We’ve returned verdicts on four cars this week: the Suzuki Baleno, Mini Clubman, Ssangyong Korando and the Peugeot 3008. Two of the cars performed so poorly in our safety tests that we had no choice but to rate them as Don’t Buys.
You would think that safety would be a top priority for car manufacturers, but our exhaustive testing proves this isn’t always the case. We go beyond crash tests by determining how good a car is at last-minute avoidance by swerving round an object at 56mph, and testing how long it takes a car to stop when driving at 62mph.
One of the Don’t Buy cars took 40.5m to come to a stop from 62mph – a safer model managed it in 33.7m. Other cars can’t deal with swerves at speed. Rather than smoothly returning to their lane, their wheels lock in one direction, which could lead to disaster.
Cars that perform poorly in these tests will always be Don’t Buys.
Want to know which cars we do recommend? Check out our top cars of 2017.
The second generation 3008 bears little resemblance to the outgoing model. Where the original was an MPV in the style of a Renault Scenic or Citroen C4 Picasso, the new model is all SUV – and a stylish SUV at that.
It’s aggressive and chunky, with a back end that bears more than passing resemblance to the Range Rover Evoque, and a snub-nosed, tall bonnet.
Moving into the small SUV class doesn’t mean the 3008 will have less competition. It’s now going up against the Nissan Qashqai, VW Tiguan and Seat Ateca. It’s a crowded market, but one that Peugeot feels it can be competitive in.
The car’s striking look is bound to get people interested and a solid range of engines will give people plenty of options based on how they drive.
Is the Peugeot 3008 as good to drive as it is to look at? Or does the shift to an SUV body shape mean a loss of space and practicality over its MPV predecessor? Head to our full Peugeot 3008 review to find out.
South Korean manufacturer Ssangyong isn’t the most well-known brand in the UK, but its range of competitively priced cars is starting to make an impact. The Korando is Ssangyong’s stab at a compact SUV.
While it may look a little dated when compared to the Peugeot 3008, there’s ample space in the cabin and a sizable boot.
If you’re someone who likes to um and ah over a range of engines, then the Korando might not be right for you. There’s only one engine – a 2.2-litre diesel that gives a respectable a 178bhp.
Is the Korando good enough to earn Ssangyong some success in the UK, or does its lack of engine options hold it back? Read our expert full verdict in our Ssangyong Korando review.
Slightly larger than the Suzuki Swift, the Baleno was built to compete with the likes of the Skoda Fabia and VW Polo. The bigger size is reflected in the interior, which is generous for a small car – particularly up front.
‘Baleno’ means ‘Lightning’ in Italian, so you’d expect the car to be speedy. The 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo engine has a name that sounds like it was built for speed, while the 1.2-litre engine has the option for a small electric generator to boost efficiency.
Find out if the Baleno can deliver performance to match its name in our Suzuki Baleno review.
The not-so-mini Clubman is an estate car that keeps Mini’s signature style. Whether the new Clubman is a true estate car is open to debate, but it’s certainly larger and more practical than the previous model.
For many, a key selling point of an estate car is the size of its boot. People expect them to have plenty of space. This is why we fill the boot of every car we test with foam blocks to get an exact measurement, as well as real world items – such as luggage or pushchairs – so you know how much you’ll be able to squeeze in.
The Mini Clubman, which is smaller than most estate cars, could be stuck in limbo between a true estate and a large Mini if its boot isn’t big enough. Still, the charm and style of the Clubman is undeniable, from the timeless design to the retro interior, it’s a car that’s a pleasure to be in.
Will that be enough to win over anyone looking for a true estate car, or does the Clubman only serve Mini fans who need a bit more space? Read our full Mini Clubman review to find out.