Monthly Archives: September 2013

Chevrolet Trax pricesChevrolet Trax prices have been announced. The 1.4T AWD LT Stop-Start is priced at £19,795 on the road and the top of the range 1.7 VCDi AWD LT Stop-Start is £20,495 on the road.

SsangYong September OfferAny SsangYong models purchased during September will come with an impressive five years free servicing offer. The Korando ES is claimed to be the lowest priced SUV on the market at only £14,995.

BEAULIEU’S BONANZASome 250 Land Rovers turned up for the National Motor Museum’s first ever ‘Simply Land Rover’ event at Beaulieu this August. Excellent weather helped, but the success of the event should ensure that it becomes a regular annual occurrence. Beaulieu joined forces with Land Rover Experience, West Country, to allow entrants to experience the newly designed off-road Forest Drive. This proved very popular with a total of 84 personal Land Rovers making the trip, in addition to the drives chauffeured by LRE. There was an opportunity for visitors to vote on their favourite Land Rovers and the winner was Nigel Major from Christchurch with his colourful 1978 Series III 109 fire engine. Nigel, who is a full-time fire-fighter at Bournemouth Airport only bought the vehicle through eBay some three years ago. And of course, when the people decide, then everyone love’s a fireman! Beaulieu has a number of interesting special motoring events, and it’s a great place to visit. Check out what is happening by visiting www.beaulieuevents.co.uk

2014 LAND CRUISER REVEALEDNext year’s Toyota Land Cruiser will have the benefits from some exterior and interior design tweaks, together with adjustments to the vehicle’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System – claimed to improve handling and ride comfort. With over 60 years in the Toyota model range, the range topping Land Cruiser now has to match up with increased competition from Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz with its AMG ML series.  The 2014 Land Cruiser gets a new treatment for the front, with a deeper front bumper and new light clusters, plus new alloy wheel designs and revised rear lamps. Inside there are further improvements, together with a new control panel for on and off-road driving systems. The 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine remains, but has been developed to meet the Euro5+ emissions standards. Performance of the 188bhp engine has not changed, but emissions have been reduced. As we closed for press, full details of the changes for UK models and prices had not been announced. The new Land Cruiser will be available in the early part of 2014 and we will report in more detail as soon as we have them.

HIGH TECH UPGRADES FOR EVOQUE It’s been a busy month for the guys at JLR! After the announcement of the new Jaguar SUV, there has also been the Range Rover Hybrid (full details, page 14, November 2013) and some significant changes to the best-selling Evoque.

It’s somewhat difficult to believe that we’ve had the Range Rover Evoque with us for over two years. We first wrote in detail about the Evoque in June 2011, and it won our 2012 4×4 Of The Year; in fact, it won practically every award that was available to a 4×4! It’s true to say that initial reaction for some people was not so positive, with fatuous comments about it not ‘deserving’ the Range Rover badging on the bonnet being high on the traditional Luddite view. What no one can deny, however blinkered and covered in axle grease they may be, is that it has been an astonishing global sales success. Some 170,000 units have been sold in a mere 18 months. Jaguar Land Rover cannot build enough of them, and that demand hasn’t dropped at all, and plans are now being investigated to expand the Halewood plant so they can make more of them. And quicker.

In terms of a vehicle’s model lifetime, however, two years is a long time and the market expects revisions, updates, and the Evoque is no exception. It does seem, however, that some things do not change and the traditional Land Rover view of ‘evolution, not revolution’ means that the revisions to the Evoque are not dramatic, but that’s not to say they are not significant.

BobCookeBob Cooke – contributor


SandstormingJust for a moment there I thought we’d trashed the transmission. As the Cherokee charged up the rutted sandy slope it lurched, bounced and suddenly came to a stop with a loud clattering sound. In horror I thought – damn, I’ve wrecked the transfer case!

But then from outside came Simon Butcher’s booming voice: “It’s all right, it’s just the tyres rubbing against the wheelarch!”

Oh, that’s all right then, I thought. However, I’d naturally backed off when I heard the clatter and the Cherokee was well and truly sunk into the big ruts, so there was no going forwards. We backed gently down to the bottom of the climb, allowed ourselves a longer run up to the start of the slope and booted it. The Cherokee bounced, lurched and swayed up the slope again, and when we got to the deeper ruts the clattering started again, but this time I just kept the pedal down and, in a shower of sand, the Cherokee nosed its way through and eventually lurched its way up and over the top.

Whether you need a workhorse for your business or a versatile luxury vehicle for recreational use, it’s worth making sure which double-cab pick-up is the most practical proposition for you


Top TrucksTARGET PRICE: £10,000 – £15,000

The lust for more power, a hunger for more aggressive style, a thirst for more comfort and refinement has for so long underlined competing manufacturers’ vision for the future of pick-up trucks, that they seem to have lost track of the reason for the existence of the pick-up – it’s supposed to be a working vehicle with aspects such as payload, towing capability and maintenance costs outweighing the cosmetic appeal of aerodynamic styling and shiny chrome-plated accessories. For many, the choice of which pick-up to buy depends more on image value than practicality – who would wish to be seen (and heard) driving around in a cheap and cheerful Great Wall Steed when they could be at the wheel of a highway-dominating Barbarian, and for all its muscular styling and Thunder graphics, who’d drive an old Ford Ranger when they could be one of the Invincibles in a Toyota Hilux? Are these high-image vehicles the most practical choice, however? Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the more prosaic values of the many makes of pick-up vying for attention on Britain’s roads. In this instance we’re looking at what’s available for under £15,000 – and what you can get for that much money depends largely on whether, as a business user, you’re able to reclaim the VAT. One-tonne pick-ups are classed as commercial vehicles, and the price asked is usually the basic price without the VAT. Private buyers seeking a comfortable and versatile family vehicle will have to pay the VAT, which means if your upper spending limit is £15,000 you’ll be looking for a vehicle priced at no more than £12,500. That would certainly put any of the newest contenders out of the frame – the new Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max and Volkswagen Amarok, for instance, where even nearly new and ex-demonstrator examples are rare at around the £15,000 mark. All the prices quoted in this article are without the VAT; so non-business buyers will have to add the extra 20 per cent.

Hils BlogWhen will we have had enough of all these luxury, pseudo, 4x4s? Bring back real off-roaders…

Visiting Bickers Action this month for a Professional User story (see feature on page 20) was one of the most impressive jobs I have had the privilege to cover. Not only have these guys built some incredible vehicles, but the driving skill that they demonstrate on filming jobs in some difficult locations is quite astounding. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to join them on a film or TV shoot. Also during my visit, some of the magnificent trucks were out in Canada doing what they do best – I was not allowed to know where exactly or what on – so I didn’t see the complete and vast array of vehicles on offer.

But just being next to a Chevy Cheyenne or Silverado was enough to enable me to revel in the sheer magnificence of these American trucks. Yes, our Land Rovers are getting ever bigger. The new Range Rover is humongous; even if I could afford one I couldn’t possibly own one because it wouldn’t fit into my garage and probably be just too tight a squeeze on the driveway. I would actually need to move house to accommodate my new 4×4 – madness! But in the US everything is bigger and therefore for this kind of work powerful engines that can cope with huge amounts of kit at high speeds is paramount.

JAGUAR JOINS THE PARTYNormally associated with saloons and sports cars, Jaguar chose the Frankfurt Motor Show to reveal a radical SUV concept, dubbed C-X17, writes Phil Weeden. The stylish new concept is signifying the company’s new iQ-Ai aluminium intensive architecture, which is different from that used for the new Range Rover. This new modular construction technique, developing many of the advanced aerospace-inspired aluminium construction methods Jaguar has established over the past 10 years, will enable the brand to expand the model range dramatically, venturing into new markets not previously considered economically possible. Jaguar also believes this smart way of designing and developing cars will also ensure that expansion does not come at the expense of quality or through a cheapening of the core brand values.

While Jaguar is unwilling to confirm that the C-X17 will ultimately make production, the chances of it doing so are surely very high. With an estimated 20 million SUV sales up for grabs worldwide by 2020, Jaguar would be well placed to offer a model that blended F-TYPE inspired styling with Land Rover derived engineering. The C-X17 concept shows what that final product could look like.

November 2013 Issue of 4×4 Magazine

november coverYou can now buy a production hybrid Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. As you read this, order books will have opened at the dealers, and three such models will have left Solihull, journeying to the head office of the company’s parent company in Mumbai, India on a massive 9950-mile promotional tour. Now, it’s not many years ago that such a statement would have been thought ridiculous, on a number of levels!

The Range Rover is claimed to be the world’s first premium hybrid SUV, (see page 14) yet BMW has launched a similar option at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show. There’s also a new crossover hybrid from Peugeot, among others. Hybrids are cool, even for SUVs. In electric EV mode, the Range Rover’s electric motor provides 170Nm of ‘instant’ torque. The motor also works as a generator and ‘harvests’ the kinetic energy generated under braking, thereby charging the battery as the vehicle slows. In EV mode, it will actually travel at speeds up to 30mph, for around a mile, before the diesel engine automatically takes over. So the Range Rover Hybrid is capable of travelling for a mile without any help from the standard diesel engine. And the point of that is what exactly?