40

‘We were jumping and the rear axle bent, bent, bent. They were quite happy to see how much i t can take’

THIS WEEK

Issue 6609 | Volume 319 | No 13

NEWS

Tesla Model 2 £25k hatch on the way, plus Roadster 4 MG 2 Budget electric city car to rival Dacia Spring 6 Renault 4 Crossover being prepped for 2025 launch 8 Ineos Fusilier New 4x4 and bosses on brand’s plans 10 Fiat Panda Upscaled and reborn to rival Renault’s 5 12 Aston supercar Vanquish name likely for V12 coupé 14 JLR dealership plans Agency sales model is now off 16

TESTED

Volkswagen Passat Bigger, new-generation estate 22 Mini Countryman SE All4 Two motors, fun ethos 26 Mercedes V-Class Updated MPV, plus electric EQV 28 Peugeot e-3008 Family SUV passes usability test 30 BMW 520i Entry-level petrol is a compelling choice 30 Fiat 600e Significant Avenger-based EV crossover 31 Audi Q4 E-tron More power, improved efficiency 32 Kia EV9 Air Now just one motor but still seven seats 32 Mercedes EQB Crucial upgrades for practical EV 33 Mercedes EQS 450 SUV ROAD TEST 46

FEATURES 75 years of Porsche 356/2 and today’s 911 driven 34 Dancing on ice GR Yaris and WRC crew in icy Finland 40 Geneva motor show What does its future look like? 44

OUR CARS Honda e:Ny1 EV crossover makes first impression 54 Audi SQ8 E-tron Views changed after 4000 miles 55 Volkswagen ID Buzz The van that drives like a car 56 Citroën ë-C4 X Fan of petrol version gives EV a go 57

EVERY WEEK Jesse Crosse Battery tech set to slash price of EVs 13 Secret Source The MPV that wasn’t all it seemed 15 Matt Prior Oh, officer, speed limits are so confusing 17 Steve Cropley EV noises; Geneva show; Apple’s car 19 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 20 Damien Smith Romain Dumas and 1400bhp EV van 21 Your Views Love for the Mk1 Focus; breakdown tale 58 From the archive Star cars from 1970 Geneva show 65 Slideshow Car of the Year winners no one predicted 74

DEALS

Second Chance Why a Mk4 Mégane is a canny buy 60 James Ruppert Sleek diesel two-doors from £1000 63 Road test index Track down that road test here 67 New cars A-Z Key car stats, from Abarth to Zenvo 68

Autocar (ISSN 1355-8293 USPS 25-185) is published weekly by Haymarket Media Group, Bridge House, 69 London Road, Twickenham TW1 3SP, United Kingdom. The US annual subscription price is $190.00. Air freight and mailing in the USA by agent named World Container Inc, 150-15, 183rd Street, Jamaica, NY 11413, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Brooklyn, NY 11256. US postmaster: Send address changes

to Autocar, Air Business Ltd, c/o World Container Inc, 150-15, 183rd Street, Jamaica, NY 11413, USA.

Subscription records are maintained at Haymarket Media Group, Bridge House, 69 London Road,

Twickenham TW1 3SP, United Kingdom. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent. Autocar is published by Haymarket Media Group, Bridge House, 69 London Road, Twickenham,

TW1 3SP, United Kingdom, haymarket.com Te l +44 (0)20 8267 5000 Autocar magazine is also published in Estonia, Greece, India, Japan, Latvia, Korea and Thailand.

Autocar is a member of the Independent Press Standards

Organisation (IPSO). We abide by the Editors’ Code of

Practice and are committed

to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you

think we haven’t met those standards and want to make

a complaint, contact autocar@haymarket.com. For more information, contact

IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or

visit www.ipso.co.uk

Haymarket is certified by BSI to environmental standard

ISO14001 and energy management standard

ISO50001

ISSUES WITH YOUR MAG? For subscriber issues, call 0344 848 8816. If you can’t find a news-stand copy of Autocar

in your local area, email autocar@haymarket.com

Autocar is a member of the

organising committee of Car Of The Year caroftheyear.org

FIRST DRIVE: VW’S BIGGER, BETTER PASSAT 22

PORSCHE’S ORIGINAL 356/2 MEETS A NEW 911 34

TOYOTA GR YARIS IN ITS WRC HEARTLAND 40

C O V E R STORY

❝DID YOU BUILD IT YOURSELF, ASKS A WALKER. NO, THIS IS THE OLDEST PORSCHE IN THE UK❞

PORSCHE’S FIRST ROAD CAR, A 356/2, TURNS HEADS. MATT PRIOR DRIVES IT AND A 911 34

IMAGE

TESLA’S £25K MODEL 2 AND WILD ROADSTER 4

COMMENT

HERITAGE CAN BE YOUR FRIEND – OR YOUR FOE

T H E R E N AU LT 4 and 5, a host of new MGs and five Fiat Panda concepts: many of the cars in this week ’s news pages feel like they come from 1984 , not 2024. And when you look at the future plans of BMW, Mini, VW and the like, it’s clear that retro is the big automotive design trend.

If you’re trying to sell dramatically new products such as EVs, making them as familiar as possible makes sense – and heritage is something start-ups don’t have. But heritage isn’t just about retro design. As Matt Prior explores in his drive of a Porsche 356 and a new 911 (p34), you can find DNA links even in cars split by seven decades.

But heritage can be a burden too. Would some of the criticisms of the VW Golf Mk8 have been as fierce without the Golf ’s heritage to live up to? It’s also why Lotus faces questions over its big, heav y SUVs. Tesla has benefited from being an expectation-free start-up, but that’s changing and it’s now a proven car firm. As a result, the weight of expectation on its entry-level ‘Model 2’ (p4) is massive. If it doesn’t arrive with game-changing innovation and a huge market edge, many will view it as a disappointment. It’s a nice problem to have but also shows how Tesla will keep facing new challenges as it grows. James Attwood Acting mag editor james.attwood@haymarket.com

@atters_ j Rachel Burgess is away

youtube.com/autocar facebook.com/autocarofficial

twitter.com/autocar

autocar_official

NEVER MISS

AN ISSUE Subscribe p20

6 MARCH 2024 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 3