Motors in Barry

Skoda Octavia vRS iV PHEV Review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

10th Nov 2021 | Reviews

The Octavia vRS is a great all-rounder, especially in estate form.

Performance car fans know that the Octavia vRS is a car you shouldn't underestimate. For years, it's offered VW Golf GTI performance in a more practical body shape - with a lower price tag. But now the vRS has shifted up a gear with this plug-in hybrid version.

The iV version of the vRS uses a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a 113bhp electric motor and a 13kWh battery. The power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and in the Skoda total power is a pretty pokey 242bhp.

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The hands off approach to driving - are we ready?

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

5th Nov 2021 | Reviews

Autopilot is a key part of the new Tesla Model S and X models

Drivers are soon set to be allowed to take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road on motorways in the UK, the government has just announced. It's the long awaited first move to autonomous driving that all the major car firms have been working on for years.

The ground-breaking plans will allow hands free driving in cars fitted with lane keeping technology on traffic-filled motorways at speeds up to 37 mph.

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Nissan rebadges Renault to replace e-NV200

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

29th Oct 2021 | Reviews

The Townstar should not be confused with a kitchen device for grilling bread

Nissan has revealed its replacement for the pioneering e-NV200 electric van. Called the Townstar, it will be available with both petrol and electric powertrains but there won't be a diesel - a real milestone for a commercial vehicle.

The van is based on the Renault Kangoo, with an electric variant which Nissan is really throwing its weight behind. Using a 90kW electric motor linked to a 44kWh battery, the firm says that the electric Townstar is capable of travelling for up to 177 miles between charges, with a 0-80 per cent top-up taking 42 minutes via rapid CCS charging. This is a significant improvement over the 124 miles of the eNV. Load space is fractionally larger too, ans 4.3 cubic metres.

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Hyundai IONIQ 5 Review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

27th Oct 2021 | Reviews

The IONIQ 5 looks cooler than an Audi and makes the Tesla Model Y seem like it's from a decade ago.

Where brands such as Volkswagen and Ford are wheeling out their first electric cars, Hyundai is wading in with a second-generation car that has the potential to make almost everything in the sector look a little old-hat, both in terms of looks and tech.

The retro-styled IONIQ 5 is bigger than it appears in photos though; at 4.64 metres long it's bigger than a Land Rover Discovery Sport and very similar all round to a Jaguar I-Pace.

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Image caption: Are owners leap-frogging the PHEV stepping stone?

The switch to zero-emission motoring has reached a major milestone with the total number of pure electric vehicles on the roads overtaking the number of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models for the first time, according to analysis of official data by the RAC.

September 2021 saw the highest ever sales of electric cars for a single month taking the number of battery-powered cars on British roads to 332,299, compared to 327,183 plug-in hybrids. Although electric cars still only represent 1% of the total number of cars in the UK, the rate of growth in the last few years is unprecedented, says the RAC.

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Mercedes GLE PHEV review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

20th Oct 2021 | Reviews

If you're a company car driver or have the right lifestyle, the GLE hybrid is an excellent option – it's quiet, plush and very posh.

Mercedes is making a big thing of the pure-electric cars it's launched recently, but it has also been quietly plugging away at its plug-in hybrids too. The latest is the GLE.

For the time being, the GLE is the largest plug-in hybrid SUV Mercedes makes and comes in two flavours, the regular SUV and a 'Coupe' version with a lower roofline. It rivals the BMW X5 xDrive 45 and Volvo's XC90 Recharge, but unlike those cars the Merc is a diesel.

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BMW i4 review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

15th Oct 2021 | Reviews

The i4 is designed to be an electric BMW for people who are reluctant to drive an electric car. Can it be fun to drive and efficient?

Whether petrolheads like it or not, electric cars are the future. But BMW is taking away the fear for drivers who need to be weaned off the petrol pump with the new i4. When the GranCoupé goes on sale in November at prices starting at £51,905, the four-door coupe promises to have more driving pleasure than any other electric car in this class and feels as much like a combustion engined car as it can.

BMW has not developed its own ground-up design for the i4, but has used the basic structure of the best-selling 3 and 4-Series as the basis for this car.

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MG ZS EV gets new look and 110 miles more range

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

12th Oct 2021 | Reviews

New Long Range model has an official range of 273 miles

MG has revealed its new, improved version of the ZS EV, which arrives in the brand's dealerships next month. The renewed model has a new look, but the bigger news is significantly longer range from a new 72kWh battery pack.

It will be offered with a choice of two trim levels and two battery variants. The 72 kWh Long Range will offer a range of 273 miles compared with 163 miles for the existing model (based on official WLTP measurements). A 51 kWh battery with a 198-mile range will be offered in the line up next year.

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New Fiat 500 is (RED)dy to do good

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

8th Oct 2021 | Reviews

New (RED) model is available as a convertible or hatchback

The most popular colour for the last Fiat 500 was red - so you may be wondering why it wasn't a shade offered on the new, all-electric model.

Here is the answer – the company was waiting to reveal a new model, created with the charitable organisation (RED). Rock star Bono, co-founder of (RED), even turned up at the unveiling of the car, spurred on by the promise of more than $4 million from Fiat over the next three years for the charity.

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