is a truly rapid 911.

For those who want to indulge in casual competition activities, or who simply want to have some fun off road, the Dakar also has a specific Rallye launch control mode for loose surfaces, which permits up to 20% wheel slip. 

As for personality, the Dakar is closely matched to the Carrera 4 GTS on which it is based. There is a touch more squat under initial acceleration and dive during hard braking, but not as much as you might expect in either regard, and the rapidity with which the eight-speed PDK gearbox switches cogs is as spectacular as ever.

The effectiveness of this twin-turbo unit, whose boost grips the chassis and flings it forward early in the rev range, is matched by a surprisingly soulful top-end wail. It’s a fine match for the Dakar, with a broad band of torque and power paying dividends off road, where the car’s attitude can be adjusted at will.

Lastly, a word on braking performance. We were able to find a dry stretch of surface to perform brake tests and, predictably, the Dakar’s all-terrain tyres hampered it. Our car took 45.1m to haul up from 70mph. By comparison, the Carrera S took 39.8m and a Turbo S (on a summer’s day, admittedly) a mere 38.3m.

On the road, it pays to be aware of the Dakar’s limitations in this respect, and you are unlikely to forget about it because the initial pedal response has a somewhat woolly feel. Note also that the Dakar comes with model-specific cast-iron discs because Porsche’s carbon-ceramic alternatives don’t fit inside the wheels.

Off-road notes 

Investigate the online forums and you will see Dakar owners are taking their cars down impressively challenging trails that would usually provide a light workout for something like a Jeep Wrangler.

Clearly, the Dakar’s all-terrain tyres, Cayenne- style ground clearance (when the suspension struts are extended) and 16mm-shorter front overhang compared with the regular 911 aren’t just for show, and while the underside isn’t entirely panelled, there is a fairly comprehensive level of protection that even extends to individual suspension links. The front rads also have specific stone-chip protection.

Our test car acquitted itself well on the perimeter road of Millbrook’s off-road course. Its wheel articulation allowed reasonable speeds to be sustained over rutted terrain without fear of damaging the underbody.

More notable still is the nature of the steering, which is precise on the road yet doesn’t have the rim writhing around when the going gets tough.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-19 08:56:18


£15k heroes: What is Britain’s best cheap car? Car News

SE Connect trim’s 15in wheels and relatively meagre tyres can be replaced by bigger ones if you insist, but I strongly suspect some of the car’s surprising ride suppleness, even refinement, would be lost.

As for gadgets, this base model has four electric windows, a decent audio system with wired smartphone mirroring, good head lights and everything else important. I honestly lacked for nothing. The black fabric seats are comfortable and stylish.

For those prepared to leave their buying comfort zones, the i10 is less a cheap car, more a fresh and beguiling ownership experience.

Steve Cropley

Hyundai i10 1.0 MPi SE Connect

Price £14,995 (March 2023, pre-facelift) Engine 3 cyls in line, 998cc, petrol Power 66bhp at 5500rpm Torque 71lb ft at 3750rpm Gearbox 5-spd manual, FWD Kerb weight 921kg 0-62mph 14.8sec Top speed 97mph Economy 56.5mpg CO2, tax band 119g/km, 28% Insurance group 4

Citroën C3

Citroen C3 You front cornering

When Citroën took the diminutive C1 city car off sale last year, it had become a £14,000 buy itself. The French company’s solution to replacing it – to providing the best value for money that it could in the modern compact hatchback class – was the C3 You.

It is, in essence, a C3 for less than C1 money. When it was launched in April 2022 at an eye-catching £12,995, it represented an effective 20% price slash for the entry-level C3.

Some of that “price realignment ” was the upshot of a fair pricing policy through which, a bit like Dacia, Citroën has lately sought to cut discounting and advertise its cars at a lower list price much closer to the one that the customer actually pays. But much of it was simply about focusing the car ’s spec down on the essentials.

By that term, however, Citroën clearly means something a little different than the bare bones. On the canvas of its bold exterior styling, the C3 You paints body-coloured bumpers and door handles, bright white door-mirror caps and contrasting C-pillar styling, and it can even be had with a white roof. So it doesn’t look like a bargain-bucket buy.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-21 11:05:31


Mercedes-AMG readies electric CLA 45 with 500bhp Car News

Mercedes-AMG is developing a hot version of the new third-generation CLA, due in 2025 as an electric alternative to the fearsome CLA 45. 

A disguised prototype of the new AMG model caught testing in northern Sweden this week reveals several changes over the standard car. 

As well as uprated brakes behind AMG sports wheels, this early prototype has a large ducktail-style rear spoiler that hints at a focus on boosting downforce. The production model could feature a fixed spoiler or possibly even a retractable spoiler similar to that used by the Mercedes-AMG GT.

The new CLA is the first model to be based on the Mercedes Modular Architecture – a hybrid platform structure supporting an 800V electric architecture and conceived for both full-electric and combustion-engine models.

Standard 2025 CLA models will feature either single-motor rear-wheel drive or dual-motor four-wheel drive. In the AMG model, the latter layout is claimed to provide up to 500bhp.

By comparison, the existing turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder CLA 45 develops 422bhp.

As with other recent new AMG-branded electric models, the motors are set to differ from those used in standard versions of the CLA, with unique windings and a more comprehensive cooling system.

The battery of the new AMG model is also claimed to differ from the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) units offered on standard CLA models, with different cells and an altered anode.

Mercedes claims a range of “over 435 miles” and economy of “5.2 miles per kWh” for the upcoming single-motor rear-wheel-drive CLA model, although both figures will drop with the introduction of a second electric motor and power boost in the AMG model.  

As announced at the unveiling of the Concept CLA Class at last year’s Munich motor show, the new CLA will also offer charging at up to 250kW and it can be used as a power source itself thanks to bi-directional charging.

At this stage, it is unclear if AMG will offer two distinct versions of the new CLA, as it does today with the petrol-powered CLA 35 and CLA 45. 

Alongside the new CLA saloon, AMG is also planning powered-up versions of the next-generation CLA Shooting Brake, GLA crossover and GLB SUV – all of which are earmarked to receive the same drivetrain and battery architecture as the upcoming saloon. 

The division’s first bespoke electric car will be the production version of the striking Vision AMG concept it revealed in 2022, due on sale next year as a 1000bhp, axial-motored replacement for the V8-engined GT 63.


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-19 13:22:39


Richard Hammond on classic cars, TV, and the future of EVs Car News

“My wife and I had just learned we were going to have a baby, so I’d swapped my much-loved Fiat Barchetta for a four-seater, a ratty old Porsche 911 SC that was permanently in danger of exploding. But I drove it to meet Jeremy [Clarkson] and Andy Wilman, the TG producer. They saw it and thought I was, well, real.

“I did my stuff with Jeremy and then it was time to go, so I told them I’d better head back to ’Nam, which was my word for Cheltenham. They thought that was funny. In fact, they reckon it’s the reason I got the job.”

And now for Hammond on…

Friendship with May and Clarkson

“We’re friends, of course. If we spent any more time together, we’d have to start living in the same house. Of course, we argue sometimes, but everyone argues. We argue in the programme. That’s part of it. But we’re in touch. I was talking to James this morning, just before you arrived. My ambition is to be barred from his pub in Wiltshire.”

Goals for the next five years

“I want The Smallest Cog to be bigger. I want our restored cars to be requested at the best car shows for their quality. I want these shelves in my office to be covered with ‘best in show’ awards. Most of all, I want to be doing what I’m doing now, being part of it all.”

Fixing catastrophic TV damage “overnight”

“There’s no mystery. We do it ourselves. We just stay up all night… Actually, it’s a mixture. We have crew, of course, but we also have to muck in at times. I once welded a Subaru wishbone back into a fit state on my own. But as for ‘overnight, we built a bridge’, you can draw your own conclusion.”

His own cars

“My daily is a Ford Ranger Wildtrak. I’ve got a Porsche 911 GTS convertible, an old-shape Land Rover 110 breathed on by Bowler, a Subaru WRX STi I drove on The Grand Tour, plus a couple of other Grand Tour cars I can’t talk about.

“I’ve got a ’62 E-Type OTS convertible and another ’62 E coupé in bits that needs a full restoration. There’s the ’67 Ford Mustang GT 390, too – and, of course, there are the bikes. Quite a lot of those. I enjoy the freedom.”

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-20 07:00:00


The brilliance of the Toyota GR Yaris and why ‘hooning’ is allowed Car News

What I suspected was the case with the Toyota GR Yaris has turned out to be about right. 

“It’s no wonder I’ve had correspondence from people with big car collections who drive a Yaris every day,” I wrote in 2021 after spending a few months living with one and finding that it offered a driving experience so special that it would please people who could afford rather more than the £29,995 the hot hatchback cost.

And last month, Toyota presented me with some data backing that up: 48% of GR Yaris owners own one as an ‘additional car’, when the class average is only around 10%.

Many have a GR Yaris “next to a supercar”, said a delighted chief engineer Naohiko Saito. “This is something we’ve never seen before.”

Given this, and that Toyota has sold 100% more GRs than it had expected to by now, it’s little wonder that it has felt emboldened not only to put the car through a facelift but to suggest that it will make it a permanent fixture in the range – for as long as it’s still able to sell it.

“This isn’t the end of development,” said Saito at the event where I drove a pre-production example of the facelifted car.

“Smells and noise are something we don’t want to give up. We want to make sports cars for the next 100 years.”

By the end of this decade, though, 80% of new cars sold in the UK must be zero-emissions, and while it has only a 1.6-litre engine, the GR Yaris isn’t one of those.

Still, I live in hope of a long existence – and that Toyota resists the temptation to hike the price too much, now that it knows the wherewithal of many buyers.

More excitable quotes, although less happy ones, come from ABC News in Canberra. The Street Machine Summernats car event has come to town, and with it has come “moron tourism”, according to Mark Richardson, Australian Capital Territory’s acting inspector of road policing.

Australia has some strict anti-hooning laws – hooning being the word for “any antisocial behaviour in a motor car”, according to the authorities – but they don’t dissuade semi-organised burnout events.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-20 08:00:00


Large Stellantis EVs to get 500-mile range and Hellcat power Car News

Importantly, claimed Stellantis, the platform “enables several segment-leading capabilities” that will play to the strengths of each brand that will use it.

Alfa Romeo, for example, will benefit from its “high-performance vehicle dynamics”, while Jeep can exploit its “trail-rated off-road driving” credentials. 

Outlining the platform’s flexibility, Marc Issner, who has overseen its development, said it can accommodate ride heights ranging from 140mm to 287mm.

“If you want a curve-hugging, track-ready performance car, a smooth-riding luxury car or a rock-clearing off-roader, we’ve addressed these needs within the platform,” he said.

He added that buyers of Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Maserati cars “are passionate and very diverse” and added that Stellantis’s goal is to “avoid saying no to any of their product-specific requirements and requests”.

As an indication of its performance potential, Stellantis said the quickest STLA Large cars will crack 0-62mph in around 2.0sec, with “extreme power that will outperform any of the existing Hellcat V8s”.

The recently retired Dodge Charger Hellcat, for reference, packed 707bhp and 650lb ft of torque and so could crack the same sprint in around 3.7sec. 

Stellantis also said the STLA Large has been “optimised for weight and rigidity” and the components used within it are packaged as tightly as possible to maximise interior space.

As an example, all EVs based on this platform will be powered by e-axles – compact units that comprise the motors, inverters and gearbox. 

They will be fitted with a conventional 400V electrical architecture as standard but can optionally be upgraded to an 800V system, which will allow charging at rates of up to 270kW.

The largest battery available will be a 118kWh unit giving a maximum range of 500 miles in the most aerodynamically efficient variants, but Stellantis said it has engineered the platform to support different battery chemistries and drivetrain technologies, suggesting this figure could rise in the future. 

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-19 15:01:46


Mercedes-Benz to launch electric-only ‘little G’ SUV in 2026 Car News

A smaller version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class will be electric-only when it launches later in the decade.

The model will be developed by Mercedes’ new specialist G division as the third model in an expanded G range, after the upcoming Mercedes EQG.

Mercedes technical chief Markus Schäfer confirmed the powertrain plans to Autocar at the recent CES in Las Vegas, dismissing suggestions that the model could also be offered with hybridised internal combustion engines.

The model was first confirmed by company CEO Ola Källenius at the Munich motor show, where he referred to it as the “little G… a son or daughter of the iconic big G”.

Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener told Autocar that the new machine will take strong design cues from the “iconic DNA” of the existing G-Class, saying: “It will have its own character, but it will be a G.”

The G-Class line-up will expand first later this year with the new electric Mercedes EQG, and Autocar understands the new ‘little G’ will follow in 2026.

Mercedes has launched a new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) that will be used for a range of entry-level cars in the coming years, starting with the new Mercedes-Benz CLA, but Schäfer confirmed that the ‘little G’ will sit on a different platform, using modules from Mercedes’ larger rear-driven cars, due to its need to offer true off-roading ability.

That means the platform will be different – but likely to take learnings from – that of the full-sized EQG, which will use a reworked version of the existing ICE G-Class’s ladder-frame chassis and will be powered by four electric motors.

As well as giving Mercedes a foothold in the increasingly popular rugged crossover market, the baby G-Class will be crucial in establishing G as a Mercedes sub-brand in the same vein as Maybach and AMG, building on the success of its blocky Land Rover Defender rival. Indeed, G is now its own specialist division within Mercedes, just like Maybach and AMG

Källenius said last year: “Most luxury companies build their portfolio on the basis of one or two true icons. Mercedes-Benz has the good fortune to have multiple iconic products and brands at the upper end of its portfolio, such as the S-Class, the SL, the G-Class as well as the AMG and Maybach brands.

“We see great potential here to expand our top-end portfolio with even more fascinating products.”

His comments hint at the possibility for each of those four brands to spawn more comprehensive line-ups.

Like the upcoming CLA, the new compact SUV is likely to have an 800V electrical architecture, allowing for 248 miles of range to be added in just 15 minutes via a 250kW charger.


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-19 10:55:00


Lexus LBX wins What Car? Car of the Year Car News

The Lexus LBX has been crowned What Car? Car of the Year for 2024.

This year’s winner was announced at What Car?’s annual awards, dubbed the UK’s ‘Motoring Oscars’, held at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London

The 46th overall winner also took home the Small SUV category award, while Lexus won the Reliability Award for a record seventh consecutive year. Sister brand Toyota won Family Car of the Year (with the Corolla) and Estate Car of the Year (with the Corolla Touring Sports).

Other brands to win multiple awards included BMW and Kia, who took home three apiece, and Renault with two. 

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford, said: “The title of What Car? Car of the Year is reserved for the model that has moved things on the farthest in the past 12 months, and this year, that’s the Lexus LBX. 

“Despite competing in the hugely competitive small SUV market, it’s a better all-rounder than every rival, not least because it’s the first car in the class to combine hybrid efficiency with big-car luxury. And at a time when new car prices are going through the roof, it offers these strengths for an attractive price.” 

What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2024 in association with MotorEasy


Car of the Year: Lexus LBX 


Small Car, sponsored by MotorEasy: Renault Clio 1.0 TCe 90 Techno 

Family Car: Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid Icon 

Hot Hatch: Mercedes-AMG A45 S Plus 

Small SUV, sponsored by Solera Cap HPI: Lexus LBX 1.5 Premium Plus 

Family SUV, sponsored by Quotezone: Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi 3 

Plug-in Hybrid: Mazda MX-30 R-EV Prime-Line 

Small Electric Car, sponsored by Myenergi: MG4 EV SE 

Executive Car: Tesla Model 3 RWD 

Estate Car: Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 1.8 Hybrid Icon 

Seven-seater: Land Rover Defender 110 D300 X-Dynamic S 

Luxury Car: BMW X7 40d M Sport (Ultimate Pack) 

Small Electric SUV, sponsored by Blackhorse Finance: Smart #1 Premium 

Family Electric SUV, sponsored by Blackhorse Finance: Kia EV6 


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-18 23:00:00


What is the best screenwash for my car? Car News

5. Auto Glym Ultimate Screenwash (500ml)

£8.99 (£17.98/litre) (Halfords)

Minimum temperature: -45C


The most expensive option here, and while Auto Glym’s screenwash is also the most heavily concentrated, diluting it down to -6C strength results in 2.5 litres of washer fluid – which is about the same as you’d get from 1.25 litres of our other competitors in concentrated form. So even with its low minimum temperature, this is an expensive buy, and while it cleans well, it isn’t noticeably better than the rest. That said, if you pour it in neat you get the best cold temperature protection – though of course, you’ll have to use fair amount of it, for which your wallet won’t thank you.

6. TripleQX All Seasons Concentrated Screenwash (5l)

£5.29 (£1.06/litre) (Euro Car Parts)

Minimum temperature: unknown


At just £5.29 for a big bottle like this, the TripleQX screenwash is the second most affordable fluid here, which will tempt many buyers. Trouble is, it doesn’t clean brilliantly; what’s more, there’s no guideline given as to the protection it offers against freezing temperatures, so you have to pour it in and hope. Indeed, the instruction to ‘pour directly into screen wash bottle’ makes you think it should be used neat – so is it really a concentrate (rather than a ready-to-use solution) at all?

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-18 12:46:36