A year ahead of launch Land Rover spotted sporting an offputting paint and trim
Land Rover is to create a baby version of its perennial Discovery. And more than a year ahead of its official UK launch, a disguised version of the Discovery Sport has been spotted on a British road, done out in somewhat offputting paint and trim.
It was spotted in Coventry, not far from Jaguar Land Rover’s world-leading Whitley design and engineering centre.
Land Rover describes the new offroader as a ‘premium compact sports utility vehicle’ and insists it will be more versatile than the long-running Freelander, which will soon come to the end of the road after nearly 15 years.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director unveils Land Rover’s Discovery Vision Concept vehicle
Unveiling the restyled Discovery at the New York Motor Show, Land Rover’s top designer Gerry McGovern announced: ‘The nameplate that will make Discovery a family of vehicles for the first time will be the Sport…the most versatile and capable SUV in its segment.’ There is talk of the Sport having seven seats, as does the larger Discovery.
All this coincides with a major change in Land Rover’s marketing. The Sport (£25,000 to £45,000) will be the first in a new family of Discovery 4x4s. Land Rover will divide its vehicles into three ranges.
These will be: luxury, which includes all Range Rovers, including the Evoques; versatile, taking in the Discovery and Sport; and the down-to-earth Defender family, ranging from workhorse 4x4s, including the traditional Land Rover, through to fun and funky off-roaders.
What is believed to be the new 2014 Landrover Freelander, spotted in Coventry.
Skoda is celebrating a remarkable hat-trick by scooping the top three places in a car satisfaction survey involving more than 50,000 British motorists. The Yeti took top honours for the third year running in the Auto Express Driver Power poll, scoring high marks for reliability, build quality and running costs — as well as being voted the easiest car of all to drive and best overall sports utility vehicle (SUV).
It was followed by the urban runaround the Citigo with a satisfaction rating of 92.6 per cent. It was also crowned best small car and the most affordable to run.
And Skoda’s Superb saloon clinched third place with a satisfaction rating of 91.6 per cent, making it the best family car.
Only BMW’s motorway milemunching 5-series saloon came close, in fourth with 91.45 per cent, making it the best executive car.
Experts say Skoda’s success is testament to the huge turnaround in the fortunes of the Czech company, which was once the butt of jokes. It’s been been transformed since becoming part of the Volkswagen group.
Drivers rated their cars on a checklist of build quality, reliability, performance, running costs, roadhandling, ride quality, ease of driving comfort, practicality and levels of technology.
Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler said: ‘Skoda has done a brilliant job of building cars people love. They really are having the last laugh.’
It may be be small, but when it comes to depreciation, the Mini is clearly perfectly formed.
Minis lose just 16.4 per cent of their value in the first year after leaving the showroom, followed by Land Rovers (17 per cent), Toyotas (17.5 per cent), Hondas (17.9 per cent) and Volkswagens (18.3 per cent).
But if even that seems steep, bear in mind that the worst performers, Chryslers, lose more than a quarter of their value in the first 12 months — a whopping 26.6 per cent, just ahead of Chevrolet (26.3), Proton (26.1), Alfa Romeo (24.8) and Renault (24.7).
Details are from pricing experts at Glass’s Guide, published in the latest edition of motoring magazine Auto Express.
Luxury marque Mercedes-Benz clearly thinks its new GLA baby off-roader is worth its salt. So much so that it sent four of them down Britain’s biggest salt mine to prove they have true grit.
The German car giant lowered the 4x4s nose-first some 620 ft into the depths of the vast Winsford rock salt mine (pictured). The mine provides much of the gritting salt used on our roads in winter.
New Mercedes-Benz GLA sports utility vehicle proves its salt at Winsford Rock Salt Mine in Cheshire.
Mercedes staged the test to demonstrate the grip of the range as the cars sped through a network of more than 130 miles of mostly pitch-black tunnels snaking beneath the Cheshire countryside.
Based around the chassis of an A-Class, the GLA 220, from £25,080, is powered by a 2.2 litre 170 bhp engine, which propels it from rest to 62mph in 8.3 seconds up to a top speed of 134mph.
Average fuel consumption is a frugal 55.4 mpg with lowish CO2 emissions of 132g/km.