It’s official: EVs are easier to drive

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

Peugeot-Young-EV-Drivers-Challenge

Two out of five parents would already prefer their children to jump straight into a fully electric vehicle and skip petrol and diesel cars when learning to drive, according to new research by Peugeot UK.

However, nearly a third believe it will be harder to learn to drive in an EV and own one.

Following the study, Peugeot took a group of 10 -16-year-olds to a closed circuit to showcase how simple learning to drive and owning an electric car is.

The youngsters were given dedicated tutorials run by professional drivers on how to live with and own an electric car at Bedford Autodrome.

Peugeot-Young-EV-Drivers-Challenge

Sat behind the wheel of the Peugeot e-208, the young drivers were first taught basic manoeuvres, such as starting, stopping and parking. They were then shown the essential elements of EV ownership, such as how to conserve your miles, charging your car, and switching between driving modes.

When the young drivers’ lesson has concluded, the children went head-to-head against their parents in an EV challenge to see who could conserve the most miles over a set route.

Driving six laps of the course, covering over three miles, the youngsters utilised all the skills they had learnt about electric driving to come out on top, conserving twice as many miles as their parents.

“Our day with the young drivers has demonstrated how accessible electric vehicles can be for anyone thinking about their next car,” said Julie David, Managing Director of Peuegot UK.

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Cupra Formentor review

Cupra Formentor review

You’ve got to hand it to Cupra, SEAT’s sporty spin-off brand. To take a generic SUV like the Ateca and transform it into a bold, head-turning coupe-crossover is no mean feat.

In fact, the first fully-fledged Cupra model looks like nothing else on the market in its price bracket.

Athletic with a sculpted profile, muscular wheel arches and an elegantly extensive bonnet, it’s longer and sits lower than most school-run SUVs.

Cupra Formentor review

Add Cupra’s trademark copper-coloured alloy wheels, distinctive badge and full-width rear light bar, and you have a car that oozes kerb appeal.

Priced from £28,270 and available with 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre turbo petrol engines, plus a 1.4-litre plug-in hybrid, there’s something for everybody.

Our range-topping test car (badged 2.0 TSI 4Driven) developed 306bhp, sported four-wheel drive, a seven-speed DSG auto gearbox and a ticket price just north of £40,000.

Cupra Formentor review

With a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 155mph, the performance figures speak for themselves.

The claimed fuel economy of 31.4-33.2mpg (you’ll have to restrain yourself in real-world driving to hit 30mpg) and CO2 emissions of 193g/km also tell a story.

However, this version of the Formentor is all about power and handling, so if you want to ease your eco conscience, opt for the plug-in hybrid.

Cupra Formentor review

It’s a class act inside too with subtle copper flourishes throughout, leather upholstery, soft-touch surfaces and supportive sports seats, plus it’s hard to fault the build quality.

A bright and clear 12-inch touchscreen is the nerve centre of an otherwise smart, fairly minimalist dashboard. Like most other new Volkswagen Group cars, there’s a lot of swiping and prodding even to access the most basic of infotainment functions such as climate control, though we had some success with the voice control system.

On the plus side, as well as gear-shifting paddles, the sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel also incorporates a handy drive mode button, just like a Porsche 911 (a great shortcut for selecting for Sport).

Cupra Formentor review

Hit the Start button (also on the steering wheel) and the Cupra fires up, emitting a purposeful growl, though purists will whinge that it’s enhanced via the audio system.

Spacious with ample room for adults in the back and lots of space for stowing smaller items, it has a decent boot capacity of 450 litres, stretching to 1,475 litres with the rear seats folded.

On the road it feels every bit as fast as the stats indicate with plenty of torque on tap, while the dual-cutch transmission efficiently pumps through the gears.

Cupra Formentor review

Thanks partly to its low-slung design, the Cupra is as agile as it handsome, feeling more like an overgrown hot hatch than a 4×4.

Add sharp steering that’s quick and light at low speeds, a comfortable ride and serious amounts of grip, and you have a crossover that can be fun on more challenging roads, yet also effortless on longer hauls.

Cupra Formentor review

It’s safe too, achieving a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. Standard safety features for the Formentor include Front Assist with auto emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian detection, along with side and exit assist, emergency steering, junction assist, lane assist and e-call that will alert the emergency services if the car is involved in a heavy collision.

Verdict: In these days of generic SUV design, Cupra has dared to be different with its athletic Formentor coupe-crossover, which delivers dynamism, performance, practicality, style and the latest technology.

Cupra Official UK

Cupra Formentor review

Hyundai Tucson crowned ‘Car of the Year’

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Hyundai’s impressive new Tucson SUV has been named best car in Britain by leading motoring title, Carbuyer.

Thes judges were bowled over by the Tucson’s eye-catching styling, smart interior, clever technology and nimble yet comfortable driving experience.

As well as being named Carbuyer Car of the Year 2022, the mid-size SUV also scooped the coveted Best Family Car and Best Hybrid Car awards.

Hyundai enjoyed success elsewhere, too, with its innovative Ioniq 5 taking Best Family Electric Car and Best Company Car trophies, while the swift i20 N was named Best Hot Hatchback.

“To win six awards including overall Car of the Year for our best-selling Tucson is another outstanding result for Hyundai and is testament to the design, quality, capability and value offered by our current model line-up,” said Ashley Andrew, Managing Director at Hyundai Motor UK.

Carbuyer Car of the Year 2022 winners

New cars
Carbuyer Car of the Year – Hyundai Tucson
Best Small Car – Renault Clio
Best Small Family Car – Renault Captur
Best Family Car – Hyundai Tucson
Best Large Family Car – Kia Sorento
Best Estate Car Skoda – Octavia Estate
Best Small Company Car – Volkswagen ID.3
Best Company Car – Hyundai IONIQ 5
Best Large Company Car – Porsche Taycan
Best Sports Car – BMW 4 Series
Best Convertible – MINI Convertible
Best Hot Hatchback – Hyundai i20 N
Best Hot SUV – Cupra Formentor
Best Pickup – Ford Ranger
Best Small Electric Car – Renault ZOE
Best Family Electric Car – Hyundai IONIQ 5
Best Large Electric Car – Jaguar I-Pace
Best Hybrid – Hyundai Tucson
Best Plug-in Hybrid – Mercedes-Benz A 250 e
Best Large Plug-in Hybrid – BMW X5

Used cars
Carbuyer Used Car of the Year – Ford Fiesta
Best Used Small Car – Ford Fiesta
Best Used Small Family Car – Kia Ceed
Best Used Family Car – Vauxhall Insignia
Best Used Large Family Car – Skoda Kodiaq
Best Used Estate Car – Skoda Octavia Estate
Best Used Sports Car – Mazda MX-5
Best Used Convertible – MINI Convertible
Best Used Hot Hatchback – Volkswagen Golf GTI
Best Used Hot SUV – Porsche Macan
Best Used Pickup – Toyota Hilux
Best Used Small Electric Car – BMW i3
Best Used Family Electric Car – Nissan Leaf
Best Used Large Electric Car – Tesla Model S
Best Used Hybrid – Toyota Prius
Best Used Plug-in Hybrid – Kia Niro PHEV

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Battista EV supercar wins prestigious award

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

The stunning all-electric Battista has won the coveted Design Award at the exclusive Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy.

Automobili Pininfarina’s new hyper GT made its European public debut in production-ready form at the prestigious event, finished in Verde Paradiso exterior paintwork with a luxurious tan leather interior.

The annual show, which takes place on the shores of Lake Como, is just a few hours’ drive from the Battista’s Cambiano production facility.

“We took a unique Battista to Villa d’Este to showcase the diverse colour and material choices that our discerning clients can choose from when personalising their vehicle,” said Luca Borgogno, Automobili Pininfarina Chief Design Officer.

“To win the Design Award is a fantastic way for us to begin the countdown to making our first customer deliveries later this year.

“It’s always exciting for us to show new bespoke combinations of the Battista in different parts of the world, but especially so in our home country alongside other legendary classic Pininfarina-designed masterpieces.”

The Battista’s other trophies include GQ’s Electric Hypercar of the Year award and the Electric Dream award, from Electrifying.com.

Needles to say, the Battista is blistering quick with a 0-62mph time of less than two seconds and a top speed of 217mph, while its 120kWh battery delivers a range of 311 miles and can be charged at speeds of up to 180kW.

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Tesco named best supermarket for EV owners

Home / Auto News / Tesco named best supermarket for EV owners

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Volkswagen and Tesco chargepoint partnership

Tesco has topped the list for supermarkets providing charging for electric car owners, according to an independent analysis of EV facilities across the UK by electric cars website Electrifying.com.

The supermarket, in partnership with Volkswagen and Pod Point, has installed charging points across 400 of its stores across the UK.

Overall, almost half (45 per cent) of its total stores, not including smaller express sites, have charging.

Morrisons is the second-best supermarket for EV owners, with just over 40 per cent of 497 stores offering customers the ability to charge, while nearly one in five (19.71 per cent) Asda locations provide at least one place to plug in.

But electric car drivers who shop at Sainsbury’s face a lottery when it comes to charging their vehicles, with fewer than one in 10 (7.2 per cent) of its stores currently providing charge points for customers.

While Sainsbury’s came out bottom of the pile, Aldi was only marginally better with 10 per cent.

Lidl customers have a slightly better chance of finding a store with at least one charge point, with its hit rate reaching 15 per cent.

“Congratulations to Tesco and Morrisons which have both invested heavily to provide customers with good charging facilities. We’d love every supermarket site to offer this, but we aren’t there yet,” said Ginny Buckley, founder of Electrifying.com.

“We expected more supermarkets to be doing better, but it’s still great to see how some of them have recognised that offering shoppers reliable car charging is not only good for business but will also help give the nation confidence to make the switch.

“With electric cars surging in popularity and ambitious government targets to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, providing charging infrastructure at convenient locations is crucial to encourage drivers to go electric sooner, particularly the significant number that don’t have access to off-street parking.”

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Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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