Wraps come off the all-new Polestar 3 SUV

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Polestar 3 SUV

Swedish EV maker Polestar has unveiled its first SUV – a car which is expected to turbo-charge the brand’s sales.

Priced from £79,900, it was also be the first Polestar to be produced on two continents – Chengdu, China and Ridgeville, South Carolina.

Polestar 3 will compete with other electric SUVs in the premium sector, including the Jaguar I-Pace, BMW iX, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi e-tron.

Polestar 3 SUV

It will launch with a dual-motor powertrain, which in standard form produces 483bhp and 618lb ft of torque. That’s enough to power the 2.5-tonne 4×4 from 0-62mph in 5.0sec and on to a top speed of 130mph.

An optional Performance Pack adds an extra 27bhp and 51lb ft, shaving 0.3sec off the 0-62mph sprint.

More importantly to some, the long Range Polestar 3 will have a 111kWh lithium ion battery that has a claimed range of up to 379 miles and a peak charging rate of 250kW. It’s also capable of bidirectional vehicle-to-grid charging and features a heat pump as standard.

Polestar 3 SUV

The car’s rakish profile is reminiscent of a stretched Volvo C40 Recharge, while aerodynamic touches include air channels at the front of the bonnet, plus a raised spoiler at the top of the tailgate.

The materials used inside Polestar 3 have been selected for their sustainability credentials. These include bio-attributed MicroTech, animal welfare-certified leather and fully traceable wool upholsteries.

“Polestar 3 is a powerful electric SUV that appeals to the senses with a distinct, Scandinavian design and excellent driving dynamics,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. 

“It takes our manufacturing footprint to the next level, bringing Polestar production to the United States. We are proud and excited to expand our portfolio as we continue our rapid growth.”

Polestar 3 SUV

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Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

We road test the award-winning electric vehicle that instantly dates just about every other car on the road…

It’s difficult to know where to start with a car like the acclaimed Hyundai Ioniq 5. Already the winner of various Car of the Year titles, this futuristically styled EV features state-of-the-art technology and looks like nothing else on the road.

Hyundai may not thank me for it, but I’m going to start by pointing out that the Ioniq 5 shares its Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) with its Korean cousins, the Kia EV6 and the upcoming Genesis GV60.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’d say the retro cool Ioniq 5 is easily the most distinctive of the trio. Park it next to any other competitor car (eg Volkswagen ID.4, Jaguar I-Pace or Ford Mustang Mach-E) and they look instantly dated.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

Bigger in the metal than I’d expected, it looks like it should be about the size of a VW Golf from the pictures, but it’s actually closer to a Skoda Enyaq iV.

Hyundai markets it as a “midsize CUV”, which is automotive industry speak for a Crossover Utility Vehicle – a blend of hatchback and SUV, for want of a better definition.

Competitively priced from £37,545, there’s a range of battery and motor options available, plus rear or all-wheel drive. Packed with technology and equally futuristic inside, it’s a revelation.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

Able to charge from 10-80% (via an ultra rapid 350kW chargepoint) in as little as 18 minutes and travel up to 298 miles on a charge, it can sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds.

We tested the top-of-the range Ioniq 5 with twin-motor all-wheel drive and the largest battery size available (72.6kWh). Just shy of £50,000, it boasts a combined 301bhp and 446lb ft of torque.

The flush door handles pop out as you walk up to the Ioniq 5. Once inside, the benefits of the car’s larger dimensions and flat floor are obvious – it’s bathed in space and light.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

It’s ultra-modern and minimalist up front, thanks to a two-spoke steering wheel and panoramic twin-screen infotainment and driver’s display set-up.

There’s a sliding centre console incorporating cupholders, small storage areas and a wireless phone charger, while the versatile front seats can be fully reclined.

Comfort is subjective, and though the seats were nicely padded with plenty of adjustment, I just couldn’t get the perfect driving position. Such is the huge amount of cabin space, I felt perched and almost marooned at times.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

The bonus of such a high driving style is that there are no complaints in the visibility department, but ultimately the Ioniq 5 may be fast, but doesn’t feel so sporty.

There’s ample room for rear passengers, while the shallow boot still has a decent 527-litre capacity, expanding to 1,587 litres with the rear seated flipped. You can also store the charging cables in a space under the bonnet.

All versions are loaded with kit. Even the entry-level SE Connect model comes with the dual 12.3-inch screens, the impressive rapid charging capability, wireless smartphone charging, 19-inch alloy wheels and highway drive assist (an advanced version of adaptive cruise control).

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

Move up to Premium for LED headlights, an electric driver’s seat, an electric boot, heated front seats and blind spot monitoring with collision avoidance.

Ultimate adds a head-up display, 20-inch alloys, Bose sound system, rear privacy glass and ventilated front seats.

To get moving, simply choose a gear (the shift stalk is mounted low right on the steering column) and you’re away – and it’s properly quick.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

You can also select Eco, Normal or Sport drive modes and adjust the brake regeneration. The ‘one-pedal’ option enables you to slow down to a halt just by lifting off the accelerator. It’s useful in town, but a little jarring on faster roads, where it’s easier to use the paddles behind the steering wheel for extra regen.

Frankly, Normal will do just fine. Eco is OK for cruising on a motorway or A-road, but a little lifeless otherwise, while Sport is fun for short, battery-draining bursts of fun.

If you’re looking for a comfortable ride, then the Ioniq 5 is the car for you. However, more spirited drivers might find it a little too floaty with rather too much body roll in faster corners.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

That said, there’s plenty of grip and the steering is light and easy, while the brakes are unusually responsive for an EV.

No car is perfect and the Ioniq is no exception. It’s not as dynamic to drive as some rivals, and some of the interior materials could be classier.

The lack of a rear wiper is a bigger issue than it might sound too, especially when it’s raining. I finally lost patience on one motorway journey, stopping the car at a service station to clean the rear window. Also, the steering wheel obscured some of the driver display behind with my set-up.

I tested the car in the winter so the 267-mile range (the AWD in top spec Ultimate trim with 20-inch wheels is 30 miles down on the RWD) was never on, but I’d say up to 240 miles is realistic in those conditions.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

Thankfully, advanced charging ability is the Ioniq 5’s party piece. In theory, it can add 62 miles of range in just five minutes, because it’s one of the few EVs on the market to support both 400V and 800V charging.

Using a more common 50kW charger, you’ll get up to 80% in 50 minutes, while a complete charge on a wall box at home is best done overnight.

Unless you need all-wheel drive, I suspect the sweet spot in the range is the cheaper 72.6kWh single motor version (RWD) with a potential range closer to the claimed 298 miles.

Verdict: The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is smooth, spacious, comfortable and easy to drive. Loaded with state-of-the art technology, it’s a competitively priced family EV that oozes kerb appeal.

Hyundai UK

Kia EV6 crowned Car of the Year

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Kia EV6 - Car of the Year

The game-changing Kia EV6 has been named Europe’s top car at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.

Already widely acclaimed, the electric vehicle beat seven other cars that had made it to the final round of the contest.

The 61-member jury, made up of automotive journalists from 23 countries, voted as follows:

  1. Kia EV6 – 279 points
  2. Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric – 265 points
  3. Hyundai Ioniq 5 – 261 points
  4. Peugeot 308 – 191 points
  5. Skoda Enyaq iV – 185 points
  6. Ford Mustang Mach-E – 150 points
  7. Cupra Born – 144 points

“It’s a nice surprise to see the Kia EV6 receive this award,” said the President of the jury, Frank Janssen.

“It was about time that the brand and the group were rewarded, as they have worked so hard on this car. Kia’s pace of progress is really impressive.”

Kia EV6 review

Offering up to 328 miles of range, super-fast charging capability, space, refinement and a class-leading warranty, the boldy styled EV6’s other awards include the What Car? Car of the Year 2022 trophy in January.

A delighted Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe, added: “The EV6 is truly a landmark development that’s been designed from the outset to make electric mobility fun, convenient and accessible by combining a highly impressive real-world driving range, ultra-fast charging capabilities, a spacious high-tech interior and a truly rewarding driving experience.

“The EV6 is an exciting sign of what’s still to come in our evolving electrified line-up.”

The prestigious Car of the Year award was established in 1964, when the Rover 2000 took top honours. The Toyota Yaris claimed the top prize last year, while the 2019 winner was the pure electric Jaguar I-Pace.

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Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

If want to drive a big 4×4, but would rather keep on the right side of eco warriors, then the latest EV from Audi could be the car for you…

Not only does it possess premium badge appeal, but with zero tailpipe emissions, it couldn’t be kinder to the environment.

What’s more, because it’s so similar to Audi’s conventional 4x4s, inside and out, it makes the switch from fossil fuels to battery electric so much smoother.

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

The e-tron SUV first hit UK roads in 2019. The more athletic Sportback version (a streamlined roof gives it a coupe-esque look) followed a year later.

Now, the new ‘S’ is the sportiest version yet and will allow you to impress even the most traditional of petrol heads.

It can sprint from standstill to 62mph in just 4.5 seconds (a full second quicker than the standard e-tron) and on to a top speed of 130mph.

Naturally, it’s all-wheel drive, but unlike most of its rivals, which make do with two electric motors, the e-tron S has three – one up front and two at the back.

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

It’s not just blisteringly fast, the e-tron S boasts serious road presence. Chunky, yet sporty, its front end is dominated by Audi’s aggressive ‘Singleframe’ grille and flashy LED lights. Head back and the profile is sharply styled, the wheels are enormous, and the rear is suitably pert.

The interior is just what you expect from Audi – a classy blend of soft-touch surfaces, leather, brushed chrome and state-of-the-art technology.

The cabin is spacious with ample room for rear seat passengers and a useful 615 litres of boot space (1,665 litres with the back seats folded), plus 60 litres under the bonnet (ideal for storing cables).

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

Naturally, the driving position offers a commanding view of the road, while the level of refinement on the road is superb – partly down to the electric motor, but also its slippery shape and high build quality.

Tech highlights include Audi’s slick infotainment system utilising twin touchscreens, the lower of which displays the climate controls, but doubles as a writing pad for writing in a sat nav destination, for instance.

There’s also a digital driver’s display, plus stacks of safety and driver assistance equipment – and seven drive modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual, Off Road and All Road.

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

You can also select Drive and Sport next to the gear selector. Drive is your day-to-day setting, while Sport unleashes all the car’s performance, increasing power for up to eight seconds.

Put your foot down and there’s that instant torque that all EVs deliver, yet it’s even more impressive in the mighty 2.6-tonne e-tron S.

Its agility seems to defy the laws of physics, delivering a composed and planted experience regardless of whether you’re cruising on a motorway or enjoying challenging country roads. It’s also more than capable of tackling off-road terrain.

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

Of course, its proportions can make it a handful in town, but with great visibility, cameras and all-round sensors, you soon adjust.

However, no car is perfect and the e-tron S is no exception. On paper it has a range of up to 224 miles, but in the real world you’re looking at closer to 200 miles.

Unless you need a car to regularly cover that kind of mileage or you can’t fit a home charger, that might be a deal-breaker.

For the record, it will charge overnight from home and can take as little as 30 minutes to charge from 5% to 80% using a 150kW public charger (if you can find one).

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

Finally, let’s not forget the price of the e-Tron S. The basic e-tron will set you back at least £62,560. The e-tron S Sportback starts at £88,760, and if it’s loaded with extras, can end up closer to £100,000.

Rivals include everything from the Jaguar I-Pace to the Tesla Model X and Mercedes-Benz EQC.

Verdict: The Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro is a class act – an enticing, zero emissions blend of performance, luxury and driving pleasure. Spacious and with genuine off-road ability, it’s a dream SUV for many.

Kia EV6 review

Kia EV6 review

We test the all-new Kia EV6 – an electric car that’s more than just eye candy

Kia has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to electrification – from the EV version of the quirky Soul in 2015 to the game-changing e-Niro of 2018, plus hybrids along the way.

Now the South Korean car company is on the money again with its EV6 – Kia first’s electric-only vehicle with a 300-mile plus range.

At launch the futuristic fastback is available as either a 321bhp four-wheel-drive (dual motor) or a more affordable 226bhp rear-drive (single motor). The usable battery capacity is 77.4kWh, regardless of which configuration you choose.

Kia EV6 review

The single motor has the greatest range (328 miles compared to 314 miles). The top speeds for both are 114mph, while the 0–60mph time for the four-wheel-drive version is 2.1 seconds faster at 5.2 seconds.

Charging from 10-80% takes as little as 18 minutes via 350kW ultra rapid charger (it’s future-proofed with 800-volt charging infrastructure). A more common 50kW charger will take one hour 13 minutes, or if you can plug-in at home (7kW) it will take seven hours 20 minutes.

Priced from £40,840 to £51,840, its rivals include everything from the Ford Mustang Mach-E to the Jaguar I-Pace, Polestar 2, Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen ID.4 and its cousin, the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Kia EV6 review

A smidgen smaller than an I-Pace, the boldly styled EV6 also shares the stubby nose, short overhangs, pop-out door handles and big wheels of the Jag.

Inside, it’s spacious and slick, with plenty of room for five adults. Our only gripes are that we’d like the driver’s seat to lower a little more and rear visibility could be better.

Elsewhere, there’s a generous 490 litres of space in the deep, but shallow boot, expanding to 1,300 litres with the rear seats folded.

Kia EV6 review

The EV6 also features extra storage at the front – a front boot, front trunk, or ‘frunk’ – providing an additional 52 litres of storage space for RWD models and 20 litres for AWDs – more than enough space for charging cables.

Inside the cabin it has a classy feel and it’s well put together, but there are more hard plastic surfaces than we would like.

On the plus side, it is trimmed in a range of sustainable materials, such as “vegan leather” seats, and sections of the dashboard and centre console are clad in recycled plastics, equivalent to 107 plastic 500ml water bottles per car.

Kia EV6 review

There’s a large, curved touchscreen on top of the dashboard, alongside a digital driver’s display. Both are 12.3-inches and feature Kia’s usual clear graphics. Generally, it looks state-of-the-art and delivers a good mix of dials, buttons and touchscreens.

Standard equipment with the entry-level EV6 includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, LED lights, heated front seats and steering wheel, sat-nav based smart cruise control and autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

Goodies further up the range includes wireless smartphone charging, privacy glass, blind-spot collision warning, a panoramic sunroof, remote smart park assist, a powered tailgate, a 14-speaker Meridian audio system and a head-up display.

Kia EV6 review

On the road the EV6 is comfortable, refined and turns heads for all the right reasons. There really is nothing like it on the market at present.

We tested both the single and dual motor versions and frankly there’s not much between them. If money is no object and the loss of 14 miles of range makes no difference, then go for the all-wheel drive version which is a tad faster and offers extra traction.

A button on the steering wheel allows you to choose between Sport, Eco and Normal drive modes. Normal is just fine and Sport is fun for overtaking, while Eco is strictly for Scrooges and motorway runs.

Kia EV6 review

The steering wheel paddles let you choose between six levels of regenerative braking, the last of which switches to “one-pedal” driving, which harvests maximum energy when you lift off the accelerator, bringing the car to a stop without touching the brakes.

The EV6 does a decent job of hiding its two-tonne weight, feeling agile and staying flat in faster corners. However, when really pushed the crossover origins it shares with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are more obvious. No doubt the upcoming GT version will unleash the EV6’s full dynamic potential.

Kia EV6 review

That said, the steering is light enough in town, yet adds weight at speed, while the brakes are more progressive than many an EV.

No car is perfect and the EV6 is no exception, but it’s still an impressive all-round package with a range far exceeding many premium rivals.

Verdict: The all-new, all-electric EV6 is another great value game-changer from Kia – a winning blend of style, performance, practicality, technology and long-range capability.

Kia Motors UK