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

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect