Life and Style Toyota Verso Excel

'The ideal family car if you want peace and quiet'

Motoring: Why Doesn't Anybody Buy The Mazda Demio

A MAZDA what? Well, that proves the point. I have only seen one Demio in motion beyond the confines of a Mazda dealer's forecourt, and that was the one I drove a fortnight ago.

The sausages and media villagers of old England

DOUBTLESS THERE were thousands of Independent readers who found themselves moved by Richard Addis's article last week, "Why I'm glad to leave England" - moved, that is, to crack open a bottle of champagne and cry, "Good riddance to you then, you gloomy, long-faced misery-guts!"

Motoring: Road Test - An estate on the edge

Mazda's Premacy is a people-carrier designed to appeal to the sports car driver. By John Simister

The Irritations of Modern Life: 51. People Carriers

SO NOW we know. Should you crash head-first into something while driving your people carrier, four things will happen: the front section will cave in, the steering wheel will plunge into your chest like a metal assegai, your left leg will be sheared off and, because the child restraints are so ineffectual, your children will fly across the vehicle like doomed Peter Pans. Oh, and any pedestrian hit in this notional accident runs a higher than usual risk of being killed. So much for the British middle- class family's ultimate travelling machine.

Blair family car worst in safety test

"PEOPLE CARRIERS" used by thousands of parents for school runs are far less safe than they appear, according to crash tests which found that the model owned by Tony Blair came bottom.

Motoring: Road Test - I'd rather take the Scenic route

We'll all be driving MPVs soon. But maybe not this one. By John Simister

Motoring: The verdict - Not now, Voyager

Chrysler's Voyager is the world's largest people carrier. And that, say our testers, is the problem.

Who's next in the race to merge?

THE PROBLEM is that there are too many car makers making too many cars. It costs a minimum of $1bn to develop a volume car, and few corporations can bear such costs, particular in an industry estimated by analysts KPMG to be capable of building 15 million cars a year more than it can sell. Profit margins on new car sales are so thin that some dealers claim only to make money on after-sales service and used cars.

Motoring: Seat yourself down and enjoy the drive

Seat may be seen as a budget brand, but its new MPV offers real value for money

Motoring: How to get the best deals on wheels

With the launch of the S-plate today, John Blauth opens this two- page report with a guide on how to buy a new car

Motoring: Everyone can sit tall in a Sharan

Roger Bell reckons that it's a close finish between VW's Passat estate and the Sharan

Motoring: In for a long stretch with the grand daddy of them all

Renault will not let you take delivery of a Grand Espace until February, even though you could order one now. That is because production has only just begun. But as John Simister writes, it is a shame, seasonally speaking, that this extended Espace was not launched a couple of months earlier.

Motoring: The best new cars of 1997

This has not been a vintage year for new cars, but it's certainly been a memorable one. And we've seen a host of new 1997 motors muscling into our annual list of the class-best buys. Gavin Green chooses the best of the crop.

Motoring: How MPVs took us all for a ride

Sales of MPV vehicles are booming, largely because they're regarded as more versatile than normal saloons or estates. But in one major area - probably the major area - they're a con.

Transport: Prescott steers difficult course ...

John Prescott wants you to use your car less. The only problem is that some of his party do not agree. Randeep Ramesh and Colin Brown report.
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