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New car road tests

Nissan’s large X-Trail SUV is never going to be as popular as the smaller Qashqai but this flagship soft-roader’s seven-seat option now gives it a clear identity, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

Mal Hay ponders on the benefits of driving a Skoda Octavia vRS 4x4 as temperatures begin to fall.

Hyundai’s new i30 Tourer has loads more style to go with its space which makes this understated family estate hard not to like, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

With its new ZE40 battery, the Renault Zoe now boasts a real-world range of up to 184 miles. Simon Davis puts it to the test.

Skoda has now shaken up the large sport utility vehicle market with its Kodiaq. It’s a big, roomy family wagon with loads of style, space and value. Motoring editor Andy Russell climbs aboard.

The SEAT Arona is one of many compact SUVs about to enter the market. Jack Evans finds out if it has what it takes to stand out from the pack.

With Volkswagen’s new Polo is now available to order, Ryan Hirons tries out the latest generation of this popular supermini.

Nissan pioneered the crossover market with its best-selling Qashqai – motoring editor Andy Russell checks out the changes aimed at keeping it top of its game.

My first car

David Webb got on the road with his first car – an MG K2 – but, as a non-runner, he had to get it on the road first.

Gerald Moores believes supernatural forces transformed his ailing Ford Prefect when he sold it to car dealer and heavyweight wrestling champion Big Les!

It was love at first sight when Diana Hunt’s boyfriend surprised her with a red Ford Capri... and she still misses her first car!

Dusty Miller’s Vauxhall 14 steamed along but it helped put him on the road to some ‘big old beasts’ of motors.

Grant Whillance’s first car was shared with a shipmate and kept in a garage near the docks so it was available when home on leave.

Tim Adams’s first car, a Vauxhall Viva HA, had six years of rough treatment being rallied. Now, 41 years after its last rally, he is restoring it.

Ian Hooper took to the track for spints and high-speed reliability trials in his Morgan three-wheeler with mixed fortunes.

Graham Maidlow had an eventful 18 months with his Austin A40 Devon – wet legs, a seized engine, a close encounter with a pristine lawn and generally winging it.

Terry Patrick’s Isetta bubble car came to an oily end and he still has the manual to remind how the bubble really did burst!

Jack Luxon’s first car was a 10-year-old Mercedes-Benz, with some unusual electrical issues, which he bought while serving in Germany.

Trevor Morgan build one good Austin Seven out of two that he bought in 1957 for £26 and later sold it for a profit. Happy motoring!

Barbara Hardiman’s Mini van was a big part of her life, carrying loads of rubbish to the dump and full of happy memories over 45 years of ownership.

It was crash – and nearly bang, wallop – when Norman Willoughby went to confront youths who had deluged him with buckets of water and sent him off the road.

Clive Dyball’s luck ran out when his polished, but unserviced, Ford Prefect ran into problems in the Australian Outback.

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