The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

New car registration special March 2014: 4x4s & SUVs


Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Vogue SE

Despite strong competition from the new BMW X5, the Range Rover is still the car to beat at the expensive end of this category. It’s as good at climbing mountains as it is at wafting along motorways, which means that this all-rounder attracts buyers looking for luxury saloons as well as 4x4s. A fact reflected by Jeremy Clarkson when he reviewed the Range Rover: “It is a fantastic car. Not just the best off-roader in the world but one of the best cars full stop.”

This latest generation, which has now been on sale for more than a year, is far lighter than the previous version, which improves its performance, handling and fuel economy. It also boasts a luxurious interior with the feel of a Danish living room. Land Rover can’t produce enough of them, and that’s reflected in the offers available for new registrations. We asked it to give us its best deal on the car, and were sent details of its standard deals instead — with no dealer contributions or attractive interest rates. Clearly, right now the best costs top dollar.

Engine 2993cc, V6 diesel
Acceleration 0-60mph: 7.4sec
Fuel / CO2 37.7mpg / 196g/km
Road tax J (first year £475; then £260)

Price £77,910
Deposit £17,970
Payments £899 x 36 months
Optional final payment £39,381
Interest rate 7.9%
Total payable £89,715

Search for used Range Rover on driving.co.uk

 

Ford Kuga Titanium 2.0 TDCi (163PS) AWD

Ford could be accused of playing it safe with its second-generation Kuga soft-roader. Launched at the start of 2014, it had no radical mechanical changes from the original model — why fix what isn’t broken? The Kuga formula entails a high driving position in a practical cabin, a 456-litre boot and a pleasant though perhaps unexciting driving experience. The bestselling model is the four-wheel-drive 2-litre TDCi.

Big improvements have been made to the Kuga’s cabin quality, though, and some neat gadgets introduced, including a powered tailgate that, cleverly, can be activated with a kick beneath the rear bumper. For the average driver with family in tow, such features have more value than the ability to corner as if on rails.

Engine 1997cc, 4-cylinder, diesel
Acceleration 0-62mph: 9.9sec
Fuel / CO2 47.9mpg / 154g/km
Road tax G (£175 a year)

Price £26,590 (with metallic paint)
Deposit £5,850.87
Payments £269 x 23 months
Optional final payment £14,730
Interest rate 4.2% APR
Total payable £26,767.87


Search for used Ford Kuga on driving.co.uk

 

Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DIG-T Acenta Premium manual 2WD

Can the new Qashqai, launched earlier this year, match the massive success of the original? The answer is: almost certainly. It’s a good family car in most respects, with a couple of big drawbacks: rear visibility is poor and the boot is too small. It is a squeeze for the typical family with a couple of kids, a pushchair and armfuls of bags. This is down to Nissan’s decision to discontinue the “+2” seven-seat version, which came with a larger boot to accommodate its extra two chairs.

On the plus side, the interior looks swish and feels expensive. It’s dominated by an easy-to-use touchscreen, and all sorts of driving aids keep the driver and passengers safe. This is a refined car — you’ll have no worry about embarking on the annual family camping trip in it. Assuming, that is, you can fit the tent in the boot …

Engine 1197cc, 4 cylinders, turbo
Acceleration 0-62mph: 11.3sec
Fuel / CO2 50.4mpg / 129g/km
Road tax D (first year free; then £105)

Price £20,995
Deposit £5,149.21
Payments £249 x 36 months
Optional final payment £9,513.68
Interest rate 6.9%
Total payable £23,626.89

Search for used NIssan Qashqai on driving.co.uk

 

Also see:

Superminis

MPVs and estates

City cars

Family cars

Sports cars

Executive cars