David MottonSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Tow cars’ written by David Motton
The Geneva Motor Show is just a couple of weeks away, with some important new tow cars among the models making their public debut next month.
Seat will show its Ateca SUV. We've already seen pictures of the new model, the first of three SUVs which Seat is soon to bring to the market. Based on the Leon hatchback, the Ateca has a close family resemblance to the Leon both inside and out. It also reminds us of the Leon X-Perience, Seat's 4x4 estate. If it tows as well as the X-Perience we'll be very happy.
The Ateca won't be the only SUV from VW Group companies. Škoda will have its Vision S concept. This seven-seat SUV points the way towards a big brother for the Yeti, likely to arrive in 2017. No name for the production version has been confirmed, but Škoda has registered 'Kodiak' as a trademark so that's widely tipped to be what the new model is called. Five seats are expected to be standard on the production version, with another pair of seats available as an optional extra. We like the idea of a car with the space and practicality to rival a Land Rover Discovery Sport but with Škoda's value-for-money pricing. Hopefully that's how the Kodiak will turn out.
Over on the Renault stand, the French car maker will show off the new Scénic. Details are rather thin on the ground at the moment, but expect more SUV-like styling to toughen up the Scénic's image, without sacrificing the practicality and flexibility of the interior. It will be on sale in the UK before the year is out.
The parade of crossovers and SUVs continues on the SsangYong stand. The new Tivoli XLV has the same wheelbase as SsangYong's small crossover, but it's longer overall. The extra 235mm makes for a big improvement in boot space, with 720 litres to fill. So think of the XLV as partway between a crossover and an estate car. Expect the same 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines as found in the regular Tivoli, and a choice of front- and four-wheel-drive models. Exact specifications and towing capacities will be confirmed closer to the car's expected on-sale date this summer.
SsangYong also has a concept car on show, the SIV-2. It's what's called a 'mild' hybrid, and combines a 1.5-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine with a 10kW electric motor. Why 'mild'? Because 10kW isn't an awful lot, but it should be enough for quiet running in traffic and impressively low emissions around town.
If SUVs aren't your thing, head to the Volvo stand. The new V90 Estate will take pride of place. Like the new S90, the V90 will continue Volvo's push upmarket. In pictures the car looks absolutely huge, so we'd be surprised if the Volvo didn't rival the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate for luggage space. Expect a high-performance plug-in hybrid model, and less swift but more affordable diesel versions.
Look out for the new Honda Civic, too. The production version won't be there, but a concept that previews the real thing will be.
So, Geneva 2016 looks like an interesting show – especially if you are a fan of SUVs.