Consumer car reviews and road tests features road tests on all the major cars and vans plus consumer car reviews and consumer van reviews from the people who actually drive the vehicles day in day out - you. The road tests include performance, ride & handling, build quality & reliability, safety & security, space & practicality and ownership & value.

Featured road tests

Mazda 6

2.2 SKYACTIV-D 150PS SE-L Nav - The new generation Mazda6 is the second model to benefit from the Japanese carmaker’s wide-ranging, weight-saving, fuel-sipping SKYACTIV technology following the 2012 launch of the CX-5 crossover. There’s much more at stake for Mazda this time around however with the 6 a bedrock of the range, so swi [...]

Road Test Reports Says 5 star ratingFull Report
An image of the Mazda 6 2.2 SKYACTIV-D 150PS SE-L Nav

Volvo V40

Cross Country - The V40 Cross Country starts at £22,595 and our Lux specification which we tested comes with standard features such as leather covered interior, active bending xenon headlights and 17” alloys. The D2 Cross Country Lux Nav comes in at £25,795 which is good value when tested against the immediate comp [...]

Road Test Reports Says 4.5 star ratingFull Report
An image of the Volvo V40 Cross Country

Volkswagen Golf

2.0 GT TDi 140 - The new Golf retains the sharp handling while delivering power with little or no turbo lag. Volkswagen has long had a reputation for the reliability of it’s vehicles and we do not see any reason why this should differ in the new Golf. Rock solid residual values make the Volkswagen a sensible choice [...]

Road Test Reports Says 4.5 star ratingFull Report
An image of the Volkswagen Golf 2.0 GT TDi 140

Volkswagen California

The California is the modern incarnation of the classic VW camper. Based on the Transporter van/Caravelle MPV, it is a full factory-designed and produced vehicle (rather than a conversion) and is powered by VW's 2.5-litre TDI engine with two different power ratings, 128 and 171bhp. It's not cheap – [...]

Road Test Reports Says 4 star ratingFull Report
An image of the Volkswagen California

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Featured consumer car reviews

Dave Timmis, Cheshire

Tesla Model S 2013

5 star review

I had the pleasure of driving a Model S demonstrator in January. The Tesla Model S is an absolute incredible car. Blistering performance from a fully electric luxury performance car. Absolute instantaneous acceleration, excellent build quality, lots of space, two boots, a seven seat option, one of the highest safety ratings ever awarded, a superb drive past every petrol station... What more could you want? The Tesla deserves every single one of the endless industry awards that it has received. This car will be an industry changer. I have not seen a single negative review about this car. Hats off to Tesla!

Submitted: 2014-05-02 | ID: 94983

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Barbara Page, Surrey

Jeep Patriot 2008

5 star review

I am a dog walker, and was attracted to the 2008 Patriot in Inferno Red, very impressed, but so was my husband who commandeered it for himself, so we sold his old Terrano, and I decided to look for another Jeep for me. I found an 07 Compass, which is more ’feminine’ and has a smaller boot than the Patriot, but they both have the easy clean interiors which is vital for dog owners. We both use them to go the stables, and both are excellent, at the unmade tracks and appalling potholes, worsened by the floods in and around our area. Husband very pleased with consumption, I am averaging 32mpg but wonder if I am too heavy footed, or if its because I do all short journeys, collecting dogs from their homes, then walking them and home, then stables, and more walking before house-to-house returning dogs etc., there is also a chance mine needs a service, so thanks for the reviews, and will look into this. Haven’t had either long enough to comment in much detail, but so far nothing negative at all.

Submitted: 2014-03-25 | ID: 41868

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Andrew Waite, England

Volkswagen Transporter 1.9 2008

4 star review

Had starting problems on a VW T5 I bought a month ago. Dash said "safe". Tried everything I could, checked all fuses, checked brake lamps, as this apparently sends the engine management system silly, then checked on this website. Told me that it was the immobiliser. Apparently the new key remote carcass I got from a well know electronic market, but which has worked for a week, was the problem! Changed back the electronics into the old one, and hey presto! Thank you for your valued advice, much appreciated, and no doubt saved me a small fortune!

Submitted: 2014-01-15 | ID: 51363

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Stephen Kent, England

Vauxhall Vectra LS 1.8 16V 2008

5 star review

Bought the car from a forecourt for £1000, so I expected to pay money soon after purchase, and I wasn’t wrong. I’ve replaced the pads and discs all round, replaced one rear brake caliper, replaced inner joints on steering rack, and replaced all 4 tyres, had cambelt done by main dealer, and major service by main dealer, so the car now has cost me about £2000, BUT, it was worth every penny, it has done 82000 miles, the paintwork is close to mint and it drives like new. I wouldn’t swap it for the world, it has all mod cons, [air con, cruise con, elec windows, remote locking, anti jack locks]. I love it, the only problem I have to sort is the boot rattles a bit on rough roads, so if anyone knows if the adjustment is something that I could do myself please let me know.... Otherwise, its a SUPER CAR - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Responses to this review

Mine rattles aswell. I just pull the rubbers out a bit. It’s the parcel-shelf, my mate’s does it aswell. - Ben B from Torfaen

Submitted: 2013-07-23 | ID: 49817

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H Donald, England

Toyota Aygo Blue 2007

5 star review

I thought I’d write in because I’m really surprised how many negative Aygo reviews are on here. Obviously people are more likely to speak up if they have a complaint, so I thought I’d balance the books slightly. I’ve had my second hand Aygo Blue for three years now and it’s never let me down. I’m a very inexperienced and nervous driver, but this little car has given me confidence. It handles beautifully in narrow spaces, as you would expect. Steering is spot on. You can feel a little vulnerable and short on acceleration on a motorway, but that’s a standard small car woe. Passengers may complain of a hard ride, but if you’re a driver like me, you will appreciate being able to feel the road in a very responsive car. Extreme winter conditions did force me to switch to another car, but the Aygo performed as well as could be expected from any non-4x4. I have a five-door Aygo and it will definitely seat four grown adults, if not in the height of luxury than at least in perfect safety. You will remain pleasantly amazed and thankful that a car this small can have five doors. The interior is very basic and I like it that way - there are no annoying beeps, meaningless lights or any of that. The Aygo has a spacious and minimalist design I wish more high-end cars would adopt. The brakes on the Aygo will noticeably need warming up if the car has been sitting wet and cold. The clutch and the accelerator are just right. My main complaint about the Aygo is that the air conditioning, while good, it saps so much power and affects the otherwise superb miles-per-gallon so badly, I never drive with it on. I can only find part-time work at the moment, but the Aygo is so economical to run, motoring has not been the worrying expense it could easily have been otherwise. My Aygo has been in one minor collision (not its fault) and came off very well for it, with no injuries to me or the other party. In short, I would recommend this car, particularly to new drivers.

Submitted: 2012-08-29 | ID: 47912

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Alex, Australia

Suzuki Jimny 2012

4 star review

This is definitely a car with a personality. I’ve only had mine for 2 months and I can already say that it’s the best car I’ve owned. Yes it’s got a bumpy ride, yes it’s not a road rocket, yes it’s got a small boot, but by God it’s a ton of fun to bash around in. The Jimny will literally climb/crawl-over/slide around/vault any offroad obstacle you point it at! You simply skirt around the ones that are too big (it’s very skinny). On the road it’s got decent manners, but as I said before, it doesn’t have the softest ride. After about 115km/h it does start to get noisy, but beyond 125km/h it screams bloody murder! In saying that, the Jimny will zip around at 100km/h as happy as Larry. Rear passenger room is reasonable for small people and larger ones for a short period of time, but the front is pretty roomy in my opinion. I’m only 5’8’, so the seating doesn’t fuss me too much. I’ve been hearing people rabbit on about how terrible the fuel economy is but I beg to differ. My previous car was listed at 6.3L/100km and the Jimny at 7.1L/100km. Both of those cars still gave me 500km out of a 40 liter tank and I am not a very spirited driver. I would recommend the Jimny to a certain type of person. If you are someone who wants to go back to basics, drive a car that will give you it’s all 100% of the time (on and offroad), and aren’t going to miss frilly features like heated seats or luxury trim, then this is the car for you.

Responses to this review

I agree with you 100%, I have recently purchased a new Jimny in the UK and I have to say it is a car that gives you 100% every time you drive it. I have had BMW’s, VW’s and Jaguars, as silly as it sounds the Jimny pleases me more/ I love the driving position, the engine, it`s rock solid mechanics, everything in fact. What is it with these cars, why do they captivate their owners so much/ I love driving it – brilliant. My suggestion if people want one is buy one now, you won`t regret it, just don’t take tarmac corners, islands and bends too fast in the wet, they are not meant for that, take it easy - Lawrence Breakspear from Shropshire

I recently bought a 2002 Jimny, Auto with Air and Steer... I had been looking for some time for such a vehicle as we have recently bought 150 acres up on the Mid Norrth Coast of NSW and I needed a car to herd the cattle and run the fences. So far, so good. It performed better in the paddocks than the Pajero we have and better than the Rav 4. We also have .. but around town, and in city traffic... great fun. On the highway... a little screamer when asked to do 110 klm on the expressway, but in the paddocks where speed is irrelevant... FANTASTIC!! I am looking for a good Bash Plate under the motor and also wanted to know if there is a larger fuel tank available for it. - I am only getting 350 to 370 klm from a full tank!? Thanks people - Aussie Bob Grumblebu

Submitted: 2012-08-11 | ID: 47568

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Paul, Surrey

Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch SRI XP 1.6T 180 2008

5 star review

This is my 4th Astra H and definitely the best. Astra’s don’t get enough credit for their handling, which the Stig said would be nigh on perfect if the power delivery of the vxr model was smoother. It’s up there with the Renault megane 225 - surprising? Well here’s where the 180 horse power Sri turbo comes in. Smooth delivery, plenty of power (quite a bit faster then the 1.9 150, which I’ve previously owned) and an exhaust note that sounds great. The good thing about this engine is if you drive very light footed you can get 33-35mpg around town and 40 max on the motorway, although when you use the power that will drop to 25mpg or less. One thing I must say is don’t run cheap tyres on the front as in the wet you don’t get much grip at all, but a pair of decent ones will fix this. Overall I believe the Astra is good value, has nimble handling even on 18’s, the brakes are strong, looks great with the xp kit and I enjoy driving it every day. If you can get past badge snobbery then you’ll enjoy it too!

Submitted: 2012-01-25 | ID: 48965

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Richard Small, Worcestershire

Vauxhall Zafira 1.9 CDTi 150 Automatic 2005

4 star review

I note all the references to issues with the DPF and EGRV on diesel variants. Unfortunately, the emissions and particulates mitigation measures on modern diesels (of all makes) render them less suitable for short journeys and town driving than the old soot blasters. Consequently, if most of your driving is as above, you may be better off with a petrol model. However, I bought my car as a Network Q vehicle when it had done around 19k miles, and it is now almost at 145k miles! Most of this mileage has been on long, A-road or motorway journeys, avaraging >40mpg, and whilst I have had a few issues, these have been no worse than other cars I have owned, on lower mileages. In summary: My Zafira is the best car I have owned and one of the best I have driven. It is safe, roomy, comfortable, reasonably economical, reliable, not a bad looker, and it handles pretty well too! Finally, has anyone driven their Zafira in deep snow? Who needs 4WD, when you can breeze past BMWs and Mercedes embedded in every ditch and snowbank!

Responses to this review

I must be living in a parrallel universe! I am getting my 4th Zafira next month, I switch every 3 years. At 60 years old I must have owned up to 30 cars. The Zafira is a great car but the absolute WORST car I have ever had when it comes to snow - Dave Wharton from Yorkshire

Submitted: 2012-01-19 | ID: 50385

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Phil, Northumberland

Volvo Xc90 D5 SE 2004

4 star review

Well, I understand people’s frustration with low mpg figures but, honestly, what do you expect? It’s a big heavy car and takes a lot of shifting. It’s my wife’s main mode of transport, and she does around 20,000 miles per year with lots of stop/start, shortish journeys. She is lucky to get over 20mpg using it for work as she does. Having said that, we do really get up to 35mpg on a long run (and I do mean long; visiting our friends in South West Ireland from Northumberland is pretty long), if only we could get that sort of mileage all the time. We’ve had the car since new, and have done 140,000+ miles in it. The interior has worn very well with only the shininess of the drivers seat giving any indication of the car’s age. Even the DVD player hasn’t given any bother and has proved a boon keeping the kids quiet on the longer journeys. (15 hours straight the 1st time we visited Bantry! We’ve learned our lesson and now split the journey in Dublin!) Repairs are becoming a little more frequent now; the only one to give real concern being some ’plug’ in the engine giving way, allowing the engine oil to deposit itself over the garage floor. The plug was a simple plastic component (it’s replacement is steel) and costs a tenner. Fitting it cost £600 in labour!! We are keeping the car, as the only thing we can think of that is as practical as this is another XC90. We have considered both the Audi Q7 and the Disco. The Q7 isn’t big enough inside to take all of our holiday gear, and being prior Land Rover owners, we will never have another, as they are too unreliable with service to match! However, we now find it difficult to justify the high running (low mpg) costs to carry on using the XC90 as our day to day workhorse (it does the job admirably, it’s just too costly) and so have just bought a 2.0D Volvo V50 for my wife to use as a daily vehicle. (Excellent service from Mill Volvo Hexham has kept us very happily Volvo customers.) In summary: The XC90 equals superb, comfortable, family transport that has coped with the very worst of Northumberland winters with aplomb (if you’re struggling in snow, you have the wrong tyres on, the standard fit Conti’s are poor, try Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow). Our favourite sturdy workhorse. However, these days it’s becoming expensive at the pumps, and that’s why it loses a star, but everything else is darn near perfect as a family vehicle.

Responses to this review

I’m not quite sure where people are getting this "Q7 small on the inside" from. This is taken from Auto Express about the XC90. "This is great news for storage, although with the third row of seats folded away, its 615-litre boot can’t quite match the 626 litres offered by the shorter Honda. Using all seven seats eats into the luggage space, with only 249 litres behind them. Drop them all, and the XC90’s enormous dimensions pay dividends, with a van-like boot space of 1,837 litres - the biggest here." So the Volvo has 1837 litres with all seats down, 615 with five seats and 249 with all seats being used. This is what they have to say about the Q7 "Longer and wider than either the XC90 or M-Class, the Audi also has the largest wheelbase. As a result, interior room is impressive, and seven seats are fitted as standard. The middle row of chairs offers good head and legroom, while the rear pair flip up out of the boot floor with ease. Access to them through the side doors and past the middle bench is a squeeze, but there is adequate room for two adults, and they are perfect for children. In five-seat mode, the 775-litre boot capacity is bigger than its main rivals’, while with seven chairs in place the 330-litre volume is 81 litres larger than in the XC90." Also "Both the easy-folding second and third-row seating can fold flat expanding the luggage capacity to an enormous 2,035 litres." So that is 2,035 litres with all seats down, 775 with five seats and 330 with all seats being used. So luggage capacity is much greater than the XC90 in every seating configuration - from Buckinghamshire

I couldn’t agree more, the XC90 is a superb car. I have the D5 185 remapped with RICA Stage 2, now has 240bhp and averages 40mpg on a long run and around town 32mpg, before the remap I was getting around 33mpg and 27mpg respectively. It’s more economical now and can out run a X5 at the lights too - Jim Cookson from England

did you get it remapped or just buy the tuning box and has it had any negative effect on maintenance? - Alan rowe from Flintshire

Submitted: 2012-01-09 | ID: 51692

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Ray Meilak, Malta

SEAT Cordoba vario sdi 2000

5 star review

I bought this second hand, with 12,000 miles in 2002. It has now clocked 98,000 miles. It runs on bio-diesel and I’ve never had to change the diesel filter since using biodiesel. Everything still works perfectly and it has never has let us down once. A truly reliable car. SEAT are the unsung heros. I have had more trouble with all VW models, but not the Cordoba Vario. An amazing car!

Submitted: 2011-12-27 | ID: 47026

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