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18

‘If you keep your right foot pinned, it feels like the back end is on castors’

Issue 6491 | Volume 310 | No 10

NEWS

BMW XM Mighty 740bhp Audi RS Q8 rival previewed 6 Kia Niro Official details of new-generation crossover 9 Taxi! New-tech vision that could revolutionise taxis 10 Ford Ranger Big revamp for UK’s best-selling pick-up 12 Labour’s road to zero Its plan for greener transport 14

TESTED

Pininfarina Battista Electric ‘hyper GT’ unleashed 18 Maserati Grecale Early drive of Porsche Macan rival 22 Porsche Taycan GTS Potentially world’s f inest EV 24 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross New-for-22 soft-roader rated 25 Volkswagen Polo Does latest facelift go far enough? 27 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake Europe-only estate 29 BMW M4 Competition Convertible 503bhp cabrio 29 Jaguar F-Pace P400e ROAD TEST 30

FEATURES C-Class vs rivals New Merc takes on BMW and Jag 38 80 years of Jeep Original and latest 4x4s driven 46 Ferrari’s year-end bash Exclusive fest at Mugello 55

OUR CARS Peugeot 508 PSE Hot £54k PHEV makes i ts debut 60 Jaguar XF From comfy cruiser to B-road blaster 61 Audi Q4 E-tron A 300-mile range i s enough. Right? 63

EVERY WEEK Jesse Crosse Cool eco cabin trim made from rattan 13 Jim Holder The law i sn’t keeping up with technology 15 Steve Cropley Kia EV6 rated; tales of Westfields 17 Damien Smith Best F 1 ti tle f ight maybe ever – but… 50 Motorsport round-up WRC, F1, Formula E, Indycar 51 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 52 Your Views Font of all knowledge is disappearing 58 Autocar Archive Access 125 years of issues for free 62 Matt Prior When restomods look right – and wrong 82

DEALS

James Ruppert Wanted: noughties 3 Series Touring 64 As good as new Citroën C4 Cactus from £5000 67 Spied in the classifieds £16k M3 plus four hot rivals 68 Used buying guide Scandi-cool Volvo XC90 from £1k 70 New cars A-Z Key car stats , from Abarth to Zenos 72 Road test index Track down that road test here 81

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THIS WEEK

NEW MERC C CLASS vs BMW, JAG RIVALS 38

WE CELEBRATE JEEP’S 80TH ANNIVERSARY 46

PLUG IN JAGUAR F PACE P400e: ROAD TEST 30

COVER STORY

❝WE SHOULDN’T BE SEEN TO BE PUNISHING PEOPLE FOR HAVING CHOICE AND FREEDOM ❞

SHADOW TRANSPORT MINISTER DISCUSSES LABOUR VISION FOR FUTURE TRANSPORT 14

BMW M MAKES ITS OWN V8 PHEV SUV 6

COMMENT

TWO VITAL MISSES FOR MERCEDES IN ONE MONTH

MERCEDES-BENZ HAS not looked back since it emerged from its quality issues of the late 1990s and troubled merger with Chrysler in the early 2000s, making ever more cars in more segments around the world. Typically, those models have struck the right balance between styling, driving dynamics and technology. Indeed, Mercedes has the vast sales numbers and profits to back this up. Yet consecutive big verdicts on these pages have seen two vital new models fall short. The EQA road test (17 November) found a car that felt like a rushed response to the burgeoning electric hatchback class and not worthy of the substantial price premium over better-executed rivals. Now the all-new C-Class finds itself well beaten by key rivals (p38), not just on driving dynamics but also on traditional Mercedes strengths of quietness, practicality, build quality, slickness and ease of use. There is no crisis at Mercedes – far from it. Mercedes, like all car makers, is trying to build ever better cars for the present while also funding the technologies of the future. With such a vast range and competing priorities, it won’t always get it right – yet as our C-Class group test shows, it would do well to rediscover the qualities on which its recent growth and success have been built on.

Mark Tisshaw Editor mark.tisshaw@haymarket.com

@mtisshaw

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