A tale of two Hyundais. One, made in Turkey, is a sensible small family hatchback with a sweet one-litre petrol engine and automatic gears. That’s the blue car, the i20. The other is a slightly larger family hatchback. Then it got hotted up. That’s the paler blue car, the i30N Performance. It is made in the Czech Republic.
It’s not been a good week for Vauxhall. The national TV news showed evidence of the Zafira MPV bursting into flames. This was first reported three years ago. Vauxhall has now recalled a further 47,000 Zafiras at risk in the latest conflagration. The Luton-based company has been criticised for its slow response to the hazards.
Setting: the Cotswolds, Laurie Lee country, with tight wooded valleys, perched cottages and cornfields in autumn stubble. It’s the gorgeous landscape the young Lee walked out of one midsummer morning in 1935 and headed for Spain.
Review: Aston Martin Volante convertible and Vantage two-seater coupe
Aston Martins are golly gosh cars. They are reasonably rare, loud and exciting. They race and win at Le Mans and other epic tracks. Rio Ferdinand is an enthusiastic “ambassador” and owner. They sponsor the One Pro cycling team, sell the Storck bikes, do fashion goods. Its heritage factory makes million-pound replicas of classic models.
Mazda has given its 6 saloon and Tourer estate a tweak in quality and styling. This fine-looking car dates from 2012. The latest facelift is intended to keep it on the boil – in a sector which this decade has been dominated by the premium marques from Germany. While they cost a bit more they hang on to their value – which attracts company and fleet accountants.
The Volkswagen Group is the world’s biggest producer of vehicles. It sold 10.74 million last year. It is also number one in Britain. Volkswagen, per se, sold 4.1 million cars in the first eight months this year, a record, in the teeth of people grumbling about diesel futures and diesel pasts.