Mark Hyde


Mitsubishi Shogun

We’ve always considered the Shogun to be a bit overpriced, since it’s a vehicle with a reputation that somewhat embellishes reality. Even in its sleeker third generation form from 1999, the Shogun was always less refined and more cumbersome to drive than many of its rivals, yet its popularity – originally spurred by the realisation that it offered a more reliable and cheaper alternative to a Range Rover – continues unabated to an extent that your £3000 is unlikely to get you anything newer than a year 2000 model and with 150,000 miles on it at that; even higher-mileage previous generation (and more truck-like) models can command over £1000.

Nevertheless the post-1999 Shogun has appeal for its more aggressive Dakar-inspired styling, particularly in the short-wheelbase version, and in the seven-seater functionality of the long wheelbase estate. This was the first Shogun to shrug off the conventional off-road structure and instead of a separate chassis and rigid axles it boasts a monocoque bodyshell and all-independent coil-sprung suspension, along with rack-andpinion steering the result being a more compliant quality of ride and sharper steering response.

The Shogun is quite car-like to drive, though some might find the powered steering a little too light. However, the big estate rides comfortably and corners without too much body lean. Both diesel and petrol variants are lively performers, though the V6 needs to be revved to give of its best, while the strong mid-range torque of the diesel calls for fewer gearshifts to regain speed after a tight bend, making for more comfortable overall progress.

It is also a better engine for off-roading, with torque peaking at 2000rpm. A five-speed manual transmission was standard, though an automatic was an option, some were four-speeders, others had the newer and more desirable five-speed box, so check the transmission before buying. The Super Select four-wheel drive system is arguably more complex than it need be, particularly in a car that is unlikely to venture off-road, but it has appeal to gadget-lovers; for this generation a quieter chain-drive transfer box is used. In terms of straightforward off-road traction the Shogun is unstoppable, but it does lack ground clearance and the long wheelbase estate has a debilitatingly long overhang limiting its capability in tortuous terrain.

Equipment on all models is good, even the base GLX has tilt adjustable steering column, alloy wheels, electric heated mirrors and a four-speaker stereo, while the GLS adds a roof spoiler, body side-mouldings, front fog lamps, headlight washers, automatic air-conditioning, cruise control and height-adjustable driver’s seat. From 2001 the Classic replaced the GLX and Equippe replaced the GLS, while a new range-topping version, the Elegance, was introduced. Look out for the later Field, Animal and Warrior special editions, though these will be rare at under £3000.

The bold exterior styling of the Shogun is refl ected in the interior with its heavy dashboard featuring a massive centre console giving the driver a feeling of being tucked into a cockpit, the comfortable and supportive armchair seat helping to enhance the driving experience. It’s nevertheless a roomy vehicle, with plenty of elbow room and headroom.

The rear bench in the five-door is shaped to take three adults and has reclining backrests, with very little in the way of a transmission tunnel to make life uncomfortable for a central passenger.

The Shogun stays good to 4×4 tradition in having the spare mounted on the sideways-opening tailgate, and so has good boot space, easily enough to accommodate the extra fold-up seat, which can be removed to leave a useful underfl oor storage space. In spite of its reputation, the Shogun isn’t totally infallible, listen for the groan of worn wheel bearings and the click or rumble of worn CV joints on the front axle, check for oil leaks from the rear differential and check the state of the brake discs as well as pads, which wear quickly especially on a car that’s been used for towing.

Engine failures are not unknown, check for signs of ‘mayonnaise’ under the oil filler cap hinting at the possibility of impending gasket failure, and make sure the timing chain and its tensioners have been replaced on schedule – if you can’t be sure on a higher mileage car have the job done yourself as soon as possible, because a slipped timing chain can wreck the engine.


Mercedes Benz M-Class

The M-Class is nominally a rival to the premium Land Rovers and Jeep Grand Cherokee but has a very different feel to it, with very little in the way of adventurous off-road styling and a sleek but rather bland body and uncluttered interior that makes it seem more like an MPV than an SUV. While on that point it’s worth noting that some were kitted out as seven-seaters, but don’t buy one until you’ve checked that the seven potential occupants can all sit comfortably inside – we don’t think that will happen because the interior just isn’t that roomy.

The promotional material at the launch emphasised its capability as an off-roader, but in spite of its excellent permanent four-wheel drive system, low range gearing and in some versions height-adjustable suspension, the M-Class is not a car that takes kindly to mud-terrain tyres and winch bumpers so don’t consider one, even at a budget price, unless it’s purely for use as a road-only family estate. As a road car we liked the Mercedes from the start, praising the ride comfort from the all-independent suspension and the light but balanced steering, pointing out in an early road test that it seemed very reasonably priced compared with, for instance, the similarly road-biased BMW X5. All versions of the M-Class have a good basic specifi cation, including climate control, electric seat adjustment and remote central locking, while the SE has enhanced interior materials including burr walnut inserts.

The Sport model has 19-inch alloys, extra chrome trim outside and Alcantara leather and aluminium trim inside. Even so, first buyers will have added a whole range of luxury extras in some cases adding well over £10,000 to the original purchase price of their car, features that now simply add to the value of buying one secondhand at a knockdown price. Look out for leather trim, the Designo two-tone upholstery with wood trim originally a £4420 option, also the electric sunroof – find one with the glass sunroof, the louvred one had a tendency to jam and is expensive to put right. Bose sound systems, perhaps with bootmounted CD autochanger, satnav and cellphone preparation were popular upgrades, some will have bi-xenon headlamps, resist one with the external spare wheel carrier, it restricts the rear view when you’re driving.

With £3000 to spend you’ll find yourself choosing from a wide range of early-generation cars dating from anywhere between 1999 and 2005 depending on mileage and equipment, most of them with the 2.7-litre turbodiesel engine, though for better refi nement and performance do consider one of the smoothrevving 3.2-litre or 3.7-litre petrol V6 variants. An interesting indication of how depreciation can hit luxury cars is how little dealers are willing to offer as a trade-in value on what ought to be seen as a desirable premium SUV, even more than 10 years on. As a result you’ll find large numbers of higher-mileage older ML320 and ML270s being offered for sale by private sellers.

Buying privately can be advantageous if you take the usual precautions such as making sure the registration certifi cate matches the name and address of the seller and making sure it all runs well on a test drive.

The interior of the ML is unquestionably opulent, particularly in the higher-specifi cation SE versions, yet compared with the Range Rover it seems rather blandly styled. No matter, since the driving position is quite natural and controls are all well placed, higher specifi cation models featuring a whole raft of fi ngertip controls on the steering wheel, on some models this includes paddle-shift buttons for the automatic transmission.

You can’t expect an old car at this price to be in perfect condition, but there was always some concern about the assembly quality of this Americanbuilt vehicle, so look for excessive sagging of the seats and attempts to hide or bodge dodgy trim and upholstery fabric. The 2.7 CRD turbodiesel is the engine of choice if economy is important, though as even with an oil-burner make sure it doesn’t blow excess smoke on acceleration which could point to worn injectors or a failing turbocharger – it could equally point to an aftermarket performance upgrade, smooth, quick acceleration will tell you but reject any car that feels sluggish, hesitant or jerky.

The transmission on the turbodiesels also has to handle that low-rev torque so make sure the six-speed manual shifts smoothly and the clutch takes up progressively; similarly if the five-speed automatic is fitted check that it doesn’t slur changes too much and responds properly to the Tiptronic-type override.



Nissan has recently dropped the Pathfinder from its range in favour of sleeker, more compact urban-styled SUVs – a pity, since the Pathfinder reflected much of Nissan’s true Patrol-inspired off-road heritage

 TARGET RANGE:  £5000-£25,000 

For off-roading enthusiasts like us it’s quite difficult to understand how the urban-toy Qashqai became such an instant hit while the remarkably competent and practical Pathfinder never made it to the SUV best-sellers list. Could it simply be that style is the main requirement for a modern 4×4, so the traditional boxy estate design of the Pathfinder relegates it to the category of ‘outdated’ and therefore undesirable? One of the features we appreciated most about the Pathfinder, which in most versions comes with seven seats, is the way the rear seats fold flat to form a long, wide, van-like cargo area, a class-leading 2.8 metres long, and the front passenger seat similarly folds flat to accommodate even longer loads. In later models, there’s also a capacious slide-out underfloor tray under the boot area, which with all seats in place still offers a 190-litre carrying capacity.

To bring the rearmost seats into play a lever on the middle row seats allows them to tumble forwards, allowing the rear chairs to be folded up from the floor. They are rather heavy and access to them rather limited despite the wide-opening doors, so they’re best reserved for the use of children or athletic small adults, but there’s good legroom, one reservation being that there’s not a lot of foot space under the middle row seats. Note that the original base model, the S, did not have the third row of seats, though the later base version, the Trek, did have them.

There’s also a slim possibility that some may have shunned the Pathfinder after hearing that it shares its chassis and drive train with the Navara pick-up, suggesting that it’s not refined enough to pass muster as a serious premium SUV; consider that the same chassis is used by Nissan’s luxury Infiniti division for the full-sized QX56, so there’s no lack of refinement from the all-independent coil-sprung suspension and the 2.5-litre dCi turbodiesel, which was also used in the Murano, but in any case for ultimate premium performance and  refinement there’s always the smooth-revving 4.0-litre petrol V6 version.

There’s no question of the styling being unrefined, the final design having been based largely on the Dunehawk concept unveiled at Frankfurt in 2003, a major attraction at the time with its softly angular styling with strongly chiseled jawline, bold chrome grille and valance-mounted spot lamps, the gentle vertical curve of the side panels negating any impression of slab-sidedness while the big, sculpted wheelarch extensions create muscular haunches.

The fact that the Pathfinder has a body-on frame construction doesn’t lower it to the same level as a pick-up, it raises it closer to the Toyota Land Cruiser, marking it as a more genuine off-roader than most modern mainstream SUVs, and also gives it the weight and rigidity to serve as an excellent towing vehicle, rated to haul three tonnes. A glance underneath the Pathfinder reveals an impressively flat underfloor profile with nothing to snag on stumps or rocks, so in spite of its rather low-riding stance it has good off-road capabilities. The All-Mode 4×4 system is basically a selectable system in that it has a 2H setting for normal use on hard, dry surfaces, but there’s also an ‘auto’ setting where drive is shared between front and rear axles as required. The 4H position locks four-wheel drive in for off-road driving, and there’s a low range capability, all of these accessed via a rotary selector on the dashboard.

First examples in the UK were offered with the 2.5 dCi turbodiesel developing 171bhp, with a choice of six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic as a £1300 option. Later that year the 4.0-litre V6 was introduced, offering 265bhp, also with a choice of manual or automatic transmission. A facelift for 2010 saw revised grille and bonnet styling with redesigned headlamps, some cosmetic interior changes and a significant improvement in the output of the turbodiesel, up to 188bhp, along with improvements in refinement and economy.

For 2014 Nissan produced an all-new Pathfinder, and following their oddball propensity for making all their models look the same, the new Pathfinder is a monocoque design using the Murano floorpan and with styling that emulates the Murano’s curves rather than the more practical estate formula. This is available only with 3.5-litre petrol V6 power and is sold mainly in the US, Africa and Australia; it’s not officially available in the UK or, oddly, Japan. That leaves the Nissan range in the UK without a true off-roader, something of a pity for the company that produced the mighty Patrol (and still does, with the slogan ‘hero of all terrain’ and a stonking 5.6-litre petrol engine, but obviously not for sale in the UK).

Nevertheless, the Pathfinder has some of the old Patrol’s charisma in its size and uncompromising styling, so it’s one to consider if you’re after a truly practical seven-seater with more than adequate off-road capability. Now’s also a good time to look around for a good used example – there are many run-out range-topping Tekna models with under 20,000 miles available for around £25,000, not bad for a car that not much more than a year ago carried a £36,000 price tag.


It wasn’t long after the introduction of the Pathfinder that we threw one in at the deep end by including it in one of our World’s Best Off-roader comparisons. It didn’t fare well, finishing in 10th place out of the 10 competitors, but then it was up against some serious hard-core opposition including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Land Rover Discovery 3 and Defender, not to mention its own seriously competent stablemate, the Patrol. This was a serious test of off-road agility, taking into account approach and departure angles, hill climbing ability, axle articulation, turning circle and side slope capability as well as ground clearance, and the Pathfinder’s downfall was mainly its relatively low ride height. We wrote in our July 2005 issue: “It’s been fettled for on-road comfort rather than off-road excellence. The independent suspension front and rear can’t provide the articulation needed for difficult off-road terrain.”

However, on less demanding terrain the Pathfinder proves as capable as any other off-roader. In the same issue we carried a first drive report on our first hands-on experience of a 2.5 dCi, in well-equipped SE form, on a slippery Welsh off-road site where its electronic driving aids and 2.6:1 low range gearing proved their worth. We wrote: “The fact that low range is linked with the electronic stability programme, anti-lock brakes and traction control helps the large SUV cope with most low-grip situations.” We found the Pathfinder a pleasing car to drive: “Unsurprisingly Nissan has mated the 2.5-litre dCi engine to a six-speed manual gearbox to make the best use of the turbodiesel’s eager performance. On the road the tall gearstick makes for effortless shifting from the lofty driving perch, but in trickier off-road conditions, and in low ratio, the jump between First and Second gears to Third is more noticeable, with extra momentum required for the torque to have any effect at the wheels in Third gear or above. That said, the Pathfinder handles extremely well for a machine measuring over 4.7-metres in length and weighing in excess of 2.2 tonnes, either cornering on even tarmac or traversing a rippled hillside.”

Fuel prices weren’t quite as fearsome back in 2006, which could explain the comment in our March issue of that year when we reported on our first outing with the 4.0-litre V6: “There’s a perceived image of penny-pinching with diesel, so if you need extra seating but want a semblance of sporting performance, how about the petrol-powered V6 Pathfinder? The V6 aims to offer a more relaxing driving experience with a five-speed automatic gearbox further reducing the physical input of shifting the Nissan’s two tonne plus frame. Start the intelligent keyless ignition and there’s an immediate aural difference implying another status level.”

The fact that V6 Pathfinders are rare second-hand suggests that penny-pinching won the day; we must have realised that at the time, because in our Summer 2007 issue we pitted a 2.5 dCi against other value-priced seven-seaters, the rivals being a Mitsubishi Shogun with its lusty 3.2 DI DC turbodiesel engine and a SsangYong Rexton in 2.7 turbodiesel form. The Shogun was by far the more expensive of the trio, and seemed dated and cumbersome compared with the others. The Rexton impressed as a value-for money alternative, the fully-kitted out SX priced below the base model Shogun, but ultimately the Pathfinder took the honours for its neater styling, better performance and refinement and its more versatile seating arrangement.

We welcomed the facelift for 2010. In our October issue of that year, we appreciated the better quality look and feel of the controls and switchgear, the improved trim materials and, of course, in improvement in performance from the engine upgrade. By this time only the 2.5 dCi was available, and only two trim levels were offered, base Acenta and high-specification Tekna. From a pricing point of view we had never seen the Pathfinder as a direct rival to a Discovery 3 or Discovery 4, but with its seven-seat configuration and versatile seating arrangement it certainly offers similar practicality as an everyday family estate. Our verdict summed it up: “The Pathfinder is not a Discovery 4 but if you have a big family or lots of friends and you want to travel wherever, then the big Nissan might be right up your path.”

Look for a car with a good service history, because the 2.5 dCi engine is susceptible to poor service attention and low quality lubricants. One common problem is poor lubrication of the timing chain tensioner, which can lead to broken chains and consequent damage to other components. Check that the engine oil is not contaminated, excessive ‘mayonnaise’ around the oil filler cap is a sign that water is mixing with the oil and can indicate a failing head gasket. Make sure the engine runs freely and idles smoothly, common problems are clogged diesel particulate filters and EGR components, which can cause the engine to run erratically. Reject any car that blows excessive black smoke from the exhaust, caused by a failing turbo or worn injectors, or grey smoke indicating excessively worn cylinders or piston rings.
We’d recommend a manual transmission version, partly because of the better fuel consumption and partly because there were a spate of problems in early Pathfinders of the transmission fluid becoming contaminated and ruining the transmission – in any older car long out of warranty this would result in an expensive repair. The six-speed manual transmission seems well up to the task, but make sure the shifts are clean and positive, particularly in a car that’s been used for towing where snatched changes might have damaged the synchromesh – reject any car that crunches a gear change or requires excessive pedal movement to declutch. Vibration through the drive train could mean worn propshaft joints, while checking underneath look for signs that the halfshaft seals are weeping fluid. Front wheel bearings are a potential weak point, reject any car exhibiting the telltale growling sound.

Check that the chassis rails are rust-free, especially around mounting points for the body and suspension components. Knocking or rattling noises from underneath may indicate worn suspension ball joints, excessive wear will also result in imprecise steering and a tendency to wander. Check that the steering has a progressive and smooth action, jerkiness might suggest impending failure of the power steering pump. Also make sure there is no excessive whining from the pump on full lock.  Make sure the car doesn’t pull to one side or another when braking hard, suggesting a seized caliper. Check that the brake discs haven’t been excessively worn or scored. While under the car check that the underslung spare is there – it’s easy to steal and worth fitting an aftermarket lock to secure it.
Pathfinder Interior
Check the bodywork carefully for signs that rust patches and blemishes have been hidden under filler and touch-up paint, because the paint is prone to stone chipping and rust quite commonly takes hold along the top of the screen and where trim has been fixed to the bodywork, also check around the rear door hinges for signs of bubbling paint. In premium models check that the air conditioning works in the rear as well as the front, as the feed to the rear is prone to failure and is expensive to repair. Check that the dashboard lights work properly, and that all electronic features such as the stereo and satnav operate properly. If a sunroof is fitted, check for rust on the surround and for signs of water ingress.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

We’ve always considered the Grand Cherokee to be a good-value purchase, and that’s particularly true for second-hand examples, since for a mere £3000 you’re talking a high specification second generation Limited with the Mercedes 2.7 CRD engine, a car that sold for nearly £30,000 new in 2002 with a specification including leather upholstery, electric seat adjustment with heating and independent memory functions in each of the two key fobs, dual-zone climate control, eight-speaker stereo with steering wheel controls, electrically adjustable and folding rear view mirrors, cruise control and rain sensing wipers.

If you’re looking for an off-road plaything there are high-mileage examples going for under £1000 – some with close on 200,000 miles on them which has to be some sort of commendation for the engines, which in most cases at this level will be the 4.0-litre straight six or 4.7-litre V8, the latter being particularly desirable as a relaxed and torquey off-road power plant, and no thirstier than the old-tech petrol six. It is worth shopping around for an Overland which has the superb Quadra Drive system which automatically locks front and rear differentials when conditions get difficult; note that this was also available as a £600 option on Limiteds, you might be lucky enough to find one of these at a good price.

The styling of the second generation Grand Cherokee was similar to the original but smoother and more aerodynamic, the leather-upholstered interior was just as opulently equipped, but more importantly improvements to the suspension settings and bushings meant mechanical refi nement and road behaviour were markedly better. In this respect the Grand can’t match the ride comfort of a Range Rover or Discovery, because although it has a thoroughly modern highrigidity monocoque bodyshell it rides on heavy-duty beam axles, coil-sprung but not as supple as an all-independent arrangement.

This does at least qualify it as a worthy hard-core off-roader as well as a luxurious family estate, not to mention a competent towing car with a 3500kg capability. Earliest examples from 1999 included a turbodiesel, the 3.1-litre VM unit, but this is best avoided as it lacks the refi nement of the later and more powerful 2.7 CRD as used in the Mercedes M-Class. All versions have a four-speed automatic transmission with permanent four-wheel drive and a low range transfer gearbox. At first only the Limited specification was available, but for 2004 a base Sport and upgraded Overland versions were introduced; the Sport has cloth upholstery and a simpler air conditioning system, but it retains the electric seats, electric windows and remote  locking. The Overland was the range-topper, the enhanced specification including a CD autochanger and an electric sunroof.

One key special edition to look out for is the 60th Anniversary edition, introduced in July 2001 for a limited period, which was based on the 4.7 V8 Limited but adding the electric sunroof, a CD autochanger and metallic paint. With the end of the run approaching, September 2004 saw three new topspecifi cation variants on the scene, the Limited XS with 4.7 V8 or 2.7 CRD engine, the Platinum with the 2.7 CRD and the HO Platinum with the 4.7 V8. These all have satnav, as well as the electric sunroof, plus heated door mirrors and parking sensors, but these will be rare at under £3000.
Even at this low price it’s worth looking for a car with a good service record since the engines and particularly the automatic transmission are very sensitive to the quality of lubricants. The petrol engines – especially the ‘bulletproof’ 4.0-litre six – are generally reliable, and while the 2.7 CRD has Mercedes credibility, it can suffer the same problems as any other high-mileage diesel such as worn injectors, fouled recirculation systems and failing turbo bearings. Make sure the engine starts instantly from cold, doesn’t hesitate under acceleration and idles smoothly. It’s more important to ensure that the transmission works properly, look out for delays in gear selection, excessive engine revving between changes and excessive whining noises. One symptom is a reluctance to select fi rst and top gears, so the car pulls away in second and doesn’t go into its overdrive top when cruising, definitely one to avoid.



2015 Northern Car of the Year is the Land Rover Discovery Sport

2015 Northern Car of the Year is the Land Rover Discovery Sport

The 2015 Northern Car of the Year is the Land Rover Discovery Sport. The region’s pre-eminent motoring journalists, members of the Northern Group of Motoring Writers, placed the car at the top of the poll.

It is the second time in three years that Land Rover have won the accolade, the Range Rover having earned most votes in 2013.

Group chairman Steve Teale and the organiser of the ballot, Alan Domville, presented the award, a suitably inscribed genuine miner’s lamp – a symbol of north – to a delighted Tracey Tompsett of the Land Rover PR department, at the seventh northern test day for automotive writers organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders at Wetherby racecourse.

Jeep Cherokee

Changes to the popular Cherokee range have just been announced by Jeep, with details of a powerful new engine, offering an augmented range with better fuel economy, greater torque and improved standard content.

The current two-litre diesel 140 hp manual versions have been joined by a modern 2.2-litre MultiJet engine, available with 185 hp and 200 hp outputs, and offering a significantly wider spread of torque from low rpm, greater power, improved performance and better fuel economy than the out-going two-litre 170 hp automatic engine. The new 2.2 engine is already Euro 6 compliant.

Available only with Jeep’s segment-first nine-speed automatic gearbox, and matched to the Active-Drive four-wheel-drive systems, all new Cherokee 2.2 versions are packed with equipment. The Cherokee range, from entry level, now has additional specification as standard including electric tailgate, windscreen wipers with rain sensor, dusk sensor, eight-position electrically adjustable seat, four-position lumbar adjustment and automatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror with built-in microphone. The specification on all trim levels gives Cherokee a highly attractive equipment-to-price offering within the mid-size SUV class.

The new 2.2 MultiJet II engine, which places Jeep Cherokee towards the top of its class for performance, refinement and true efficiency, can now be ordered in the UK. Two power variants are available: 200 hp and 185 hp, both with 440 Nm of peak torque. The 200 hp variant is available on Limited specification while the 185hp is fitted on Cherokee Longitude and Longitude+ variants only.

The new 2.2 is matched to Jeep’s Active Drive I system, but can be specified with Active Drive II on the Limited 200 hp model.  Active Drive I offers Jeep’s original rear-axle disconnect system which improves fuel economy, while Active Drive II adds a two-speed power transfer unit, for 2:92:1 ‘low range’ capability and hill-descent control. Both versions carry an impressive towing capacity of 2.5 tonnes.

The Cherokee range has extremely strong technological credentials with the award winning UConnect system, a class leading touchscreen and Sat Nav unit and market-first wireless charging pad, all standard on Limited.

Cherokee also has a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating and is among the safest Mid-Size SUVs. The Limited 2.2 200 hp versions also offer the option of the ‘Technology Group’ pack. This ‘peace of mind’ oriented pack includes Advanced Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning Plus, Smartbeam automatic main beam dipping function, Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus, Adaptive Cruise Control, as well as Start&Stop, mirror with Blind-Spot Monitoring function, and a rear parallel parking assist system.

Engine in detail

Made in the Pratola Serra plant, near Avellino, Italy, the new 2.2 MultiJet II engine delivers 200 hp (147 kW) at 3500 rpm and has a torque of 440 Nm at 2500 rpm making it one of the best performing four-cylinder turbodiesels in class.

Equipped with the innovative automatic nine-speed transmission and 4×4 Jeep Active Drive I, the Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet II 200 hp reaches a top speed of 127 mph. It accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds, has an average combined fuel consumption figure of 49.6 mpg and CO2 emissions of 150 g/km.

The Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet II 200 hp with Active Drive II and low-range has a top speed of 126 mph, 0-62 mph time of 8.7 seconds, and combined fuel consumption of 46.3 mpg, with 160 g/km of CO2 emissions.

Finally, Longitude and Longitude+ trim levels are provided with a 2.2 MultiJet II 185hp (136kW) variant, in combination with 4×4 Jeep Active Drive I and the nine-speed automatic transmission. Equipped in this way, the Cherokee reaches a top speed of 125 mph and accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 8.8 seconds. Combined fuel economy and emissions are 49.5 mpg and 150 g/km.

In more detail, the displacement of the new engine (2184 cm3) was defined to obtain high power, torque delivery and fuel efficiency and is combined with an optimised exhaust gas treatment system. This consists of a close couple DPF (diesel particulate filter) with NSC (NOx storage catalyst) positioned in the engine compartment, operating together with the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) control system. The engine is Euro 6 standard compliant.

The architecture of the new 2.2 MultiJet II four-cylinder engine includes a specific 16-valve twin camshaft aluminium head designed to withstand the increased working pressure of the common rail with Injection Rate Shaping, which operates at 2000 bar. The design of the pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft is optimised to limit weight.

The shape of the combustion chamber and the reduced compression ratio guarantee low NOx polluting emissions and high performance, while the brand-new solenoid injectors atomise the fuel very finely providing marked advantages in terms of quiet operation and fuel efficiency.

The engine is supercharged by a novel variable geometry turbocharger integrated in the exhaust manifold. This solution reduces the engine weight and improves the exhaust gas treatment system functionality. Other factors which contribute to increasing the efficiency of the new engine are the smart alternator, the variable displacement oil pump and the Start&Stop.

The Jeep Cherokee range starts at £26,095 OTR for the 2.0 MultiJet II 140 hp Longitude FWD manual, rising to £37,995 for the 2.2 MultiJet II 200 hp Limited 4WD automatic.


For the second year running, the Isuzu D-Max has won the ‘Pick-Up Truck of the Year’ prize at the Commercial Fleet Awards. The triumph was announced at the ceremony held last Thursday at The International Centre in Telford.

Stephen Briers, Commercial Fleet editor, commented:  “Isuzu specialises in pick-ups with a network that understands the needs of fleets. The judges praised the D-Max’s five-year warranty, level of safety equipment and 3.5-tonne towing limit, and said that it is very competitive from a total cost of ownership perspective. As well as being a rugged performer and very capable off-road, the D-Max is equally at home on-road and delivers a comfortable, impressive driving experience.”

The prestigious annual Commercial Fleet Awards are highly regarded by motor manufacturers, supplier and fleet groups and individuals, since the judges base their selections on those who have achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their sector. The jury is made up of the Fleet News editorial team and experts from across the industry.

Isuzu’s UK’s General Manager, William Brown, commented: “This is well-deserved recognition of the continuing hard work and impeccable service delivered by our fleet sales team and our dealer network. It’s also testament to the attributes with which the D-Max continues to make a compelling case for fleet buyers: an unrivalled combination of class-leading capabilities, exceptional refinement and low ownership costs.”

The Isuzu D-Max is one of the most cost-effective pick-ups on the market with ultra-low insurance groups (8A to 10A), class-leading residual values and fuel economy (38.7 mpg combined), industry-leading fleet packages, all backed-up by the company’s pioneering five-year / 125,000-mile warranty.

Following record sales of more than 5,500 units in 2014 (up 33.7% over 2013), registrations for the first eight months of this year up again by 27.7%, demonstrating the continuous growth of the reputation of the D-Max.

The Isuzu D-Max is available in three body styles – single, extended and double cab – with prices starting from £14,999 (CVOTR) for the entry-level single cab 4×2 rising to £25,999 (CVOTR) for the range-topping Isuzu Blade. The Isuzu D-Max is fitted with a super-efficient 2.5-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, producing 163 PS and 400 Nm of torque, is able to tow a class-leading 3.5-tonnes (braked) while still returning fuel economy of 38.7 mpg (combined), and is available with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

Jaguar’s first family sports car has defied gravity by performing a record-breaking 360 degree loop, one day ahead of its global motor show debut in Frankfurt.

The all-new Jaguar F-PACE, the world’s most practical sports car, was driven with daring precision by expert British stunt driver Terry Grant. The F-PACE sped through the specially built structure, using its sports car derived technology and world-class collection of safety features to complete the record loop and officially signal the opening of order books worldwide.

Ian Callum, Director of Design for Jaguar said: “The Jaguar F-PACE is an SUV with the soul of a sports car. When we created this car we thought differently; we took a Jaguar sports car and made it family friendly. The F-PACE exudes performance yet you can fit five people and all their belongings in it. This is a car for people who love driving, who love design and who love technology – this is the ultimate practical sports car.” 

The extraordinary feat, showcased the powerful design of the lightweight F-PACE and its ability to combine agility with sports car speed and performance.

Fiona Pargeter, Global PR Communications Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The F-PACE is a family car that is fast, fun and full of charisma, so completing the world’s largest loop the loop was the perfect reveal moment. The F-PACE is packed full of innovative technology and features the world’s most-advanced in-car entertainment system, matched with super-fast wifi connectivity. Customers are going to go loopy for the Jaguar F-PACE.”

Pro Driver Terry Grant undertook two months of intense physical and dietary training to ensure his body was prepared for the 6.5 G-Force, which is greater than the forces experienced by space shuttle pilots.

Months of planning went in to ensuring that both car and driver could complete this world record-breaking challenge. Precise physics, angles, speeds and dimensions were considered by a team of experts including structural engineers, mathematicians and safety experts.

Terry Grant, legendary stunt driver, said: Driving the world’s largest loop tonight was a very proud moment in my career. The F-PACE’s supreme performance credentials and rigid lightweight structure gave me complete confidence that I had the strength and driving agility needed. I am delighted to bring the Guinness World Record back to the UK and help Jaguar run rings around their competitors ahead of the motor show tomorrow.”

Pricing for the F-PACE range starts from £34,170 and will go on sale from Spring/Summer 2016. For full range details and pricing please visit: http://newsroom.jaguarlandrover.com/en-gb/jaguar/

First Edition: Concept car design for the real world

To celebrate the launch of the all-new F-PACE, a special model called the First Edition, priced at £65,275 in the UK, will be available in strictly limited numbers and in the first year of production only. Powered exclusively by the 300PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, the First Edition is distinguished by a unique metallic paint colour – Caesium Blue; a clear reference to the breakthrough C-X17 concept unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Further highlights include 22-inch Double Helix 15-spoke wheels with Grey finish and contrast inserts, Adaptive Dynamics, Adaptive LED headlights, Gloss Black fender vents and a panoramic roof.

Inside, the Windsor soft-grain leather seats in Light Oyster feature twin-needle stitching and an embossed houndstooth pattern influenced by the C-X17’s award-winning interior. The traditional Jaguar craftsmanship blends seamlessly with the configurable 10-colour ambient lighting, state-of-the-art InControl Touch Pro infotainment system and the 12.3-inch HD virtual instrument cluster.

The all-new F-PACE is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s UK Solihull Plant alongside the Jaguar XE sports saloon.

Ford Edge

The upscale all-new Edge utility vehicle will later this year extend the European line-up of Ford SUVs that includes the medium-sized Kuga and compact EcoSport. Refined and spacious, the Edge SUV will offer several advanced new technologies.

These include Ford Adaptive Steering, which optimises the steering response and makes Edge easier to manoeuvre by continually changing the steering ratio according to vehicle speed; Active Noise Cancellation, which directs sound waves through the audio system to enhance the overall engine sound and cabin ambiance; and Front Split View Camera, which makes restricted visibility junctions or parking spaces easier to negotiate.

The Edge Sport is a modern vehicle for people who want to look good, and have fun, behind the wheel, offering features designed to set it apart on the road and define the model as a performance-inspired utility vehicle with attitude, including:

  • High-gloss black grille and window pillars
  • Colour-coded bumpers, exterior door-cladding, door mirrors and door handles
  • Sports-inspired skid plate and rear diffuser element
  • Distinctive twin rectangular exhausts
  • 20-inch alloy wheels finished in Dark Tarnish
  • Ebony interior door trims, and sports seats with carbon-effect inserts
  • Switch gear surrounds in high-gloss piano black finish
  • Satin silver metal detailing for interior door handles, air-vent surrounds and dashboard

Land Rover Defender Challenge 2015 - Round 1 & 2

This weekend the 2015 Defender Challenge continues with the AWDC Allisport Hill Rally at Walters Arena near Swansea, Wales. Round three will see an exciting addition to the start line in the form of a new Bowler-modified, V6 supercharged powered Defender 110 opening up a new race class within the Defender Challenge for 2016.  Walters Arena will set the stage for an initial shake-down following the vehicle’s in-house development at the Bowler headquarters in Belper, Derbyshire.

Having demonstrated its unrivalled capability and relentless durability, the production-based 2015 Defender Challenge 90 has delivered impressive results, out-performing traditional rally cars in a David and Goliath style contest of agility, versatility and robustness.  Building on this success, Bowler has developed a standard Land Rover Defender 110 Double Cab Pick Up with a host of technical revisions specifically designed to prepare the car for hill rallies and international rally raids and is set to race next year in an additional ‘Class Two’ of the Defender Challenge.

On Saturday, Bowler Motorsport Managing Director, Drew Bowler, will drive the race-spec Bowler supercharged V6 Defender, still in development phase, among Defender Challenge entrants for its first race evaluation. The Bowler 3 litre supercharged V6 Defender 110 has an 8-speed automatic transmission, is tuned to produce  400hp and can reach 60mph in under 6 seconds.  All powertrain and rally-specific revisions have been introduced to create a vehicle with the power, durability and stability necessary for participation in endurance races such as the Dakar Rally and the Africa Race which take in extreme environments and conditions.

Drew Bowler said, “Since its launch, the Defender Challenge has given us opportunity to really explore the boundaries and potential of the Land Rover Defender and it has taken everything we’ve thrown at it. The Bowler V6 Defender is all about the continuation of the Defender Challenge and gives us an opportunity to take on international race events that require a bespoke engineering solution. This weekend, we take the vehicle into a race environment for the very first time, it’s an important and exciting moment for us.”

Continuing his own development story is Defender Challenge competitor Brian Palmer who entered the Defender Challenge this year alongside a number of retuning teams. As a newcomer of the Defender Challenge family, Brian enters round three this weekend with a steely focus and wilful determination, “I am excited about this round as I’m learning a lot about technique as the season goes on and I’m keen to put what I’ve learned into practice. This weekend, my strategy is to focus on getting a strong start and pre-empting the challenges the course presents. The great thing about the Defender is that even if I get it wrong, the car will shrug-off any driver error.”

Brian takes on nine rival Defender Challenge teams including cars supported by Land Rover retailers Likes Land Rover, Sturgess Land Rover and Lookers Land Rover and Britpart British Cross-Country Championship regular Ryan Cooke, co-driven by Paul Mansfield, in ‘The Defenderists’ vehicle on up to 130 miles of challenging competitive stage miles over two days this weekend.

The course is set over a challenging combination of fast gravel stages, forest climbs and sections of rocky terrain and is set to be the backdrop of some highly competitive performances as battle commences for the top four slots at the top of the table.

Round three of the 2015 Defend Challenge takes place at Walters Arena, Neath, Port Talbot, SA10 9LW on Saturday 18th July and Sunday 19th July.  For full details on the AWDC Allisport Hill Rally:

http://www.awdc.co.uk/index.php/hillrally-2015 or welshhillrally.com