From the sweeping lines of the new Nissan Micra to the understated class of the Volvo S90, all the cars we’ve just tested have an interesting look that means they’ll stand out on the road.
Whether you’re a fan of the cars we’ve reviewed this week or not, you’d be hard pressed to describe any of them as boring.
We’ve taken another look at the BMW i3 and its new bigger battery to see if BMW’s claims of increased range are hyperbole or accurate and if more miles on a single charge will help the car reach a wider audience.
One car that won’t be going electric anytime soon is the Mercedes-Benz SLC. The two-seat convertible has a folding metal roof that can be raised and lowered if you’re doing less than 25mph, which is always appealing, but it will need to be thrilling on the road, too.
Finally we’ve been on the road with the Land Rover Discovery Sport. It shares a lot with the Evoque, including the chassis, but it has more in common with the standard Range Rover when it comes to design. We’re curious to see if this seven-seat SUV is better than either.
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Volvo’s design team deserves a pay rise. The Swedish brand has upped its game when it comes to its high-end cars. The XC90 SUV and V90 estate are both attractive, but the S90 luxury saloon is the best looking of the bunch.
There’s a pair of 2.0-litre diesel engines to choose from. One, known as D4, kicks out 190hp, while the other – D5 – beats it with 235hp. The latter is also four-wheel drive. As with all luxury cars, comfort is key – something Volvo has struggled with in the past. The eight-speed automatic gearbox will need to be smooth if the S90 is going to be pleasant to drive.
Looks and comfort aside, the S90 faces a tough battle to be recognised among the Jaguar XFs and Audi A6s of this world. Should Volvo be optimistic? Read our Volvo S90 review to see if it has what it takes to compete with the more popular luxury cars.
Volvo isn’t the only brand turning out stunning redesigns. The shift from the dumpy fourth-generation Micra to the fifth generation is significant. The 2017 Micra barely resembles the outgoing 2010 model, which is no bad thing.
Nissan will be hoping that the new eye-catching design will help the small car stand out from the dominant Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.
To get within sight of its rivals the Micra will need to drive well, too. Its 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is small but, thanks to turbocharging, it shouldn’t feel sluggish. And we hope that Nissan has been as attentive to comfort as it has to the bodywork.
To read more of our impressions of the car on the road click through to our Nissan Micra first look.
The SLC is nothing if not desirable. The new design has a more cutting, aerodynamic design that makes the car look sportier than its predecessor, the SLK. And yes, it still has a folding metal roof.
Available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, which go from 184 to 245hp, the SLC has plenty of choices to suit your budget and your driving. Petrol engines are generally preferable on sports cars, but diesel engines often provide better fuel economy. Interestingly our efficiency tests found little difference in fuel economy between the two.
To find out how the car handles on the road check out our Mercedes-Benz SLC review.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
The Discovery Sport is the smallest Land Rover, but you still have the option of seven seats. As well as being the smallest it’s also the cheapest. It starts at £28,995, which puts it in the firing line of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
If you want to pay more than the basic price there are plenty of ways to do it with six different trim levels – from the entry-level SE all the way to HSE Dynamic Lux models. Whatever you go for you’ll still get rear parking sensors and keyless ignition.
Despite its smaller size, the Discovery Sport is still a proper off-roader. All versions are four-wheel drive. Will the smaller size mean better fuel economy and will the cheaper SUV mean Land Rover has skimped on the interior? Read our Land Rover Discovery Sport review to find out.
The i3, with its concept-car looks and fully electric engine, is a vision of how all cars may end up. Being electric means the car is cheap to run and has zero emissions, but electric cars have their downsides.
The original i3 had a 60Ah battery, which BMW claimed gave the car a maximum range of 100 miles. The new model ups the capacity with a 94Ah battery. BMW reckons you’ll get 125 miles out of the bigger battery.
We did our own tests to see whether those battery claims stack up. Read our full review to see if you’re actually going to get 125 miles out of the updated i3.