Nissan NV200 Combi

Urban warrior

Nissan-NV200-rear-tailgateNissan has in recent years shifted its focus away from the traditional mainstream sectors of the car market, and instead has focused on the ‘lifestyle’ market, through cars such as the Qashqai, and the new Cube and Juke models.

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Jaguar XJL 3.0D Portfolio

The great leap forward

Jag-XJ-front-tracking-2Finally, it’s the moment of truth. Since Jaguar unveiled the new XJ at London’s Saatchi Gallery last July, they’ve taken it to shows, let us crawl over it, shown us round the factory – and even let us photograph a non-running prototype for Professional Driver’s front cover last September.

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Jaguar XJ Sovereign 2.7 TDVi LWB

Future classic
old-jag-xj-rear-staticAt first glance, Jaguar’s new XJ couldn’t be further removed from the car it replaces. While the new model is low-slung and futuristic, the outgoing XJ was resolutely retro, with classic lines that showed a direct lineage to the original XJ of 1968.

And yet, the previous ‘X350’ XJ was launched only in 2003, and its styling masked the fact that this was a pretty hi-tech car. Indeed, the X350 has a lot more in common with the new car than with the older XJs that it resembles. Like the new car, it had an all-aluminium body – in fact some of the underfloor stampings are cunningly carried over into the new XJ.

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Ford Galaxy 2.0 163PS Titanium manual

Follow the leader

Ford-galaxy-main-pic-2Ford has played a clever hand in the large MPV sector. The mainstream family car market migrated toward smaller, more lifestyle-oriented cars such as Vauxhall Zafira and Renault Scenic. And while the UK’s market leader followed this trend with e C-Max and S-Max models, it cannily kept a foot in the pig people-mover camp by creating a new, second-generation Galaxy.

This proved to be a winner – especially as Ford’s erstwhile partner in the sector, Volkswagen, is still building its versions of the original jointly-developed Galaxy as the VW Sharan and Seat Alhambra. These are due for replacement later in the year – indeed, we got a first look at the new Shazza at Geneva last month (see page 14).

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