The 51 thorough tests of Actualidad Motor in 2018
2018 has been a very busy year for us and for our testing section. In addition to the product tests in presentations, which are rather contact shots because they are usually rather brief tests where we do not have enough time to examine a model at 100%, we have made no less than 51 tests thoroughly In this article you can see what all the models we have tested have been and a very brief summary of each of them.
As you will see below, we have tried all types of carsstrong>. Sports, saloons, compact, utilitarian, luxurious, more affordable ..., but above all we have tried a lot of SUV vehicles . Many of you, final customers, are deciding on this type of vehicle, and our duty is to examine them in order to advise you. Forward !
The first test of the year was done by my partner Diego López, who was in charge of testing and transmitting his sensations to the controls of one of the most interesting utilities on the market, the Suzuki Swift. It is a pity that few customers think of the Swift when they look for an urban model, because honestly it is a very fun car to drive and also economical.
The second model that passed through our section of tests in 2018 was the Nissan X-Trail. The elder brother of the Qashqai showed us the reasons why he was one of the kings of the D-SUV segment. We tested it in one of the most balanced versions, that is, with the N-Connecta finishing level, which already has a good equipment supply, and the 1.6 dCi 130 hp engine. Of course, our unit had three rows of seats.
Ford Fiesta span>
We had been chasing the Ford Fiesta for some time and finally managed to get to its controls. The utilitarian of the American brand did not disappoint at all, being one of the most interesting alternatives for this category. For me, in the Top3 of the segment. We tested it with the level of Titanium finish and the 1.0 Ecoboost 125 HP engine; a version that left us very good taste.
Still in the cold month of January, we got on the Lexus NX 2018, a model that presented its renewal in 2017. The NX is a rival of vehicles as recognized as the Audi Q5, both by exterior size and brand positioning, and remember that Lexus is a premium automotive firm. The main feature of this model is that it has a self-rechargeable hybrid system with 197 hp .
Audi S4 Avant
The Audi S4 Avant is not an extreme sports car, but its 354 HP, the Quattro drive and its noble behavior make it a more than versatile car . It is practical both to make the purchase of the month and to travel with the family, and also allows you to have a great time when you face a mountain road with total security.In February we put ourselves at the controls of the Opel Grandland X in its version 1.2 turbo petrol with 130 hp. It is a very comfortable car, very spacious and with a fairly acceptable price , but it is also true that some qualities of the interior seemed a bit improvable.
A week later we had to put ourselves at the controls of another SUV, but probably of the SUV with better performance outside the asphalt market for its segment. We refer to the Subaru XV, a car that meets all the usual characteristics of Subaru, such as permanent integral traction or the complete EyeSight system. During our test we could see and feel the great offroad skills of this model, although it is also true that it is not the best vehicle of its category for asphalt.
The Volkswagen Polo also premiered new generation during the year 2017, putting us at the controls of this vehicle for segment B at the beginning of 2018. Alejandro tested it in the Sport version and with the 1.0 hp 95 hp engine. As almost always in the German firm, great quality in finishes and materials for its category, but a somewhat conservative design and a high selling price.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Going back to SUVs and crossovers , our partner Enrique was at the controls of the new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. This model attracted a lot of attention when it was presented for its design , but also for the fact that it received the name Eclipse, which we all had linked to a sports model of the Japanese firm. The perceived quality is better than expected, but it is no less true that its fuel consumption is much higher than the average of its rivals.
At the beginning of March we put on at the wheel of the Nissan Navara. I recognize that the pick-up I like them a lot, because they can be very fun when driving off the road. In this case, for its rear suspension scheme, the Navara is also a car more comfortable than most of its rivals at the time of circulating without load in the box or asphalt, so it is a more recommended option for individuals. We tested it with the 190 hp twin-turbo engine.
Opel Crossland X
Enrique was launching a new test in Actualidad Motor, writing now about his impressions with the Opel Crossland X diesel of 120 HP. The model B-SUV of the German firm is a spacious and energy-efficient car designed especially for young families, as they claim. It highlights the trunk and the space for the rear seats taking into account their exterior size, being able to improve interior finishing details or a somewhat bland design -to our taste-.
One of the brands that are presenting the most elegant and elegant designs of the last years is, without a doubt, Volvo. A clear example of this is the Volvo XC60 that went through our testing section in the last days of last winter, being a D4 version with four-wheel drive and Inscription finish.Maybe it is one of the cars with the best price-power ratio that has passed through our hands in this 2018, being one of the reasons why it should be a model to take into account for those customers who are looking for an affordable and powerful road . Obviously it does not have the best finishing on the market, but you can say very clearly and loudly that it is an honest vehicle
With the Skoda Octavia we changed of third. As you know, the Octavia is a sedan with a high ride comfort and large space inside. We tested it with the 150 hp TSI engine and the double clutch DSG gearbox, probably one of the most interesting versions for this model due to its smooth operation and more than enough mechanical performance.
In the middle of April, I played, again, putting ourselves at the controls of an SUV. In this case it was the new Renault Koleos in the elegant finish Initiale Paris and the 177 hp diesel engine. The strong point of this vehicle is its differentiated exterior design and the great space it offers in its interior. Despite this, it is fair to admit that we did not like its mechanics so much, because the feeling is that it did not push much for the declared power.
Ford Focus RS
You could say that the first extreme sports car that passed through our hands in 2018 as a long-term test was the Ford Focus RS. It is probably the most compact compact sports car on the market , with a 350 HP engine, four-wheel drive and very aggressive behavior. Hopefully the new generation of the Focus RS will arrive soon. Will it be so fun to drive?
Volkswagen Arteon, that attempt to re-emerge the Passat CC style of the German brand, has also gone through our testing section. I tested my partner Alejandro with the 2.0 TDI twin turbo 240 HP engine and R-Line finish. But that aesthetics does not deceive us, it is not a sports car, nor does it want to be. It seeks to position itself as an attractive sedan coupe , and the truth is that it does, because it offers a great ride comfort, although at a high price, everything has to be said.
After trying the Nissan Navara, I could not resist to fully test the Toyota Hilux. The pick-up of Toyota has less performance in asphalt for its lower power and, by using springs as a spring in the rear train, offers a more uncomfortable behavior. However, when we leave the asphalt and roads in good condition, its architecture makes the difference . For something is the most recognized pick-up east side of the Atlantic, right?
Hyundai i30 N
A new sports compact appeared in our test section, and go surprise We take with him. I speak of the Hyundai i30 N, a new hothatch with which the South Korean brand showed that it also knows how to create exciting cars, without having to go to outrageous prices. We tested it in its 250 hp version, which does not have a self-locking differential, but it still convinced us.As usual in Skoda, this model has a large interior space for occupants, a good luggage compartment and high travel comfort, in addition to the multiple Simply Clever solutions the company.
Honda Civic Type R
The third sports compact that passed through our hands in 2018 was the Honda Civic Type R, a model that a server really wanted to" take the glove. " It did not disappoint at all, with a extremely effective behavior and a very high motor for a vehicle with 320 HP to the front. The aesthetics so aggressive is a hallmark of the Japanese model, and may like more or less, but I think that some more sound escape would do no harm to this Type R.
The BMW X3 also came to our garage in 2018, testing it thoroughly in its xDrive20d version, which translates to a 2-liter diesel engine with 190 hp and four-wheel drive. It is an expensive car that, obviously, prefers to move on asphalt a thousand times before the mud. Your travel comfort is very high , with a wide range of driving support systems and a high perceived quality in your cabin. As usual with this type of premium cars, it is a pity.
Seat Leon Cupra
Previously we had tried many different versions of the best selling compact in our country, but we had never brought a proof of its most prestacional version. We decided to solve this problem and we put ourselves in command of the Seat Leon Cupra with front-wheel drive and manual transmission. It is not the sport compact that transmits more sensations, but it is very effective and its selling price is more than interesting . Of course, as advice, in this car better to choose the DSG transmission.
In 2017 we were in the presentation of the new Audi Q5 and the truth is that it left a good taste in our mouths , so we asked for a unit to perform a long-term test and so you can tell more impressions on this premium SUV, direct rival to the aforementioned BMW X3. Alejandro tried it with the 190 hp 2.0 TDI engine, the DSG change and the Quattro drive. It stands out, as usual in Audi, the good interior design and a high quality of rolling.
One of the most striking cars launched by BMW in 2018 is the BMW X2. It is a more sporting brother of the X1, sharing platform and mechanics. His behavior is more dynamic, while his design makes him really attractive , and I say that I'm not exactly passionate about crossovers. My partner Enrique examined it thoroughly in the xDrive20d version and the M Sport X aesthetic package.
The Subaru Impreza denomination has completely changed its meaning. We no longer refer to a car practically rally, but to a compact that offers much more than others and at a much more contained price. Permanent integral traction, automatic change, boxer motor and Eyesight safety system as standard. A very special and car unique in our market . One of the ones with the most love for me is the Toyota GT86, which has an atmospheric 200 HP front engine, self-locking rear propulsion, manual gearbox, precise steering and a very tight total weight. In addition, in this tested version incorporates a Brembo brake system. Yes, its price has risen quite a bit and it is not as affordable as before.
Opel Insignia Sports Tourer
In the meantime SUV, saloons have significantly reduced their sales. And it's a shame, because when we tried the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer we remember that really a family saloon is more practical, comfortable and dynamic than any road of similar size. In addition, its fuel consumption is lower. In this case, we tested it with the 170 hp 2.0 CDTi engine, which showed a lot of power delivery for this model.
Sales of urban crossovers continue to grow abysmally. One of the members of this segment B-SUV is the Kia Stonic, which offers good dynamics for an ideal set-up. Habitability is also very generous considering its exterior size. Worse are the figures of consumption obtained with its mechanic tricilíndrica 120 HP, which were a bit high.
Audi A7 Sportback
In August we were telling you about the impressions of a model of the house of the four rings The Audi A7 Sportback came to our garage with its new design and all the technological load that it brings together, associated with the engine called 50 TDI, a diesel of 286 HP. The perceived quality in the interior is very high, which is combined with a great rolling on the highway and a fantastic agility in city and twisty roads thanks to the rear axle directrix.
The most urban SUV of the Swedish firm, the Volvo XC40 received us in version D4, with four-wheel drive and Momentum finish. As is usual in Volvo, the XC40 offers a good perceived quality of all the components in the passenger compartment, as well as a remarkable comfort for the occupants. In this case we also talk about a differentiated exterior design of its older brothers, with a more youthful and urban aspect . As negative points, the capacity of the trunk is not very large and its price is somewhat far from many pockets.
Another SUV for the B segment tested in 2018 is the Honda HR-V. Just a few minutes after launching the test, the brand announced the restyling for this vehicle - it seems that they did it on purpose - changing slight external aspects and granting some variations in their equipment. In any case, the dynamic behavior and other details such as internal capacity, do not change at all. We tried it with the magnificent diesel engine of 1.6 liters and 120 HP.
Subaru WRX STi
If we talk about a sports sedan with a large spoiler on its trunk, We all think of the Subaru WRX STi. Maybe it was the test that most excited me in this 2018.It will not be the fastest circuit, but the level of fun achieved is hardly improvable in a car of its price.
Putting a bit more reason, the Skoda arrived Spaceback This model will be replaced during the next year by the new Scala, but it does not stop being an interesting alternative in our days. We tested it with the engine that most closely matches its philosophy, which is the 1.0 TSI of 95 HP, associating in our case with the DSG change. Undoubtedly, a car little taken into account by customers for all that it can offer us .
The Peugeot 5008 is one of the cars best-selling segment D-SUV , and no wonder. My partner Enrique examined it thoroughly with the 1.5-hp BlueHDi 130-hp engine and the GT-Line sports finish. As you know, it takes the base of the 3008, but increases its total length several centimeters to offer a larger passenger compartment, which can also have a third row of seats and thus accommodate two more occupants. A hard rival of the X-Trail that we tried at the beginning of the year.
The Mazda6 received a subtle update at the beginning of this summer, slightly varying its exterior and interior design, but incorporating some news in terms of equipment and mechanics. We tested it on family body, Mazda6 Wagon, and with the Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine of 145 HP. It has aspects to improve, such as the infotainment system and the poor quality of the rear view camera, but its dynamics and comfort in travel has nothing to envy to German premium firms. For price and equipment it is a very interesting option in the D segment.
If there is a luxury saloon coupe above all, in our opinion, the Mercedes-Benz CLS. This model was in charge of opening a new category, and recently its third generation has arrived. Enrique tried it in version 350 d, which has a mechanical diesel of 286 HP and 600 Nm. Yes, as you are thinking, it is the direct rival of the A7 Sportback 50 TDI tested previously. With which of the two would you stay?
Ford Ka + Active
The American brand of the blue oval offered us a Ford Ka + Active to test. The expectations were not very high, but everything changed within a few kilometers of driving it. It is an urban car with a slightly elevated body and with few offroad capabilities. However, thanks to that higher height and its compact dimensions, they make a car very easy to drive in the city . Its 85 hp atmospheric engine does not give much on the road, but on urban roads it shows enough. I admit that I liked this model a lot more than expected.
Mercedes Class A
The fourth generation of the Mercedes Class A has arrived in the market a few months ago breaking all sales records. We could try it for a few tens of kilometers in his presentation, but we decided to ask the brand to carry out a thorough test of one of the most demanded versions, the Mercedes A 180 d.Although it is not a precisely affordable variant, we liked its behavior and especially the great aplomb on fast roads , very close to that can transmit a superior model like the Seat Leon.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
My partner José Antonio was at the wheel of Alfa Romeo Stelvio. For us it is one of the most beautiful SUVs on the market, and probably the one that offers a better dynamic behavior . It is true that it has details to improve, but it can be perfectly measured face to face with many of its rivals of German origin, such as the Q5, the X3 or the GLC. " Considering where its commercial name comes from, it is not surprising that its development results in an exemplary dynamic behavior.
The Volkswagen Golf is probably the most balanced compact on the market. As we always say, he is not the best in anything, but he approves with good grades in all aspects. Since the sales of diesel cars do not stop falling for the benefit of gasoline vehicles, we put ourselves at the controls of the Golf 1.5 TSI Evo 150 HP and the sporty finish R-Line.
Mercedes-Benz E 220 d Coupé
The Mercedes E-Class has numerous body styles, but the most elegant is the Coupé variant. Enrique was at the controls of the Mercedes E-Class Coupe with 220 d engine, which develops 194 hp. It is not a very sporty car at a dynamic level, betting more on a remarkable comfort of travel and a very contained consumption thanks, in good part, to its gearbox with 9 speeds. A pity that at least you have to pay almost 55,000 euros for this model.
Hyundai i30 Fastback
The third body to arrive to the Asian compact, after the saloon and family, is the so-called Hyundai i30 Fastback. It is a sedan with a very careful design that, although it will not take most of the commercialization of the model, offers a greater practicality than the 5 doors and a more differentiated design. Alejandro tried it on Style finish and the 1.4 petrol engine with 140 HP.
Mini Cooper S
MINI is synonymous with fun, and even more so when we talk about the MINI Cooper S three doors. With this car we enjoyed like children when the curves reached twists , but we were surprised by their great poise and quality of running on fast roads. We also liked your engine very much, with a constant thrust in practically the entire rev range. We tried it with the automatic change, which showed a faultless operation at all times.
One of the most interesting novelties on the market during this year 2018 is the new generation of the French saloon. We were able to test the Peugeot 508 with a GT-Line finish and a 130-hp diesel engine, leaving us perplexed by its aesthetics but also by the great technological load it has received.This test corresponds to the previous generation model . We had the opportunity to bring this stunning car to the test section and we could not say no. My partner Enrique, who could prove it, still dreams of the sound of the V8 roaring to the maximum while pressing the right pedal fully and the 557 HP left welded to the back of the seat. No wonder ...
Toyota Proace Verso
For large families, choosing a car is not a simple task. A very good option may be the Toyota Proace Verso, because although its materials are less elaborate than those of a passenger car, it offers many safety systems that are not typical of vans. The best thing about this vehicle is its space, but also the modularity that it offers us to distribute it in the way that best suits us at all times. We can have eight very large places to travel, or leave only two to make a move ...
Ford Fiesta ST
One of the last cars tested in this 2018 has been the Ford Fiesta ST. The most dynamic version of the utility drew a smile on our face on each curve and on each line . Its passage through the curve is simply brutal, while the 200 HP get the lines are too short. This car, today, does not have a rival to make it shade. Ah, even if your engine is three cylinders, do not dare to belittle it. You will be surprised!
The second generation of the best-selling electric tourism on the planet has also gone through our testing section. We refer to the Nissan Leaf, which with the generational change has given a giant jump over its predecessor . The aesthetic change is very remarkable, with a very personal design, but even more changes its technology, incorporating notable improvements. It also highlights its large interior space and trunk capacity. It is a pity that the infrastructures of our country remain precarious in the field of electric vehicles.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
And as a finishing touch, this last week of 2018 We have tested the new Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. It is the older brother of the "normal" Tiguan, which offers a passenger compartment of up to 7 seats and a large boot capacity. The second row of seats has plenty of space in all directions. The third, for its part and as expected, is not recommended for adults. We tested it with the 150 hp TDI diesel engine, DSG shift and 4Motion traction.You may be interested