Weekly round-up: Honda unveils new Civic, Bentley gives Bentayga diesel power and we drive the Kia Niro
It’s been a busy few days for show business, with the week’s gossip columns awash with speculation of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s split. However, the question everyone’s asking is what will happen to the Great British Bake Off?
So, if you’ve been a little too preoccupied by Mary Berry’s future prospects, we’ve rounded up the automotive highlights of the last seven days you’ll have missed. That’s right, it’s time for our weekly round-up!
Big news this week for Honda, that has unveiled its all-new Civic ahead of its public debut at the Paris Motor Show. We think it’s one of the most innovative-looking family cars to be released since, well, the last Civic came out back in 2011.
Its flagship hatchback’s new design isn’t just skin deep – it sits on an all-new platform and from launch gets two fresh frugal petrol engines. It’ll be available in the UK opening months of 2017, but it won’t have far to travel despite its Japanese origins – all new Civics will be built in Britain at Honda’s Swindon plant.
Will the All-Terrain conquer all?
Elsewhere, Mercedes unveiled a new E-Class model, the All-Terrain. It’s based on the standard E-Class estate, but gets a clever four-wheel-drive system and beefed up suspension. This makes it an ideal candidate for gentle off-road jaunts and could be the perfect car for those that want a capable 4X4 without the SUV image.
If you do want something a little bolder however, fear not, as Bentley has fitted its gargantuan Bentayga with a diesel. It’s the first Bentley ever to get one and, as you’d expect, it’s quite a special car.
The 4.0-litre V8 unit makes 429bhp, propelling the 2.5-tonne SUV to 62mph from rest in just 4.8 seconds. In other words, it’s the fastest diesel SUV on the market. The engine is also used in the ferocious Audi SQ7 but, for outright opulence, there’s not much that can outdo this £135,000 Bentayga.
Ka + 4 doors = Ka+
From one extreme to another, if you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful runaround, all the details of the Ford’s new Ka+ are in! Designed at taking over the entry-level Fiesta Studio trim, the + denotes the extra set of doors it gains over its forebear, while interior space is now on a par with rivals such as the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto.
In other motoring news, the government announced that drivers who use their phone behind the wheel will face much tougher sanctions from 2017. The minimum penalty will be a £200 fine and six penalty points. That seems like a lot considering six points is also the penalty given to uninsured drivers.
Ford range review
This week our writers and road testers have been busy out of the office too. Neil Thomasson went along to the Henry Ford Academy in Daventry to see what the blue oval’s been up to. He got a glimpse of what future cars we can expect, as well as an in-depth look at Ford’s new sporty trim – the ST-Line.
Phil Huff’s been out and about in the new Kia Niro. Not only is it the company’s first crossover vehicle, but it’s also its first dedicated hybrid model, too. With the Optima now available with Plug-in hybrid too, Kia has vowed to be a class-leader for low-emitting vehicles in the upcoming years.
Finally, as the nights start drawing in and the leaves start to fall, we’ve considered if there are any cars that are great for all seasons. From convertible SUVs to four-wheel-drive hybrids, here’s five cars that are equally impressive all year round.