HERE’S ARE SOME of the new models which caught my eye at the Paris motor show yesterday.



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Most of my fellow journalists think the new Range Rover is

stunning. The front-end looks a bit fussy to my eyes, but I seem to be in a

minority of one. I spoke to a colleague who has ridden in the passenger seat,

and he told me the ride is even better than the current car’s. I’m going to nag

Land Rover on a daily basis until they let me drive one.



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The Ford Mondeo doesn’t stop you in your tracks like the

Range Rover, but it’s a neat enough looking car. However, the Mazda 6 on the

stand next door looks more distinctive (see below).



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I like the wide-mouthed grille and

sharply creased lines, which look much better in the metal than in this picture. There’s more space for passengers and luggage than in

the old Mazda 6, too.



[tl:gallery size=460×345] There’s very little wrong with today’s Golf, and the new Mk7

is a careful evolution design-wise. I really rather like it. From launch the

most powerful diesel will have 150PS, although Volkswagen has confirmed there

will be a Golf GTD, likely to have at least 180PS.



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The new Auris was parked just over the way from the Golf. The

nose of the car is strong and overall it’s much more striking than the old

model, but to my short-sighted eyes the Golf is the more cohesive design.



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New small hatches are ten-a-penny at the Paris show. The

Skoda Rapid may be as plain as M&S slacks, but you can bet it will be

cheaper to buy than the Golf with prices starting from £12,900 (Golf prices

haven’t been confirmed). However, the basic S model doesn’t even get air

conditioning so it’s not quite the bargain it first

appears. Kerbweights are very low, ranging from 1140kg to 1254kg (including 75kg

for the driver). Braked towing limits range from 750kg for the 75PS 1.2 petrol

to 1200kg for the 105PS 1.6 TDI.



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I’ve got a lot of time for honest-to-goodness cheap cars.

With the Korean brands pushing themselves upmarket, there’s room for a company

like Dacia to establish itself with a range of unpretentious, do-the-job

vehicles. The Duster SUV is one of the cars I’m most looking forward to driving

over the next few months.



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The Mitsubishi Outlander’s UK launch has been delayed until

April next year while the company sells off remaining stock of the old model.

Just three or four months later it will launch the Outlander PHEV, an

innovative plug-in hybrid. Unlike some hybrids, it will be homologated for

towing. One of the Japanese company’s execs told me the legal towing limit will be




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You might want to turn down the brightness on your computer

screen to look at the Peugeot 2008 Concept. Get past the concept car’s

retina-detaching paint finish and you’re looking at Peugeot’s new small

crossover, arriving in showrooms in autumn 2013.



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The new Jaguar F-type. I know none of us are ever going to

tow with one, but who cares? It’s beautiful and I want one so much if I could

get a decent price for my gran, she’d be on eBay right now.