4x4

09 Aug 2016
     Sightings of Subarus out in here in the sticks are pretty regular. The farming fraternity, the horsey types, and the catch it, kill it and (not necessarily always) eat it brigade seem to love them, drawn in perhaps by the Japanese manufacturer’s enviable reputation for reliability, near legendary ruggedness, and of course the all-important four wheel-drive. An aged Subaru Legacy, Forester,...
17 Jun 2016
     If there’s a greater invention than ventilated and cooled leather seats I’m yet to find it. Sat in the late afternoon’s traffic, under a panoramic glass roof, and on a day when the dashboard tells me that outside it’s 26 degrees C, I’m actually beginning to feel a tad chilly. As Widnes’s Wednesday commuters wind down their windows and complain about the roadworks I relax, sit back, switch...
14 May 2016
       After my first acquaintance with Suzuki’s new Vitara not long after it was launched last year I concluded that its interior plastics were a little bit on the hard and scratchy side, and that if prospective customers wanted certain specs and options, they should “do their sums carefully before signing on the dotted line”.       Having just recently spent another week in the company of the...
22 Feb 2016
   One look at what’s parked on your local High Street is probably all it takes to tell you that SUVs (that’s Sports Utility Vehicles) are proving rather popular these days. So popular in fact that for the first time, last year, sales of small and mid-sized SUVs, be they four–wheel drive or just those just pretending, out-sold hatchbacks. SUV registrations rose 24% in 2015 to 3.2 million, and it...
02 Feb 2016
      The Suzuki Jimny, the smallest SUV on the market I’m reliably informed, has believe it not, been around since 1998 and it’s simple, upright squared-off, wheel-in-each-corner, spare-wheel-on-the-back, Land-Rover Defender-that’s-been boil-washed stance has never really changed. A thorough freshening up in 2013 that saw the Jimny gain a new front bumper, restyled grille and a new bonnet...
10 Nov 2015
     Despite its chunky bodywork and go-anywhere looks it’s probably fair to say that most BMW X5s were bought more for their perceived safety on the school-run than they ever were for their cross-country abilities. You get the feeling that right from the outset BMW knew that was going to be the case too; they cannily called the X5 a Sports Activity Vehicle  (rather than Sports Utility Vehicle)...
24 Sep 2015
      In world, or maybe at least a High Street, where a many an SUV/Crossover/call-them-what you will, seems to share the same somewhat boxy and upright lines as the next one, Mazda’s new CX3 certainly cuts a well-creased dash. Designed, Mazda say, to set a new dynamic benchmark, the CX-3 has been conceived under their “Jinba Ittai” or driver-and–car-as-one ethos that defines all recent Mazda...
21 Aug 2015
   A friend of mine, let’s call him John, is an analytical kind of chap. He has an eye for detail. Hand John a pair of designer jeans and he’ll ruthlessly check the seams; he’s the same if you hand him a jacket, a pair shoes, a suitcase, you name it… He’s the kind of guy who can tell a genuine Fred Perry Polo shirt from a Chinese copy at 50 paces - I know because he showed me how. Minutiae it...
17 Jun 2015
      The all new XC90 is, say Volvo, a place to relax, think and connect with the world on your own terms; it is a place without clutter. It is the result of them asking: How can we make life easier for you?     I’m not entirely sure how I’d answer that. But I can tell you that there certainly is evidence of a vast amount of thought having been put into Volvo’s all-new flagship SUV.     All new...
06 Apr 2015
Subaru WRX Sti      Think Subaru and I’ll wager it probably won’t be long before you start to reminisce over one, or maybe both of the following: Rugged and slightly battered four-wheel drive pick-ups or estate cars, usually covered in horse poo, driven by slightly grumpy people who tend to have of whiff of the same. Or, metallic-blue, mud splattered Imprezas, emblazoned with yellow 555 logos,...
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