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NEW FREELANDER 2 TD424 April 2007

Gaydon, Warwickshire, 24 April 2007 – Land Rover dealerships across the UK will open their doors this weekend (28-29 April) to showcase the latest addition to the Freelander 2 range – the 2.2-litre diesel automatic.

Customers interested in purchasing a Freelander 2 will have the opportunity to test the latest model, which features the same six-speed automatic transmission as the 3.2-litre i6 petrol Freelander 2, complete with Land Rover’s CommandShift for manual sequential gearchanging and a sports mode for more spirited driving. It is powered by the all-new 160 PS 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine and has a combined average fuel consumption of 33.2 mpg.

In addition, customers will have the unique opportunity to indulge their adventurous sides by entering a prize draw for a chance to win a ten-day trip for two to Australia or one of 200 half-day off-road driving sessions at a UK Land Rover Experience Centre.

“Since the launch of the Freelander 2 petrol and diesel manual models at the end of last year, demand has been really encouraging. The launch of the new diesel automatic now completes the range and offers our customers more choice,” commented Andy Griffiths, Land Rover UK marketing director.

Prices for the Freelander 2 TD4 Automatic start from £22,330 on the road. The Freelander 2 is already a multi-award winner, picking up the BBC Top Gear SUV of the Year and What Car? Best Compact 4x4 awards and has also recently become the only compact SUV to be awarded the maximum five star rating for Adult Occupant Protection by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP).

As with all models in our product range, a cost for offsetting the carbon emissions for the first 45,000 miles is included in the on-the-road price. Administered by Climate Care, an independent provider, the programme ensures that the average amount of CO2 produced by a Land Rover is offset by investments in a mixed portfolio of projects, including renewable energy, technology change and energy efficiency initiatives.

To locate your nearest dealership or for more information regarding the Land Rover range, please log onto www.landrover.co.uk.

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  • Exclusive chilli orange and passion red colours add zest to new Ranger Wildtrak
  • New 156PS, 3.0-litre TDCi engine
  • On sale August 2007. Prices available nearer the time.

BIRMINGHAM, NEC, 24 April, 2007 – Spicy colours, extra equipment and a new engine for Ford's Ranger Wildtrak will make this a special edition not to be missed at this year's Commercial Vehicle Show. Already known for strong pulling power and car-like comfort, the new Ranger Wildtrak adds further style and capabilities to the range.

This latest model has rear box rail extensions, a stylish, aerodynamic sports bar, lower sports cladding and tail lamp protectors to enhance its appearance. Side intake 'gills' add to the visual effect. New integrated door mirror indicators and puddle lamps provide additional differentiation and Wildtrak decals on the front, side and rear identify it as a special Ford Ranger.

NEW FORD RANGER WILDTRAKCombined with these stylish features are new alloy wheels, a new sports front grille, side steps, an aluminium style front over rider and roof rails, an integrated bedliner and a rear protection bar with integrated park distance control.

The cabin features all-new heated seats in leather and perforated alcantara with orange tricot backing, floor mats with Wildtrak logo, new sports steering wheel, dash-mounted off-road 'information centre', premium interior and footwell lighting. New Wildtrak scuff plates complete the package.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak is available with an exclusive range of unique two-tone colours: Chilli Orange or Passion Red combined with Titanium Grey on the lower part of the body for a truly striking appearance. Other body colours that can be combined with Titanium Grey are Steel Silver, Andaman Blue, Storm Black and Strato Blue.

Under the bonnet is a new and powerful 3.0-litre TDCi engine with 156PS and 380Nm of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is tuned for fuel economy while maintaining good overtaking ability.

Steve Kimber, commercial vehicles director, Ford of Britain, said: "The latest Ford Ranger is selling faster than the previous model. The new Wildtrak will take us deeper into the fiercely competitive pick-up market with a truck that really makes a statement."

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PIAGGIO PORTER 4X419th April 2007

The small and sturdy Piaggio Porter microvan range has now got even tougher, with the introduction of a brand new 4x4 model variant, to be launched at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the Birmingham NEC from 24th- 26th April 2007.

As a light commercial vehicle the compact dimensions and high manoeuvrability of the Piaggio Porter already make it the perfect choice for traversing restricted spaces such as parks and gardens or navigating narrow and windy country lanes. However, now replete with a permanent four wheel drive with electronic locking centre differential, the Piaggio Porter 4x4 makes even more sense as a commercial vehicle option for those operating in tougher environments; working off-road in rugged, outlying areas, for example, or delivering goods to isolated, rural communities where access may be more difficult in a vehicle less well-equipped for rough or awkward terrain.

The improved traction of the Piaggio Porter 4x4 is controlled by its advanced all-wheel drive system, which means that whatever motoring hazards the great British weather might impose, making tough driving conditions even more difficult, Porter 4x4 is designed to get you through; whether you are ploughing through a muddy, boggy field or climbing up an icy slope. With a maximum lateral incline of 45° and a fully loaded surmountable gradient of 28°, Piaggio Porter 4x4 is an extremely versatile light commercial vehicle, well suited to a myriad of individual working needs and situations.

The choice and functionality provided by the Porter range gives this practical small truck a distinct advantage over other 4x4 vehicles available in the light commercial category which are limited to one basic body type, usually either a pick-up or van. The Piaggio Porter 4x4 model range mirrors its 4x2 companion, with the choice between six different body types; Panel Van, MPV, Pick-up, Chassis, Big Deck & Tipper (both also available with the option of alloy sides).

With a price increment of only £1500 on the existing 4x2 petrol line up, Porter 4x4 also beats its competitors at the value-for-money stakes. Starting from just £7495 for a 4x4 Panel Van or Pick Up, Piaggio Porter provides the flexibility and adaptability of a manoeuvrable 4x4 light commercial vehicle at less than half the price of many comparable alternatives, without compromising the benefits or practicality on offer. For example, Piaggio Porter 4x4 boasts remarkable load-bearing capabilities for a van of its size, with payload capacities beginning at 560kg for the Panel Van (combined with a 3m³ load volume), rising to 610 kg for the heavier load-carrying Pick Up variants, including the sturdy Tipper and the robust Big Deck.

As the exclusive importers of the Piaggio Porter range to the UK, Piaggio LTV will be showcasing other variants from the comprehensive Porter line-up at the Commercial Vehicle Show, which will include the Big Deck (a Pick Up with a larger load floor) from the 4x2 petrol versions and the zero-emissions, eco-friendly Porter Electric MPV. However, the star of the Piaggio show will be the 4x4 Tipper, heralding the debut of the 4x4 Porter range in the UK, and according to Managing Director, Tim Slaughter,

“Visitors to the 2007 Commercial Vehicle Show can’t fail to be impressed by the new 4x4 Porter which further widens the appeal of the Piaggio LTV range”.

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18 April 2007

The new Jeep Wrangler range will surprise drivers and off-road enthusiasts when it launches in the UK this summer. Jeep has managed to maintain the classic ‘rugged’ look and feel without letting the new car’s off-road ability compromise its on-road dynamics or its role as a comfortable everyday family vehicle. align="justify">The all-new two-door Jeep Wrangler and long-wheelbase four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited will be launched in the UK in May 2007 with the range

Peter Lambert, Managing Director of Chrysler Group UK, said: “The new model is a significant step forward from the old vehicle, as it offers a diesel engine for the first time, a choice of two-door and four-door models, much better road manners, reduced noise levels, a host of safety features and an all-new interior with space for five adults and their luggage.”

A direct descendent of the original 1941 Willys MB Jeep, the Jeep Wrangler has evolved from more than 65 years of legendary 4x4 leadership. Building on the successful, original Jeep formula with an all-new frame, new exterior and totally refreshed interior design, new engines, ESP and brake traction control standard across the range, Jeep Wrangler delivers more capability and on-road refinement without losing what makes it a Jeep.

“We expect the new Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited to attract attention from people that currently buy the Land Rover Defender as a family vehicle. Wrangler offers impressive value for money and fuel economy of nearly 30 mpg plus the option of an automatic gearbox and a convertible hard roof not available on the competition.”

The Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited both retain removable full-framed doors and fold-down windscreen together with a removable hard top that provides more options for open-air driving.

The ‘Freedom Top™’ is a three-piece modular hardtop and features separate left- and right-front passenger roof panels that can be removed and stored in the vehicle, together with a rear section that can also be removed.

“Combining four-door convenience with Jeep Wrangler’s unique open-air design and unmatched off-road capability means that the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the only four-door convertible in the world,” added Peter Lambert. “Wrangler Unlimited offers more than twice the cargo capacity of the two-door Wrangler, but doesn’t compromise on fun. Drivers who want to go anywhere and do anything, can now do it with more family and friends than ever before.”

While the majority of Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited sold in the UK in 2007 will be powered by a new 2.8-litre diesel engine, offering 174 bhp and 302 lb ft of torque, a handful of Jeep Wrangler ‘Rubicon’ models will be sold with a new 3.8-litre petrol engine and a host of additional off-road features that will make this the best off-road Wrangler ever and the ultimate showroom standard off-road vehicle available in the UK.

Jeep Wrangler:
2.8 CRD Sport Manual £17,995
2.8 CRD Sahara Auto £21,075
3.8 Rubicon £22,580

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited:
2.8 CRD Sport Manual £19,995
2.8 CRD Sahara Manual £22,075
2.8 CRD Sahara Auto £23,075

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Production of the new QASHQAI equipped with the state-of-the-art 2.0-litre dCi engine starts this week at Nissan’s Sunderland factory.

The 2.0-litre dCi engine – engine code M1D – produces 110kW (150hp) at 4000rpm and 320Nm of torque at 2000rpm, while returning a frugal fuel economy when fitted with manual transmission and in 2WD configuration. Furthermore, unusual in this category of the market, a 6-speed automatic transmission is also available.

The consumption and emissions figures for the transmission configurations are as follows:
36.2 mpg and 208 g/km for the automatic transmission 4WD version.
40.9 mpg and 184g/km for the manual transmission 4WD version.
42.8 mpg and 174g/km when fitted with manual transmission and in 2WD configuration.
(Eds comment. If you want to be greener but need 4WD go for the manual)

Nissan expects over 25% of all QASHQAIs sold to be equipped with this diesel engine making it the most popular engine choice among buyers.

Co-developed with Nissan’s Alliance-partner Renault, the engine delivers fun-to-drive performance thanks to its powerful and torquey characteristics, but at the same time it’s smooth, refined, and environmentally-friendly: it redefines diesel engine standards in the compact family and compact SUV segments. This engine also offers unique technologies such as standard DPF and twin balancer shafts.

This level of performance was made possible by the latest generation of common-rail injection fuel system delivering 1600 bar of pressure. Piezoelectric technology supplied by Bosch gives fast, very precise control allowing a ‘five squirt’ injection cycle: two pre-squirts, one main squirt and two post-squirts. The pre-squirts improve engine acoustics by minimising the characteristic diesel clatter. The post-squirts sustain the main injection combustion, to burn off soot and thus bring down pollutant emissions before the exhaust gases have even left the combustion chamber.

Acoustics was one of the engineering priorities for the new engine. The bottom of the engine, with its aluminium bedplate, was designed for higher efficiency and improved vibration absorption. Twin counter rotating balancer shafts cancel crankshaft rotary vibration, making a major contribution to refinement, especially at higher speed. Together with the use of pre-injection, these solutions ensure a very high level of noise and vibration reduction. This engine is equipped with chain-driven camshafts for the sake of acoustic comfort, but also to the benefit of reliability and service life.

Unique in this class of engines, the 2.0 dCi is equipped as standard with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) with a periodic regeneration system. When the particulates that have been collected from the engine emissions reach a specified level, the engine runs a process called thermal regeneration performing a second post-injection to overheat the exhaust gas. Above a certain temperature, the soot in the filter oxidizes off, and the filter can continue trapping particulates. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) produces a controlled temperature rise in the combustion chamber to reduce pollutant emission levels (NOx) and thus enhance the engine’s overall environment performance.

Nissan’s engineers at Nissan Technical Centre Europe, based both at Cranfield, in the UK and Barcelona, Spain, have specifically adapted the tune and engine mapping for the QASHQAI as it is the first ever application of this 2.0 dCi engine on a model with all-wheel drive transmission. Furthermore, this engine is offered for the first time with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

At the end of April 700 QASHQAIs will roll out of Nissan’s manufacturing plant in Sunderland every day to satisfy demand for the vehicle across the world1

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Third consecutive win for Nissan X-TRAIL at Auto Express Used Car Honours

Nissan X-TRAIL12 April 2007
Nissan has picked up awards for the 350Z coupe and the highly acclaimed X-TRAIL at the Auto Express Used Car Honours. X-TRAIL picked up its third consecutive award for Best Recreational 4x4. Auto Express’s panel of judges commented on the X-TRAIL: “It sill reigns supreme as the ultimate used SUV by combining decent on-road manners with genuine off-road capabilities.”

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4x4's Useage and Insurance Issues

28 March 2007
To all you 4x4 owners out there here is some useful information that you may not have known before!

Are you aware of the Green Lane code of conduct? Well here it is!

  • Only rights of way with proven vehicular rights may be used
  • Stay on the track, move off only to pass obstructions
  • Drive at a slow pace, we recommend a max of 12mph on an unsurfaced right of way
  • If in a group go less than four vehicles in a convoy
  • Be respectful to other lane users and pull over and stop for walkers and horses

Those of you who like to use your vehicle for green lane and non competitive off-roading use (eg Pay & Play days, 4x4 Fun Days etc), BEWARE, normal Motor Insurance policies do not cover these useages as standard.

At Noel Dazely & Co we have specific policies designed to cover the above as standard plus much more and would be please to quote you for your renewal. Please visit our Web Site or call 0870 0466604 for your tailor made quotation.

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Diesel-engined Honda CR-Vs remain in Band E, emitting just 173g/km of CO2

21 March 2007
The most significant changes to Vehicle Excise Duty, announced in the Government’s Budget today, will not affect the Honda CR-V – one of the cleanest and most fuel efficient 4x4s on the market.

While cars in Band G have seen an increase in road tax to £300 a year, diesel-engined CR-Vs remain in Band E, emitting just 173g/km of CO2, with an average fuel economy of 43.5mpg. The petrol-engined CR-V remains in Band F, with emissions of 194g/km – lower than many family saloons and even a Mini Cooper Convertible 1.6 16v S 2-door. Meanwhile, the annual VED charges for Honda’s Civic Hybrid have been reduced to just £15. Its remarkably low emissions figure of just 109g/km of CO2 means it remains near the foot of the table, in Band B.

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6 March 2007

  • Luxury brand synergy
  • Sumptuous features provide exclusive ambiance
  • Adventure and capability are integrated features

To coincide with the public world premiere of the 4007 at Geneva, Peugeot is unveiling a highly exclusive exercise in style produced in collaboration with luxury manufacturer Holland&Holland, recognised for its spirit of adventure.

The pearlescent Hagénias Bronze body colour paintwork combines harmoniously with the vehicle’s chrome detailing to accentuate the exclusive nature of this 4007 by emphasising its power and feline qualities combined with the presence of its style and ‘all-terrain’ character. Water-resistant leather features on the door mirror casings and roof bars, while the “Holland&Holland” logo, the hood of a royal falcon, is applied to the rear quarter panels. Large 20" alloy wheels, machined from a single block in a unique fourfold design, add presence to the vehicle’s exclusivity.

Only when you are in the vehicle does the creative alliance between the Peugeot Style Centre and Holland&Holland teams become more apparent. A blend of "Ebony" and "Chartreuse Green" leathers (Holland&Holland colour codes) enhanced by smooth leather edging and original stitching, creates a natural, exclusive and innovative feel. The leather trim covering the passenger compartment is entirely hand-crafted by leather craftsmen from the Peugeot Style Centre. It blends harmoniously with the shape of the fascia panel, the special finish of the seats and the design of the door panels. The Ebony wool felt floor and its embroidered carpets create a soft and warm environment. Ruthenium styled parts in dark chrome reinforce the exclusivity of the vehicle, particularly around the console and drive mode selector (two-wheel drive, 4x4 or "lock" modes).

At the rear, behind the split tailgate which opens in two sections, a large boot concealing two retractable seats houses a fantastic luggage compartment specially made by Holland&Holland.

Under the bonnet of this exclusive 4007 lies the 2.2-litre HDi engine developing a power of 115 kW (156 bhp) and a high torque of 380 Nm. A Diesel Particulate Filter System (DPFS) is also included as standard.

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Citroën has teamed up with the world famous Espera Sbarro School to develop the remarkable Cruise Crosser all-terrain concept car. A vehicle to tackle the roughest possible road and weather conditions, the Cruise Crosser will be unveiled on the Espera Sbarro stand at this year’s Geneva Motor Show (06-18 March). Based on Citroën’s first SUV, the C-Crosser, that will also make its world debut at Geneva, prior to going on sale later this year, this new concept features three axles and six wheels to provide outstanding traction to tackle even the harshest of off-road conditions.

The Cruise Crosser invokes the spirit of the early 1900s when Andre Citroën, the Company’s founder, captivated the world with a series of adventurous automotive expeditions across Africa and Asia, including the first motor crossing of the Sahara in 1922.

Despite its imposing looks, the Cruise Crosser also displays strong green credentials. To minimise its impact on the environment, a hybrid drivetrain combines a conventional diesel engine with an electric motor located under the rear floor to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. And when the electric third axle is used alone, it is even possible to drive silently in ‘Zero Emission Vehicle’ mode.

With its intense orange body work the Cruise Crosser is hard to miss, while the large red compasses located on either side of the vehicle reinforce the cars ‘go anywhere’ attitude. The vibrant exterior colour scheme is echoed throughout the interior, in the contours of the leather seats in rows one and two, on the dash and on the door panels.

The spacious Cruise Crosser has enough room at the back to provide extra seating, with a removable third row, or to create a vast loading area to carry equipment. The tailgate design makes loading easier, sand boards are stored at the rear to help extricate the vehicle from any tricky situations, while step plates on either side of the car offer easy access to the rear compartment. The Cruise Crosser also features an advanced satellite navigation system and DVD player to make long journeys more enjoyable.

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43.5 mpg on the combined cycle with the 2.0-litre diesel engine

The Jeep brand is continuing its expansion into new territory with the European premiere of the new Jeep Patriot at the Geneva Motor Show this week. This will be the new, entry-level price point for the Jeep brand in the UK when it launches this summer. Patriot combines the packaging and interior flexibility of an SUV with the performance, handling, fuel economy and price of a family hatchback.

Peter Lambert, Managing Director of Chrysler Group UK, said “You can’t escape the fact that the new Jeep Patriot looks like a classic Jeep – but there is nothing old-fashioned about the performance and fuel economy of this compact SUV or its state-of-the-art four-wheel drive system. The market place is changing and the Jeep brand is leading that change as the Compact SUV market grows. Our research shows that the Jeep Patriot appeals to younger customers that want more from their traditional family car – young families want a vehicle that looks different but still offers plenty of room and practicality, together with great performance and fuel economy.”

Safety is also increasingly important for customers and the Jeep Patriot is loaded with many standard safety features, including side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Electronic Roll Mitigation and the ‘Freedom Drive I’ full-time, active four-wheel drive system, all of which add to Patriot’s tremendous value.

Peter Lambert added: “Small family cars with four-wheel drive systems are becoming more sought after as they offer better handling and enhanced safety on the road. The higher seating position of the Patriot, together with the new four-wheel drive system that automatically switches from front to four-wheel drive if you lose traction, offers drivers a real advantage in everyday driving conditions. The Patriot is as much at home on wet and icy tarmac as on mud, sand or snow and still manages to achieve a class-leading 43.5 mpg*.”

Two Jeep Patriot models, Patriot Sport and Patriot Limited, will be offered in the UK and will be priced below the Jeep Compass Limited model. The Patriot range will launch in the UK in July 2007 with a VW-sourced 138 bhp 2.0-litre six-speed manual diesel engine and a 168 bhp 2.4-litre petrol engine with a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox.

* 43.5 mpg on the combined cycle with the 2.0-litre diesel engine.

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ALL NEW VOLVO XC70 4x45 March 2007

  • Significantly enhanced levels of refinement and all road capability
  • Offers unparalleled levels of athleticism, versatility and safety in the premium estate class
  • Powered by a 185 PS D5 diesel and a 238 PS 3.2-litre petrol
  • Prices announced in early June, UK showrooms in September

Volvo’s boldly styled and intelligently configured all new Volvo XC70 AWD (all-wheel drive) estate offers significantly improved levels of all-road-all-weather ability and an engaging driving experience combined with class-leading safety features, load-carrying versatility and refined passenger comfort.

The all new XC70 offers both performance and fuel economy with Volvo’s naturally aspirated 3.2-litre straight six-cylinder petrol engine and its second generation 2.4-litre five-cylinder D5 turbo diesel engine. The D5 turbo diesel, with 185 PS and 400 Nm, packs a full technical punch and features double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder technology, an electronically controlled turbocharger, a maintenance-free particle filter, a more advanced multi-point injection system and an enhanced engine management system. It accelerates to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds (manual) and on to a 130 mph maximum speed. The D5 is available as a 6-speed manual gearbox or Volvo’s six-speed Geartronic transmission, which gives the driver the choice of automatic or manual shifting.

Designed by Volvo in Sweden and built in Bridgend in Wales, the 3.2-litre naturally aspirated straight-six petrol engine is both powerful and amazingly compact, producing 238 PS and maximum torque of 320 Nm. The engine’s aluminium block and head are structurally optimised to balance low weight and stiffness. There are twin overhead camshafts and 24-valves (four per cylinder) to provide optimal engine breathing. Engine breathing is further improved by Volvo’s patented CPS (Cam Profile Switching) system that features two completely different intake cam profiles machined onto the same camshaft. Available with Geartronic transmission only, the 3.2-litre powers 0 to 60mph acceleration in 8.1 seconds and achieves a 134mph top speed.

Driving Dynamics
Underpinned by advanced new chassis architecture, the all new Volvo XC70 delivers an agile and rewarding driving experience that combines exceptional driver control, outstanding ride comfort and secure road holding. Extensive use of high-strength steels throughout the all new XC70 has boosted torsional rigidity by 15 percent compared to the previous model and particular focus on chassis technology, the suspension system and engine installation ensures that the XC70 delivers good stability and torsional rigidity. The all new XC70 is also fitted with Volvo’s DSTC (dynamic stability and traction control), which enhances cornering stability and reduces the risk of a skid by utilising feedback from numerous dynamic sensors to reduce engine torque and apply carefully calculated braking. Four-C, Volvo’s advanced active chassis technology with electronically controlled damper adjustment, is also available. “With an active chassis, the car’s driving properties improve in all situations,” says Volvo Cars XC70 Project Director, Tomas Ahlborg. “It becomes both safer and more entertaining to drive.”

Cross Country Capability
All road ability is a key XC characteristic and, combined with a stiffer chassis, the all new XC70 is equipped to offer dramatically enhanced cross country capability. Volvo’s engineers and designers paid particular attention to the all new XC70’s ground clearance and wading depth as well as its ramp, approach and departure angles. With a ride height 74 mm (with 2 occupants) higher than the new Volvo V70 estate, the XC70 has an impressive wading depth of 300 mm and an effective ground clearance of 210 mm. Also, with ramp angles of 19.2° approach, 19.8° breakover and 24° departure, the new XC70 betters the outgoing model (16°, 18° and 20° respectively) in all three areas.

This ability to deal with adverse road conditions is enhanced by a hill descent control (HDC) system that regulates the vehicle’s speed on steep downhill gradients in all conditions. The electronic one-touch system – standard on both manual and automatic gearboxes – utilises the brakes to modulate the amount of torque distributed to each, ensuring the Volvo maintains a steady 6 mph during its descent. Touching either brake or accelerator pedal will speed up or slow your descent speed in all conditions. Simply press the HDC button to regain full manual control. The HDC system also works in reverse which makes it ideal for tricky manoeuvres such as when launching a boat on a steep slipway.

The all new XC70 is also fitted with Volvo’s responsive AWD with Instant Traction™ system, using an electronically controlled hydraulic clutch to instantly distribute torque to the wheels for the best possible grip in all conditions. Another feature that enhances the off-road experience is the speed-dependent power steering option which, as its name suggests, delivers more servo assistance at low speeds and less as speeds rise. Ideal for low-speed manoeuvres when tackling slippery surfaces, there are three levels of assistance available and they can be adjusted via Volvo’s information and set-up system. To assist on tricky hill starts, the all new Volvo XC70 is fitted with an intelligent PPB (power parking brake) that automatically disengages when the accelerator is pressed and the car pulls away.

Sporty and luxurious
The car’s enhanced dynamic ability is complemented by athletic new styling. Its eye-catching new sporty design, headlined by its raked windscreen and tailgate angles, blacked-out side pillars and C30-inspired taillights, are complemented by its tough and practical off-road body kit. Hard-wearing scratchproof protective cladding along the XC70’s flanks and around the wheelarches is complemented by chunkier redesigned bumpers as well as tough chromed front and rear scuff plates that shield the XC70’s nose and tail during more arduous off-road work. The all new XC70 models are also fitted with unique XC embossed roof rails as standard. These features, in combination with refined lines and contours, give the all new XC70 a more luxurious, elegant appearance. “The dark-coloured plastic panels at the bottom are less obvious than on the current model. But as with exclusive outdoor clothing, the protection is placed exactly where it needs to be to withstand the rough stuff,” says Volvo Cars Design Director, Steve Mattin. The XC design continues inside with unique leather interior colours, bold cross stitching on the seats, cross-brushed aluminium trim and mesh pockets at the rear.

Estate versatility
The all new Volvo XC70 marries its contemporary Scandinavian style with intuitive functionality, comfort and refinement. The XC70’s revised tailgate design is not only a striking design feature, but results in an even larger loading aperture than before, and the boot’s size has grown by an effective 55 litres over the outgoing model, to a vast 575 litres. And the XC70’s 40-20-40 three-part split rear seat and foldable front passenger seat means 16 different seating combinations for unrivalled versatility in the sector. The boot floor features adjustable load-securing anchorage points and aluminium rails to secure objects in transit, further helped by the integrated anchorage eyelets in the boot’s side panels. Those XC70 drivers who regularly transport heavy or bulky goods can opt for the innovative sliding load floor and optional powered tailgate to boost ease of loading even further.

Boosting usable interior cabin space has resulted in a 48 mm increase in rear legroom and a 21 mm increase in rear knee clearance. Front passengers now enjoy 30 mm of additional shoulder room, while the overall distance between front and rear passengers has been extended by 21 mm. The spacious XC70 cabin is enhanced by its sleek and slim centre console, intelligently configured dashboard and ergonomically correct layout of its controls. The all new Volvo XC70 is equipped with a first class DSP (digital signal processing) audio system which features Dolby Pro Logic II Surround with adjustable sound pattern and the Premium Sound option offers loudspeakers from Danish audio experts Dynaudio. Integrated RSE system for rear passengers, the latest generation of RTI navigation system, MP3 player compatibility and optional subwoofers are also available.

Class-leading safety
As with all new Volvos, the XC70 is equipped with a raft of ground-breaking active and passive safety features to ensure that it's the safest car in its class. Highlights include improved crumple zones that use differing strength steels to absorb energy during an impact, the same advanced WHIPS (whiplash protection system) as that found in the new S80 and an energy absorbing nose and bonnet. Mindful of the XC70’s higher ground clearance, Volvo has positioned a lower cross-member to supplement the front suspension frame at the height of a conventional car’s bumper so that, in the event of a collision, it will strike the other car's protective structure and activate its crumple zone. Using higher-strength steels in the XC70’s side panels significantly enhances the performance of the Volvo’s SIPS side impact protection, as do its new dual compartment side-impact airbags, which feature two separate chambers for the hips and for the chest.

Volvo’s innovative dual-stage integrated rear child booster seat tops the all new XC70’s list of family-oriented safety features. With two heights, this optional adjustable booster cushion is ideal for children between 95 and 140 cm in height and weighing between 15 and 36 kg. Force limiters on the seatbelts have been adjusted to provide the right amount of tensioning force for children. A new extended IC (inflatable curtain) airbag, 60 mm longer, boosts child safety by providing superior protection for children of a wide range of heights and sizes.

The Volvo XC70 can also be equipped with a number of advanced electronic driving systems including Volvo’s award-winning BLIS (blind spot information system), HBA (hydraulic brake assist), OHB (optimised hydraulic brakes), ACC (adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake support), active bi-xenon headlamps, radar-controlled collision warning, emergency brake lights, all-round laminated glass and Volvo PCC (personal car communicator), which is used to lock and unlock the car as well informing the owner if the alarm has been triggered or, using a heartbeat monitor, to detect if someone is in the car.

Sales and introduction timings
Since the introduction of the PV445 in 1953, Volvo has dominated the premium estate market. The first XC model was launched in 1996, inventing the cross-over estate concept, and has attracted global sales of around 40,000 units each year. During its first full year of sales, Volvo expects to sell around 40,000 all new Volvo XC70 models worldwide, with the UK accounting for 2,500 XC70s – a sales figure that reinforces Volvo’s position at the top of the premium estate sector. Prices of the all new XC70 will be announced in early June, with a September showroom due date and first customer deliveries in October this year. The current Volvo XC70 remains on sale until the autumn.

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The Jeep® brand is expanding into new territory with the all-new Jeep Compass – a modern-styled compact Jeep that delivers a competitive package of size, performance and fuel economy.

The Compass extends the Jeep brand to compete for the first time in the compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment and is the first Jeep vehicle to offer fuel economy in excess of 43 mpg, on the combined cycle with its diesel engine, which is best in class. Compass will also be the Jeep brand’s first front-wheel-drive-based product and also the first with a fully independent suspension for comfortable on-road ride and handling.

Peter Lambert, Managing Director of Chrysler Group UK, said “The Jeep Compass is designed to reach younger and female customers who may not have previously considered the brand but value the distinctive Jeep look and see four-wheel drive as a must-have on their daily drive. Customers are increasingly interested in family hatchbacks with four-wheel drive systems as they offer better handling and enhanced safety on the road.

“The new Jeep Compass offers a roomy interior, a choice of fuel efficient diesel and petrol engines and an all-new Freedom Drive 4WD system in a package the size of a Ford Focus.”

Freedom Drive I is a full-time, active four-wheel drive system that offers the driver tangible benefits in every day driving conditions such as wet and icy tarmac. The car operates in front-wheel drive for 90 per cent of the time and automatically switches to 4x4 when more traction is required.

“This family hatchback-sized car represents a new chapter in the history of the Jeep brand – the compact 4x4 segment in Western Europe is expected to increase to nearly 400,000 units by 2010, and this new car-based four-wheel drive vehicle means the Jeep brand is ideally placed to meet this growing demand.”

“The whole compact-4x4 segment is shifting – our competitors are pricing themselves out of the sub-£20,000 segment and we aim to fill this space this year.”

In the UK the Jeep Compass Limited model will launch in May 2007 with a VW-sourced 2.0-litre six-speed manual diesel engine and 2.4-litre petrol engine with a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. The Jeep Patriot shares the Compass platform and engines, but has a more traditional Jeep look and design. The Jeep Patriot Sport and Jeep Patriot Limited models launch in July 2007 and will be the new entry-level price point for the Jeep brand (pricing to be confirmed). The Jeep Compass will be priced from £17,990.

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NEW DISCOVERY - PURSUITGaydon, Warwickshire, 15 February 2007
A new well-equipped limited edition Discovery 3, called the Pursuit, will be on sale in March 2007, for under £30,000 OTR.

Only 300 Discovery 3 ‘Pursuits’ will be available from Land Rover dealerships across the country. Based on the TDV6 GS model, the Pursuit also features Java Black paint work with Ebony interior, 19” alloy wheels, body coloured wheel arch surrounds, manual leather seats and chrome finish mirror caps.

Land Rover’s multi-award winning Discovery 3 is a technology-packed, premium 4x4 designed to deliver outstanding performance both on the road and off-road. The bold, versatile design is distinctively Land Rover and offers exceptional space, comfort and flexibility, for up to seven adults. All Pursuit limited editions are powered by the Discovery’s acclaimed TDV6 diesel engine and feature standard technologies including Hill Descent Control, air suspension and Terrain Response™, all industry-firsts for Land Rover.

“Since launch, the Discovery 3 has brought new levels of ability, comfort and refinement to the large 4x4 market. Winning 95 awards worldwide is a testament to its class-leading diesel engine, its versatility and its all-round package,” commented John Edwards, Land Rover UK managing director. “The limited-edition Discovery 3 Pursuit gives customers the opportunity to buy an exclusive specification for the exceptional price of £29,995 OTR for the TDV6 manual and £30,995 OTR with automatic transmission. We think this represents incredible value for money.”

All Land Rover vehicles include a CO2 offset for the first 45,000 miles within the on-the-road price. Administered by Climate Care, an independent CO2 offset provider, the programme ensures that the average amount of CO2 produced by a Land Rover is offset by investments in a mixed portfolio of projects, including renewable energy, technology change and energy efficiency initiatives.

The Discovery 3 has sold nearly 30,000 units in the UK and 115,000 units globally since launch in 2004, and continues to collect critical accolades the world over. To book a test drive of the new Discovery 3 Pursuit or for more information regarding the Land Rover range, please visit your local Land Rover dealership or log onto www.landrover.co.uk.

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2007 DefenderSolihull, West Midlands, 12 February 2007
Customer demand for the Defender, today, saw a substantially revised new model for 2007 roll off the production line at Solihull. Land Rover employees were present to celebrate this important milestone which marks the continued success of the iconic model which began life in 1948. The new model goes on sale this spring and will feature significant upgrades to enhance the ownership experience and meet forthcoming legislation. The extension to the long life of Defender, which has been in production in various models since 1948, will preserve more than 750 jobs at the Solihull factory where it is produced alongside the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery 3.

Annual production of Defender has remained consistent at around 25,000 units in recent years, with much of the demand coming from large contract orders. For example, the Italian energy distribution company, Ente Nazionale Elettricita, recently placed an order for over 900 Defenders.

Since its emergence, nearly 60 years ago, the original Land Rover has carved a heroic path through some of the world’s remotest regions and it's estimated that around two thirds of all Land Rovers are still in use. “Defender remains a significant contributor to the business as well as an enduring symbol of Land Rover’s 4x4 heritage,” said Phil Popham, Land Rover’s Managing Director. “Its simple concept hasn’t changed fundamentally over the years, but it remains as relevant as ever. “Defender continues to play a vital role for emergency services, aid workers and farmers around the world. As we grow Land Rover we’re not forgetting our core values and our traditional customers.”

With a rugged ladder-frame box-section chassis and aluminium bodywork, the Defender is incredibly tough. Its practical advantages include its unmatched combination of off-road supremacy, carrying capacity and towing capability. The Defender name was introduced in 1990 but the model is a direct descendant of the original Land Rover introduced in 1948. Production of Defender and its predecessors has passed 1.8 million.

Commenting on the introduction of the model updated for 2007, Paul Cope, Manufacturing Director at Solihull said: “The introduction of Defender 07 Model Year is recognition that consumer demand remains very strong for this iconic model. The 07 Model Year with its new design enhancements, will ensure that Defender remains a key contributor to the success of the Solihull manufacturing site. Our manufacturing team is absolutely dedicated to increasing customer satisfaction by making the 07 Model Year Defender, the best Defender yet.”

For more information on the Land Rover range go to www.landrover.co.uk

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New Citroen 4x49 February 2007
Citroën’s bold, innovative and versatile C-Crosser is to make its World Show debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Citroën’s first ever SUV will then go on sale in Europe later this summer. With its strong styling, flexible 5+2 seating configuration, powerful yet environmentally friendly diesel engine (capable of virtually 40mpg on the combined cycle), together with its 4-wheel drive capability, the C-Crosser will complement Citroën’s range and offer a vehicle to appeal to drivers with a love of outdoor pursuits.

The C-Crosser’s exterior styling radiates vitality and robustness with the front of the vehicle dominated by the familiar Citroën chevrons that stretch across the multiple-ribbed bonnet to unite with the streamlined headlights. The chunky wheel arches, elegant chrome detailing and striking two-tone wheels further emphasise the C-Crosser’s muscular design.

Citroën’s impressive, new generation 156bhp 2.2HDi engine produces a massive 380Nm of torque at just 2,000rpm. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the engine has strong green credentials with its low fuel consumption, ultra-clean Diesel Particulate Filter System and ability to run on 30% bio-diesel.

To ensure an optimum blend of comfort, road holding and off-road capability, drivers have a choice of three transmission settings that can be changed depending on road conditions and driving style. Drivers can switch between two-wheel drive, electronically controlled four-wheel drive and a lock setting for low-grip conditions, all of which can be selected using a control mounted on the central console.

Occupants benefit from the versatile second and third row of seats, which feature an easy-to-use modular design allowing seating changes to be made quickly and effortlessly to provide a flat floor and vast load space. The vehicle’s generous dimensions offer comfortable passenger space, over 20 storage compartments and a large boot with a useful split-opening tailgate for easy loading.

This tailgate optimises the advantages of the flat boot space so heavy objects can simply slide in. Opening in two sections, the lower part is able to support up to 200kg, allowing it to double up as an al fresco seat, perfect for owners with a love of outdoor pursuits.

To further enhance passenger comfort the C-Crosser offers a selection of optional hi-tech equipment, including a useful reversing camera which assists with manoeuvring and parking in tight spaces. Located above the number plate, the camera is automatically activated once the vehicle is shifted into reverse and the image is displayed on the smart navigation screen.

Citroën’s managing director Xavier Duchemin commented; “The C-Crosser will add a new dimension to the already diverse Citroën range and ensures that we have a vehicle to suit all our customer needs, whether it be an SUV, a compact MPV or a supermini.”

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Discovery 3 commercialGaydon, Warwickshire, 9 February 2007
In response to high customer demand, Land Rover has announced that it is to launch a commercial derivative of the award-winning Discovery 3, which will go on sale on the 19 March 2007. Since launch in 2004, the Discovery 3 has demonstrated a class-leading breadth of capability and accrued awards from all over the world. Now, it has been engineered with approval from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to gain N1 Light Commercial 4x4 Vehicle status. Business users will therefore be able to take advantage of the Benefit in Kind tax and full VAT reclaim associated with Light Commercial Vehicles.

There will be two derivatives available: the Discovery 3 Commercial and the Discovery 3 XS Commercial. Standard features include 2130 litres of loadspace with a full length phenolic floor, privacy glass, two-piece bulkhead, four corner air suspension and Terrain Response™.

“Since launch, our dealers have received a number of requests from customers for a commercial derivative, many of whom bought standard models and then converted them independently for their own commercial use,” stated John Edwards, Land Rover UK managing director. “The launch of the Discovery 3 Commercial means that for the first time, customers are now able to purchase a Land Rover approved Discovery 3 commercial vehicle, which benefits from the superior levels of ride, handling, comfort and equipment offered by the standard Discovery 3. We believe the Discovery Commercial will further re-define the 4x4 commercial segment.”

All Land Rover vehicles include a CO2 offset for the first 45,000 miles within the on-the-road price. Administered by Climate Care, an independent CO2 offset provider, the programme ensures that the average amount of CO2 produced by a Land Rover is offset by investments in a mixed portfolio of projects, including renewable energy, technology change and energy efficiency initiatives.

To book a test drive of the new Discovery 3 Commercial or for more information regarding the Land Rover range, please visit your local Land Rover dealership or log onto www.landrover.com.

The complete specifications are as follows:
TRIM LEVEL HEADLINE EQUIPMENT AS STANDARD PRICE (including  CO2 offset for the first 45,000 miles)
Discovery 3 Commercial 17” alloy wheels, four corner air suspension, privacy glass and window inserts, non-smokers pack, Four-Channel all-terrain ABS, central high mounted stop lamp, Active Roll Mitigation, cloth seats, full length phenolic loadspace floor, manual 6-speed transmission, volumetric alarm, noble plate finish, Electronic Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control, electronic park brake, two-piece bulkhead. £28,240
Discovery 3 XS Commercial As above plus: powerfold exterior mirrors, roof rails, 18”  alloy wheels, cruise control, bright pack, heated front screen and washer jets, rear park distance control, Hi ICE pack, Air Con ATC. £31,740
Vehicle Data
  Discovery 3 Commercial Discovery 3 XS Commercial
Loadspace volume (litres) 2130 2130
EEC kerb weight (kg) 2593 (max) 2602 (max)
Max front axle (kg) 1450 1450
Max rear axle (kg) 1855 1855
Fuel Economy    
Urban – mpg (manual/auto) 25.4 / 21.6 25.4 / 21.6
Extra urban – mpg (manual/auto) 34.9 / 33.2 34.9 / 33.2
Combined – mpg (manual/auto) 30.7 / 27.7 30.7 / 27.7
CO2 – g/km (manual/auto) 244 / 270 244 / 270
Max towing (kg) 3500 3500

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Gaydon, Warwickshire, 7 February 2007
Land Rover is on standby to offer the services of up to 100 vehicles and their off-road experts, following extreme weather warnings for central and north-west areas of the UK. As in previous years, all 10 Land Rover Experience centres in the UK will be available tomorrow to assist the local emergency services - including highway patrols, fire services and local police forces – helping people get home safely. They will also help to recover vehicles broken down in the bad weather and vehicles involved in road traffic accidents.

John Edwards, Land Rover UK managing director commented: "Year after year Land Rover has assisted local authorities in severe weather and emergency situations. With such an extreme forecast for the next few days, we've assured them that our vehicles will once again be available should they need them." Land Rover UK has also this afternoon dispatched a fleet of vehicles from their head office in Warwickshire, to support police forces in the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and West Mercia areas.

Land Rovers have a towing capability of up to 3.5 tonnes, permanent four-wheel drive and advanced off-road technology such as Terrain Response™. This includes a snow setting to utilise the vehicle's electronic controls and traction aids in slippery and treacherous conditions. Land Rover Experience Centres offer a variety of courses and training to teach safe and responsible off-road driving skills. To find out more please visit www.landroverexperience.com.

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4x4s and MPVs ARE safer for drivers and passengers, says independent report

6 February 2007

  • Drivers of 4x4s / MPVs five times less likely to hit a crash barrier than those in other types of car
  • 4x4 / MPV occupants are less likely to be killed or seriously injured in an accident. Occupants are also more likely to be uninjured
  • SUVs 'under-represented in accidents on unclassified roads'

A quick glance through TRL's report on roadside safety barriers and 4x4s and MPVs shows a very different picture to that painted in many of today's press reports. The authors reviewed National Accident Statistics and DVLA data and conclude that drivers and passengers of 4x4s and MPVs are less likely to be killed or seriously injured than those in other types of car.

TRL's research also shows that 4x4s and MPVs are involved in fewer impacts with crash barriers. Just two per cent of strikes involve 4x4s / MPVs. But on Britain's roads these vehicles make up 10.1 per cent of the total fleet1. That means 4x4s and MPVs are five times less likely to be involved in this type of collision.

SMMT says this is probably because more of these vehicles are fitted with accident avoidance technology like ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) to prevent skidding and loss of control. The huge investment in 'active safety' systems like ESP, as well as anti-rollover technology, assisted braking and lane departure warning systems, is saving lives every day.

TRL's findings follow a Department for Transport report published in October last year. This examined 2004 accident data and revealed that occupants in a 4x4 / SUV were around half as likely to be killed or seriously injured in a two-car impact as those in other types of car. While this report is no longer available to download from the DfT web site, copies can be requested from the DfT on +44 (0)20 7944 6395 or e-mail: roadacc.stats@dft.gsi.gov.uk . SMMT also has a hard copy.

'We need to reassure owners who have read reports in today's papers', said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan. 'Researchers at TRL have demonstrated that drivers of 4x4s and MPVs are less likely to be involved in collisions with safety barriers and that occupants are less likely to be killed or seriously injured in all types of accident.'

  • Total GB car fleet, 30,378,000 cars
  • Total MPVs/4x4s, 3,080,000
  • MPV/4x4s, 10.1% of total car fleet

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New Locking Diffs for Land Rovers and Sanatana

New Locking Diffs for Land Rovers31 January 2007
A small British engineering company has launched a new axle differential locking system and a range of driveline componentry upgrade products, designed to improve the traction, mobility and off-road performance of 4x4 vehicles.

KAM Differentials Limited of Godalming, Surrey, which has already carved a niche market worldwide for its Land Rover upgrade products, was set up in 1991 with a grant of £5000.00 from the Prince’s Youth Business Trust. Now, it has just signed a major contract to supply its latest system as a standard production fit for the PS10 4x4, made by Santana of Spain, one of the world’s leading 4x4 utility vehicle manufacturers. It is also working on systems to fit a further range of top brand 4x4 vehicles. To-date, the company has already sold over 3000 of its current design diff-lockers and over 6000 up-rated half shafts.

At the heart of the new system is a solenoid operated precision locking device, which can be engaged to significantly increase traction in difficult conditions. The design has been developed through KAM’s extensive experience in the off-road competition and motorsport sector, where its extreme-duty upgraded components have earned it a reputation amongst participants in events such as the Paris-Dakar Rally. The company hopes that its track record in such applications will also help its new system appeal to military users. The system can be retrofitted to existing axles as well as incorporated during new-build assembly.

The company also manufactures a range of high performance crown wheel and pinion assemblies, which appear in a number of racecars and specialist vehicles. Its established range of upgrade and off-road performance enhancing products are already sold on the export market through KAM’s network of dealers and agents in 35 countries.

KAM diff-locker system components are available in a range of ratios, depending on application – or low-end or top speed requirement. Typically, a KAM differential locking kit is supplied complete with a heavy-duty carrier and carrier bearings – and strengthened half shafts. Remarkably, costs are modest – and, for example, a standard 110 Series Land Rover can be upgraded with the system for well under £1000, excluding fitting.

Founder and Managing Director of KAM Differentials Limited, Kevin Mason says, “We have been working tirelessly to perfect this design for some years – and we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to test and prove the system components at every stage, through our involvement with the extreme conditions of off-road motorsport and competition. Now, we believe that we have a successful British product, fit for world markets – and we can move towards volume production with confidence. Initially, we will offer the system for Land Rover and Santana variants.”

The company has been supported throughout its development programme by sections within the DTI and by the specialist engineering research and development unit at Newcastle University.

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Freelander 2Gaydon, Warwickshire, 19 January 2007
Land Rover was awarded two prestigious accolades at the What Car? Car of the Year Awards ceremony in London last night, beating tough competition to win Best Compact 4x4 and Best Large 4x4.

The all-new Land Rover Freelander 2 2.2 TD4 GS fought off opposition from the new Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail in what is one of the most hotly contested sectors to win Best Compact 4x4, while the Discovery 3 TDV6 SE auto beat its rivals again to be named Best Large 4x4 for an impressive third year running. What Car? group editor, Steve Fowler, said: “Land Rover really has got the 4x4 market sewn up. The new Freelander brings new levels of ability, comfort, refinement and cool to the compact 4x4 segment, just as the Discovery has done in the large 4x4 market. Both are worthy What Car? Award winners.”

Land Rover’s managing director, Phil Popham, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win these prestigious awards from What Car? for both the Freelander 2 and the Discovery 3, off the back of our second successive record sales year.” Popham continued: “The Freelander 2 is our most fuel-efficient model to date and has been launched to widespread acclaim from both the media and customers – who now offset the carbon dioxide for the first 45,000 miles’ use through our industry leading programme with Climate Care. This award is recognition of Freelander 2’s outstanding breadth of capability and gives us a good start as we look forward to the year ahead.

“Achieving the Best Large 4x4 award for three consecutive years for the Discovery 3 TDV6 is a testament to its class-leading diesel engine, its versatility and its all-round package.”

The Freelander 2 is on-sale now at Land Rover dealerships throughout the UK, priced from £20,935 to £33,990, including the contribution to offset carbon dioxide emissions. It has already sold nearly 1,500 units in the UK, since going on sale in December. The biggest selling model in the UK and in Europe is expected to be the TD4 manual with a combined fuel economy figure of 37.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 194g/km.

The Discovery 3 has sold nearly 30,000 units in the UK and 115,000 units globally since launch in 2004, and continues to collect critical accolades the world over with 94 international awards to date.

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19 January 2007
Hyundai is celebrating receiving a major accolade for its highly praised Santa Fe SUV. The 2.2 CRTD GSi 7-seat was named ‘Best Buy Large 4x4 under £30,000’ at the prestigious What Car? 2007 awards. Commenting on the Awards, What Car? said: “The Santa Fe is priced to rival Land Rover’s Freelander, but its size puts it up against some far meatier opposition – which makes its value all the more remarkable.”

Available with seven seats and a high level of standard equipment, the Santa Fe is priced from £20,020 on the road (5-seat 2.2 CRTD GSi). And, as What Car?’s recognition confirms, competes squarely with the very best in the large SUV market.The Santa Fe also represents a stylish and highly practical alternative to a people carrier or MPV, offering equal space and flexibility but with the added benefit of four-wheel drive when required. Commenting further about the Santa Fe in its current awards issue, What Car? states: “One extra feather in its cap is a five year warranty. Off-Roaders tend not to have the greatest reputation for reliability. A Santa Fe shouldn’t give you any problems, but that warranty is superb peace of mind.”

What Car?’s other ‘Best Buy Large 4x4’s’ were Land Rover’s Discovery in the £30-40,000 price range and Range Rover for over £40,000.

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Toyota’s powerful presence in the UK pick-up market is set to become even stronger with the launch this week of its new 3.0-litre D-4D 170 and higher-output 2.5-litre D-4D 120 engines. These new, Euro IV-compliant powertrains give the legendary Hilux more power, more torque, cleaner emissions and more refined performance, whether travelling on road or in the rough. They also strengthen Hilux’s profile as a vehicle that ticks all the right boxes, whether it’s being driven for work or for pleasure.

The new 3.0-litre D-4D 170 engine produces 169bhp (171 DIN hp) with 343Nm of torque available from 1,400 all the way up to 3,400rpm. Available in the Hilux Double Cab in HL3 and Invincible trim, it can be specified with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. For improved off-road handling, the 3.0-litre D-4D Hilux is fitted as standard with a limited slip differential.

The revised 2.5-litre D-4D 120 engine sees power up by 17 per cent to 118bhp (120 DIN hp) and torque boosted from 260Nm to 325Nm, with more than 300Nm produced between 1,600 and 2,600rpm. This gives the Hilux an excellent balance of flexible driving performance and low fuel consumption.

The 2007 Single, Extra and Double Cab Hilux range is available from £12,170 (CV on-the-road price, excluding VAT) for the 2.5 D-4D 120 Single Cab HL2 2WD. All versions come as standard with air conditioning, electric windows, remote central locking, driver and front passenger airbags and ABS.

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CHEVY CAPTIVA SUV15 January 2007

  • New Captiva from only £16,995 on-the-road
  • Available to order now
  • In retailers June 2007
  • On show at dealers around the country this month

The order books have opened for Chevrolet’s most exciting new model yet, and it builds on the brand’s reputation for incredible value for money. With an impressive equipment list, stylish good looks, up to seven seats and brilliant all-round flexibility, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Captiva would cost a lot more than it does – yet prices start at just £16,995 on-the-road.

What’s more, even the entry-level model is superbly equipped – the front-wheel drive 2.4-litre LS 5-speed manual comes with air conditioning, a six-speaker radio-CD with MP3 capability and remote controls, electrically-adjustable mirrors, tailgate with separate opening rear window, front, side and roof airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, five full-size three-point seatbelts, charcoal-coloured roof rails, remote two-stage central locking and a Thatcham-approved security system with deadlocks.

All diesel versions of Captiva are equipped with a sophisticated four-wheel drive system, incorporating Descent Control, 4WD traction control and ESP as standard.

In LT specification, the car can be ordered with a choice of five or seven seats, priced at £19,995 and £21,095 respectively. As well as the four-wheel drive system, LT trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, an eight-speaker radio-CD player with MP3 capability, a glovebox cooling system and a passenger side under-seat storage drawer, while seven-seat models also get reverse parking sensors as standard. As well as the standard five-speed manual model, a five-speed automatic version of the seven-seat LT is available, priced at £22,195.

At the top of the range, the LTX model costs £23,695 as a manual, or £24,795 with automatic transmission. Standard equipment above the LT includes full leather trim with heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic lighting control and rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, a multi-function display panel, a radio with six-CD changer and MP3 capability, climate control with air quality system, silver-coloured front and rear skid plates, stainless steel sill plates, power-folding heated door mirrors with integrated turn signals and a visible twin-pipe exhaust system with chrome detailing. All LTX models come with seven seats.

In readiness for its delivery to the first customers in the summer, Captiva is currently touring the UK, visiting Chevrolet retailers across the network with special winter-themed open nights. Invited guests will be able to take refreshments and canapés while being given the chance to preview Captiva close-up, while special winter-themed craft activities will be laid on for the children. All versions of Captiva are available to order now, with the first cars set to be delivered to customers in June.

Model Transmission Seats On-the-road price
LS 2.4 Petrol 5-speed manual 5 £16,995
LT 2.0 Diesel 5-speed manual 5 £19,995
LT 2.0 Diesel 5-speed manual 7 £21,095
LT 2.0 Diesel 5-speed auto 7 £22,195
LTX 2.0 Diesel 5-speed manual 7 £23,695
LTX 2.0 Diesel 5-speed auto 7 £24,795
Specifications *

2.0 Diesel Manual

2.0 Diesel


2.4 Petrol Manual

Engine Displacement (cc):




Output (kW/PS at rev/min):

110/150 @ 4000

110/150 @ 4000

100/136 @ 5000

Max. torque (Nm at rev/min):

320 @ 2000

320 @ 2000

220 @ 2200

Top speed (mph):




Fuel consumption in mpg / (litre/100 km): Combined

37.1 (7.6)

32.5 (8.7)

31.7 (8.9)

CO2 emission (g/km):




*Final specifications are subject to change, and will be confirmed nearer to launch

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New Models from Chrysler/Jeep for 2007

New Jeep Compass11 January 2007
Chrysler Group is readying a torrent of new product for the UK in a bid to push its market share past the 1% level for the first time in decades. Jeep gains four new models in 2007 – the new Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited arrive in April, followed soon after by the Jeep Compass “soft-roader” based on the Caliber platform. In July we’ll see the all-new Jeep Patriot – not present at Detroit. – a smaller, cheaper Jeep aimed at younger buyers.

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LAND ROVER SETS GLOBAL SALES RECORD IN 2006Gaydon, Warwickshire 5th January, 2007
Land Rover has achieved a global sales record for the second year running. In 2006, the 4x4 manufacturer sold 192,500 vehicles around the world, an increase of 4 per cent (8,500 vehicles) on the previous year.

The year saw the USA become Land Rover's largest single market with a sales increase of 3.5 per cent. Sales in the highly competitive US market were driven by the phenomenal success of the Range Rover Sport, which saw an 80 per cent growth. There was also significant progress in emerging markets like Russia, which saw its sixth successive year of growth, and the Middle East and North Africa region where sales increased by 54 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.

In the UK, sales of Range Rover Sport and Range Rover increased by 52 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively in a year which saw the run out of Freelander, which ceased production in July. The all new Freelander 2 only went on sale in the UK in December, but still notched up nearly 900 sales in this traditionally short sales month.

Phil Popham, Land Rover's Global Managing Director, said, "This is a fantastic achievement given we were without our volume product for most of the year and provides a firm foundation for the launch of the all new Freelander 2, a vehicle designed for a global market. We need to maintain this momentum in 2007 and continue to make progress in new markets."

Land Rover's modern, clean and efficient diesel engines are now dominating the UK market, accounting for 92 per cent of sales. Demand for the new TDV8 Range Rover saw diesel derivatives of the model surge by 145 per cent in the final quarter of last year.

John Edwards, Land Rover's UK Managing Director, said, "The Range Rover is the UK's best selling luxury car and with this new engine customers can get petrol levels of performance with a 32 per cent improvement in fuel economy." Sales of Range Rover Sport have exceeded 75,000 since its launch to become Land Rover's best selling model. Discovery 3 continues to collect critical accolades with 85 international awards to date.

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The new CR-V is now in Honda showrooms across the UK – with a competitive insurance rating that’s lower than anticipated. We’ve already claimed that ‘Not all 4x4s are the same’ – highlighting the fact the new CR-V is smaller, cleaner and safer than other SUVs and many saloon cars on the road. Now we can boast an insurance group rating across the entire CR-V range – it’s 12E whichever model you pick.

Just to refresh your memory, pricing for the new CR-V starts at £18,800 for the 2.0-litre i-VTEC SE. But if you want to catch the outgoing CR-V – still the most popular SUV in the country with over 15,000 sold during 2006 – there’s currently £2,000 off every model in the range, an offer that lasts until the end of March.

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The new Volkswagen Touareg is set to face its toughest test yet as it prepares to act as a support vehicle to the bespoke Race Touareg 2 on the Dakar Rally. The event has run since 1979 and, for 2007, totals 4,309 km of stages taking in the most inhospitable terrain to push the tolerances of the vehicles, drivers and the teams.

Four examples of the Race Touareg 2 will set off from Lisbon on January 6 supported by 12 new Touaregs carrying equipment and personnel. Despite the 2007 rally support vehicles taking in tortuous off-road conditions, high temperatures and a total of 7,915 km across six countries as they follow the route, the new Touareg – which goes on sale in the UK in March – carries relatively few modifications. These include long-range fuel tanks, sand deflectors, a roll cage, six-point harnesses and a navigation system adapted for off-road applications. The 2.5-litre V6 TDI engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox and 4XMotion four-wheel drive transmission all remain scrupulously standard.

By comparison the Race Touareg 2’s set to be driven by Carlos Sainz, Ari Vatanen, Giniel de Villiers and Mark Miller employ more radical changes aimed at lending the team a competitive edge.

Clothing the unique steel spaceframe chassis of the Race Touareg 2 are weight saving carbon fibre panels onto which are bolted long-travel damper units and a safety roll cage designed to survive the rigours of the Dakar rally. Powering the Race Touareg 2 is an evolution of the five-cylinder 2.5-litre TDI engine fitted to the production Touareg. For its entry into rallying the engine’s power is raised to 285 PS channelled through a six-speed sequential race gearbox and a tough three-plate ceramic clutch.

The 16-day rally will test the versatility and mechanical strength of both the race and production Touaregs as they traverse sand, mud and extreme off-road conditions against the clock and whilst combating the oppressive heat.

The rally acts as the final test for the Touareg before sales start here on March 1. Fitted with a fresh new look to the nose and rear plus improvements to the interior and new dynamic and comfort orientated upgrades, the new Touareg builds on the success of the existing model. Since its launch in 2003 over 10,500 Touaregs have been sold in the UK with 2006 proving a record year for Volkswagen’s luxury off-roader.

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PANDA 4X4s CONTEST DAKAR 20072 January 2007
Two factory-built Fiat Panda 4x4s have been prepared to contest the gruelling Dakar 2007 rally raid, which starts in Lisbon this Saturday (6 January). Dakar 2007, with its thrilling succession of timed stages and special trials, finishes on 21 January in the Senegalese capital. It covers 8,696 kilometres, 5,100 of them in the form of special stages, after traversing Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal. It is always an extraordinary adventure, and this year Fiat will be in the thick of it.

Entered in the T2 category, the class which most closely represents production vehicles, the two Panda 4x4s, driven by Miki Biasion and former Dakar winner, Bruno Saby, respectively, are powered by Fiat Auto’s 1.3 litre MultiJet turbodiesel combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. The engines deliver 105 bhp at 4500 rpm and a peak torque of 123 lb.ft at 2500 rpm. Apart from their small dimensions, the two cars are particularly noteworthy for their automatic all-wheel drive system with viscous coupling and locking differential, a system that provides more grip and traction on rough and soft terrain thanks to the optimal split of drive to the wheels.

The two Pandas competing in Dakar 2007 have been equipped specifically for this rally: so room has been found inside for accessories like aluminium platforms to help extricate the vehicles from soft sand, shovels, spare wheels, water reserves for the crew, and other specialised equipment useful for the occasion. The Fiat expedition to Dakar will include a Fiat Sedici as service back-up, and three Iveco trucks to transport spares and technicians.

Winner of two World Rally Championships with Lancia in 1988 and 1989, and two world Truck titles with Iveco 10 years later, Miki Biasion will be relying on the manoeuvrability and durability of the Panda 4x4. During its development, Panda 4x4 was tested extensively in off-road situations and climate conditions that were often at the limit: in Lapland where the temperature drops to -40°C; in the west African desert; in the rugged Sierra Nevada; and in the Himalayas. In all, Panda 4x4 was subjected to more than one million kilometres of testing before going into production.

The original Panda 4x4 Dakar 2007 prototype can be seen at close quarters here later this month, alongside the Panda Evoluzione rally car and the new Panda 100HP road car, at the Autosport Show, Birmingham NEC, from 11-14 January 2007.

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Japanese manufacturer, Daihatsu is starting the New Year with a bang, offering big price savings on selected models as a lead-up to its 100-year celebrations. All new Daihatsu Terios compact 4x4s are available with a £1,000 price cut. The offer ends on March 31.

It means the Terios 1.5 S now costs £11,995 on-the-road despite a high standard specification which includes air-conditioning, power-steering, ABS with EBD and full-time four-wheel drive with electronic centre diff-lock. Also standard on the Terios are driver, passenger and side airbags, radio/CD player, four electric windows and even reverse parking sensors.

Being considerably larger than the previous Terios – and boasting a generous 380 litre capacity boot – the Daihatsu flagship also has three rear-seat three-point seatbelts. Running costs are low for a 4x4 with a ‘politically-correct’ Extra Urban fuel consumption of 40.4 mpg for the Terios 1.5 S and a highly-competitive Group 7D insurance rating.

In May 1965 Daihatsu became the first Japanese manufacturer to export to Britain with the 797 cc Compagno Berlina.

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