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‘ I f I have a 3D-printing factor y in space, I won’t have to worry about how big the part is’

THIS WEEK

Issue 6556 | Volume 315 | No 10

NEWS

Mercedes CLA All-new saloon heads line-up rethink 4 Baby Mercedes G-Class Rugged new compact SUV 7 Volkswagen ID 3 Facelift addresses software, quality 8 BMW backs H2 New iX5 Hydrogen starts public trial 10 Two new Fiat EVs Panda’s SUV rebirth, new hatch 12 Japan’s kei cars Could they be just right for Europe? 14 Insurers snub Rangie Problems for London owners 16

TESTED

BMW iX5 Hydrogen SUV of the future, driven today 24 Lexus RX All-new rival to the Range Rover Sport 28 Dacia Jogger Hybrid Renault E-Tech kit, but for less 30 Volvo V60 Cross Country Why buy an SUV? 31 Toyota Hilux 2.8 D-4D GR Sport ROAD TEST 32

FEATURES Peugeot 408 vs rivals Three oddballs, all excellent 40 Fresh prints Silverstone firm’s 3D-printed car parts 46 Formula 1 preview Expert insight on 2023 season 48 Name that SUV Can you identify these big sellers? 52

OUR CARS Kia Sportage Final verdict is in on our hybrid SUV 60 Ford Mustang Mach-E Odd truth behind range drop 63 Vauxhall Astra Awkward mishap, plus PHEV’s MPG 65 Volvo XC40 Recharge Better or worse than a C40? 66 Citroën C5 Aircross Electric-only running at last 67

EVERY WEEK Jesse Crosse New tech puts car thieves out of work 13 Jim Holder Challenges Ford faces in F1 with Red Bull 15 Matt Prior Balance of power: good or bad? Discuss 17 Steve Cropley Why the i10 could be a dream solution 19 Damien Smith F1’s top three; plus the Daytona 500 21 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 22 Your Views The must-own RX-8; Grenadier; 530d 56 On this day Skyline, Noble, 360: party like it’s 1999 59 Slideshow Did they really go rallying in these cars? 82

DEALS

As good as new Best way to bag a bargain BMW X3 68 James Ruppert When left-hand-drive cars add up 69 Cult hero Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG, now £20k 70 New cars A-Z Key car stats, from Abarth to Zenvo 72 Road test index Track down that road test here 81

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COMMENT

MERC LINE-UP: SIMPLIFY, THEN ADD RIGHTNESS

F1 SEASON PREVIEW: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW 48

TOYOTA HILUX GR SPORT: FULL ROAD TEST 32

PEUGEOT 408 TAKES ON CUPRA AND GENESIS 40

C O V E R STORY

❝ IT BLENDS THE BEST ATTRIBUTES OF ICE AND BEV MODELS, SUFFERING NONE OF THE DRAWBACKS❞

THE iX5 SHOWS BMW IS HYDROGEN-READY, SAYS RICHARD LANE, EVEN IF THE UK ISN’T 24

NO CAR MAKER has been more adept at expanding its range and finding ever more niches to fill in recent years than MercedesBenz. A look at our data pages (p72) shows Mercedes has 29 models, only one less than Ford and VW combined.

But how many’s too many? Mercedes’ rapid growth over the past decade – which at times has put it ahead of rivals Audi and BMW in the global sales charts – has created a situation where its models compete with one another, with confused nomenclatures and hierarchy. It’s been hard to keep up. Mercedes is tak ing steps to remedy this, by halving the line-up of its smallest models (p4). Gone will be the A-Class and B-Class, a sign of the market moving from more traditional segments to crossovers and SUVs.

Still, more work is needed. By establishing a naming convention for its all-electric cars that’s different from the one its combustion range uses, Mercedes has caused confusion with hierarchy, and where each model sits. Car makers have always been at their strongest when they’ve had a core model around which the rest of the range gravitates. R ight now with Mercedes, it’s hard to know what that car is, or what it should be called.

Mark Tisshaw Editor mark.tisshaw@haymarket.com

@mtisshaw Rachel Burgess is away

IMAGE

NEW CLA AND MERCEDES’ RADICAL RETHINK 4

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