The current Volkswagen Golf R is a legend in its own lifetime. Many previous versions of fast, four-wheel-drive Golfs might have had seemingly more exotic V6 motors, but it’s the 2014, Mk7 generation with its 296bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that really proved how spectacular the hottest Golf could be.
Here’s something unexpected to kick things off: Suzuki UK simply cannot secure enough of the new Jimny from Japan to satisfy demand. We are not talking by small margins here either; at the last count it had 10,000 expressions of interest for its diddy off-roader, which is approximately six times more cars than it is able to supply on an annual basis.
Regular readers will note this isn’t the first time in recent weeks that we’ve blogged about the Alpine A110. Last time it was as the subject of our Automotive Reincarnations series, where its similarities to the Lotus Elise SC were highlighted. Today, it’s time to get behind the wheel to find out what this gorgeous two-seat coupe is like to drive.
There was a time when Kia was known for selling tough but somewhat agricultural cars that appealed for their straightforward approach, but not their finesse. Then in 2006 it launched the original cee’d and kickstarted a mission to completely transform how its brand was perceived.
Engineering, value and practicality: those are the qualities Skoda believes to be behind its success. Successful it is too, with recent record sales driven by the launch of its pair of SUVs, the Kodiaq and smaller Karoq. A full electrification strategy is around the corner too, with four plug-in hybrid and six fully electric cars due to join the range between 2020 and 2025. However, none of that is to say Skoda has forgotten the role that’s to be played by its smaller, more conventional cars – which is precisely how we find ourselves behind the wheel of the freshly revised Fabia.
With its 30th anniversary looming, the Mazda MX-5 has never looked more appealing. Early models can be picked up for less than £1,000, and from here on there really is an MX-5 for every budget. For now, the options top out with the car tested here, the 2019 MX-5 complete with a revised engine for an even more exciting driving experience.
Initially it was as much Hyundai’s well-publicised five-year warranty and an aggressive scrappage scheme campaign in 2009 that helped it to gain market penetration and consumer respect. However, the way the Korean firm’s products have continued to improve since demonstrates that as far as ambition and execution go, it is among the best in the business. Where the Hyundai i30 N fits into that is what we are about to find out.
Since becoming part of the VW Group empire in 1991, Skoda has been given enough leeway to forge its own path. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the Yeti, a car for which you’ll find no equivalent from Volkswagen, Seat, Audi et al.