We bring you concise car video test drives from our Editor Geraldine Herbert’s Sunday Independent Motoring Column. All videos have been filmed by Kyran O’Brien.
” Crossovers and SUVs may boast decent space and practicality to warrant their credentials as ideal family vehicles but if you want a proper load-lugger it is hard to beat an estate. The VW Passat Estate blends practicality with the classy style of the saloon. But the real trump card of this new Passat is the sheer quality and refinement and it gives rivals a serious run for their money but whether Volkswagen have done enough to tempt buyers away from BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz, only time will tell”.
“At first, it looks like a mere revamp but the New Corsa is much more than that. Available in both petrol and diesel guises, manual or automatic, with three doors or five the Corsa is certainly one to consider for competitive pricing, space and good range of model choices”
” In this competitive market Lexus is offering a vehicle with a blend of comfort and luxury that will appeal to a very wide market. With the NX Lexus may not put the sport back into sport utility vehicle but the NX is more efficient and better equipped than rivals and is a compelling choice for buyers that want to step into a premium brand”
“The i8 is clearly not for everyone, the price is eye watering, the seats in the back are tiny and the boot is ridiculously small plus those doors need such a space to open in that they are actually the most impractical thing about it. But this is not what the i8 is about, it is a futuristic car packed cutting edge technology that is destined to be the gene-pool from which all future cars draw inspiration from, At a time when everyone seems to be clamouring for lower emissions and more efficiency BMW’s i division have delivered a car that is living proof that there is still a sustainable and fun to drive future for the sports car.”
“The latest incarnation of the TT is a truly modern car that’s packed with technology. If you liked the previous TT, then you will love this one, but I’m not convinced that in this guise – diesel and front-wheel drive – Audi have delivered a TT that drives as good as it looks. What they have done , however, is taken a good car and made it better.”
“Sports coupes are all about compromises and practicality is not the main consideration. So once you abandon all thoughts of shoehorning actual people in to the back seats you begin to appreciate the RCZ R for what it is; a race-bred road car. It will turn heads and put a smile on your face and in a market that the Germans have dominated for so long it is nice to see the French providing some serious competition”
Opel Meriva 1.6 CDTi
“The Opel Meriva is a well designed and cleverly thought out small MPV with flexible seating, smart interior and good build quality. With the addition of smaller and more efficient engines the Meriva stacks up well against recent arrivals in the sector but given that Opel pioneered the small compact MPV it is disappointing that the new Meriva adds very little that is new or innovative”
“With concept car styling, the C4 Cactus is what Citroën do best and it is a bold response to the changing needs of families. It is extremely cheap to run, looks great and is easy to drive. Comfortable; cool and clever the Cactus is the one to go for if you want to stand out from the crowd.”
Land Rover Discovery
” Rugged off road the Land Rover Discovery is also deliciously luxurious on road. Buyers are attracted by its practicality and refinement, it is still worth remembering that the Discovery 4 may be built for comfort, but it is still built for adventure”
“Hyundai’s new i10 is a grown up and sophisticated interpretation of a classic city car that blends reliability, practicality and economy with smart styling and a focus on refinement. With a reputation for excellent reliability, a five year unlimited warranty and a price tag of just €11,995 you certainly get lots for your money”
“Understated and elegant, the Audi A3 combines incredible power and grip with a refinement that only Audi can deliver. From practicality to performance the Audi S3 has got it all and despite a starting price of €47,670 when you consider the power, it is actually quite a bargain.”
“The 2 series coupe is a return to what BMW do best; creating compact, agile, rear wheel drive coupes. It is beautiful to drive, economical to run and comes with a sufficient dash of practicality for everyday driving. Overall it proves an interesting but pricey alternative to a hothatch.”