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105 MOTORING ROAD TESTS BY NICK FLETCHER


OUR MOTORING COLUMN, BY THE EXPERIENCED AND AWARD WINNING LOCAL MOTORING JOURNALIST NICK FLETCHER, HELPS OUR READERS CHOOSE THE BEST OF THE LATEST CARS.


MINI One Classic


MINI IS A GLOBAL MOTORING BRAND NAME DATING BACK 60 YEARS AND LATEST VERSIONS STILL OFFER A TOUCH OF RETRO STYLING WHILE DELIVERING EVERYDAY PRACTICALITY AND A LOT OF DRIVING FUN. The Mini line-up has been simplified in recent months though some may still find it complex given so many model variants and option packs. Prices start at £16,190 for a three- door model, though many will opt for the more practical five-door variant which is priced from £16,890. There are several petrol engines and a diesel, and while a 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, there is a 7-speed automatic option. The entry-level five-door Classic model featured is quite well equipped with standard kit including auto lights and wipers, digital radio, Bluetooth, infotainment screen with rotary control, LED lights and air-conditioning. Various option packages add features such as sat-nav and enhanced connectivity. The 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine offers 102 hp and gives a 0-60 mph time of 10.3 seconds and top speed of 119 mph. Average fuel economy is 52.3 mpg and emissions are 122 g/km. The five-door model is 3 cms longer and 1 cm taller than its three-door stablemate and this does give rear occupants improved head and legroom and there is the added convenience of rear doors and a tailgate. The car seats four adults easily though the rear seat is quite cramped for a fifth. Boot space has been improved and is


THE NIMBLE DRIVING DYNAMICS GIVE THE MINI MORE OF A FUN FACTOR THAN MOST.


now 278 litres, adequate for normal shopping needs and the backs of the rear seats can be adjusted to make the boot


area a more boxy shape. The dashboard, dominated by a large circular screen, has a smart look that enhances the cabin’s quality ambiance. Underway, this Mini proves to be smooth, quiet and responsive and precise steering and firm suspension help give composed cornering while retaining decent ride quality. The nimble driving dynamics give the Mini more of a fun factor than most. Competition is keen in this sector and includes strong rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo. Even so, the Mini One Classic still scores


highly as a practical hatchback with the added bonus of a very cool image.


ALFA ROMEO Giulia Super


ALFA ROMEO HAS A LONG AND DISTINGUISHED REPUTATION FOR CREATING HEAD-TURNING SPORTS CARS AND THE COMPANY SAYS ITS LATEST RANGE OF GIULIA MODELS IS ‘BORN TO INSPIRE EMOTION’, A CLAIM THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISPUTE. The Giulia is a sleek, muscular, beautifully designed executive model blending classy elegance with potent promise and it has distinct appeal to buyers seeking an engaging driving experience and a stand-out image. This long-wheelbase 4-door saloon is superbly designed and has an unmistakable front-end dominated by the famous Alfa heart-shaped grille. Yet despite its performance-focussed styling, the Giulia scores also well for its day to day practicality. There is good head and legroom front and rear and a large 480-litre boot.


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