Arts and Entertainment

Warmth and wit light up this festive box of delights 

Toyota orders safety tests on 4x4s

Toyota said today it was testing the safety of all its sport-utility vehicles after an American consumer magazine warned that the Lexus GX 460 could roll over and told readers not to buy it.

From hockey mom to diva: contract reveals Sarah Palin's taste for luxury

Inquiry reveals that hiring former governor of Alaska to speak is not so much high-maintenance as high-risk

Car Choice: This just goes to show, two into one will go

Richard Harrison has recently retired, and plans to replace his Mercedes C automatic – used for towing – and his wife's Toyota automatic Rav4, with just one vehicle. Richard is thinking about a SUV-type vehicle with higher driving position and four-wheel drive. The vehicle needs to have space in the rear for a dog cage, be automatic, a diesel, be suitable for towing a smallish caravan, and will cover about 12,000 miles a year. His price range is up to £25,000.

Hyundai iX35

Hyundai's iX35 is an SUV – ideal for people who don't really like SUVs

Sean O'Grady: Sad farewell to a symbol of excess

As one of the few people in this country to have driven a Hummer, I do feel a little bit sorry to see them go. I'm all in favour of choice and automotive variety – why not? – and there really was nothing quite as outrageous as a Hummer. The big one was a glorious piece of kit: big, bad and dangerous for any planet to know. It was defiant, indefensible, a symbol of excess.

It's the end of the road for Hummer

A deal to sell off GM's gas-guzzling monster machines has fallen through – and their prospects are looking increasingly bleak

GM's Hummer deal with China threatened

Beijing regulators fail to approve deal as deadline draws closer

Volkswagen takes the wraps off the new Touareg

Volkswagen has released the first pictures of the next version of its Touareg SUV. The most obvious developments, apart from styling changes designed to bring the Touareg's look into line with that of other recent VW models, are weight savings of up to 200 kg compared with the outgoing model, and the availability for the first time of a hybrid drivetrain.

Kia shows off smoother new Sportage

Kia has released the first official photos of its second-generation Sportage SUV. The new car will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show next month and go on sale in the UK later this year.

Toyota Land Cruiser

It’s the perfect vehicle for these frozen times

Amy Jenkins: Lost in the meat-eaters' moral maze

Alicia Silverstone has changed the way I think about the food industry

Sales boost for the physics book found in Tiger's car

Tiger Woods may be known for his brilliant golf, but few people would have guessed that he was also a fan of physics. Photographs of his battered Cadillac Escalade revealed that he was reading Get a Grip on Physics by veteran science writer John Gribbin.

Mystery of Tiger Woods and the golf club 'rescue'

"I'm asked why people don't often see me and Elin in gossip magazines or tabloids," Tiger Woods wrote on his Facebook page a few weeks ago. "I think we've avoided a lot of media attention because we're kind of boring."

Skoda Yeti Elegance

The new Skoda Yeti. It's not remotely abominable and it's certainly not made of snow. Nor does it have a big footprint – whether you're talking about the carbon variety or the amount of space it takes up on the road.

BMW XI

It's a BMW, but where's all the joy they promised? The new X1 doesn't live up to the advertising slogan
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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform