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Edition (from £21,830). Standard fare on both models includes such things as rear parking sensors, powered and heated, folding door mirrors, auto lights and wipers, auto dimming mirrors, privacy glass, heated windscreen, navigation, cruise, air conditioning, keyless start, sports tuned suspension and ST- Line body styling and grey alloys. Fords have always handled well and


the ST-Line is no exception, yet the three engine options, all 1.0-litre EcoBoost units, which range from 95 to 155 PS, with two options of mild hybrid electric power, certainly don’t provide blistering performance. In top power mode the benchmark 62 mph is reached in a whisker under 9 seconds. However, outright speed isn’t the point of the ST-


AND ENGINE NOTE ADD TO THE FUN


THE STEERING IS SHARP, THE PEPPY PERFORMANCE


routes with a few nice bends thrown in. The steering is sharp, the peppy performance and engine note add to the fun and the car is a joy to drive. If you want outright performance then go for the ST and you’ll give much more premium sports models a fright. If you want a decent turn of speed matched to a sensible ride then the ST-Line is hard to fault. The Fiesta has a smart and sophisticated look but there are signs of where the pennies have been saved inside the car. The plastics look and feel a little too bargain basement in places, the front door panels have cloth inserts, but the rear ones are all plastic, and the carpets


Line, it’s one of those cars that very ably demonstrates fun doesn’t have to equate to speed. My 125 PS mild hybrid model proved great fun when on cross country


VW ARTEON A SHOOTING BRAKE FOR A MODERN GENERATION A


s estates go VW’s Arteon Shooting Brake has a presence, the wide frontal look, muscular rear and sleek lines makes for a stylish driveway addition. Based on the Passat the Arteon shooting brake is aimed at being a mix of the practical with added style. It certainly turns heads and usually for all the right reasons. The term shooting brake is a delightfully old fashioned one harking back to a time when cars had little space and upper class shooting parties needed transport for all their kit. This German interpretation of the shooting brake, although not without compromises, is a particularly appealing one. Prices start at £35,395 and peak at £43,480 for the top-line version with all-wheel-drive. As with all German automotive machines the prices can reach even headier financial heights if you make a start on the options list. My test car, an R-Line with 2.0-litre TSI petrol power, was listed at £38,420 but had a rather large £8,000 worth of extra cost options. Although the test car was not my favourite in terms of colour, it was dark grey with black interior, a much brighter and classier colour palette is available and makes the car look much more than its circa £40k price tag. If you’re looking for a capacious load carrier then


the Arteon Shooting Brake isn’t for you. Its striking lines means the load practicality, while better than an


are harsh and rather poor. However, it’s a relatively small price to pay for a car that provides a compelling blend of urban, long distance and fun all rolled into one rather neat automotive package.


VERY CLASS ACT


IT’S A CAR THAT’S A


equivalent saloon, is not the best but then that really isn’t the point of the Arteon. Your walking gear, picnic paraphernalia, children’s travel accoutrements or other outdoor activity kit can easily be accommodated. Manufacturers have become expert at smaller capacity, more efficient engines that still possess decent performance. My Arteon’s 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine passes the benchmark 62 mph in 7.8 seconds and a 145 mph maximum speed while returning, during my week of mostly local driving, 34 mpg. There’s even the option of a plug-in hybrid. The Arteon Shooting Brake isn’t a small


car, in fact it looks even larger thanks to its design, and inside it feels spacious. Standard kit is good with such fare as keyless entry and start and tailgate, a superb panoramic sunroof and much, much more. There’s the usual VW solid and quality feel, it’s a car that combines the very best of practical SUVs and traditional estates without their bulk and boxiness. It’s a car that’s a very class act.


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