New car reviews online - a BMW with a Mini's engineAnd the new Ford Galaxy is reviewed

14 October 2016

Vauxhall Adam Rocks

Meet the customisable Adam Rocks

We’ve got reviews of three brand new cars this week - one named after a sleek predatory big cat and another that likens itself to an entire system of stars. There's also one called Adam.

If you hadn’t guessed from the clues, the three cars are the Jaguar XF, Ford Galaxy and oddly named Vauxhall Adam Rocks.

We’ve also tested some new versions of some of the most popular cars on UK roads, having delivered fresh verdicts on the 1.6 petrol engine version of the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai, as well as the Suzuki Vitara 'S'. The latter is a sportier version of the Vitara 4x4 and it's got what Suzuki calls its 'Boosterjet' engine (a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol). Can it really be as fun as it sounds?

Finally, the BMW 318i Touring hopes it can tempt people with its frugal new entry level 1.5-litre three-cylinder model.

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Nissan Qashqai

The super-popular Nissan Qashqai now with a petrol engine

Vauxhall Adam Rocks - new model

Think of the Adam Rocks as the adventure-loving sibling of the Adam city car. It gets beefier, SUV-aping styling, including cladding around the wheel-arches and bumpers. You're spoiled for choice in terms of customisation, too. Body colour, roof colour and wing mirror covers are all individually selectable, as are interior colour panels and steering wheel covers.

Under the hood, the pint-sized Rocks has four petrol engines available, starting from a 1.2-litre version that pumps out 70hp, and culminating with a nippy 150hp 1.4 turbocharged engine.

We've tested the Adam Rocks S, a variant with the bigger 150hp engine and sports suspension for a more dynamic drive. But a Best Buy city car needs to be much more than stylish and quick off the mark - it needs to be practical, easy to manoeuvre and deliver a reasonable fuel economy. Especially for the price Vauxhall wants for this car.

Read our Adam Rocks review to find out if it's worth buying.

Jaguar XF - new model

The XF is the bigger brother of the XE compact saloon. It shares its svelte styling and offers a larger, tech-laden cabin for a more luxurious experience.

It's more than just another rung up the model size ladder, though. It’s packed with luxury appointments and has been set up to offer an involving drive to compete with rivals such as the BMW 5 Series.

Jaguar's luxury saloon will need to be very good if it wants to challenge the best Germany has to offer. Read our full review to see if the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel XF has what it takes.

Ford Galaxy

Is the Ford Galaxy a seven-seat Best Buy?

Ford Galaxy - new model

Ford's largest seven-seat MPV has just received its first update in eight years. The last Galaxy is one of the most popular seven seaters on the road, so this new model has a lot to live up to.

Very little has changed in the looks department, but the boxier edges have been softened and the front-end redesigned in the style of the glamorous Focus and Fiesta hatchbacks.

But it’s the interior that’s most important with a car this size. How the cabin is laid out can make or break an MPV - we’ve come across plenty of cars that claim to seat seven, but simply can't accommodate a full complement of passengers and their luggage. The challenge for the new Galaxy will be maximise practicality while retaining Ford's uniquely engaging driving experience.

Read our Ford Galaxy review for the full verdict.

Nissan Qashqai - 1.6-litre petrol

The Nissan Qashqai is one of the most popular cars in the UK - you seemingly can't go on a long journey these days without seeing several along the way.

In addition to the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines, we've just tested a Qashqai with the range-topping 1.6-litre petrol engine, the most powerful available in the standard range. But more power isn't necessarily a good thing. Fuel bills will be higher, as is the asking price - so is it worth buying?

Find out how this bigger engine compares in our Nissan Qashqai review.

BMW 318i Touring

Will a BMW work with a Mini's engine?

Suzuki Vitara S - 1.4-litre petrol

The new 'S' sits at the top of the Vitara model range. It’s also the only one that has the option of a 1.4 litre turbo 'Boosterjet' petrol engine, the most powerful of the three available, at 140hp.

If Suzuki is making the engine exclusive to the range-topping S it must be good, right? Find out what our experts thought in our full Suzuki Vitara review.

BMW 318i Touring - 1.5-litre petrol

Believe it or not this large estate car from BMW is powered by the same engine as a Mini. The 318i Touring is the first BMW estate with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine. It is turbocharged at least.

Will that generate enough power for a car this size, or will the downsized engine leave the 318i touring feeling slow? Find out in our full BMW 3 Series Touring review.

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