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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape