George Dove


Suzuki’s Vitara recently reached its 30th birthday and as such Suzuki has decided to give its current top-selling model a refresh.

Think of this as a little light cosmetic work and a few changes one might make to stay looking young as middle age approaches. Or in Suzuki’s case, a few tweaks in order to keep the Vitara appealing to new potential customers.

This is the rejuvenated 2019 model that will hit showrooms in September, and while no prices have yet to be revealed, we can fill you in on the details of what’s new.

The big news is on the engine front, with the outgoing 1.6-litre petrol being superseded by two turbocharged petrol units from Suzuki’s Boosterjet range. There’s the 1.0-litre motor producing 110bhp, which will be standard in the SZ4 and SZ-T variants of the Vitara, but Suzuki’s AllGrip four-wheel drive system is only an option for the latter when also selected with a manual ‘box.

Range-topping SZ5 models (again with AllGrip being an optional extra) utilise the 1.4-litre Boosterjet, giving the driver a healthier 140bhp and useful 162lb/ft of torque, all from as low as 1,500rpm. Emissions figures are yet to be released for the updated versions, but expect them within a matter of weeks.

The 2019 Vitara will have a makeover to accompany the heart surgery, thanks to the new alloys, revamped front grille and lower bumper, while the Vitara’s rear will boast ‘distinctive LED combination lamps’. New customers will also be treated to the addition of two new colours.

As the Vitara matures, so does its cabin, which now features an upper instrument panel softer to the touch and a revitalised central information display that now says iPhone X rather than Nokia 3210.

There’s a lot more tech as a whole and the SZ5 will be equipped with the following as standard: Dual Sensor Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

With renewed looks and a more tech-savvy package, Suzuki will be hoping their Vitara can continue to be as popular as it has been for the last 30 years.

Mazda have updated the engines and safety tech of the second-generation CX-5 – the brand’s best seller last year.

As standard, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, smooth brake assist, high beam control, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, following the update. The safety pack on Sport Nav+ models now includes a 360 view camera and adaptive LED headlights. Only a year old, the single styling change is a new 19″ alloy design for Sport Nav+ models.

Powertrains have been updated, with the Skyactiv-D diesels receiving a modified combustion chamber, new piezo injectors, a revised two-stage turbo charger and a selective catalytic reduction system. The water system has also been adjusted, whilst SCR and AdBlue treatment has improved day-to-day efficiency.

Power has increased in the top-spec 2.2-litre version, producing 181bhp (nine more than previously) and torque is up from 308lbf.ft to 328lbf.ft. This engine comes with i-Active 4WD and is available with both six-speed auto and manual transmissions.

Updated pricing starts at £24,795, with refreshed models in showrooms by 31st of August.


SsangYong have refreshed the Turismo MPV, with a fresh face, their capable 2.2 diesel and a four-wheel drive option with low-range, plus a new touchscreen infotainment system.

The massive MPV has a wheelbase of three-metres and a total length of just over five. The range topping ELX variant receives selectable four-wheel drive and a Merc derived seven-speed automatic transmission. Blackout rear passenger privacy windows feature on the range topper, as do cruise control, parking sensors, 16″ alloys, heated front seats, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights. SsangYong’s latest infotainment system has also been introduced, bringing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the fore, plus DAB radio and a reversing camera.

Due to the immense size and length of the MPV there’s room for seven to sit in total comfort and space aplenty for their luggage, too. Rear load space ranges from 875-litres with seven adults on board, to 3,146-litres with two adults when the second row of seats is flat and the third removed – ideal for proverbial sink-packers.

A two-tonne towing capacity extends the Turismo ELX’s practicality further, and the double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension setup keeps it planted and comfortable.

Pricing for the new Turismo kicks off at £20,495 for EX models, with the all-singing ELX beginning at £26,995.

Porsche have given the Macan a mid-life updates, touching up the styling, tech and chassis.

A new lighting strip across the rear of the Macan is the highlight of the styling upgrades, along with new four-point brake lights whilst a new 11-inch touchscreen adorns the dashboard.

Porsche’s all-wheel drive system remains, and an air suspension setup is an optional extra. It works alongside the Porsche Active Suspension Management which continuously monitors and adjusts the damping force.

A sports exhaust is available, as are two upgraded sound systems – one from Bose and one from Burmester – three way climate control is standard, but an ioniser can be added to purify the air.

The Porsche Connect app allows you to send your next destination to your Macan and the live navigation receives and monitors traffic updates.

The new updates will be available to order at the end of September, with pricing for the UK to be announced in due course.

Audi have announced details of the upcoming revival of the popular Q3.

The SUV has has a styling refresh and a bootful of upgrades to bring it up to date with its rivals.

Exterior design reflects the latest design language of the Audi family, with octagonal grille, LED headlights and DRLs, and a rear roof spoiler that flanks the rear window. There will be a choice of two trims at launch in the UK – Sport and S. The former features 18″ alloys as standard, and the latter gets 19s.

The interior features a reductive instrument panel, chrome stripping, an octagonal centre console and an MMI infotainment touchscreen tilted towards the driver.

Sports seats are standard, and come in cloth on Sport models, with a combination of leather and alcantara available as an option on both – the S also has a full leather option.

In updating the Q3, Audi have also made it bigger. The new model sits 97mm longer, 18mm wider and has a wheelbase that is 78mm longer. However, it does sit all of 5mm lower.

No analogue readouts or dials feature in the new Q3, with the 10.1-inch touchscreen controlling the functions of the cabin and the Audi Virtual cockpit takes care of the driver’s information.

Usability is increased with hybrid radio – either FM or DAB depending on signal strength – whilst the satnav learns the driver’s habits and the myAudi app connects for music streaming as well as route assistance, too.

Lane assist is standard, as is blind spot warning, corrective steer and autonomous emergency braking.

The suspension consists of MacPherson struts at the front and a four-link setup at the rear. Six drive modes are available and include auto, comfort, dynamic, off-road, efficiency and individual. These adjust the damping, steering control and acceleration.

Entry level Q3s will get a 1.5-litre petrol TFSI powerplant with 148bhp and 184lbf.ft – it will be badged 35 TFSI and comes with a seven-speed automatic and front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual on the way.

The other three options are all 2.0-litre units, and the 40 TFSI serves figures of 187bhp and 434lbf.ft. The more powerful 45 TFSI packs 40bhp more and 40 more torques – both will come with a seven-speed auto ‘box and quattro 4WD. The solitary diesel – badged 35 TDI – offers the same power as the smaller petrol but 361lbf.ft, comes with a manual and all-wheel drive at launch. An automatic will be offered with front-wheel drive after initial launch.

Pricing for the all-new Q3 will be revealed closer to the opening of orders in the autumn.

Skoda have released details for the new range-topping L&K Kodiaq.

Honouring the Czech marque’s founders, the top-spec SUV comes with choice of a 2.0-litre 197bhp petrol or one of three versions 2.0-litre diesels – a 148bhp version with either a six-speed manual or a DSG a 197bhp unit.

All L&K Kodiaqs are four-wheel drive and wear a chrome grille and 19-inch anthracite alloys. The exterior designs tweaks consist of front and rear bumpers that are unique to L&K models and signature logos on the front wings.

A panoramic sunroof keeps the interior light and the seats and armrest are clothed in leather. The interior also features piano black trimming, ambient lighting and aluminium pedals.

Skoda’s top safety tech is of course fitted to the L&K, with area view, progressive steering and curtain airbags. The top-spec Columbus infotainment system is included, as is a Canton sound system and heated windscreen.

Pricing begins at £35,945 for the 148bhp manual. The petrol comes in at £37,020 whilst the smaller diesel is £37,245 and the 197bhp diesel costs £38,105.

Kia have released further details on the new Sportage – their best selling model in the UK last year.

The model is set to be a front runner in the Korean brand’s push into greener powertrains – offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and 48-volt mild hybrid options. There are also Edition 25 variants, celebrating the SUVs 25th birthday this year.

A new U3 diesel engine features in the line-up, alongside a number of updates to the remaining power units.

Now a 1.6-litre diesel (rather than a 1.7), the U3 is still a CRDi unit and comes in both 114 or 134bhp states of tune – the latter of which is available with a seven-speed dual clutch and all-wheel drive. The same transmission and drivetrain combination is available with the 174bhp 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol unit.

Kia’s EcoDynamics+ powertrain is also offered exclusively with all-wheel drive. The 48v mild hybrid system works with the 2.0-litre CDRi unit and an eight-speed auto box. It’s the most powerful powertrain in the Sportage stable with 182bhp, but the economy figures are yet to be announced.

Driver aids added to the Sportage include adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality and an around view monitor to help with parking manoeuvres – on all models. Driver awareness warning is available on 2 trim models upwards, as is lane keeping assist, high-beam assist and speed limit information function. Higher up the range forward collision warning and blind spot collision warning are available. All models feature vehicle stability management, electronic stability control and a rear-parking camera.

Infotainment screens are present throughout the Sportage trims. Either a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment or sat-nav is offered, plus there is a frameless 8-inch variant. All of the systems come with DAB radio and grade 2 and above feature TomTom navigation. Other features include live traffic updates, speed camera locations and alerts and weather forecasts. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feature throughout the range. A wireless smartphone charger sits at the base of the centre console on the GT-Line S model along with a powered tailgate.

16-inch alloy wheels are standard on grade 1 models and that figure grows to 17-inches on grade 2 models. Gt-Line and 4 Sportages feature 19-inch alloys, as do top of the range GT-Line S variants, which also feature a panoramic sunroof, ten-way power adjustable and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, electronic parking brake and a JBL soundsystem with a subwoofer.

To celebrate 25 years since the Sportage debuted, an Edition 25 model sits between the 2 and 4 specs. It is solely available with the 1.6 GDi unit and a manual six-speed, and is largely comparable to the 4. It rides on 17-inch alloys, black part-leather interior and premium paint at no extra costing. A stop-start button and smart-entry are fitted, as are the upgraded sound system and the bigger infotainment screen. The celebratory edition is priced at £25,665.

General pricing for the new Sportage starts at £20,305, with the 2 1.6-litre T-GDi kicking off AWD pricing at £24,395. The EcoDynamics+ starts at £32,545 and the whole range comes with a seven-year/100,000-mile manufacturer warranty.

A limited run X-Class is now available through Mercedes-Benz Vans online.

Adding features to the top-spec Power trim, the EDITION 1 features electric seats, automatic climate control, keyless start and also comprises of the Winter Package – which heats the seats and washer jets.

The EDITION 1 is only available online, reflecting the changing marketplace. However, the plan is not to move all sales to the web, rather add the facility for those who prefer it.

‘We constantly look for ways to diversify and grow our business for ever-changing customer needs which is what this innovative online platform hopes to achieve,’ said Steve Bridge, MD of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK.

‘This platform is not set to replace the existing dealer network, but to extend the breadth of customers we are able to engage with.’

Another option offered by the online platform is delivery of EDITION 1s to the billing address, or a nearby dealership for collection.

The commemorative truck has a trio of financing options – Agility personal contract plan, Personal Contract Hire and Business Contract Hire – each including flexible mileage and deposit contributions.

Pricing starts at £41,165 ex-VAT with an OTR list price of £49,703.

Alfa Romea have released details and pricing for the NRING editions of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio which is set to debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio features a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6, has a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds, 510 bhp, 442lbf.ft and a top speed of 176mph. These helped it achieve the Nurburgring lap record of 7minutes 51.7 seconds.

Adding to the Quadrifoglio spec, the NRING gets Sparco racing seats with carbon shell structure, carbon-ceramic brakes, a Mopar carbon insert gear lever and a leather and alcantara wrapped steering wheel with carbon inserts. The infotainment is the top-spec 8.8″ touchscreen, Harman Kardon sound system and DAB radio. Each of the 108 examples will also get a numbered carbon fibre plaque on the dashboard.

There’s plenty of carbon fibre trimmings on the outside, too. The grille surround is carbon, as are the mirror caps and inserts in the side skirts.

Buyers will receive a 1:18 scale model of their limited edition SUV, plus upon collection of their vehicle a welcome pack including Sparco driving gloves, a customised soft shell jacket, an Alfa Sports bag, Quadrifoglio cuff links and original footwear by Car Shoe. Oh, you’ll be offered a place on a driving techniques course at the ‘Ring in 2019, too.

Each NRING vehicle also comes awarded with an ‘Authenticity Certification’ from FCA Heritage, officially giving it instant classic status.

The price for the special edition is £89,500 OTR and are available to order now.

We’ve known that the new Jeep Wrangler was coming for a long time now. And now Jeep have detailed the specs that will hit the European market.

The headlines feature two four-wheel drive systems, two brand-new engines, updated tech and security systems and they will be in showrooms come September.

Both two and four-door body styles will be ready at launch, with roofing options and doors removable, plus a fold-down windscreen offering true open-air adventure.

Off-road ability is what underpins the very nature of the Wrangler. Whether it’s for image or practice, that is why Jeep’s halo vehicle is adored. To continue in true Wrangler style, there are two off-road systems within the range. Command-Trac is present on both Sport and Sahara trims, whilst Rock-Trac is the system on Rubicon models.

Command-Trac comprises of heavy duty Dana axles, a two-speed transfer case with 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, plus four driving modes: 2WD high, full-time 4WD, part-time 4WD and low-range 4WD. The shift between high ratio 2WD and 4WD can be made at speeds up to 44mph. Tru-Lok electric lockable axles are standard, and a rear limited slip-diff is available as an option. On Rubicon models, Roc-Trac adds next-gen Dana 44 axles and electric sway-bar disconnect, and gets lockable axles, too.

Every Wrangler will receive Jeep’s Trail Rated badge, which means skid plates and rear tow hooks, up to 76cm of wade depth and 1,500kg and 2,500kg towing capacities for two and four-door models respectively.

A new eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox offered with the new model, but it has been tailored specifically to the Wrangler and to off-road driving.

Two new engines sees a petrol and a diesel option, but the V6 Pentastar won’t be an option. The new petrol 2.0-litre turbo’d inline four offers 272hp at 5,250 rpm, whilst 295lbf.ft comes in at 3,000 rpm. Stop-start features as standard on the new unit, which features a twin-scroll turbo, double over head camshafts and a cooled EGR system. The other new unit is a 2.2-litre turbodiesel MultiJet II unit. This offers less power – 200hp – but trumps the petrol for torque lower down – 331lbf.ft at 2,000 rpm.

Jeep have looked to improve the Wrangler’s on-road behaviour, with a body-on-frame structure with a five-link suspension setup. Aluminium and Magnesium both feature in the body to reduce weight but retain strength.

The five-link coil system remains in tact but has been tweaked to improve comfort on the road.

Jeeps Uconnect system features with the fourth-gen infotainment available on either 5″, 7″ or 8.4″ touchscreens screens – the biggest of which adds Uconnect Live services. These include live TomTom navigation, web radio, Deezer streaming, Reuters news updates, plus Facebook and Twitter capabilities. Oh, it also has dedicated off-road programming that shows pitch and roll angles and diff-locking.

Safety tech includes blind-spot warning, rear cross-path detection, parking sensors both front and back with a rear camera, electronic stability control and roll mitigation, plus four standard airbags.

It will come as no surprise that there are upwards of 180 official Mopar accessories available for the new Wrangler when it launches. The Sahara spec Wrangler will also have two factory customisation packs. The Off-Road choice adds a 2″ lift, 17″ off-road wheels, ‘1941’ and ‘Moad’ body graphics plus splashguards, a mesh bikini, snorkel and off-road windscreen lights. The second choice is Urban, consisting of chrome detailing of the side steps, fuel door and doors sills, plus a tyre cover, ‘1941’ decal and Granite Crystal paint.

Pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet for the Wrangler, but we do know it’ll be hitting showrooms later this year.

Miss our first impressions of the new Wrangler? Catch up here!