Volvo have announced that a new software upgrade to all of their four-wheel drive vehicles will increase torque distribution to the rear axles.

The Polestar-developed update alters the bias towards the rear axle, increasing the frequency of torque sent that way to improve turn-in, more control and engagement whilst driving.

Only present in Dynamic driving mode, the update comes after tweaks to the system’s throttle response, quicker gear changes, more refined points of gear change and in-corner gear holding.

The optimisation will affect both petrol and diesel AWD versions of the XC90, XC60 and XC40 models from August 2018.

Volkswagen have added another diesel powerplant to sit below the 282bhp unit available at launch.

The new 228bhp V6 TDI offers 369lbf.ft 1,750rpm through to 3,000rpm. In pairing the new engine with SEL trim, the Touareg also has a new entry price of £48,995 OTR. It will still come with the eight-speed tiptronic transmission, four-wheel drive and a limited slip-diff. The new unit matches the more muscular engine economically – 173g/km CO2 – and with the 3,500kg towing capacity.

SEL Touaregs come with Vienna Black leather interior with white LED lighting. The 9.2″ touchscreen dominates the dash and houses the controls for much of the cabin’s functions, plus a subscription to Guide and Inform – a program that has live traffic updates, fuel pricing information and radio that selects the strongest signal from FM or DAB.

19″ alloys are standard, as are full LED headlights, tail lights and fog lamps.

The new engine is available with R-Line and R-Line Tech models too, from £52,495 and £55,595 respectively.

Click here to recap more details on the new Touareg’s specs.

The much talked about X-Class V6 has now been announced, available only in high-spec trim and triggering a reshuffle to the X-Class line-up.

The V6 X 350d comes with 4MATIC all-wheel drive out of the box and has selectable drive modes and a seven-notch automatic transmission.

Available exclusively with the range-topping Power trim, the 350d wears painted bumpers and has chromed simulated underguards, a chrome rear bumper with integrated step and chrome trimming around the fog lights and along the shoulders of the truck, plus 18″ six-twin-spoke light weight alloys.

There’s keyless entry and push-button start, and the interior is what you’d expect from a Merc range-topper. The seats are Artico leather with Dinamica microfibre accents in the upholstery, and the steering wheel is leather, too. The dashboard is leather coated and the cabin features aluminium detailing, too. Mercedes’ latest infotainment features in the dash with DAB radio, bluetooth connection and nav, with the rotary controller and touchpad at the bottom of the centre console.

The permanent 4WD features three different settings that include 4MAT automatic, 4H high-range and – most importantly – 4L low-range settings.  Dynamic Select transmission management helps customise the vehicle’s response to the driver and includes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Off-Road and Manual driving modes.

The headline of this piece is that there are three litres of V6 under the bonnet that produce 254bhp and 406lbf.ft. The lightweight design features a single-stage turbo and cylinder liner coating – which is also used in F1. But you knew that, of course…

The V6 X 350d is on sale now, with prices before VAT starting at £38,350, and first deliveries are expected to come in November this year.

Fresh from telling you about the Skoda Karoq Scout that will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show, there’s now going to be a Sportline sibling appearing alongside it, too.

Available with only the most powerful 188bhp, 2.0-litre TSI unit, and is available with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual, or al-wheel drive and an automatic seven-speed.

Sportier bumpers differentiate the Karoq Sportline from its peers, along with the logo’d front mudflaps and the 19″ black alloys with silver accents.

The black sports seats feature silver detailing and are upholstered with three-ply air-permeable Thermoflux fabric. This adds comfort and breathability, especially in the summer. The multi function sports steering wheel is covered in perforated black leather with silver stitching. Aluminium inserts feature in the pedals and the black roof, pillars and headliner plus ambient LED lighting tie up the sporty interior.

When equipped with Skoda’s virtual cockpit, the Karoq Sportline features a new fifth display. Featuring a central rev counter with a digital speedometer, the sporty display adds a new dimension to the SUV. A wifi hotspot can also be chosen, meaning you won’t have to drive and simultaneously have a conversation ever again.

Along with its ruggedised Scout counterpart, the Karoq Sportline will debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is now on sale in the UK, with three specs and a starting OTR price of £34,255.

A new 2.4-litre petrol engine pairs 133bhp (up from 119) with 94bhp from the rear motor and an extra 10% output from the drive battery which now has 13.8kWh capacity. Torque is also up, to 156lbf.ft from 140lbf.ft and a new WLTP combined efficiency figure reads 139mpg. Full EV range isn’t mind-blowing at 28 miles, but the Outlander is a plug-in hybrid, after all.

Shock absorbers – both front and rear – have been revised and the addition of a sport mode sharpens the throttle whilst Super All-Wheel Control balances power between the four corners. Snow mode is new, and assists with pulling off in slippery conditions and controls cornering on snow and ice. The steering ECU plus the steering ratio have been tweaked for more responsiveness, and the front disc brakes have been enlarged for more braking bite.

Inside, there have been updates to the seating and instrument cluster plus a brand new switchboard. The rear seating now features ventilation, whilst the USB charging points have been more conveniently placed.

Infotainment comes in the form of Mitsubishi’s Smartphone Link Display Audio which supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Heated front seats are standard, as is the heated windscreen and dual-zone climate control. The base Juro spec also includes keyless entry and push-button start, LED running lights and remote smartphone app compatibility.

The 4h trim builds on that of the Juro with a 360º camera, blind-spot warning and rear-cross traffic alert. The interior features a new black headlining, electric drivers seat and heated steering wheel and a powered tailgate. Front headlamps, high beam and front fog lights are all LED.

Top of the range 4hs receives adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning. Front and rear parking sensors are also standard, there’s an automated high-beam system and the inclusion of unintended acceleration mitigation system.

The Outlander PHEV Juro starts at £34,255 OTR. 4h pricing begins at £37,000 for 4h models and £39,100 for 4hs – and is on sale now.

The new Honda CR-V will come to the UK with four trims, the choice of 4WD and either five or seven seats when it enters showrooms at the end of September.

With two states of tune – 170bhp with a manual box and 228bhp in conjunction with CVT – the 1.5-litre VTEC turbo’d petrol engine covers the entire CR-V range.

S trim will only be available with 2WD – and therefore the stick shift – and five seats. SE gets the added choice of 4WD which is the only option on SR and EX models. The CR-V is available as a seven-seater on 4WD SE and SR models.

Standard equipment across all models consists of parking sensors and a rear camera plus Honda’s suite of safety tech. The SENSING pack comprises of collision mitigating braking, forward collision warning, lane keep assist and departure warning, adaptive cruise and traffic sign recognition. Top spec SR and EX models also receive blind spot warning and cross traffic monitoring with CVT models also featuring low speed follow.

From SR upwards smart entry and start is introduced, as is a leather interior, active cornering lights and front window de-icer. Heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, hands-free tailgate and a panoramic sunroof feature in the range-topping EX.

Prices for the fifth-gen CR-V will start at £25,995 for 2WD S models, whilst 4WD options begin at £28,995 OTR for a manual, five-seat SE. Seven variants are introduced at £30,655 – again for a manual SE and the range tops out with the auto EX at £36,455.

Skoda have bolstered the stable of the Karoq by adding it to their Scout family.

In readying the SUV for the tougher stuff, 4WD is standard, along with the black wheel arches and heftier skid plates. Also standard are 19-inch alloys, which whilst they’re not ideal for a rocky route, they do look rather dashing.

The 1.5 TSi petrol unit joins the duo of 2.0-litre TDis with 148bhp and a six-speed manual or 187bhp and a seven-speed automatic.

Newly designed seats include black and brown contrasting seams and embroidered Scout lettering, the multifunction steering wheel is leather and there is also an LED package to add ambience to the cabin.

Skoda’s customisable virtual cockpit is included, as is an off-road driving mode. Little features of the SUV, such as the virtual pedal mechanism to open the boot, or the tip-to-close function to shut it again – pull gently on the boot lid and the Karoq will take the hint and close it for you.

The Paris Motor Show has been set as the destination for the Karoq Scout’s global debut.

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.