ICG-Longbow raises £928m for latest fund

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 11/29/2019 - 00:00
More than £455m of the capital has already been committed across 10 deals
Categories: Property

LaSalle puts up £96m for Leeds BTR scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 11/29/2019 - 00:00
Loan for Apache and Moda’s New York Square is biggest BTR deal yet for LaSalle
Categories: Property

Two pre-lets fill first phase of PLP’s Bessemer Park Sheffield

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 11/29/2019 - 00:00
PLP has pre-let the first phase of its speculative logistics park at Bessemer Park, Sheffield, to two local companies.
Categories: Property

Birmingham is top regional UK target for overseas investors

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 11/29/2019 - 00:00
Birmingham and Liverpool are the two top choices for foreign investors looking to place bets on UK regional cities next year, according to an analysis by Consorto.
Categories: Property

British Property Federation calls for policy changes after UK general election

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 15:15
The British Property Federation (BPF) has released a manifesto of policy changes it wants the government to undertake to improve business for the property sector.
Categories: Property

Unilever’s Bedford HQ sold for over £60m

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 13:49
Wrenbridge and Palmer Capital have completed the sale of Colworth Science Park for more than £60m.
Categories: Property

Hines leases residential at Oxford Street mixed-use scheme

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 13:07
Hines has secured a pre-lease agreement for the residential accommodation that forms part of its 354-358 Oxford Street development.
Categories: Property

Hines full leases Oxford Street mixed-use scheme

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 13:07
Hines has secured a pre-lease agreement for the residential accommodation that forms part of its 354-358 Oxford Street development.
Categories: Property

Cluttons appoints development and planning head

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 13:01
Cluttons has appointed Steven Cooper as its new development and planning head.
Categories: Property

2020 Lexus IS

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 13:00
The 2020 Lexus IS was once a gym rat, but its consistent routine means its predominantly European competition has bypassed this once-compelling four-door compact sedan. The allure of a decent value and the option of a strong, smooth V-6 engine don’t elevate the 2020 IS enough. We rate it at just 6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate...
Categories: Property

Audley Group’s Surrey site gets green light

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 12:58
Audley Group’s Fairmile Lane site in Surrey has been given planning permission.
Categories: Property

Spaces announces 2020 expansion plans in London

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 11:35
International flexible office space provider Spaces plans to open five new centres across London in 2020.
Categories: Property

St Modwen sells half non-core retail assets

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 09:56
St Modwen has completed the sale of half the company’s remaining non-core retail portfolio for £34m.
Categories: Property

Ocado reveals plans for ‘mini’ robotic warehouse

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 09:53
Ocado has announced plans to open its first ‘mini’ robotic warehouse, or customer fulfilment centre (CFC), in Bristol.
Categories: Property

​Urban & Civic reports 9.6% jump in NAV

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 09:04
Urban & Civic has reported a 9.6% jump in EPRA net asset value (NAV) thanks to progress preparing sites through the planning system and readying them for development.
Categories: Property

Tested: Why the Updated Fiat 500X 1.3L Still Falls Short

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 09:00

A vehicle’s design is the first thing that speaks to you and eventually piques your curiosity (or doesn’t). In the case of the refreshed 2019 Fiat 500X, its bubbly, chic looks set it apart from everything else in the subcompact SUV segment. And now, with the addition of standard all-wheel drive and a new 1.3-liter turbo-four replacing the old 1.4- and 2.4-liter units, the 500X wants to prove it’s more than just a cute ute.

Throw It Back

Retro themes abound inside the 2019 Fiat 500X’s passenger compartment. The body-colored interior trim creates a vibrant atmosphere, and the large buttons and knobs on the center stack give everything a nice, chunky look. Even the seats look stylish with their rounded design, circular headrests, and two-tone brown and black leather upholstery. If only they had softer cushions and held you in place better during emergency maneuvers. Rear-seat passengers don’t have much head- and legroom, though. The available panoramic sunroof, which lowers the ceiling, cuts into the former, robbing more interior volume.

At 12.2 cubic feet with all seats up and 32.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, the 2019 Fiat 500X doesn’t have space for the spoils of your Ikea shopping sprees. The rear window cuts into cargo capacity, so you’ll need to drop one side of the 60/40 split-folding seatbacks and remove the cargo cover to fit bulky items or multiple roller bags. Even then, the 500X’s interior pales in comparison to the superbly packaged Honda HR-V’s.

Despite the interior’s cool retro looks, material quality needs improvement. Buttons and knobs lack tactility, and the door card panels feel flimsy. There are nice materials like the squishy armrest cushions, but they’re surrounded by chintzy plastics and roughly textured surfaces. On the highway, an excessive amount of road- and wind noise enters the cabin, particularly from the driver’s side A-pillar.

Mighty Unrefined

With 177 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, the 1.3-liter turbo I-4 has plenty of torque for merging, passing, and climbing grades, but it suffers from excessive turbo lag. At the track, the 2019 500X hit 60 mph in 8.3 seconds on its way to a 16.4-second quarter mile at 85.2 mph. Road test editor Chris Walton noted that the SUV doesn’t wake up until you’re past 15 mph. The nine-speed automatic still hesitates, amplifying the engine’s lack of responsiveness; step on the accelerator, and it takes a few seconds for the transmission to kick down and give you power. Sport mode wakes the powertrain up a bit, but it still lacks urgency in its responses. Braking performance, although consistent, didn’t inspire confidence, taking 120 feet to stop from 60 mph. Walton observed plenty of dive during hard stops and described the tires as “gravely.”

A stiff suspension gives the 2019 Fiat 500X a nervous ride that only gets worse on uneven pavement. Handling, while secure, never inspires confidence; delayed steering responses further detract from the overall driving experience, giving you a feeling like the car isn’t cooperating with you. The Mazda CX-3, Hyundai Kona, and Mini Countryman are more engaging and have superior road manners when the tarmac gets twisty.

With tweaks like reshaped headlights and taillights with body-colored trim embedded in them, the 500X maintains its fun personality.

During our testing, the 500X finished the figure eight in 28.5 seconds with 0.58 g average and generated 0.77 g of lateral acceleration. Testing director Kim Reynolds found it nimble but complained about excessive understeer at the limit and the uncooperative transmission. When driven enthusiastically the 500X becomes a handful because of its tendency to snap back on center once you exit a turn at more than 30 mph. The all-wheel-drive system only adds traction when accelerating or driving in poor weather conditions, and it won’t send power to the rear wheels to help the little SUV handle better.

The Mixed Tech Bag

FCA’s UConnect interface remains one of the easiest infotainment systems to learn. In the 2019 Fiat 500X, it comes standard with a responsive 7.0-inch touchscreen featuring a logical layout and big icons. We do wish it had the larger 8.4-inch display from other FCA models and crisper map graphics for the built-in navigation. The optional nine-speaker Beats audio system also requires some fine tuning because it doesn’t distribute sound evenly throughout the cabin.

Active driver assistance features are only available on the Trekking and Trekking Plus grades via the Driver Assistance and Advanced Driver Assistance Groups. Although most systems work as intended, lane keeping assist ping-pongs the vehicle between the lanes, and adaptive cruise control applies the brakes in sudden motions, jerking occupants around.

At What Cost?

Starting at $26,235, the 2019 Fiat 500X is one of the pricier subcompact SUVs (though it does come with standard AWD). Our Trekking Plus tester with Premium and Advanced Driver Assistance Groups dressed in Milano Ivory stickered for $35,075. At that price, the little Italian SUV becomes a hard sell, especially when put up against sportier and roomier competitors that offer equal amounts of style for less money.

Even with all-wheel drive standard and a better engine, the 2019 Fiat 500X falls short. With its poorly packaged interior and sloppy driving dynamics, there’s not enough goodness behind that cheeky face. You’d have to be infatuated with the Fiat’s styling to justify it. If you are, stick with the mid-level Trekking grade, which costs $27,740 and is available with the same options as the Trekking Plus.

2019 Fiat 500X AWD (Trekking Plus) BASE PRICE $30,690 PRICE AS TESTED $35,075 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 1.3L/177-hp/210-lb-ft turbo SOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,396 lb (60/40%) WHEELBASE 101.2 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 167.2 x 72.3 x 63.7 in 0-60 MPH 8.3 sec QUARTER MILE 16.4 sec @ 85.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 120 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.77 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.5 sec @ 0.58 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 24/30/26 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 140/112 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.74 lb/mile

The post Tested: Why the Updated Fiat 500X 1.3L Still Falls Short appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

The Dream Build: How We’d Spec a New Volkswagen Atlas

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 09:00

Would I buy a V-6-powered 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with the Technology package? No. But what if I had a family of four and needed something to fit the fam and all our stuff with room to spare? Possibly. Full-size, truck-based SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe have their place, especially if you need to tow, but I think I would choose something more comfortable and spacious, like the Atlas.

So if I was going to pull the trigger on a new 2019 or 2020 Volkswagen Atlas, how would I spec it?

On the Outside: Atlas V6 SEL R-Line with 4Motion in Pure White

First of all, I’d jump up from our long-termer’s relatively basic V-6 SE trim to the better-looking and better-equipped V-6 SEL R-Line with 4Motion. The R-Line’s bumpers, badges, and side skirts do a lot to make the Atlas look more premium, and considering there’s no fuel economy penalty for having AWD, you might as well have the peace of mind in inclement weather. Even when Mother Nature is being nice, the 4Motion AWD system helps eliminate tire-shredding wheelspin if you have to accelerate quickly from a stop.

I think the Atlas looks nice in the Pure White color, especially with the R-Line package, and the standard 20-inch wheels look a lot better than the meager 18-inch rolling stock that clad our long-termer. Even though I live in Southern California and I can’t remember the last time it rained, I’d also add a $116 set of accessory mud flaps because they look cool.

On the Inside: Shetland V-Tex Leatherette

If you’ve ever walked into an empty airplane hangar, you have a good idea what it’s like on the inside of a VW Atlas. It really is impressively spacious inside, and because of that, a lighter-colored interior will keep it from becoming too cavelike. One of the other Atlases I drove this year came with the creamy Shetland color interior, which made the inside feel brighter and also looked great contrasted with the dark trim pieces on the dash.

Another benefit of the higher trim level is Volkswagen’s trick digital instrument cluster and large panoramic sunroof. Overall, it’s a much more luxurious place to be than the base vehicle. I recently had a chance to drive some of the Atlas’ newer competitors like the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade, and the Atlas really needs the higher trim to compete with their interiors.

I’d opt against the second-row captain’s seats because the bench makes it easier to use my rear-seat dog hammock, and if you’re mostly considering an Atlas as a large vehicle for four, a bench seat is much more useful. I’d also add the accessory $180 privacy cover for the rear cargo area and the $149 rubber Monster Mats. I’ve had Monster Mats in every VW I’ve personally owned, and I love their durability.

The Total

With a starting price of $46,140, I added an additional $445 of accessory items for a total price of $46,585 (on a 2019 model). Not everyone will see the value in AWD or the added cost of the R-Line styling, but for me, it’s worth it. Coming in about $8,000 more than our long-termer, my dream Atlas is absolutely a big step up as far as cost goes, but the additional money goes a long way toward a much nicer vehicle.

Read more about our long-term 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE:

The post The Dream Build: How We’d Spec a New Volkswagen Atlas appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Panattoni buys old paper mill in Aylesford for around £75m

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 00:00
Logistics specialist plans development with up to 1.6m sq ft of warehouse space at Kent site near M20
Categories: Property

Long wait in store for Shaftesbury legal case

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 00:00
Lee’s legal challenge to 2017 rights issue will not reach courts until mid-2021
Categories: Property

Analysts welcome Mark Allan’s appointment as Landsec CEO

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 11/28/2019 - 00:00
Allan’s experience repositioning St Modwen’s business and selling assets in a tough market seen as a plus
Categories: Property