Here are the Safest Small SUVs in 2019

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 09:00

Looking for a small SUV that’s also safe? We’ve got you covered here. Below is a list of the safest small SUVs based on crash test ratings from the National Highway Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A rundown on the criteria for the two agencies: NHTSA puts vehicles through front, side, and rollover crash tests that combine to produce an overall star rating, from one to five. Meanwhile, IIHS offers two safety awards. To earn a Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must earn “Good” ratings in various crash tests, including the unique driver-side small-overlap front test, which simulates what happens when the front left corner of a car crashes into a tree or pole at 40 mph. The vehicles must score at least “Acceptable” in the passenger-side small-overlap front test, which is the same test on the right corner of the car. They must also nab an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating in front crash prevention technology and an “Acceptable” or better headlight rating. For IIHS’ highest award, the Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must step it up with a “Good” passenger-side small overlap front rating and a “Good” headlight rating.

All entries on this list have earned both a four- or five-star overall rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ designation from IIHS. (Some vehicles, marked with asterisks below, have been excluded from the list because they have not yet been rated by NHTSA.) All models listed are mass-market vehicles from the 2019 model year. Keeping these notes in mind, read on to find out the safest small SUVs currently on the market.

2019 Honda HR-V

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

Along with a roomy interior and solid handling, the subcompact HR-V benefits from good safety scores. Refreshed for 2019, EX models and above feature a safety package that includes automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist. The model gets an “Acceptable” headlight rating from IIHS

2019 Hyundai Kona

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+

Although a bit tight inside, the Kona benefits from a firm but stable ride, nimble handling, and peppy powertrains. It’s a safe and practical car for a first-time buyer or anyone who doesn’t need a ton of interior space.

2019 Hyundai Tucson

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

The Tucson is a bit of a wallflower in its segment, but it has a strong list of standard features, including a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist. It also has an easy-to-use infotainment interface. The model gets an “Acceptable” headlight rating from IIHS.

2019 Lexus UX

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

The UX stands out from the pack with its bold styling. This tiny crossover looks more like a hatchback, made all the more unusual with the oversized signature Lexus grille. Inside, you’ll encounter refined materials but not a lot of space in the back seat. This cute-ute misses the Top Safety Pick+ designation because of its “Acceptable” headlight rating.

2019 Mazda CX-3

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

Mazda has made improvements to its subcompact crossover for 2019. With a revised suspension, upgraded steering, redesigned seats, and a bit more power, the CX-3 has finally come into its own. It gets an “Acceptable” score in IIHS’ headlight category.

2019 Mazda CX-5

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+

With spirited acceleration and communicative steering, the CX-5 is the jock in its class. It’s a canyon carver in SUV form, and we love the unexpected grunt of its engine. This SUV placed second in our recent compact SUV comparison test.

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars (AWD), 4 stars (FWD)
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

This seven-seater small SUV gets good safety scores, though we wish the four- and six-cylinder engine options had more grunt. The Outlander earned a headlight score of “Acceptable” from IIHS.

2019 Nissan Kicks

NHTSA Overall Rating: 4 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

This subcompact crossover is all about value. Starting at $19,685, the Kicks offers a quality interior with plenty of room in the rear seats and cargo area. It didn’t qualify for IIHS’ top award due to “Acceptable” ratings in the passenger-side small-overlap front test and the headlight category. NHTSA gave it four stars in the front crash and rollover categories, which along with a five-star side crash rating contributed to an overall four-star rating.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+

This is one of our favorite subcompact crossovers. Not only does it feature a solid ride and off-road capability, but it also offers plenty of space for people and gear, plus an easy-to-use infotainment system. We’ve praised its available EyeSight driver assistance feature with adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist for being among the most helpful systems of its kind on the market.

2019 Subaru Forester

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+

With a cavernous cargo hold, roomy back seat, and wide-opening doors, the Forester makes great use of space. Although it’s not the most powerful entry in the compact crossover segment, it benefits from a quiet ride on the pavement and solid off-road capability, plus excellent visibility. The 2019 Forester gets standard EyeSight safety technologies.


*2019 BMW X2 (Top Safety Pick, NHTSA: Not Rated)

*2019 Honda CR-V (Top Safety Pick, NHTSA: Not Rated overall, 4 stars in rollover test)

*2019 Volvo XC40 (Top Safety Pick+, NHTSA: Not Rated)

Note: IIHS classifies the Crosstrek and Kicks as small cars. To determine a vehicle’s classification, IIHS takes into account its platform-mates and if the vehicle is based on a sedan; how the automaker classifies the vehicle in the Vehicle Identification Number; and the classification of its competitors on the market.

The post Here are the Safest Small SUVs in 2019 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Tak Lee issues £10.4m legal action against Shaftesbury

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 08:14
West End investor Shaftesbury has said it will ‘robustly’ defend a legal action it has been served by Samuel Tak Lee regarding a share placing it conducted in 2017.
Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class First Look: Splitting the Segment

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 03:00

We get it. When SUVs are popular, automakers respond by offering more SUVs. And brands like Mercedes-Benz, which has a big utility lineup, are starting to split up the segment in order to give the people what they want: more SUVs. But you gotta be smart—offering more of the same old utilitarian vehicles won’t do the job, but positioning SUVs as different players will attract more buyers. That’s exactly what’s happening with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class, which will slot between the GLA and the GLC. It will offer a 5+2 cabin and is being positioned as a trail ranger.

The GLB’s wheelbase is 111.4 inches, making it 5.1 inches longer than the GLA and 1.7 inches shorter than the GLC. With a spacious cabin, the new Mercedes SUV can comfortably seat five people; the second row reclines, and if you need more room in the cargo area, it also can slide forward. A third row with two seats is optional, but it’s short on head- and legroom and can only fit young children. The second row splits in a 40/20/40 configuration, the third row 40/60. Mercedes says families can install up to four child seats in the rear.

Design wise, the new GLB has a distinct look, with a boxier shape than its siblings. With short front and rear overhangs, it looks adventurous, and the front underride guard and raised beltline give it a robust stance. Because it has been designed for younger families, the GLB is available with cool details like an orange surround on the rims and black mirror caps, depending on the version you choose. The taillights are borrowed from the GLE and GLS, and the GLB’s D-pillar is upright to provide a bit more headroom for those seated in the third row. Mercedes says the GLB was designed with an off-road character in mind.

Enter the cabin, and the first thing you notice is the MBUX infotainment system. The instrument panel is all digital with modern graphics. The rest of the interior has plenty of character. Beefy horizontal door handles and big circular air vents provide a distinct, rugged look, while the aluminum trim on the air vents, door handles, dash, and other surfaces offers a touch of refinement. It’s a different take from what we’ve seen in other Mercedes vehicles, and the interior varies depending on the trim you choose. We prefer the brown and black leather with red stitching over the all-black interior, as it provides a lively atmosphere. And once the sun sets, you’ll also enjoy the ambient lighting, with colors you can program to suit your mood. The ambient lighting has been expanded around the air vents, giving the cabin a young vibe.

In terms of power, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 will carry the GLA’s engine, but it’s been updated to increase power, improve efficiency, and lower emissions. Coupled to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic (instead of the GLA’s seven-speed dual clutch), the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine sends 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels, while Mercedes’ 4Matic AWD system is available as an option. The German brand says that the GLB can get from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, but we’ll verify that once we get a chance to test it on our home turf. If you choose the 4Matic system, you’ll get the Off-Road Engineering package as standard; according to Mercedes, this adapts the engine power delivery and ABS control for easy handling of off-road terrain. The package adds an animation on the infotainment screen indicating the incline angle and technical settings, and a downhill assist helps drivers down a steep trail by selecting a speed between 1 and 11 mph. The all-wheel-drive system provides different driving modes depending on conditions. Eco/Comfort sends 80 percent of the power to the front wheels, and Sport mode sends 30 percent to the rear axle. In Off-Road mode, the all-wheel-drive clutch acts as an interaxle diff lock, splitting the power delivery 50:50.

As you might expect, the new GLB is full of technology. With the new MBUX infotainment system, drivers and passengers can simply say “Hey, Mercedes” to control different parts of the vehicle—from changing the radio station to setting directions in the nav system. The GLB also has plenty of safety technologies. According to Mercedes, the radar and camera systems have been improved for a better experience with semi-autonomous driving. The active distance assist now uses maps and navigation data to adapt the speed before a corner, crossroad, or roundabout. Mercedes also says there’s a new active steering assist and active lane change assist. If the GLB is equipped with active parking assist, it will have the capability of driving in stop and go traffic. We look forward to testing these features later in the year.

As the SUV segment continues to get hotter, Mercedes is playing the right cards by offering a new model that’s boxier, younger, and more rugged. Although it’s essentially splitting up the segment, the German brand wants to give customers different options to choose from. And the new GLB is being positioned for families who spend their weekdays in the city but like to venture into the wild on weekends.

The post 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class First Look: Splitting the Segment appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class preview

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 03:00
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class hides a secret. As its name suggests, the 2020 GLB slots alphabetically in the Mercedes lineup between the GLA and the GLC. But, the GLB offers a third row of seats that opens it up to seven passengers—its bigger and smaller siblings have room for just five. With the GLB250, Mercedes has its first small...
Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 revealed: Room for seven

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 03:00
About a third of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold aren’t cars at all. They’re crossover SUVs, and it’s hard to imagine that Mercedes could have expected it when its M-Class hit the road about two decades ago. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 that bowed Monday expands the automaker’s current crossover SUV lineup to six models...
Categories: Property

Lego Forza? Details on Forza Horizon’s New Expansion

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 22:45

Modern building materials have gotten so complex. Sure, extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum can keep weight down without sacrificing body rigidity, but wouldn’t it be fun if building materials were less expensive and more accessible to the masses? Perhaps small-Danish-building-block-accessible?

We got a look at the newest Forza expansion during Xbox’s E3 2019 presentation this weekend: Forza Horizon 4 Lego Speed Champions. The $19.99 expansion welcomes players into a unique Lego-themed world including a blocky city, a brick-built airport runway perfect for drag racing, and fields of plastic Lego flowers to bomb across in your Lego 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally. Alongside the Mini, the launch trailer gives us a peek at driveable Lego versions of the Ferrari F40 Competizione and FH4’s cover car, the McLaren Senna.

We’ve seen our fair share of Lego video games—Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones—but none have tried bringing to life our four-wheeled favorites. More than once I’ve found myself wondering how a life-size Legomobile would compare to its gas-powered equivalent. Does a nubby, low-poly exterior have a negative effect on aerodynamics? Are the stickers perfectly applied or a little crooked? When I crash it, will it dent and deform like a normal car or explode into hundreds of individual bricks?

The digital world of Forza Horizon 4 could be the best place to find out. Forza’s team has two product lines these days; track-only Forza Motorsport games lean toward the simulation side of things and the newer Forza Horizon franchise pairs open-world, arcade-style racing with a music festival theme. This fourth installment feels like a big automotive toy box so it makes sense to add some, well, toys.

Lego’s Speed Champions collection has been running since 2014 and it’s the first car-themed Lego line to feature multiple OEM partners. In addition to the aforementioned trio of cars confirmed for FH4, Speed Champions has released brick-made versions of some of our favorite modern and vintage race cars, supercars, pony cars, and rally cars. No word on exactly how many drivable models exist in the FH4 expansion, but we won’t have to wait long to find out. Forza Horizon 4 Lego Speed Champions releases June 13 for Xbox One and PC.

The post Lego Forza? Details on Forza Horizon’s New Expansion appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Recalls Hit Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 22:07

Jaguar and Audi recently introduced electric vehicles that will fight Tesla in the increasingly competitive EV market: the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron. But these technologically advanced models aren’t immune to teething problems. Each of the two Tesla-fighters is now subject to a recall. Keep reading for details on the recalls affecting these premium electric vehicles.


Jaguar I-Pace

The Problem: This Tesla Model X-competitor is under recall for a potential issue involving the regenerative braking system. If the electrical regenerative braking system fails, drivers could experience an increased delay in deceleration after pressing on the brakes, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Fix: Jaguar will notify owners of the recall, which is expected to begin on July 1. Dealers will update the software to reduce the braking delay, free of charge.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: The recall covers 3,083 vehicles from the 2019 and 2020 model years.


Audi E-Tron

The Problem: Because of a potentially faulty seal, moisture may enter the battery compartment on certain E-Tron vehicles. This could lead to a short circuit, or in extreme cases, a “thermal event,” Audi says. No incidents have been reported related to this recall, although there have been five instances of a battery fault light coming on due to moisture. Audi says that E-Tron vehicles that are not affected by the recall will remain available for delivery.

The Fix: Audi will contact customers to inform them of the recall. The repair is expected to be available in August.

Drivers are eligible for a free service loaner for the next 6-8 weeks, plus an $800 cash card. The service package is now free, and drivers who paid for it when they purchased the car can get their money back.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: The recall affects a total of 1,644 vehicles. Of these, approximately 540 have been delivered to customers.

Source: Audi, Jaguar, NHTSA

The post Recalls Hit Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 vs. GT350: How They’re Different

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 21:18

Horses and snakes don’t play well together in nature, but on a racetrack they’re a legendary pairing. Ford Mustangs adorned with a Shelby Cobra badge are purpose-built to chase after and take down lap times. The GT350 and upcoming GT500 are the most performance-oriented Mustangs ever, but looking beyond the coiled snake in their grilles shows key differences that give each car its own distinct character.

Heavy Rotation


The GT350 and GT500 both have 5.2-liter V-8s, but don’t let that fool you into thinking the engines are similar. The GT350’s is equipped with a flat-plane crankshaft, a differentiator that completely alters its function. A flat-plane crankshaft has 180 degrees of rotation between crank throws, alternating the firing order between each cylinder bank. This improves airflow through the engine; as one side fires the other evacuates gasses in its exhaust manifold, reducing backpressure. The effect is an engine that breathes more freely and revs more readily. However, this side-to-side firing order produces vibrations that can make a car less comfortable on the street and can even stress the engine internals with large-displacement engines. The GT350 uses a special harmonic balancer to help smooth things out.

The GT500’s engine uses a more common cross-plane crankshaft design. It has 90 degrees of rotation between crank throws; those smaller intervals produce more regular firing. However, since the firing order is unevenly spaced between cylinder banks, heavy counterweights are required to balance out vibrations. Those add rotating mass, making cross-plane engines less free-revving and responsive. Still, the tighter firing provides smoother power delivery and improved torque, especially at low rpm—not to mention that unmistakable V-8 sound.


Further distinguishing the engines is the fact that the GT350’s is naturally aspirated, while the GT500’s will be supercharged. We’ve waxed poetic about how the GT350’s 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque are delivered near its 8,200-rpm redline. That sky-high limit is enabled by its lightweight flat-plane crank and contributes to the car’s purpose as a track tool.

Meanwhile, the GT500 is supercharged for better low-end torque, as that’s what the GT500 is known for. Ford hasn’t revealed the 2020 GT500’s power figures, so far only saying it will make more than 700 hp and 600 lb-ft. We’ll relay exact power figures as soon as Ford discloses them, but given what we know about supercharged cross-plane V-8s, it will have a different, more muscular character than the GT350.


Behind two very different engines are two very different transmissions. The GT350 has a six-speed manual, allowing complete driver control befitting of the car’s track orientation. The GT500 loses a pedal but gains a gear. A Mustang-first seven-speed dual-clutch transmission provides near-instantaneous shifts, so there’s no loss of power whether lapping a road course or tearing down a drag strip.


Airflow—both over and through the car—is more of a focus on the GT500 than the GT350. That’s apparent when you compare the two cars’ front ends. The GT500’s has double the open area of the GT350, as well as a metal mesh grille that’s thinner and blocks air less than the GT350’s injection-molded plastic piece (the GT350’s grille opening actually shrunk for 2019 to reduce the front-end lift produced by surplus air getting trapped under the hood). The extra air needed to feed the GT500’s six heat exchangers exits through ducts in the wheel arches and the 6.03-square-foot vent in the carbon-fiber hood—compare that to the little slit in the GT350’s engine cover.

For 2019, the GT350 gained a new rear wing that’s shared with the standard GT500. With an optional Gurney flap, it produces up to 281 pounds of downforce. However, the GT500’s available Carbon Fiber Track Package fits the car with the adjustable wing straight off the Mustang GT4 race car, which pushes the rear end into the ground with 550 pounds of downforce. Dive planes on the front bumper help keep the nose planted.

Body and Chassis

Park the cars next to each other and you’ll see that the GT500 has broader shoulders than the GT350. That’s due to the composite front fenders Ford developed specifically for the car, necessary to cover the wider front tires, which as standard are Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. Opting for the Carbon Fiber Track Package, however, adds 20-inch carbon-fiber wheels (0.5 inch wider in the rear) wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Ultra-light carbon-fiber 19-inch wheels are standard on the GT350R. Regardless, the GT350 has 15.5-inch front Brembo brake rotors, clamped by six-piston calipers. Those grow to 16.5 inches in the GT500, representing a 20-percent increase in swept area. Both Mustangs ride on magnetic dampers, albeit with different tunes depending on the car and how they’re equipped. No matter the case, Ford’s super-‘Stangs are the best of the breed.

The post 2020 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 vs. GT350: How They’re Different appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

FCA recalls 295K Ram 1500 pickup trucks over safety software problem

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 15:35
The 2019 Ram 1500 is subject to a new recall to update software that could disable the airbags and seat belt pretensioners. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said last week that 295,981 Ram 1500 pickups are part of the recall. The recall also affects the 2020 Ram 1500, but only 26 have been built and are included. None of them are at dealerships yet...
Categories: Property

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Boasts 480 LB-FT, HUGE Towing Capacity

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 15:00

It’s Ram vs. Ford vs. Chevy all over again, diesel-style. The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel bursts back onto the full-size diesel truck scene with some impressive-on-paper numbers. Those who go for Ram’s diesel truck will get higher torque and a higher towing capacity compared to any of its rivals, but that’s not the full story.

Ram was first with a non-heavy-duty diesel truck, and we liked it so much that, thanks in large part to that powerplant, the 1500 became our 2014 Truck of the Year. Now Ram’s got competition. Ford makes a diesel variant of its best-selling F-150, and the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will offer a diesel, too. The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel packs a built-in-Italy 260-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 under its enormous hood, with 480 lb-ft of torque routed through an eight-speed automatic. That compares well to Ford’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 with 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, routed through a 10-speed automatic.

As for Chevy, the 2020 Silverado 1500 diesel is rated at 277 hp and 460 lb-ft, from a 3.0-liter inline-six that’s mated to a 10-speed automatic. So the 2020 Ram 1500 diesel looks good on paper, especially with its 12,560-pound class-leading towing capacity. But a lot can be hiding behind impressive numbers. When MotorTrend drives and actually tests the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, will we notice the way the automaker has minimized NVH, or might we find—as we did with the F-150 diesel at last year’s Truck of the Year competition—that the truck suffers when it’s attached to a trailer? Considering the Ram 1500 has earned the MotorTrend Truck of the Year award three of the last seven years, we have high hopes.

When you’re between big jobs, you might appreciate the Ram’s improved fuel economy. The automaker is keeping that card close to its chest, but plans to leapfrog Ford, which currently offers a rear-drive version of the F-150 diesel achieving an EPA-rated 22/30 mpg city/highway.

If the number you’re interested in starts with a $, know that 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pricing won’t be revealed until closer to when the truck goes on sale in the last few months of 2019. But Ram does tell us that the updated EcoDiesel engine will be offered across the lineup, from Tradesman—a trim that already won a MotorTrend comparison—to Rebel. As with other 2020 Ram 1500s, the diesel version will be offered with an air suspension. When the 2019 Ram 1500 became our 2019 Truck of the Year, we praised the coil-spring and air suspensions. None of that, however, is a guarantee of future success with this updated 2020 truck. For that, you can count on MotorTrend to review and test the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and its competitors.

The post 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Boasts 480 LB-FT, HUGE Towing Capacity appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Highest office floor of No1 Spinningfields becomes available to let

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 13:19
The highest office floor of Manchester’s No1 Spinningfields is available to let after plans to turn it into a business lounge were shelved.
Categories: Property

Schroders abandons plans for business lounge at No1 Spinningfields

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 13:19
Schroder Real Estate has shelved plans to turn the highest floor of Manchester’s No1 Spinningfields into a business lounge and decided to market it as office space instead.
Categories: Property

Fortwell lends £26m to care operator

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 12:48
Fortwell Capital has written development and refinancing loans totalling £26m for residential care developer and operator Macc Group.
Categories: Property

IIHS: Toyota, Subaru top for child car seat ease of use

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 12:20
Toyota and Subaru earned top marks from the IIHS for the way their cars can handle child seats. The insurance industry-funded safety body said the two Japanese brands tied for the most "Good+" ratings, which is the highest ranking a vehicle can earn on the federal government's hardware scale. Overall, the industry has improved vastly since the...
Categories: Property

British Land secures five brands to Plymouth leisure scheme

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 12:15
British Land has secured five lettings totalling 32,000 sq ft at its Drake Circus Leisure scheme in Plymouth.
Categories: Property

Impact buys trio of care homes for £20m

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 11:53
Impact Healthcare REIT has exchanged contracts to buy three care homes for £20.2m.
Categories: Property

Toyota, Subaru to collaborate on electric car underpinnings

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 11:00
Toyota and Subaru said last week that they will collaborate on an all-wheel-drive electric car. Toyota will supply its electrification vehicle know-how, while Subaru will be responsible for engineering an all-wheel-drive system for the platform. DON'T MISS: 2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester: Compare Cars The two automakers will eventually...
Categories: Property

First Base plans £175m scheme in Bristol

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 09:46
Mixed-use developer First Base has acquired Soapworks in Bristol and plans to build a new £175m district.
Categories: Property

2019 Volkswagen Arteon Interior Review: 6 Key Details

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 09:03

If you’re looking for a car more versatile than a typical sedan but don’t want a crossover, your choices are limited, especially if it must be stylish. That leaves you to look at hatchbacks and wagons, and thankfully the ones still available in North America aren’t all staid and vanilla. Despite its svelte, low-slung appearance, the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon is surprisingly versatile. Clever packaging means the Arteon pleases the head and the heart. Here are some of the key details that make the 2019 Arteon a great package.

Read our 2019 Volkswagen Arteon First Test right here!

Ready for Hauling

Open the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon’s hatch, and you’ll immediately see that this Teutonic beauty has an interior that’s been carved to provide as much usable space as possible. With 27.2 cubic feet with all seats in place and 55.0 cubic feet with the second row folded, the Arteon has crossover-rivaling cargo capacity. (Different measurement formulas for crossover and hatchback cargo room make direct comparisons of the numbers difficult, but a subjective assessment confirms there’s no shortage of space.) A low lift-over height also makes loading and unloading cargo less of a hassle.

Comfortable Accommodations

The Arteon’s front bucket seats offer a nice balance of support and comfort. On a winding road, the seats hold you in place well and keep you from sliding around too much. When you’re commuting, the soft padding coddles you and helps you stay refreshed on long freeway slogs. Rear-seat occupants also have plenty of legroom to stretch out, and there’s enough headroom that only the tallest of adults will have issues.

I Can See (Out the Windows)!

A large greenhouse in a swoopy four-door? Why, yes! Even with a side profile this sleek, visibility out of the car is excellent. The windows are surprisingly large, making the car’s cabin feel airy and open, something you can’t always say about coupelike sedans and hatchbacks.

Almost Luxurious

Most pieces of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon’s interior feel substantial, from the super-squishy dash to the door panels. Unfortunately, cost cutting prevents the Arteon’s interior from punching above its weight. All the blank buttons around the shifter (even on the range-topping SEL Premium trim) and the knobs that clearly came out of a Jetta or Golf detract from the cabin’s overall ambiance. The door panels and touchpoints in the rear also feel less substantial than the ones up front.

Mostly Quiet

Plenty of sound-deadening material keeps the Arteon’s interior from getting too noisy on the highway. That changes if you opt for the larger 19-inch alloy wheels, which create more road and tire noise on uneven pavement. (VW also offers 20-inch wheels for maximum curb appeal.)

Tech Without Intimidation

Unlike some German luxury brands, Volkswagen’s multimedia system puts user-friendliness first (there’s no big learning curve). The touch-sensitive buttons flanking the 8.0-inch touchscreen are responsive while the knobs keep things familiar. There’s even a cool feature that once your hand gets close to the touchscreen, the submenus automatically pop up. Minimalism remains the prominent theme in the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon’s interior. Even with the available Digital Cockpit system, the tech inside the Arteon remains user-friendly. No touchpads or mouselike controllers to send you into a fit of rage here.

The post 2019 Volkswagen Arteon Interior Review: 6 Key Details appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Are the Best BMWs Now Super-Sized SUVs? – The Lohdown

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 09:02

Just prior to shipping the August 2019 print issue, the only two BMWs I had recently driven were the X7 and X5—both all-new for 2019.

I had only a brief lunchtime spin in the supersized X7, in which I took five colleagues to a local pho joint and was able to use all three rows. My co-workers handle different parts of the business at the MotorTrend Group, from business intelligence to operations to ad sales, so they were excited to experience a brand-new BMW.

“Do you like it?” they hollered from the back. “How does it drive?”

“It’s really … big,” I said, struggling to find words describe the 5,300-pound, 203.3-inch-long (0.6 inch shy of a Chevy Tahoe), $100,000 (as tested), leather-swaddled behemoth.

I spent a lot more time in the X5: a full three-day road trip from Los Angeles to the Sacramento area, ripping along the I-5 and Route 99, five-and-a-half hours each way. More wheel time meant more time to be impressed, particularly by the X5’s balance. It proved sporty yet smooth on the road, tech-laden but not overwhelming, and cushy but not at the expense of genuine utility. BMW’s ability to balance ride and handling is the stuff of legend, but the new X5’s fullness in other areas shows the depth and experience the company has gained since it built its first SUV 20 years ago.

The 3 Series is going on 44 years (a year older than your humble scribe) and spans seven generations, and I wish I could say it held the same charm as that X5. I was as shocked as you might be after I heard the results of our latest comparison tests, so I had to see for myself.

What I discovered after a night in the 3 Series will surprise no one of a particular life stage. Middle age is a bitch, right? Pants are tighter than you’d like, breath is shorter, sweat comes quicker, things now creak that never did before. Wait, what was I saying?

Ah, right. Ever see an old picture of yourself and remember how it used to be? Or look in the mirror and just sigh? That’s kind of how it is with the new 3 Series. It’s a perfectly fine sport sedan—just not the class standout it has been in years past.

In truth, it’s been a few since we’ve lauded the 3 Series or any of its variants as God’s own chariot. The performances of the last M3 and M4 variants at Best Driver’s Car were spotty, at best, though I’ve heard amazing things about the Z4, M2 Competition, M850, and M8. We’re pulling a couple for BDC 2019 and look forward to sampling their wares.

Maybe the best BMWs are now super-sized SUVs. If so, good for them; the timing is right, and BMW will reap well-deserved rewards the world over. But at the expense of what? A fading Ultimate Driving Machine moniker? Or maybe what we need is for BMW’s performance division to step up and show us that the M on the back of coming 3 Series variants stands for something more than middle-aged.

BMW fanboys, I welcome your tweets @edloh.

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