Life and Style Toyota Verso Excel

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

Coming soon to a forecourt near you

Gavin Green on the new models for the new year

Volkswagen Sharan 2.0GL

road test

Six of the best family resorts

There's no such thing as a good resort for families - or a bad one, for that matter. Any resort is worth considering. How old are the kids? Do you or do you not plan to use the resort's childcare facilities? Which tour operators go there? Do you or do you not want the the children to be able to venture out into the village on their own? How good are they at skiing? How happy to go into ski school? What are they likely to want to do when they're not skiing?

Launch costs hurt Chrysler

RUSSELL HOTTEN

Road test / PEUGEOT 806

Call it what you will - MPV, people carrier, monocab or glazed van - the new Peugeot 806 is a clever vehicle. It has sliding rear doors, bags of room, opulent furnishings and up to eight seats that can be twisted round, folded up, or simply removed. All this with car-like dynamics and a road "footprint" no bigger than an ordinary saloon's. Given such versatility, why is Peugeot forecasting modest first-year sales? Because the square- backed, bluff-fronted 806 has an image problem that only time and familiarity will overcome.

road test Toyota RAV4

Rather than concede defeat in the burgeoning market for MPVs (multi- purpose vehicles), Honda has distanced its new Shuttle from the mainstream opposition. With its pounds 23,000 price tag and take-it-or-leave-it specification, it sits at the top end of the market where sales are low and profit margins high.

road test: Ford Galaxy

Between them, Ford's Galaxy and Volkswagen's Sharan represent the latest interpretation of the MPV, or multi-purpose vehicle. They are built in Portugal at a factory jointly owned by the two companies, and each one manages to look convincingly Ford-like or VW-like thanks to clever use of company-specific embellishment.

It's the same difference

When is a Ford not a Ford? Answer: when it's a Probe or a Maverick. Despite the blue oval badges on the cars and on the dealers selling them, and despite what the ads imply and the image conveys (Ford: sensible, reliable and ritzy in an Essex sort of way), this coup and offroader are not really Fords at all. They are Mazdas and Nissans respectively - Japanese cars rebadged by Britain's most successful car maker to cash in on its brand name.

Diversion stuns Chrysler

The $22bn bid for the car-maker may prove hard to finance and be badly timed. William Kay in London and David Usborne in New York explain why

Auto Biography: The Toyota Previa in 0-60 seconds

WHEN students enter competitions to design 'Cars of The Future', they often make them look like the Toyota Previa. It's a concept that brilliantly marries two contradictory notions: a) a very large box you can stuff a lot of things into, and b) a winged chariot that, Hermes-like, looks as if it's making short work of a stiff headwind.

Snooze cruiser

Land Rover is planning to launch a new 5-door 4x4 in 1997. Smaller than a Discovery, it will be a cross between a sports utility and a minivan, and will include a seating arrangement

Four-wheels on thin ice: Competition and the cost of fuel could put a brake on sales boom

LAND ROVER announced last week it was spending pounds 68m expanding production of its Discovery offroader. This is the ninth production increase since it was launched in 1989, making Discovery the most successful British vehicle for many years.

Neon right

American car maker Chrysler has confirmed that its Escort-sized Neon saloon will be offered in the UK in right-hand drive. It will go on sale in spring 1996 and be followed a year later by the Voyager, a seven-seat people carrier.

MOTORING / Auto Biography: The Renault Espace V6 in 0-60 seconds

ASK the seven passengers accommodated in a Renault Espace what they think of it, and six will say more or less the same thing. First they'll comment that you need an HGV licence to drive it, then they'll mention the flat surface the size of Salisbury Plain between the dashboard and the windscreen. When your rearmost passenger seems so far away as to be invisible and inaudible, it's true that the Espace feels like a bus to drive. But, in the end, a car is still all it is. The rectangle it occupies on the road is the same size as any family saloon, and once you have shaken off the illusion that you're handling something unwieldy, its high driving position is very reassuring.

Jessica leaves to start life with parents: Trauma as childless couple fight to last minute to keep the toddler they have raised from birth

JESSICA, the two and a half-year-old toddler at the centre of an adoption wrangle that has anguished the United States, has left home. Under orders of the courts, the couple who have raised her almost since birth tearfully bade her farewell and surrendered her to a couple she barely knows but who conceived her.
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London