Peugeot's new 3008 HYbrid4 looks perfectly normal on the outside and indeed if you pop open the bonnet you will find a perfectly normal 163bhp 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo diesel which as you would expect in this day and age also has a start/stop system. But plonk yourself down on the floor and stick your head under the back end and you will find some interesting and unique battery-powered hybrid voodoo.
Renault’s new Twizy is an electric car - sorry, electric heavy quadricycle - aimed directly at urban dwellers who’d rather not ride a scooter with all its attendant discomfort and danger and who live somewhere where the weather is altogether less miserable than the UK. A scooter is actually the best comparator for the Twizy because the performance is quite scooter-like with the 13kW (17bhp) electric motor delivering a top speed of 50mph.
The new Jaguar Sportbrake may be getting all the attention but if you ask me the most important new cat is the fast but frugal 2.2-litre diesel which I’ve finally managed to get my paws on. Under the bonnet of the XF 2.2D you will find the same 188bhp 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel that's also currently fitted to other Jaguar Land Rover models including the new Range Rover Evoque.
Last year was a good one for BMW’s Mini with just over 285,000 of them finding a home, a rise of 22% year on year. It’s no surprise then that a drop-top version of the Coupé has just hit the road. Called the Roadster it’s designed to spread the Mini appeal even further and lure punters away from the likes of the Mazda MX-5 and Audi TT Roadster.
The majority of cars look the same from the left as from the right, but not Hyundai’s new hatchback coupé which has a rear door on the passenger's side but not on the driver’s. Brilliant idea or gimmick? And will it lure buyers away from the the obvious alternatives like the Vauxhall Astra GTC and Volkswagen Scirocco?
If good things come in small packages then Volkswagen’s new city car, the up! (sic) is off to a flying start because it’s absolutely tiny on the outside. In fact it's only 500mm longer than the original Mini, a car that is positively microscopic by modern "small car" standards.