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Author: admin | Category: Loan For Car | Date: 22.12.2013

Most buyers will choose one of the front-wheel-drive versions, although the Fiat is, nevertheless, available with an on-demand all-wheel-drive system. All models come with a touchscreen infotainment system that includes Bluetooth and music streaming. Its decor is more mature, but you’ll find plenty of stylish flourishes, including the retro metal-look door handles, an elegantly integrated infotainment screen (whose navigation system was occasionally confused) and, on all models bar the Cross, a body colour-finished horizontal decor strip.
Most of the mouldings are high-quality, although the rear door tops are hard-feel rather than the soft texture of the fronts, a subtle cost saving. The seats are stylish, the instruments neat beneath and the dash-mounted switchgear classily elegant, as is the steering wheel. Rear-seat occupants are well provided for too, even if the cushion is slightly too flat, the pay-off for having backrests that fold flat. Boot space is generous and a good shape, offering similar space to the competition (350 litres), with easy to fold seats that leave a flat load deck. There's a strong torque-surge from much less than 2000rpm, and the Fiat’s urge tapers away only once 4000rpm is breached. Less good, however, is this engine’s refinement, its oil-burning yammer too evident during acceleration, if not overbearing.
The four-cylinder turbocharged 138bhp petrol won’t be the company buyer's number one choice, as the diesel version squarely beats it for fuel consumption and emissions. The ride itself is mostly pretty good, the 500X benefitting from a new platform shared with its Jeep Renegade cousin. Having tried versions on both 17in and 18in wheels, if you value ride comfort we’d definitely say less is more.
The steering won’t tell you much about the friction force beneath, and it sometimes feels woolly during ambitious cornering, but its weighting and basic accuracy are good. As a result, instead of it being instinctive, you steer the 500X reactively like a computer game, estimating the lock required, seeing where this puts you, then readjusting your line accordingly. For the most part, the 500X makes an effective and pleasant way to travel despite these flaws, its stylish interior serving plenty of space, practicality, comfort and the decent view of a crossover. The magic of the 500 supermini’s style translates more convincingly to a crossover than it did to the awkward 500L MPV. Judging by the fact that more than 200,000 Fiat 500s have been sold in the UK, it’s clear that people love the 500 brand.
It’s still got the style to win over your heart but now, thanks to a roomy cabin, great interior, sensible prices and decent equipment, your head can get on board, too. There’s room for improvement, though, particularly with the steering and ride, but that shouldn’t stop the 500X appearing on your shopping list. The 488's incredible engine and handling and open-top experience make for something very special indeed. The Isuzu D-Max is starting to show its age; after a drive in the range-topping Blade version, is it still competitive? If you’re here to find out whether the Mercedes-AMG GTS is a credible 911 rival, skip straight to CAR’s in-depth comparison test here for the definitive Stuttgart versus Stuttgart playoff. There might be something ever so slightly 911-ish about the roofline (cheeky Mercedes), but the AMG GT’s blueprints lie in the now-defunct SLS AMG. It’s around 20mm narrower than the SLS – a good thing – and also approximately 50mm shorter in the wheelbase. What at first seemed a dauntingly low, backward-set driving position feels perfect once you’re underway. And it’s certainly supercar fast, especially in the mid-range with 479lb ft spread nice and evenly from 1750 to 4750rpm and turbo lag noticeable by its absence. Ahh, you’re thinking of the Carrera and Carrera S, which switched to turbo power last year. Well if the common 911s are now turbocharged too, how does the real Turbo assert its identity? Oh, you know, by being so obscenely accelerative there’ll be a time in the future when we look back with incredulity that anyone with merely the money, and not necessarily a shred of driving ability, could legally be let loose in something this rapid. There are another couple of new functions: ‘dynamic boost’ minimises lag in on-off throttle situations by merely cutting fuelling, but leaving the throttle open to maintain charge pressure, while the Sports Response button on the new steering wheel-mounted driving mode selector primes the engine and transmission for big overtakes, ensuring the right cog is engaged for maximum go. The steering is electrically assisted but not disappointingly over damped, unlike Porsche’s first electric-steer cars, and while there’s still no manual transmission these days, the PDK is a great match.
If we worried that the Turbo might struggle to maintain its own character in the face of the newly turbocharged Carrera models at Porsche, we needn’t have. Kia’s 2011 GT concept, a four-door V6 fastback, has got the production go-ahead and is likely to arrive towards the end of 2016.
At the recent Paris motor show, executives confirmed to Autocar that a showroom version of the concept car is definitely in Kia’s plans, as the brand moves to develop a more sporting image.
Kia UK boss Paul Philpott said that ideally he would like a two-seat sports car to rival the Mazda MX-5 but accepts that the global market is unlikely to be big enough to make it viable. In concept form, the GT is powered by a 390bhp 3.3-litre V6 turbo petrol engine that drives the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic ’box. The rear-hinged back doors of the concept are likely to be replaced by conventionally hinged doors for the showroom version.


If Kia goes ahead with the GT4 Stinger, it will be more important for sales because it will be cheaper than the GT. Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. The new, third-generation Ford Focus RS is a real wild child – less showy than its predecessor, but packed with technology and promising remarkable performance.
The Mk3 Ford Focus RS launches in January 2016, to a public so expectant Ford has received 1800 orders in Europe already. New for the Mk3 Focus RS is four-wheel drive – something it needs to keep its 345bhp under some kind of restraint. Instead of a continuously variable adjustable damper system, the Focus RS has two distinct damping modes – Normal and Sport. One look at the exhaust system, and you’ll immediately wonder what’s happened to the silencers – the big-bore pipe runs almost straight, right through to twin tailpipe back box. Just like its recently facelifted SL big brother, the SLC gets fresh bumpers, a more steeply raked radiator grille with a spangly diamond pattern, and swoopier headlight graphics (with full LED units an optional extra). New bits of trim made from aluminium but pretending to be carbonfibre, a new instrument cluster with black dials, red needles and a TFT display in the middle, plus a bigger display in the centre console.
Both the steering wheel and gear selector are new too, and the seats’ leather upholstery has a different design, supposedly all the better for keeping cool on sunny days.
Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 - 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 replaces the rumbling V8 of the old SLK 55 AMG.
Good news for April showers - you can now raise or lower the electrohydraulic hardtop while travelling at up to around 25mph, and the luggage separator now shifts automatically so you don’t need to stop to reshuffle your luggage before dropping the top. The versions we tried had a larger 6.5in screen and sat-nav (standard on top-spec Lounge and Cross Plus trims), which was easy to get to grips with and functioned well.
The driver sits 45mm lower in the 500X than in the Renegade (although there’s a seat-height adjuster), the aim being to provide a slightly sportier experience.
In-cabin dumping grounds are fairly generous, and include so-called pelican-beak door bins, which are much wider than the average. It's an effective power band that’s a lot wider than those of previous MultiJet diesel engines, and it's aided by a gearchange of more silken action than we’re used to in Fiats, so progress is confidently brisk. There’s a touch too much wind gush around the front windows at speed, and the suspension can be noisy, especially from the rear. However, if you’re a private buyer this engine makes more sense, because it’s cheaper to buy and a lot more refined.
It also spins freely and feels nippy, whisking the 500X from 0-62mph in a respectable 9.8sec. A stiff structure and independent MacPherson strut rear suspension must help, the ride only turning choppy on scabby Tarmac. Fiat was brave enough to let us test the car on some pretty beaten-up Buckinghamshire roads, and it’s noticeably smoother on the smaller wheels. And if the school run is short enough not to be chasing those last few miles per gallon, we’d save the cash and take the smoother petrol over the diesel. What does this 567bhp range-topping brute have to offer, seeing as it costs more than ?100,000? Underneath that smooth bodywork (hat-doff to the styling team for the clean surfacing, a welcome departure from the crinkle-cut theme of most current-era Mercs) lies a modified version of the SLS floorpan.
A large proportion of the bodyshell is aluminium, like the SLS, with steel for the practicality-boosting tailgate, covering space for two sets of golf clubs. It's good, but somehow doesn't feel quite as snappy as it does in the Ferrari 458, to which it's also fitted. The GTS makes 503bhp versus the GT’s 456bhp and demolishes 0-62mph in 3.8sec, a two-tenth advantage.
Hemmed in by an overgrown transmission tunnel (a hangover from the SLS DNA) and obstructed by odd ergonomics (the gear selector’s positioned so far back you almost need to reach behind you to put the car in gear) it initially feels claustrophobic and awkward to see out of. Sitting back near the rear axle hardwires you straight into the GTS’s superb balance (that even-stevens weight distribution feels immediately evident), and the steering, horribly light and remote at low speeds, somehow becomes ever more accurate with speed. This is a turbocharged engine that does a good job of hiding it, with great throttle response in higher gears. It’s the first Turbo to exceed 200mph and, while officially the zero to 62mph time is 2.9sec, pint-sized development bigwig August Achleitner says it’s several tenths quicker in the right conditions. Well, although it sticks with the old 3.8-litre six, there’s the extra 20bhp over the old S. The Turbo S is still a brilliantly engaging car, fearsomely rapid in all weathers and so flattering you’ll be waiting for the postman to deliver your Le Mans call-up letter every day after you’ve taken delivery.
In fact the mapping is so well judged, messing with the gearshift paddles or the newly reversed (to match a racer’s push-pull) shift pattern is entirely optional.
Yet far from being inert, the Turbo and S will happily indulge your liberty taking, letting you trail brake into corners and edge the rear out of line thanks to the new PSM stability system’s more lenient Sport mode. If that ?19k difference sounds significant, it’s worth remembering that desirable kit like ceramic brakes and the adaptive roll control suspension costs extra on the base car but is standard on the 39bhp more powerful S. Subjectively, it feels much punchier than its little brother at higher speeds and rolls less, though the stock version is hardly a blancmange.


But Kia will be keen to preserve the concept’s fastback silhouette and much of the dramatic detailing.
And we’ve come to Ford’s legendary Lommel test facility in Belgium to find out all about it. But it is a chance to poke about underneath to see how Ford has crammed in all the upgrades, and experience their impact from the passenger seat. But it’s a very different system to the Haldex type used by rivals like the Audi RS3, Mercedes-AMG A45 and VW Golf R. You can activate Sport at any time via a dedicated button on the end of the indicator stalk. However, the cylinder liners, the revised turbocharger, the intake system, the cooling and the cylinder head are bespoke to the RS, enabling it to handle the additional pressures of increasing power from 306bhp to 345bhp.
This explains things like the ‘zero lift’ aerodynamic bodykit, including front spoiler, rear wing and diffuser, and the ducts and ‘jet tunnels’ that direct cooling air at the monster 350mm Brembo front brakes. Great for performance, but you’d imagine hell to ratify against drive-by noise regulations. Assisted by launch control, that’s enough for 0-62mph in 4.7sec, while top speed is 165mph.
This is the new Mercedes SLC, the facelifted, renamed and all-round refreshed SLK for 2016. Under hard acceleration there’s a curious flat spot after each gear change, but other than this idiosyncrasy, the turbocharged petrol performs well.
Even so, it still fidgets slightly over bumps, but a Skoda Yeti or Kia Soul are comparable.
No gullwing doors this time round, of course, partly to reduce weight and complexity but also to underline that the GT isn’t a direct SLS replacement – this is a different kind of car, chasing different buyers at a different (lower) price point. The name comes from the location of its turbos inside the valley of the cylinders, rather than a more conventional home outboard of each cylinder bank. It’s a hydraulic setup rather than electric, carried over from the SLS platform, and constant-ratio, although slightly odd tuning makes it feel a little like a variable-rate rack. From inside the cabin at least, the GT doesn’t sound quite as soulful as it looks, although the exhaust button (one of the many peppering that giant centre console) helps to transmit a little muscle car rumble and overrun popcorn to the cabin via switchable flaps within the exhaust. Intoxicatingly fast, comfortable over long distances and blessed with balanced, accessible handling it manages to be both a relaxed grand tourer and an inspiring sports car. It’s a better car than the ?170k SLS it (indirectly) succeeds and, for now at least, it’s new and different enough to represent a credible alternative to established heroes from Porsche, Aston and beyond. Except on the rear badge, confusingly, where Porsche typography convention means a lower-case one.
That means a total of 572bhp, courtesy of revised inlet ports, higher fuel pressures and bigger variable geometry turbos.
The ceramic brakes did get grumbly after sustained hard-lapping at the Kayalami launch track in South Africa but there was never any suggestion of real fade. The Ford’s pair of electronically controlled clutch packs on the rear axle are capable not only of handling up to 70% of the car’s nominal 324lb ft of torque (347lb ft on overboost), they constantly vary distribution between the rear wheels, and can send 100% of what’s available to just one of them. And right there on the centre console is a driving mode button that allows you to select Normal, Sport, Track and Drift. But Ford knows the RS is still likely to be many owners’ only car – with everything set to Normal it should be civilised enough for granny to take on the school run. Once the boost comes in at around 1500rpm, there’s plenty of torque to haul it up the road in pretty much any gear you fancy. The cabin’s pushed rearwards by a seemingly endless bonnet but open it up and much of the engine bay’s taken up by induction gubbins and ancillaries – the engine itself doesn’t make an appearance until way behind the front axle line. The S also gets a variety of chassis goodies, an electronically controlled limited slip diff and three-stage adaptive dampers (by Multimatic) as opposed to the purely mechanical diff and passive suspension in the GT, along with bigger brakes and tyres. Body control, on admittedly smooth, fast roads, was exemplary and it’s a car you’ll quickly feel at ease with, and engaged by. The S recently lapped the Nurburgring in 7min 18sec, which makes it 2sec quicker than even the track-biased GT3 RS and a whole 9sec faster than the old Turbo S.
The 20in centre-lock wheels are also half an inch wider and the four-wheel drive system gets a faster-acting electro-hydraulically operated clutch pack to shuffle the torque about more promptly. Even with the electronic stability control still on (and you can switch it all the way off), our driver was easily able to provoke the back of the car into stepping out of line – very neat, very controlled, just a tweak to show this Focus is willing to make you look like a hero on the exit of corners. The RS is fully legal, and almost urbane in the Normal driving mode, thanks to a sound suppressing valve.
What’s more, specific body-strengthening measures for the RS make it 23% stiffer overall compared to a standard Mk3 Focus, and up to 200% stiffer in some areas. Although the GTS is a largely very comfortable car on most roads, when the surface gets really tough, so does the ride – but it’s certainly liveable with. In Sport and above, this valve opens and a special ‘injection strategy’ ensures it pops and bangs like Chinese New Year.



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